Snowshill Manor

Snowshill Manor is one of the best known manor houses in the Cotswolds, and is certainly the most famous landmark near the village of Snowshill.  Located in Gloucestershire near Broadway, Snowshill was originally owned by the Winchcombe Abbey from 821 until 1539.  That was the year of the Dissolution of the Monasteries, after which Henry VIII took over the property.  It changed hands a number of times over the next several centuries, and was eventually taken by Charles Paget Wade, a famous architect, craftsman and collector.  Once he had charge of Snowshill, he made it his task to restore the property in full.  Today Snowshill Manor still houses his diverse and fascinating collections.

 While the house itself is quite beautiful, Wade’s collections are perhaps the main draw to tourists, who come to see his 26 samurai armor suits, instruments, bicycles, toys and other assorted items of interest.  Wade was known to be a flamboyant and mysterious person.  He entertained many famous guests in his manor house including J.B. Priestley, Virginia Woolf, John Buchan and others.  J. B. Priestley famously described Wade as, “My eccentric, but charming friend of the fantastic manor house.”

Snowshill itself is a small village and not among the better known destinations in the Cotswolds, though it does offer some off-the-beaten-path charm.  As you might guess from its name, Snowshill is situated atop a hill which overlooks the countryside of Broadway, Laverton and Buckland, and during the colder months of the year, if snow is going to collect anywhere, it collects in Snowshill first.  While you’re visiting the Snowshill Manor, you  might choose to stay in Snowshill or in one of the other nearby market towns.  Snowshill may be recognizable to you from the filming of Bridget Jones’s Diary.  From the hillside vantage point, Snowshill offers lovely views of the tree-covered hillsides, Snowshill Manor is also known for the Lavender Fields nearby.  There are many wonderful accommodations in town, and while you’re staying in Snowshill you’ll definitely want to visit the Snowshill Arms Pub.

Snowshill Manor

William Shakespeares Birthplace

William Shakespeare’s Birthplace is located in Stratford-upon-Avon, a medium-sized market town in Warwickshire in the Cotswolds.   The town is also home to the Royal Shakespeare Theater, one of the most important cultural sites in Britain, operated by the Royal Shakespeare Theater.  Shakespeare’s Birthplace is a delightfully preserved historic building with Tudor-style timber-framed construction.  This is where Shakespeare grew up, imagined, and began his life.  He also lived here for five years with his wife Anne Hathaway.  The house is practically a pilgrimage destination for writers and readers alike and has drawn numerous famous visitors over the years including John Keats, Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, and Thomas Hardy.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace isn’t just a house, either—it is a monument of living history and literature.  Throughout the year, actors who are part of the Shakespeare Aloud! troupe of professional actors pose as characters in his plays and recite passages and scenes from his plays in the beautiful gardens.  The Life, Love & Legacy multimedia exhibition draws you into the pages of Shakespeare’s life and explores his life in Stratford-upon-Avon and London.  You can also visit the glover’s workshop.  This was how John Shakespeare, William’s father, supported his family.  The workshop has been recreated to provide even more insight into the day to day lives of Shakespeare’s family.

Nearby you can also visit Anne Hathaway’s family home.  This was the romantic setting with a charming thatched roof and beautiful, blooming gardens where Shakespeare courted his future bride.  The house has been very well preserved and even includes much of the original furniture.  The willow sculpture trail allows you to partake of the beauty of the gardens, while the Say It With Flowers exhibition introduces you to the symbolic language of flowers which was popular for communication during the Elizabethan period.

Another site nearby is Nash’s House, a Tudor building that was named for Tomash Nash, the first husband of Shakespeare’s granddaughter.  Next door is the New Place, which was purchased by William Shakespeare in 1597.  This is the house he purchased when he became wealthy enough to buy a family home.  It’s also where he died in 1616.  These sites include exhibitions and a live archaeological dig, as well as activities for children to learn about history and archaeology.

Two more exciting destinations in town await you.  The first is Arden’s Farm, where Mary Arden, Shakespeare’s mother, grew up.  This is still a working farm where you can observe many activities which were similar to the day-to-day activities Mary Arden participated in when she was growing up.  You can also visit Hall’s croft, the beautiful Jacobean home where Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna lived with her husband, Dr. John Hall.  While you’re in town, you can also enjoy eating and drinking delicious local food at the lovely cafes in Stratford-upon-Avon, which offer views of the historic houses.  If you want to stay the night in town, you’ll also find plenty of options as far as bed and breakfasts and hotels.  Immerse yourself in the historical wonder of Stratford-upon-Avon and Shakespeare’s Birthplace!


