In News

Giffords Circus
2020 is the 20th anniversary of Giffords Circus, which has grown to become one of the favourite events on the calendar in the Cotswolds. People travel from all over the world to see the breath-taking circus shows that take place on village greens across the region. The circus not only attracts a huge number of visitors to the Cotswolds it’s one of the Cotswolds favourite exports, flying the flag for local arts and crafts.
www.giffordscircus.com


Cotswold Wildlife Park
The Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens near Burford in Oxfordshire is celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2020.  The Park opened on Good Friday 27 March 1970.  It cost 5 shillings (25p) for adults and 2 shillings (10p) for children and they welcomed 17,000 visitors in their first weekend. The Park was the brainchild of one man, John Heyworth, who wanted to rescue the decaying Manor House he grew up in. With the help of gardeners and keepers he turned a bramble-strewn wilderness into a beautiful zoological collection. Over the past five decades millions of visitors have enjoyed the beauty of nature at the Park. John’s son Reggie now runs the Park and continues his father’s work with over 260 different animal species situated in 120 acres of picturesque parkland. 
www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk


Longborough Festival Opera (photo Matthew Williams-Ellis)
A summer opera festival which takes place in the beautiful Cotswold village of Longborough is staging Wagner’s Ring cycle, 150 years on from its first performance. In June 2020, Longborough Festival Opera will perform Die Walküre, the second of the four epic music dramas that make up the Ring cycle. The cycle will be conducted by Longborough Music Director and eminent Wagnerian Anthony Negus, and brought to life by Royal Opera House Director Amy Lane. 
www.lfo.org.uk


Stratton House Hotel
The owners of a hotel in the Cotswolds are to build a £1m luxury spa after securing planning consent for the new development.  Aidan and Sarah Stevens, owners of 17th century Stratton House Hotel in Cirencester, will soon begin work on the new addition, which will comprise five treatment rooms, beauty suites, steam room, sauna, juice bar and outdoor Jacuzzi.  Due to open in early 2020, the 325 square metre facility will be built in the north east corner of the hotel, overlooking the listed walled garden. 
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Lucknam Park's new Squire's Cottage
Lucknam Park is delighted to introduce a stunning four-bedroom country property to Cottages by Lucknam Park. The brand-new Squire’s Cottage has all the advantages of a home away from home, while enjoying the service and facilities associated with a five-star hotel. Perfect for families or friends, it sleeps up to 8 people. The cottage features a modern open plan kitchen, living and dining room, enclosed garden and terrace.
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Whatley Manor
Whatley Manor
is pioneering new ground in sustainability. In partnership with It Must Be Now, Whatley is the first UK 5* property to be accredited with a 4 globe rating by Earthcheck.  The team at Whatley is working hard to not only make guests experience as enjoyable and relaxing as possible, but are mindful of how they take care of our planet when doing so.  Their Simply Sustainable package appeals to conscious travellers. 
www.whatleymanor.com


Sherborne Park Estate (National Trust)
The Sherborne Park Estate will open new pathways in April 2020. The Estate is a thriving home to wildlife including farmland birds, as well as raptors including kestrels, red kites and barn owls. As well as great numbers of birds you can also spot butterflies and insects, and there are signs of water voles and otters. The new pathways will open up a circular walking route through the watermeadows – the real wildlife haven of the estate. It’s a great place to take a tranquil walk through the Cotswold countryside and spot the wildlife.  
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lodge-park-and-sherborne-park-estate


The Hollow Bottom
The Lucky Onion group – which already owns two other Cotswold properties – has expanded its portfolio of properties with the purchase of the iconic racing pub The Hollow Bottom in Guiting Power. The 17th Century Cotswold stone pub has been a staple part of the racing community for decades and, after a huge renovation project, will offer a simple menu of classic pub dishes and a traditional Sunday lunch menu.
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Chavenage House
Chavenage House
continues to prove a huge draw to film and television makers.  Recognised the world over as the Poldark family home in the popular television series, 2019 saw the Cotswold Manor House being featured as the home of the Woodhouse family in Jane Austen’s Emma, with the picturesque Slaughters featuring in the village scenes.
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Thyme
English countryside destination, Thyme expands its village within a village concept by launching their five new garden rooms, each featuring their own private garden attached to the newly landscaped terrace of the in-house restaurant, the Ox Barn. All bedrooms have an individual feel and have been thoughtfully decorated by Caryn Hibbert, taking inspiration from the botanical names that they have been given such as Forget Me Not and Comfrey.
www.thyme.co.uk


Go Cotswolds
Go Cotswolds
are delighted to announce that in 2020 we will be increasing our award-winning Cotswolds Day Tours to 5 days a week!  With tours operating every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from the start of May 2020 until the end of September, now even more visitors will be able to join us as we explore 7 different picturesque locations in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  At other times of the year, tours will still run on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays (closed January to mid-February).
www.gocotswolds.co.uk


