Cotswold Blog

Celebrities Living in the Cotswolds

Many famous people have lived in the Cotswolds over the centuries, and a number of celebrities still live there today. There are many appeals to the Cotswolds: the market towns are lovely and have a charming, historical atmosphere; the rolling hillsides, rivers and forests are some of the most beautiful land in the United Kingdom; and there is a feeling that you are connected to the past when you are in the region. It is expensive to live in the Cotswolds, which is why many of the people who can afford to do so are among the rich and famous. Here are a few of the Cotswolds’ glamorous residents.

Lily Allen

Lily Allen, daughter of Keith Allen and film producer Alison Owen, is a famous actress and pop star in Britain. She released her first studio album in 2006, followed by another in 2009. In 2010, she purchased a home in the Cotswolds in the village of Overtown, which is just several miles from Painswick.

Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant is one of the most popular actors in Britain and is known around the world for his roles in films such as Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually, and Knotting Hill. Hugh Grant purchased a home in the Cotswolds in 2003. The manor was purchased for £2m and is a large estate constructed of distinctive yellow Cotswolds stone. It was the home of the Tyndale family from 1561 to 1768, and is listed as a Grade II Manor House. The house has very nice grounds with a lovely green lawn.

Alex James

Alex James is a musician who became famous as the bass player for Blur. He used to live in London, but currently resides in Chipping Norton at Church Heath Farm. On 200 acres of land he lives and raises sheep and cows and makes cheese. The farmhouse where he lives may have been constructed in the 18th century, later expanded and improved on with Victorian features. Six hundred yards of the property borders the river Evenlode, and there is also a woodland area and some walled gardens, as well as an orchard. The home itself measures 3,832 square feet, and there is an additional cottage with 1,765 square feet.

Kate Moss

Kate Moss is probably one of the most recognizable models in the world. She was born in London and discovered by the founder of a model agency when she was just 14, launching her on a career of international success. In 1992, she became famous as the face of Calvin Klein. In 2007, she launched her own clothing line, and another collection in 2010. Moss has a 10 bedroom house located in Little Farringdon, which is located close to Lechlade in Oxfordshire.

J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter book series, does not reside in the Cotswolds currently, but she was born there in the village of Chipping Sodbury, which is in Gloucestershire. Currently she resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. Some of the filming for the adaptations of her books was also conducted in Oxford.

J.K Rowling has just had a BBC adaptation of her first grown up novel The Casual Vacancy, this is set in the Cotswolds and has been filmed in Northleach and other Cotswold Towns.

Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart is as famous on the screen as he is on the traditional stage. Stewart dropped out of high school at age 15 so he could work and save up money to go to drama school later. In 1966, he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company. His face is also immediately associated with his popular television role in Star Trek: The Next Generation, where he played Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Stewart still appears on stage and in movies, and received the honor of Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire in 2010. Stewart has a home in Little Tew near Enstone near Chipping Norton.

Kate Winslet

Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet, best known for her role in Titanic, lives in the village of Church Westcote, which is located next to Stow-on-the-Wold. Winslet and her husband Sam Mendes purchased their property in Church Westcote for £2.75m back in 2002. The eight-bedroom historic manor house is built of yellow stone from the Cotswolds.

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen

Fashion designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and his wife and two children used to live in London, but they relocated in 2007 to a 17th century manor house at Siddington near Cirencester. The house is known as the Roberts House and is listed as a Grade II manor. It belonged historically to John Roberts, a famous Quaker who died in 1683. During the 20th century, the house underwent some restoration efforts.

Daniel Chadwick

Daniel Chadwick is a famous artist who was trained in engineering and employed by Zaha Hadid Architects from 1987 to 1991. His work has been exhibited in the UK and around the world. He owns an impressive manor in the Cotswolds known as Lypiatt Park, located in Bisley near Stroud in Gloucestershire. The Tudor home originally belonged to his father, who purchased it in 1959 and restored it over half a century. When he died in April of 2003 at age 88, it was inherited by his son Daniel.

Chadwick’s home looks a bit like a castle and may date back as far in history as 1220 AD. One of the first owners of the home was Dick Whittington, an early Lord Mayor of London. Other famous historical figures have also used the house. It belonged at one point to Sir John Throckmorton. Later, it was a meeting place for Robert Catesby and others in the Gunpowder Plot, who worked there to establish their plans for blowing up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. Currently the estate with its 10 acres of gardens is closed to the public, but Chadwick has announced he may make part of the gardens accessible and put on a permanent sculpture display for visitors.

Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst is an English artist, collector, and entrepreneur, and is the most well-known member of the Young British Artists. He is currently the wealthiest living artist in Britain, valued at around £215m. He is best known for The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, which consisted of a preserved tiger shark (which he had caught and killed) in a vitrine of formaldehyde. Hirst has an imposing Victorian Gothic house called Toddington Manor. The manor has 300 rooms and cost the artist £3m. The manor was constructed in 1820 in the same style as the Houses of Parliament, and was commissioned by the first Lord Sudeley, Charles Hanbury. The Hanbury family was forced to give up the house owing to poverty in 1894, and during WWII, it housed soldiers. Later, it became a school for foreign students in Britain. The house was empty for two decades before Hirst purchased and restored it.

Elizabeth Hurley

Elizabeth Hurley is a cosmetics model who has long been associated with Estee Lauder. She is also an actress who has starred in films such as Austin Powers, and from 2011-2012, she starred in the television series Gossip Girl. Her 72-acre Cotswold farm and 3-storey farm house are located in the village of Ampney Knowle near the town of Barnsley, which is 4 miles from Cirencester.

Jeremy Clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson is a broadcaster and writer in Britain who writes columns in The Sun and The Sunday Times, but is best known for his appearances on the motoring program Top Gear on the BBC. Clarkson lives between Chadlington and Chipping Norton.

Alan Coxon

Alan Coxon is a celebrity chef who has presented on various stations, including the Carlton Food Network, BBC Two and ITV. Coxon currently resides in the town of Evesham.

Joanna Trollope

Joanna Trollope is a well-known British author of dramas and romances who lives in the Cotswolds. She has had several of her novels adapted for the small screen, the best known being The Rector’s Wife. She has written more than two dozen novels to date and has been inducted into the Order of the British Empire. Trollope was born in the Cotswolds, and grew up in the Midlands and Surrey. Even though she didn’t actually grow up in the Cotswolds, she always felt they were where she belonged.

Speaking on the Cotswolds, Trollope said, “It gave me – still gives me – not just a sense of rootedness, but a capacity to value landscape and weather and the rich life of smallish communities. But it’s more than just beautiful—it is ancient and interesting and varied and uncompromising … So – off you go, and, as they say on some footpath signs round here, kill nothing but time, take away nothing but memories. And I can promise you that you’ll treasure those.” Many of Trollope’s novels are set in the Cotswolds, where she resides again today.

While you are visiting the Cotswolds, you may very well drive past one of these houses and maybe even see one of these famous celebrities going about their lives in town. Regardless, you will certainly appreciate the beauty of the Cotswolds and understand why so many celebrities call the Cotswolds home. And as Joanna Trollope says, you will treasure the memories forever.

Cotswold Blog

Famous People With Cotswold Connections

Blenheim Palace

While many tourists are attracted to the rolling green hillsides and charming historical market towns of the Cotswolds, they are not the only ones who have discovered the beauty of rural England.  Tourists also flock to the Cotswolds because of the region’s numerous connections to famous people, living and dead.  The Cotswolds have been home to many celebrities in film and television, and also plenty of historical figures including writers, artists, equestrians, and English royalty.  To learn more about the celebrities who have called the Cotswolds home, please see our article on Cotswolds celebrities.

Read on to discover more about the famous historical figures who have resided in the Cotswolds and left their mark on history.  Some of these residents and visitors were drawn to the Cotswolds because of their natural beauty, while others were intrigued by the history of the region (even while becoming a part of that history themselves).  Still others were brought to Oxford and Oxford University by their studies or work, and many of these famous personages had the fortune to work with one another while living in the Cotswolds.  The list below is hardly extensive; in connection to Oxford alone you will find dozens and dozens more names of famous historical personages associated with the Cotswolds.  Be sure to ask about them while you are visiting!

King Alfred the Great (849-899 AD)

King Alfred the Great is one of the earliest historical figures to call the Cotswolds home.  Born in Oxfordshire (then known as Berkshire), he repelled a number of Viking incursions to become King of England.  He also reorganized the military, reformed the legal system, and promoted education.

Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Jane Austen is one of the best-known and -loved English writers, and was a resident of the Regency city of Bath from 1801 to 1806.  Even before moving to Bath, she paid the city extended visits.  Modern-day visitors to Bath will be able to easily see the influence that the city had in her writings.  Two of her novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were set largely in Bath.  Strolling through the streets of Bath, visitors will easily be able to imagine life in Jane Austen’s time.  While you are in the area, you also might want to stop by Jane Austen’s House museum, which is located in Chawton in Hampshire.  Hampshire is not in the Cotswolds, but it is a neighboring county.  Austen inhabited the 17th century house during the last eight years of her lifetime.

J. M. Barrie (1860 to 1937)

Another famous Cotswolds writer was J. M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan.  Barrie stayed at the famous Stanway House and played cricket on a local team he founded along with other literary friends, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H. G. Wells.