Chedworth Roman Villa

If you enjoy history then a visit to Chedworth Roman Villa will have you amazed and intrigued as you experience life in Roman times at Chedworth Roman Villa. The villa is one of the largest Roman Villas in the country and would have been home to some of the richest people alive during the 4th Century.

Planning a trip to the Cotswolds for you and your family will find you with plenty to do and see and Chedworth Roman Villa is a must visit attraction for all the family. Children love some of the holiday activities including costumed guides and live archaeology. There are also living history events taking places throughout the year.

There is lots to see on your visit to Chedworth Roman Villa which is between Northleach and Cirencester, the bath house is an intriguing place to see how the Romans had both hot and cold baths. A hot bath with under floor heating and a cold plunge bath. There is a water shrine where once stood an alter to offer up sacrifices to the goddess of spring, people still throw money into the pool at the water shrine as they did 1600 years ago.

You may be surprised that the Romans had flushing toilets back in the 4th Century. The latrines in the villa were wooden benches with holes cut out of them placed over the top of the sewers and a stone water channel carried fresh flowing water through them. There is the museum to visit on site which tells a history of the original excavation in Victorian times in 1864 of the Chedworth Roman Villa site. The original site was discovered by a Victorian gamekeeper beneath one of the fields.

New mosaic flooring was uncovered as late as 2011 and you can walk along a suspended walk way to get a closer look at all the mosaic flooring tiles. The first Roman villa at Chedworth was occupied in the 2nd Century and was extended until it was as big and grand as it is now. The site of Chedworth Roman Villa has 2km of Roman walls surrounding the Villa.

There are lots of unforgettable experiences at Chedworth Roman Villa as guides and volunteers bring everyday Roman life alive once again. If you are taking the whole family to visit then before your trip you are able to download a Roman explorer’s map of the site to follow on your visit. Discover how the Romans made and dyed textiles for their robes with live demonstrations of spinning and dyeing cloth.

There is a visitor cafe on site if you are hungry where home-made cakes are a speciality. A nice refreshing drink and a bite to eat before embarking on more of the Roman life adventure. There is also an onsite book shop where you can learn lots more about life as a Roman in Britain. There is also glorious woodland to stroll through on your visit to Chedworth Roman Villa or to have your own picnic as you take in all the realities of life in Roman Britain.

Chedworth Roman Villa is now owned and run by the National Trust for everyone to enjoy for generations to come. This is well worth a visit if you are planning a Cotswold holiday or thinking of a place to visit on a day trip, definitely child friendly in fact a great day out for all the family with lots of fun learning along the way.

Chedworth Roman Villas

Gloucester Cathedral

There are loads of places to visit in the South West of England, so if you are visiting this part of the world then you are likely to be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing where to visit whilst you are there. However once place that demands a visit is Gloucester Cathedral which offers so much to the people that are choosing to visit.

Gloucester Cathedral is infamous for its links with religion and many people that visit are overwhelmed at just how strong the religious presence is when they arrive. However that doesn’t mean you should only visit Gloucester Cathedral because of its links with God, because actually it offers a magnificent day out and something for everyone.

There is a busy events schedule attached to Gloucester Cathedral which means that whatever time of year you choose to visit there will be something to suit you and your family. Many of the events are based around religion however everyone is welcome. Whether you want to visit morning prayer or you want to be present when one of the religious speakers are visiting to give a lecture you will be made to feel more than welcome and are sure to have an enlightening time.

It is well worth keeping an eye on the events that are up and coming because they often have unique lectures, concerts and events which are well worth checking out if you are in the area.

Even if you just want to visit the Gloucester Cathedral at a time when there isn’t an event you will still have a great time. The history and culture contained in this building is amazing and well worth a visit. From historical buildings and sculptures to breathtaking stained glass window displays there is something for everyone to see when they visit Gloucester Cathedral.

The great thing about Gloucester Cathedral is the fact that it is open to everyone and everyone who visits is made to feel welcome. From the friendly staff to the welcoming coffee shop you know from the moment that you step foot in the building that you are welcome and aren’t made to feel like you need to rush your visit or that they are simply wanting to make money out of you.

The people behind the scenes at Gloucester Cathedral recognise that many people want to learn about the history surrounding this fantastic building and how it came to be so famous. At their Education and Outreach sections they hold seminar days for school children regularly. For older students and adults who want to learn about the history around Gloucester Cathedral there are regular educational seminars so if this is something that interests you then it is worth keeping an eye out for events happening at the cathedral to see what suits you.

