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A visit to the beautiful Cotswolds

Pam Coutts from Janet Redler Travel & Tourism enjoyed a wonderful trip to the Cotswolds and an overnight stay at the Royal Agricultural University - a most impressive building.

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The university is set in rolling countryside on the outskirts of Cirencester, a beautiful part of the world and particularly central for visiting the gardens of Highgrove, Painswick and Puzzlewood which are quite stunning. 

The area is steeped in history and many of the buildings are made of lovely Cotswold limestone. The church in the centre of Cirencester is an incredible building with a frontage ‘add on’ in latter years, which will no doubt weather to match the original building in time. 

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The town is very quaint with numerous eateries - cafés, pubs and restaurants, including Michelin starred restaurants a short drive away. Guided tours of the town can be arranged with local historians covering many areas of interest - whether that is the English Civil War, religion or geology.

The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) is a fabulous place for groups to stay on a budget. The Porter's Lodge at the back of the university is the setting for the courtyard market scene in Poldark - just fabulous!

Over 300 rooms are available in either single, twin or double format. Most are en-suite and some floors in the modern area have a communal lounge with TV, and tea and coffee making facilities available in a small kitchen. The single rooms are compact, spotlessly clean and very comfy - perfect for group travel!

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The outstanding views over the campus and the total silence in the morning was quite deafening. It was so sunny when I woke I opened the windows to let it all in, but spotted a notice asking residents to keep the windows closed when not in residence to keep the pigeons out. I’d no sooner opened it and had to shoo two away - desperate to get it in!

Food is available in the refectory - large full English breakfasts, any amount of fresh fruit, porridge, breads, croissants - almost too much choice! Roasts are served on Sunday and the puds are delicious.

On arrival at RAU we attended a drinks reception with the local mayor and a representative from Cotswolds tourism, in the ‘wedding room’. (The RAU is licensed for weddings). We were treated to cream cheese and spinach wrapped in smoked salmon for starter, followed by baked chicken with fresh veg and roasted baby potatoes, and to finish off, the best Eton mess ever! All this was served in the large function room.

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We visited nearby Chavenage House on Monday and met the most delightful aristocrat - Mr David Loseley Williams - whose family has owned Chavenage for many many years. He told us a wonderful tale about his marriage to his delightful wife. He had only been engaged for a few days when his uncle, who resided at Chavenage, became very poorly and passed away. And so, within days, he had to move in and organise their wedding - his wife wore her grandmother's wedding dress, as there was no time to go out and have one made! David and his wife have been married for over 60 years now. He was such a good, entertaining tour guide and his aristocratic manner was mesmerising! 

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The house is used to film the series Poldark and Mr Loseley Williams and his family have been extras many times. There are parts of the house that still have all the original furnishings, including the amazing tapestries that adorn the bedroom walls.  An absolute must if you are in the area. The family also have three wonderful dogs (the icing on the cake for me!!) 

If you or your group would like to enjoy the delights of the picturesque English Cotswolds, or if you would like to enjoy a location tour of your favourite film or TV show, please do contact our friendly team and we can organise the perfect tailor made vacation for you.

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