Buying or Letting a House, Cottage, Business or Offices in the Cotswolds
The Cotswolds is a 789 square mile 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' the largest of such areas in England and Wales. Stretching from Broadway in the North to Bath in the South, from Oxford in the East to Cheltenham in the West.
The Cotswold villages are generally in 'Conservation Areas' and the period houses and cottages (between 300 and 400 years old) are at least Grade II listed. As there is a finite quantity of this type of property supply is limited and an ever increasing demand which, of course, leads to higher than average prices.
The Cotswold region is also regarded as a 'safe haven' due to the relatively low crime rate and is therefore very popular as a retirement area.
Where do you choose your Cotswolds Dream if you are not familiar with 'England's Jewel'?
There are many influencing factors, your age (hilly or flat), remote or local, village or market town, tourist or not, twee or not so twee, working or retired.
A Profile of a large Cotswold Village
Broadway is a large Cotswold village - known as the Northern Gateway to the Cotswolds with a population of around 2500. Broadway has one of the longest High Streets and is one off the prettiest villages in England. Broadway is a large village and has absolutely everything to hand so the use of a car is totally unnecessary. The facilities include a Budgens supermarket (well hidden behind the high street), butchers, delicatessen, post office, well run doctors surgery, three pubs, two banks, two hotels (including the famous Lygon Arms), and besides the hotels and pubs, two good restaurants for eating out. The village is also known as an Arts centre and has several 'fine art' galleries.
The village is a mecca for tourists and so, as you might expect, there are plenty of tourist type shops but also good selection of clothing and fashion retailers.
Lets deal with the tourist issue as this seems, for some, to cast a shadow on whether they would like to live with a daily throng of sightseers that infiltrate the more touristy type Cotswold places.
Firstly, tourists visit at say 10.30am and leave at 5.00pm, at this latter time the village returns to its peace and quiet (some may say too quiet).
Looking at at the positive issues of tourism. Tourism brings money and keeps the village vibrant so warding off the death knells we see in other places. It ensures that local amenities such as butchers, green grocers and Post office are kept. Tourists are out to enjoy themselves and so are happy - this happiness rubs off on to the local population so everyone ends up smiling - a win win situation.
If the thought of tourists is still too much then look to buy a property away from the centre of gravity in a quiet backwater.
Broadway village is located at the foot of the Cotswold escarpment bordering the Vale of Evesham and is therefore relatively flat and for those that like hills then these ar only minutes away. Geographically well placed for the working person means Birmingham is commuting distance, London is 1 hour 40 mins away by train from nearby Moreton-in-Marsh, by car Stratford-upon-Avon is 25mins, Worcester 30mins, Gloucester 45mins, Bath 90mins, Evesham with Tesco and Morrisons supermarkets 10 mins away.
The main High Street is a Conservation Area and lined with period properties. A short walking distance are more modern houses and so the village caters for all tastes and pocket sizes.
For more information about Broadway
A profile of a small Cotswold village
Naunton is a very typical Cotswold village with a population of circa 380 soles.
Naunton is a sleepy little village nestling in the Windrush Valley. Spend a few hours just walking through meadows or admiring the beautiful cottages and houses in the tranquil main street. There are some very scenic walks that start in Naunton taking in the Church and the infant River Windrush as it winds its way through the village.
Typically, in the English tradition, the village has a church and a pub and that is about it, although there is a Golf Club close bye.
For more information about Naunton
For more information about the smaller and out-of-the-way Cotswold villages
A Profile of Cotswold Market Towns
Cotswold Market Towns have their own town council and Mayor and some examples are Chipping Norton (6000), Woodstock (2200) and Burford (population 1200) in Oxfordshire, and in Gloucestershire Stow-on-the-Wold (population 3000), Moreton-in-Marsh (population 3400) and Chipping Campden (2500).
There is a wide divergence of population counts and so the differences between a village and a town and even between towns can be misleading and blurred. Almost certainly a 'town' will offer more facilities than even a large Cotswold village such as Broadway - but then - you will have to put up with more traffic and hustle.
All the towns mentioned above are bustling due to the fact they act as a centre of gravity for many surrounding Cotswold villages providing the ancillary services such as medical treatment, supermarkets, recreation, and retailing. They all have a wide variety of tourist shops, accommodation providers, and restaurants.
Chipping Norton is very much of a working town and does not pander so much to tourism as the others. This reflects in its overall demeanour and for example the type and quality of shops you will find there.