"A day in the Cotswolds" Top 5 Page for this destination Gloucestershire by toonsarah

Gloucestershire Travel Guide: 676 reviews and 1,938 photos


If you?re searching for the England of your imagination, the one you see on calendars and in ?Come to England? advertisements, you could do worse than head for the Cotswold Hills. Rolling green hills dotted with fluffy sheep, picture-postcard villages nestled between them, warm honey-coloured stone, historic churches and manor houses ? You get my drift.

The downside might be perceived to be the large number of tourists who come here looking for all the above, but it is surprisingly easy to find a corner away from the masses. The larger villages and towns, with their numerous tourist facilities (pubs, cafés, hotels and attractions), do draw the crowds, as do a couple of particularly famous spots such as Lower Slaughter.

Elsewhere, however, there are numerous almost as pretty villages where the only sounds are likely to be the birdsong beloved of poet Edward Thomas (see my Adlestrop tips below), and maybe a mower readying the village green for cricket.

The Cotswold Hills are a line of hills stretching from about 7 miles south of Stratford-upon-Avon in a south-westerly direction to Bath, a distance of 70 miles. They probably get their name from ?cot?, meaning a pen or enclosure for animals (in this case a sheep-pen) and their gentle hillsides, the ?wolds?. Another possible explanation is that the word derives from the name of a man in the 12th century who owned high forest land: Codwald.

The main feature that distinguishes the area from other, perhaps equally pretty, parts of England, and which has made it famous, is the consistent use of the local honey-coloured limestone as a building material. The colour of the stone in fact varies depending on the location of where it was quarried. Generally, in the northern part of the Cotswolds the stone is a beautiful ?honey golden brown? and further south the stone becomes creamier in colour. Even today, most new buildings have to be built of this material and in a style that blends in with the old.

The Cotswold Hills straddle several counties ? mainly Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, but a little bit of Warwickshire too. Our recent day out with Ingrid (aka Trekki) took us to the first two of these, and I?ve created a small page about each in an effort to keep tips in the right place for the county they refer too. Please have a look at my small Oxfordshire page for a few tips about the villages we visited there (and a very nice pub lunch).

By the way, several of my tips are duplicated on the two pages in case people only find one or the other, so please don?t rate both!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful countryside, picturesque villages
  • Cons:Can get crowded in the most popular villages
  • In a nutshell:Quintessentially English
  • Last visit to Gloucestershire: Jul 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (11)

Comments (13)

  • johngayton's Profile Photo
    Feb 18, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    Yes there's not much to Adlestrop - I visited it many years ago and couldn't even find a pub!

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    You are so right Sarah, this is such a lovely area, one that I am really looking forward to exploring! A lovely page, with beautiful photo's to match!

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    Sep 15, 2009 at 12:04 PM

    Loved the name of this place but found out once again that the word "lovely" always best fits in Merry Olde. I missed the pub but even I like a cuppa here and there, especially with some cream in the mix. Honey-toned stone and scones, indeed.

  • aussirose's Profile Photo
    Dec 29, 2008 at 8:49 PM

    Devenshire tea & scones in one of those little villages?....yes please! Looks devine :o) Lovely pix to Sarah. Great job! Cheers, Ann.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Sep 11, 2008 at 11:22 AM

    Sarah, I have to agree with your assessment of the beauty to be found in Gloucestershire! It was one of my favourite places too, short though my visit was. A very nice little page to tweak a few memories!

  • kyoub's Profile Photo
    Aug 21, 2008 at 5:23 AM

    A very interesting page. It sounds like a lovely area.

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo
    Aug 14, 2008 at 6:21 AM

    Such a pretty part of the country. I think we drove through Adlestrop once. Will have to stop off next time.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Aug 13, 2008 at 1:43 PM

    Thanks for the poem about Adlestrop, and the link to Helen Thomas reciting it. Great that you were able to show Ingrid around this lovely area!

  • christine.j's Profile Photo
    Aug 13, 2008 at 7:45 AM

    A very informative page.I well remember the hill up to Stow-on-the-Wold, I had lost my way on the public path to Bourton and had to walk back. I thought the old Agatha Christie films were made here, I half expected Miss Marple to step out of a door.

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Aug 11, 2008 at 6:41 AM

    Sarah, I just get very hungry looking at that cream tea :)) I was once driven through the Cotswolds area and it´s just gorgeous!


“I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust (Joni Mitchell, "Amelia")”

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