Tourist Information in Cotswolds
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Cotswolds Tourist Information

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Anyone in search of the true English countryside need look no further than the Cotswolds, considered by many to be amongst the most beautiful areas in England.

Two things above all give the Cotswolds their special warmth and richness; the soft, natural limestone and the wealth of the wool trade in days gone by which has left a heritage of superb buildings.

The Cotswold Hills rise gently from the green meadows of the Upper Thames and its tributaries in the east to the great western escarpment where the hills plunge dramatically into the Vales of Severn and Evesham.

The river valleys cutting through the plateau form the setting for many of the small towns and villages, which are the great delight of the Cotswolds and seem almost to 'grow' in the surrounding landscape.

Less well known are the many smaller villages away from the main roads, each with its own secrets waiting to be discovered by the more adventurous traveller with time to go deeper into the real Cotswolds - perhaps an unspoilt historic church set on an older, iron age rampart, an un-assuming country pub with a log fire burning in the hearth, serving locally brewed real beer and good food, or a stone bridge spanning a crystal clear stream - each one in its unique setting, given harmony by picturesque cottages and imposing manor houses of Cotswold stone.

In former times Cotswold towns had an importance which is belied by their modern air of quiet prosperity.


Images of The Cotswolds

The Romans arrived in the Cotswolds around AD47 and built the Fosse Way and Ermin Street as military roads which still form the backbone of the road system. Cirencester, then Corinium, was originally built as a defensive fort to protect these great arteries from attack, but as the frontier moved westward the Cotswolds entered a period of civilised affluence which continued for nearly 400 years.

Corinium with its large houses, public buildings and amphitheatre just outside the town wall was second in importance only to London. Several opulent villas were built at this time and a partly surviving one may be seen at Chedworth in a delightful woodland setting. The award winning Corinium Museum in Cirencester now houses one of England's best collections of Roman material and displays it with great imagination to show how the Roman settlers really lived.

The golden age of the Cotswolds came with the growth in the wool trade in medieval times. The native Cotswold sheep produced a very long, thick fleece. Cotswold wool provided more than half of England's cloth and was exported to the continent, and the trading, processing and weaving brought great wealth to towns like Cirencester, Tetbury, Fairford, Northleach, Stow-on-the-Wold and Chipping Campden. The wool merchants built themselves splendid houses and endowed the magnificent wool churches which dominate so many Cotswold towns and villages.

Today the Cotswolds have a magnetic attraction for artists, naturalists, walkers and everyone with a love for rural peace and tranquillity. Exploring the real Cotswolds at any time of year is a rewarding experience, each season throwing a different light on the changing scene. An area of outstanding natural beauty and interest itself, the Cotswolds are an excellent centre for visiting nearby heritage towns - the Regency Spa Towns of Cheltenham and Bath, and Gloucester with its magnificent Cathedral. Less than two hours from London by road or rail, make the Cotswolds your centre for the Heart of England.


Oxfordshire wheat fields with the Cotswolds in the distance
Picturesque Bourton-on-the-Water
Traditional Cotswold cottages and gardens
Vineyard Street, Winchcombe
Lower Slaughter has the River Eye as its focal point


Tourist Information Centres

1 Cotswold Court
Tel: 01386 852937

The Brewery, Sheep Street, Burford, Oxon
Tel: 01993 823558    Fax: 01993 823590

77 Promenade, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 1PJ
Tel: 01242 522878   Fax: 01242 255848

The Old Police Station, High Street, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, GL55 6HB
Tel: 01386 841206   Fax: 01386 841681

Park Street, Cirencester, Glos, GL7 2BX
Tel: 01285 654180

High Street, Coleford, Gloucestershire, GL16 8HG
Tel: 01594 812388   Fax: 01594 812390

28 South Gate Street, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL1 2DP
Tel: 01452 421188   Fax: 01452 504273

Cotswold District Council Offices, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 0AZ
Tel: 01608 650881   Fax: 01608 651542

7 Church Street, Newent, Gloucestershire, GL18 1PU
Tel/Fax: 01531 822468

Hollis House, The Square, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, GL54 1AF
Tel: 01451 831082   Fax: 01451 870083

The Subscription Rooms, Kendrick Street, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 1AE
Tel: 01453 760960   Fax: 01453 760955

33 Church Street, Tetbury, Gloucestershire GL8 8JG
Tel/Fax: 01666 503552

The Museum, 64 Barton Street, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, GL20 5PX
Tel: 01684 295027   Fax: 01684 292277

Town Hall, High Street, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire GL54 5LJ
Tel: 01242 602925   Fax: 01242 573902


Useful links

For further information about Stroud see

Winchcombe community and information site:

Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty website: