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Exploring the Cotswolds, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Posted by Cassie on 04/26/2024, Category: Article
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As the largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales, spanning 800 square miles of rolling hills and quaint villages, the Cotswolds attract over 35 million visitors per year.

“lost sunlight of centuries glimmering”    

 – J.B. Priestly on the romance of the Cotswolds

The Quintessentially English charm of the Cotswolds has long brought about strong connections with the arts, inspiring writers such as JRR Tolkein and Beatrix Potter and frequently serving as a film location.

The Cotswold Way – Discover the Cotswolds by foot…

This 102-mile-long walking footpath runs from the English market town of Chipping Campden to the Roman city of Bath and passes through many of the most beautiful parts of the Cotswolds. While some keen hikers choose to walk the entire route, there are plenty of shorter walks to choose from.

Step back in time along the Winchcombe and Belas Knap circular walk (5.25 miles), taking you through the postcard-pretty town of Winchcombe, past Sudeley Castle, and up to the Neolithic Long Barrow ‘Belas Knap’.

Take in spectacular 360 views from Broadway Tower on the ‘Broadway and the Tower’ circuit (4 miles) which also passes through Broadway village, known for its natural beauty, independent shops, and 17th -century hotel ‘The Lygon Arms’.

‘When in Bath…’

Why not visit the ancient Roman baths? In the year 43 AD the Romans began to develop the sanctuary town ‘Aquae Sulis’, where Bath stands today. This retreat town of sorts grew from the perceived healing properties of the natural thermal spring. Today you can still bathe in the same mineral-rich waters as the Romans at Bath Thermae Spa’s open-air rooftop pool.

The great bath of Aquae Sulis https://www.flickr.com/photos/wolfsavard/3176442227

What makes the Cotswolds so geologically unique?

Jurassic Limestone, dating from between 210-140 million years ago, makes certain locations in the Cotswolds ‘Sites of Special Scientific Interest’. The thickest layers of Jurassic rock can be found at Leckhampton Hill and Cleeve Common on the outskirts of Cheltenham and are particularly famous for their abundance of fossils.

This limestone is prominent in the style of architecture of the region, coined ‘Cotswold Stone’. The charm and golden quality of the stone has contributed to its desirablility, representing the  peaceful, slow way of life that emanates from villages such as Broadway and Bibury

Bibury cottages – Image Credit: “Cotswold Cottages” by Steve Slater

English writer, J.B. Priestly 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 light and luminous, as if they knew the trick of keeping the lost sunlight of centuries glimmering about them”.

This essence of warmth and charm that has become attached to the Cotswolds has resulted in the formation of companies such as ‘The Cotswold Company’ which bring the ‘farmhouse romance’ of these villages to luxury home furnishings and furniture.

Historical Significance

The name ‘Cotswolds’ can be broken up into ‘Cot’ meaning sheep’s pen and ‘Wolds’ meaning rolling hills to reflect the region’s significance in the wool trade. The Cotswold ‘Golden Lion’ wool was produced by the ‘Cotswold Lion’ breed, introduced by the Romans and it’s popularity had a signifcant impact on the development if the region. This Roman presence can be felt in the Cathedrals, villa remains and spa towns throughout the district.

The Cotswolds are also home to lots of pre-historic sites, including long-barrows and Iron-age hill forts.

 

Discover your stay

Every home has a complete 3D tour. Take your time exploring so you can book with confidence.

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Pittville Lawn

1 Bedrooms
1 Bathrooms
Free Permit Parking
750 sq/ft

2 Pittville Lawn, Cheltenham, UK

From £98 p/n

Pittville Lawn

1 Bedrooms
1 Bathrooms
Free Permit Parking
750 sq/ft

2 Pittville Lawn, Cheltenham, UK

From £98 p/n

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Pittville House

4 Bedrooms
4 Bathrooms
Allocated Parking
4500 sq/ft

Wellington Square, Cheltenham, UK

From £450 p/n

Pittville House

4 Bedrooms
4 Bathrooms
Allocated Parking
4500 sq/ft

Wellington Square, Cheltenham, UK

From £450 p/n

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18 Tivoli Mews

1 Bedrooms
1 Bathrooms
Allocated Parking
430 sq/ft

18 Tivoli Mews, Cheltenham GL50 2UX, UK

From £88 p/n

18 Tivoli Mews

1 Bedrooms
1 Bathrooms
Allocated Parking
430 sq/ft

18 Tivoli Mews, Cheltenham GL50 2UX, UK

From £88 p/n

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Glensanda

4 Bedrooms
3 Bathrooms
Allocated Parking
1775 sq/ft

3 Glensanda Court, Montpellier Spa Road, Cheltenham GL50 1UF, UK

From £190 p/n

Glensanda

4 Bedrooms
3 Bathrooms
Allocated Parking
1775 sq/ft

3 Glensanda Court, Montpellier Spa Road, Cheltenham GL50 1UF, UK

From £190 p/n

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39 Rodney House

4 Bedrooms
3 Bathrooms
Allocated Parking
1808 sq/ft

39 Rodney Rd, Cheltenham GL50 1HX, UK

From £195 p/n

39 Rodney House

4 Bedrooms
3 Bathrooms
Allocated Parking
1808 sq/ft

39 Rodney Rd, Cheltenham GL50 1HX, UK

From £195 p/n

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Saint Margaret

2 Bedrooms
1 Bathrooms
Off-road
765 sq/ft

5 saint margaret road cheltenham gl50 4dt

From £115 p/n

Saint Margaret

2 Bedrooms
1 Bathrooms
Off-road
765 sq/ft

5 saint margaret road cheltenham gl50 4dt

From £115 p/n

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