Step Back In Time With A Visit To This Charming English Countryside

Approximately 80 miles from London is an under-the-radar destination that is just as fun: the Cotswolds. This distinct region consists of six counties: Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, North Somerset, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, and Worcestershire. Likewise, it's made up primarily of greenery and countless villages like Broad Campden, Bibury (seen above), and Bourton-on-the-Water, to name a few. These villages are littered with cottages and manors. In other words, it will make all your cottagecore dreams come true and make you feel like you're in a Jane Austen novel. Best of all, the Cotswolds are easily reachable by train from London. 

Visitors can go from London Paddington station to Moreton-in-Marsh, a town in the Cotswolds, in less than two hours. From there, getting around by taxi is recommended. If you're traveling on a budget, the best time of the year to visit England and the Cotswolds is the winter.

While tourists can explore the Cotswolds via a day trip from Go Cotswolds, an overnight or a few days stay is recommended to get the whole experience. That's because the Cotswolds' many accommodations will make you feel like you've entered a time machine. 

For example, the reasonably priced, 13-room Porch House was built in 975 AD. Located in Stow-on-the-Wold, this is the oldest inn in Britain. The Lords Of The Manor Hotel in Upper Slaughter is a more luxurious option. The lavish hotel is housed in an expansive home from the 17th century. That said, it would be an understatement to say that there is much to see and discover in the Cotswolds.

History fanatics will adore the Cotswolds' many museums

Besides farmland and pastoral views, visitors will be happy to learn that the Cotswolds are home to significant museums. However, these specifically cater to individuals with a keen interest in history. In Cirencester, Gloucestershire, there's the Corinium Museum. Cirencester lies on what used to be Roman-occupied land, and the Corinium Museum has relics from this era and other significant periods in Britain's history. Admission for adults costs $9.

To get in touch with your inner child, visit the Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection. Located in Bourton-on-the-Water, this museum, highly-rated on Trip Advisor, is housed in a former mill from the 1700s. Visitors will find several rare cars, including a 1911 Alldays & Onions Victoria and other motorized vehicles on display. As the museum's name suggests, vintage toys, such as cars, figurines, and more, are also a highlight. Admission for adults is a little more than $9.

In Gloucestershire, there's Snowshill Manor (pictured above) a home from 1550. In the early 1900s, Charles Wade, an architect, purchased the property. Per the National Trust, he proceeded to decorate and fill the rooms with more than 16,000 random items that he collected. Although he died in 1956, visitors can walk inside the manor and its gardens to see Wade's artistic vision in its glory. Tickets for adults start at more than $15.

The Cotswolds' other top attractions

The Cotswolds encompasses 800 square miles. In other words, it's massive, and museums only touch the surface of a Cotswolds itinerary. So what else is there to do? Plenty. For animal lovers, there's the Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens in Bradwell Grove. This zoo is located on the grounds of a Victorian-era manor and has lions, giraffes, birds, and more. Tickets start at around $14.

Moreover, the Cotswolds is renowned for its gardens. Popular options to visit include Hidcote Manor Garden and Highgrove House Gardens. Hidcote, in Gloucestershire, has been around since the 1500s states the National Trust. The gardens, however, were created in the 1900s and include 10.5 acres of gorgeous greenery.

Highrove House and Gardens is located in Doughton and originated in the late 1700s. Although it is one of the homes of King Charles III, it is open to the public via tours and features a wildflower meadow and more. Highgrove's guests can enjoy the scenery with a light meal at its onsite restaurant, The Orchard Room. Tour dates throughout the year vary and can be booked online.

If you want to see a castle, the Cotswolds has that too. Sudeley Castle (pictured) in Winchcombe is the former residence of Katherine Parr, wife to Henry VIII. Guided tours of the castle are available. Likewise, visitors can explore the castle's gardens and St Mary's Church, where Parr, who died in 1548, is buried.