The Cotswolds are a rural area in the south of England known for its rolling green hills, thatched medieval villages, quaint churches, and limestone manors. Its distinctive aesthetic has made it a top destination for international travelers, as well as a popular site for filming movies and TV shows. The unusual “Cotswold stone” (yellow limestone) and historic towns make it one of our favorite parts of the United Kingdom, and a perfect destination for our Quintessential Cotswolds culinary tour.
The Cotswolds benefited from a prosperous wool trade in the Middle Ages, and the traces of this wealth can be seen in the beautiful churches that were built with it. But these picturesque churches are only some of the things to see in the Cotswolds. There are several other interesting sites: perhaps the most famous is the town of Bath, featured in some of Jane Austen’s works, and her place of residence for several years. Bath is named for the Roman-built baths that you can still visit, and it boasts a 7th-century abbey (subsequently rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries). In the Georgian era the town became popular for the curative powers of the waters, which is why there is so much Georgian architecture surviving to this day.
Also of note is Arlington Row and Sudeley Castle. Arlington Row are 14th-century structures originally built as woolen stores and then converted to cottages for the weavers. It is a row of picturesque cottages in what is considered one of the most beautiful and charming towns of England, Bibury.
Sudeley Castle is a 15th-century structure with elaborate gardens and a chapel that houses the tomb of Katherine Parr, the last wife of King Henry VIII. She is the only English queen buried on private land.
Of course, these are only a few of the things you will experience on a culinary tour of the Cotswolds. What will be most memorable about a trip there will be the relaxing evenings on the terrace overlooking the countryside, the strolls through the quaint alleyways, and of course the new friends you make.
By Peg Kern
Sign up to receive our newsletter, which includes travel tips, recipes, promotions, and information on our best cooking vacations.