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Castle Combe - The Prettiest Village in the Cotswolds

Described as the loveliest and prettiest village in England, Castle Combe was a small weaving town at the heart of the Cotswold Wool trade. Originally a Saxon Village, with evidence of nearby Roman Settlement, the village grew beside the Castle built in 1140 after the Norman Invasion. Sadly the Castle has now gone. The 12th century St Andrews church has a 15th Century faceless clock that used to ring the hours and is one of England's oldest working clocks. Visitors well photograph the bridge that crosses the Bybrook River used as a backdrop in many films such as Dr Dolittle, War Horse and Hercule Poirot.

Commute from here: Moreton-in-Marsh

Moreton in Marsh is a thriving Cotswold Market Town 90 minutes by train from London and Birmingham. The number of Londoners registering with the local estate agents has increased by 75% six weeks after lockdown. Moreton in Marsh has a range of independent shops, a popular optician, a toy shop, excellent food shops, two doctors surgeries, and a recently opened hospital. Working from home being normal Moreton in Marsh has become popular because of the short commute to London or Birmingham without paying the higher prices of the more traditional North Cotswold villages.

Day Trip from London

The Cotswolds, running through 5 counties of Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire is located just over a One-hour train ride from London. An incredibly picturesque and charming part of England, you will immediately feel transported back in time.  The best way to see the awe-inspiring gorgeous rolling hills is to take a highly recommended tour with Best Cotswold Tours. You will not be disappointed! The Cotswolds derive the name from the old English term "Wold" meaning rolling hills, and Cotswolds refers to "sheep enclosures in rolling hills. You are likely to see lively markets, local pubs, castles, and country houses and of course sheep grazing in their natural environment. 

 

Famous Film Locations in the Cotswolds

JK Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, was born and raised in the Cotswolds. Much of the Harry Potter series filming was done in Gloucester Cathedral and The Cloisters at Lacock Abbey and The Bodleian Library in Oxford.  Snowshill was made famous for Bridget Jones' Diary filming with "snow" being imported into the village in June.  The Cotswolds make an excellent backdrop to Jane Austen films, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma being two of the more recent films. The list of famous films and locations is enormous, but amongst the most famous is the location of Bampton in Downton Abbey.

Five Epic Outdoor Getaways from London

 Stour Valley, The Norfolk Broads, The New Forest, The Peak District are all epic getaways from London, however the most popular and the most accessible is the Cotswolds. The Cotswolds are an area of 800 square miles, of rolling hills and farmland with honey-coloured stone cottages and villages and many thatched cottages. This region was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1966 and spans the counties of Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire Worcestershire and Oxfordshire. The Cotswolds are a perfect place to spend a weekend exploring the 3000 miles of bridleways, woodlands and villages by going hiking, biking or horse riding. The Cotswolds is also famous for its food-producing cheeses, meats, spirits and beers available to purchase at farmers markets or farm shops, or for sampling in local pubs, restaurants or cafes. Are you tempted to stay? Then why not choose one of the many luxury hotels or pubs, charming bed and breakfast, or even pitch your tent at one of the many Cotswold Campsites.

Getting there: Trains from London Paddington and London Marylebone to the Cotswolds take around 1 hour and 30 minutes.

How far can you see from Broadway Tower

Broadway Tower in the North Cotswolds stands over 1000ft tall and at 68ft high is the second-highest point in the Cotswolds and the highest castle in England. With unrivalled views of over 60 miles and a total of 16 counties, it is possible to see the River Severn in the south, The Wrekin, and Wales beyond in the west, Birmingham's towers to the north, and Oxford to the east.   An enchanting walk up the escarpment from the village of Broadway to the tower is part of the Cotswold Way. The Tower is always open, but the circular stairs to the viewing platform at the top close at 5.00 pm. 

OwlPen Manor

OwlPen Manor often described as the "Loveliest house in England " is situated in the woods along Fiery Lane near Uley. The Tudor Manor house is a Grade 1 listed building owned privately by the Mander family. After a gap of 100 years, the house was restored by Norman Jewson in 1926. Well known for its Arts and Crafts, and wall-hangings dating back over 300 years, OwlPen Manor,  is a fine example of an iconic group of picturesque Cotswold buildings: The Manor House, Tithe Barn, Church, and The Water Garden and Terrace which have been open to the public since 1966.

Plan a visit to the Cotswold Farm Park

The Cotswold Farm Park was established in 1971 by Joe Henson, the current owner's father, to protect many rare breeds of farm animals. Visitors can interact with  rare breeds of farm animals from rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Sheep, Goats, Pigs and Cattle.  Hebridean Sheep were introduced into this country by the Vikings. They survived on St. Kilda until 1930. There is also an adventure playground, Farm safari, Maize Maze, and plenty of entertainment for children of all ages. Plan a special day where visitors of all ages can learn and discover about farm animals and modern farming techniques the provider of our food today. Hebridean Sheep were introduced into this country by the Vikings. They survived on St. Kilda until 1930.

The Cotswold Village of Guiting Power

Guiting Power is a delightful Cotswold Village situated at the upper reaches of the Windrush Valley. Adjacent to the village Green there is a Post Office, a cafe and village hall, with a pub at either end of the village. The name is derived from the Saxon Word "Getinge" meaning rushing, which refers to the nearby rushing Windrush (and not the pace of life in the village!). Dating back to Edward the Confessor the Lords of the Manor were called "lePohers", thus giving the village the name of Guiting Power.  Over half of the property in the village is owned by the "Cochrane" family with the houses being tenanted. There are many footpaths in the parish making the area very popular with walkers and ramblers.

 

Two Cotswold towns named in top 10 prettiest places in UK

Cirencester and Burford, two of the many gorgeous Cotswold villages, have been named in a survey of the Prettiest Villages in the UK.  Cirencester was once the capital and second-largest town in Roman Britain. The town was destroyed by fire by the Saxons in the 6thC. and renamed Coryn Ceasre. Burford, nicknamed The Cotswold Gateway,  was a medieval fortified town growing up as a river crossing. The bridge was finally built-in 1322.

William Morris established the Society for Preservation of Ancient Buildings after watching a priest remove medieval paintings from the Saxon  Church. There are many different periods of architecture in Burford, including different roof slates which the Tilers named Muffeties, Long Wyvetts and Cursoms. The Almshouses were founded in 1457, whilst the Tolsey marketplace dates back to Tudor times.