The Romantic Road
A Road for Tomorrow
From the edge of Cheltenham, a country road takes you to Northleach and onwards to Burford following the Windrush Valley. Lechlade and Fairford feature on this journey, en route for Cirencester via the pretty village of Bibury on the River Colne. We follow the winding road back to Cheltenham, calling into Painswick, called the 'Queen of the Cotswolds'. A tour of some 90 miles.
A delightful example of an unspoilt Cotswold wool town. Its church of St Peter and St Paul, endowed by wealthy wool merchants of the 15th century, is unofficially known as the Cathedral of the Cotswolds.
Burford contains many beautiful buildings along its main thoroughfare which twists up from the medieval (1322) bridge over the River Windrush. Hotels, inns, tea rooms and antiques shops make Burford popular with visitors, and the Church of St John the Baptist is a fine example of a Cotswold wool church.
This is the highest navigable point on the River Thames: crossing the river into the town centre is the fine Halfpenny Bridge, dating back to the 18th century.
The romance of the town is in the vicinity of the church of St Lawrence, in the market place, where in 1815 the poet Shelley was inspired to write "A Summer Evening Churchyard".
Once an important stage on the London to Gloucester coaching route, the town square contains many 17th and 18th century buildings including old inns and hotels. The 15th century church of St Mary contains fine examples of medieval stained glass windows, while the churchyard contains a memorial stone to Tiddles, a former church cat!
William Morris called Bibury the most beautiful village in England. Set in the valley of the River Coln, the village possesses an outstanding Saxon church, and the 14th century Arlington Row cottages - one of the most photographed scenes in the Cotswolds. Feed the fish at Bibury Trout Farm, or visit Arlington Mill, a folk museum with an exhibition dedicated to the Art and Crafts Movement in the Cotswolds
The ancient capital of the Cotswolds, dating from Roman times when "Corinium Dubonnorum" was the second largest city in Roman Britain, is located where Fosse Way, Ermin Street and Akeman Street converged. Visit the Corinium Museum to view one of the best collections of Romano-British material. Now a lively market town, the street market was recorded in the Domesday book of 1086, and the Parish Church of St John the Baptist is one of the grandest of all the Cotswold wool churches.
'The Queen of the Cotswolds', Painswick is a little gem of a town of silver grey stone houses and steep streets. Famed for its 99 Yew trees in the churchyard of St Mary's, (legend has it that the devil prevents the 100th from growing) and its 17th and 18th century table tombs. Visit the nearby Painswick Rococo Garden and Prinknash Abbey.