Lisa has expressed an interest in going to the Cotswolds on our next trip to the UK. I've been kind of avoiding them so far since I feel like they're a bit *too* storybook even for me, and I'm afraid they'll be too touristy. But these are just my impressions based on not much at all.
Have any if you been there? What do you think of them?
I've been through the Cotswolds on my way south to Reading and elsewhere but haven't stayed there. We stopped off in Bath on our way to Dorset a few years ago and admired the architecture. It was indeed very touristy. But I suspect the smaller towns and villages won't be.
Don't forget to bring your Victorian costume with you
What time of year? It's very much an outdoor experience. Ideally you'll pick a time when it's going to be partly sunny and fairly warm but everyone else thinks it will be cold, windy and wet.
I used to live in Bath which although not really in the Cotswolds claims to be "the gateway to". The Cotswolds is broad and isn't a very precisely defined area. And my aunt and uncle live in Castle Combe which most definitely is Cotswolds, and for example they can't change the style of their stone walls or their slate roofs in any way.
Scratch that - the Wikipedia article says it is a precisely defined area, defined by the bed of Jurassic limestone underlying it, and that Bath is part of it. (And even more precisely defined as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, AONB ... which doesn't include most of Bath, on account of not being natural I suppose.) Certainly Bath uses a lot of the lovely honey-coloured Cotswold stone.
I think my not-very-defined impression comes from the tourist magnet effect leading anything remotely nearby to claim "Cotswold area"!
Anyway, it's very lovely. Classic storybook England, and what's wrong with that?
Yes. I have been to the Cotswolds. Only as a day-tripper, though. I reached it from Oxford, where I caught a tour in a Landrover with a local and her mutt, MadMax Tours (Madelyne and her dog Max). I rated that tour very, very high and I understand that she is still running it, but I'd guess she's on a Max at least a couple since the one I met. I think she might be based in Bath, but she picked us up at the IYH hostel in Oxford and took us through Burford, Great Barrington, Bourton-on-th-Water, Upper Slaughter, Lower Slaughter, Lower Swell, Stowe-on-the-Wold, Moreton-in-Marsh, Chipping Camden, Mickleton, and out throught Upper Quinton, to Stratford-on-Avon. Maddy, our guide picked the sites, picture stops, estate rambles, refreshment stops, lunch, shopping in Stowe-in-the-Wold, and advised all of her six charges about the pitfalls of Stratford-on-Avon, all with a wry approach. Max was a real treat. She picked us up at the hostel at 9 am and delivered us back to hostel after beating retreat down the M40, after dark in late summer. It was a long day and well worth whatever we paid at that time (in the last millenium).
Keep in mind that Glastonbury, for Arthurian nerds, is very, very close, and I highly recommend the Chalice Garden and a stroll to the top of the Tor. All other sites expensive or excessively woo. I have never seen as many candle and incense dealers in one place at one time.
Also, the great henges, Avebury and Stonehenge, are also within easy striking distance, and I believe MadMax tours them all (but not on the same day).
(And JoeP...Everybody keeps talking about the "lovely honey-colored stone of the region" as represented in the buildings in Bath. I personally thought it was hideously boring to see all the buildings constructed of the very same stone type. It was like the city was chiseled out of mudpiles of the local muck. I much preferred Bristol. Just my preferences, I suspect.)
Post by raspberrybullets on Oct 4, 2016 8:52:38 GMT
I haven't been, but in general I find touristy places are touristy for a reason. They are worth seeing! And there are always "off the beaten track" places no matter how touristy a place is. The walking paths is a great idea, one of my favourite ways to experience a place.
The sight filled the northern sky; the imensity of it was scarcely conceivable. As if from Heaven itself, great curtains of delicate light hung and trembled. Pale green and rose-pink, and as transparent as the most fragile fabric, and at the bottom edge a profound fiery crimson like the fires of Hell, they swung and shimmered loosely with more grace than the most skillful dancer. ~ Northern Lights