Category Archives: Country Back Roads
The Cotswolds Hills
The Cotswolds Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are formed from a belt of oolitic limestone that divides the heart of England from the North Sea to the south coast passing through Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and nudging into Wiltshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire
The Cotswolds is an area of about the shape of a rough diamond in the heart of England stretching through the counties of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.
The western edge forms the escarpment that overlooks the Severn Valley and the Vale of Evesham. This ridge gives the picture of hills seen from the valley floor as you travel along the M5 motorway. Yet, once on the top the land opens out into the rolling wolds and deep, wooded river valleys that make this one of the most beautiful areas in the UK.
The Cotswolds is popular with both the English and visitors from all over the world, renowned for the gentle, picture puzzle; sleepy villages that are so typically English has are the world famous cities of Bath and Oxford or the cathedral city of Gloucester.
Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
The Cotswolds is one of 41 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales and is the largest, covering 790 sq miles – 2,038 sq kms from Bradford-upon-Avon to Banbury a distance of 78 miles – 126 kms from north to south.
The Cotswolds was designated An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1966 and this means that the countryside protected forever and that the past, present and future assured for generations to come. The Cotswolds Conservation Board is the organisation that looks after the AONB in its entirety. For more information about the Cotswolds Conservation Board visit their website. The majority of this beautiful countryside is farmland, a diverse mix of arable, livestock and woodland.
About a tenth of the Cotswolds is woodland with many of the woods being ancient. Some of the best examples are on the western edge with the beech woods around Cranham and Birdlip. Other woodland consists of oak, ash and sycamore.
Cotswold Towns and Villages
Idyllic towns and villages like Bibury and Bourton-on-the Water hide in the steep wooded valleys or sit proud on high rolling wolds. The fine buildings created by great artisans, the magnificent churches built by the wealthy wool merchants from medieval times and their grand houses with wonderful gardens are waiting to be discovered by travellers.
Use the links to discover more about the history, the villages and towns, about the conservation projects undertaken throughout the area and top attractions to visit.
Follow one of our suggested tours by car or follow one of our family walks to discover some of the hidden parts of the Cotswolds. The Cotswold Gateway is your guide to this wonderful Cotswolds area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Take a look at our Cotswolds town guide and the Cotswolds villages guide.
Needles to say we opearate daily tours of the Cotswolds area. I would recommend a small group tour so you can get off the beaten track and explore some of the smaller villages – www.Sightseeingtours.co.uk
Link Source: http://www.thecotswoldgateway.co.uk
Sightseeing in The Cotswolds:Guided walking tour of Oxford Visit to Burford and Stow-on-the-Wold and to the charming twins of Upper and Lower Slaughter in
the Cotswolds Entrance to Shakespeare’s Birthplace Guided tour of Stratford-upon-Avon All travel in comfortable purpose-built minibus from Central London
In a little over an hours time our journey to the University city of Oxford will be complete. Heading west over the Chiltern Hills we descend down to the Thames valley to this ‘city of dreaming spires’ and take a walking tour amongst the cloisters and quadrangles of Britain’s oldest University, founded in 1167. Ivy clad medieval college buildings compete for space with Georgian shops and ancient churches around busy streets which both ‘Town and Gown’ call home. Our guided walking tour will take you into the heart of this land of hallowed academia, to the Bodleian Library, to the Radcliffe Camera, Sheldonian Theatre and selected colleges.
After a break we head out to the nearby Cotswold hills. Here we can find the little back roads taking us away from the busy highways. We meander down country lanes, through villages of honey coloured stone, to Burford and Stow-on-the-Wold and to the charming twins of Upper and Lower Slaughter. A stop for a leisurely lunch is made in one of these places then we set off to Stratford-on-Avon in Warwickshire.
Known the world over as the birthplace of the great poet William Shakespeare we, quite rightly, take you to the house where he was born (entry included) and to Holy Trinity church where he was both baptised and buried. Many other centuries-old houses survive, some of these have associations with the writer. After a guided tour of the town and some free time we continue for a photo stop at Anne Hathaway’s cottage, a beautiful timber-framed thatched farmhouse that was Shakespeare’s wife’s childhood home before we finally continue on our journey south to London.
Why choose this tour?
On this tour you will be travelling with no more than 16 other people – guaranteed! Our purpose-built minibuses have large windows, good air circulation and clear PA systems so that your professional guide can escort you comfortably through our wonderful country. Our itineraries are carefullly planned (with many years of experience) so that you discover as much as possible, without spending too much time on the road.
As we travel in smaller vehicles, we normally use the most scenic routes, where large coach are prohibited from travelling. Additionally, as our group sizes are smaller we are able to more time out of the vehicle. We also employ a the very best driver/guides.
Friendly and Professional Guides – Small Groups – More Scenic Routes – More Time Sightseeing- No Time Wasted Travelling around London- Great Value for Money
Best Value Tours – www.SightseeingTours.co.uk