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Overall Experience

Cotswolds Visitor information


An Introduction to the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds, inhabited since the Neolithic period, has been declared an area of outstanding beauty since 1966. The region contains many small villages and towns, with picturesque scenery and architecture dating back to medieval times. The Cotswolds also contain many historical remains from the Roman regime to more recent remains.

Things to do in the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds are home to the historic Berkely Castle, the last home of King Edward II, and Bignor Roman Villa. Also within the region is Chavenage House, an Elizabethan manor house and the Cotswolds Motor Museum, which contains many vintage and classic vehicles. Also the Museum in the Park is located within Stratford Park.

Getting to the Cotswolds 

By Air

Both London Heathrow and Birmingham International airports are approximately an hour's driving time away from the Cotswold’s and also have train links.

By Train

The area is easily reached from London by train from either Paddington or Victoria, the journey time is around 1 and a half hours. There are many train stations within the area which link the different towns.

By Car

The motorway network provides easy access via the M4 or M40 from London and the South East, the M4 from Wales and the M5 from the North, Midlands and the South West.

By Bus and Coach

National Express coaches operate daily services from many parts of the UK to Cirencester and Cheltenham. From these destinations, local coach companies operate services to reach other towns and villages. Gloucestershire council run the majority of the public bus services.


Cotswolds History


The first Neolithic visitors came to the Cotswolds in about 3500BC. With the arrival of the Iron Age were the engineers of the impressive hill forts or camps

The Roman Legions arrived in AD43 under the command of Aulus Plautious and the army remained for several centuries leaving the Cotswolds rich in architectural remains.

The Saxons arrived from Germany in the fifth century, and during this period of unrest little is recorded and what is known is somewhat clouded in myth. After the death of the legendary King Arthur a battle took place at Dyrham in Gloucestershire and from here the cities of Bath, Cirencester and Gloucester were captured and Britain began to take the shape it is today.

After the wool trade reached its peak in the fifteenth century, the fortunes of the Cotswolds suffered a slow decline as its villages sank into picturesque decay. However in the 1800's it became popular for artists and writers which attracted tourists to the area. 

The following events are occuring in the area

Universities in Cotswolds

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