English country cottages in The Cotswolds, England UK

Self-catering holiday homes for memorable holidays in the Cotswolds

Holiday cottages in the Cotswolds

Cotswolds self-catering holiday cottages

The Cotswolds make up a beautiful part of England, popular amongst British holiday makers and those coming from further afield. The landscape is rich with rolling green hills, warm golden stone, beech woods, wetlands and clear open skies. There are a wealth of self-catering accommodation options here: thatched cottages, country lodges, village inns, converted barns, farm cottages, and self-catering apartments. The area is also very accessible, with rail links in the larger cities (to Cam and Dursley, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Kemble (serving Cirencester), Moreton-in-Marsh, Stonehouse, Stroud and Ashchurch (for Tewkesbury), good motorway access, and Heathrow airport less than two hours away.

Although 'The Cotswolds' is used as a general name for this well-loved area, the term actually refers to a range of hills stretching across several counties. It comes from the word 'Cot' meaning a stone sheep shelter (sharing linguistic roots with 'Dovecote') and the word 'Wold', which refers to a rolling hill. The spine of The Cotswolds runs from southeast to northwest, through Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire. Although this isn't a tightly defined area, the northern and western edge of the Cotwolds are marked by escarpments down to the Severn Valley and the river Avon, and to the East by the city of Oxford. To the south, the Cotswolds reach down to areas of Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire and the city of Bath.

The buildings here are characterised by Cotswold Stone, which has been quarried locally and used to construct the numerous towns and villages (including all those pretty holiday cottages!). The yellowy-coloured limestone has a pleasant, warm appearance. In the middle ages, the Cotwolds prospered through the wool industry and much of the money was put into the construction of handsome churches. Known as 'wool churches', many of these buildings remain as fine examples of 'Cotswold stone' architecture. The stone has also been used to build many of the Oxford colleges, and to build St Paul's in London.

Are you looking for a self-catering holiday cottage in The Cotswolds?

The Cotswolds were designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1966, with the designated area being extended in 1990. This means that the UK Government has deemed the landscape to be of significant aesthetic and scientific value and worthy of protection. Legislation is in place to prevent unsympathetic development and conserve the natural beauty of the place. The limestone grasslands and ancient beech woods are important habitats for rare species. The Cotswold Way is a long distance footpath running through the area, allowing the public to explore over 100 miles of quintessentially English countryside. In summer, the route hosts the Costwold Way Relay; a ten-stage race which normally takes the winning team around twelve hours. Many couples come for 'A weekend in the Cotswolds', seeking a romantic break from busy city jobs. Think country drives in classic motor cars, you can hire them for the week or the weekend, strolling hand in hand through picturesque villages, tea for two in quaint little tea rooms and candle-lit dinners in some of the finest restaurants around. You could even go for a four poster bed when booking your Cotswold accommodation. If this all sounds a bit much then tone things down to suit your own tastes and budget - more adventurous couples may prefer to spend time together horse-riding, cycling or sailing. There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor sports and adventure across the Cotswold area.

Large holiday houses and small romantic cottages for weekends, longer weekly rentals or short breaks

The Cotswolds are also great for family holidays. There's plenty of open space for energetic children to run off their energy, as well as attractions that are perfect for fun days out. If you're coming with family or friends, there are large holiday cottages in the Cotswolds available with plenty of beds and spacious dining areas that are family friendly, allow one or two dogs (pets welcome), some with swimming pools tree houses and games rooms. Hot tubs are more common in the smaller cottages - perfect for a romantic weekend away! Large holiday houses and small romantic cottages for weekends, longer weekly rentals or short breaks, simply use the date search to find whatyou are looking for. Some holiday houses have strict saturday - saturday policies, but many will allow different days of the week as the changeover day. Increasingly and especially out of season short breaks are very popular, so property owners will try and accommodate you.