The Cotswolds, an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty where time has stood still for 300 years, The Cotswolds are quintessentially English and Chippy Cottage is a great base to explore it all from.
The unique region officially covers an area of 790 square miles in the upper part of the southwest region of England and is the country’s largest officially designated ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. Popular with both the English themselves and international visitors from all over the world, the area is well known for gentle hillsides (‘wolds’), outstanding countryside with river valleys, water meadows and beech woods, sleepy ancient limestone villages and historic market towns that are steeped in history with many dating back at least 500 to 600 years. The Cotswolds are packed full of stunning towns, villages and hamlets. Listed below the picture gallery are the ‘hotspots’ within the region and closer to Chippy Cottage.
Bourton on the Water
Just South of Stow-on-the-Wold is one of the prettiest most tranquil places in England – Bourton on the Water, often referred to as ‘The Venice of the Cotswolds’. Bourton is a favourite amongst tourists and is a beautiful place to visit all year round, especially in the summer and spring when the sunlight glistens off the shallow river that runs hipnotically through the village. There is lots to see and do in Bourton in the way of museums, a tropical bird house, and a rather special model village, but even if there were nothing to do at all you would still be content to spend your time strolling around it’s pretty streets that are lined with gorgeous old cotswold stone buildings
With a character all of its own, and a church that is considered to be one of the top 20 churches in England, the town of Burford cannot fail to interest and inspire each visitor that walks through its ancient streets. Once a thriving wool town, Burford’s main high street slopes down from the Oxfordshire A40 to a picturesque 3 arched bridge that carries traffic over the river Windrush, a beautiful little river that winds its way through the Cotswolds and onto the neighbouring Bourton on the Water.
Immediately appealing with its wide main street and gracious houses, Broadway richly deserves the prestige of being the “show village of England”. Boadway is a pleasant place to visit at any time of year. The main street is littered with quaint craft and gift shops and well as art galleries and antique shops. There is also a very small shopping precinct in which you will find a lively deli. In summertime a marquee is errected on the village green for the local fruit and flower show. Ice-cream is sold in the street by vendors dressed in Victorian costume, and often there are dancing displays by Morris dancers. In winter there is the colourful and attractive sight of the local Hunt leaving for a days sport from outside the Lygon Arms.
Immediately appealing, this is certainly one of the most picturesque small towns in the northern reaches of the Cotswolds. Strewn along the pavement are perfect examples of gracious mellow stone properties all melting gently together and looking very much as if time had passed them by. Chipping Campden has several old inns that have interesting histories and date from the 17th and 18th-centuries. A 17th-century tradition that is carried on in the town is Dovers Games – a re-creation of the classical Olympic Games, held annually in the week following Whit Monday.
Chipping Norton lies in the midst of beautiful cotswold countryside and is surrounded by other villages that radiate the glory of traditional honey-coloured cotswold stone Manor Houses and magnificent Churches. It is a town to be explored and enjoyed and will leave you with many happy memories.
MORETON IN MARSH
The delightful market town of Moreton has welcomed visitors for many centuries. The town has excellent shopping facilities including several specialist antique shops. There is a lively market held each Tuesday which attracts visitors from all over the county. There is a host of inns and restaurants both in the town and in the surrounding picturesque countryside.
Stow is a beautiful town, and probably the busiest of all the cotswold towns. Infact if you judge it by the size of its market square, this shows that it has always been a busy part of the cotswolds. Many years ago when the cotswold wool industry was at it’s height, Stow was famous for it’s huge annual fairs where as many as 20,000 sheep were sold at a time at the busy market square. The square is now mainly used for parking, as Stow is a favourite destination for many a visitor to the Cotswolds.
Woodstock will be forever inextricably linked with the great Palace of Blenheim, the nations gift to the Ist Duke of Marlborough and the birthplace of the greatest Englishman of all time, Sir Winston Churchill. Woodstock, to the edge of the Cotswolds is surely one of England’s greatest treasure troves. It is a very atmospheric town of quaint shops and old inns that fit serenly with those of a more modern build. Both the River Dorn and the Evenlode flow close-by and the countryside all round is lush and very beautiful.