Winston Churchill (1874 to 1965)

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and hero of World War II, is considered to be one of the greatest leaders in all of English history, and in all of the world.  Churchill was the grandson of the Duke of Marlborough and was brought up in Oxfordshire at Blenheim Palace, a beautiful destination that tourists can still visit today.  The dukedom went to Churchill’s cousin and not to him, along with the house, but Churchill was very fond of Blenheim, and proposed to his wife Clementine there.

Tourists in the Cotswolds may also visit Churchill’s burial site and that of his wife in the nearby village of Bladon.  While touring the place, you can see the room where Churchill as born, and also learn more about his life’s work through photos, letters, and paintings.

T. S. Eliot (1888 to 1965)

Author and publisher T. S. Eliot is probably best known as the author of the poem The Wasteland.  While he was born in America, he moved to the United Kingdom at age 25 and became a British subject at age 39.  He often visited a friend in Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds named Emily Hale.

Gustav Holst (1874 – 1934)

Gustav Holst, composer of The Planets, was born in Cheltenham and was a friend of Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughn Williams.  Tourists in Cheltenham can still visit Gustav Holst birthplace today to learn more about this famous composer’s life and work.

Edward Elgar (1857 – 1934)

Another famous composer from the Cotswolds was Edward Elgar.  Elgar was born in Lower Broadheath near Worcester.  Elgar’s best known work is probably Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1.

F. L. Griggs (1876 – 1938)

F. L. Griggs is a famous etcher and illustrator who did work in the English Romantic style.  He lived at Dover’s House in Campden High Street and was a member of the Guild of Handicrafts.  While living in Chipping Campden, he did architectural work on war memorials and signs and was a member of the National Trust, the Council for the Preservation of Rural England, and also the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.  In 1929 he founded the Campden Trust.

William Morris (1834 – 1896)

Perhaps one of the best known and most influential people to ever live in the Cotswolds, William Morris is a famous artist from the Arts and Crafts period.  Indeed, he is considered widely to be the founder of the movement, and resided for a time in Broadway Tower where he owned a printing press.  You may also visit his home, Kelmscott Manor, while you are visiting the Cotswolds.  While in Oxford, William Morris founded the Nuffield College.  William Morris’s contributions to the fields of textile art, fantasy literature, and poetry had a huge influence on the artistic world during his lifetime and after.

Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744)

Few poets are as famous as Alexander Pope, who also happened to be a landscaping artist.  You can see his work at Cirencester Park as well as Prior Park near Bath.  While staying in a tower at Stanton Harcourt Manor, he penned the story “A Lightning Romance at Stanton Harcourt” and finished translating the Iliad.  The Viscount renamed the tower Pope’s Tower in his honor.

Beatrix Potter (1866 – 1943)

Beatrix Potter is one of the world’s best-loved children’s authors.  She is best known for her Peter Rabbit stories, but she also authored a children’s story called the Tailor of Gloucestershire, inspired by her many visits to Gloucester.

William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)

William Shakespeare, author of numerous sonnets and plays, is perhaps the best known playwright on the planet.  William Shakespeare grew up in the village of Stratford-upon-Avon.  Visiting Stratford-upon-Avon, you can visit Shakespeare’s childhood home as well as the home where Ann Hathaway lived before she married him.

C.S. Lewis (1898 – 1963)

C.S. Lewis, one of the best known essayists, theologians, and novelists of the 20th century, was born in Belfast, Ireland, and spent much of his time in the Cotswolds.  He held an academic position at Oxford University and was an active participant in a literary group of famous authors in Oxford known as the Inklings.

 J. R. R. Tolkien (1892 – 1973)

J. R. R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, was a close friend of C.S. Lewis’s, and also a member of the Inklings.  Tolkien, like Lewis, held a position at Oxford University as a faculty member.  Seven blue memorial plaques are scattered throughout England, commemorating places Tolkien visited.  One is located in Oxford, another in Bournemouth, one in Leeds, and four in the town of Birmingham.

Tolkien is also well connected to the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire, Herefordshire, and Gloucestershire.  It was C. S. Lewis who first introduced him to the Malvern Hills.  The landscape became a major inspiration for Tolkien.  According to George Sayer, Head of English at Malvern College, Tolkien would talk animatedly of his writing as they walked together in the Malvern Hills, comparing parts of the scenery to areas in Middle Earth, the setting of his famous novels.

Charles Williams (1886 – 1945)

Charles Williams, yet another member of the Inklings circle, resided in London prior to World War II, at which point Oxford University Press, his employer, relocated to Oxford.  Williams was sad to leave London but glad to be able to spend more time with his other literary friends.  The group spent a great deal of time at The Eagle and Child pub in Oxford, also known as “The Bird and Baby.”  Williams is buried in St. Cross Churchyard in Oxford.

Gertrude Bell (1868 – 1926)

This famous Englishwoman was a writer, traveler, archaeologist, and spy.  She spent a great deal of time meeting with tribal leaders in the Middle East and was among the most powerful women of her time in England.  Bell received her education at Oxford University—yet another famous person connected to that college in the Cotswolds.

