Saturday, 27 November 2010

The Cotswolds (UK)

Landscape in the Northern Cotswolds. July 2009.

A few days ago, I covered the Rollright Stones on my other blog. It gave me the idea to write a larger article here on the part of England where the stones are located: the Cotswolds. I've spent so much time there in the past few years, to visit friends as well as to do research for my novel, it feels like it's become my home away from home.

Town map of Tetbury. October 2008.
The Cotswolds is one of my favourite destinations in England. I love the gently sloping hills in countless shades of green and ochre all throughout spring, summer and autumn. Every time I'm there, my eyes feast on the honey-coloured cottages, the old market towns, the paddocks, the narrow roads winding through the countryside, bordered by wild hedges and stacked stone walls and all the quirky cosiness that's deeply rooted in the area's history.

It's not just the scenery and the atmosphere that enchant me. The Cotswolds lifestyle appeals to all my senses: you'll find beautiful gardens, numerous festivals, arts and crafts, manors and mansions and - time to get to the point - plenty of indulgence opportunities for foodies.

Inside the Horse and Groom,
Upper Oddington. November 2010.

There are several award-winning hotels and restaurants in the Cotswolds, with chefs who focus on using local produce. The area has great pubs, tea rooms, markets, farm shops and breweries, a food and drink festival and even a pudding club to celebrate the traditional Great British Pudding.

I have only just started my journey along the Cotswolds restaurants and I will probably be long dead before I could visit even half, but I can let you in on which one is my current favourite, and has been for a while now: the Horse and Groom in Upper Oddington. Have a look at this article if you want to know why.

If after all the gastronomic gratification your belt starts to feel a bit tight, the Cotswolds is also the perfect place for long hikes or more casual walks. The area has a lot to offer in every season. Mind, though, during snowy winters it's not always easy to get around!

If you wish you can try to walk the entire 102 miles of the 'Cotswold Way' trail and maybe even beat the record of just under 24 hours! For those of us who prefer a few gourmet stops in between, there are a number of circular walks that take you through a smaller part of this gorgeous, quintessentially English landscape.

You can find more information on several Cotswolds Tourism websites, e.g., or on a variety of local blogs like A Cotswold Year, Life in the Cotswolds, Cotswolds Travel or Cotswold Peeps

Here are a few more of my favourite sights:

Horse pastures in the Northern Cotswolds. September 2009.

Village near Moreton-in-Marsh, September 2009.

The Evenlode. September 2009.
Sunset over the Hills - Uley. January 2010.

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1 comment:

  1. It looks like what I imagine the Shire looked like in The Hobbit. I want to go someday!


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