An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and deservedly so, this beautiful mixture of quintessentially English villages with thatched cottages and inns, rolling hills and farmland could have been designed for a picture postcard. Delightful cottages with honey-hued stone, gorgeous churches with spires viewed from all around, tea rooms that serve the best cream teas, almshouses.. the list goes on. Consisting of over 800 square miles and running through five counties, the area has various identities synonymous with each county but ‘the wolds’ – the gentle rolling hills and the beautiful Cotswold stone – makes its presence felt in all of them. The Cotswolds has a sporty edge too with Cheltenham for racing and Cirencester for polo, as well as towns such as Tewkebury, Stroud and Witney, but it doesn’t forget the arts, and is host to various festivals and creative events. For walkers, there is over 100 miles of the Cotswold Way to navigate with well-worn tracks of walkers, cyclists and horses of years gone by. This rural paradise of over 3000 miles of footpaths and bridleways is divided by 4000 miles of impressive Cotswold stone walls – you will find woods, nature reserves and meadows brimming with wild flowers. Children will love visiting and learning about the animals at Cotswold Wildlife Park and Cotswold Farm Park and don’t miss the Cotswolds stone model village on Bourton on the Water and the Cotswolds Heritage Steam Railway that goes from Toddington to the charming town of Cheltenham. For those who love visiting historical places of interest, there is Blenheim Palace and Sudeley Castle, and of course Batsford and Westonbirt Arboreta for those who are more green-fingered.