|A shot of Painswick|
Painswick, the "Queen of the Cotswolds", is a beautiful Gloucestershire village within the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is situated some 6 miles south of Gloucester astride the A46 road between Cheltenham and Bath and has a population of approximately 2070. It is the largest settlement in the parish of the same name which includes the villages of Edge, Sheepscombe and Slad.
Painswick lies midway along the Cotswold Way, which stretches from Chipping Campden in the north of the county to the city of Bath in the south. It has a rich history with a particularly colourful period during the Civil War when the Roundheads took refuge in the parish church of St.Mary, which dates from the eleventh century. The church is itself famous for its churchyard in which there are reputedly ninety-nine Yew trees. Legend has it that the Devil will not permit the growth of the one hundredth tree.
Painswick Beacon, which is on the north side of the village at its highest point, is 283 metres above sea level with breathtaking views of the Severn Estuary, Brecon Beacons and Malvern Hills. It houses an Iron Age Fort and has a rich variety of flora and butterflies on the limestone grassland. It has been the home of the Painswick Golf Club for more than a century.
Painswick has a number of fine houses which reflect the prosperous era when it was the centre of the thriving wool trade. The village is well served with facilities that include a bank, post office, medical centre, public library, garagefilling station, chemist, pharmacy, butchers shop, hairdresser and general stores. There are antique gift shops, a bookshop, art gallery, specialist fabric retailer, a woodcraft shop and two estates agents: the village has its own fire station. There are primary schools in Painswick and Sheepscombe. The parish also has a number of churches of various denominations. The Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen has a permanent gallery at the Painswick Centre.
Painswick has a longstanding sporting tradition. It hosts the oldest village rugby club in England. Cricket is played in the beautiful setting of the Broadham Fields sports complex which is also the venue of Painswicks lawn tennis and ladies hockey clubs. The Falcon Bowling Club, one of two in the village, has the oldest green in the country. Sheepscombe has its own picturesque cricket ground as well as table tennis and bridge clubs.
In Painswick, The Falcon Inn, The Painswick Hotel, The Royal Oak, Chancellors and The March Hare (Thai restaurant) offer a variety of meals at various times throughout the day. A short distance from the village centre on the Gloucester Road lies the Rococo Garden tourist attraction which provides light lunches and teas. The Butchers Arms in Sheepscombe and the Edgemoor Inn at Edge also offer a range of meals, as does the Woolpack Inn in Slad, which is particularly well known, for its association with the author Laurie Lee who lived and died in the village. Accommodation details may be obtained from the tourist information centre (01452 813552), which has seasonal opening or the Parish Council office (01452 812722).