T.E. Lawrence (1888 – 1935) 

T.E. Lawrence is scarcely a footnote in most history textbooks, but his campaign in Arabia during World War I is among the most fascinating stories of the 20th century, and was dramatized in the film Lawrence of Arabia starring Peter O’Toole.  Proceeding the war, Lawrence lived and studied in Oxford where he attended Jesus College.  He graduated with First Class Honours and did some work in archaeology prior to the outbreak of World War I.  Following the war, he returned to Oxford where he penned The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, his autobiographical account of his campaign in Arabia.

John Locke (1632 – 1704)

John Locke, one of the most famous philosophers in history, is known as the Father of Classical Liberalism.  He was considered one of the greatest thinkers of the Enlightenment.  Locke attended Christ Church in Oxford, yet another famous Cotswolds connection.

 John Betjeman (1906 – 1984)

John Betjeman was a famous British poet of the 20th century.  He received numerous awards for his compositions, and spent time at Sezincote House in the village Bourton-on-the-Hill in the 1920s.  During that time, he was a student attending Oxford University Magdelan College.  Sezincote is a well known landmark in the Cotswolds, one of the more unusual manor houses in the region with a unique Indian style of architecture melded with traditional British styles.  Betjeman also lived in Wantage in Oxfordshire for some years, where he wrote a number of poems evocative of the beauty of his surroundings.  If you visit Wantage, you can drop by the Betjeman Memorial Park and see a statue of Betjeman and read several of his poems.

While you are visiting the Cotswolds, be sure to visit Oxford as well as Chipping Campden, Wantage, the Malvern Hills, and the other exciting destinations mentioned in the short biographies above.  No matter what your historical interests are, you are sure to find plenty to explore and discover while you are visiting one of the most beautiful and historically significant regions in England or in the entire world.


Cotswold Blog

Cotswold Taxis

Cotswold Taxis

When you visit the Cotswolds, especially the more remote Cotswold towns and villages finding a Taxi can be hard to do, most Cotswold hotels and Inns will have a list of the local taxi companies but in the summer and especially at weekends can be very hard to get, so it is always recommended to book your taxi in advance where ever possible.

Many of the local taxi and private hire firms also offer private Cotswold tours, these can normally booked for half a day or a day, depending on your criteria, the Cotswold Tours are excellent value for money as you get to see all of the Cotswolds hidden secrets, the tour drivers are full of local knowledge too which really can give you a better insight in to the Cotswolds.

The taxi companies below offer local cotswold journeys, train and hotel transfers and some offer luggage transfers too.

Cotswold Taxi Companies

T A TAXIS – Stow On The Wold – 07720 572420

T A Taxis based in Stow On The Wold, we are available for local journeys, airport transfers, train station transfers, hotel & luggage transfers.

T A Taxi Website

Cotswold Blog Family Days Out Tourist Attractions

Cotswold Country Park & Beach

Want the perfect family day out in the Cotswolds?

Cotswold Country Park and Beach, located just outside Cirencester, is open year-round, and offers the largest inland beach in the UK with lifeguards on duty for paddling and swimming. This year, we are working closely with local outdoor company Dynamic Pursuits, to increase the amount of fun, water based activities that we have to offer. Some of our new activities for 2013 include: kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, raft building, and various team building activities. As well as these new activities, we are still offering boat hire (pedalo’s and rowing boats), and water zorbing (large hamster balls on the water). Our other activities include; a 9 hole crazy golf course, adventure playgrounds, lakeside walks, and bouncy castles and slides.

Here at Cotswold Country Park and Beach we have seven bookable BBQ’s, including their surrounding areas, appropriate for parties, corporate events, gatherings, and special occasions. There is also an inside heated room, known as Toad Hall, which can be booked for those rainy days.

Cotswold Country Park

So why is Cotswold Country Park and Beach the perfect family day out?

Whether there are four of you, or forty of you, there is something for everyone; even the dogs.

An exciting new addition to the Park this year is our new café, Lakeside Park Café. They have strong principles, and firmly believe that Fairtade, Local and Organic products are the best way forward – so you won’t find any Coke, Mars bars or Walkers Crisps, instead a gorgeous range of tasty offerings. You can visit the Lakeside Park Café for a tasty cake after a lovely lakeside walk, or bring your family out for lunch as you sit and watch the wildlife and activities on the lake. They also offer delicious Marshfield’s Ice Cream, and frozen yoghurts served from the Lakeside Beach Café (located next the beach).

Cotswold Beach Cafe

[author ]For more information about Cotswold Country Park and Beach please contact:

Cotswold Country Park and Beach
Spratsgate Lane,
GL7 6DF.

