Green valleys, wild-flower laden peaks, beautiful picture postcard countryside scenes, village pubs and some outstanding local attractions which include wildlife parks and farm experiences, make the Cotswold’s a fascinating location for a holiday, be it for a weekend or week long. This area is also great for people of all ages and ideal for a family break. Let us take a look at some of the reasons why the Cotswold’s is such as a wonderful place for a break.
You have the opportunity to see wild beasts in their natural and expansive surroundings at the Cotswold Wildlife Park. White rhinos, wolves, sloths, hedgehogs and tigers on the prowl, are all inhabitants of this well-maintained Wildlife Park. Exotic English shrubs and gardens make the park a botany connoisseur’s delight. Make sure also to seek out the Humboldt Penguins and the Crowned sifaka. The park is very reasonably priced and I highly recommend this park and to allow at least half a day free for exploring all areas of attraction.
If you are interested in natural phenomena, I strongly recommend Clearwell Caves, an attractions which date back 4000 years and which have a unique and interesting history in mining. The unusual structure continues to produce pigments that are showcased along with other mining gear at the sprawling caverns that are open for public display. The caves are quite extensive and really make for a fascinating experience and these caves are much cheaper than Cheddar Gorge in Somerset (which are another favourite with cave tourists). You can learn more from their official site at www.clearwellcaves.com.
For old-world country-side charm head to St Augustine’s Farm, a family run 200 year old farm resting on the banks of River Severn. Here travellers can milk cows, feed the ponies or sample a delicious piece or freshly churned out cheese at the dairy.
Cryptology and treasure hunt lovers will have a grand time at the Dragonfly Maze. Unearth the fascinating pictorial, symbolic and word clues to take you through the convoluted pathways to the Minotoad home and a room chock-a-block with a thousand mirrors. This is a fun way to spend an hour or two although not everyone’s cup of tea if you find getting stuck in a maze an experience you could do without ever experiencing 🙂 (See thedragonflymaze.com for more info).
Chastleton House is a conventional Jacobean house filled with an assortment of 17th century memorabilia. The adjoining gardens have an archetypical Elizabethan feel and speak volumes about the glory of the family that has been residing in it for over 400 years. If you are a fan of period drama’s such as Downton Abbey on TV, you should enjoy seeing Chastleton House and the surrounding gardens and stunning setting. This is a wonderful attraction for older visitors also in that this is less hectic and physical than a visit to the caves. The house is now run by a charity as part of the National Trust.
The towering Tyndale Monument built in honour of William Tyndale, the visionary who made the Bible accessible to the common man, is an architectural wonder worth visiting. Monuments from the Bronze, Neolithic, Iron and Saxon ages can also be seen around the Cotswold region.
Head straight to the National Arboretum Westonbrit for 600 acres of beautifully landscaped trees and a plethora of vegetation with a long 16 mile walking trail. Halt for a meal and refreshments at one of the traditional in-house Cotswold pubs. There are many country paths and walking routes for ramblers dotted across the Cotswold’s You can find detailed maps in local stores or via the National Trust.
Get acquainted with centuries old royalty with a visit to the Sudeley Castle exhibit near Wincombe. The gardens encircling the castle fittingly augment its beauty. Make sure to allow several hours to explore both the castle and the gardens.
In addition to rambling, the Cotswolds are a good location for biking with many long stretches of road and mountain areas including around the Blockley and Beckford areas.
Your trip is sure to be incomplete without a visit to the famed local pubs with log fires. Take an opportunity to sample the local cuisine and wash it down with some genuine ale. There are pubs with formal and informal ambiances depending on your taste and requirement. On a Sunday make sure also to try a traditional Sunday Roast!