cotswolds, bibury

Bibury

Bibury

William Morris described Bibury as one of the prettiest villages in England, and few would argue with him. It attracts the crowds, and is thus the stop-off point for many coach tours. It is a honey-pot village made up of rose-covered cottages set behind idyllic kitchen gardens, and all, overlook the sleepy River Coln inhabited by swans, trout and duckling. During the C17 Bibury was notorious as a buccaneering centre for gambling and horse racing.

 

“Special Places” to Visit

Arlington Row
Bibury Trout Farm
Church of St Mary



cotswolds, bourton-on-the-water

Bourton-On-The-Water

Bourton-On-The-Water

One of the most popular beauty spots in the Cotswolds but best visited out of season or at daybreak. It can be charming on a quiet frostbitten morning when only the postman is out and about, so be advised to avoid a busy bank holiday when the hordes arrive in coaches and their charabancs. With ice cream in hand the visitors sit beside the river wetting their bare feet in the Windrush, and there’s not a stitch of green grass visible through all the paraphernalia. The tourist brochures describe it as ‘The Venice of the Cotswolds,' no doubt, because the River Windrush is spanned with low graceful bridges. You must, however, look beyond the crowdsand the tacky gift shops and wander the little streets for there are some beautiful houses to admire. 

Bourton may not thrill the jaded teenager or hard-bitten traveller, but it will delight small children - mine loved to run across the little bridges, paddle in the river and feed the ducks, and you have, of course, Birdland, the Model Village, the Motoring Museum and the Model Railway, all devised for family fun and rainy days. The village is built above Salmonsbury Camp, a Roman settlement, and also above a former underground reservoir. It is not an uncommon sight to see a sprightly pensioner move into the village, and within eighteen months, be seen wobbling along the lane, bent double by the damp. Bourton has its fair share of pubs that cater for the tourist. Perhaps, the most traditional bar is in the Old New Inn. Tearooms are plentiful. July Carnival. Water Game - August BH Sa.  

 

“Special Places” to Visit

Birdland Park & Gardens
Cotswold Farm Park
Cotswold Motoring Museum
Cotswold Perfumery
Dragonfly Maze
Model Railway & Model Village
Santhill Fisheries



cotswolds, bredon hills villages

Bredon Hill's Villages

Bredon Hill's Villages

A circumnavigation of Bredon Hill is a fine introduction to the beautiful villages of Kemerton, Overbury, Conderton, Ashton-under-Hill and Elmley Castle. A lovely mixture of Cotswold stone, and black-and-white timbered buildings with many fine Inns, and peaceful churchyards. Various footpaths lead up to the summit from Elmley and Kemerton. Superb views from this isolated limestone hill at 961 ft. where you will find an Iron Age fort with two ramparts. Scene of great battle at time of Christ possibly against the Belgic invaders. The hacked remains of 50 men were found near the entrance. Superb views over to Wales, theV ale of Evesham, the rivers Severn and Avon, and to the Cotswold hills.

 

“Special Places” to Visit

Beckford Silk
Bredon Barn
Bredon Hill Fort
Conderton Pottery



cotswolds, broadway

Broadway

Broadway

The Painted Lady of the Cotswolds’ is a term often used to describe this beautiful village. The honey-coloured stone captivates the visitor today, as it did in the C19, when William Morris and his pre-Raphaelite friends settled here. A slow walk up the High Street will unfold some large and impressive houses, former homes to Edward Elgar, JM Barrie (Peter Pan), Ralph Vaughan Williams, Sir Gerald Navarro MP and Laura Ashley. These great houses with bow windows, dormers and finely graduated stone roofs are usually hidden behind statuesque gates. There are a number of fine hotels, restaurants, tearooms, art galleries and a fine bookshop.

 

“Special Places” to Visit

Ashmolean Museum
Broadway Tower Country Park
Buckland Church St Michaels
Gordon Russell Museum
Richard Hagen Gallery
St Eadburgh’s Church
Trinity House Gallery



cotswolds, burford

Burford

Burford

The first major Cotswold town you come to if travelling West from the East, and its an impressive introduction to Cotswold architecture. The wide High Street with its classical gables atop some gracious houses slopes down to the dreamy River Windrush. Burford was formerly an important coach and wool centre bursting with activity, hostelries and dens of rumbustious entertainment. Highwayman would burst onto the London Road and hold up coaches. Most notorious were the Fettiplace Gentlemen, blackguards one and all - see their Monument in Swinbrook Church.

