Art Holiday Travel and Vacation information for Gloucestershire

"Gloucestershire, a west Midland county, situated upon the estuary of the Severn, and bounded north and north-east by Herefordshire, Worcestershire, and Warwickshire; by Oxfordshire; south by Berks, Wilts, and Somerset; and west by Monmouthshire, Herefordshire, and the estuary of the Severn; greatest length, south-west to north-east 54 miles; greatest breadth, north-west to south-east, 33 miles; area, 783,699 acres; population 572,433. The face of the county shows varied aspects, of which the most distinctive are the Cotswold Hills, in the east; the valley of the Severn, in the middle; and the Forest of Dean, in the west. Besides the Severn there are numerous important rivers, such as the Avon, Lower Avon, Wye, Thames, and Windrush. The canal system has been largely developed, and several important water-ways of that description pass through the county. Agriculture forms the leading occupation of the rural population; in the hills sheep-farming receives attention; while the rich valley of the Severn has long been famed for the superiority of its products. Its luxuriant pastures especially have originated and supported a great industry in the shape of dairy farms which produce the celebrated Glo'ster cheese. In the west of the county are 2 great coal fields - the Forest of Dean on the north, and the Bristol coal-field on the west. Other minerals are gypsum, barytes, quartz, limestone, and freestone. The manufactures are mostly woollen and cotton stuffs, but at Bristol there are also large hardware manufactures." (Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887.)

Charming varied scenery, idyllic Cotswold villages and traditional small towns, lots of interesting places to visit, good food, excellent places to stay in This county's strongest appeal is to adults: its scenery, charming villages and small towns, good food, lovely places to stay in and interesting things to see make it one of the best parts of Britain for a relaxing short break. However there are plenty of things to fill family days out too.

Among the best of these are the animal park at Blockley, the farm park at Kineton, the country park at Tockington, steam railways at Lydney and Toddington, and for younger children the clever new Treasure Train at Coleford. Many children join adults in enjoying the birds of prey centre at Batsford; there's another good one near Newent. And the Slimbridge wildfowl centre is outstanding for all ages. For something a bit different, the Clearwell caverns are an adventure. For adults, there's a very rich choice - the cream of the great houses being Stanway House, Snowshill Manor, Sudeley Castle near Winchcombethe Chedworth Roman villa, and the never-finished gothic mansion at Nympsfield. Some of the county's gardens and parks are unforgettable, especially Kiftsgate near Mickleton, the arboretums at Westonbirt and Batsford near Moreton in Marsh, and, particularly in late May, the gardens of Lydney Park. In the same sort of vein, the Nature in Art collection at Twigworth is very special. Chipping Campden, Cirencester, Northleach, Painswick and Stow on the Wold are all handsome Cotswold towns bulging with sightseeing possibilities - and antique shops; Tewkesbury too is attractive. Gloucester - a busy modern city - has a great deal to reward a day visit. Nearby Cheltenham still has a considerable degree of Regency elegance, and is a useful base for exploring the area; the tourism office does a good leaflet detailing how to get to most Cotswold attractions by public transport. It's the countryside above all which delights here - especially the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, with their traditional dry stone-walled fields, occasional beechwoods, meandering streams, beautiful villages of warm golden-tinted stone picturesquely roofed in heavy stone slabs. Many villages have handsome medieval churches, and their cottages and houses don't hide away behind gardens and high walls, but tend to be right by the road. Often, there's a strip of daffodil-planted grass between pavement and road (the area is particularly attractive in spring), and sometimes a little stream. The one snag is that the Cotswolds tend to be expensive - particularly in the N. Other parts, besides being generally cheaper, have their charm too - the tortuously steep hills and valleys around Stroud, the quiet watermeadows of the upper Thames, the unspoilt orchard and farming countryside around the Severn Valley (there are so few river crossings that the little villages down by the west bank, with few people passing through, have a very secluded and unchanging feel). The Forest of Dean has a unique landscape: hilly woodland, much of it ancient, that shows many traces of the way it has provided a livelihood for the people living around it. It's flanked by a spectacular stretch of the Wye Valley, and its woodland colours are at their best in late May and autumn. In the summer the Cotswolds do attract a great many visitors, though even then you can find delightful villages that have escaped the crowds - especially in the south. For cyclists, the Cotswolds are great - quiet village-to-village lanes with ever-changing views.

The Wyndham Arms Hotel
We offer an informal but professional environment when possible offering fresh, local produce cooked and simply presented to appeal to those who enjoy good food at reasonable prices and a genuine warm welcome of a rural inn. Gloucestershire has a rich agriculture and is especially well known for its succulent Pork, flavoursome cheeses, winning wines and potent brews.

Clearwell Coleford
Gloucestershire England
- The Wyndham Arms Hotel

Touche Contemporary Art
Contemporary gallery showing both local and national artists. Paintings, prints, ceramics, sculpture, glass and jewellery. Changing exhibitions as well as regular featured artists. High quality, innovative works at affordable prices.

1 John Street
Gloucestershire England
art, stroud, paintings, ceramics, jewellery, glass, gallery, cotswolds,

Millers Cottage
Romantic cosy Cotswold cottage in picturesque Chipping Campden. Built in 1723, a wealth of beams, nooks and crannies, warm in winter, cool in summer. Enjoy open fires in the inglenook fireplace and the comfortable traditional furnishings.

Millers Cottage
Gloucestershire England

3 Holmer Cottages
3 Cottages - Holmer Cottages are late 19th century semi-detached brick cottages, each with its own south-facing terrace and private garden overlooking an old apple orchard. Each cottage is charmingly furnished and fully equipped for a comfortable holiday.

Holmer Cottages Haines Orchard Woolstone
Gloucestershire England

ArtBreaks - creative courses in the Cotswolds
Courses in Painting, Drawing, Photography and 'Creative Walks'

Our workshops and short breaks are set in the beautiful rolling landscape of the Cotswolds, Greece, the beaches, temples and jungles of Thailand and Cambodia.
Designed for Artists and Photographs of all levels, courses help you develop your creative knowledge and skills while building on your ability to establish your personal style and way of working.

Facilitated by Kel Portman, artist and educator.

Boundary Cottage, Back Edge Lane Edge
Gloucestershire England
- ArtBreaks - creative courses in the Cotswolds

Red Rag Contemporary British Art Gallery
British Art, British Artists and Modern British paintings

Church Street
Gloucestershire England