Apart from being a photographer’s dream, The Cotswolds is an area of all round beauty. Visiting this pretty part of the country is something I remember clearly from my childhood, and recently going for a revisit made me appreciate the area even more. The Cotswolds stretches over six counties and is made up of small market towns and quintessential British villages, built with the distinctive local limestone. From tearooms and restaurants to unique shops and castles, there’s so much to see in The Cotswolds that it was impossible to fit it all into one day. Here are some of the places I managed to visit on a day trip (and just a few of the hundreds of photos I took!)
It’s safe to say that I would happily live in any of the beautiful houses in this village. Bourton-on-the-Water is right in the heart of The Cotswolds, and apart from the stone-built houses, there are plenty of unique shops, tea rooms and restaurants to explore. It’s hard not to pick up a thing or two from some of the souvenir shops dotted around the village, and a walk along the river that runs through the centre is a must. I’ve not been lucky enough to visit around Christmas time, but I can imagine the Christmas lights and decorations in the village are just as pretty as the place itself.
Birdland Park and Gardens
Parrots, flamingos and penguins can be found in a tranquil English country garden setting a short walk along the river. Birdland Park and Gardens is a stones throw away from the centre of Bourton-on-the-Water, and is home to over 130 different species of birds. If you’re looking for something a little bit different to do, Birdland is definitely worth a visit. It might sound like something that only little kids would enjoy, but I found it interesting to have a look around and it really brought back the memories of visiting the park as a child.
Out of all the tea rooms and coffee houses I’ve been to, this has to be one of my favourites. What makes New England Coffee House unique is that it’s not only located inside a house, but it’s set out to make you feel as though you’re at home. Located in the town of Stow-on-the-Wold, you can choose from a number of different rooms to sit in, each with sofas, chairs, tables and lamps which give the coffee house a distinctive, homely feel. There are even family games to play and magazines to read, and the cakes, coffees and milkshakes on offer are all extremely delicious! This is a fab place to take a break, sit back and relax after wandering around the town.
This was the last stop on our trip, and another place I remember visiting when I was younger. Stow-on-the-Wold is a small market town with even more pretty houses and shops full of all sorts of Cotswolds souvenirs. In the town you’ll find plenty of places to eat and drink (including the New England Coffee House), individual boutiques and the quaint market square which sits in the centre of town. Again, around Christmas time, Stow is definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re looking for some last minute quirky gifts!