Seasonal Activities in the Cotswolds
The Cotswolds is an "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty" in the west-central region of England – an area that mixes traditional villas and modern amenities. This area is interesting and exciting things to do all year long. It is a great vacation spot, both for British citizens and international travelers.
In the spring, festivals and community events start geared up with the Bath Shakespeare festival. Then Nearby Stratford-Upon-Avon gets into the season by holding the Shakespeare birthday celebration, which culminates in a charity ball. There are also many music festivals, including the Cheltenham International Jazz Festival.
One of the most famous springtime activities is Cheese rolling at Cooper's Hill in Gloucester. Historically, townsmen roled cheese wheels down the hill to claim it for sheep grazing. Now townspeople do it for fun and community pride. Another sheep related springtime activity is the Woolsack races and traditional street fair in Tetbury. This is a relay race involving a 60 pound woolsack run up and down the streets by two people. The relay is part of whole day of charity fund raising events.
Summertime brings Opera to the Longborough Festival Opera. This opera house seats 480 and can hold 65 musicians in the orchestra pit. It also brings Shakespeare in the park, performed by the Oxford school of drama, in the Pleasure Gardens in Bienheim, Woodstock. It also brings the Cheltenham International Festival of Music and Fringe, fringe events and the best of classical music.
The largest military air show in the entire world is held in Fairford. Military planes fly in dramatic formation, as well as perform terrifying acrobatics. This event brings viewers not only from England, but from across Europe as well. Later on, the water games are held at Bourton-on-the-water, which is a five a side soccer match, held in the stream of the river Windrush.
In the fall, festivals focus on culture. The Jane Austen festival in Bath celebrates their most famous resident. Bath is an elegant World Heritage City, and is proud to hold a whole day of events in celebration of Jane Austenís contributions to literature. Cheltenham also hosts a 10 day festival of literature, with readings, performances, and other live events.
In November, Bath Abbey hosts a traditional Christmas market, with vendor stalls, carollers, and mulled wine. Warwick Castle is decorated for Christmas, and opened to the public. The Westonbirt Arboretum near Tetbury is illuminated, and visitors can wind their way down the path of the national arboretum. In December, Bourton on the Water holds a Victorian Christmas evening, complete with traditional costumes, carol singing, plenty of shopping opportunities, and lighting of the town Christmas tree.
The Cotswolds is an area full of things to do all year long. This is just a small sample of the events that occurred during the year. Every single day there are opportunities for shopping, historical tours, and cultural explorations. The Cotswold is a great vacation destination no matter the season.