Six ways to get a new take on The Cotswolds
Quaint tearooms in honey-coloured villages are all well and good – believe us when we say we’d be the last to decry a good cream tea – but there’s more to The Cotswolds than its clichés. Try the following:
Visit an old brewery – and a new distillery: Family-owned Hook Norton still occupies a Victorian tower brewery, while the nearby Cotswolds Distillery was founded in 2014 and uses local barley in its gin. Both offer tours.
Walk The Monarchs Way: Follow the long-distance footpath for 610 miles (yes really), tracing the escape route Charles II took after the Battle of Worcester in 1651. Cirencester lies en route.
Cycle to Burford: The 26-mile route between Cirencester and Burford runs through some of the finest countryside in the region – and finishes up in one of its most picture-perfect villages.
Visit “Downton”: The market town of Bampton doubled as Downton in the Downton Abbey TV series. Call into St Mary’s Church to see where Mary and Matthew got hitched – and Edith got jilted.
Try shin-kicking: The eccentrically wonderful, 400-year-old Cotswold Olimpicks take place in Chipping Campden on June 3. Have a go at everything from shin-kicking to sledgehammer-throwing.
Sprint through town on two wheels: Fancy some floodlit cycling? Cirencester hosts the Via Roma Twilight Town Centre Races on 31 August this year. Last call for entries is 9 August, so get training…