Roman Baths in Bath

Visiting the Cotswolds and interested in Roman history?  You won’t want to miss out on the incredibly well-preserved Roman Baths complex in the city of Bath.  This public bathing house features four main elements, the Roman Temple, the Sacred Spring, the Roman Bath House and the Museum, which contains a number of artifacts discovered in the Bath House.  More than a million visitors a year make it a point to stop by the Roman Baths and the Grand Pump Room nearby.

While you cannot actually bathe in the spring water in the Bath House, you can look at it.  There are also plenty of other fun historical activities you can participate in.  Throughout the day, workers garbed in Roman costumes tell stories to visitors about living and working in the Bath House two thousand years ago.  You can also stop in at the Pump Room and enjoy coffee, lunch, or tea, and while you cannot bathe in the water, you can taste the water from the spring at the fountain (you cannot bathe because the pipes that lead to the baths—not the fountain—are made of lead and have been declared unsafe owing to radioactivity and infectious disease, while the fountain water is safe).

In the evenings, the Roman Baths are lit by torches and are a lot less crowded.  The guided walk by torchlight is very atmospheric and can help you to experience the feeling that you have traveled back in time.  If you love Roman History, you will be thrilled at how well preserved these ruins are and how magnificently they capture a portrait of daily life in Ancient Rome!

Rollright Stones

The Rollright Stones

If you are visiting the Cotswolds and are intrigued by particularly ancient history, you may wish to visit the Rollright Stones, located near the village of Long Compton on the borders of Warwickshire and Oxfordshire in the English Midlands.  These stones are constructed out of oolitic limestone, mined locally, and comprise three different Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments.  They are known as The King’s Men, The King Stone and The Whispering Knights.  The three monuments were erected at different periods of late prehistory, and the fact that they were all constructed here shows that this particular plot of ground was regarded as sacred for quite some time by different societies.

The Whispering Knights was constructed as a burial marker in the Early or Middle Neolithic period.  The second monument to be placed in the area was the King’s Men.  This stone circle was built either in the Late Neolithic Period or in the Early Bronze Age.  Similar structures can be found in the Lake District to the north, implying a connection of some sort.  The King Stone was erected last, and is a single monolith that probably was used as a grave marker in the Bronze Age.

The Cotswold Conservation Board has voted the Rollright Stones to be one of the “Seven Wonders of the Cotswolds.”  They are quite well known worldwide and remain a very popular destination for tourists in the area.  There are a number of folk legends attributed to the stones, and many visitors believe they have mystical qualities.  Regardless of the truth, there is no denying that there is a magical, antiquated atmosphere to the location which is steeped in mystery and reverence.  If you want to experience some of the oldest monuments in England, then you will want to be sure to stop by the Rollright Stones while you are visiting the Cotswolds.


Ragley Hall

Ragley Hall is a well-known manor house located south of Alcester, Warwickshire near Straford-upon-Avon.  Historically, the hall is best known for being the ancestral seat of the Marquess of Hertford.  In the present day, it is famous for having been featured in a number of films and television shows.

You might have seen it in the television serial The Scarlet Pimpernel in the 1980s, or possibly in the 1993 BBC serial To Play The King.  Doctor Who fans will recognize it as the Palace of Versailles in the 2006 episode The Girl in the Fireplace, one of the best-loved episodes of the popular television program.

Today you can visit the 17th century stately mansion and its 400 acres of beautiful parkland.  The tour to the house allows you to visit a dozen or so rooms which are beautiful constructed with ornate baroque décor.  Each of the rooms has a unique design and color scheme which sets it apart from the others in the house.

The red saloon contrasts brightly with the green-themed drawing room.  You will also be impressed with the splendor of the great hall with its 40-foot ceiling.  The central medallion overhead features the Roman goddess Minerva.

A tea house is available to provide refreshments in case you get thirsty during your visit to the estate.  You can also choose to enjoy a picnic lunch outside on the park grounds.  The rose garden is another elegant feature of the grounds.  The bright colors and the beautiful smells create a charming and aromatic environment.

Ragley Hall and its parklands are also available to host special events such as weddings.  Whether you have a special event planned or are simply looking for a beautiful and memorable place to spend an afternoon in the Cotswolds, you will find that Ragley Hall offers an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Ragley Hall


Longleat House

Longleat House

If you are visiting the Cotswolds and want to see a truly magnificent, stately home, Longleat is a perfect choice.  This Elizabethan country house is immense and imposing in its splendor, set on neatly cultivated grounds with elaborate hedge mazes, landscaped parkland, and even a safari park.

More than 900 acres of land comprise the grounds, landscaped by the famous Capability Brown.  The house was completed in 1580.  If you take the tour of the house, you will be able to view the Great Hall with the minstrels’ gallery, the lower east corridor, several different libraries and dining rooms, the saloon, several bedrooms, and the grand staircase.

With seven libraries and more than 40,000 books, Longleat houses one of the largest private book collections in all of Europe.  You can also view the waistcoat worn by King Charles I during his execution in 1649, still stained with his blood.

Longleat Safari Park

While you are in the area, don’t miss out on visiting the Longleat Safari Park, the first drive-through safari park located outside of Africa.  The park is situated on 9,000 acres and was opened in 1966.  You can view more than 500 animals roaming freely over the landscape, including giraffes, rhinos, lions, tigers, and more.

