Gloucestershire is an inland county in the south-west of England, famed for its stone architecture and the Cotswolds with its pretty pale stone villages and towns and a countryside criss-crossed with trademark stone walls. Geographically, the county is split into three main areas, the Forest of Dean, the Cotswold Hills although only part of this area is in Gloucestershire, and part of the flat valley that accompanies the River Severn. Gloucestershire borders various counties including Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and Bristol and Somerset.
It would be hard to pick the top villages in Gloucestershire for charm and sheer beauty as there are just so many to choose from. Steeped in history with their signature pale stone architecture, Cotswold villages manage to combine olde worlde charm with a 21st century style, perfect for the discerning bride who wants a country wedding with quality. Vying for the crown of prettiest village are Bibury, once lauded by the artist, William Morris, as “the most beautiful village in England”, both Lower and Upper Slaughter, Bourton-on-the-Water known as ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ which has the added attraction of the river, Painswick and Broadway, technically in Worcestershire but who cares!
If you want an elegant town wedding then Cheltenham Spa must be near the top of your list of possible venues. Voted the ‘Best Place to Live in the South West 2020’, Cheltenham is an attractive Regency spa town with Georgian crescents and style in abundance, no wonder it is known as the UK’s most complete Regency town. Cheltenham is also home to a famous horse racing festival towards the end of March so if you are thinking of a spring wedding then plan carefully around this week as accommodation gets booked up very quickly by the racegoers.
For a smaller town wedding, Gloucestershire offers an abundance of pretty market towns including Moreton in Marsh in the north Cotswolds, Tewkesbury located on the banks of the River Severn and dominated by the Abbey, Chipping Camden, home to one of the prettiest high streets in England and Lechlade, situated on the southern borders of the Cotswolds.
Gloucestershire is blessed with excellent road links and offers easy access from both the north and south of the UK. The county sits to the north of the M4 corridor and is also accessible from the M40. The M5 also runs through Gloucestershire offering links to the south-west and to the north west. Gloucestershire is at the heart of the UK’s rail network with connections to London, the Midlands and the North and South West. Birmingham airport is the closest to the county, an hour’s drive away and Heathrow an hour and a half, a road distance of only 65 miles.