Bourton On The Water
The Cotswolds have always been looked upon as the Heart of England. It is one of the few regions with an architectural style all of its own and the steeply pitched roofs, stone mullions and dormer windows are typical. Built almost exclusively in warm yellow Cotswold stone, this delightful village has such a unique appeal to visitors and residents alike.
Regularly voted one of the prettiest villages in England,
Bourton-on-the-Water has more than its share of Cotswold houses and cottages, many of them three hundred years old, some dating back to Elizabethan times four hundred years ago. There is plenty to see and do here and we hope this site and the information within makes your stay as enjoyable as possible.
Broadway has long been a favourite of the coach-tour brigade, and hordes of tourists descend upon its attractive, wide, main street every summer.
Yet for all that, Broadway is an attractive place, and if you can visit in off-peak season you'll find a lot to recommend the town. Above Broadway proper is Broadway Tower (sometimes called Beacon Tower or Fish Inn Tower) a striking folly built by Lady Coventry in the 1790s.
The Tower was once the home of Arts and Crafts Movement founder William Morris, and today is is the centrepiece of an extensive country park. It is said that on a clear day you can see 14 counties from the tower, and certainly the view over the surrounding countryside is superb.
Of the numerous lovely buildings in the town itself, perhaps the most notable is Abbot's Grange, a 14th century manor that once belonged to the abbots of nearby Evesham Abbey. The original hall, abbot's study, and chapel can still be seen, though the building was remodeled in the Tudor period.
Also worthy of special note is the Lygon Arms, once the local manor house, and now an inn. The Lygon has the distinction of having hosting - at different times - both Charles I and Oliver Cromwell. Almost opposite is the Tudor House, an attractive gabled stone cottage.
The town is a popular antique centre - not surprising given the number of tourists who visit every year.
Burford is situated in north Oxfordshire, twenty miles north of Oxford, and is considered the southern gateway to the Cotswolds. A beautiful old Cotswold town, its High Street sloping from the high Wolds, where you have beautiful views over the open countryside, down to the willow fringed River Windrush in the pretty Windrush valley. A fine three arched medieval bridge crosses the river at the foot of the hill.
To stand at the top of Burford High Street and look down at all the splendid houses and pretty cottages is like looking at a town from a storybook. Some of these old golden stone houses have seen the events of centuries, for some date back to the 15th and 16th centuries and remain unaltered in appearance; the Bear Inn and Crown Inn, the Old Bull Hotel and Bay Tree Hotel are all of this period.
The Bull however, like several other properties in Burford was given a new façade in Georgian times. Another example of this practice is The Great House in Witney Street. The fine four gabled house by the river is from the 16th century, built by Simon Wysdom. He left it to the Grammar School. Nearby are the old Almshouses, which were rebuilt in 1823. The Priory was a famous Elizabethan house, rebuilt in the early 1800's, which retains its Tudor gables and heraldic arms above the doorway. The Priory was owned by William Lenthall, Speaker to the Long Parliament and famous for defying Charles I.
Chipping Campden is one of the loveliest small towns in the Cotswolds and a gilded masterpiece of limestone and craftmanship.The main street curves in a shallow arc lined with a succession of ancient houses each grafted to the next but each with its own distinctive embellishments.
As the name suggests ("Chipping" means market or market place from the old English "Ceping"). Chipping Campden was one of the most important of the medieval wool towns and famous throughout Europe. This legacy of fame and prosperity is everything that give the town its character.
Campden was already established in the 7th century and derives its name from the Saxon "Campa-denu" or "Campadene", meaning a valley with fields or enclosures of cultivated land.
Chipping Campden's church, St. James, at the north end of the town, is perhaps,
In 1970 the High Street and much of the rest of the town was officially designated a conservation area to preserve the ancient town for centuries to come. the finest 'wool' church in the Cotswolds, with a magnificent 120ft (36 metre) tower and a very spacious interior. The church is famed for having one of the oldest altar tapestries (pre-reformation) and largest brass in England.
Stratford Upon Avon
Beautifully situated on the River Avon, Stratford-Upon-Avon has a number of attractions linked to the famous Bard. Explore this historic market town and its surroundings and discover where Shakespeare was born and grew up, where he gained inspiration for his work, enjoyed a "few" drinks and even where he used to poach deer!
There are five houses linked to Shakespeare and his family - all around Stratford-upon-Avon - where he was born, lived, worked and lies buried. In town visit Shakespeare's Birthplace. Hall's Croft where his daughter lived and Nash's House the home of his granddaughter. In the neighbouring village of Wilmcote visit Mary Arden's House - a rambling Tudor farmhouse which belonged to Shakespeare's mother. Anne Hathaway's Cottage nestles in the village of Shottery, on the edge of Stratford, and was the family home of Shakespeare's wife.
In Stratford Old Town by the River Avon is Holy Trinity Church - one of the most beautiful parish churches in England - where you can visit Shakespeare's grave. An easy way to find your way around the Shakespeare Properties is to take a tour on the hop-on, hop-off tour bus.