A QUIRKY new book about the Cotswolds has been released.

‘Offbeat Cotswolds’ has about 400 quirky stories and facts about the area, from how penguins in Burford use a billiard table to why cloudy glass annoyed Henry VIII or when the first fizzy wine was brewed here in England rather than France.

Author and tour guide Sean Callery, from Hook Norton, said: “When I was training as a Blue Badge tour guide for the area I realised how similar the job was to my 20 year-experience of writing non-fiction books for children.

“You make information interesting and accessible and try to tell a story.”

Offbeat Cotswolds is not so much a guide book as a wander along some strange byways that take in weird and wonderful things, such as the unlikely origins of America’s flag and anthem and why part of the original Houses of Parliament decorates a house in the Cotswolds.

He said: “It’s had a fantastic reception from bookshops and other outlets. I keep having to make extra deliveries!”

For more information please visit www.offbeatcotswolds.com