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Self-catering holiday rentals in Gloucestershire for your home stay

Gloucestershire is one of the UK's most scenic places, with its rural areas including both the Cotswolds hills and the Forest of Dean. The county also has some fascinating towns and cities to visit, such as Cheltenham, Cirencester and Gloucester. Most people who choose the region for a holiday do so to enjoy the unspoiled beauty of the Cotswolds. Perhaps the best way to do this is on foot, by hiking stretches of the Cotswolds Way, a 102-mile trail that runs from Chipping Campden to Bath. There are also lots of shorter circular walks in the area that take in the scenery and traditional pubs around pretty towns, such as Winchcombe and Wotton-under-Edge. You will find plenty of historic attractions dotted around the Cotswolds, including Chedworth Roman Villa, the medieval Sudeley Castle, the Elizabethan Chavenage House and the Cotswold Motoring Museum in Bourton-on-the-Water. Self-catering accommodation in the Cotswolds is also a perfect base from which to visit Cirencester and Cheltenham. Cirencester is packed with history and its attractions include a collection of Roman finds at the Corinium Museum, the remains of a 12th-century abbey and the medieval Church of St John the Baptist, which is one of the most architecturally important parish churches in the UK. Just a short journey from Cirencester is the Cotswold Water Park, a collection of 150 lakes that includes areas for angling, kayaking, sailing and windsurfing, together with a number of nature reserves where you can see rare plants, otters, water voles and nightingales. Cheltenham is a spa town famed for its horse racing course and Regency architecture. It also hosts a number of cultural events throughout the year, including literature, jazz, science, music, film and comedy festivals. There is a great day out for children just a few miles from Cheltenham in the form of Cotswold Farm Park, which has a petting barn, demonstrations of farming techniques and mini tractors for kids to drive. Another excellent choice for a short break is a holiday rental in the Forest of Dean, where you will enjoy the idyllic scenery of one of the UK's ancient woodlands. It's a great location for hiking and horse riding, while it has some of the best trails in the country for off-road cycling. The area has a long industrial history, which you can learn all about during a day at the fascinating Dean Heritage Centre. It has five galleries full of artefacts that tell the story of Forest of Dean's industry, along with living exhibits such as a Victorian school room and charcoal burner's camp. The centre also has plenty to keep younger children occupied, including ferret walking and a Gruffalo-themed woodland trail. The city of Gloucester is another good option for a holiday, as it is surrounded by beautiful countryside and has a selection of good restaurants. Perhaps the highlight of the attractions in Gloucester is its 11th-century Romanesque-Gothic cathedral, which has a tower from where you can enjoy stunning views of the local area. You may find children are particularly interested in touring the cathedral, as it formed the set used for Hogwarts School in three of the Harry Potter movies. Kids are also likely to enjoy the Beatrix Potter's House of the Tailor of Gloucester museum, together with the Gloucester City Museum and Art Gallery's dinosaur exhibition.

Holiday letting in Gloucestershire for your short break

There is a wide range of holiday cottages in Gloucestershire that make ideal bases from which to explore the Cotswolds. Most of them are character properties located in pretty villages and small towns, meaning you will be within walking distance of traditional pubs and stretches of wide-open countryside. There are homes available that sleep between four and eight people, which have period features, together with all the modern facilities you could possibly need. To make your break really memorable, you could book a grand Regency house in the Cotswolds for a few days. It will have all the mod-cons you would expect, but the luxurious feel is certain to add to your enjoyment. Alternatively, there are a number of holiday cottages, farmhouses and barns in the Forest of Dean, including properties that sleep up to 14 people. They have great views and a selection of special touches, such as wood burners, beams and outdoor furniture. You will also find a variety of high-quality holiday accommodation in Gloucestershire's towns and cities, including manor houses and bungalows in Cirencester, townhouses in Gloucester and apartments in Cheltenham.

Best time to enjoy Gloucestershire

One of the great things about Gloucestershire is that you can enjoy its attractions at any time of the year. There is no reason for winter weather to put you off a holiday in the Cotswolds or Forest of Dean, as the area looks beautiful when covered in frost and the hiking and cycle trails are still open. You will also feel you have deserved an hour sitting in front of an open fire with a glass of locally-made cider in a village pub after a walk in the cold. The summer school holidays is the best choice for a family break in Gloucestershire, as the dry weather will allow children to play outside in the countryside. However, it is also worth thinking about taking a holiday in the Cotswolds during the autumn half-term, when the trees at the National Arboretum in Westonbirt are particularly spectacular. There are many events in the area throughout the year and you may wish to book a holiday house in Gloucestershire to coincide with one of them. The most popular is the Cheltenham Festival in March, which is widely regarded as the world's most prestigious national hunt horse racing meeting. The Badminton Horse Trials at the Badminton Estate each May is one of the social highlights of the county's calendar, while October's Cheltenham Literature Festival always attracts a selection of the world's leading authors.

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                                                                                                      Holiday Rentals Accommodation in Gloucestershire (300+)