— words by Alison Plummer
The Cotswolds and the South West offer some of England’s most beautiful scenery, gardens, historic houses and coastlines, with accommodation in all the best locations for rewarding holidays at every level.
Spend time exploring the villages and towns, from the honey-coloured stone cottages of the Cotswolds to the fishing villages of the intriguing Cornish coast and from the Georgian splendour of ‘Jane Austen’s Bath’ to the urban buzz of the port city of Bristol.
The irresistible Cotswolds region includes the counties of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire with beautiful Bath at its southern tip and Cheltenham and Cirencester at its heart. Bristol offers the best of all worlds with a thriving dining, arts and contemporary cultural scene.
Dorset is famous for its Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and rural ‘Thomas Hardy’ backdrops, while the moorlands of Dartmoor and Exmoor define glorious Devon, together with farmland, woodlands, harbours, beaches and atmospheric estuaries (think Daphne du Maurier).
Artists, potters and sculptors such as Barbara Hepworth have long enjoyed love affairs with Cornwall, not to mention sailors, surfers and, now, foodies with a clutch of celebrity chefs starring Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw and Jamie Oliver.