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Visiting the quaint English countryside? Here’s our guide to Gloucestershire.
In Gloucestershire, your cup of tea isn’t the only thing steeped to perfection. Drenched in centuries-old history, you’ll have everything from Sudeley Castle—the elaborate home once owned by Henry VIII—to Stonehenge within your curious grasp. Everywhere you turn, picture-perfect, postcard-worthy views of “traditional” England encompass your view. Built on Jurassic limestone, the Cotswolds are England’s second largest protected landscape with undulating green hills as far as the eye can see and flowing valleys all the way to the dramatic, lapping coastline in nearby Devon.
A sleepy pace of life encourages visitors to slow down and truly savour each second of their stay. Days are filled with leisurely strolls, horseback rides, and hikes through the hills. Spend an evening at the theatre or sampling libations at one of the five hundred bars and pubs across Gloucester and Cheltenham. With almost one festival per week—music, art, and literature to name a few—happening in Gloucestershire, there’s non-stop culture and excitement.
For a quiet town, there is no shortage of stimulating activities for every traveler. Get your adrenaline pumping with race car driving or simply spectate a game of cricket or rugby. Polo matches are not to be missed—whether you’re an avid fan of the sport or just want a social, dressed-up day out. Also known as “the rural capital of fashion,” there are plenty of diverse shopping options in Gloucestershire to satisfy any retail craving. On a warm, sunny day, head to the coast for windsurfing, kayaking, or paddle boarding.
While you will be able to browse the internet in Gloucestershire, you might find that you’re more inclined to connect with nature. With winding rivers, dense woodlands, and grassy knolls at every turn, the feeling of serenity that washes over you is almost instantaneous. Take a stroll along a narrow village street or pebbled park pathway, both fringed by verdant foliage and leafy trees. For a trek off the beaten path, cycle through towering oaks and beeches in the Forest of Dean. Meander over to Malvern Hills—home to some of the country’s oldest rocks—for sweeping panoramic views. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
Why not finish up a day of sight-seeing with a medieval happy hour at a centuries-old pub? Local produce is abundant at farm-fresh markets, taking the countryside gastronomy to new heights. Visit Ledbury’s biweekly market to pick up a variety of fresh-baked bread, golden honey, plump fruits, and organic vegetables. There’s always the option of creating your own charcuterie board with the region’s traditionally farmed old sports pork and famous cheeses—from intense and tangy to soft and pungent. Wash everything back with a pint of locally brewed beer or perry cider. Of course, there is always a blossoming meadow ready for a romantic picnic.
Gloucestershire is like an ancient playground for historians—and those who are just curious about the area’s rich past that dates all the way back to Roman times. Immerse yourself in the fascinating heritage of the area, from intricate castles and cathedrals to age-old ruins and statues. Each village and town holds an abundance of hidden tourist treasures around every corner. One of the oldest sights in town is the timber-framed New Inn, built in 1450—it’s rumored that Shakespeare performed there.
Can you spot which parts of Gloucestershire have been made famous in the movies? One of the most well-known films to feature its rural beauty is the Harry Potter franchise—Gloucester Cathedral was spectacularly transformed into the bustling corridors of Hogwarts. You might recognize Whittington’s photogenic poppy field from Atonement or the stately Badminton House from Oscar-winning Pearl Harbour. In the charming village of Snowshill, a few scenes from Bridget Jones’s Diary were captured.
From sprawling estates to rustic countryside charm, our luxury villas and farmhouse rentals guarantee a serene stay. Each unique, character-soaked property allows you to experience the historic Cotswolds in its own way. Wake up to enchanting dew-covered gardens just outside your window and clear blue skies soaring overhead. Vine-covered stone façades and mossy roofs exude old-world charisma. Expansive stretches of lawn allow room for a game of cricket or croquet. There’s always the option of hosting your own high-tea in the manicured yard.
Our properties, while completely private and tucked away, are conveniently close to some of Gloucestershire’s most charming attractions. In Cheltenham, catch a horse race or peruse the literary festival. Dine at a seasonal restaurant, mingle with farm animals at Cotswold Farm Park, or admire gothic architecture in the surrounding suburbs. Whatever your trip to Gloucestershire has in store, it’s sure to be replete with arresting views, honey-hued villages, and country charm.