For those who are visiting a city like London and want to escape for a couple of days from the stress, noise and bustle of the sprawling metropolis of the UK, you can take refuge in the relaxing countryside of the Cotswolds and visit some quiet towns in the nearby.
The beautiful hilly area of Cotswolds is two hours far away from London. It represents a splendid example of English countryside, full with pretty sceneries and fairy-tale villages where time seems to have stopped. In particular, the village of Castle Combe was proclaimed in 1962 the most beautiful village in England.
Castle Combe is a small village of 350 inhabitants in the county of Wiltshire, a hidden gem nestled in England’s countryside. First of all, you have to reach Bath from London, from Bath you can choose between a bus or a train directed to the historic town of Chippenham and then take a bus from there or a taxi.
You can enjoy the beauty of Castle Combe by walking from the top of the hill, from where you can admire a typical village pound, the typical construction of the English medieval villages with a stone wall.
After that, there is Dower House, a famous spot because it has been the location for the Dr. Doolittle film. Moreover you will find Market Cross, the place of the local market.
Then you will reach St. Andrew’s Church and following the principal road you will come across the darling bridge Bybrook and the Manor House, an England country-side hotel of the 1600s century.
This hotel is extremely beautiful and the surroundings are impressive, too.
You can reach it following the path from the Church of Castle Combe. You will stumble across the enormous Park with lots of green and then the Hotel.
The remains of the Castle can also be visited in the North of the village.
In order to come back to London, you can both take a bus to Bath or to Chippenham and then the train.
Bibury, “the most beautiful village in England” for William Morris, also famous for its grassy meadows, honey-coloured cottages and the River Coln that gently flows through the middle. It’s easy to understand why if you visit it: Bibury is a charming, typically Cotswold, village just a short drive from “The Capital of the Cotswolds”, Cirencester.
We reached Cirencester, a lovely market town with a fascinating history, from Chippenham via bus and then we took another bus to reach Bibury. We slept in Cirencester and for coming back to the hotel from Bibury, we called a Taxi because after the sunset there is no bus circulating. So the only option is the taxi.
Bibury is essentially famous for two things.
First of all, Arlington Row: it is a scene straight from a postcard. It’s a row of weavers cottages built of local stone next to the River Coln, the Bibury Trout Farm and the Saxon Church, the Church of St Mary. These are some of England’s most photographed and iconic houses and it’s easy to see why.
Second, the Swan: located on the enchanting banks of the River Coln, this former Cotswold coaching inn is the ultimate heaven for a peaceful escape, both for drinking/eating something or for sleeping.
Least but not last, Bath Spa is a well-known thermal city in the Somerset county of England, in the Cotswolds.
I used Interrail Pass to reach this zone from London with a train. It takes more or less one hour and a half.
The name of this city derives from the Roman baths (in English “baths”). The Roman Baths are a well-preserved thermae in the city of Bath. A temple was constructed on the site between 60-70CE in the first few decades of Roman Britain.
In Bath you can admire the Bath Abbey, the Parade Gardens and the Pulteney Bridge.
In the city center, lots of pretty cobbled streets make the atmosphere super nice. Moreover, it’s full of shops and restaurants for taking a break while strolling.
Least but not last, the Royal Crescent is worth a visit due to its perfectly geometrical architecture.
What’s more to say? I think that visiting England countryside and the Cotswolds is a good idea to explore and see what this country could offer besides London. So let’s take the opportunity to relax a little bit in here, you won’t regret it.