Weekend Break: The Cotswolds
For a weekend escape to the English countryside, there is no better place than The Cotswolds. Embodying quintessential British villages, narrow stone-lined lanes and idyllic scenery at every turn you’re sure to find more than a few things to love in one of the UK’s best destinations. Perfect in every season, winter offers cosy afternoons by a crackling open fire, spend time soaking up the golden tones of Autumn with country walks or bask in seasonal blooms and sunshine through spring and summer. With so many towns and villages, how can you make the most of a weekend in The Cotswolds?
What to do
Harkening back to its origins, Castle Combe is no stranger to featuring on lists as one of Britain’s most beautiful towns and villages. Featuring a 17th-century pub, picturesque stone bridge and a traditional church you’ll be hard-pressed to find a corner that isn’t photogenic in this town. Be sure to pop by The Manor House for a stroll around the gardens or a tea break at The Old Rectory Tea Room.
You may recognise the most famous street in this Cotswold village from the pages of the UK passport. Arlington Row is a series of quaint heritage listed weaver’s cottages that draw some of the largest crowds of any Cotswold town. Take a wander around the streets and along the stream running through the village, with a handsome pub and trout farm also proving popular.
Highly popular with visitors, Bourton-on-the-Water has plenty to offer. From exceptional bakeries to the model village, an afternoon is easily spent meandering the beautiful sandstone cottage filled laneways. On weekends you can enjoy the local farmers market or wander down one of the many country paths from behind the town to explore the neighbouring landscape.
Perhaps one of the most charming of all the Cotswolds villages, Lower Slaughter stretches across both sides of the River Eye. Daffodils line the banks in the springtime and there is a paddock with local cows to visit behind the town pub, The Slaughters Country Inn, which is an ideal place to stop for a refreshing drink after strolling around the town.
Vintage car enthusiasts will love a stop in Broadway. Even when the town isn’t hosting a car show, you’re bound to spot a few classics occupying the streets. Take a tour of the town in the vintage double-decker, explore boutique stores and tea rooms, and head up to Broadway Tower to the ancient beacon site which is the second-highest point in The Cotswolds for great views.
Where to eat
The Village Pub, Barnsley
A firm favourite for locals and visitors alike is The Village Pub. Set in the sleepy village of Barnsley, it offers up hearty meals and a selection of fine ales set within the relaxed ambience of a traditional local pub. Stone walls, timber finishings and an open fire all add to this pub’s appealing atmosphere.
The Swan at Southrop
Complete with flagstone floors and open fireplaces, this 17th century pub is riddled with idyllic Cotswold charm. The menu changes regularly with seasonal dishes and you mustn’t miss trying a pint of their own cask ale ‘The Village Tipple’.
Lucy’s Tea Room, Stow-on-the-Wold
A visit to The Cotswolds wouldn’t be complete without a traditional cream tea. One of the best can be found in Stow-on-the-Wold. Lucy’s Team Room overlooks the historic town square from the beautiful bay window that adorns the shopfront. Take time to relax with a pot of tea and slice of homemade cake for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
Where to stay
For a dreamy cottage stay just a stone’s throw from one of the best organic farms in the UK, then Daylesford cottages are ideal. Foodies will love the opportunity to join classes at the cookery school learning to make artisanal bread and the art of foraging, or unwind with a treatment at Bamford Haybarn Spa.
If you’re looking to get a little off-grid with some glamping, Campwell offers a selection of boutique yurts and shepherds huts to help you reconnect to nature through a wilderness break. With rustic appeal this eco-friendly stay will have you enjoying a digital detox and fresh air, fuss free.
The Manor House Hotel
A luxurious stay set within the grounds of this 14th-century manor house in one of the prettiest Cotswolds towns, you’ll be able to while away the hours enjoying Michelin star dining, romantic walks in the neighbouring countryside and exploring the village of Castle Combe, including its 12th-century pub.
We’re already planning our next getaway to The Cotswolds, full of great food, quaint villages and plenty of fresh air. Hopefully we’ll see you there.