In this new, thoroughly updated edition of Bradt's The Cotswolds (Slow Travel series), resident expert author Caroline Mills shares more of her favorite places in a region that remains as popular as ever. The area covered includes: the Cotswold AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), the Cotswold escarpment, hills and valleys, the Wiltshire Cotswolds and the area known as the Four Shires, along with the lesser-known 'hidden' fringes of the Cotswolds. Also included are the three Cotswold 'gateways': Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath and Oxford. Caroline Mills has lived and worked in the region for over 40 years and writes in an entertaining and engaging first-person narrative combined with authoritative information.
Organized into locales to encourage you to slow down and make it easier to discover smaller areas in greater depth, the guide includes features such as interviews with locals who bring character to the region, activities to try with children, personally selected places to eat, drink and stay, coverage of the Arts and Crafts movement, and plenty of options for car-free travel: walking, cycling, river boats and local buses and trains.
Highlights of particular note include Highgrove Gardens, the home of HRH The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall; Oxford University; the Royal Shakespeare Company/Theatre; the Roman Baths, Bath (a UNESCO World Heritage Site); the American Museum in Britain (dedicated to colonial America and the only museum of its kind outside the United States); Bibury, in particular Arlington Row and villages such as The Slaughters, Snowshill and Castle Combe; UNESCO World Heritage Site Blenheim Palace.
Featured within the guide are quirky events such as the Cheese-Rolling competition and Tetbury's Woolsack Races; numerous and distinguished breweries and micro-breweries, including the famous Hook Norton Brewery, Bath Ales, Uley Brewery and Stroud Brewery; Oxford University, the world's oldest, and the source of England's longest river, the Thames.
The Cotswolds rich and diverse man-made heritage includes many famous castles and country houses: Blenheim Palace, Sudeley Castle, Chavenage and Kelmscott; well-known abbeys such as Prinknash, Hailes; and gardens and estates including Painswick Rococo Garden, Westonbirt Arboretum and Highgrove. Roman history is covered, too, notably in Bath and Cirencester, together with the Fosse Way, one of the most important Roman roads in the country.
The Cotswolds continues to endear itself to anyone who visits – its harmonious combination of quintessentially English villages, charming provincial market towns, interesting and appealing countryside and a wealth of local food-and-drink producers makes it an all-year-round destination, whether for a day trip, a quiet weekend away or a multi-week holiday. The region offers an incredible array of accommodation from unique country-house hotels to delightful farmhouse B&Bs on working farms, luxurious self-catering cottages to glamping and camping in secluded countryside. Visitors that have a particular passion or interest for gardens, the Arts & Crafts Movement, historic buildings, walking, horse riding or rural pursuits are well provided for within the Cotswolds.
Caroline Mills is a country girl. While she loves to visit the towns and cities of the world, she likes nothing better than to return to the farm where she lives with her husband and three children, on the edge of the Cotswolds.
Having moved no more than five miles from where she grew up – also in the Cotswolds – she has been able to call the region home for over 45 years.
With a keen desire to see the area maintain its identity, keeping old traditions alive, and with a passionate love of the countryside in which she lives, Caroline is well placed to paint a very personal picture of this special place.
Since the first edition of The Cotswolds, Mills has created an accompanying website, www.slowcotswolds.co.uk, which provides regular updates to life in the Cotswolds, notification of events, new attractions and places to eat and a blog providing additional insights into the Cotswolds. She also now tweets about the Cotswolds under the Twitter handle @SlowCotswolds.