The Cotswolds is among the most well-known stretches of countryside in the UK, both at home and abroad. Its endless rolling hills and farm fields, with small towns and villages that seem to almost grow out of the landscape, have become the definitive image of rural England and been the backdrop for many Hollywood films. The area has also become a popular weekend retreat for celebrities due to its proximity to London, further adding to its allure in popular culture. But its status is well-deserved if a bit understated, so make sure you take a trip to what is affectionately referred to as the “Heart of England”.
Things to Do in The Cotswolds
Straddling the counties of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire and bordering urban centres such as Bath, Cheltenham and Gloucester, the Cotswolds is the largest designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in England and Wales. In amongst the unspoilt countryside are also castle ruins, stately homes, gardens, wildlife parks, leisure parks and more. Wildlife and its preservation form a large part of what the Cotswolds represent and that is reflected in the number and variety of animal attractions in the area. The Cotswold Falconry Centre comes highly recommended and gives you the chance to see birds of prey like eagles, hawks, kites, owls, vultures and falcons. The Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens, meanwhile, allows you to observe a wide range of animals, from tiny leaf-cutting ants to giant white rhinos. And then there’s the Cotswold Farm Park where you can meet over 50 breeding flocks and herds of farm animals.
We want you to enjoy the best that The Cotswolds has to offer and so here's a selection of our favourite things to see and do;
Cotswolds by a classic car
It’s just got to be done, and there are companies that will let you. There can be no better way to see the area than by tearing round the narrow, stone wall-lined lanes in a classic sports car with the wind blowing in your hair, beeping your horn as you pass a duck and her duckling that looked like they may wander into the road, slowing down to pass a muddy tractor laden with hay on its way to market. Few things could be more romantic.
Technically it’s just outside the Cotswolds, but if you are going to make the journey to the area then you should definitely take the opportunity to visit one of Europe’s top racecourses. Cheltenham Racecourse, known as the "home of National Hunt racing", hosts the three-day Open Meeting and the four-day Festival in March.
Set in the picturesque village of Bourton-on-the-Water you will find the Dragonfly Maze, a lesser-known but highly-rated attraction. The maze is a traditional Yew Hedge Maze combined with a Rebus Puzzle, which is essentially pictures, often made with letters and words, which cryptically represent a word, phrase, or saying. Your goal is to make your way to the centre of the maze and discover the secret hiding place of the Golden Dragonfly.
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