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Explore the Beautiful Cotswolds With Its Cobbled Streets and Quaint Cottages
The Cotswolds in UK is a perfect mix of the modern and the vintage all wrapped into one. The Cotswolds is known as an area of extreme natural beauty with lush green fields, hills to climb and small villages to explore.
Dotted with quaint villages that haven't changed much in decades and pretty small towns with more modern facilities, shopping and other activities to enjoy, the area provides an enjoyable holiday in historical surroundings for individuals, couples and also families with young children to keep entertained.
The Cotswolds is actually a 100 mile continual stretch from Warwickshire to near the historic city of Bath comprised of scores of small villages along the way and a few towns. The area is replete with cottages made of mellow stone and brown-coloured thatched roofing with cobbled streets below, twisting roads, little streams and brooks, with arch-shaped small bridges crossing over them to keep the traffic moving.
It is a good idea to take a car or hire a car and drive around the area until you find the part of the Cotswolds that you wish to stay a while and then stop there. Before doing this though, it is recommended especially during peak season to make a booking for a room in one of the excellent Cotswolds hotels to ensure you don't arrive into the area with no place to stay that night as it gets very popular in the summer months.
Cirencester is the capital of the Cotswolds. It has its own rich history including being the second centre of activity when the Roman Empire took over England. It initially covered 250 acres. Later the Saxons sacked the town but in medieval times it was reborn through the wool trade which provided much of the initial wealth throughout many parts of the Cotswolds.
The main market square includes the imposing Parish Church of St. John Baptist, a Cotswold wool church. The church dates back at least to 1490 and is an important part of Cirencester even today.
The farmer's market is a popular attraction here. Good crafts and genuine antique markets can also be found running periodically in Cirencester. December also sees a Christmas Market opened complete with wooden chalets where seasonal food and gifts are offered for sale. The Woolmarket near Dyer Street is not to be missed to give a sense of how wool was traded.
The Corinium Museum is a local attraction that describes the history of Cirencester but also of the Cotswolds as a whole. Named after what the Romans once renamed the town, the Bathurst family have been responsible for running the museum since the 1850s. Romano-British antiques is one of the main attractions in this museum which has one of the largest collections of its kind.
Stroud, nicknamed the Covent Garden of the Cotwolds (a location in Central London with quaint cobbled streets, old buildings and modern small retail outlets) is a town that bustles with modern cafés, art galleries and independent little shops a long way from the modern high street.
The collection of little shops is eclectic with a fossil shop, a fairy shop (little princesses will love that) and two classic vinyl record shops for collectors. The picturesque Five Valleys provides the backdrop to this city. The villages of Amberley, Brimscombe, Chalford, Painswick and Nailsworth are nearby if you wish to combine a visit to these Cotwolds villages with town life in Stroud in a single trip.
The Cotwolds Way begins at Stroud and forms 600 acres of attractive National Trust land which surrounds the city from above. The commons areas is a good place to find more open space in the area, take a romantic walk, a horse ride, see the kite flyers, indulge in some locally-produced Winstones ice cream or bring a picnic to enjoy.
Stroud also has a strong artistic theme to it with local artists and artist studios which can be visited. If water is your main love, then the Stroudwater canal is in the process of being restored as a waterway for canal boat owners.
Gloucester is one of the larger cities nearby to the Cotswolds with Victorian Docklands, the impressive Normal Cathedral to visit and a mix of historic architecture, modern shopping and dining experiences right in the city centre. Indeed, Gloucester formed one of the settings for the Harry Potter books and movie series because of its natural beauty and mysterious qualities.
There are several festivals held in Gloucester each year including the Tall Ships festival for boating fans, Gloucester Quays Food festival for foodies and Gloucester Blues Festival for music lovers.
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