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Cotswolds Travel Guide to ancient Towns and Villages

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COTSWOLD TOWNS AND VILLAGES

Promote your Town or Village here to get a greater share of the Tourists visiting the Cotswolds.

Take advantage of our 6500 unique daily visitors to our website.

Work in Partnership with Cotswolds.Info - the World's largest Internet resource for the unique Cotswolds.

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HISTORICAL QUEST
TOURS

TAILOR MADE ENGLISH HISTORY TOURS BY
ROLLS ROYCE

I can take you to the places that others never visit, which are slightly off the beaten tourist track, and I can respond to any individual interest you might want to follow up. - or, if you prefer, I can create an itinerary based on my own recommendations. Best of all , I can take you on our shared voyage of discovery in my rather
special car.

www.histquest.com

john@histquest.com

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Pictures of Cotswold villages and towns

The complete tourist guide for visiting Towns and Villages in the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is an expanse of gently sloping green hills and ancient, picturesque towns and villages in south-western and west-central England. It is a designated as an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the largest in the country, and its quintessentially English charm predominantly spans the counties of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, while also reaching into parts of Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

Landscape of the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds has the largest number of conservation areas of any English region for the travel visitor to see. It stretches from the northern gateway of Broadway to the magnificent roman town and Georgian city of Bath on the southern fringes. The fringes of the region include Shakespeare's Stratford upon Avon, the king maker's castle of Warwick, the historic academia of Oxford, and Winston Churchill's childhood home, Blenheim Palace.

Northern Cotswold Places

Cottage covered in Wisteria in BroadwayIn the northern portion, step back in time by wandering the streets of the Regency spa town, Cheltenham, as well as ancient market towns like Stow-on-the-Wold, Chipping Campden and Anglo-Saxon Winchcombe – where you’ll discover Sudeley Castle. Beautiful ancient villages of note in this area include Broadway ('Jewel of the Cotswolds'), Bourton-on-the-Water (Little Venice), Stanton, and Snowshill.

Some of the best Cotswold gardens can be found all within a five-mile radius, including Batsford Arboretum, Hidcote, Kiftsgate, Sezincote and Bourton House. Leading visitor attractions include Snowshill Manor, the mysterious Rollright Stones and Chastleton House.

Central Cotswold Places

Town of MinchinhamptonMoving into the middle portion, some particularly special historic towns include Cirencester (the Roman capital of the Cotswolds), Tetbury, Painswick (often called Queen of the Cotswolds), Burford, Malmesbury, Woodstock (home of Blenheim Palace), Nailsworth, Minchinhampton, Bradford-on-Avon and Chippenham. Some tourist attractions of special note are Westonbirt Arboretum (near Tetbury), Woodchester Mansion, Kelmscot Manor, Malmesbury Abbey and Gardens, Owlpen Manor, and Prinknash Abbey and not forgetting the village of Bibury which was once described by William Morris as 'the most beautiful village in the Cotswolds'.

Southern Cotswold Places

In the south part of the Cotswolds you’ll find the World Heritage City of Bath and lovey, ancient, untouched villages like Lacock and Castle Combe.

Cotswold Way Walk signpostNot only is the Cotswolds home to unspoiled heritage communities dating back five to six hundred years, but the surrounding rolling countryside with its 3000 miles of public footpaths is steeped in prehistory too. It’s an area rich in Neolithic remains, with about 80 long barrows, the remains of some 400 round barrows, and many Iron Age hill forts.

The Cotswolds is particularly famous for its ancient honey-coloured limestone, which was used to build the villages and bustling market towns. The warm, mellow colour of the communities blends perfectly with the surrounding golden green countryside — a big part of what makes the Cotswolds so breathtakingly distinctive.

J. B. Priestley once wrote of Cotswold stone:

"The truth is that it has no colour that can be described. Even when the sun is obscured and the light is cold, these walls are still faintly warm and luminous, as if they knew the trick of keeping the lost sunlight of centuries glimmering about them."

The Cotswolds is one of the most treasured and visited destinations in the UK and indeed the world. Nowhere else will you find such timeless, unique and heart-warming preservation on such a scale. No doubt a reason it recently placed number two on a list of top ten paradise locations on earth.

For further Cotswolds information: -

Map of the Cotswolds
Click - For lager scale map

Practicalities of Touring the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is a very rural region interlaced with many thousands of miles of country lanes. Many of the ancient villages are hidden in idylic valleys and within wooded hills. To fully explore these timeless places touring by car is certainly the best option and if you do not want to drive then the hire of a Chauffeur Personal Car is a good alternative.

