Rick Steves' Europe: Cotswold Villages, England- page 2 | Rick Steves | Smithsonian
(Peter Adams / JAI / Corbis)

Rick Steves' Europe: Cotswold Villages, England

The storybook countryside of hedgerows, grazing sheep, thatched-roof cottages and stately homes harks back to the days of the medieval wool trade

Stow on the Wold

Stow on the Wold England Donnington Brewery
(Peter Adams / JAI / Corbis)

Cotswold villages, such as Stow-on-the-Wold pictured, owe their intact character to the region’s strict zoning, intended to preserve the rural landscape. History, too, played a role: a collapse of the wool industry in the 18th century consigned this corner of England to a serendipitous time warp.

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