Cotswolds - the true English countryside?

The Cotswolds are famous throughout the world for the beauty of their towns, villages, rolling hills and valleys lined with deciduous woodland.

Arguably, two things have shaped the Cotswolds into what they are today. The mediaeval wool trade took advantage of the rich pastureland and formed communities of small villages centred around the main market towns, such as Moreton-in-Marsh, Chipping Campden and Cirencester. It also lined the pockets of local farmers and merchants and lead to the building of some remarkable homes.

Homes, farms, villages, towns and dry-stone walling are all crafted from the second thing that makes the Cotswolds so unique. Cotswold stone - quarried for centuries from rich limestone seams that run through the hills - it gives the whole area a sympathetic, local feel as if everything really belongs.

There is more to do than just look though!

The Cotswolds is packed with things to do and see. We have picked a few highlights that are closest to Meon View below, but this is by no means an exclusive list.

Conservation and exploring the Countryside

The whole area has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It contains internationally important lowland beech and yew woodland and an estimated 4000 miles of drystone walling.

  • Take a walk along the Heart of England Way that runs through Quinton
  • Sample some of the 3000 miles of trails and footpaths, some very challenging, others that begin and end in the village pub!
  • Learn to build and maintain a drystone wall with the Drystone Walling Association
  • Cycle some of the quiet lanes and bridleways - the views at the top are always worth it
  • Work with the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust to improve habitats on its reserves
  • Dover's Hill is a renowned local beauty spot and its display of Bluebells is spectacular

History and Architecture

Wool from the native Cotswold breed of sheep provided half of mediaeval England's cloth. That brought wealth and with it some fine houses and 'wool churches'. But of course the Cotswolds can share more than that, over 6000 years of history in fact.

  • Lower Quinton's Church is a landmark in the area and worth a visit
  • Snowshill Manor and its a fascinating collection of curios from all over the world
  • Chipping Campden, one of the best preserved 12th century towns famous for its market halls
  • Broadway Tower, an unusual mini castle has views of 13 counties
  • Meon View has a roman fort at the top

Market towns and pretty villages

The Cotswolds have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to beautiful places to stop for lunch, or spend an hour or two exploring.

  • Chipping Campden is a "jewel in the crown" of Cotswold towns, and is the closest to Meon View
  • Moreton-in-Marsh is set around its wide High Street and is still a market town boasting the Cotswolds largest open air market every Tuesday.
  • Stow-on-the-Wold is a famous centre for antiques. It has a market square at the centre of the village that is able to cope with up to 20,000 sheep!
  • Bourton-on-the-Water is another of the Cotswold towns centred around a river, the River Windrush, the reason for its nickname the Venice of the Cotswolds.
  • Broadway is a renowned beauty spot on the edge of the scarp that overlooks the Vale of Evesham


Towns like Stow and Moreton are crammed with antique and craft shops, perfect for losing an afternoon in, but the Cotswolds really excel when it comes to markets.

  • Stow and Bourton-on-the-Water have monthly farmers markets
  • Moreton-in-Marsh has a weekly market in the main street
  • Chipping Campden has a weekly WI market


The Cotswolds has many beautiful gardens and arboreta, some open to the public, others available when you can catch them through the National Gardens and Red Cross Schemes.

  • Hidcote Gardens, run by the National Trust, is the most local to Meon View and is world-famous.
  • Sezincote, Bourton House and Mill Dene Gardens are other manor house gardens that typify the Cotswolds
  • Batsford Arboretum is another world-famous collection, boasting over 1000 specimens of tree


Visiting this area of the country you really are spoilt for choice when finding something to occupy a few hours. This is just a selection of what is available...

  • Birdland Park (Bourton), Cotswold Falconry Centre (Moreton), Cotswold Farm Park (Guiting Power), Cotswold Wildlife Park & Zoo (Burford)
  • Bourton Model Railway, The Model Village (Bourton), The Toy Museum (Stow)
  • Cotswold Pottery (Bourton), Guild of Handicrafts (Chipping Campden), The Silk Mill (Chipping Campden)
  • Hailes Abbey (Winchcombe), Sudley Castle (Winchcombe), Hidcote Manor, Snowshill Manor


And last but not least the Cotswolds boasts a yearly program of events, from the international to the bizarre, that can rival anywhere in the country.

  • National Hunt Festival, Cheltenham
  • Cotswold Olimpyck Games, Chipping Campden
  • Hailes Music Festival
  • Moreton Show
  • Gatcombe Horse Trails
  • Cheese Rolling, Brockworth
  • The Royal International Air Show, Fairford



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