Classic car breaks in the Cotswolds take you through quintessentially English countryside. Rolling hills, farmland dotted with sheep and cows plus pretty villages built from the local buff coloured Cotswold limestone await you …
Classic car breaks in the Cotswolds are likely to take you through a lot of villages in the Cotswolds called Chipping something. Or Lower something. Lower is obvious but why Chipping? It is derived from the Old English word for ‘market’ so it is the region’s equivalent of calling your town Market something in the agricultural east of the country. But whatever the name of the village, touring the Cotswolds in a classic car feels very British. It is also a nice thing to do if you keep off the main roads. You cause less hassle to other motorists as you pootle your way round the Cotswolds. You also will get less grief from the impatient people who populate the UK’s roads these days.
But I am rambling on a bit here. First of all, you need to find somewhere to stay! To really experience what this superb area of England has to offer, self-catering for a week is perfect for anyone taking classic car breaks in the Cotswolds. Cottages Online is a good place to look – click here to see a selection of holiday cottages in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.
The Cotswolds is a protected landscape of national importance. It is managed by the Cotswold Conservation Board and is the largest of the thirty-eight ‘Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ in England and Wales. The Cotswolds spread into 6 counties from Somerset in the south to Warwickshire in the north but the majority is in Gloucestershire. For any takers of Classic car breaks, access is easy. The M40, M4 and M5 all either pass through or come close to the Cotswolds.
There are about 3000 miles of public footpaths which makes it popular with walkers. For anyone wishing to absorb the magnificent surroundings, there are a number of well-established viewpoints – particularly those on the escarpment looking westwards. Examples include – Barrow Wake (near Birdlip) where there are amazing views over Gloucester to May Hill, with its fascinating clump of summit trees and beyond that to the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons of south Wales; Broadway Tower from the top of which you can see up to an incredible 16 English and Welsh Counties on clear days, not that you are always able to identify them individually though and of course Cleeve Hill (the highest point in the Cotswolds at 1083ft above sea level) near Winchcombe. Painswick Beacon near Painswick also offers superb views towards the Severn Valley.
As well as the attractive Cotswold views and villages, there are plenty of other things to do in the area. Eating for one! There are plenty of Cotswold country pubs that serve good value for money bar meals at lunchtime and during the evening sessions. Alternatively, as you are a classic car enthusiast, you may have an interest in antiques. If so, you will find plenty of regular auctions in the region that could be combined with a few days touring the Cotswolds. For those with an interest in plants, The Cotswolds are home to the National Arboretum at Westonbirt and Batsford Arboretum, as well as some less well-known gardens in quite stunning settings. History is all around but there are a number of excellent smaller stately homes to visit in addition to the well-known places such as Blenheim Palace and Berkeley, Sudeley and Warwick castles.
There are a number of companies who hire out classic cars in the Cotswolds, perfect if you don’t want to take your own or if you just want a motoring break that is different. Hiring is also a good idea as if you break down, as classic cars often do, the recovery and repair is taken care of by the hire company.