The enduring appeal of the Cotswolds revolves around its essential ‘Englishness’ and the reflection of a timeless village idyll. A typical image comes to mind of ducks paddling peacefully across the ubiquitous village pond set alongside a stone bridge and a nearby quaint pub, which happens to serve great food. For many, it is the epitomy of a way of life that lies at the very heart of our being as a nation. Whether it be early spring or the height of summer, it is a world running at an altogether slower pace in tune with the timeless tranquil surroundings. With great links to the whole of the country, the Cotswolds are eminently accessible for your next short break or week away, so let’s take a look at the best the Cotswolds has to offer.
If you want to experience the essence of a quintessential Cotswold village, then Lower Slaughter should be high up on your list. At this time of year the gorgeous honey-coloured stone cottages are framed by a daffodil lined stream with the field’s beyond full of exuberant lambs. The delightful Copse Hill Road was voted Britain’s most romantic street in 2011 by Google and it is not hard to see why. Running by the path of a stream with overhanging trees and then winding its way past the church, this tranquil village setting really sets the mood for couple’s enjoying a walk in one of the country’s prettiest villages.
Birthplace of one of Britain’s greatest hero’s Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim palace is a majestic stately home and estate overlooking a lake in the rolling Oxfordshire countryside. This fascinating and historic palace is surrounded by beautiful parkland and visitors can choose to buy tickets to enjoy both the palace and parkland or if the weather is great and you are looking for a memorable location for a picnic, then a ticket for the estate may be perfect for you. These hugely impressive and grand surroundings were the Eighteenth century home to the Dukes of Marlborough. Lying a short distance from Woodstock, a visit to Blenheim palace is sure to grab the imagination of the whole family.
Cotswold Motoring Museum
As well as home to ‘King of the Petrolheads’, Jeremy Clarkson, the Cotswolds also boasts a fine motoring museum in the picture perfect village of Bourton on the Water. This is a great value venue housing collections of vintage and classic cars and motorcycles from the past hundred years of motoring. From elegant Jaguars, unique Austins and Lambrettas, the Cotswold Motoring Museum is an engaging journey for both young and old. Children will be delighted by the collection of antique toy cars and a chance to see television toy car star ‘Brum’!
Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway
If you are looking for engines with a little more power, then a trip to Cheltenham’s steam railway will not disappoint. The GWR railway really gets the juices going, the sight, sound and smell of these magnificent steam trains is intoxicating. Mix that with a journey through the stunning Cotswold countryside, and you have the makings of an unforgettable day out. The restored railway follows a 25 mile route from Laverton to Cheltenham racecourse with themed events hosted throughout the year. First class carriages are available along with sumptuous catering to make the occasion just that extra special.
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