At last! Hallelujah! “Spring has sprung!” I’m not too concerned that this is an old saying and a bit predictable at that, but it is one that I’m delighted to be able to say, at long last. This winter hasn’t been too bad a bit of snow about a month ago but nothing quite like the nightmare of 2010 and 2011 when we all ground to a halt. What’s more we had hardly any boiler or heating problems in the cottages, which is a huge relief for me and a sign that we’ve had a good winter!
So now, the sun is out and the garden is leaping into action which should mean I get down, get dirty and get ready for the allotment. But as ever, I like to look for excuses to avoid the back breaking digging where possible or even reward myself if I have put the spade work in – literally. It means I can get out and see some classic Cotswolds gardens, of which there are many within easy distance of every corner of the region.
Cotswold’s Arboretum Luckily for me, as part of my job I do travel around the Cotswolds every week which allows to see spring in full flow, daffodils, crocus and snowdrops for example, and then the trees showing the first sign of waking up from their winter slumber. If, however, you are staying in the area for any length of time, then be sure to go to Westonbirt Arboretum, located near to Tetbury in the southern Cotswolds or the Batsford Arboretum just outside Moreton in Marsh where you will see acres of plants and flowers saying goodbye to the cold weather and getting ready for the spring and summer months ahead. Both of these ‘gardens’ (much bigger than that in reality) are quite spectacular at any time of the year, but right now they are quite amazing.
If you’re looking for holiday cottages in either of these locations try:
River Avon If you are staying or travelling in the northern Cotswolds, anywhere near Evesham you will delight at the sight of the blossoms that tend to appear at this time of the year. Look out for apple trees in their hundreds, taking over nearby fields as you approach the market town itself. Don’t miss a visit to the River Avon either, as it is lined with trees and looks quite resplendent at this time of year. A great spot for walking
Snowdrops are a popular sight during spring as well, so if you are in time to see them and you are coming to the Cotswolds make sure you head for the Painswick Rococo Garden. The area around Painswick is simply stunning; as is the town itself – a real traditional Cotswolds location – but to get the best of spring I would urge you to take a trip to the gardens here. To say there is a blanket of snowdrops covering the gardens in February/March would be an understatement. They will be coming to an end in the next few weeks now but you can still mark it in your diary for next year. We have a really top drawer cottage nearby in Cranham called Lakeside Cottage.
There is a lot to be said for taking an early break in the Cotswolds, even if only for a long weekend! Relaxing in a Cotswolds cottage for a few days is just what any doctor would order – except for a few walks among the snowdrops, of course.
Bluebell Weekend This is also the time of year when the bluebells wake up. In fact if you can wait until April you can take part in the Cotswolds Bluebell Weekend. This is on the 24th and 25th April this year. Chipping Norton, Chipping Campden and Wotton-under-Edge are just three of the areas where bluebells will be seen on this particular weekend.
I could go on and many people stay I ‘go on’ for far too long, but of course you don’t have to follow any of my suggestions or a particular trail or event to see the Cotswolds welcoming in this most important season each year. You can visit the area and (hopefully!) stay in a nice Cotswolds cottage from Manor Cottages, planning your own route to see everything the countryside here has to offer. It is good to see some of the main areas such as the arboretums and some of the gardens that are open to the public. But it is just as good to wander around the local footpaths and to follow some of the Cotswold Way to see what else you can see while you are in the area.
Spring has definitely sprung, and you can make the most of it now. We’d be delighted to hear or read your suggestions about your Cotwolds Spring ideas. After all, I’d be delighted to kept off my allotment for a little while!