If there’s one corner of the UK that’s perhaps prettier and more quintessentially English than any other – then it’s probably the Cotswolds.
This is an area of bucolic natural bliss with beautiful rolling countryside, market towns and is, at times, a breathtakingly beautiful pastoral landscape.
Like most areas of such deep beauty, The Cotswolds is a beautiful sight in all seasons, but if you had to pick one that’s a little more perfect than the rest – then it’s probably spring. At this time of year, the fresh sunshine and blossoming trees are simply magical here.
You can go for jaw-droppingly beautiful walks on footpaths that wind through woodlands and emerge to beautiful meadowland vistas. Alternatively – get on your mountain bike and wind through woods and valleys with all the family. Then stop off at the kind of pub hewn from the local Cotswold stone that just seems to meld in with the landscape – and that you’ll remember forever.
The gateway to the Cotswolds is the Regency Spa town of Cheltenham with its open boulevards and almost Parisian feel. At this time of year, the town is also famous for the world’s foremost National Hunt Festival of racing at the nearby Prestbury Park racecourse. The Cheltenham Festival in 2015 will be held over four days between the 10th and 13th March. Simply put, it’s unmissable for jumps racing fans who are already studying all the horse racing statistics they can get their hands on to make their selections early at the longest possible ante-post prices.
The racecourse is worth a visit in its own right set, as it is, in the lee of the majestic Cotswold Hills.
There’s surely no better time of year to see the course, though, than in early spring when a note of optimism is usually included in the cool clear weather – and the buds are on the trees. And the same can be said of the famous Costwold Hills.