Honey coloured buildings, lush landscapes and charming villages. Idyllic is definitely the right way to describe the Cotswolds. I spent a couple of days there over the New Year, so I was lucky enough to see the villages still lit up by Christmas decorations.
It’s a destination within easy reach of London, just a two-hour drive or ninety minutes by train. Whichever you choose, I would definitely recommend using or renting a car while you’re actually there as it can be a bit complicated to travel around without one.
I stayed in a picture perfect cottage, rented from Sykes Cottages, in the little hamlet of Broad Campden, a ten-minute walk from the historic town of Chipping Campden. (Honeypot Cottages is another good property rental website). There are beautiful cottages literally everywhere you look and the whole area is enveloped in nature. Our cottage was decorated in pale tones throughout, which meant that it was flooded with light, with cosy chairs to snuggle up in whilst reading a good book in the warmth of the flames from a log burner. And light is a particular feature of this part of the country – the entire Cotswolds is dotted with golden toned buildings that glow like honey, especially in the soft rosiness of a beautiful sunset.
The Bakers Arms, at the centre of Broad Campden, is a lovely place to rest a while after a long day’s walk. It has a warm and friendly atmosphere with a crackling log fire (canine friends are welcome too)!
Chipping Campden was one of my favourite places to visit, with some buildings dating back to the 14th century. It’s lovely to stroll from one end to the other of the picturesque high street and you’re spoilt for choice with pubs and tearooms.
I also paid a visit to Broadway, nicknamed ‘The Jewel of the Cotswolds’. It’s easy to see why: the high street is crammed with independent shops, antique stores and art galleries, all in buildings made from those unique Butterscotch hued stones. And it’s definitely worth the thirty-minute trek up to Broadway Tower, with its amazing views of this lovely landscape.
Another must-see place on your itinerary is Daylesford – one of the most sustainable organic farms in the UK. There are lovely walks between villages throughout the Cotswolds. Depending on the time of year, you can see lavender fields at Snowshill and sunflower fields at the Cotswolds Farm Park that will transport you in an instant to summer in Provence.
Other great places to stay include The Fish, a haven of serenity on the Farncombe estate or the iconic Soho Farmhouse near Chipping Norton, perfect for a country escape.
In short, it’s a great place to relax, refresh and recharge away from the hustle and bustle of the city, whatever time of year you choose to go.
Thanks for reading!