Cruisin' Through the Cotswolds.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Before moving to England, I thought I would spend all my free time traveling to big names like London, Manchester, Liverpool, etc. While I do love London, even with the occasional chaos, and will be making it north of The Midlands before it kills me, what I've come to discover is that some of my absolute favorite day trips have been to tiny villages scattered around the countryside. Although Lacock is still my most loved escape, a recent day trip through Cotswold Villages with MadMax Tours (my go-to tour company in the West Country) charmed me right off my feet.

The Cotswold Region spans over 6 counties and is comprised of over 80% farmlands. Its secluded and beautiful charm plays home to residents including Prince Charles and Camilla - who reside at Highgrove House near Tetbury, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, Kate Moss, and JK Rowling's childhood house. That being said, you might want to check out the real estate prices in the Cotswolds before you decide to pack your things and head for the simple life... Countless movies and television shows have taken advantage of the picture perfect scenery and used this region as filming locations - everything from James Bond to Pride and Prejudice.

One of the most prominent features of the Cotswolds is the Jurassic limestone. "Typical" stone that comprises the buildings in this area is a honey-colored rock that gets gradually more pearl-colored as you go south towards Bath and even quite golden-yellow in some areas. As these stones are full of fossils, if you are lucky and have a bit of patience, you might be able to spot a sea urchin fossil right on the side of someone's home.

While there are buses available to take you from town to town, having your own car or utilizing a tour company like I did is the way to go - take the transportation stress out of your day. Trotting along the country roads you'll see thatched roof cottages, fields of sheep, miles of rolling greenery, massive estate homes, and villages that look like they were caught in a time warp. Many of these villages played big roles during the wool industry boom in England, and then suffered great economic catastrophe, stopping the town's growth in their tracks. Their loss is history's gain, as the architecture and culture has stood the test of time and preserved the character that so many towns and cities have lost to industrial booms.

The full day tour is jam-packed with sights and stories from the minute you depart Bath. Our guide, Richard was incredibly knowledgeable and included little facts like "Oh, the pub we're about to drive by on the left was where Prince Harry was caught drinking underage." or "That lumpy looking hill is actually the ruins of an ancient Roman amphitheater."

If you have the free time to make it to the south west of England, I highly recommend taking a tour of the Cotswolds to explore the unique villages and get a feel for the true British countryside. I'll be doing individual posts about a few of my favorite stops now that my computers woes are mostly over, including one of me prancing around the village they use in Downton Abbey.

Post a Comment

Latest Instagrams

Disqus for

© What the Elle. Design by Fearne.