Cotswolds Area -- Rich, Rolling Hills and Bountiful Nature
The Cotswolds holds an abundance of pastoral beauty and majesty. It's no wonder that the area is a popular tourist destination throughout the world. The Cotswolds stretches from the north in Chipping Campden to Bath in the south, covering over 100 kilometres. Farmland covers 80% of the area and the Cotswolds contains the largest number of conservation areas in the region.
For more than 6,000 years the Cotswolds has been a subject of fascination and wonder. Marked by rolling hills and green, lush gardens, the Cotswolds is a place of both relaxation and industry. Approximately 38 million people visit the Cotswolds each year, generating over £130 million in annual revenue. Today, tourism is the primary industry in the area.
85,000 people call the Cotswolds home, making it one of the lowest population densities in England. Less than 300 residents reside in over half of its parishes; however the Cotswolds still has one of the highest non-urban growth rates throughout England.
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Traveling the Cotswolds by railcar, bus, bicycle and car are today's most popular ways to see the area. Walking, cycling and jogging is also a wonderfully scenic way to take in the landscape. However, during the mid 17th century, horse-driven coaches were popular. People would travel along the Cotswolds, lodging at one of the many staging inns along the way.
For 200 years, Cotswolds coaching routes followed the Roman Roads. The direct route to London was through Broadway, a main staging point, which passed through many villages and towns within the Cotswolds. Staging Inns were typically spaced approximately 7 miles apart, many offering the comforts of home.
Inns within the Cotswolds were a frequent resting place for weary travellers. At one time 40 inns stood ready to accept coach-bound visitors. In addition to a warm bed, drinks were served 24 hours a day and some inns even provided blacksmith and wheelwright services.Learn more about travelling through the Cotswolds by contacting your local Cotswolds Tourism Information Centre.