Cotswolds, England

The Cotswolds (/ˈkɒtswoʊldz/ KOTS-wohldz, /-wəldz/ -⁠wəldz) occupies a vast region of approximately 800 square miles and stretches across five counties. It is a region in south-central and south-west England comprising the Cotswold Hills, a collection of rolling hills that rise from the upper Thames meadows to an escarpment, known as the Cotswold Edge, over the Severn Valley and Evesham Vale. Time in this beautiful rural region that boasts rolling hills spanning six countries has stood still for 300 years.

The Cotswolds are about 25 miles wide and 90 miles long, cross six English counties and extend to beautiful Bath from just south of the historic Stratford-upon-Avon. The area is characterized by the Jurassic calcareous bedrock that provides a type of grassland habitat that is uncommon in the UK and quarried for the Cotswold stone in golden color. It features distinctive characteristics resulting from the use of this mineral; the largely rural landscape includes stone-built villages, historic cities, and stately homes and gardens.

Explore villages made from honey-colored stone, sip pints in ancient pubs and see a number of Britain’s most beautifully preserved medieval churches. It’s a favorite getaway for British celebrities so excellent food and luxury places to remain to abound. The very best point of the region is Cleeve Hill at 1,083 ft (330 m), just east of Cheltenham.

The region became wealthy through the lucrative wool trade during the middle ages which is why tourists or travelers can find so many beautiful churches and manor houses. It’s not shocking then that so many Cotswold locations included Poldark, Downton Abbey, and the Harry Potter films most recently in TV programs and films. As there are numerous villages within the Cotswolds each with their own unique personality. Hidden jewels are spread all over the Cotswolds. From the famous gardens to the award-winning pubs and cottages, there’s a pleasant surprise around every corner.

Of the nearly 800 square miles (2,100 km2) of the Cotswolds, roughly 80% is farmland. There are over 3,000 miles (4,800 km) of footpaths and bridleways. Historic stone walls are 4,000 miles (6,400 km) away too. Unsurprisingly this landscape offers a rich harvest of food and drinks with local cheeses, meats, and beverages featuring prominently on the menus of the gastro pubs, old inns, vibrant cafes, and fine dining restaurants generously scattered throughout the area.

The Cotswolds escarpment rises steeply from the clay vale of the lower River Severn and its tributary, the River Avon (Upper Avon), and slopes gradually eastward toward the clay vale of Oxford. Its crest is mostly 600 to 700 feet high (180 to 210 meters), but it reaches 1,083 feet (330 meters) above Cheltenham in Cleeve Cloud.

Tourism is a large part of the economy. The best time to visit is in May, just as the flowers bloom in the spring. In the greater region of Cotswolds Tourism, Stroud, Cheltenham, Gloucester, and Tewkesbury included. In the substantial buildings, particularly the churches that grace the villages and market towns, the wealth obtained from the selling of wool and later from the domestic cloth industry is obvious. Sheep walking enclosure, usually via dry stone walls, was subsequently followed by a transition to arable farming.

 

Information Sources:

  1. cotswolds.com
  2. wikipedia