We are getting so close to Chrsitmas now and there are plenty of celebrations and festivities throughout the Cotswolds. A lot of the Towns and villages will have their own christmas light switch on and markets alongside lots of craft fayres with local residents showcasing their arts and craft goods. We attended the switch on and christmas market at Chipping Campden on Saturday and it was a lovely event which got us into the spirit of christmas. There were a number of events which started at 12 noon and carried on all day until the light switch on at 4.30pm. The town hall was open showcasing a number of different stalls such as artists and tombolas aswell as having a wonderful santa's grotto for the children. Outside in the market square there was a collection of different stalls and refreshment stalls servings lots of winter inspired drinks such as coffee, hot chocolate and even mulled wine. In the middle of the square was a lovely area sectioned off for tables and chairs for people to enjoy their refreshments alongside a stage for different entertainment throughout the day including local bands. In the corner of the square over by Huxleys there was a really lovley area for children to play under a snow machine which bought a lot of joy and fun for them. Other entertainment also included BoBo the bubble man who made some very impressive bubbles. The towns lights and tree of light were then swtiched on at 4.30pm to a very impressed and cheering crowd. It was a lovely event and we hope next year it follows the same dynamic as it seemed overall a great success. Below are some pictures that we took on the day.
Over the weekend Chipping Campden unfortunately experienced a accident to the famous and beautiful Market Hall. As the 'Tree of Light' was being put in place a JCB unforutantely knocked the top of the Market Hall damaging a lot of the stone work at the top of the building. As you can imagine it has caused a lot of uproar in the town and as it is a listed building we are unsure on the repair of this beautiful and iconic building. Fingers crossed the problem will be resolved quickly and it will be restored to its former glory.
Although beautiful all year round the winter time in the Cotswolds is really a sight to see. With the cold, crisp mornings and frosts leading on later to glorious sunshine the winter weather (if good) really shows off the area. The honey coloured Cotswold stone looks glowing all year round through sunshine, ice or snow. As there are many picturesque landscapes to see and photograph around here there are a lot of extra photo opportunities in the winter time for both visitors and locals.
Our walking tours come to a slow this time of year as it starts to get cooler and sometimes rainy! However we have lots of exciting news for the New year that we will keep under wraps for now. The walking tours were a great hit this year and my favourite part is meeting all the tourists and hearing about their travels and life.
Being local to the area is always helpful especially when it means that you get the best photo opportunities depending on the weather of the day. Below are some of the pictures that we have gathered over the last few winters so I hope you enjoy.
The summer is now definitely over and we are starting to head into the Autumn. Although the sunshine shows off the beautiful Cotswold stone throughout the area, the autumn and winter are also great for visiting us, even though the sunshine has left us there is still lots on offer. One of my favourite times is the 2-3 week period where the trees are at their most autumnal colour right before the leaves fall to the ground. There are many different places around to see these beautiful colours but one especially is Batsford Arboretum. This is a lovely day out for all ages and is always different everytime you visit as it dependant on the seasons as to what you will see on your trip. A perfect way to spend a couple of hours having a lovely and relaxing walk around the grounds. On site there is also a café and shop to finish off your day offering local and homemade food. If your into your photography there are some beautiful picture opportunities and it is definitely worth a visit. Below are a few pictures from our visit last year.
Over the next few weeks if you travel to the Cotswolds you will more than likely see a combine or two! The farmers are busy at the moment with getting the crop in from all their fields to be ready in time for the local harvest festivals. Harvesting is the gathering of ripened crops and these are usually gathered and given out within the community to the elderly and also to some of the congregation at the local church.
If you are travelling within the local area you will often see farming machinary around however at this time of the year there will be a lot more on the roads including the big combine machines. If you drive past and see them out in the fields it is fascinating to watch them at work for a few minutes.
Below are a few pictures from around the Cotswolds during the harvest, hope you enjoy.
Chipping Campden is a charming Market Town situated in the North Cotswolds. Home to locals and many visitors that travel to this area throughout the year.
