Rolling hills, picturesque villages: Cotswolds

Rolling hills, picturesque villages: Cotswolds

Sheep pastures and idyllic little towns in the heart of England

Beech forests cover the rolling hills, between picturesque villages and historic towns countless sheep graze on lush meadows: As such, the Cotswolds are known as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In the north the Cotswold Hills are bordered by the Avon River, in the east they stretch all the way to Oxford. Sheep have made the area rich, and even the churches of the region are known as Wool Churches, because they were built with the money that has been earned in the wool trade. The area has remained wealthy because many rich Londoners have a second home here or retire here. Places of interest are Broadway, Burford, Chedworth, Chipping Norton, Moreton-in-Marsh, Painswick, and Stow-on-the-Wold.

Attractions Cotswolds

Blenheim Palace

A beautiful park and Palace where Winston Churchill was born

This palace near Woodstock in the county of Oxfordshire is among the largest and most famous palaces in England. It was built by Queen Anne for the Duke of Marlborough as a reward for his victories during the War of the Spanish Succession. The name Blenheim is a corruption of the word Blindheim, which is a village near Höchstadt on the Danube and where the duke won his decisive victory in 1704. A permanent exhibit in the palace is dedicated to the duke's most famous decedent, Sir Winston Churchill, who was born here in 1874. This magnificent palace has been used in various movies, including Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and the James Bond movie Spectre.

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Cotswolds architecture, galleries and quaint shops

Located 20 miles west of Oxford, this is one of the prettiest medieval towns in southern England. Burford gained the right to hold a market on the River Windrush as early as 900 years ago. The town's beautiful Cotswolds architecture, galleries and quaint shops are worth a visit.


Historic village in Cotswolds

This town in the Cotswolds can look back upon an extensive history. Stone-age pieces of flint and burial mounds indicate that Chalford has been inhabited for over 5,000 years. Much later, the town experienced an economic boom with the arrival of the Huguenots. These 17th-century Protestant refugees from France introduced the town to the art of spinning silk and wool. Some streets in town are so narrow that they are impassible for cars. Deliveries were thus often brought in by donkeys, which soon became known as Chalford Donkeys, and which can still be seen in the narrow streets making deliveries every Saturday.

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The only place in England with a spa fed by a hot mineral spring also happens to be one of its most scenic towns. The baths of Bath were known even during Roman times, as evidenced by temple ruins in the area. The hilltop city experienced a resurgence in the 18th century, the period when many of the community's over 500 historical heritage buildings were constructed. The entire city was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998. Nearby Malmesbury is believed to be the oldest continually inhabited town in England.

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Idyllic town with a church featuring the Late Gothic Perpendicular Style

This idyllic town is well worth a visit, if for no other reason than on account of the gray sandstone cottages in Vineyard Street. The town's church dates to the year 1400 and features a Perpendicular Style design – a Late Gothic architectural style commonly found in England.

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