Arts & Entertainment in the Cotswolds
The Cotswolds are spread across a vast expanse of towns and villages with connections to many musical, artistic and literary geniuses. Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst, John Singer Sargent, William Morris to name but a few, and of course, William Shakespeare’s Stratford upon Avon is right on the doorstep.
You’re probably well aware of our rich literary connections – most notably Laurie Lee in the Slad Valley and the Mitford sisters at Asthall and Swinbrook. But did you also know how much contemporary culture and art resonates across the Cotswolds? The region is bursting with creativity and ingenuity.
There are many festivals and events that help to celebrate these diverse connections which create a unique holiday or short break experience. Cheltenham is a centre for many of the arts events including the annual Jazz, Film, Literature and Music festivals.
However, it is not just Cheltenham that is a hub for the arts – visit Broadway to experience the biennial Broadway Arts Festival which celebrates connections to John Singer Sargent, Alfred Parsons RA and William Morris, or visit the Chipping Campden Literature Festival, which presents a varied programme of illustrated talks, readings, interviews, discussion, film, performance and music.
Galleries, theatres, concert halls, as well as arts and craft centres are a huge attraction for many visitors to the Cotswolds.
Art galleries include Cirencester’s vibrant New Brewery Arts and Cheltenham’s newly and cleverly expanded The Wilson (there’s a great section on the Arts & Crafts movement for which the Cotswolds was an enormously important base). There are plenty of lively craft outlets, too, from Chipping Campden’s Gallery at the Guild in an old silk mill to The Gloucestershire Arts & Crafts Centre in Gloucester’s buzzing docks area.
Experience brilliant biennial open air sculpture shows – 'Fresh Air and On Form', along with fabulous festivals, from opera at Longborough and folk music at Barn on the Farm near Gloucester to wondrous Wilderness at Cornbury Park. The Cotswolds are home to a genius circus (Giffords Circus) and a weird and wacky summer celebration of wearable art (at Painswick). And there’s more, much, more, so come and join the fun.