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The Three Degrees may have posed the question back in the 1970's and last Saturday, 8th Nov. the answer was officially recognised as both at the unveiling of a Cotswold Way marker stone at the start or finish of the Cotswold Way national trail that stretches 102 miles (164km) between Chipping Campden and Bath.

The stone itself made from Irish Blue Limestone was designed by local artist, Iain Cotton who was commissioned to make the first almost identical marker stone outside the steps of Bath Abbey back in 2012. The trail can easily be walked in either direction and some prefer to head south to north with the advantage of the sun on their back. [See more]

Tuesday, March 25th 2014

Where - and what - are the Cotswolds?

Try looking for the Cotswolds on a British road map and you won’t find any traces, but do a Google search for 'Cotswolds map' and you'll see a lozenge-shaped patch somewhere south of Birmingham and west of London. This is the Cotswold AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) established back in the 1960s to protect a unique stretch of landscape from modern development. Covering 790 square miles of hilly landscape, it stretches from Bath in the south-west to Chipping Campden in the north-east, making it the largest area of protected landscape in Britain. >>> [See more]

If you ever need reminding of how odd the English can be, take a trip to Swinbrook. The setting is idyllic – a perfect Cotswold village nestling in the Windrush valley just two miles east of Burford - but inside Swinbrook church is a very strange group of tombs. Lined up on a set of shallow stone shelves are six reclining knights, each propped up on one elbow as if preparing to wait out eternity. >>> [See more]

Court Farm, Broadway, Cotswolds
Tuesday, November 19th 2013

Artists and Americans in Broadway

Jane Bingham takes a tour of the ‘other Broadway’ and learns about artistic fun and games in the 1880s. On a golden day in August we gathered at the top of Broadway hill for a tour of artists’ homes. Our guide was Jeremy Houghton, whose family has lived in the village for three generations. His grandfather arrived as a ‘boy doctor’ and stayed on all his life, becoming Broadway’s unofficial historian. Now Jeremy – a professional artist – has inherited his grandfather’s notes and photos along with a passion for Broadway (the Cotswold one, of course!). >>> [See more]

Sunday, November 10th 2013

Highclere Castle – the Real Downton Abbey

As series 4 of Downton Abbey is launched in Britain, Jane Bingham takes a look at the history of Highclere Castle in Berkshire – the stunning stately home that inspired Julian Fellowes to create his fictional country seat. >>> [See more]

Thursday, November 7th 2013

Introducing Amanda Patton

Amanda Patton will be leading our 2014 Cotswold Garden Tour and has written this post for us. I’m delighted to be able to tell you that I’ve been working with Cotswold Walks to design a tour of Cotswold gardens for next June. The tour will focus on the work of selected 20th century garden designers so that these gardens are seen in their historical context rather than just as something ‘pretty’. Because of the huge social changes that took place in the early 20th century, the way people use, and think of, gardens has changed from being a playground for the rich, requiring large teams of gardeners, to something which pretty much everyone would aspire to in some form. The more technical our lives have become, the more we crave connection with nature, even if it’s just growing a window box of herbs. >>> [See more]

The Chipping Campden International Music Festival will be held on 11 - 24 May 2014. This music festival takes place in St. James' Church, known for its fine acoustics. Artists include Tallis Scholars, Academy of Ancient Music, Fine Arts Quartet, Nash Ensemble and many more. Tickets for this festival go on sale soon and always sell out quickly! >>> [See more]

Monday, October 28th 2013

Introducing Jane Bingham

Jane Bingham is the author of The Cotswolds: A Cultural History (Signal Books and Oxford University Press, 2009). A prolific writer of history books for young people, she also writes on English heritage in the national and local press. Jane gives tours and talks on the Cotswolds and has served twice as a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Oxford Brookes University. Jane will be contributing articles about the Cotswolds to our Cotswold Walks blog. >>> [See more]

Monday, August 12th 2013

Lavender time in the Cotswolds

Say the word ‘lavender’ and the Cotswolds probably doesn’t spring to mind. Rather images of Provence with rows of purple mounds stretching into the bright blue yonder and a chateau on the horizon. However the terrain is surprisingly similar, limestone at over 1000 feet above sea level and Cotswold Lavender at Snowshill are taking full advantage of it. Lavender hates to get its feet wet and these free draining conditions suit it to a T. >>> [See more]

In 1840 the Cotswolds’ valley of Uley had 13 beer houses servicing the dry throats of woollen mill workers. Today, across the UK, a colossal 26 pubs are closing each week. Clearly tastes are changing and real ale enthusiasts are right to worry about the future of their beloved locals. The English pub is iconic and some of the very best are to be found in the Cotswolds. Blazing open fires in winter or streamside supping under a weeping willow in summer are perfect settings for a deep, rich stout or light, golden ale. >>> [See more]