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“Beautiful Villages”
Review of Cotswolds

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Charlotte, NC
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
6 helpful votes
“Beautiful Villages”
Reviewed 13 June 2011

In September of 2010, I visited the Cotswolds and in in Sept of 2011, I will be making my second trip. This is a most see place, you can go from one Village to the other within a few miles. These Villages have the romance and the beauty of many places seen in movies, like Howard's End etc.. the Roman influence is clearly seen seen in the structure of the cannals and bridges, that run through the middle of some of the Villages. The cottages are hundreds of years old and are built from a yelowish/rose tone stones, which keeps and all around palet; they have aged gracefully through the years. They are all surrounded by manicured gardens and beautiful flowers, cascating from windows and hanging baskets all around. There are shops and Tea houses, B&B and traditional Pubs, which have preserved the romantic Victorian era.

It is as if time stands still and you have been transported to an old painting handging in a gallery. Words would not do justice to these places, nested on the country side on England. The fields are splending sites waiting to be captives of an avid photographer. It is a most to see place and I advise for anyone that would like to visit to book private tours, there are plenty this area, and when planned in advance, they would take you to specific places of your choice. I was fortunate to enjoy one of those, with a driver that in native of the area and gave all sort of detail information and history. Enjoy your holiday and make marvelous memories by visiting this side of England.

1 Thank angieCharlotte_NC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
31 helpful votes
“Tour the Cotswolds with Chris Peake”
Reviewed 25 February 2011

If you don't want to fight the crowds, figure out how to drive on the other side of the road, or decide which charming Cotswolds villages to visit, then I suggest booking a tour with Chris Peake. You can find him on line reading about him and his tour possibilities. My husband and I booked an all day tour with Chris. We had a great time visiting those out of the mainstream Cotswolds towns along with some of the more popular towns too. Chris designed a tour based on what we wanted to see. We enjoyed his commentary and he really knows the area as he lives there. Relaxing for my husband and I to not have to plan at all, just show up and enjoy. (We usually plan every little detail).
Chris emailed us a very long list of all the places we visited so we could add to our travel log upon our return home.
We highly recommend Chris and hope you will enjoy your visit as much as we did!

3 Thank BevCS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
14 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2010

My wife and I were in London and we took a day trip to the Cotswolds and Oxford city...it was the highlight of our trip!!! If I remember correctly, we went to Burford(the best!), Burton, and a few others....the cream and scones were fantastic, the scenery was absolutely stunning!!! We both loved it...just make sure you go on a clear day.

Thank ideacatalyst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbia, Maryland
Level 6 Contributor
181 reviews
428 helpful votes
“Explore the Cotswolds...Without a Car!”
Reviewed 27 January 2010

