Secret Spaces in The Cotswolds
Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1966, the Cotswolds covers 787 square miles and is the second largest protected landscape in England (second to the Lake District) and the largest AONB. Its boundaries are roughly 25 miles (40 km) across and 90 miles (140 km) long, stretching south-west from Stratford-upon-Avon to Bath. Covering several English counties; mainly Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, and parts of Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.
The famous Cotswold Way is a long-distance footpath, for keen walkers. Over 100 miles long, running the length of the AONB, mainly on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment with views over the Severn Valley and the Vale of Evesham.
If you’re looking for somewhere with a surprise around every corner then look no further than the beautiful Cotswolds. A whole host of award-winning hotels, pubs and cottages as well as world-class food and drink can been be found amongst the quintessentially English market towns and villages.
You’ll find some of the world’s most famous – and beautiful gardens, as well as wildlife parks, castles including the glorious Secret Spaces Sudeley Castle. Don’t be put off by our lack of coastline, there are over 40 miles of lakes in the Cotswold Water Park and numerous gently winding streams, canals and waterways criss-crossing the picturesque towns and villages. Many Cotswold locations have featured in tv programmes and films – most recently Poldark, Downton Abbey and the Harry Potter films. If you’re after action, the annual cheese rolling at Coopers Hill, Birdlip involves chasing a 7lb Double Gloucester round of cheese down a 1 in 1 hill. The first person to reach the cheese gets to keep it!
Royalty aside, Kate Moss, Kate Winslet and Liz Hurley are the Cotswolds’ most famous residents. Alex James, the Blur bassist turned cheese maker, also lives here, as does Damien Hirst, who owns a 300-room Cotswold mansion called Toddington Manor.