Telephone: 01285 868096


or visit their website:

Please also contact Dynamic Pursuits for more information:

07580 774953

or visit their website: [/author]

Cotswold Blog



Worcestershire is best known worldwide for its connection to Worcestershire sauce, but there’s a lot more to see and experience in this Cotswolds county than the condiment.  Worcestershire is famed for the beautiful cathedral city of Worcester as well as a number of charming market towns, architectural follies, and interesting outdoor areas.  The Malvern Hills were a favorite haunt of both C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.  Tolkien compared parts of the Malvern Hills to scenery in the Shire and Gondor in his famous series The Lord of the Rings.

The Malvern Hills are preserved as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and are home to more than 70 natural springs.  The spring water is renowned for its purity and has been a major draw for the area since the 18th century.  While visiting Tenbury Wells and the other market towns in the region, you can still enjoy the delicious purity of Malvern Hills spring water.

Tenbury Wells is situated along the River Teme and has long been a famous place in the Cotswolds.  Queen Victoria was a big fan, and once called it “my little Town in the Orchard.”  The town features some beautiful examples of medieval architecture such as St. Mary’s Church, as well as some other intriguing buildings from later periods in history.  Perhaps the most famous buildings in Tenbury Wells are the Pump Rooms designed by James Cranston of Birmingham in 1862.  These unusual structures provide something of a carnival atmosphere, one which reflects different eras in time and different styles in an unusual montage.

While you’re in Worcestershire, you’ll also want to stop by Worcester itself and see the Worcester Cathedral, a beautiful Anglican cathedral situated on the banks of the River Severn.  The church incorporates numerous architectural styles ranging from the Norman to Perpendicular Gothic.  Worcester is also famous for its festivals and shows including the Three Choirs Festival and the Beer Festival.  The city is also a major centre for arts and cinema.

Various mansions, historic houses, and follies adorn the beautiful Worcestershire countryside.  One stellar example is Croome Court, a Neo-Palladian mansion erected in the 18th century.  The grounds are delightfully landscaped and are usually open to the public.  The stately house with its yellow walls is surrounded by a number of follies and gardens and a beautiful lake.  The Broadway Tower, another famous Cotswolds folly, is located on Broadway Hill right near the village which shares its name.  The mock castle was designed by James Wyatt in the 18th century as a gift for Lady Coventry.  Since then it has served as a home for a printing press and a couple of artists who rented it in the 19th century.  Nowadays it hosts exhibits and a gift shop.

These are just a few of the beautiful sights you can see while visiting the county of Worcestershire in the Cotswolds.  While you’re visiting you’ll doubtless find numerous other points of interest, so be sure to put in some extra time to explore, and book accommodations in advance so that you can relax and enjoy the countryside.

Cotswold Blog

Warwickshire Tourist Information Guide

Stratford Upon Avon

No visit to the Cotswolds would be complete without some time spent in Warwickshire, a county in the center of England famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare.  Warwickshire is the site of many charming towns including Stratford Upon Avon, which can immerse tourists in the history of the region.  There are also many stately houses, gardens, and grounds to explore, all of which display something of England’s cultural heritage.

Of all the towns in Warwickshire, Stratford-Upon-Avon is probably the most famous.  This is where William Shakespeare was born in 1564.  A number of his family homes are located here, including the house he grew up in.  You’ll be able to get a feel for the era in which he lived and see how his life and times impacted his work, as well as visit other locations which played a pivotal role in his lifetime.

If you’re into medieval history, you won’t want to miss visiting the city of Warwick.  Here you’ll find Warwick Castle, an incredibly well preserved castle with a history dating back to 914 AD.  The castle has been under the control of William the Conqueror and many other famous historical figures, and currently hosts a number of exciting events.  Daily shows include the raising of the portcullis, the firing of the largest working Trebuchet in the world, the bowman show, the flight of the eagles show and more.  Step back in time and see what it was like to live and work in a proper medieval castle.

Another impressive castle is the Kenilworth Castle, located in the town by the same name.  This castle has been the property of Henry III and Queen Elizabeth.  It’s a well-preserved ruin, but a ruin nonetheless, whereas the Warwick Castle has been restored.  The restored castle is impressive to behold, but for a quieter experience, the Kenilworth Castle is also well worth adding to your itinerary.

For those who love cathedrals, the Coventry Cathedral is a must-see site, located in the city of Coventry.  The Cathedral is a world-class architectural mélange that combines the ruins of a 14th century cathedral (firebombs in 1940 destroyed most of the original building) with a new cathedral designed in the 20th century.  On one side, you’ll see familiar gothic architecture, and on the other, a transition to a monolithic building that features a triumphant bronze statue of St. Michael triumphing over the devil.  The new building has a distinctive grid-work of rectangular stained glass windows which are immediately recognizable.  It’s a one-of-a-kind place which combines new and old into a single majestic focal point.

