With apps like Instagram turning beach destinations into over-priced and over-crowded vacation options, travelers looking for more culture and eye-opening experiences are opting for historical sites over time spent getting sunburned. Not only are worldly visitors finding their vacations enriched with one-of-a-kind local experiences and historical landmarks, trips to destinations like the English countryside give adults and children alike an encompassing, enthralling experience in food, entertainment and history still in the making. Which is how places like the English Cotswolds have quietly and quickly gained traction as a sought after destination. Whether it’s a quick trip outside the city sounds of London or a weeks-long jaunt through the rolling hills, the Cotswolds of England has something to offer every kind of traveler.
The Cotswolds of England stretch hundreds of miles, riddled with as many counties as it has charms in small villages, picturesque landscapes, and the chance to indulge in age old English traditions like baked goods, walks along cobblestone streets, and centuries old architecture. Each village of the Cotswolds harbors it’s own delicate allure, yet together give travelers the chance to truly indulge in a winding, romantic journey through English traditions by bouncing from town to town. So for travelers looking to do more than pay $20 for a cocktail, the Cotswolds offers the perfect interactive, expansive and immersive escape into another world…
A Taste of the old – and new
Villages like Gloucester, one of the towns among the Cotswolds, is of course known for its heritage in cheese. The rich and lush hills surrounding these towns offer some of the best terroir for livestock to make the region’s famous cheese, but there’s certainly more to taste than charcuterie. The Cotswolds, surprisingly, is now famous for its produce; no small feat for the reputation of English food! The Cotswolds in England have become a foodie destination for palates wanting a taste of the old and the new, as restaurants capitalizing on tradition have begun to spin a yarn of innovation into local cuisine. Smaller, locally owned restaurants now charm locals and abroaders alike with hand crafted dishes and drinks, made with as much care as the area has always been known for. The plethora of local ingredients including high quality meats and of course the cheese mean restaurants like The Wild Rabbit in Kingham (which is also an Inn, so you could opt to stay the night) offer one of a kind dishes, all in the traditionally designed buildings of the area. Diners get a chance to see the history of design up close as they dine, and enjoy locally brewed beers in breweries popping up across the Cotswolds.
A lesson in history: farm traditions, gardens, and Roman baths
Once bellies are full, travelers can explore the rolling countryside towns and truly embrace the English heritage and it’s many fascinating attractions. From organic farms that are as educational as they are gorgeous, to teatime in traditional tea room offerings, there’s much to see and do. In fact, many of the historical houses offer traditional English gardens, making for a perfect post-tea walk through immaculately kept rose beds and blossoming bushes. Of course no trip to the Cotswolds would be complete without at least a glimpse of one of England’s true treasures – the quaint town of Bath which houses Roman Bath Houses. Amidst these indulgent pools, bathers would lounge and socialize like royalty before a night out or a stroll along the city, crossing the stone bridge with a glimpse across the waters.
Be part of the experience
You could opt for the dull vacation in a chain hotel elsewhere, but the Cotswolds offers a much more immersive opportunity from start to finish. What draws intrigued travelers from around the world to this sweetly unforgettable part of England is that, from the moment your head leaves the pillow in the morning to that last sweet treat and cup of tea for the day, your trip offers a uniquely English way of living. Tourists can stay in adorable cottage rooms for unbelievably reasonable prices that can be found throughout the villages of the nearly 800-mile Cotswolds. If luxury at a bargain is more your style, the region also offers larger, more extravagant hotel options as well. After a good night’s rest, take the family out to local farms, drop by a castle or palace for a look around, or see a show at an old theater for a night to remember.
So if you’re the type of traveler that wants more than a tan line on your trip, opt for a skip, jump and hop outside London to the Cotswolds for the weekend, or make it a longer trip and explore your way through the quaint stone towns of the Cotswolds and truly experience what the region has to offer. While the historical landmarks of the area are well maintained and certainly treasured, each passing year offers another mark on these beautiful, bright stone built towns. So be sure to plan your trip – and don’t forget to pack good walking shoes for the many adventures on foot ahead!