5 Cool Ways To Explore The Cotswolds

With picture-postcard houses and stunning landscapes, the Cotswolds is deservedly one of the nation’s favourite places to visit


With picture-postcard houses and stunning landscapes, the Cotswolds is deservedly one of the nation’s favourite places to visit

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With picture-postcard houses and stunning landscapes, the Cotswolds is deservedly one of the nation’s favourite places to visit... 1 The Cotswold Way With 102 miles to explore, there are endless options for enjoying the area's outstanding natural beauty. One of 15 National Trails, the Cotswold Way runs between beautiful Bath and Chipping Campden. While some walkers take up the challenge of completing the whole trail over a week or more, you can dip in and out with circular walks lasting one or two days. Still too much? Then enjoy the many shorter and easier access walks. Be prepared for steep hills, and some of the finest and most diverse landscapes in the country, with everything from bluebell woods to wildflower meadows. It's all carefully managed by rangers from Natural England - look out for its acorn symbol along the trail.

2 Batsford Arboretum With 56 acres of specimen trees, shrubs, and botanical gardens, Batsford Arboretum is one of the largest private tree collections in the country and a glorious way to enjoy the Costwolds countryside. Foodies can indulge in freshly baked cakes and locally sourced treats at the café, plus there's also a garden centre and shop with a huge range of plants and gifts. See some of the areas given over to native wildflowers, then pop next door to find out about the beautiful birds that are bred and cared for at the Cotswold Falconry.

3 Highgrove Who knows how much digging and planting is done by the royal hands themselves, but Prince Charles certainly loves and treasures the stunning Royal Gardens at Highgrove, his country home.You can dip your toe in the regal pond, figuratively speaking at least, by pre-booking a visit to join one of the Highgrove walking tours. See the Stumpery, and the Cottage, Sundial and Kitchen Gardens, then sip champagne and enjoy lunch or afternoon tea in the Orchard Restaurant. And of course, there's a shop with lots of Highgrove goodies.

4 Outdoor activities Really want to embrace countryside pursuits? Then how about a spot of adventure sport such as clay pigeon shooting? It challenges your skill as a shot, as well as being great fun to do with a group of friends. Best of all, you get to fire a gun - without a dead bird at the end of it.Mount Pleasant Farm offers days out that are perfect for birthdays or big get-togethers, which includes tuition, either one-on-one or as a group. Opt for its 'Fun Pack' for you and three or more friends and you'll get to take part in a 20-bird competition with a trophy at the end for the winner, so you can celebrate your hot shot prowess. Contact Cotswold Activities for countryside bike trekking, track riding or quad biking, or take to the air, sip champagne and get a bird's eye view with Ballooning in the Cotswolds.

5 The Model Village, Bourton-on-the-Water One of the Cotswold's most famous villages, Bourton-on-the-Water, has been recreated in miniature. Children and adults alike will adore walking through the little streets and wonder at the carefully constructed houses and cottages, representing the village as it was in the 1930s, with carefully tended bonsai trees. There's even a model of the model village itself.

When you're travelling with family and friends, the comfort-access feature of the seven-seat BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer makes it easier than ever to go keyless when opening the doors - great when you've already got your hands full with the kids. They'll love the leg-room and fold-down tables. And just a flick of a foot will have the boot automatically opening up smoothly, so in goes all the bulky luggage - and off you go on a BMW Cotswolds adventure...

To win your own luxury family weekend away in the Cotswolds with the use of a BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer for the duration, click here.

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