The Typical English Cottage

Thatched cottage in the Cotswolds village of Broad Campden

Great Britain is famous for many things, not least its scenic countryside and charming cottages. Here the refreshing greenery and cleanliness of the air are really amazing.

The countryside is also characterized by a pristine beauty including green hills sloping down towards rugged mountain ranges with hundreds of waterfalls, inhospitable gorges, sand eddies, cliffs, subtropical vegetation and numerous lakes.

It is a romantic setting composed of endless pastures and wheat fields. For certain aspects it reminds one of Tuscan landscapes; might this have been the reason why, in the Eighteen and Nineteen-hundreds, English literates moved to and celebrated Tuscany in their accounts and works?

Typically hedges and stone walls delimit the landscape. Here the heritage is without any doubt the pride of this friendly people.

An important part of the history of the place are the worldwide famous English cottages, especially those in the Cotswolds area. But it does not matter from which cottage you depart, in Britain there is always a bit of nature to discover.

Thatched cottage in the Cotswolds village of Broad Campden
A thatched cottage in the Cotswolds village of Broad Campden

The impressive castles, beautiful churches and stately country houses surrounded by beautiful gardens should not be left out from your programme of visits.

It would be a pity not to discover the ancient British traditions: cricket tournaments and horse races amongst them. But let’s not forget the afternoon tea; this is a lovely tradition that you can enjoy organizing a tea party yourself when renting a home or cottage.

Most of the times you will find a typical English tea set for your personal use. And how can you say no to having an abundant English breakfast, a “Full Monty”, perhaps in the garden, during a beautiful summer morning?

The English countryside is also famous for its small but lively pubs, still rooted in the ancient rural traditions. Having a pint with the locals adds so much flavour to your holiday!

The Village pub, Barnsley, Gloucestershire
The Village pub in Barnsley, Gloucestershire. It’s far more more chic than the name might suggest

As a matter of fact, cottages often started out as humble rural homes, although nowadays they have become desirable and fashionable, and can be quite prestigious properties.

The term indicates the typical country house of British provinces, intended for one family. Almost always cottages still in use are the result of subsequent additions and enlargements from what the original nucleus used to be.

This was carried on to satisfy the growing needs of a family. The resulting structure is very picturesque due to the combination of various colours and textures, but the most common appearance is composed of stone or bricks.

The typical cottage architecture and look can not only be found in private homes for rent, but also in many hotels, and summer and winter resorts.

Nevertheless, private cottage villas are the best way to enjoy a self catering holiday in the Cotswolds. Just imagine staying in a cozy and quaint English-style cottage. Rooms are fully furnished and comfortable, while fireplaces and fully equipped kitchens provide all the necessary for a romantic holiday in any season.

The intimate and romantic atmosphere of a cottage is ideal for a honeymoon or even just a weekend. These small country houses surrounded by nature are perfect to switch off and recharge your batteries.

A Walk in the English Countryside

3 Must-See Attractions in Castle Combe

Castle Combe, otherwise known as the Prettiest Village in England, is nestled in the southernmost corner of the Cotswolds. Visiting this sleepy, rural community is like stepping back into the 14th century.

Elegantly crafted stone houses, weavers’ cottages, stately gardens and narrow byways combine to create a traditional and picturesque English village.

While the castle on the hill made famous by the Normans no longer exists, the village of Castle Combe is a beautifully preserved example of the way life used to be in the English countryside. If you are out on a walking tour of Wiltshire, be sure to stop here to have a pint and explore its ancient sites and quiet charm. Here are three must-see highlights.

1. A 14th century Market Cross can be found in the centre of the village. These stone landmarks were used to signify the market squares in medieval times. Adjacent to the Market Cross, you will also find a Buttercross. This stone structure is where traders and market goers would tether their horses.

2. Located in the centre of the village, St. Andrew’s Church was built in the 13th century. The tower was added in the 15th century. Wealthy wool merchants funded the tower. The tower’s clock, which was designed by a local blacksmith, is the most famous attraction at St. Andrew’s Church. The clock is not only faceless, which makes it unique, but it is also considered to be one of the oldest working medieval clocks in England.

castle combe church

3. Take a stroll from the Market Cross to By Brook. By Brook is the river that powered Castle Combe’s wool industry in the Middle Ages. The Town Bridge and the Roman Bridge both span this river, and they are charming, well-preserved relics of a bygone era.

A Guide to Cirencester

Cirencester is a large town (not a city) in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds, with a population of around 19,000.

The town is often referred to as the capital of the Cotswolds and has a long history, stretching back to Roman times. In those days, the town was known as Corinium and was the second largest in Roman Britain.

Located 90 miles west (and slightly north) of London, to the south east of Cheltenham and Gloucester, and the north east of Tetbury, Cirencester is a very historic part of Britain and is a great place to learn about British history and architecture.

This Roman city will provide you with a fantastic travel experience.

Cirencester, the capital of the Cotswolds, has been around since the days of Alexander the Great and during the Roman Empire it was the largest city in England next to London.

The city is filled with amazing architecture like the church of St. John the Baptist, parts of which date back to 1115. 

The photo above shows the church of St. John the Baptist, Cirencester, looming over the market square.

Cirencester has a number of great attractions for you to enjoy including Cirencester Park with its lush geometric landscaping, the Cirencester Street Market and several walking tours that highlight the amazing landscape around the city.

There is still evidence of a Roman amphitheatre in Cirencester, although it has only been partially excavated.

The Gloucestershire Way walking tour features a 100 mile walk through the Cotswold farmland. The walking tours are a great environment for taking photographs and just enjoying the fresh air.

Other attractions in the Cotswolds area of outstanding natural beauty include

  • the Broadway Tower that was built in 1799
  • the Abbey House Gardens
  • Batsford Arboretum
  • Mill Dene Garden
  • the Bristol Aero Collection
  • the Chedworth Roman Villas
  • Rodmarton Manor
  • the Brewery Arts Centre
  • the Cirencester Amphitheatre

Corinium Museum

The Corinium Museum features many great artefacts that go back to the prehistoric days as well as exhibits from the Roman Empire that range from tombstones and mosaics to sculptures, artwork and more.

There are also relics and artefacts that have been unearthed by archaeologists around the area and examples of Victorian lifestyle during the 1800′s. The museum is open every day during various hours and an entrance fee is charged for admission.

The photo above shows a view of the Corinium Museum, Cirencester.

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Bristol Aero Museum

The Bristol Aero Museum in Cirencester features a number of aircraft exhibits from the Bristol Aeroplane Company as well as displays of British Aircraft, missiles and aircraft engines.

The Bristol Aero Museum also features several events throughout the year that display the company’s business practices and industry projects.

Cirencester also features many activities such as ballooning, cycling, horse riding, golf, fishing and more. There are also a number of artistic classes like pottery, wood turning and furniture restoration classes that you can take to learn various crafts.

The Cotswolds are known for great shops and arts and crafts heritage, where you can find British antiques and many art galleries that showcase the artists around Cirencester and the Cotswolds.

The city of Cirencester also includes many Cotswold villas that provide very comfortable lodging during your stay in Cirencester.

There are also several cottages, hotels and bed and breakfasts in the area for you to stay.

If you enjoy camping, there are some camp grounds nearby that offer spaces for tents as well as caravans. There are also several car rental agencies in the area that can provide you with a vehicle to get you around the area.

When you are looking for great holiday ideas for a getaway, check out Cirencester, in the Cotswolds, United Kingdom.