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The Buying Agent Insider Guide
Just where do The Cotwolds begin and end? That’s a question for the ages for this region of England known for its dreamy, yellow coloured stone-built villages, rolling landscapes and, in recent years, the kind of popularity among celebrities and royalty which means it has become even more of a magnet for house buyers.
One can see the appeal. This region marked through its spine by the Cotwolds Hills is not too far from the capital (it’s even commutable thanks to excellent road and rail links) and yet distant enough to provide sanctuary. House buyers can choose one of the busy, bustling towns or pretty villages in which to live or opt instead for tucked away homes set in rolling valleys in a region officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Cotswolds can now be regarded as so much more than a region – it is a brand, bring with it a cachet and charisma not found in many other rural areas of the United Kingdom. It’s the land of Laurie Lee and Cider with Rosie through to the ‘Cotswold set’ and their fabulous homes and lifestyles, taking in bucolic countryside and popular market towns and villages. To move to the Cotswolds is to make a statement it is hard to beat.
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Cheltenham – this lovely place offers all one would expect from a Regency spa town. Georgian properties jostle with modern apartments and new homes for the home buyer’s attention and there are excellent shopping and leisure facilities.
Stow-on-the-Wold – like walking around a filmset, Stow-on-the-Wold centres on its pretty, historic square and the properties for sale are often, as a result, quirky and characterful.
Cirencester – popular since Roman times, Cirencester is a town which retains its appeal for its wonderful mix of charming terraced properties, right through to modern homes sympathetically developed to fit in with the character which the community is known for.
Tetbury – browse the antique and bric a brac shops for which Tetbury is known – and then take time to look for a home too as you’ll be charmed and intrigued by the historical gems on offer, from terraced delights through to high-ceilinged mansions tucked away from public view.
Chipping Camden – dripping in history, this ancient market town built its fortunes on wool but it also now acknowledged as the centre of the region’s arts and crafts movement, bringing with it a popularity as place to work, rest and play which is unrivalled in the region.
Best hotels in The Cotswolds
Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa (https://www.lucknampark.co.uk) is rightly seen as byword for luxurious hotel living. From delightful dining options, to elegant rooms and exemplar service, not forgetting first class spa facilities, this is an away-from-it-all spot which is unmatched in the region. One can almost smell the history as you enter the Lygon Arms (https://www.lygonarmshotel.co.uk) this 600-year-old hotel in the petty village of Broadway. Relax in its cosy corners with a coffee in a comfy armchair and then take the creaky, wood-polished staircase up to your amazing room – before making the most of the hotel’s varied dining options. Take the long drive up to Tewkesbury Park Hotel (https://www.tewkesburypark.co.uk) and you won’t be disappointed with what you find at the end – a lovely historic house with sympathetic modernisation, offering a high standard of bedrooms and excellent cuisine in its restaurant with wonderful views.
Best restaurants in The Cotswolds
The Old Butchers (https://theoldbutchers.squarespace.com) is housed exactly where one would expect – in an old butcher’s shop in this pretty town. But don’t expect just the meat on the menu to be fabulous - there are plenty of other fabulous delights to treat yourself to. Le Champignon Sauvage (http://www.lechampignonsauvage.co.uk) has amassed many, many awards in the 30+ years it has been operating and it is not hard to see why, offering as it does fine dining classics, modern twists and tempting treats in a relaxed setting. The Wild Rabbit (https://thewildrabbit.co.uk) is a gastro pub with rooms where the menu can surprise and delight in equal measure.
Best schools in The Cotswolds
Cheltenham Ladies’ College (http://www.cheltladiescollege.org) has a reputation the world over and it is not hard to see why, offering as it does a consistently excellent education for girls aged 11 to 18 with an effective and enthusiastic pastoral outlook as well. Wycliffe College (https://www.wycliffe.co.uk) is a popular and successful independent school for pupils aged 13 to 19, with a linked prep school. Cheltenham College (http://www.cheltenhamcollege.org) has a strong academic record for the teaching of its pupils aged 13 to 19, with consistently good feedback from parents. There is a linked junior school too.
Buying Agents Cotswolds Fact
The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has a network of dry stone walls at least equivalent to the length of the Great Wall of China.