COUNTRY COOL: The garden at the Cotswold House.
|St. James’ Church is an English wool church.|
|Centuries-old architecture meets contemporary design.|
FLOWER POWER: It’s impossible to visit this part of England without experiencing the classic beauty of traditional English gardens. At the Cotswold House, under the green thumb of Keith Finlay, the townhouse garden has bloomed into one of the finest in Chipping Campden, both in bold planters and in the borders that burst with color. Nearby is the famous Hidcote Manor Garden, designed in the Arts & Crafts style by horticulturalist Major Lawrence Johnston, son of Gertrude Winthrop, who purchased Hidcote Manor Estate in 1907. The garden, with its collection of rare shrubs and trees, herbaceous borders, and unusual plant species, is a series of outdoor “rooms” that peak at different times of year. Around every turn is a more magnificent array of color and texture than the last. Thanks to a generous donation of more than $3 million in 2006, the National Trust embarked on an ambitious plan to restore the garden to its 1930s glory by the year 2012.
Enjoy the Show
On the banks of the river Avon sits Stratford-Upon-Avon (www.stratford-upon-avon.co.uk), famous as the birthplace of William Shakespeare, whose plays have been continuously performed since the 19th century. This historic town is also home base for the Royal Shakespeare Company (www.rsc.org.uk), perhaps the best-known theater company in the world. The RSC’s mission is to keep modern audiences in touch with the works of Shakespeare, although its repertoire also includes works by Shakespeare’s contemporaries and living dramatists. This theatrical powerhouse attracts talent both behind the scenes and on stage, including some of today’s acting greats, such as Patrick Stewart, Helen Mirren, Patti LuPone, Jeremy Irons, and Judi Dench. Currently underway is the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, a modern-day take on the courtyard theaters of Shakespeare’s day. The prototype for this space is the Courtyard Theatre, which is hosting performances of Twelfth Night, Henry V, Henry IV, and Richard II through December.
THE COTSWOLD HOUSE
Gloucestershire GL55 6AN
+44 (0)1386 840310
Rates: $300–$1,450 a night. Visit the website for packages and special offers.
How to get there:
British Airways flies nonstop from Dallas to London Gatwick. The Cotswold House website provides detailed driving directions to the hotel. You can also reach the Cotswolds by rail. The nearest station to the Cotswold House is Moreton-in-Marsh, and the hotel offers transfer from the train station.