Warwickshire has a number of stately homes and gardens which are wonderful if you enjoy a quieter atmosphere and want to take in the natural beauty of the region.  Arbury Hall, located southwest of Nuneaton, is a beautiful Elizabethan mansion with gothic motifs that were added in the 18th century by Sir Roger Newdegate.  The famous Victorian novelist George Eliot was born in Arbury Hall.  You may also want to visit the Compton Verney mansion which is just 7 miles east of Stratford-upon-Avon.  This house has gorgeous, spacious lawns and lakes and lovely cedar trees.  Coughton Court in Stratford is another beautiful house in the Tudor style with a lovely courtyard and an imposing façade.  Coughton Court houses a collection of Catholic artifacts and has an intriguing family history.

You also will want to check out other intriguing sites like the Chesterton Windmill which aren’t so easily categorized.  This unusual windmill stands on an architectural base with high arches and was indeed used as a working windmill clear up until the early 20th century.  Its original purpose is unknown—it may not have been intended as a windmill in the beginning.  It may even have been planned as an observatory at one point.  It’s a lovely vantage to take photos.

As you can see, there is a lot to do and see in Warwickshire, so you’ll definitely want to do some research and plan ahead, and, of course, book your accommodations in advance.  England’s countryside is one of the most fascinating in the world, and no matter what you’re interested in, you’re sure to find plenty to keep you coming back time and again.



Warwickshire Official Website

Cotswold Blog

Bath England

Bath England UK

The city of Bath in Somerset is perhaps one of the most famous historical cities in England.  In 1987 it was inscribed as a World Heritage Site, and every year it draws millions of visitors from around the globe who journey to enjoy its theaters, museums, and festivals.  The city’s history dates back to the Iron Age, when it housed a temple to the goddess Sulis, later identified with Minerva by the Romans, who used the site for a large bath complex.  During the Middle Ages, Bath continued to play a prominent role in history; it is rumored that the historical King Arthur may have defeated the Anglo-Saxons nearby at the Battle of Mons Badonicus.  Bath enjoyed prominence during the Elizebethan era when it was revived as a spa city.

Today visitors can enjoy examples of architecture from all of these historical periods throughout the city, as well as enjoy the city’s numerous parks including the Royal Victoria Park, Alexandra Park, Parade Gardens, Sydney Gardens, and Henrietta Park.  The Sydney Gardens were made famous by Jane Austen, who wrote that she would enjoy living near them so she could visit the Labyrinth each day.  Austen did live in the city of Bath; one of the most famous museums in the city is the Jane Austen Centre, a permanent exhibition dedicated to one of England’s most beloved authors.

The most famous attractions in Bath are probably the historical baths themselves.  You can tour the Roman baths, dating back 2000 years, and enjoy performances by costumed workers who bring the stories of ancient times to life.  You also can visit and even bathe in the Thermae Bath Spa, another famous historical bathing facility.  This is the only natural hot spring in all of Britain.

Bath England

Museums are a major attraction in Bath; along with the Jane Austen Centre, you can also visit Number One Royal Crescent, a furnished and restored town house which paints a portrait of18th century life in Bath, the Herschel Museum of Astronomy, the Victoria Art gallery, and more.  Whether you’re interested in architecture and art, literature, science or any other aspect of culture, you’ll find plenty to entertain and inform you in Bath.  Tourists who enjoy architecture will want to make sure to visit the Bath Abbey, which was established in 1499 and is still one of the most recognizable and majestic sites in town.  The Lancock Abbey, Grounds and Cloisters are another beautiful historic site which many will recognize as a filming site for films like Harry Potter and Pride and Prejudice.

Bath is a busy, large city, but in spite of the prevalence of modern life, the historical roots of the city run deep, and when you travel to Bath you’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time.  No matter what historical period you’re drawn to, you’ll find plenty of ways to immerse yourself in the mystique of the past.  There are many hotels and spas where you can book for your vacation in Bath; this makes a great weekend city break, but is also ideal for longer-term stays!

Hotels In Bath

Hotels in Bath

If you’re staying in central Bath, you may enjoy a stay at the beautiful and hospitable Harington’s Hotel.  This luxury hotels in bath is set inside a 17th century establishment on a quiet and charming cobbled street.  You’re in the middle of everything and within easy reach of many of Bath’s famous sites, but you will feel like you’ve escaped to a peaceful getaway.  Also in central Bath, you’ll find the stately Lansdown Grove Hotel.  This is one of the oldest hotels in the city, opened in 1888.  You’ll adore the elegant gardens and the beautiful façade of the old and impressive building.  The city centre is a fifteen minute walk away.

