The Cotswolds is full of charm, beauty and lots of history. Hopefully a few of these unusual facts may inspire you to go to a few spots around this beautiful part of England. Whether it’s to see where one of the greats used to live or to take part in the weirdest events you’ve ever heard of we hope you have a fun holiday exploring the Cotswolds…

 

  • The total length of Cotswold stone walls running through the Cotswolds is longer that the Great Wall of China
  • The annual cheese rolling at Coopers Hill, Birdlip involves chasing a 7lb double gloucester round of cheese down a 1 in 1 hill. The first person to reach the cheese gets to keep it
  • The Cotswolds is the largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in the UK
  • You can see the tallest hedge in the country in Cirencester. The 300-year-old yew hedge surrounding the Bathurst Estate is over 40 ft tall. It takes around 80 man hours for a team of two to give the hedge its annual cut. The clippings are used to make a cancer fighting drug
  • The village of Bourton on the Water sometimes has more visitors than residents during popular events such as the river football match held every August
  • Cirencester was the second biggest Roman town in Briton. Until recently it actually had a larger population in Roman times
  • The word Cotswold originates from the ancient English word ‘wolds’ meaning “gentle hills”
  • When the Romans arrived in AD47 they built many straight roads. The most evident still today is the Fosse Way. Supposedly they made them straight to avoid ambush on corners!
  • The Church of the Holy Trinity at Stratford-Upon-Avon is the most visited church in England as it’s where Shakespeare is buried
  • The local limestone gives the buildings of the Cotswolds their lovely unique glows. Cotswold stone from the North Cotswolds is typically honey coloured while in the South it is more golden
  • T.S. Elliot loved to visit the Cotswolds and attributed a number of his poems to inspiration whilst here. He apparently loved to visit Chipping Camden and take long walks in the hills
  • The stocks still at Stow-on-the-Wold date back to the 15th Century (although they have been replaced a number of times!)
  • The 150 plus lakes of the Cotswold Water Park were created through 50 years of gravel extraction and now make up an area larger than the island of Jersey
  • It is thought the Tetbury Woolsack Races originated in the 17th Century by young drovers showing off to local women by running up the hill carrying a woolsack. The race still runs today where competitors carry a 60 pound sack of wool up and down a 1 in 4 hill
  • William Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream was allegedly inspired by a wedding of one of the Berkeley family, of Berkeley Castle in the Cotswolds. Shakespeare himself was born and buried in Stratford-Upon-Avon
  • The Royal Agricultural University at Cirencester is the oldest farming university in the world and dates back to 1842
  • Jane Austin spend 2 years living in Bath which inspired her to write Northanger Abbey and Persuasion
  • Bourton on the Water is the most visited village in the Cotswolds
  • The Cotswolds covers 6 english counties and 80% is farmland
  • Lechlade is the highest navigable town on the River Thames by narrowboats and larger vessels. It is here where most swimmers set off when swimming the length of the Thames
  • The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has a population of 139,000 and attracts 38 million visitors each year. The area has one of the lowest population densities in England
  • Winston Churchill was born at Blenheim Palace. It was thought Adolf Hitler intended to make this beautiful estate his own after invading England. This might explain why it evaded any bombing during the war

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