Chipping Campden has a lot of history within the town and a lot of the beauty and iconic buildings that still stand today and attract a lot of the visitors were built with proceeds from the wool trade. The area is famous for the Cotswold Lion sheep, this breed of sheep have a very long coat and their wool bought a lot of money into the area because of this.
In the town stands the beautiful St James' Church, this is known as a wool church as it was also built from the money made during the wool trade. It is a beautiful church with originial stained glass windows and tombstones and memorials for some of the most influencial people within the town over the years.
Before becoming the town of Chipping Campden the area was first three seperate Hamlets known as Berrington, Westington and Broad Campden later being put together to create the Town we know and love today.
It is also the start and/or finish of the Cotswold Way, this is a 102 mile long walk along borders of the Cotswolds that passes the beautiful towns and villages along the way. The end point of this walk being in Bath. If you visit the Town you will see that there is a plaque in the floor just outside the Market Hall which tells you that starting point of this walk. There is also one identical to this in Bath.
For a small town there really is a lot of character and I think that the area as a whole has a lot to offer visitors and toursits.
I hope if you visit you enjoy it just as much as I do!
Although popular all year round the Cotswolds are exceptionally busy during the summer months and the 6 weeks holiday for schools etc. With lots of visitors to the area and many people travelling around this beautiful part of England there are a few specific places really worth visiting during the summer months.
The top place in my mind which is a must see over the next few weeks is the fields of Lavender at Snowshill just outside the village of Broadway. As you can imagine there are many visitors both local and from further afield that pay to view the magnificent sight and scent of the lavender.
As this is a seasonal attraction due to the bud of the lavender now is really the prime time to visit. The smell alone is beautiful, however along with the view of the lavender, the café and shop this is really a great place to spend a couple of hours.
You do have to pay to get into the lavender fields however on a nice day many people will take along a picnic and eat their lunch in the stunning setting.
Below are some pictures that we captured the other weekend and as you can see it really is a beautiful place to visit.
The Cotswolds have been and remain to be one of the most popular places to visit in the UK. Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1966 it cover across a number of counties such as Gloucestershire, Oxford, Somerset, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Wiltshire.
Known for it's picturesque houses and Cotswold charm the area acquired it's wealth and profit primarily from the wool trade. A lot of the success from this for the area was from the local breed of sheep known as the Cotswold Lion, the advantage of this particular breed of sheep is that they have very long hair meaning a could be taken off in order to make the wool.
A lot of the money that was made from the wool trade was put into the town into the buildings and most importantly the churches which many of them still stand today including the church of St James in Chipping Campden.
Another famous association to the Cotswolds for visitors is the very popular Cotswold Stone which is used across the area in houses and buildings. This is a lightly coloured Jurassic limestone which when under the sun looks honey coloured and makes the sun beam off the buildings giving the area and look of the towns and villages the typical chocolate box look.
For many people the Cotswolds remain an area of relaxation and adventure as well as showing an unspoilt part of the country. Thriving off business from locals and visitors this is definitely a part of the country which becomes stronger and desirable each year.
This weekend is the two days in which the Landmark Trust are opening the doors of the ruins of Old Campden House. This is a great opportunity to get close to the last remaining ruin of the original house and also take a look around the refurbished banqueting houses.
Day to day this site is normally closed and so this is a good chance for the public to have a look around.
The team here at The Campden Wonder are going to be visiting the site tomorrow and I will update some pictures and information of this onto the website early next week.
If you have looked around the site also this weekend why not get in touch and tell us about what you thought.
Keep your eyes open for some new pictures and video onto the news section.
We have an amazing competition running this month and we are asking for your help!
You may have seen that we recently got a new mascot known as the 'the wonder bear' but we would love him to have a proper name that suits him and ties in with the Cotswolds and our webpages so would love to hear your suggestions.
The best suggestion for our mascot will be sent their very own wonder bear and one runner up will be sent out a 'Campden Wonder' china mug!
So please have a look at the competition video on our homepage and get in touch with us.
Thank you and good luck!
Dont forget to take a look at our Flickr page for more photographs of the Cotswolds.