In this new, thoroughly updated edition of Bradt's The Cotswolds – Slow Travel, resident expert author Caroline Mills shares more of her favourite places in a region that remains as popular as ever. The area covered includes: the Cotswold AONB, the Cotswold escarpment, hills and valleys, the Wiltshire Cotswolds and the area known as the Four Shires, along with the lesser-known 'hidden' fringes of the Cotswolds. Also included are the three Cotswold 'gateways': Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath and Oxford. Caroline Mills has lived and worked in the region for over 40 years and writes in an entertaining and engaging first-person narrative combined with authoritative information.
Organised in such a way to encourage you to slow down and make it easier to discover smaller areas in greater depth, The Cotswolds – Slow Travel includes features such as interviews with locals who bring character to the region, activities to try with children, personally selected places to eat, drink and stay, coverage of the Arts & Crafts movement, and plenty of options for car-free travel: walking, cycling, river boats and local buses and trains. Cotswold Farm Park, home of Countryfile presenter Adam Henson, is also included.
Featured within The Cotswolds – Slow Travel are quirky events such as the Cheese-Rolling competition and Tetbury's Woolsack Races; numerous and distinguished breweries and micro-breweries, including the famous Hook Norton Brewery, Bath Ales, Uley Brewery and Stroud Brewery; Oxford University, the world's oldest, and the source of England's longest river, the Thames.
The Cotswolds' rich and diverse man-made heritage includes many famous castles and country houses: Blenheim Palace, Sudeley Castle, Chavenage and Kelmscott; well-known abbeys such as Prinknash, Hailes; and gardens and estates including Painswick Rococo Garden, Westonbirt Arboretum and Highgrove. Roman history is covered, too, notably in Bath and Cirencester, together with the Fosse Way, one of the most important Roman roads in the country.
The Cotswolds continues to endear itself to anyone who visits – its harmonious combination of quintessentially English villages, charming provincial market towns, interesting and appealing countryside and a wealth of local food-and-drink producers makes it an all-year-round destination, whether for a day trip, a quiet weekend away or a multi-week holiday. The region offers an incredible array of accommodation from unique country-house hotels to delightful farmhouse B&Bs on working farms, luxurious self-catering cottages to glamping and camping in secluded countryside. Visitors that have a particular passion or interest for gardens, the Arts & Crafts Movement, historic buildings, walking, horseriding or rural pursuits are well provided for within the Cotswolds.
Going Slow in the Cotswolds
An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, A taste of the Cotswolds How to use this book
1 Cotswold Gateways
Stratford-upon-Avon, Oxford, Bath
2 North Cotswolds
Getting there & around, South Warwickshire, Towards the Vale of Evesham, Chipping Campden & around, Broadway & its villages
3 Four Shires
Getting there & around, Southernmost Warwickshire & northernmost Oxfordshire, Feldon & the Stour Valley, Around the Four Shires Stone
4 High Cotswolds
Getting there & around, Between Moreton & Stow - a triangle of villages, Hills & valleys - Stow & its western neighbours, The Guitings, Kineton & Ford - the quiet core, The seat of Mercia - Winchcombe & its villages, The Cotswolds' highest point - Cheltenham & its high commons, East from Cheltenham
5 The Thames Tributaries
Getting there & around, The Windrush Valley, The Leach Valley, The Coln Valley, The Churn Valley, The Evenlode Valley
6 Thames Valley
Getting there & around, The source - Kemble & Ewen to Cricklade, North of the river - the Ampneys, Inglesham to Kelmscott
7 The Southern Cotswold Scarp & Five Valleys
Getting there & around, The Frome Valley (Golden Valley), The Painswick Valley & the Slad Valley, The Cotswold Scarp - the dry valley? , The Nailsworth Valley, The commons & skinny valleys
8 Wiltshire Cotswolds
Getting there & around, The young Avon Valley to Malmesbury, Dyrham & Marshfield, The By Brook Valley, Bradford-on-Avon & the Limpley Stoke Valley
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Caroline Mills is a country girl. While she loves to visit the towns and cities of the world, she likes nothing better than to return to the farm where she lives with her husband and three children, on the edge of the Cotswolds. Having moved no more than five miles from where she grew up – also in the Cotswolds – she has been able to call the region home for over 45 years. With a keen desire to see the area maintain its identity, keeping old traditions alive, and with a passionate love of the countryside in which she lives, Caroline is well placed to paint a very personal picture of this special place. Since the first edition of The Cotswolds, Caroline has created an accompanying website which provides regular updates to life in the Cotswolds, notification of events, new attractions and places to eat and a blog providing additional insights into the Cotswolds.