1. Great food and drink exists outside London. From Cheltenham’s The Core raw food bar or Eat Wild, Cirencester to Sibling Distillery producing gin in a glass & stainless steel distillery.
2. Designers. Shirtmaker Emma Willis dressed 007 on the Spectre red carpet. All done in her beautiful Grade 2 listed Gloucester factory. The Duchess of Cambridge has worn the jewellery of Scottish Columbian jewellery designer Catherine Zoraida, based in Cirencester. There’s also knitwear designer Caitlin Charles-Jones, tipped by Vogue Talents ‘Ones to Watch’.
007′s Daniel Craig dressed by Emma Willis
3. Adventure. You don’t have to be rich and over 50 to enjoy the Cotswolds. Stroud-based Rush Skate Park is the largest single covered skate park in Europe. Conquer one of the UK’s tallest climbing walls at Far Peaks Climbing near Northleach.
Rush Skate Park
Cowley Manor’s C-side spa
5. Festivals. From Cheltenham Literature, science and jazz festivals to a riot of colour at Art Couture Painswick. The summer is packed full of festival fun across the region. And don’t forget Cheltenham racing Festival in March.
Cheltenham Literature Festival
7. Art. Turner Prize winner Damien Hirst lives in the Cotswolds. Chalford’s Pangolin Editions foundry has worked with some of the foremost sculptors of our time. Self taught modern artist Swarez exports his art across the world.
Pangolin Editions with Damien Hirst’s ‘The Miraculous Journey’
9. Accommodation. From the Lakes by Yoo, designed by Jade Jagger and Kate Moss, to the quirky, gorgeous Oak House No.1, Tetbury (where you might bump into Royalty). Or a luxury camping village, Dome Garden, in the Forest of Dean.
Oak house No.1
Cotswold Water Park
11. Gastro pubs. The Swan at Southrop (and you can learn to cook next door at the pub’s Thyme School of Cookery). Or the Five Alls at Filkins, Lechlade. The Kingham Plough. Or meet the Chipping Norton set at the Feathered Nest.
The Swan at Southrop
12. Traditional pubs. Bump into actor Keith Allen at The Woolpack, Slad (Laurie Lee’s local!) or visit the Mason’s Arms, Meysey Hampton, overlooking on a traditional village green (it’s even got a pump).
Milliner Louise Pocock, Chipping Campden
14. Views. Look across Severn vale to the Malvern Hills & Wales from Crickley Hill, Birdlip (but don’t go on May Bank Holiday when the annual cheeserolling starts). Arlington Row, Bibury.
Where would you recommend is cool in The Cotswolds? Tweet us at @rockthecotswold