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The Cotswolds, Travel Britain

Welcome to one of England's most beautiful areas, with its unique heritage!

Anyone in search of the true English countryside need look no further than the Cotswolds, considered by many to be amongst the most beautiful areas in England. Two things above all give the Cotswolds their special warmth and richness; the soft, natural limestone and the wealth of the wool trade in days gone by which has left a heritage of superb buildings.

The Cotswold Hills rise gently from the green meadows of the Upper Thames and its tributaries in the east to the great western escarpment where the hills plunge dramatically into the Vales of Severn and Evesham. The river valleys cutting through the plateau form the setting for many of the small towns and villages, which are the great delight of the Cotswolds and seem almost to 'grow' in the surrounding landscape.

Several of the Cotswold villages such as Bibury and Bourton-on-the-Water are world famous as the quintessence of the English rural scene. Less well known are the many smaller villages away from the main roads, each with its own secrets waiting to be discovered by the more adventurous traveller with time to go deeper into the real Cotswolds - perhaps an unspoilt historic church set on an older, iron area rampart, an unassuming country pub with a log fire burning in the hearth, serving locally brewed real beer and good food, or a stone bridge spanning a crystal clear stream - each one in its unique setting, given harmony by picturesque cottages and imposing manor houses of Cotswolds stone.

Today, the Cotswolds have a magnetic attraction for artists, naturalists, walkers and everyone with a love for rural peace and tranquility. Exploring the real Cotswolds at any time of the year is a rewarding experience, each season throwing a different light on the changing scene.

Less than two hours from London by road or rail, make the Cotswolds your centre for the Heart of England.

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On this day:
Battle of Bannockburn - 1314, Battle of Sluys - 1340, First Recorded Tynwald Day - 1417, Punch Invents the Cartoon - 1843, Mersey Tunnel Opens - 1971, The Humber Bridge Opens to Traffic - 1981
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