Undeniably beautiful, quintessentially English and beloved by tourists and locals alike, the lush rolling hills and picture-postcard villages of the Cotswolds are one of the country’s most popular spots. With glorious honey-coloured villages riddled with beautiful old mansions, thatched cottages, atmospheric churches and rickety almshouses, the region just oozes old-world English charm.
A boom in the medieval wool trade brought the area its wealth and left it with such a glut of beautiful buildings that its place in history is secured for ever more. If you’ve ever craved exposed beams, dreamed of falling asleep under English rose wallpaper or lusted after a cream tea in mid-afternoon, there’s no finer place to fulfil your fantasies. Just be aware that you won’t be alone – the Cotswolds can be besieged by tourists and traffic in summer.
Plan to visit the main centres early in the morning or late in the evening, focus your attention on the south or take to the hills on foot or by bike to avoid the worst of the crowds.