Gloucestershire is a large county situated in southwest England. The main town is Gloucester, but nearby is the floral town of Cheltenham, for beautiful flower displays, ancient buildings and the famed Cheltenham’s Ladies College.
Bristol used to be part of Gloucestershire, until it moved away to become its own maritime port authority. The town of Stroud is known for its local currency and a real indie feel, and home to many innovative companies (Ecotricity offers energy not generated from animal waste – and makes gas from grass!
The Cotswolds is England’s largest area of outstanding natural beauty, situated near the towns of Gloucester and floral Cheltenham in southwest England. Often known as a place where burned-out rock stars retire, this charming area of honey-coloured buildings sits on the edge of gorgeous countryside.
The total length of the walls in this area is longer than the Great Wall of China! Bourton-on-the-Water is the most popular village and nearby Cirencester is a Roman town and thte church where Shakespeare is buried (he was raised in nearby Stratford-upon-Avon which has more tourists in England, bar London). Another literary figure inspired by this area is Jane Austen, who lived in nearby Bath.
Nearly all of the Cotswolds is working farmland, although you can enjoy leisure time in many of the pretty villages or go wild-swimming or take a trip down a narrowboat on one of the many canals. Though it may be best avoid high-season, to avoid all the tourists!