Weekend Trip from London to South Cotswolds
Situated in the south of England, the Cotswolds is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and you can certainly see why. The Cotswolds is roughly 25 miles across and 90 miles long, stretching south-west from just south of Stratford Upon-Avon to just south of Bath. The South Cotswolds is home to quaint villages and towns, including Burford (a haven for antique lovers), Chedworth (boasting one of the best Roman villas in Britain) and Bidbury (lined with picturesque chocolate box cottages). The Cotswolds is famed for its ‘wool ‘churches with the best example to be found in Fairford. St Mary’s church is stunningly beautiful, with its 28 stained glass windows and welcoming atmosphere. From May to the end of September, four mills open at different times telling different parts of the remarkable story of cloth making in the Stroud Valleys. Learn the fascinating history behind Dunkirk Mill Centre, the Weaving Shed, Gigg Mill, Stanley Mill and St Mary’s.
The ‘ capital ‘ of The Cotswolds is Cirencester, is a large market town in which you can visit the award winning Corinium Museum to see Roman mosaics, Anglo Saxon gold and Medieval sculptures. There are also lots of great independent shops and restaurants making it a great stop off for an afternoon. To make the most of the beautiful countryside, take a tour on the Gardens of Gloucestershire tour, that take in the prettiest and boldest garden in the area. Cotswold wildlife center is also great for nature lovers and is ideal for a family day out. Families and sports fans will also enjoy a trip to the Cotswold Motoring Museum ( Bourton-on-the-water) and the Cotswolds Cricket Museum (Stow-on-the-Wold).You cannot go to the Cotswolds without trying a little Gloucester old spot pork or the great cheese of the region. Food lovers will also love visiting in late August for Jamie Oliver’s ‘ The Big Feastival ‘ and Terbury Food and Drink Festival in mid-September. If you happen to visit the place at the end of August, you may get a chance to run into Phoenix Festival which is a free family festival when Cirencester plays host to this local music festival, featuring a host of local traders, artists and charities.
How to Reach
A drive from the city to Cotswolds will take around 2 hours, along the M4. A train journey from Paddington will take around 1.5 hours and will cost around £20. There are also National Express coaches available from Victoria bus station. The trip is perfectly achievable in one day but it is definitely worth staying over for at least one night.
Where to Stay
Calcot Manor is a luxury 4 star hotel that offers great spa facilities and fine dining. If you have children, don’t let that put you off staying here as there are great family facilities with pools, entertainment areas and an all-day crèche. The Rectory is another great hotel that will be a little easier on the wallet but will still provide a very comfortable stay. If you would prefer a nice country B&B, The Manor Farm in Alderton is perfect. The area is also great for a holiday rental stay, with many Hansel and Gretel style cottages inviting you for a romantic week long stay.