There are certain places in the world that are lavish enough to qualify as outstanding parks, to be named Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – and the Cotswolds area in west-central England is one such place.
Get to Know the Cotswolds Area
The Cotswolds area is actually a range of hills. It is situated in an area best known as the heart of England. It’s a relatively narrow strip of land, measuring no more than 25 miles (40 km) across and 90 miles (145 km) long. Historians have surmised its names comes from the Middle English Codesuualt, taken to mean ‘Cod’s high open land.’
The highest point in the area is Cleeve Hill, which stands 1,083 feet tall (or 330 meters). This hill is located no more than 2.5 miles, or 4 kilometers north of the town of Cheltenham.
The Cotswolds are not located in a single county, but across several, namely in the ceremonial counties of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. While most of their territory is located in the afore-mentioned counties, parts of them also extend into Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Warwickshire. They mostly come under the administration of the district of Gloucestershire.
Many of the historic houses in the beautiful villages strewn across the area were built of Cotswold stone, which is a type of yellow oolitic limestone, rich in fossils, specifically in sea urchins. This particular building material bestows a special charm upon the area.
If you want to know more about this area and how you, too, can visit it, go to http://www.cotswoldjourneys.com/.
Good to Know about the Cotswolds Area
The Cotswolds were designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1966. The initial area covered was expanded to 1,990 square kilometers in late December 1990. It was reappraised against a new set of criteria for inclusion in this prestigious category in 1991 and its status was confirmed. It was confirmed once more in 2000 by the government.
The Cotswolds Conservation Board was established in 2004, in order to help preserve and enhance the area’s status as AONB. They are in charge with securing funding for projects in the area, as well as implementing conservation projects and providing an overview for the local key decision makers, in terms of strategy.
Its inclusion is explicable through the presence of limestone grassland, as well as for the fact that many natural species, both flora and fauna can only be found here, out of the whole wide world. The area also hosts five European Special Areas of Conservation, three National Nature Reserves and over eighty Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
If you’re into history, you’ll find plenty of fascinating sites to visit in the area, located close to or within the many picturesque villages in the Cotswolds. Some of the most important castles, mansions and manors in the area include the Tetbury Market House, Calcot Manor, Chavenage House, the Chedworth Roman Villa, Malmesbury Abbey, the Beverston Castle, the Owlpen Manor, Cirencester Abbey, the Sudeley Castle, Broadway Tower and Corsham Court.
Address: The Cotswolds, England, Great Britain