Tourist Attractions In The Cotswolds
The Cotswolds are area in the south west of England and has been designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty for some time now. The area is made up of attractive small towns and villages built of cotswalds stone, a limestone rich in fossils. This area prospered in the middle ages trading in wool and quite a few churches were built during this period. This area has remained affluent and has attracted wealthy people who have chosen to retire here or have second homes built here. With so many pretty villages, rolling green hills and quirky towns there’s lots to see and do in the Cotswolds. Here’s our guide.
Ancient Towns and Villages of the Cotswolds
The ancient towns and villages are steeped in history dating back 500 years and are an attraction for many tourists. These villages are made up of honey coloured limestone and have remained unchanged for the past many hundred years while blending with the bustling market towns. It was the demise of the wool trade that in fact led to the Cotswolds being forgotten and thus helped it preserve this area. This area is one of the unique areas in the UK that have undertaken no change over the last 300 years and are perfectly preserved. The best villages to visit are Bourton-on-the-water, Burford, Stow-on-the-wold and Northleach.
The Cotswold Water Park and Keynes Country Park
This water park has attractions for both adults as well as children of all ages. It is Britain’s largest water park with about 132 lakes. It caters to all outdoor activities including camping, nature reserves, nature parks, water sports, cycling, fishing, riding. There are also areas for safe summer bathing, lakeside cafes, areas for barbecuing, children’s play areas as well as a waterland outdoors activity centre. The Keynes area also has a disabled wheel chair access. This area is open all year round. Visit waterpark.org for more information.
The Cotswold Wildlife Park
Located near Burford, the Cotwolds wildlife park has much to offer to both adults as well as children. It has over 200 different types of animal species spread out over 200 acres of parkland and beautiful gardens. This park consists of a variety of plants with a Victorian manor house as a setting. The facilities at this park include cafes, picnic areas, adventure playgrounds, narrow gauge railway and a gift shop. This park is open all round the year.
Birdland in Bourton-on-the-Water
These are seven acres of woodlands, river and gardens. They are a habitat for over 500 birds like flamingos, penguins, pelicans, cranes. They also house over 50 aviaries as well as tropical, temperate and desert houses. There are picnic areas, cafes, play areas and a gift shop. This park is open all year round. Check out birdland.co.uk for more information.
For children there is also a miniature village which is a small-scale recreation of Bourton, through which children can stroll like giants in a Lilliput world. There is also a model train exhibition with working models of complex rail networks that can entertain children for hours. The miniature town even includes the miniature town in it! See if you can spot it.
Also Cotswold Motoring Museum and Toy collection is a place to visit for adults and older children. There is a collection of cars, motorcycles and caravans from TV series along with memorabilia. There is also a collection of teddy bears and rare pedal cars.
Getting To the Cotswolds
The Cotswolds lies between M5, M40 and M4 motorways. The area is also linked by railway, in the south by the Bristol-Bath-London high-speed line and in west by the Bristol-Birmingham mainline. Stations like Bath, Swindon, Oxford, Cheltenham and Worchester have connections to major cities right round the UK. It’s a wonderful area to drive around so I recommend hiring a car and taking a few days to enjoy the surroundings.
The weather in the Cotswolds is fairly mild year-long. Temperatures in winter generally do not drop below freezing and are usually in the high 30F while in summer the temperatures average near the 80F (26C). Most of the rainfall in this area is experienced in the fall and winter months while the driest months are between April to July. The UK has changeable weather at best so be prepared for the occasion shower.