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The charm of this town comes from its mellow Cotswold architecture with stone-built houses. Funded by wealthy farmers and merchants in the era when fluffy wool was called "white gold," the houses of Painswick represent a peak in English domestic architecture. The architecture is best seen by walking around New Street in the center of the village. This has to be one of the most misnamed streets in England, as it dates from 1450 and there isn't anything new about it.

Painswick Rococo Garden, B4073, .8km (1/2 mile) north of Painswick (tel. 01452/813204; www.rococogarden.co.uk), is a rare English garden and is a throwback to the flamboyant English rococo period, which lasted only from 1720 to 1760. Today the garden is best known for its spectacular display of snowdrops that appear in the early spring, sometimes when snow is still on the ground. On certain summer evenings, Shakespeare's plays are performed in the garden. Admission is £5.50 adults, £4.50 seniors, £2.75 children 5 to 16, and £15 family ticket (two adults, two children); visits are possible from mid-January until October daily 11am to 5pm.

St. Mary's Church, the centerpiece of the village, was originally built between 1377 and 1399, and it was reconstructed into its present form in 1480. Its churchyard contains 99 massive yew trees, each of which is at least 200 years old. Local legend states that no matter how hard well-meaning gardeners have tried, they've never been able to grow more than 99 of them.

Owlpen Manor: A Journey to Yesterday -- As beautiful as Painswick is, nearby is a place even lovelier. The hamlet of Owlpen Manor lies immediately to the south of Painswick, off the beaten track. This fairy-tale hamlet is administered by Nicholas Mander, a descendant of Sir Geoffrey and Lady Mander, fabled pre-Raphaelite patrons of the arts. The manor house here is open from May to September on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday only from 2 to 5pm, charging £5.75 for adults, £2.75 for children ages 4 to 14; a family ticket goes for £16. For information about visits to the manor or grounds, or rentals of the cottages, call tel. 01453/860261 or visit www.owlpen.com.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.