Since we were senior citizens from the US traveling around England by train, deciding to stay in Chipping Campden took some courage, but having researched the bus schedules and with help from our B&B hostess our 3 day stay exceeded our expectations! We hope that relating our experience will give you enough courage so that you too will consider experiencing the charm of the Cotswolds without the benefit of a car.
During the research phase of our trip planning, the attractiveness of the Cotswolds with its rolling countryside populated with sheep and horses and dotted with quaint villages piqued out interest. It would serve as a calming counterpoint to our visits to London, Bath, Oxford and York. However, the far flung location of the many points of interest challenged our imagination as how we would be able to take it all in without driving our own vehicle. The charm of the region and our vision of walking the pleasant countryside on public footpaths fed our desire to overcome this apparent difficulty.
We first decided to see if Chipping Camden could serve as a springboard to the various points of interest we had identified from our study of guidebooks and websites. It’s located in the northern part of the Cotswolds and appeared to be modestly sized compared to Broadway or Moreton-in-Marsh. We hoped it might provide the opportunity to experience what life in a quiet town in the Cotswolds might be like. It’s High Street, lined with residences, shops, inns and restaurants built of distinctive Cotswold stone, runs its length and is punctuated by stone church buildings at either end. It has a nice selection of highly rated B&Bs and it did not miss our notice that the town serves as one end of the 102 mile long Cotswold Way National Trail that extends to Bath. From Chipping Campden one could hike along the Cotswolds Way to nearby Dovers Hill, then proceed about 3 miles to Broadway Tower for views of the Vale of Evesham, lunch in the town of Broadway and use a local bus to return or make it a circuit hike, see http://www.walkingbritain.co.uk/walks/walks/walk_b/1308/. Also, it would be a simple matter to take the local bus 10 miles to Stratford-on-Avon to sightsee, have dinner and see a Thursday or Saturday matinee. These exciting possibilities made Chipping Campden our first choice.
A search of the internet turned up a listing of the current bus schedules for the entire North Cotswolds, see http://www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk/userfiles/file/Transport/North timetable.pdf. A simpler and clearer bus schedule for connecting between Chipping Campden and Moreton-in-Marsh is found at http://www.johnsonscoaches.co.uk/edit/files/bus-route-pdfs/21 22 tender feb08.pdf. These were critical resources for determining how we might get around and for planning our time at points of interest.
Day1: We traveled by train from Bath to Moreton-in-Marsh and arrived at 1156. Each of us had one piece of rolling luggage plus a carry-on bag. Walking down New Road to High Street, we took advantage of the Post Office to purchase stamps and mail postcards. We turned left onto High Street and walked to the bus stop located just a few blocks away in front of the Corn Exchange Gift Shop just opposite Market Hall, a tall stone building situated between the north and south bound lanes. At 1230 we took the #21 bus north to Chipping Campden. We had reservations at The Chance, a fine B&B just on the northern edge of town, only a 10 minute walk from the bus stop at the Town Hall. Once settled in, we went over our 3 day itinerary with our hostess, Sally. Wanting to see Hidcote Manor Garden that same afternoon she immediately arranged for a cab. It’s just a 4 mile drive and for a small fare we were dropped off and after touring the gardens, enjoying a cream tea and strolling through the quaint cluster of thatched roof cottages just beyond the gardens, we were picked up at a pre-arranged time. On return, we asked to be dropped off at Dovers Hill for the view and a pleasant walk back through town.
Day2: During our research phase we noticed it might be possible to use the local bus service and public footpaths to walk from Stow-on-the-Wold to Upper and Lower Slaughter and then on to Bourton-on-the-Water. We were not able to discover an existing guide for this one way walk, but in a bookstore in the UK, we purchased a copy of Ordnance Survey Map, OL45, which showed several possible routes. The map can be purchased online for about 8 GBP including shipping to the US, see http://www.mapsworldwide.com/sku_5994.htm, or ask your B&B if they have a loner copy.
We took the 0845 #22 bus to Moreton-in-Marsh, then the 0915 #855 to Stow-on-the-Wold. The #855 leaves from another bus stop close to Market Hall, just ask your driver. These schedules and those needed for the return from Bourton-on-the-Water are listed in the North Cotswolds schedules referenced above. We used the guided walk information in Rick Steve’s England 2009 as we strolled around Stow and stopped in at the old Saxon church.
We took Church Street out to A429, the Fosse Way, and headed south to walk through the peaceful cemetery. At this point we oriented ourselves by use of the Ordinance Survey map and proceeded a thousand feet down the Fosse Way were we crossed the road to a gravel driveway that was marked as the start of the public footpath. We followed the driveway to its end and came to our first gate leading into a delightful hillside pasture. Each time we entered a field or tract of land we would consult the map to estimate where the next gate or way point might be so as not to get confused should the actual path vanish as it sometimes does.
We spent a delightful morning seeing horses, sheep, manor houses and mills as we walked downhill toward Upper Slaughter. With frequent checks of the map after Hyde Mill, we walked along Monarch’s Way, then onto the road that bends toward Upper Slaughter. About a thousand feet beyond the picturesque view of the manor on the right, we entered the footpath on the left at a cut in the hedgerow. We walked down to the road through Upper Slaughter and took a leisurely stroll around the loop and back to the footpath. We followed this path, called Warden’s Way, to see sights in Lower Slaughter and on to Bourton-on-the-Water. After seeing the town we took the 1445 #801 to Moreton-in-Marsh where we took time to window shop and enjoy a cream tea. The 1630 #21 bus got us back to Chipping Campden at 1712. The walk was not rushed. There seemed to be plenty of time to take in the scenery, stroll about the towns and take photos. It was our most satisfying experience in the Cotswolds.
Prior to the trip we found that Google maps could be used to trace this route from Stow to Bourton. Just enter “Stow-on-the-Wold, UK” and select “Satellite” and under it check “Show Labels”, also, under “More” check “Show Photos”. With use of high enough magnification the foot paths can be seen!
Day 3: For our last day we had pre-arranged a car tour. For tour companies, see http://www.cotswolds.info/cotswold-tours.shtml and for lower prices do try calling some of the taxi services near where you stay. We got lucky and for a 5 hour tour early in May for 2 people, paid 120 GBP plus separate admissions to attractions. We told our guide what we had already seen and asked to be shown other sights in the area. There were plenty of stops for photos of the countryside and points of interest. We climbed Broadway Tower for excellent views, were taken to Broadway, saw the North Cotswolds Hunt Kennels (he knew the dogs by name!), toured St. Eadburgha’s Church (built 1091AD), viewed Stanway House, Studley Castle, Snowshill, various interesting nooks and crannies in the Cotswolds and stopped to see Mill Dene Gardens before arriving at Moreton-in-Marsh for our 1615 train to Oxford.
Even if you are traveling by public transportation we highly recommend including the Cotswolds in your itinerary. Doing some research and planning before hand and gathering the necessary materials will enable you to treat yourself to a town like Chipping Campden and immerse yourself in the Cotswolds experience.

108 Thank JohnAnnColumbia_MD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cleveland, Ohio
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
29 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2007

Beautiful and a must see on a trip to the UK. Can get an adequate feel in a day. We headquarted out of Chipping Campden which was the best mix of amenities yet small town charm. Stay at Badgers Hall...very historic, great food, great owners. Towns can begin to look similar after a while so try a mix of a couple larger ones, such as Bourton-On-The-Water or Stow-on-the-Wold, and smaller like Lower Slaughter or Snowshill. Rent the smallest car you can! The roads are very narrow in spots. Also, GPS will be well worth the investment.

6 Thank GavRam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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