The Cotswolds is an area of outstanding natural beauty in West Central England. The area recently gained attention for the role it played in the final Harry Potter book but its history goes back to before the Roman Empire, and its culture and atmosphere makes it a wonderful place for couples to get away.
The "romantic road" refers to the two roads that weave through the Cotswolds. There are both driving and walking tours along the roads, allowing visitors to experience the romance and history of this region. Add a stay at a cozy Cotswold stone B & B, traditional Cotswold Cottage or luxury suite at a spa hotel, and couples can create an intimate and romantic escape.
The Cotswolds hold almost unlimited shopping opportunities. While this will most likely be more fun for one half of the couple, every little village in the Cotswolds offers unique shopping opportunities, from modern retail outlets, to traditional village cobbler shops.
The Wychwood Music Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse offers the music loving couple and intimate and thrilling festival experience. The town also hosts the Cheltenham International Jazz Festival, and the Cheltenham International Festival of Music and Fringe, celebrating the best of classical music, and fringe. In the summer, the Longborough Festival Opera in Marsh offers quality opera to an audience capacity of 480, featuring a 65 member orchestra pit.
Numerous Shakespeare festivals are held throughout the year. For the couple who enjoys the festival environment the opportunities here are almost infinite. Bath's Shakespeare Festival celebrates theater, dance, comedy and music from all around the world. Stratford-upon-Avon weekend festival features strolling players and musicians, Shakespeare Morris dancing, English folk dancing, and a charity ball. Later in the summer is Shakespeare in the park in Bienheim, Woodstock. The Oxford school of drama performances in the beauty of the Pleasure Gardens.
The horse loving couple can choose from several equestrian events that gain international attention. The most famous is the Cheltenham Gold Cup, a 3 mile steeplechase held during the 10 day Cheltenham festival. The Gold Cup draws people from all around the world. There are also 3 day equestrian events, such as the Badminton horse trials, near Bath, and the Gatcome horse trials, near Tetbury. For a little different kind of equestrian event, the Blenheim Palace Jousting Tournament in Woodstock offers traditional jousting, and a falconry display.
The most romantic time on the Cotswolds is Christmastime. Couples can experience carols by candlelight in the Pump Room in Bath. Performed by a choir, the audience is encouraged to join in on some of the songs. Bourton on the Water showcases carollers in traditional Victorian dress, and the lighting of the town Christmas tree. The enchanted wood, at Westonbirt Arboretum, near Tetbury, offers a romantic stroll through the illuminated national arboretum.
These are just a few of the activities the Cotswold has for couples. An area immersed in culture and history, it is a fantastic vacation destination for residents of Great Britain and further afield.