10 Alternative And lesser-knowN gems
BLEDINGTON Village green, maypole and The King’s Head make this relatively unknown village a delight.
STANTON Deep in good walking country near Broadway, Stanton may also look familiar from TV locations, but is quiet and relaxed with a no-nonsense pub serving hearty fare to walkers.
MAUGERSBURY Park in Stow-on-the-Wold and take the short, ancient track down to nearby Maugersbury to experience a deserted but beautiful village, with rustic valley views. Commercial activity is limited to the occasional pot of honey for sale outside one of the cottages.
WYCK RISSINGTON Whilst its neighbour Bourtonon- the-Water is often packed with visitors, Wyck is a step back to pure ‘Miss Marple’ country. Historic cottages, village green, pond and church are all you’ll see, but there is a beautiful sense of calm.
SWINBROOK The Swan at Swinbrook has associations with the Mitford girls, there’s cricket on the green and the locals are friendly.
ABLINGTON / COLN ST ALDWYNS Bibury is a ‘must see’ village for the first-time visitor and it’s popular around the world too – expect to see visitors from China, Japan and elsewhere. For the antidote take the short walk to pretty Ablington or drive to nearby Coln St Aldwyns for riverside strolls, birdsong and utter peace.
COTSWOLD WATER PARK Near Cirencester, hundreds of man-made lakes offer a surprising aspect of the Cotswolds, with a barbecue beach, nature walks and cycling and water-based activities\ from kayaking to wakeboarding.
MINCHINHAMPTON A place that Cotswolders tend to keep themselves. It’s pretty and located in some of the most spectacular valley-top scenery around Stroud. Awareness is on the up after it appeared as a location in J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy.
NORTHLEACH Also used as a The Casual Vacancy location (see Minchinhampton), Northleach has a beautiful ‘Wool’ Church and a charming little town square, including a bustling combined\ wine bar and coffee shop.
PAINSWICK Another lesser-known gem of a town, Painswick has an elegant church spire, spectaculartopiary in the churchyard and offers a glimpse of ‘old’ Cotswolds. Best of all are spectacular valley views.