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Alt="Upper Slaughter Manor"

How were the Slaughters Named

Upper and Lower Slaughter are two of the loveliest unspoilt villages in the Cotswolds. There are two theories of the origin of their name:  the name Slaughter comes from the old English word "Slothre" meaning muddy, and so it became known as muddy crossings of the River Eye. There is no sign of any mud today! Alternatively, Upper Slaughter Manor dates back to the Saxon Period. Sometime in the 12th.C the Slaughter family became owners. It is not sure whether they took their name from the manor or vice-versa, but John Slaughter was undoubtedly the owner in 1282. The Tudor house that we admire today has been extended several times, but it is an L shaped house to give the impression of being enormous, and therefore the family were very wealthy.

Lower Slaughter, Upper Slaughter

Alt="Venice of the Cotswolds

Bourton on the Water, Venice of the Cotswolds

Bourton on the Water is one of the most popular destinations in the North Cotswolds. The River Windrush was diverted through the village in the early 17thC. to power the mills, with bridges built to cross the river. Today visitors come for a day out not only to feed the ducks and paddle in the river but to admire its beauty and many attractions such as The Model Village, Birdland, The Motor Museum, Maze and Model Railway. The Venice of the Cotswolds is incredibly beautiful at Christmas when the giant Christmas Tree is erected in the river, and the lights sparkle in the water.

Bourton on the Water

Alt="Bibury"

The most beautiful Village in England

Arlington Row, situated in the Cotswold village of Bibury, was converted from a 14thC. Wool store,  into a row of 17thC weavers cottages for workers who worked at the "new" degreasing mill. The Cottages, now in an Architectural Conservation Area, are owned by the National Trust. The Cottages rented out today, have been used as a backdrop in many films such as Stardust and Bridget Jones Diary. The fast flowing river Coln, where Trout can be seen, runs through the middle of the village adding to the picturesque Cotswold village scene.  William Morris described the Bibury as "the most beautiful village" in England in 1870. 

Villages, Bibury, Arlington Row

Alt="Stow-on-the-Wold"

Stow on the Wold The Highest Town in the Cotswolds.

At 8oo ft above sea level, Stow on the Wold is the highest town in the Cotswolds. Controlled by the Maugersbury Monks in 1086 the Viking settlement grew on the convergence of eight roads on the Roman Fosseway. But it was the Saxon farmers who laid the foundations of the "fleece" which created wealth for the wool merchants who traded vast numbers of sheep in the market square which being driven into the square through "Tures" (small alleyways).  In 1646 the Battle of Stow was the last and bloody battle of the Civil War.  Over 200  prisoners were locked in the Church of St Edwards, the 15th Century tower of which can be seen for many miles today. Admire the history of the town, the beautiful St Edwards Church, the Art galleries and Antique Shops, the bookshops and of course the fine foods, of the deli's, cafes,s hotels and restaurants. 

Alt="Cotswold Autumn"

How the Cotswolds was named

Think of the Cotswolds and immediately you think of villages, stone walls, towns and small streams, and woodland. "Wold" means rolling hills and countryside. "Cots" is an Anglo-Saxon word for sheep enclosure, thus putting the two together becomes rolling hills where sheep are kept.  However, the Domesday Book refers to an Anglo-Saxon Cheif named King Cod who ruled the area, which became known as  "King Cod's Weald land. Weald means woodland. 

Alt="St Edwards Church Stow on the Wold"

Magical Cotswold Church Door

The two ancient Yew trees that have grown around the North Door in St. Edwards Church, Stow on the Wold look more like an entry into a fairy tale than into a Church. There is little doubt that J.R Tolkein was inspired to write "The Doors of Durin" as a result of one of his many visits to the Cotswolds while living in nearby Oxford.           St Edwards Church is well worth a visit too: It dates back to the Middle Ages with the North Door being constructed in the 13th Century. The 88ft high 4 stage tower was completed in 1447 and can be seen from many miles across the Cotswold Landscape. 

Stow on the Wold

Alt="Winchcombe"

10 of the best walks and rambles in the Cotswolds

Whether you are looking for a short amble or a hill hike here are some of the best walks in the Cotswolds. There are over 3000 miles of footpaths and rights of way in the Cotswolds which is a wonderful area to explore on foot.  The longest walk is 102 mile Cotswold Way, along the length of the Cotswolds from Bath to Chipping Campden.

  •  Painswick to Slad - Best Walks in the Cotswolds
  • Chipping Campden Cotswold Way Circular Walk -Best Walks in the Cotswolds
  • Winchcombe to Belas Knapp -Best Walks in the Cotswolds
  • Broadway and the tower -Best Walks in the Cotswolds
  • Tetbury to Westonbirt Arboretum - Best Walks in the Cotswolds
  • Blenheim Palace -Best Walks in the Cotswolds
  • Lower Slaughter to Bourton on the Water via Naunton -Best Walks in the Cotswolds
  • Malmesbury Abbey and riverwalk Best Walks in the Cotswolds
  • The Cleeve Hill Ring -Best Walks in the Cotswolds

CotswoldWalks , National Trust, Hiking