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Editor’s comment August 2013

PUBLISHED: 15:42 30 July 2013 | UPDATED: 15:43 30 July 2013

Cotswold Life editor, Mike Lowe

Cotswold Life editor, Mike Lowe

Archant

WE QUITE often get messages from readers asking where our boundaries lie. For some reason a very small lobby objects to seeing Forest of Dean features in the magazine. Others complain that we don’t carry enough stuff from Malmesbury (Wiltshire) or Malvern (Worcestershire).

It is a difficult question to answer. If we were to strictly follow the Chipping Campden to Bath outline of the Cotswold Area of Natural Beauty, we’d have to exclude Cheltenham and Gloucester, which is clearly preposterous. Adopt the Cotswold District Council map and Stroud and Chipping Norton bite the dust.

I prefer to take advantage of the fact that unlike some of our sister magazines (such as Cheshire Life and Lancashire Life) we’re not hemmed in by a county boundary. Our title affords us the freedom to go wherever we want, wherever we think our readers will find something of interest. And we are a truly aspirational title. Readers worldwide – and even in Coventry – buy this magazine because they are also buying into the perception of our enviable lifestyle. (In the wake of Leveson, I am now bound to state that Yes, we do have food banks here as well.)

Other organisations also suffer from this rather pleasant identity crisis. A small spat recently broke out when tourism quango Visit England suggested that visitors to the 2015 Rugby World Cup might be attracted rather more by the charms of the Cotswolds than by the urban delights of Gloucester. Indeed, one nincompoop is thought to have suggested that Gloucester Rugby should be re-named ‘Cotswold Rugby’ for the duration. Whoever that is, he deserves to be chained to a stanchion in The Shed next season.

However, there really is no need for residents of Gloucester to bristle at such intrusion. It’s common sense. The TripAdvisor website tells me that there are 14 hotels in the city; Mr Google suggests more, but widens the boundaries (see what I mean). And it is fair to say that most of those hotels are in the affordable, budget range. I expect them to be full to bursting with rugby fans once the tournament kicks off.

But there is another market: the wealthier fans who will base themselves in this region for several weeks while sightseeing as well as travelling to matches in London and Cardiff. Those heading here from, perhaps, Japan will fall into the £80k-a-year income bracket. Does it not make sense to point them in the direction of some of the Cotswolds’ rather posh country manor hotels?

There will be plenty of money to go round. There really is no need for an unseemly scrum.

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mike.lowe@archant.co.uk

Follow Mike on Twitter: @cotslifeeditor

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