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The Rough Guide to The Cotswolds: Includes Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon Paperback – 2 May 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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  • The Rough Guide to The Cotswolds: Includes Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides; 1 edition (2 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848366043
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848366046
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 1.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 329,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

The holiday-makers' favourite guidebook series (The Sunday Times Travel Magazine)


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Marand TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have recently moved back to south Warwickshire/Gloucestershire border after thirty years of living elsewhere and bought this guide to provide information about the area around my new home and to re-acquaint myself more generally with an area I knew pretty well in my teenage years. It is good to have a guide that covers not only the Cotswold escarpment which forms the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty but also the neighbouring areas both north (Stratford-upon-Avon & the Vale of Evesham), south (Oxford & Woodstock, for Blenheim Palace) and west to Bath. This makes a good deal more sense for the visitor than a guide restricted solely to the AONB and should make it easy to devise a suitable itinerary.

Whilst the guide covers the major sights in the area it also provides information on places off the beaten track. There is plenty of information about public transport albeit in many rural areas the options are somewhat limited and a car will be essential for some places/areas. The details of timetables for the area I live in are accurate. There are also plenty of tips for places to stay and eat, the assessment of local pubs & eateries that I have tried being reliable in my view.

By and large this guide isn't as 'sniffy' about the popular places as some RGs although occasionally there is a slightly barbed comment. For example, one rather attractive off the beaten track village that I know is, in a disparaging tone, described as "over-neat". I can only assume the author has some objection to well-kept houses and mowed grass, which is pretty typical of all the villages in the area, particularly those, like the village in question, which are largely conservation areas!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love all the walking suggestions and web links. Good restaurant recommendations
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By Squirr-El HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 28 Jun. 2015
Format: Paperback
This 272-page book - the 2nd (print) edition of June 2015 - is an interesting and readable (the two are not always found together) guide to the Cotswolds region of western-central England, which takes in parts of Gloucester, Worcester, Warwick, Northampton and Oxfordshire, as well as bits of other counties. Unlike many guides, this is not a glossy booklet dotted with colourful photographs to make it look superficially attractive, but a (literally) rough guide in terms of comparative paper finishes, but well-designed and presented, with readable text, useful maps, and (well-chosen) photographs only where space allows. The excellent design and layout means that you don’t need unnecessary spot illustrations to break up column after column of small-printed data.

The Contents are
P004: Introduction (Where to go, when to go, what to see, etc.)
P020: Basics (travel, accommodation, food & drink, events & activities, & other touristy stuff)

The Guide
P040: Cheltenham and the south Cotswolds
P076: The central Cotswolds
P108: The north Cotswolds
P134: Stratford-upon-Avon and the Feldon
P152: The Oxfordshire Cotswolds
P182: Banbury and North Oxfordshire
P200: Oxford

P242: Contexts (articles on history & books.)
P250: Index
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very detailed, useful descriptions of towns and villages, and includes great maps and guides to new restaurants, pubs, atmospheric cafes.
Helpful information about what to do in each town. Worth the price. We'll be taking it with us.
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Good product, service and value. Thanks.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sampled the delights of the Cotswolds after buying it.
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Format: Paperback
The poor Cotswolds. This is a region of England forever being misrepresented. It's either portrayed as a posh, honey-coloured hideaway for harangued celebs and upper middle class mums on yoga retreats, or packaged up like a quaint Richard Curtis style film set for twee-seeking foreign tourists. There's *some* truth in both these clichés of course, as there always is, but you rarely get to see or read anything that presents the Cotswolds in any more depth, especially in a guide book. This book, however, is very different.

What Matthew Teller does really well in this new Rough Guide, is not to dispel these stereotypes as myths - because they're not, entirely - but to place them in their rightful context and then move on. The Cotswolds is an astoundingly pretty corner of the country, it's true, but that fact in itself betrays nothing of its heart and guts. This is an ancient patchwork of proud market towns and dyed-in-the-wool rural communities, working hard to overcome the realities of an economic situation which makes it almost impossible to maintain the agricultural way of life it's relied upon for centuries.

Where this book really succeeds is in bringing to light how this has affected the region, by revealing the reality of the Cotswolds today: a world of ancient or obsolete traditions revived in the spirit of "diversifying" (and because tourists love all that stuff), the localisation of the food chain and a subsequent glut of farmer's markets, and an astonishing gastronomic scene that's sprung up in the wake of all this. Add to this the region's plethora of oddball events and attractions, not to mention its serenity and obscenely beautiful views, and there you have it.
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