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Holiday Cottages Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire lies at the heart of the Cotswolds, one England’s most charming areas. Holiday cottages in Gloucestershire provide popular bolt-holes within easy reach of London, Bristol and Birmingham yet you will instantly seem a million miles from the hustle and bustle of big city life.

The picturesque towns and villages of Gloucestershire provide the heartbeat of the Cotswolds, with vibrant markets, unique gift shops and traditional tea rooms.

The riverside city of Gloucester has the perfect balance of unspoiled historic attractions, with modern shopping and lively restaurants, sporting attractions and nightlife. Its rich heritage stretches back to Roman times, the Norman cathedral at the heart of the city’s College Green is a photo opportunity not to be missed, while the Victorian docks give a glimpse into Gloucestershire’s historic role as a bustling commercial port.

Beyond the county’s capital city, holiday cottages in Gloucestershire offer a wealth of rural attractions right on your doorstep.

The landscape is rich and varied, from the flat valley of the River Severn, awash with birds and wildlife, to the rolling peaks of the Cotswold Hills, a designated Area of Outstanding Beauty. For a special viewpoint, walkers can head to the highest summit of the Cotswold and Gloucestershire at the top of Cleeve Hill, more than 1,000ft high and accessible by routes from Cheltenham or the village of Whittington.

Views from near the summit can stretch out more than 90 miles across Gloucestershire and out to Exmoor in Somerset.

The ancient woodland of the Forest of Dean is another of the true natural treasures of Gloucestershire, covering more than 42 square miles of the county’s landscape. The forest has played a key part in the history of Gloucestershire having been inhabited since prehistoric times and now boasts remains of megalithic monuments, such as the Longstone visible form the farming village of Staunton and the Broadstone at Wibdon in Stroat. Evidence of Bronze Age farming systems has been found at Welshbury Hill while Iron Age hill forts provide unique additions to the forest scenery, for example in Welshbury and Symonds Yat.

The forest went on to play an important role during Roman times, through medieval times and then later as royal hunting ground for the Tudor kings.

For tourists, holiday cottages in Gloucestershire provide close access to the preserved natural beauty of the forest, rivers and hills, while the varied history of the area seeps into popular visitor attractions such as the Roman Villa at Chedworth, the remains of one of the largest Roman villas in the country, near the ancient Roman town of Cirencester. The natural springs of Cheltenham helped invigorate the town hundreds of years ago and now it is seen as the most complete regency town in the UK, providing a reinvigorating destination for visitors keen to relax in its spas or enjoy the historic architecture and distinctive streets.

For a true taste of Gloucestershire, no visit would be complete without some cheese. You can tuck into some locally produces Double Gloucester from the abundance of cafes, delicatessens and specialist shops throughout the county, while for those brave enough can even partake in the annual Cheese Rolling Race, a madcap chase to catch a rolling Double Gloucester down a steep incline at Coopers Hill taking place every May. Of course there are plenty of more serene ways to enjoy a taste of Gloucestershire than hurtling down a steep hill, but however you want to explore this beautiful country, holiday cottages in Gloucestershire provide the perfect base.

© 2011