The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a picturesque region in south-central England, spanning across several counties, including Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, and Worcestershire.
Designated as an AONB in 1966, it covers approximately 787 square miles and is known for its idyllic landscapes, rolling hills, and charming honey-coloured limestone villages.
Visitors to the Cotswolds AONB can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, such as walking, cycling, and horseback riding. The area boasts an extensive network of footpaths, including the popular Cotswold Way National Trail, which stretches for over 100 miles through breath-taking countryside and historic sites.
Some popular destinations and attractions within the Cotswolds AONB from Hotel finder UK include:
1. Bourton-on-the-Water: Often referred to as the "Venice of the Cotswolds," this charming village features a series of low stone bridges over the River Windrush and offers a range of attractions, including the Cotswold Motoring Museum and the Model Village.
2. Stow-on-the-Wold: This historic market town is known for its impressive market square, surrounded by elegant buildings, antique shops, and art galleries. Stow-on-the-Wold is also home to St. Edward's Church, which features a unique doorway flanked by ancient yew trees.
3. Cirencester: As the largest town in the Cotswolds, Cirencester is often considered the "Capital of the Cotswolds." The town is rich in history, with Roman origins, and visitors can explore the Corinium Museum, Cirencester Park, and the impressive Church of St. John the Baptist.
4. Broadway: This quintessential Cotswold village is famous for its wide high street, lined with horse chestnut trees, and honey-coloured limestone buildings. Nearby attractions include Broadway Tower, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
5. Hidcote Manor Garden: This National Trust property features one of England's finest Arts and Crafts gardens, with a series of outdoor "rooms" that showcase beautiful plantings, water features, and intricate hedges.
6. Sudeley Castle: Located near Winchcombe, this historic castle has royal connections and beautiful gardens. Visitors can explore the castle's fascinating history and enjoy the stunning grounds, which include a romantic knot garden and a pheasantry.