World Walks offers walking and cycling holidays around the world – it is easy to forget, therefore, that we have some of the best facilities for these activities right on our own doorstep here in England. We live and work in the Cotswolds, which is a magnificent area of gentle hills and gorgeous villages built out of the local golden limestone, all linked by a network of footpaths and quiet roads, and just a couple of hours west of London.
Furthermore, the range of accommodation – from good B & B to luxury country house hotel – is exceptional, which means that a holiday here can be both exhilarating and comfortable. Oh, and the food – for anyone thinking that English food consists of boiled vegetable and roast beef, think again. There has been a revolution in food and drink over the last thirty years and the standards are as high as anywhere in Europe, and, furthermore, more varied. Good pubs abound and there are even Michelin star restaurants on some of the routes.
Some of the villages in the region are world famous – Bourton-on-the-Water and Bibury, to name but two – but there are so many more of equal or of greater interest and beauty. Winchcombe, with its fine castle and associations with King Henry VIII; Stanway with the highest gravity-fed fountain in the world; Cirencester, once the second town of Roman Britain. Something for everyone, really. And the region includes three of Britain’s most famous towns, Bath, Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon. The walking in particular, by the way, is within the grasp of anyone of average fitness, including children.
We work with a specialist company, Cotswold Journeys, the owners of which were the pioneers in self-guided walking holidays in the region. Their routes – the Cotswold Ring, the Cotswold, the Heart of the Cotswolds – have been much copied. They also specialise in cycling and tailor-made trips and holidays in the area and the service they offer is unparallelled.
I suppose we have to mention the famous British weather…well, with the exception of 2012, which was truly awful, the weather in the south of is England is good, if a little unpredictable. Spring is cool (though often warm) and filled with flowers; summers are sweet and rarely uncomfortably hot; whilst autumns are often warm and clear. Of course it rains but then that is what gives the region its fresh, green character. Come on over!
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