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Visit An Area Of ‘Outstanding Natural Beauty’ In The Cotswolds Of England

Cotswolds landscapes
Cotswolds landscape in England [Image by Siggy Nowak from Pixabay]
Located in central England, the Cotswolds was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty back in 1966. Among England’s many pretty landscapes, this area is a remarkable place to visit on a UK vacation. Meanwhile, the Cotswolds include a series of rolling hills dubbed the Cotswolds Hills, which run from the meadows of the upper River Thames area through an escarpment. The escarpment is dubbed the Cotswold Edge and stretches just above the Severn Valley and Evesham Vale.

What to see in the Cotswolds of England

Castle Combe - pretty village
Castle Combe – Pretty Village [Image by Derek Murray from Pixabay]
Dotted through the region are several quaint and historical villages and towns. In each, the houses have been crafted from the usual, honey-colored Cotswold stone, quarried in the area. Meanwhile, the villages nestle in what is considered a rare landscape for the UK – a type of grassland habitat formed by the Jurassic limestone bedrock here.

While the landscape is beautiful, the villages, seemingly sprouting from the environment naturally led to the area being designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Moreover, this honor comes mainly from the rare grasslands, but also from some beautiful and ancient beech woodlands throughout the region.

Beautiful landscapes
Beautiful landscapes [Image by Jason from Pixabay]
Meanwhile, the Cotswolds are considered the last refuge for many species of flora and fauna. Part of the achievement of the designation is the duty to protect those species. Moreover, within this area are five European Special Areas of Conservation and more than 80 Sites of Special Scientific Interest. But that’s not all, as there are also three nature reserves.

Soon after it was declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a special voluntary warden service was set up to protect the Cotswolds. These days, more than 300 wardens are working in and protecting the area.

Where is this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty?

Walking the Cotswold Way
Cotswold Way [Image by Malcolm West from Pixabay]
Measuring some 25 miles across and 90 miles long, the Cotswolds stretches in a south-westerly direction from another iconic location. The area starts close to Shakespeare’s famous home of Stratford-upon-Avon and just south of the historic city of Bath.

Moreover, the region crosses several counties, with the majority in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. However, it also spreads into Somerset, Wiltshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. This makes the Cotswolds the largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the United Kingdom.

History in the Cotswolds

Pretty village in the Cotswolds
Village in the Cotswolds [Image by Vicky Morrison from Pixabay]
The Cotswolds have been a popular location over the centuries, as can be seen from the ruins of Neolithic settlements, as well as Bronze and Iron Age forts on Cotswold Edge. Besides the natural beauty, this makes the area a fascinating visit for those who love history and archaeology.

In good weather, hikers and walkers can enjoy a beautiful walk on the Cotswold Way, stretching for 103 miles through the area. Most of the walk heads along the edge of the escarpment, boasting views of the Vale of Evesham and the pretty Severn Valley. While hikers might not wish to do the entire walk, several viewpoints are located along the way offering panoramic views.

Readers can find out more about the Cotswolds, its landscapes and history from the video included below. Also, visit the area’s official tourism website here. Watch this space for more information about the area, including attractions to visit.




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