The Cotswolds has a deserved reputation as one of Britain’s most charming countryside regions, but don’t be fooled into thinking that charm is all it has to offer. The historic water front city of Gloucester is the perfect place to reside and retreat to, to add a little ‘niche’ into a quaint and otherwise quiet Cotswolds getaway.
With 5000 kilometres of footpath and the varied countryside terrain, the Cotswolds has an almost endless string of walking routes, from scenic strolls to rocky rambles and hilly hikes. The historic villages nestled into this patch of British countryside are best explored on foot or by pedal. There is as much variety in the cycling routes as their walking counterparts, making the exercise a fun and manageable adventure for people of all physical abilities.
More recently, however, the Cotswolds hasn’t just been associated with outdoor activities and loved only for the old-timey ambience. While these attributes most certainly still run deep through the veins of the region, there is now an essence of the contemporary and modern culture in the local county’s heartbeat. You can stand in the Norman Cathedral appreciating its architecture and recognise it from scenes in the Harry Potter films. You can buy the latest fashion items while walking around the historic Gloucester docks. You can finish a trip to the Forest of Dean in a thriving pub along the canal that bore hundreds of years’ worth of Britain’s imports.
A Historical Past
Throughout history, Gloucester docks have buzzed with the traffic of imports from around the world; timber from the Baltic, North America and the Arctic coast of Russia; wine from Portugal and France; corn from Ireland and the Continent. They played a huge part in distributing supplies throughout the midlands. Nowadays they buzz with a different kind of traffic, but rather than this dampening the appreciation of the history behind the county that rests on Roman foundations and berths ships on Victorian Docklands, it enhances it. The award winning museum, the brewery, the boat trips, the restaurants, bars, cafes and designer outlets offer a juxtaposing variety to their surroundings, but one that works in society today. The docks have been described as the hub of activity, which makes them a great place to return to for a splash of retail therapy or night-life after a day out appreciating the surrounding countryside and wildlife.
Experience Both Worlds
Nowadays, the Cotswolds can be an experience of the the best of both of the traditional and contemporary worlds by finding a happy medium. One such place where you can find this balance is The Lock House at Gloucester docks. The cosy, three bedroomed, old lock keepers cottage embodies everything that its niche location is all about. The natural River Severn runs on one side and the canal, made by the Old Canal Company back in the 1940’s on the other. The riverbank garden is fully equipped with summer barbeque amenities and the inside is kitted out with everything you could need, while still upholding its historic atmosphere. The liveliness of the docks thrives only across the water, meaning that you are isolated enough to look on in peace, or close enough to get stuck in.
Visiting the Cotswolds but residing at Gloucester docks makes for a great British getaway that embodies every element of today’s British society; an escape into the unique British countryside and a slice of interesting British history together with a splash of the upbeat, bustling, contemporary scene that now also holds its own deserved place as a part of our culture. Check out a Cotswold escape on Niche Escapes.