The Heart of Old England
 The region known as the Cotswolds, in the west-central part of the country, is sometimes
referred to as "the heart of England."  To say that it's picturesque - with its beautiful
villages built of Cotswold stone - would be an understatement.  Artist William Morris,
founder of the Arts & Crafts movement in the 19th century, believed Bibury, in the
Cotswolds, was the most beautiful village in all of England.  (He would get an argument
from me, because, after going through hundreds of photos this past week, I don't believe
it's possible to choose just one, they're all too lovely to have one that's the best.)
 Since I'm a devoted Agatha Raisin fan (M. C. Beaton's fictional sleuth, based in the
Cotswolds), I can recite the names of the towns as easily as if I'd lived there, and the
names are as picturesque as the stone cottages:  Bourton-on-the-Hill, Chipping Campden,
Chipping Norton, Moreton-in-Marsh, Shipston-on-Stour, Stow-on-the-Wold,
Wotton-under-Edge; and one of the most famous, Shakespeare's birthplace,
 The Cotswolds region was designated by the government as an Area of Outstanding
Natural Beauty in 1966, the largest area of that kind in Great Britain (in the UK, an A.O.N.B.
has the same status as a National Park).
 I hope you enjoy your visit to the villages of the Cotswolds - the Heart of Old England - as
much as I've enjoyed putting this page together.   Nancy
There is something more beautiful about today.
Even more beautiful than...
birds winging,
chimes singing,
flowers growing,
bees humming,
clouds passing,
wind dancing,
sun sparkling,
rain splashing.
The most beautiful thing about today
is that it's another chance
to do all the things you've meant to do,
but never got around to doing before.
The beauty of this day lies within you.
House believed to be the birthplace of William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon
Many of the photos on this page came from a wonderful
Places to Go Around the UK, the link to the site's
Cotswolds page is
here.  Other photos are courtesy of:  
Wikimedia Commons & Saffron Blaze;  The Cotswolds
Guide;  Encyclopedia Britannica;
Designated Areas of Outstanding
Natural Beauty in the UK.  
courtesy of
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Wherever you are, there is beauty all around, but not everyone realizes it.  -- Confucius
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