The Cotswolds is the largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales; crossing the boundaries of six English counties; mainly Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, and parts of Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Warwickshire. This predominantly rural landscape contains stone-built villages and historical towns, with many stately homes and gardens, built from the underlying Cotswold stone, a beautiful golden-coloured oolitic limestone. The landscape is varied and contains over 3,000 miles of footpaths, cycle and bridleways, so if you love outdoor pursuits, there’s nowhere better. The area has a well-deserved reputation as a foodie destination, with outstanding local produce including cheese, fish, mustard, craft ales and gin. Farmers’ markets, farm shops and specialist food shops are readily found and the towns and villages are dotted with excellent places to eat, drink and sample a traditional cream tea. Every year, on the spring bank holiday, local cheese enthusiasts chase a wheel of Double Gloucester down Cooper’s Hill, one of the steepest slopes in the Cotswolds. This annual ‘Cheese-Rolling and Wake’ garners international attention!