Cotswolds Holiday Cottages
The Cotswolds are located in the county of Gloucestershire and offer the cottage holiday visitor rolling hills and tree-lined valleys with an abundance of beautiful little towns and villages. The Cotswolds are an area of outstanding natural beauty, the family birthplace for the late Princess Diana and a royal country retreat for our royal family, and where Charles met Diana. A cottage holiday in the Cotswolds is a fabulous base for touring other attractions of the heart of England. Come to the Cotswolds and enjoy your cottage holiday.
Places to visit in the Cotswolds:-
Bibury, Painswick, Stroud, Winchcombe, Stow-on-the-Wold, Tetbury [both of these towns have the highest concentration of Antique shops outside of London], contact the Cotwold's Antique Dealers Association for more information www.cotswolds-antiques-art.com, Snowhill Manor, Cirencester, Tewkesbury, Dursley, Nailsworth and Wooten-under-edge.
Cities to visit in Gloucestershire & The Cotswolds:-
Gloucester, Cheltenham, Stroud, The Royal Forest of Dean and The Severn Valley.
Attractions to Visit in Gloucestershire & The Cotswolds:-
Cheltenham Race Course, Blenheim Palace, Gloucester Cathedral (famous for The Doomsday Book), Chedworth Roman Villa, Corinium Museum and Sudeley Castle, home of Henry VIII's last Queen. A cottage holiday to the Cotswolds must include the Cotswolds Heritage Centre which tells the story of the woollen industry and the Cotswolds rural past.
A cottage holiday in the Cotswolds will bring you long relaxed summer days and romantic log fires in the Winter. Spring bluebells are in abundance and the subtle range of yellows and browns of Autumn colours are all excellent reasons why visitors keep coming back to the enjoy a cottage holiday in the Cotswolds.
The Doomsday Book
The Doomsday book was collated and recorded at Gloucester Catherdral with its imposing spire reaching to the sky which must have overpowered and totally dominated the landscape in the 11th century.
The Domesday Book was in fact the very first census of England carried out and commissioned in December 1085 by William the Conqueror, who invaded England in 1066. It was so called the Doomsday book as locals were fearful of the reasons for its existence and the collators sent out to record and measure properties and question locals and establish who owned what was seen as a reason to strip them of their homesteads by the new French conqueror, William.
The first draft was completed in August 1086, some 20 years after his invasion, and contained records for 13,418 settlements in the English counties south of the rivers Ribble and Tees (the border with Scotland at the time).
During the last years of his reign, King William (the Conqueror) felt threatened by King Canute of Denmark and King Olaf of Norway and he required taxes to be collected from his occupied country. Hence the Doomsday book gave him the information as to who could contribute the most to his cause and it was a way to fend off potential invaders. The inland revenue would be proud of his early attempts to record England's citizens! For more information go to http://www.domesdaybook.co.uk The original Domesday Book has survived over 900 years of English history and is currently housed in a specially made chest at London's Public Record Office in Kew, London.
Cheltenham Spa town with its elegant Regency Architecture is known as Gloucestershire's capital city full with classy shops, restaurants, classical museums, shops and theatres and winner of the prestige "Beautiful Britain in Bloom" award with colourful parks and floral decorations.
A trip to Cheltenham from your Cotswold cottage location is a must, where you can still 'take the spa waters' at the Pitville Pump Room, which brought fame and royalty to Cheltenham, and is a Grade 1 listed building set in beautiful lakes and parkland and open to the public. What about a day at the Cheltenham Race Course? This is the home for National Hunt Racing, which extends throughout the main cottage holiday season from April to October.
The Railway History of the Cotswolds
If you share a passion for the heady days of steel ship building and steam railways then your cottage holiday in the Cotswolds should include a trip to Stroud and its unique railway station, once part of the historic GWR (Great Western Railway). Its tiny platform garden, maintained by a local Stroud lady, helps make the quaint country station like stepping back to the much slower pace of life we once enjoyed before computers and mobile devices, such as ipods or mobile phones, where the peace of the countryside is only broken only by the puff and blow of steam locomotives gathering speed and thundering through the valleys. The station at Stroud was designed by none other than Britain's great railway and steel ship building industrial pioneer the great Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who was also responsible for the magnificent viaducts in the Chalford Valley.
The Cotswolds are rich in remains from early settlements, including Neolithic Iron Age and Roman villages and estates. There are around 100 burial grounds known as 'long barrows' as they resemble humped long mounds, or called 'drumlins' from the Neolithic era scattered throughout the Cotswolds countryside. Two of the finest examples are adjacent to the road between Uley and Nympsfield which were believed to have been created some 5,000 years ago, where many local deceased are interred.
Cirencester was another strong Roman fort town. An aerial photograph will show the spiders web of straight Roman roads emanating from Cirencester to Cheltenham, Stroud, Gloucester, such as the A219, which are all directly built upon existing Roman troop roads.
The City of Gloucester is where 2,000 years ago Romans marched over the Cotswold hills and first saw the lush Severn River Valley beneath them, and decided to build a fort and garrison at Gloucester for its strategic importance.
Gloucester still is a focal point for travelling across, and north and south of England's spine and has been host to many different peoples such as the Celts, Romans, Saxons and Normans, each having left their individual mark, which you can discover when you explore Gloucester. A visit to the magnificent Norman Cathedral is a must where the doomsday collators compiled their census reports, as is the house of the Tailor of Gloucester, which is the actual shop that Beatrix Potter used as a model for the Tailor's home in her famous story "The Tailor of Gloucester".
The Docks also boast a specialist shopping centre, known as the waterfront with cafes, bars and restaurants and boat trips on the Queen Boadicea II, a Dunkirk little ship which was actually used in the Dunkirk troop evacuation and which is now offering tranquil river cruises.
There are also guided tours, a fabulous family picnic area, the Antiques Centre, with four floors packed full of goodies and ample car parking.
A cottage holiday in and around the Cotswolds will, during the right season, enable you to visit the home of the Gloucester Rugby Club and guarantee a premier league game and also European Rugby to please all ardent Rugby supporters.
Come to the fabulous Cotswolds for your country cottage holiday and explore the exciting and beautiful scenery of the Cotswolds, and visit the neighbouring cities and towns packed with history and modern amenities.