When we think of the Cotswolds we think of honey and butter-colored buildings in quaint settings with beautiful village greens. What we usually don’t associate with this area are the network of canals that were created during the late 1700s to deliver goods and coal as at that time there were no railways. The first modern railroad in Great Britain was opened in1825 and that operated in the north far from the Cotswolds.
The Cotswold canals originally started life in the early 1700s and at one stage during a court battle each side had poems written to try and persuade the justices. The canals link two of England’s major rivers, the Severn and the Thames and had fallen into disuse or had been filled in.
In 1996 a restoration project started and the goal of this is “’Restore the Cotswold Canals to full navigation in the interests of conservation, biodiversity and local quality of life, and to use the restoration as a catalyst for wider social, economic and environmental regeneration in areas neighboring the canals”
The canals are around 40 miles in length and there is a partial footpath for walkers with towns and villages along the way to partake of food and beverages together with a good night’s sleep.
While the Cotswolds are pretty the canal adds another dimension to the area, bringing to life the intimate and changing history in one of England’s most beautiful areas.
These beautiful images are courtesy of “Cotswold Canals in Pictures“