Character Cottages

Top 10 Highlights of a Holiday to the Cotswolds

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Is there anything more quintessentially English than the Cotswolds? This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is characterised by gentle, green rolling hills, traditional English pubs, glorious honey-coloured villages, picturesque thatched cottages, and a wealth of mansions, palaces and castles. It’s wonderful walking country and a great spot to indulge your sweet tooth with a delicious cream tea.

Here are 10 Cotswolds highlights you can’t afford to miss.

1. Visit Blenheim Palace
For a snapshot of British history visit Blenheim Palace, World Heritage Site and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Take a guided tour around the palace, explore the Churchill Museum, or wander around the gorgeous parkland and gardens designed by Capability Brown.

2. Walk the Cotswold Way
Stretching from Chipping Campden to Bath, the 102-mile Cotswold Way runs along the western edge of the Cotswolds. This magical walking trail offers magnificent views and takes you past famous ancient sites and picturesque villages.

3. Have a Picnic at Bourton-on-the-Water
The Cotswolds is brimming with wonderful picnic spots, but the picturesque village of Bourton-on-the-Water is one of the most popular. Lay your blanket along the banks of the River Windrush, and munch your lunch while kids paddle at the river edge.

4. Explore Cirencester
Known as the ‘Capital of the Cotswolds’, the market town of Cirencester sits at the crossroads of three major Roman roads. This bustling, vibrant town is home to independent boutique shops, seriously good restaurants, and gorgeous green spaces.

5. Ride the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway
Enjoy the Cotswolds countryside from the carriage of a steam train. The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, lovingly restored by volunteers, offers a 20-mile round trip through spectacular scenery. All aboard!

6. Enjoy a Cream Tea
For a sweet treat, indulge in a traditional cream tea. On a sunny day, enjoy your afternoon tea on the lawn of a magnificent manor house, or cosy up next to a log fire with your loved one while it’s chilly out.

7. See Shakespeare’s House
Walk in the footsteps of one of our greatest writers by visiting Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon. This half-timbered Tudor cottage is furnished in its original form and filled with exhibitions to help you understand and appreciate the life and work of the Bard.

8. Admire Broadway Tower
The brainchild of Capability Brown, Broadway Tower is a Cotswolds’ icon. This delightful folly sits atop a beacon hill overlooking rolling Cotswolds hills and parkland inhabited by red deer. Inside, enjoy the work of designer William Morris and learn about the tower’s importance during the Second World War and Cold War.

9. Marvel at Gloucester Cathedral
Gloucester Cathedral is one of the most magnificent Gothic buildings in the world. Enjoy stunning views from the top of the cathedral tower, visit the chamber where Henry VIII was crowned, and stand at the tomb of Edward II, a place of pilgrimage for centuries.

10. Stroll Around Charlecote Park
The lavish Elizabethan pile at Charlecote Park has some intriguing history, not least the rumours that Shakespeare was caught poaching deer in its grounds. Explore the house, which is bought to life with cooking and costumes, or wander through the woodland gardens and parkland.
To plan your Cotswolds adventure, view the rest of the Character Cottages website to find a luxury base from which to explore this delightful part of the UK.

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