It’s the Cotswolds!

This idyllic spot is somewhere in the Cotswolds. Actually, it could be almost anywhere in the Cotswolds.

After our brief diversion into Wales, we resumed our Bit of England tour by settling down for three full days in the Cotswolds. Now you may be wondering, what in Thor’s name are the Cotswolds? If you have to ask, you’re obviously not British. Or at least, you’re not a proper Englishman/woman/person, no more than you are a “proper chip.” (That would be a thick, triple-cooked French fry.) Have I lost you? It’s all right. I may be lost too. I think I left part of my brain in the Cotswolds. (If I wanted to go for the full cheesiness effect, I could say that I left part of my heart there too. But George is still very much with me.)

With gorgeous vistas like this at every turn, you certainly could leave part of your heart in the Cotswolds.

So what are the Cotswolds? I’m still not sure exactly, even after having been there. I mean, I can tell you that “the Cotswolds” is the name of a region in England bordered roughly by the River Severn and Gloucester to the west, Oxford to the east, Bristol and Bath to the south, and uh, something to the north. (But if you find yourself as far north as Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, then…”there is a world elsewhere.”)

I felt very much at home in the Cotswolds.

But if you want to know what the heck a Cotswold is, or where to find one, I’m afraid I can’t help you. Wikipedia valiantly attempts (but ultimately fails) to clarify the etymology of the name. However, it does provide a map that helps locate the Cotswolds for those, like me, who haven’t brushed up on their English geography lately.

Just to make sure we’re perfectly clear, the yellow area would be England.

In the end, the precise borders of the region and the origin of the name shouldn’t matter much to travelers. Here’s all you really need to know about the Cotswolds: it is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. (Also known as an “AONB” – yes, that’s a thing.) Every little village in the region is so gorgeously adorable and impeccably British that you just want to wrap it up and take it home with you (or move there). And the main thing tourists get to do in the Cotswolds is experience one breathtaking landscape after another while being distracted along the way by lots of wonderful shopping, eating, and drinking. Perhaps this sort of vacation doesn’t appeal to you? A pity, that.

Even the sheep seem happier in the Cotswolds.
And the houses.
And the trees.

The local Cotswolds folk are impeccably British too. Service in restaurants, shops, and hotels is consistently courteous and gracious. You are made to feel welcome wherever you go. English humor and cheekiness shine through too.

The small print is where they get you.

Acknowledgment of their history and ancestry is also a big part of life in the Cotswolds.

A local church with its flag at half-mast, in honor of HRH Elizabeth II.
Even the long-ago dead are often well-remembered in these parts.
While the living are respected and appreciated.

So whatever “the Cotswolds” may actually mean, whether it involves hills (almost certainly), people of Old English descent (quite likely), or sheep roaming about (a strong possibility), the Cotswolds is a part of the world that we hope we have the good fortune to return to someday.

We found ourselves at this spot by way of Upper Low Street.
These cute little dwellings, if I’m not mistaken, were just past the corner of Higher Middle Street and Greater Lesser Street.
I have no idea what Charles and Diana might have been doing here or why it deserved a plaque.
Make sure you keep to the left on those abundantly wide Cotswolds roads!
A postcard moment in the lovely little town of…er, something-on-the-water, or maybe it was somewhere-in-the-marsh, or, well, who cares? It’s the Cotswolds!
Share this Post:


  1. caryl

    Positively beautiful and welcoming. Unfortunately I will probably never get there so being there thru you is wonderful.

    1. Craig David Singer (Post author)

      You never know where life may take you!

  2. Joe Lazzaro

    Thanks for the clarification- I always thought the Cotswolds were the lower left protrusion of England- my geography lesson for the day-

    1. Craig David Singer (Post author)

      At least you were in the ballpark! I had no clue. As it turns out, Cornwall is the protrusion. Though I’m not sure if they’d appreciate that choice of descriptors. 😃

  3. Tony

    Hi Craig, what a fascinating trip. And what fortuitous timing you had given the passing of the monarch. Your blog postings are very insightful about the mood of the people throughout the UK.

    Tony Z

    1. Craig David Singer (Post author)

      Thanks for reading the blog!

  4. Abbe Stampone

    I am enjoying your photos and commentary!! What a beautiful trip!

    1. Craig David Singer (Post author)

      We live to travel! 😃


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.