Do you dream of rural bliss? Are you craving country walks and fresh air? Do you desire a good night’s sleep where the sound of traffic and the yellow glow of light pollution don’t keep you up at night? Then it’s time for a weekend break in the country and we have just the place in mind. Here’s 10 IDEAL reasons for the Cotswolds to be your next staycation.
Gentle rolling hills, honey-stoned villages, cute cottages with thatched roofs, little lanes, sparkling streams and easy flowing rivers – the Cotswolds is the countryside of your dreams. Don’t believe us? Well it’s got AONB status (Area of Outstanding Beauty) and is the biggest of the 38 areas in the UK that have this title. If that doesn’t convince you nothing will.
THERE’S LOADS OF IT
Made up of nearly all the counties ending in shire (Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire) the Cotswolds covers approximately 800 square miles of land. So when loads of other people read this article and immediately book a staycation here, rest assured there’s plenty of Cotswold to go round.
COUNTRY WALKS IN YOUR WELLIES
Pull on your boots and enjoy a country walk because the best way to appreciate the Cotswolds undulating green landscape is on foot. It’s home to miles of undisturbed footpaths, crisscrossing its rolling green hills and wooded valleys. If you’re after a gentle ramble, there are lots of town and village trails to follow with an abundance of pubs and tea rooms along the way. Or if you’re serious about hiking, there are more challenging long distance paths like the Cotswolds way.
Is there anything better than a leg stretching, lung-expanding country walk that ends in a pub full of character and charm – preferably one with a roaring fire and local brews? We don’t think so and we’re not alone. A study into which UK destinations us Brits hold closest to our hearts found that having a pub lunch in the Cotwolds is our top ‘happy place’. If like the participants, you want to create fond memories that make you feel happy, calm and serene, we suggest you book your staycation to this charming part of the country ASAP.
Psst, Hey you, pub fan! We recommend wetting your whistle at The Horse and Groom – this watering hole is well worth a visit and was even been awarded pub of the year.
THE LOCAL PRODUCE
Cheese is a big deal in the Cotswolds – there’s even an annual Cheese-Rolling event, where cheese lovers chase a wheel of double Gloucester cheese down a hill. The Cotswolds is also home to an English breed of pig which has a wonderfully unique flavour and beloved of chefs across the country: the Gloucester Old Spot pork. Both single Gloucester cheese and Gloucester Old Spot pork have been awarded Protected Designation of Origin Status. Other local foodie favourites include Tewkesbury mustard, Bibury trout, Stinking Bishop cheese and Hobbs House bread. The region even has its own spirits; Cotswolds Dry Gin and Cotswolds Single Malt Whiskey. And don’t even get us started on the local ales brewed here. Check out the The Gloucestershire Ale Trail, which highlights some of the Cotswolds’ outstanding breweries.
Long before ‘local produce and foraging’ were buzzwords in the cooking world, Cotswolds chefs were using this approach to cooking. As a result, the Cotswolds has a well-deserved reputation as a foodie destination for outstanding dishes made from locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. Some of the best places include Wild Garlic, Lords of the Manor, The Wild Rabbit and The Wheatsheaf Inn.
From glorious manor houses to charming cottages and cosy rental houses, the Cotswolds has something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking somewhere full of ye olde world English charm or something a little more country chic, there’s no shortages of places to stay. If you want to really get away from everything and just enjoy nature, you could even consider a secluded log cabin or staying on a campsite. The only problem you’ll have is deciding where to stay in the Cotswolds, but it’s one of those good problems.
IT’S GREAT ANY TIME OF YEAR
Come rain or shine, winter or summer, the Cotswolds is ideal for anytime of year. When it’s cold outside think bracing walks, where you can make the most out of the wonderful winter scenery. Take shelter from the chill in one of the regions glorious pubs and enjoy roaring fires with warming ales and a hearty meal. Winter is also the ideal time to indulge in one of the many indoor spas dotted across the region. However, when it’s warmer think lovely summer time strolls. Seeking shade from the scorching sun in the woodlands and enjoying the wildflower meadows and paddling in the meandering streams. And taking advantage of the long summer nights in a pub garden is always a winner.