If you don’t want to stay in the town, you’ll also find a lot of options in the surrounding countryside.  In the greater Bath area, one charming establishment you can stay in is the Bath Priory Hotel, Restaurant & Spa.  This hotel is still in the city, but you’ll feel like you’re out in the rural Cotswolds in the country house setting.  Four acres of gardens surround the 31-room gothic hotel.  The restaurant has won awards, and the spa allows you to enjoy the same relaxing atmosphere that guests enjoyed in 1835 when the hotel was first constructed.

Bath Hotels

If you want to stay somewhere really imaginative, you’ll want to check out the Bath Lodge Castle.  This little castle was erected in 1806 as a miniature version of the principle manor which it served as a gateway lodge for back in its day.  The Bath Lodge Castle has turrets, embrasured battlements, and a portcullis.  The grounds are also gorgeous and include landscaped gardens with a stream and a forest.  Seeing this place you may be surprised to realize it really is a historical building considering its tiny size and clear sense of humor—but it has been standing for more than two centuries!

These are just a few of the luxury hotels you’ll find in and around Bath in Somerset.  While these hotels are luxurious, you may be surprised to find that they are generally quite affordable if you place a reservation early, which you should—these beautiful historical establishments book up fast.  Don’t forget to check out the numerous other hotels in bath and bed and breakfast establishments in Bath while you’re planning your trip.  Bath is a great place to stay for a couple of days, but if you have more time on your hands you probably want to plan a longer stay since there is so much to see and do!
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Gloucestershire Tourist Information

Gloucestershire is located in the Cotswolds in the southwest of England and encompasses the fertile valley traversed by the River Severn as well as the famous Forest of Dean.  It’s a popular tourist destination with lovely old market towns like Moreton-in-Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold, Tewkesbury, Tetbury, and Cirencester.  Each of these towns has its own charm and historical backdrop, all contained within some of the most beautiful countryside in the world.  The county is also the seat of Gloucester, a city of more than 121,000 situated on the shores of the River Severn.

Perhaps the most well known destination in Gloucester is the Gloucester Cathedral.  This gothic cathedral was built atop the foundation of an abbey which was dedicated to Saint Peter in the year 681 AD.  The cathedral is familiar to many since it was used in three of the Harry Potter films for the corridors of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  It is also the resting place of King Edward II and Walter de Lacy and remains a stunning example of the architecture of medieval England.  Throughout the city you’ll also see many other medieval and Tudor constructions.

If you enjoy medieval history you won’t want to miss the Berkeley Castle, located in Berkeley, Gloucestershire.  This is a great example of a defensive feudal stronghold.  Interestingly enough it was also the castle where Edward II was murdered.  Another castle well worth seeing is the Beverston Castle, which is located in the town by the same name.  The castle was built by Maurice de Gaunt in 1229 and stands in an attractive and atmospheric garden.  This is another good example of defensive architecture and was the site of an important historical battle between King Stephen and Empress Matilda in 1140 AD.

There are many famous manors and country houses scattered throughout the county of Gloucestershire, all exhibiting different periods of architecture, lovely grounds, and intriguing histories.  Some of these include the majestic golden walled Dyrham Park estate (used in the filming of a Doctor Who episode last year), the imposing Woodchester Mansion (a popular haunt for ghost hunters), and Stanway House, a large Elizabethan country house with a beautiful fountain.

No trip to the Cotswolds would be complete without spending some time touring the Gloucestershire countryside.  The many small towns dotted across the landscape will take you through some of the greenest, most fertile country in England and along the edge of the Forest of Dean.  You may want to take a trip on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, a heritage railway which runs for 12 miles between Laverton Halt and Cheltenham Racecourse railway station to take in the views.  There are even several fully operational steam locomotives which travel on the railway.

Don’t forget to make your reservations for accommodations in Gloucestershire before you arrive.  You probably should plan for a day or two at Gloucester (at least), and then plan for some nights in the market towns throughout the county.  Plan to visit some castles, abbeys, and churches to experience the region’s magnificent architectural history.  Bed and breakfast establishments throughout the Cotswolds can make you feel right at home.

Cotswold Blog


Oxfordshire is a county in the Southwest of England in the Cotswolds and is of course the home of the city of Oxford, one of the most important cultural centers in all of England.  While Oxford is its largest draw to tourists, the county also boasts a number of other attractions including some lovely historical market towns, the stately and majestic Blenheim Palace, and gorgeous gardens like the Harcourt Arboretum, Rousham House, and Waterperry Garden.  When you’re planning to visit Oxfordshire, make sure to book at least a few days in Oxford, but don’t neglect the surrounding countryside.

Oxford has a population of around 165,000 and is known as the “city of dreaming spires.”  This term was coined by the poet Matthew Arnold, and describes the gorgeous architecture of Oxford University.  Oxford University is itself a major draw, and not just to students.  It is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, and is well known not just for its beautiful buildings but also for the museums and libraries on campus.  Other attractions include the Ashmolean Museum, the Bodleian Library, Modern Art Oxford, the Oxford Botanic Garden, the Sheldonian Theatre, and St. Mary The Virgin Church.  Nature reserves and parks throughout the town offer a tranquil reprieve from the urban bustle.  Oxford is also renowned for its restaurants and shopping.

