are famous cities such as Bath, well-known beautiful towns like Cheltenham
and hundreds of delightful villages such as Burford and Castle Combe.
Above all, the local honey-coloured limestone, used for everything from
the stone floors in the houses to the tiles on the roof, has ensured that
the area has a magical uniformity of architecture.
You will see Drystone walls everywhere in the fields. Many
were built in the 18th and 19th centuries, a matter of considerable skill
as there is no cement to hold the walls together. They represent an important
historical landscape and a major conservation feature and are of
course still used by farmers to enclose sheep and cattle.
During the 13-15th centuries, the medieval period, the native Cotswold
sheep were famous throughout Europe for their heavy fleeces and high quality
of wool. Cotswold wool commanded a high price and the wealth generated
by the wool trade enabled wealthy traders to leave their mark by building
fine houses and wonderful churches, known as wool churches.
Even today, the sight of sheep on the hillside is still one of the classic
Not all villages are well known, and today many still hold their secrets.
Amongst the treasures to be found are perhaps a hidden village off the
beaten track, perhaps Painswick, Biddestone, Winchcombe or Woodstock,
or an unspoilt historic church, such as at Northleach often called the
Cathedral of the Cotswolds open the church door and
you will discover a hidden world of history.
Today, the larger market towns and villages of the Cotswolds are famous
for their shops, such as Stow-on-the-Wold, Cirencester, Chipping Norton