You can even purchase the VIP experience and feed the animals yourself—even the fearsome predators.  A passport ticket will give you access to the Longleat Safari Park, Longleat House, the gardens and grounds, the hedge maze, and many other fun attractions in the area.

There is so much to see and do here that you could easily spend days just exploring this small area of Wiltshire.

The entire experience is one which you will treasure for the rest of your life.

Kelmscott Manor Near Lechlade

Kelmscott Manor near Lechlade was the home of William Morris.  Morris lived from 1832-1896, and was a famous textile designer associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement.  As an artist and a writer, he also frequently shared his insights about life and was also one of the earliest fantasy writers.

The manor itself is constructed of grey stone and sits in the middle of a pleasant green lawn with beautiful trees and flowers.

Admission to both the manor and garden require a modest fee.  While you are visiting Kelmscott Manor, you can enjoy envisioning country life in the 19th century and learn more about William Morris and his many contributions to textile art, painting, and literature.  Morris left quite a lasting legacy behind him and had an impact on many artists and writers who followed him.

While you are visiting the manor, you can also visit the shop, where you can purchase tablecloths, stationary, pillows, kitchen cutlery, hangings, rugs, and other household items which carry designs by William Morris.

These mementos are perfect reminders of your Cotswolds vacation, make wonderful gifts, and are unique treasures to be cherished by any fan of William Morris or the Arts and Crafts movement.


Pittville Pump Room Cheltenham

Pitville Pump Rooms

Cheltenham has many claims to fame, but perhaps the city is best known for its Regency character. To date it is considered the best-preserved Regency town in England. One of the most prominent Regency structures you can visit in Cheltenham is the Pittville Pump Rooms. The Pump Room was the last spa building constructed in town, and also the largest. The waters that serviced the Pump Room were discovered in 1716. Cheltenham rose to fame after King George III visited in 1788. In the early 19th century, a landowner named Joseph Pitt named the northern neighborhood of Cheltenham “Pittville.” The Pump Room itself was designed by John Forbes and constructed between 1825-1830.

While visiting the Pittville Pump Room, you can view the original Pump, constructed magnificently from marble and scagliola, view the splendid Ionic columns, and the beautiful interior ballroom. Three statues grace the colonnade, representing Hygieia, Aesculapius, and Hippocrates, sculpted by Lucius Gahagen in 1827. While enjoying the beauty of the gardens surrounding the Pump Room, you can imagine life in the 19th century and the entertainment which was typical of the era, including menageries, traveling exhibits, and balloons.

The Pittville Pump Room is not simply a defunct historical structure, however—it still plays a role in modern Cheltenham life. Currently the Pump Room is owned by Cheltenham Borough Council, and can be rented out to host public and private events. During the Cheltenham Music Festival, the Pump Room is used as a concert hall. While visiting the Pump Room, you can check the posters and flyers in the Box Office to see whether there are any events you might enjoy attending.

Pitville Pump Rooms

Holst Birthplace Museum Cheltenham

Gustav Holst Birthplace

Gustav Holst was born in Cheltenham on September 21st, 1874. A well-known classical composer, his famous masterwork “The Planets” has had a lasting impact on modern classical music and soundtrack composition.

Today, fans of Gustav Holst can see the house where he spent his childhood years in Cheltenham. The house was constructed in 1832 and retains its original character, a typical Regency style. The house is not very large, being located downtown, and Holst lived here until 1882. Holst spent his final years in London, where he died on the 25th of May, 1934.

Holst’s childhood home was opened to the public in 1975 as a museum and memorial to the great composer. There are only two birthplace museums in the entire country which stand as memorials to composers, the other belonging to Elgar. While visiting the museum, you can get a feel for life in Cheltenham in the late 19th century and also learn more about Holst’s childhood and the rest of his lifetime.

You will make discoveries about his family and other relationships, including his lifelong friendship with Ralph Vaughn Williams, whom Holst met while attending college. For those who are interested in everyday life in Cheltenham in the late 19th century and those who love the music of Gustav Holst, the Holst Birthplace Museum is a must-see stop on any visit to the Cotswolds.

Gustav Holst Cheltenham

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

The Fox Inn – Great Barrington

The Fox Inn Great Barrington

The Fox Inn in Great Barrington is a traditional Cotswold Country Inn set on the banks of the river Windrush just a few miles from the famous tourist destination of Burford.

The Fox Inn is set along side the river banks of the river Windrush and has an ample garden for you to sit and enjoy a pint of real ale or your meal is you choose.

There is also a riverside dining area and the traditional bar area which has a log fire in the winter, in the bar you will find locals and tourists alike enjoying a pint or two!

The Fox Inn Gardens

The chef sources local produce and meats to provide food of the highest quality, you will find a good selection of bar snacks available throughout the day and night.

The accommodation at The Fox Inn has recently undergone a totally transformation the new rooms at The Fox are now amongst the best rooms you will find in the Cotswolds, Paul the landlord is very proud of his pub and has now realised his dream of a traditional Inn with accommodation of the highest standard.

If you choose to stay at The Fox Inn you will not be disappointed, an incredible traditional Cotswold Inn with a modern twist in the accommodation.

The location is second to none, in the summer months the gardens are a perfect setting to relax and unwind.

The Fox is a ideal base for exploring the Cotswolds with many of the Cotswold towns and villages nearby.

River Windrush


The Fox Inn

Great Barrington

Oxfordshire OX18 4TB

Telephone: 01451 844385


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]