Nick Croall
The Cotswolds – maintaining their enduring appeal
21 June 2017

Will the Cotswolds ever go out of fashion? This quintessentially English part of the world stretches across six counties with its rolling hills, chocolate box cottages, quaint, unspoilt villages famous for their golden-coloured Cotswold stone and medieval market towns. And it remains as busy and popular now as it ever did for day-trippers, holidaymakers, as a second-home destination or simply to live full time if you are lucky enough - as I am.

As Prime Purchase’s latest recruit, brought on board to cover the hugely important Cotswolds patch, I am blessed to work and live in one of the most desirable parts of the country. I hail originally from Scotland but the undulation of the Cotswolds, with lots of movement and variation, reminds me of the Scottish Borders where I grew up.

In purely practical terms the Cotswolds are incredibly accessible, located as they are in south central England, handy for getting anywhere else in the country. But of course there is much more to the Cotswolds than this, with something for everyone. There are a great variety of pubs and good restaurants, for example, with highlights including The Fox in Lower Oddington, The Wheatsheaf in Northleach, The Swan at Southrop and the Five Alls at Filkins.

Or if it’s music you are after, the Cotswolds has festivals aplenty with the Cornbury Music Festival at Great Tew (although this is the last year it will run), the Wilderness Festival at Cornbury Park or the Big Feastival at Kingham, on the farm owned by Alex James, the bassist for Blur.

My own personal love of equestrianism is well catered for with some seriously high-profile riders choosing to base themselves in the Cotswolds. You are never short of an equestrian event with Badminton Horse Trials on the doorstep, the Duke of Beaufort, Heythrop and VWH Hunts, the polo in Cirencester Park and the Beaufort Polo Club in Westonbirt.

It is hard to pick a best bit – but if pressed I would plump for the beautiful Coln Valley from Chedworth through to Bibury. For charming villages, Coln Rogers, Winson, Ablington and Quenington are all worth a look.

While critics may point to the arrival of Soho Farmhouse at Great Tew has being detrimental to the Cotswolds, I would argue that it has brought a huge amount to the area – from higher property prices to a rise in employment, plus it provides a great location and facilities. There is nothing else quite like it in the immediate vicinity, although the Cotswolds boasts some impressive spas including the Calcot Spa near Tetbury, Thyme at Southrop and Daylesford Spa and Farm Shop.

The Cotswolds really has something for everyone and its unique appeal shows no signs of abating any time soon.



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