The Cotswolds Slow Travel Bradt Guide – In this new, thoroughly updated edition of Bradt’s The Cotswolds (Slow Travel series), 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 guide 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 guide 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.