A history of civil rights and religious tolerance prevailed here with the Burford Levellers.  On 17 May, 1649 three soldiers were executed in the Churchyard on the orders of Oliver Cromwell. These three had sort to undermine Cromwell’s authority whom they considered to be a dictator rather than a liberator. This event is celebrated every year with song, dance and speeches.  Today, there’s an abundance of hostelries and pretty cottages fronting the side streets. The Churchyard is a quiet location with some fascinating tombstones and a new tearoom.

 

“Special Places” to Visit

Burford’s Parish Church of St John the Baptist
Cotswold Wildlife Park
Cotswold Woollen Weavers
Minster Lovell Hall
Swinbrook Church
Upton Firehouse & Farm Shop
The Windrush Valley.

'Feast of the Dragon’ and Street Fair in June.  



cotswolds, castle combe

Castle Combe

Castle Combe

One of the prettiest and most visited villages in the south Cotswolds lies sheltered in a hidden valley surrounded by steep, wooded hills. In former times, a flourishing medieval wool centre, as evidenced by the weavers and clothiers cottages that descend from the Market Cross to By Brook, and the three-arch bridge. Its great claim to fame followed its appearance in the 1966 film of 'Doctor Doolittle' starring Rex Harrison. The village remains a popular location for TV commercials, and period dramas, because of its rows of quaint cottages undisturbed by time, or any life. More recently, used in the film ‘War Horse.' You rarely see children or families (who can’t afford to live here), and the post office has closed as have most or all of the shops. There is parking at the top, and bottom end of the village.  castle-combe.com  

 

“Special Places” to Visit

Colham Farm Trail
Motor Racing Circuit
St Andrew’s Church and Village Museum.



cotswolds, Churn Valley

Churn Valley

Churn Valley

A memorable route from Seven Springs to Cirencester following one of England’s most scenic drives. The variety of the trees and the sunken river valley are a sight to behold. Beware, this is a fast road and accidents are frequent. 

 


cotswolds, Chipping Campden

Chipping Campden

Chipping Campden

If you choose to visit just one Cotswold village make sure it’s this one. There is no better introduction. The harmony of Cotswold stone mirrors the town’s prosperity in the Middle Ages. The Gabled Market Hall was built in 1627 by the wealthy landowner Sir Baptist Hicks whose mansion was burnt down in the Civil War and the remains are the two lodges beside the Church.

The Church of St James is a tall and statuesque ‘Wool’ church. William Grevel, one of the wealthiest wool merchants is remembered in the church on a brass transcription which reads: 'the flower of the wool merchants of all England.' Opposite his house (Grevel’s House) on the High Street, the Woolstaplers Hall, the meeting place for the fleece (staple) merchants. The Dovers Cotswold Olympick Games & Scuttlebrook Wake is held in June.    

 

“Special Places” to Visit

Almshouses
Campden Gallery
Court Barn Museum
Cotswold Way

Dover’s Hill
Grevel’s House
Guild of Handicraft and The Gallery
Hidcote Manor Gardens
 

Kiftsgate Court Gardens
Market Hall
The Parish Church of St James



cotswolds, Coln Valley

Coln Valley

Coln Valley

A charming valley with typically quaint Cotswold villages. The River Coln rises above Brockhampton and makes its way south-east through Syreford - Withington - Cassey Compton - Chedworth Woods - Coln St Dennis - Winson - Ablington - Bibury - Coln St Aldwyns - Fairford - to Lechlade where it joins the River Thames. 

 


cotswolds, Coln Valley, The DUNTISBOURNES

The Duntisbournes

The Duntisbournes

A group of hamlets dotted along a beautiful wooded valley. Duntisbourne Abbot stands at the head of the valley. The Dunt Brook flows through each hamlet. The road to Duntisbourne Leer lies beneath a stream. Middle Duntisbourne and Duntisbourne Rouse are two farming hamlets, the latter famous for its idyllic Saxon Church.