Arlington Row, Bibury

What draws people to Cotswold holidays time and time again?

Even a mere mention of the words ‘Cotswolds’ conjures up idyllic images of picture-postcard
towns and villages in pleasant rural surroundings, so you might imagine that there is little need
to spell out the more exact reasons people across the UK and beyond are continually seeking
Cotswolds holidays. However, it is instructive nonetheless to consider what makes this Area of
Outstanding Natural Beauty such a consistent draw for so many visitors, year after year.

After all, Cotswolds holidays don’t just grant you access to a range of hills spanning south-
western and west-central England. They also grant you access to a dizzying range of things to
do and see across so many enchanting towns and villages, rather more than one would expect
of a part of the UK with such a sleepy reputation. Yes, you will definitely encounter no shortage
of charming countryside, but in-between, you’ll discover the likes of prestigious stately homes,
ancient churches and impressive castles. So much about Cotswolds holidays is about history, but
it’s also about preserving those traditions that help to keep the area so alluring today.

With the Cotswolds stretching more than 100 miles from Ilmington in Warwickshire to historic
Bath, you’ll have only explored a small area of the region by the time you leave, no matter how
thorough you may be. In any case, Cotswolds holidays are the perfect holidays on which to take
your time, idly whiling away the hours. You could spend all day strolling through the picturesque
countryside that defines this part of the world, or you could pay a visit to an antique shop or art
gallery in the nearest village. Alternatively, just relax back in your accommodation, of which the
Cotswolds offer a lot. From three star hotels to Country house hotels, there’s always a fine place
to stay.

Struggling to think of somewhere to start? Well, there’s always the beautiful Chipping Campden,
where you will find one of the country’s oldest chartered weekly markets, or the busy spa town
of Cheltenham, famous for its world-class horse racing and a range of year-round cultural
festivals. And don’t forget the so-called ‘Jewel of the Cotswolds’: the picturesque village of
Broadway, with buildings dating back to the 16th Century. Any of these would make ideal bases
to explore all that Cotswolds holidays have to offer.

Guided tour of Houses of Parliament

Guided tours of Parliament

There can’t be any more iconic building in London than the Houses of Parliament (or as it was originally known the Palace of Westminster). On the banks of the Thames in central London is this imposing building and tall clock tower, Big Ben. You may not be interested in the daily goings on of our governments workplace but the heritage and history and stories of the place are fascinating.
Every Saturday there are expert guided tours of Parliament where you can see inside for yourself this fascinating building. Tours last 75 minutes and start by following the route taken by The Queen at the State Opening of Parliament; from The Queen’s Robing Room, through the Royal Gallery and Prince’s Chamber, into the majestic Lords Chamber. They move on through Central Lobby, Members’ Lobby and one of the voting lobbies before entering the Commons Chamber, scene of many lively debates.
Passing through St Stephen’s Hall, the tours end in Westminster Hall, a place where many historic trials have taken place and where Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama have addressed Parliament in more recent years.
A popular add-on is afternoon tea, which can be taken in the elegant Pugin Room in the House of Commons with views over the River Thames.
For more information and prices, see the Parliament website.

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament