It would be hard to find anywhere in the world with the rural rustic charm of the Cotswolds.
Last year we visited Bath and I thought this area of South West England was beautiful but the Cotswolds step things up a little more. If you are into English history this area has plenty, the architecture is impressive, with the humble Cotswolds stone being the main building material and the countryside is a beautiful combination of rivers, rolling hills and wooded areas.
We stayed in the village of South Cerney for a few days and it was a great place to base ourselves. It was less than 10 minutes drive to Cirencester which is the largest town in the Cotswolds, it had the lakes right on it’s doorstep and plenty of walks and bike rides for those that like to get a little more active. You had a host of options for food from Thai to fish and chips and the local pubs served good food with the Royal Oak being the highlight.
As per usual with any new place we had to check out the coffee places and the closest decent one was in Cirecester, a little place in an arcade called Cotswold Artisan Coffee. I think as a Kiwi (or an Aussie) you get treated a little differently when you go into a cafe that takes pride in the coffee they make. There is a recognition that the Barista craft is at a very high level down under and by association those of us who like a good coffee from the antipodes have an opinion worth something. All I know is that it tasted good.
We have had a good look around this area with a day in Glouscester, which was a slightly elevated version of your typical English city, a couple of visits to Cheltenham, which was a definte step up from your average English city and some day trips to visit a variety of lovely villages the best of which was probably Stratford-upon-Avon, the birth place of William Shakespeare.The names of the villages around this area were interesting, names such a Burton-on-water, Stow-on-the-Wold, and the not so inviting name of Moreton-in-the-Marsh. While the names were unusual the villages were very pretty.
If you are coming to the Cotswolds a car is a must. The freedom to explore the back lanes and small villages only adds to the old world charm you encounter around every corner. If you are thinking of a few days out of London when coming on holiday to the UK this area needs to be high on your list.