Character Cottages - The Sanctuary
Character Cottages
are promising unexpected and unique holiday experiences in the Cotswolds in 2020.   Standing in the dappled shade of a majestic beech tree is the lofty tower of a 19th century Methodist Church. For 2020 this church has a new lease of life: The Sanctuary is an architect-refurbished holiday home and whilst people pass by outside, within time stands still. Light floods in over two floors from the unique stone mullion windows, bathing guests in tranquility and soothing souls in this modern refurbishment that elegantly marries new and old. 
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Cotswold Photography Tours
Looking for something different for your visit to the Cotswolds? How about a personalised tour with particularly appeal to the keen photographer?  At Cotswold Photography Tours we cater for the discerning photographer. Capture unique images of the iconic Cotswolds that other “regular” tours simply will not provide. We offer sunrise, sunset, day and night tours to cater for all photographic interests. We ONLY run bespoke and small (max. 6) group tours to ensure you get to the very best locations and capture those timeless images. 
www.cotswoldphotographytours.co.uk   


Tetbury Goods Shed Arts Centre
Tetbury Goods Shed
based in the former railway goods shed, has - thanks to a Heritage Lottery Grant - collected memories of users of the line in the 40s, 50s and 60s before the Beeching cuts closed it. These include the Maharajah of Jaipur bringing down his polo ponies and a farmer transporting his whole farm from Scotland in 1946. These have been made into a half hour video which can be seen at the Goods Shed from the New Year along with  fascinating contemporary newspaper cuttings, photographs and a brief history of the 130 year old line.
www.shed-arts.co.uk


Cotswold Walks
Introducing the South Cotswold Ring in 2020.  Designed by Cotswold Walks for those who prefer the road less travelled, this trail will showcase the perfect blend of the crowd-free and peaceful corners of the Cotswolds together with some iconic locations, such as the picturesque town of Painswick (also known for its connections with the Arts and Crafts Movement), and the ancient Roman town of Cirencester.  To cater for all fitness levels and preferences, there will be various itineraries available to choose from. 
www.cotswoldwalks.com 


The Thatched Inn
The Thatch Inn
joins The Hatton Collection and it’s a fresh start for one of the oldest buildings in Gloucestershire. Under new management, the newly appointed ensuite rooms have been completely stripped out and a new classic look is on offer with all new furniture and finishing’s, smart TVs and WiFi.  The Thatch serves fresh and confident food, sourced from local suppliers and serves lunch every day and evening meals are available nightly except Sundays.
www.thethatchinn.co.uk


The Tuckwell Amphitheatre is one of Cheltenham’s hidden gems and one of its best kept secrets, with locals returning year after year to experience its wonderful Open Air Theatre Festival, which runs for a fortnight and the end of July – August. The beautiful Greek style Amphitheatre is nestled in a secluded corner of Dean Close School and can accommodate an audience of up to 300.
www.bacontheatre.co.uk


Notgrove Holidays - safari tent
Notgrove Holidays now have luxury safari tents which can sleep up to 6 people in three fully furnished bedrooms with a flushing loo.  All landscaped within a former cricket field and enclosed by beech trees, they’re surrounded by the 1,500 acre private Notgrove Estate in a unique natural setting. On site games room and football pitch, children’s climbing frame and dogs welcome. A perfect venue for groups of up to 30 people. 
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Kelmscott Manor
Work has begun on transforming Kelmscott Manor  - the Cotswolds home of the father of the arts and crafts movement, William Morris.   The Society of Antiquaries plan to double visitor numbers to the former Cotswold retreat of William Morris, improving facilities, reinterpreting the house and wider estate and undertaking vital conservation work. 
www.sal.org.uk/kelmscott-manor


Cotswolds Distillery
Hot on the heels of opening their beautiful new visitor centre, the Cotswolds Distillery have introduced gin and whisky blending masterclasses.  As well as a tour of the now-famous distillery, the experience includes the opportunity to learn more about – and blend your own whisky or gin. 
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Cirencester’s Corinium Museum’s ‘Stone Age to Corinium: Discover the Archaeology of the Cotswolds’ project is continuing and due for completion in 2020.  The new look museum will aim to be more relevant to today’s communities, and include new stone, bronze, iron age and early Roman interactive galleries. 
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A boutique hotel has been created in the Cotswolds as part of an extensive, multi-million pounds development.  Feldon Valley Golf Club at Lower Brailes has undergone a complete renovation, with the existing club redesigned, new external terraces overlooking the course and the construction of a new 13 bedroom hotel and lodges. 
www.feldonvalleygolf.co.uk


The Old New Inn – an 18th century Grade II listed property in the beautiful village of Bourton-on-the-Water has been given a huge makeover.  The 8 stunningly designed rooms are all en-suite and give visitors access to the quirky Bourton Model Village – a one-ninth scale replica of the Cotswold village. 
www.theoldnewinn.co.uk


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