Tours by Bus or Coach companies are available for exploring the more accessible towns and villages.

Touring by using Public Buses can be done reasonably easily but it is suggested you choose your base at a largish Cotswold town to have more choice of destination places to explore.

Touring by using an Organised Tour Company is a 'hassle free' way of seeing the best of the region.

Getting to the Cotwolds by train

The Cotswolds are at the heart of the British Rail network with mainline trains to the Cotswolds from London, the Midlands and the North and the South West of England.

There are main line railway stations at Cam and Dursley, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Kemble (serving Cirencester),
Moreton-in-Marsh, Worcester, Stonehouse and Stroud.

Visitors as part of a rail based holiday are recommended to plan accommodation within easy reach of these stations.

There are regular rail services through the Cotswolds including:-

  • From London Paddington to Cheltenham via Swindon, Kemble (serving Cirencester), Stroud, Stonehouse, and Gloucester
  • From London Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh via Charlbury and Kingham and ending at Worcester.
  • Between Gloucester and Cardiff
  • Between Birmingham and Bristol via Tewkesbury, Cheltenham, Gloucester and Dursley
  • For further information see - Touring by Train

Getting to the Cotswolds by Car

Travel time by car from London - circa. 1.45 hours

Travel time from Birmingam - circa 1.0 hours

For more - travel information and useful tips

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This way to navigateVILLAGES AND
TOWNS TO SEE:-

This way to navigate

Hint: Click on the link immediately above to explore many more beautiful villages

This way to navigateMORE COUNTY
INFO:-

This way to navigateHISTORIC PLACES
TO VISIT:-

This way to navigate
GARDENS TO SEE:-

 
Image of a Cotswolds village
 
 
   
Travel Assistance
   
Honeypot Cottages ...Honeypot Cottages offer a delightful selection of holiday cottages in and around the North Cotswolds market town of Chipping Campden, Broadway and surrounding villages....

www.honeypotcottages.co.uk | 01386 841714
Cotswold Holiday Cottages
 
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THE KINGS HEAD INN UPLANDS 5 STAR ACCOMMODATION ABBOTS GRANGE CROWN & TRUMPET INN
Open Log Fires Await You
4 Star accommodation in the beautiful Cotswold village of Bledington near
Stow-on-the-Wold
Luxurious home and gardens offering top class accommodation and food. Close to Stratford upon Avon Stay in the beautifulAbbot's Broadway summer residence - a truly unique Cotswolds experience. Old Cotswolds Inn at Broadway - Jewel of the Cotswolds. Providing good accommodation and restaurant.
MIND THE DUCKS INDIVIDUAL AND MEMORABLE MAGICAL & UNFORGETTABLE FRIENDLY HOSPITALITY
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HOLLY HOUSE B&B WESLEY HOUSE aa dining award HILLCREST COTTAGE AMBLESIDE B&B
4 Star Silver Award highly recommended by Tripadvisor Located in beautiful Bourton-on-the-Water 5 minutes walk from village centre

Restaurant with Rooms

Delicious food with cosy four star accommodation in 15th century Cotswolds Merchant's House in the friendly Anglo Saxon town of Winchcombe

Truly amazing views from every room at this stylish, well equipped cottage
(Short Breaks all Year)

GOLD STAR AWARD

One of the best places to stay in Stratford-upon-Avon, central location, service top notch - immaculate!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED MAGICAL EXPERIENCE STUNNING VIEWS TERRIFIC HOSPITALITY
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FIR TREE
HOLIDAY COTTAGE
THE SWAN INN DETMORE HOUSE B&B THE LAMB INN near BOURTON-ON-WATER
Delightful two bedroomed clean and cosy cottage in restful village location good for touring the North Cotswolds Hidden in the Windrush Valley in the idyllic Cotswold village of Swinbrook near Burford - beautiful bespoke bedrooms & quality food Period Regency property set in extensive grounds within 5 min drive of Cheltenham and furnished to high standard with stunning views 300 year mellow stone traditional Cotswold Inn overlooking the Windrush Valley - great accommodation, food & drink
A COTSWOLD GEM ENCHANTINGLY LOST
IN TIME
EXCELLENT LOCATION AND HIGH STANDARD WELCOMING COTSWOLD INN
This page last modified Saturday, 30-Aug-2014 10:20:33 BST

Cotswold Places to Tour and Visit