Though there is no doubt that London is an incredible city, there is so much more going on in England than just the high-energy capital. A collection of quaint and leafy villages northwest of the metropolis, the Cotswolds is the perfect antidote to the constant buzz of the city. Surrounding the villages are seemingly endless rolling hills and hedgerow-lined fields where you can spend hours ambling around happily. A weekend is a good length of time to get a taste of the area, so here is some advice to get you started.
Where are the Cotswolds?
The Cotswolds is actually a pretty huge area spanning across six of England’s counties and 800 square miles. To get here from London by car, it will take around two hours, but some of the closer cities include Oxford, Bath and Cheltenham. When you are looking to stay here, there are plenty of accommodation options in all the villages or surrounding cities. Located just outside the area a hotel in Evesham is a good choice. Of course, all depends on your preferences and budget.
What Should I Do?
To miss out on rambling in the Cotswolds would be a terrible crime, and with over 8,000 marked paths to follow, you have no excuses. You will be able to find plenty of information online and in visitor information centres so you can choose the trails that are right for you. You should also visit a few of the villages and market towns. There is something uniquely English about the immaculately kept cottages, tiny tea rooms and colourful hanging baskets. In Stratford-upon-Avon, you can see the birthplace of Shakespeare and take in one of the Bard’s plays.
What Should I Eat and Drink?
With some of the best pubs in the UK on your doorstep, you should certainly enjoy a pub lunch or two while you are here. Pubs have significantly improved the quality of their food in the last few years, so you won’t be short of great options. And during the afternoon, what could be more English than a cup of tea and a scone with cream and jam? Again, there are hundreds of tea rooms all over the Cotswolds so you really can take your pick.
What Should I Buy?
If you are on the hunt for souvenirs while you are here, you won’t be short of options. For a touch of authenticity, there are plenty of houses selling their own homemade produce including jam, lemon curds and cake. Also, there are plenty of antique shops in the different villages, so if you are on the hunt for a rare treasure, you have certainly come to the right place!
A weekend in the Cotswolds is a wonderful and peaceful experience when you will get to experience a completely different side of England away from London. Hopefully, this guide has given you a good starting point to plant your weekend away so you can enjoy everything this area of outstanding natural beauty has to offer.