Why the Cotswolds has the X Factor

hellomagazine.com

While the majority of the X Factor crew picked international destinations as the backdrop of the Judges' Houses segment of the show earlier this month, Nick Grimshaw chose something much closer to home - the Cotswolds.

Famous for its rare limestone grassland villages and rolling hills, it's no surprise the rural hotspot is one of England's favourite areas.

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The Cotswolds is one of England's favourite areas


Its stunning landscape has even earned it a regular spot on the small screen - the Cotswolds has served as a back drop in popular dramas such as BBC's Poldark and The Casual Vacancy and BBC 2's Wolf Hall.

The beautiful setting Nick chose for his two-night stay with his six contestants was no coincidence - the five-bedroom barnhouse was designed by his close friend Kate Moss.

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Nick Grimshaw with Mark Ronson and his six contestants at the Cotswolds


The impressive house, which boasts a spacious outdoor entertaining deck, floor-to-ceiling windows, a private pool and large retractable doors, belongs to property guru John Hitchcox and his wife Phoebe and isn't up for rent.

So for those looking to spend an incredible weekend in the countryside, we have gathered the best places to stay and eat.

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This rural area is famous for its rare limestone grassland villages and rolling hills

WHERE TO STAY

Holiday like a celebrity and experience the Cotswolds at its best by renting one of the charming cottages in the area. (visit www.holidaycottages.co.uk/cotswolds)

Renting options are endless and companies such as holidaycottages.co.uk have a great selection of homes to suit a wide range of budgets. All options can be catered for - whether a large group of family and friends, couples looking for a romantic getaway or those not wanting to leave pets at home.

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The One Hope Cottage

Summer is a great season to visit, but autumn and winter are equally beautiful times to enjoy the outdoors. And with the cold months ahead, a cottage with a roaring fireplace makes for a cosy holiday base.

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The Casina Cottage

Designated as an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty since 1966, the Cotswolds is made up of six counties, each one offering beautiful homes and gardens, countryside, and stunning historic castles and stately homes.

Holidaymakers renting in the north of the Cotswolds should check out the town of Cheltenham and the beautiful ancient villages of Broadway, considered the jewel of the Cotswolds. Bourton-on-the-Water - dubbed the Venice of the Cotswolds thanks to its Windrush river and elegant low bridges - is also one for the itinerary.

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Broadway House

Those in the central region can explore the historic towns of Cirencester (the Roman capital of the Cotswolds), Painswick - often called queen of the Cotswolds - and Woodstock, home of Blenheim Palace. The south, meanwhile, is famous for the World Heritage City of Bath and ancient, untouched villages such as Lacock and Castle Combe.

WHERE TO EAT

Prithvi Restaurant

This sophisticated Indian restaurant is currently No. 1 on TripAdvisor for its excellent food and service. Standout dishes include their Tandoor baked salmon, chicken curry and mint and coriander chicken.

The Swan Hotel Brasserie

The Swan Hotel can be found in the picturesque village of Bibury, on the banks of the River Coln, and is a favourite hangout of Kate Moss. This brasserie specialises in modern European cuisine prepared from fresh local produce. Fine wines are also on offer. In the summer months, the restaurant opens out onto the courtyard, so you can enjoy your meals whilst taking in the views.

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