Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-AvonBack to Best of Britain: England, Scotland, and Wales »
The Cotswolds make up some of England's most beautiful (and iconic) terrain. Stratford, to the north, is home of Shakespeare, as well as the Roman wonders of Bath. Many of the region's charms are found by happenstance, from tiny villages to perfect pubs. Once you've done the Bard "thing" be sure to leave time to explore the region's towns and gardens.
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- Natural Beauty
- Stratford-upon-Avon makes its money from Shakespeare. The Bard's Birthplace Trust runs the show, offering a combination ticket for visits to Anne Hathaway's Cottage, Shakespeare's birthplace, and more.
- The Royal Shakespeare Company performs year-round here; tickets start at about 7 GBP, and their new theater is slated to open in late 2010.
- Hidcote Manor Garden is one of Britain's most interesting large green spaces. Created in 1907 in the Arts and Crafts style, it's the forerunner of the gardens at Sissinghurst and Glyndebourne.
- The Bath International Music Festival runs from the end of May to the beginning of June.
- Sudeley Castle, home of Catherine Parr, has 14 acres of gardens. Tours are available on Mondays and Fridays only, so plan accordingly.
- Chipping Camden, the town nearest to Hidcote Manor Garden, is a beautiful town that presents the Cotswolds in microcosm.