Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Beauty and History of the Cotswolds

This sponsored post comes to us from Amanda at Web Cottages. A great resource for all your UK vacation rental needs. They have competive rates and lovely properties.

The Cotswolds area is generally regarded to be the most quintessentially English area of the UK and the place to visit if you are looking to experience the England of yesteryear. Situated in the southwest region of England, the Cotswolds are the largest designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the country and is a popular holiday area for both English and international visitors. There is so much to see and do in the Cotswolds, from relaxing weekends spent wandering the ‘wolds’, or a week long cultural escape spent exploring the stately homes and museums of the area. Web Cottages have a great selection of Cotswold cottages in the region, as well as some great suggestions for where to visit when you are in the region.
Shakespeare's Birthplace

Shakespeare’s Birthplace – Stratford-upon-Avon
The writings of William Shakespeare are famous the world over and there are few places in which to feel connected to English history than at his birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon. This beautiful little village is home Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust and here you can visit the home of his birth, the family cottage of his wife, Anne Hathaway, and the homes of both his mother and daughter. The Trust runs a variety of Shakespeare themed events throughout the year that are sure to be interesting to both fans of ‘The Bard’ and those with just a general interest in the famous playwright. What better place could there be to introduce children to the classics of Shakespeare? They can even participate in a real archaeological dig!
Westonbirt Arboretum
Westonbirt ArboretumGloucestershire
There are few places that offer a more relaxing day out then a beautiful English country garden, and Westonbirt Arboretum is no exception. This National Arboretum set in the stunning south Cotswolds offers endless activities for visitors including nature trails, staff led tours, a shop and plant centre, and restaurant and cafe. From August 25-27 Westonbirt will host Treefest, a four day family festival with live music, local food, and creative workshops. One of the most unique draws to the festival will be Big Carving - three expert wood carvers use their skills to transform tree trunks into works of art that will be installed along Westonbirt’s new natural play trail in Silk Wood. That is sure to be something you won’t see every day! Tickets to the event are sure to sell out fast so make sure to start making your plans early!

Ragley Estate

Ragley Estate – Alcester, Warwickshire
If there is one thing that the English do exceptionally well it is a state home. Ragley Estate is today the family home of the Marquess and Marchioness of Hertford but welcomes thousands of visitors a year to experience the grandeur of the Robert Hooke designed Palladian House. On a bright summers day you can spend hours exploring the 400 acres of parkland that was designed by the famous Capability Brown, and includes 10 hectares of formal gardens surrounding Palladian House. For the more adventurous in your group, there is an Adventure Playground with a 3D maze, trampoline, climbing frames and swings. Ragley Estate really does have something for everyone.
The Cotswolds region really is a wonderful place to experience all the best of England. You are sure to be enchanted by the beauty of this unique area, and you will quickly understand why so many people come to visit the area again and again. Visit for a wonderful selection of Cotswold holiday cottages.

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