10 things you didn’t know about the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, with its rolling hills, quaint villages and market towns remaining a popular attraction for visitors.

But did you know the following facts about this stunning part of the country?

1. The Cotswolds covers five counties in England – Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire. Incredibly, 80% of this large area is farmland.

 

2. The Cotswolds is the largest ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ in the UK. Covering cities, towns, villages and countryside, each area offers visitors something different and unique.

1. The Cotswolds covers five counties in England – Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire. Incredibly, 80% of this large area is farmland.

2. The Cotswolds is the largest ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ in the UK. Covering cities, towns, villages and countryside, each area offers visitors something different and unique.

3. There are 3000 miles of footpaths to explore in The Cotswolds – taking you through a variety of unforgettable landscapes, from ancient woodland to wildflower meadows.

 

4. The area has around 6000km of drystone walls – a length that is close to that of the Great Wall of China.

5. Cotswold sheep are known as ‘The Cotswold Lion’ and once provided wool for half of England’s cloth – something that brought great prosperity to the area. In fact, many of the impressive buildings within The Cotswolds were built using the money donated by wool merchants.

 

6. An annual woolsack race is still held at the end of May in Tetbury. Thought to have originated in the 17th Century, the tradition sees competitors running up a steep hill with a large woolsack on their backs.

 

5. Cotswold sheep are known as ‘The Cotswold Lion’ and once provided wool for half of England’s cloth – something that brought great prosperity to the area. In fact, many of the impressive buildings within The Cotswolds were built using the money donated by wool merchants.

6. An annual woolsack race is still held at the end of May in Tetbury. Thought to have originated in the 17th Century, the tradition sees competitors running up a steep hill with a large woolsack on their backs.

 

7. The first officially recognised fossilised dinosaur bones were found in The Cotswolds - at Stonesfield in the early 19th century.

 

8. Famous figures born in The Cotswolds include Jane Austen, who was born in Bath, William Shakespeare who was both born and buried in Stratford-upon-Avon and Winston Churchill who was born at Blenheim Palace.

9. For the last 70 years, Barton-on-the-Water has played host to a festival in which villagers play a 15-minute, six-a-side football match in the River Windrush each summer.

 

10. The lakes that make up the Cotswold Water Park were formed as a result of gravel extraction that took place in the area – quarrying still takes place in the region today.

9. For the last 70 years, Barton-on-the-Water has played host to a festival in which villagers play a 15-minute, six-a-side football match in the River Windrush each summer.

10. The lakes that make up the Cotswold Water Park were formed as a result of gravel extraction that took place in the area – quarrying still takes place in the region today.

Come along with us to The Cotswolds on our next trip and experience these facts in person