14 reasons (and counting) to visit The Cotswolds…

Eat Wild

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

4. Relaxation. Cowley Manor’s C-side spa near Cheltenham is the epitome of relaxation. Or the newly- opened Soho Farmhouse’s amazing Cowshed Spa.


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

6. Music. From the beat-boxing three combo Duke to the amazing Cornbury Festival via the uber-cool The Convent near Stroud and 2000 Trees music festival, in the top 10 of small festivals in the UK.



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’

8. Kid’s entertainment. Gifford’s Circus from May to September across the Cotswolds. Award-winning travelling circus. Or feed large reptiles at Crocodiles of the World, Burford.


Gifford’s Circus

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

10. Watersports. The Cotswold Water Park is bigger than the Norfolk Broads. Learn to fixed line water ski with WM Ski. Be a beach babe on the shore or you can just fish on one of the other lakes.


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).


The Woolpack

13. Shopping. Gloucester Quays designer outlet located at the world’s most inland port. Or the more boutique shops of Cheltenham’s Montpellier district, Cirencester or Chipping Campden.


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.


Crickley Hill

Where would you recommend is cool in The Cotswolds?  Tweet us at @rockthecotswold 

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