Spotlight on the Cotwolds, England


             The Cotswold Villages are small, quaint towns in England, with strange sounding names (Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water, Upper and Lower Slaughter, Chipping Campden, etc).  The houses and other buildings are made of stone (from the area, so they have some sameness to them) and the overall effect is like stepping back in time.  The area makes a great drive, stopping and strolling at several towns, enjoying a pint or two at others.

            Stratford-on-Avon, a lovely town at the southern end of the Cotswold is perhaps the most important of the villages and, of course, famous as the birthplace of William Shakespeare.  Everything in the town is about “the Bard”, including the beautiful Hathaway Cottage where Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway, lived.  Parking in town is very difficult, with numerous restrictions, and the area is extremely crowded with tourists for much of the year, but it is certainly worthy of a morning or afternoon, especially for fans of Shakespeare.

            The village of Chipping Campden is the quintessential Cotswold Village.  The buildings are all constructed with the honey-colored Cotswold stone which characterizes the area.  Just northeast of the village are the Hidcote Manor Gardens, well worth a slight detour.

            The town of Broadway is also pleasant to stroll, especially along High Street, with its lovely homes and other buildings.

            Bibury is another beautiful town, noted for its Arlington Row, cottages from the 17th century which are protected and preserved by England’s National Trust.

            Lastly, the town of Cirencester offers scenic walks and lodging for those inclined to spend several days in the area.


            Gary’s Gem:

                        Hike along Warden’s Way, a footpath connecting Upper and Lower Slaughter and, if time permits, to Bourton-on-the-Water.


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