Gloucester Cathedral

Worcester Cathedral

Right near to the River Severn Worcester Cathedral is a magnificent building that almost has to be seen to be believed. If you are visiting the area then there is so much for you to see and do that it can almost be impossible to try and fit everything in however Worcester Cathedral is something that you should make sure you fit into any trip, because it is breathtaking.

Not only is Worcester Cathedral famous for its foundations and magnificent building structure but it is known throughout the world for being part of the oldest choral festival in existence – the Three Choirs Festival.

The team behind the schemes at the cathedral pride themselves in offer something for everyone. Being a party of their local community is important so they welcome everyone from all walks of life into their events and are open to visitors from further afield throughout the year.

What you will find when you visit Worcester Cathedral is that there is something for everyone. You can simply visit to take in the surroundings and marvel at the work that went into building this picturesque building. You’ll find plenty to feast your eyes upon and being surrounded by history and culture is really an experience worth trying.

However if you want more from your day out then Worcester Cathedral can help with this to! Throughout the year the cathedral keeps up a busy events schedule which means that no matter when you are choosing to visit there will be something to suit you. With a whole range of choir events, seminars, lectures and tours you can easily find something to enjoy and take part in whenever you pay a visit to the cathedral.

If you are planning a visit in the future then you can easily find out about the events that are up and coming to help make sure you tie in your visit with something that is happening that you think you would enjoy.

Music pays a massive part of life at the cathedral ranging from choirs to full-blown concerts there is always something going on for you to sit back and listen to. The cathedral prides itself on its music program so you can be sure that everything they present to you is going to be a high standard and something you will really enjoy.

If you want to see as much of Worcester Cathedral as possible then it is worth booking onto one of their tours which usually take place weekly from April to November. Visitors are welcome all the time and you are welcome to look around unsupervised but you may find that areas of the cathedral are closed of restricted if events are taking place. By checking when official tours take place and booking yourself onto one you can make sure that you see as much of Worcester Cathedral as possible as well as learning about the history and culture that is behind this magnificent and historical building.

worcester cathedral

Pershore Abbey

If you are looking for somewhere to visit that offers something for the whole family then Pershore Abbey could well be the choice for you. Pershore Abbey has been around for over 1300 years and throughout that time has been the centre for Christian worship for people all of the UK. There are many of the original parts of the Abbey still exist including the tower with its lantern and free-standing ringing platform.

The people behind Pershore Abbey want it to be a place that is accessible for everyone. They have a packed schedule of events throughout the year which helps encourage people to visit and makes sure that when they are do they are well entertained. If you check the schedule for Pershore Abbey you will see that they have a number of regular events which take place all the time. There are different choir and worship events so if you are visiting then you can always pop along and see what these are like. They also have additional events on top of this such as one off concerts and seminars from world leaders in Christianity which often have something interesting to share.

When you do visit Pershore Abbey you don’t have to worry about wandering around alone and not getting the full experience. There are a number of tours that take place throughout the year so if you get booked onto one of these then you can make sure that you see as much of Pershore Abbey as possible. You’ll get to see most of this building including the tower which is the Abbeys most exquisite building. The tour usually takes around 40 minutes to complete and the guide will tell you everything that you need to know about the building, so it is a learning experience as well as a chance to take in some of England’s best loved history.

What you can be sure of when you visit is a warm welcome and an experience that you won’t find anywhere else. It isn’t every day that you can walk around a building that is over 1000 years old however by visiting Pershore Abbey you can!

There are loads of other places to visit throughout the local area so why not make a day of it and spend the whole day taking in everything that the area surrounding Pershore has to offer.

Pershore Abbey

Prinknash Abbey

Although we know a lot about English history and the origins of many building it is unknown when Prinknash Abbey was first constructed. It makes appearances in historical documents that date back as far as 890 so we know that the building without a doubt is one of the oldest that we have.

Visiting Prinknash Abbey is an experience that everyone should that throughout their life time. The oldness of the building and the beautiful surroundings help to make sure that it is one of our nicest historical tourist attractions and something that we should be extremely proud of.

If you want to join in with prayer time at Prinknash Abbey then you are more than welcome – they welcome everyone into their fold and you probably won’t be the only visitor so don’t feel shy about going along.

They also have an extensive visitor centre which offers up a range of events and tours. This means that you can visit Prinknash Abbey and know that you’ll be made welcome and can take in a sense of the history this building has to offer without hassle. Prinknash Abbey itself is easy to find and if you are a male who wants to stay within the grounds then you will usually be made to feel welcome, although you will be asked to make a donation towards the cost of your accommodation.

