The 790 square miles of the Cotswolds have more listed buildings and monuments than anywhere in the country. It is a designated area of natural beauty – second only in size to the Lake District – with more than 20 million visitors a year. Places to visit close by include Winchcombe and Sudely Castle, the popular village of Broadway, the old market town of Stow-on-the -Wold and its many antique shops, the village of Bourton-on-Water (the little venice of the Cotswolds), and the many surrounding idyllic Cotswold villages and inns. Just north of the village is the Cotswold Farm Park, home to the Rare Breeds Survival Trust which exists to preserve historic breeds of farm animals that might otherwise become extinct – a great day out for the family.
Sudeley Castle and Gardens is just a few miles away and is steeped in history of the Dent-Brockelhurst family. The castle apartments hold an impressive collection of paintings and antiques, while a permanent exhibition ‘The Lace and times of Emma Dent’ tells the story of the lady of the house in the Victorian Age. The award-winning gardens are delightful, spanning over 14 acres. This includes a vegetable plot with a selection of rare herbs and vegetables. A garden centre on site provides the opportunity to purchase a selection of plants from the estate.
For the sporting enthusiasts, there are two nearby 18 hole golf courses in Naunton Downs & Cotswold Hills where the views of the surrounding countryside can easily take your mind off that bad shot. The courses both have excellent facilities for the accomplished golfer and first time hacker!
A short drive to Cheltenham will take you to the highest point in Gloucestershire, namely Cleeve Hill, where only the brave will take on the inland links 18 hole course there. Affording magnificent views over the Malvern Hills, down onto the home of National Hunt racing at Cheltenham Racecourse, where you can see the best racing action in the world (and maybe win a bob or two).
In Cheltenham you’ll also find the “magnificent” stadium of Cheltenham Town Football Club, the famous Whaddon Road where you’ll be sure to see a goal or two. Cutting across to Gloucester you’ll find the amphitheatre of Rugby in England at Kingsholm.