The Cotswolds is designated as England’s largest ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ with spectacular with breath-taking scenery – as an area it’s 100 miles north to south, with gently rolling countryside of hills and steep valleys, picturesque stone villages that are often referred to as the ‘Undiscovered Cotswolds’.
Villages such as Slad and Painswick cling to steep-sided valleys, old woollen mills can be found alongside the streams, and commons stretch across the hilltops at Painswick, Minchinhampton and Selsley. Slad was the setting for the author and poet Laurie Lee’s book ‘Cider with Rosie’.
The Laurie Lee Wildlife Way is a 9km circular route takes in all four Nature Reserves and the trail is marked by wooden posts carved with the famous authors poems. For hiking routes in around the local area click this link for records of walking and trail running route maps and descriptions.
People come from all over Europe to see the beauty of these valleys. The Wysis Way passes through Slad. The Wysis Way is a long-distance footpath which links Offa’s Dyke path National trail at Monmouth to the beginning of the Thames Path National trail at Kemble in Gloucestershire and the more popular Cotswold Way passes through Painswick.
There are endless great walks, picnic sites and views. Here are just a few:
Snows Farm Nature reserve – Just across the Slad Valley you’ll find a mixture of meadow, woodland and utter tranquillity. Stunning.
Swift’s Nature Reserve – a steep climb brings you breath-taking views and 13 species of wild orchid, overlooking Slad Valley and across the Severn to Wales. Adjacent to Laurie Lee Wood, another beautiful ancient woodland, named after the valley’s, most famous former resident.
Frith Wood Nature Reserve – this lovely ancient beech wood is brimming with wildlife including deer, just uphill from the cottage and through here you can walk to Painswick.
Painswick Beacon has the best views in the area, with Wales clearly visible on a good day. Across it passes the famous Cotswolds Way, a 100-mile trail of walking paths, and bizarrely, a golf course.
Prepare for an evening of memorising entertainment when the wildly popular Gifford’s Circus returns to thrill audiences every year.
Bringing the weird and wonderful, Gifford’s Circus always promises a spectacular show.
A fantastic show featuring live music, jaw-dropping stunts, and amazing animal performances, which is sure to follow the storming success of last year’s tour.
Established in 2000, Giffords Circus is a small circus company that delivers circus / theatre fusion to the villages and market towns of the South West. It combines dance, comedy, horses and live music in a one hour show, located on village greens in a small white tent surrounded by hand-made burgundy and gold showman’s wagons.
Guests also have the chance to visit the company’s Circus Sauce for a delicious three-course meal, which as the UK’s only travelling restaurant, offers a truly unique dining experience.
For information about all dates in Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds, see Gifford’s Circus for further information.
The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival during October promises to be a wonderful 10-day celebration of reading, writing and authors this autumn.
Tens of thousands of literary lovers flock to Gloucestershire annually who expect to see literary legends, politicians and celebrity chefs, as well as comedians, and stars of the stage and screen, all set to descend on Cheltenham for the highly anticipated annual event.
Find out more information about this amazing event by visiting cheltenhamfestivals.com
The world’s largest military air show and one of the UK’s top outdoor family event.
Few events can rival the intensity, drama and spectacle on offer at the world’s greatest airshow. The Air Tattoo, one of the UK’s premier outdoor events, returns this summer with an extravaganza of entertainment for all the family. Alongside the thrilling flying action, visitors will be treated to non-stop entertainment on the ground – so whether a wide-eyed first timer or a seasoned airshow veteran, the experience is breathtaking.
Sadly, this year (2021) they will not be holding this event.
Further information at www.airtattoo.com
Local area used in films and TV production
Have you ever wondered about our imposing manor houses, quiet medieval villages, idyllic swathes of countryside – the Cotswolds offers a lot for location scouts in the film business. Here are the most popular filming locations in the Cotswolds, as seen on screens big and small.
Local area used in films and TV production
’Bridgerton’ is the latest hot steamy period drama on Netflix that everyone is talking about. Gloucestershire’s very own Badminton Estate forms part of Clyvedon Castle, the fictional abode of the Duke of Hastings.
‘Poldark’ a BBC drama used Chavenage House and the Cotswolds as a location. Chavenage House, between Nailsworth and Tetbury, is the setting for the Poldark family’s Cornish home which was also used in the recent adaptation of ‘Wolf Hall.’ The success of this historical drama also shone a light on other south Cotswolds’ locations such as Berkeley Castle. Its inner bailey and Great Hall can be spotted in various scenes.
Gloucester’s historic cathedral cloisters were transformed into the corridors of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the films of JK Rowling’s first two books Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
The new (2015) adaptation of Laurie Lee’s ‘Cider with Rosie’ was partly filmed in the Slad Valley, alot was filmed in and around Miserden.
Viewers of BBC1’s ‘The Casual Vacancy’ may be able to spot some of the beautiful locations used around the area (Sheepscombe, Bisley, Painswick and Minchinhampton).
Site Festival 2021
The SVA Site Festival, is an arts festival, which aims to showcase artist-led projects with a month long programme in June of visual arts, performance, music, screenings and artist talks plus two Open Studios weekends. The Site Festival, creates a platform for artists and artist collectives to show new work, initiate new projects and work collaboratively in sites across the Stroud Valleys.
This year’s Site Festival focuses on artists and musicians working with moving image. There will be a single screen artists film programme plus experimental music with film events in the Goods Shed.
The Site Festival will feature performances, exhibition openings and events taking place on the night in town culminating with the Site Festival after party which will bring independent London based music collectives and bands to SVA to perform into the early hours…
Stroud’s Site Festival Open Studios will be moved to 18-19th & 25th-26th September and will feature over 80 artists in 50 locations across the district.
Classical music fans are in for a treat as Cheltenham Music Festival.
Describing itself as a ‘musically-centred cultural banquet that has few equals in the UK’, Cheltenham Music Festival is all about high-calibre performances, magnificent venues, exhibitions and a huge variety of music.
Taking place over two weeks and boasting over 60 events, the full list of events can be found at cheltenhamfestivals.com.
See one of the largest collections of naturalised snowdrops in the country at Painswick Rococo Gardens.
From as soon as January starts each year, the garden’s staff are anticipating that the snowdrops will be at their best, with the main Snowdrop Grove in flower.
Garden director Dominic Hamilton says: ‘Predicting the flowering of snowdrops is one of nature’s big gambles, as their peak is very dependent on the weather. With the warm December and early January our snowdrops are at least two weeks ahead of where they would normally be.’
Attracting thousands of visitors from far and wide every year, the snowdrops are set to carpet the area, providing a breathtaking sight at Painswick Rococo Gardens.
- Venue: Painswick Rococo Garden
- Dates: January to late February
- Times: From 10.30am to 5pm
- Telephone: (01452) 813204
Dogs welcome on leads.
Whether you want to enjoy cream tea in a landscaped garden or unwind in front of a log fire in a local pub, we’ve created a guide to help you make the most of your visit to the countryside town of Painswick.
Check out the link Compliments of Cotswold Life and discover more about Painswick.