The Cotswolds is one of the most charming parts of England, making an ideal location for a last-minute cottage holiday. The butter coloured limestone cottages with their stone roofs and the beautiful churches with ancient yew trees guarding the entrances show the wealth that the area generated during the middle ages.
Leaving Oxfordshire behind and heading to Gloucestershire, the first town you come across is Stow-on-the-Wold, an old market town that in its prime sold as many as 20,000 sheep at its annual fair. The market cross is a reminder to merchants that they must honour their word and the narrow streets that lead off the square were designed so as to better control the livestock. The parish church has two interesting features; an 88ft spire, and a living tree incorporated in the main door. Most of the houses in the town are constructed of the local stone and there is a wonderful old coaching inn that you will probably recognise from some costume drama or another. The town of Stroud, in the southwest of the region has various attractions in and around it. A lively commercial centre, at one time there were 150 woollen mills in the town, the antiques and art trade continue to thrive. To the north the village of Painswick is a gem, hardly touched by mass tourism, whilst to the south in Woodchester you will find two examples of the builder's art. A Roman villa, with a vast mosaic, and Woodchester Manor, a half completed Victorian country house.
This area of the country is quintessentially English and has been filmed more times than almost any other. This is not to say that there is nothing to do for the more energetic as the Cotswold Water Park will cater to all tastes. As for Fairford airfield, the original launching point for the world's only supersonic airliner, this offers other activities. To say that this is an old fashioned part of England is not fair, and has something for all tastes, and all pockets.