Welcome to The Cotswolds!

I love the English Cotswolds and think everyone should visit this beautiful place at least once in their lifetime. Having lived all over the world and traveled as much as possible, I still think that this little part of England is one of the world's greatest treasures. This site is dedicated to helping spread the word and encourage sustainable travel to the Cotswolds.

If you enjoy reading this blog, please help spread the word by sharing with your friends!

Sunday, 28 February 2010


Don't miss the Kempley Daffodil Weekend this Saturday 20 March 2010 and Sunday 21 March 2010.  It's the 50 Year Anniversary of the Daffodil Line!  Now if that's not reason enough to go for a ramble, read on...

The Daffodil Way in the Leadon Valley, on the border of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, attracts thousands of walkers in March and April.  There are few places in Britain where you can see flowers growing in the wild in such profusion.  The small wild daffodils grow freely in many fields and the surrounding woods and can be enjoyed on the circular 'Daffodil way' footpath covering approximately eight miles. The daffodils may be seen from the roads between Newent and Dymock which pass through the village of Kempley.

The daffodils have naturalised in grass in the fields, and there are also thick clusters of them in Dymock Wood. In places there is noise from the M50 motorway but most of the Daffodil Way is gloriously tranquil. The route also passes through pretty apple orchards.

And there's more: The attractive village of Dymock has a lovely church with an exhibition about the 'Dymock Poets' who included Rupert Brooke an Robert Frost. During the daffodil season, teas are often served in to church.  Homemade food is served both days at the Village Hall in Kempley, which may be reached at 01531 822468.

The Daffodil Way can be accessed from several places - park in Dymock or in the Forestry Commission car park at Queen's Wood south of Kempley Green.

The Official Website for the event is here:  http://www.daffs.org.uk/

Saturday, 6 February 2010

The 2010 Olimpicks Are Just Around the Corner...

If ever there was a sporting event worthy of a weekend mini-holiday, the 2010 Olimpick Games are it.  I am not wrong.  I haven't mistaken the 2012 London Olympics, nor have I misspelled the word.  It is the 400 year old Cotswold Olimpicks in Chipping Campden to which I refer!  Here, we watch grown men engage in the age-old art of shin-kicking rather than watching them run, jump, or swim.  Here are the rather vague details on this year's festivities...

Whilst the 2010 programme details are still being finalised please see the following details from last year's games.

From 7.30 Robert Dover opens the Games in front of his Castle. The Championship of the Hill with local teams and the Castle area. The Five Mile Race and the Junior Circuit begin there and the Shin-Kicking contest follows.

On the upper level areas there are exhibitions of 'Morris Dancing', Dog Displays, Falconry, as well as two bands. In the smaller arena there are displays of Backswords, Single-Stick contests and Tai Kwando (?!). Tug-of-War contests take place.

At 10.00pm the Scuttlebrook Queen lights the bonfire, fireworks colour the sky and then there is the moving Torchlight Procession to the Square in Chipping Campden where dancing in the Square concludes the evening.

Here's a little video from the 2007 Games to whet your appetite:

A Little History, Anyone?

The Games have a long history, possibly going back to the time when the hill was the site of the Kiftsgate Hundred Court.

Their present form takes much from the records of the Games in the early seventeenth century. Prominent is the picture of the Games published in 1636 with a collection of poems entitled Annalia Dubrensia (see Books on Dovers Games) in praise of the Games by reputable poets of the period. 

The title page describes this as 'Olimpick'. The picture depicts Robert Dover presiding over his Games. On the summit of the hill a castle structure has guns firing to start events, and there are representations of the different activities - dancing, backswords, coursing, throwing the sledge hammer, spurning the barre, pike drill, tumbling and even shin-kicking.

The poems by Michael Drayton, Ben Jonson, Thomas Randolph, and others describe the excitement of the contest, the good-humoured rivalry, and, above all, the sense of good honest sportmanship which Robert Dover engendered.