Prinknash Abbey

Berkeley Castle

Unsurprisingly for a building of this age Berkeley Castle is packed full of history and culture. At over 900 years old Berkeley Castle has been around for far longer than many other buildings in the area which helps to make it a must visit place for those nearby.

One of the nicest things about Berkeley Castle is the fact that whatever you are looking for from a day out you will be able to find it here. Working out where to take the family for the day can be a tough decision, especially if you have children of different ages. Finding somewhere that is suitable for everyone and is going to help keep everyone entertained is tough. However if you bring everyone along to Berkeley Castle then you can be sure that everyone has a day out that they will enjoy and remember.

Berkeley Castle caters for everyone and it isn’t just about family days out. The wonderful settings of this castle make for a perfect wedding venue for those that are looking to get married in a magnificent setting with a difference. Committing to someone for the rest of your life is a big deal so it makes sense that you want to do it in a setting that stands out and gives something to talk about and Berkeley Castle can do just that.

What Berkeley Castle also offers is a full schedule of events throughout the year. What is fantastic about the events that they put on at Berkeley Castle is that they are all tailored around the time of the year and the season. This means you can take part in Easter family activities and summer days out, which is bound to keep everyone happy and entertained.

The grounds surrounding Berkeley Castle are magnificent so whether you simply want a walk around the acres of land, you want to pay a visit to the Butterfly House or you are attending a special event at Berkeley Castle you can be sure there is something to suit you!

Berkeley Castle

Malmesbury Abbey

Although Malmesbury Abbey is a church it welcomes people of all faiths and beliefs through its doors. Promoting itself as a ‘church without boundaries’ it has something for everyone. There are several historic and religious places that are well worth a visit throughout the UK so choosing which ones to visit can be tough. However if you want to see something that offers a different point of view on things as well as offering a way for the whole family to have fun then Malmesbury Abbey is the place for you.

If you are looking at venues to hold a religious ceremony then Malmesbury Abbey is well worth checking out. They have been the hosting venue for hundreds of different ceremonies which means that they know what they are doing. The magnificent building and surrounding areas are perfect for those that want a ceremony with a different. So whether you are looking to plan a wedding, christening, baptism or other even then it is worth checking out your options with Malmesbury Abbey. What you should find is that there are loads of options surrounding religious ceremonies at this venue which means that whatever you are looking for you should be able to find something that suit you without too much hassle. The team at Malmesbury Abbey are friendly and welcoming so if you have something in mind then it is worth contacting them to see if they are able to help you – the likelihood is that they will be more than accommodating to what you have in mind!

Malmesbury Abbey want to welcome everyone into their fold which means that even if you don’t want to visit when a large ceremony or event is taking place you can simply join one of the ‘small group’ set-ups. They are used to showing around families and can make sure that you see all there is to see at Malmesbury Abbey whilst keeping the whole family happy and entertained. If you are planning to take very small children along there is also a full crèche service so you can leave them in a trained professionals hands whilst you enjoy everything that Malmesbury Abbey has to offer.

Finding Malmesbury Abbey is easy and access by car is ideal, so you really have no excuse not to visit this magnificent church and have an experience of something new and exciting!

Malmesbury Abbey

Hailes Abbey

We are lucky to have lots of history and culture from yester-year throughout the whole of the UK. There are several areas which are packed full of different historical stories and memorials from different areas, so whatever area of history you have an interest in you will be able to find something to suit you. It is important to visit as many of these as possible in order to learn about our heritage and get an idea just how grand some of these buildings were.

If you are interested in history that dates back thousands of years then Hailes Abbey should be on your list of must visit places. Originally built by Richard of Cornwall back in 1246 it was designed as a Cistercian Abbey and used as one for many years. Although it never housed large numbers of monks the design was exquisite and it was laid out elaborately especially considering the age of the design. It was dissolved in December 1539 and late taken over by pilgrims who financed it due to the fact they wanted to visit its renowned relic, ‘the Holy Blood of Hailes’ – allegedly a phial of Christ’s blood.

Although it is now just ruins it is well worth a visit as it is an experience that you won’t get in many other places. The place has been designed now to be the perfect tourist attraction with guides around the abbey buildings so you can read about what everything was when Hailes Abbey was at its greatest.

You can also pay a visit to the Hailes Abbey Museum which has a whole host of stonework, sculptures and other historic relics that are well worth checking out. If you have time then the adjacent parish turn has a number of medieval wall paints which are also worth viewing.

Visiting the area is also easy by car with free parking for visitors. There is also an extensive picnic area which welcomes children of all ages so it is the perfect place to enjoy a spot of lunch with the rest of the family – you can even take your dog with you if it is kept on a lead.

Hailes Abbey