If you enjoy literature and history, you’ll be intrigued to know that numerous authors have hailed from Oxford, many of them renowned for their imaginative and metaphysical works.  Just a few of Oxford’s current and past resident writers include J.R.R. Tolkien, Oscar Wilde, Charles Williams, Philip Pullman, C.S. Lewis, T.E. Lawrence, and Lewis Carroll.  You’ve also probably seen Oxford featured in a number of films including X-Men: First Class, Tomorrow Never Dies, and Harry Potter.

Outside the city of Oxford, one of the most impressive buildings you can see is the Blenheim Palace.  This is considered to be one of the best examples of Baroque architecture in England.  It was given to John Churchill by Queen Anne as thanks for winning the Battle of Blenheim in 1704 against the French.  The 11th Duke of Marlborough lives there now, but tours are offered to the public through the house and grounds.

What else should you do before you leave the county?  Set aside some time to walk the historically charming streets of Oxfordshire’s market towns, including Faringdon, Henley on Thames, Witney, Watlington, and Chipping Norton.  You’ll see thatched roofs, cobbled streets, and lovely churches which date back centuries or more.  Also make some time to visit the beautiful gardens in the region, and check out the animals at the Cotswold Wildlife Park.  You can also ride a real steam train at the Didcot Railway Centre!  It only costs a few pounds to ride, and children can ride for less.  Make sure to place reservations in advance for your lodgings.  Bed-and-breakfast establishments, luxury hotels, and other beautiful and relaxing accommodations can help you to experience the atmosphere of Oxfordshire—one of England’s most popular and exciting destinations!

Cotswold Blog

The Cotswold Way

The malverns

Do you enjoy hiking, seeing the great outdoors and touring the countryside at your own pace?  If so, you may want to plan a hike along the Cotswold Way while you are visiting in the Cotswold Hills.  The Cotswold Way is a 164 km trail which runs along the escarpment of the Cotswold ridge, affording glorious views of the scenery and also passing along a number of historical landmarks and beautiful villages and churches.  The Cotswolds have been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – from the Cotswold Way you will be able to see the panoramic green vistas of the Severn Vale and the lovely beech woods and sheep pastures which have given it this title.

The Walk has been well recognized for over three decades but it was only in 2007 that it was recognized as a National Trail.  This is a very special recognition that very few trails in England receive.  The trail takes most hikers an average of one week to walk.  Cyclists and horseback riders are also permitted on the Cotswold Walk.  The Walk reaches its highest point at Cleeve Common at 317m.

What are some of the historical and geographical landmarks you will see on your hike?  You will be able to see the River Severn, the Malvern Hills and the Forest of Dean.  Some of the architectural monuments you will see include the Dyrham House, Horton Court, Broadway Tower and Somerset Monument Tower.  Historical mill towns on your route include Painswick, Stroud & Dursley, Devils Chimney, Belas Knap Long Barrow, Hailes Abbey and Sudeley Castle.  The path begins in the historical market town Chipping Campden and ends at the World Heritage City of Bath.  Famous people who were associated with the locations you’ll be visiting include Laurie Lee, William Morris, William Tyndale, Katherine Parr and Jilly Cooper.  Some of the other towns on the trail include Wottonunder Edge, Dursley and Winchcombe.

The trail is a great way to spend a whole week, or if you prefer, just a day or an afternoon.  The trail is a scenic and tranquil way to really get into the experience of the English countryside.  You can stay overnight in the nearby towns during your hike, or if you prefer, you can camp outside.  The campsite availability along the Cotswold Walk is very limited though so be sure to make reservations in advance.  Farmers sometimes allow hikers to camp on their land, but if you are thinking of doing this you should of course remember to ask permission first.  Likewise if you’re going to stay in town, you should book your spot before you go, particularly with the smaller villages which tend to fill up fast.

What part of the trail should you walk on if you only have a few hours or a couple of days?  This is a matter of personal preference, but you can characterize the trail into three main segments.  The northern segment will lead you through the characteristic Cotswold villages and pastureland with Drystone walls.  The middle section is dominated by beech woods, steep valleys and open grasslands.  Small villages huddle amongst the hills.  The southernmost segment of the trail features rolling hillsides and small villages.

The Cotswold Way offers an immersive experience in the idyllic English countryside.  It is a relaxing yet vitalizing way to enjoy the fresh air for a week or a day and see some of the famous natural and historical highlights of the Cotswolds.  The trail offers some of the best views you’ll experience on your trip and allows you to conduct your own tour of the region.