The Cotswolds: real life storybook sceneries


Have you heard about the Cotswolds? If you don’t live in the UK, you probably haven’t… and even if you do live here, and are a bit more absent minded about geography, you might have lost the reference. The first time I noticed the Cotswolds was where most millennial get their info: Instagram. Cotswolds are instagramable. And why? Think about those illustrations in your childhood storybooks. Then think about the hobbit, and, if you’re into Jane Austen, imagine all those views in real life. Yes, that’s all you’ll find in the Cotswolds.

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Cotswolds is the name given to an area in south England, including some counties mainly in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, classified as an Area of Outstanding Beauty. It is indeed! Beautiful little villages are the biggest attraction, build out idyllic cottages, build in honey coloured brick, decorated with flowers, walls covered in ivy. It’s indeed beautiful. Or, adopting the so British expression, absolutely lovely.

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However, as you may guess, if you don’t own a car, it’s not easy to visit the Cotswolds. There aren’t train stations nearby, and you can’t really do “village hopping” without knowing where to go. So, we’ve decided the best way to go was on a tour. There are dozens of companies, but as I had had a good experience with Golden Tours, we decided to go with the one that also included a visit to the Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill. The bus departs from London, Victoria, early in the morning, and we were back in the evening right in time for dinner.

The tour took us in the morning throughout 3 villages: Burford,  Bourton-on-the-Water and Stow-on-the-Wold. The afternoon was reserved to the palace.

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I cannot really tell you which village I liked the most, because the whole thing is an attraction by itself. They are quite small, but adorable! We were really lucky with the weather, as it was the end of September, the trees are starting to get the most beautiful autumnal colours, and the sun granted us with it’s orange light that I find perfect not only for photos, but for my mood as well.

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Bourton-on-the-Water was where we spent most time, as it was bigger than the other villages. It was also more lively, and it’s called the Venice of the Cotswolds. Don’t be fooled though. Any place with a small canal and some little bridges is called the Venice of somewhere nowadays!

Blenheim Palace wasn’t as great as I expected. I was expecting a WoW factor that I did get when I saw the huge natural beauty surrounding it. I was astonished and no words can describe how beautiful and breathtaking are the surroundings. That’s when everyone actually pronounced a WOW. I did again when I saw the beautiful library inside the palace. To be honest, I really just wanted to live in there.

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If you fancy a day out of London, or you want to see more of the UK, I strongly recommend the Cotswolds. You won’t regret it!

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