Travel - Our week in The Cotswolds {Part 1}

January 11, 2016

You may remember that last year, in the first week of January, we went to Norfolk {here} and the year before that was the Lake District {here}. Continuing the tradition, and not knowing what else to get each other for Christmas, we stayed in The Cotswolds last week. It was such a relaxing, cosy time and I love starting the year off with a little trip! After all the Christmas and New Year madness, it's so so lovely to spend a week just the two of us somewhere pretty and to really think about the year ahead. Some photos of that cottage and a little travelogue below if you'd like to see.

We started our trip in Bath, it's a bit of a long way round to the Cotswolds from us in Hertfordshire but we couldn't get into the cottage until 4 and it's such a pretty city that we hadn't visited for ages.

It's an old favourite of ours. And we couldn't resist walking around the whole city again. I love the Royal Crescent and the Circus, that bath stone has such charm too. We were amazed to see the roses still in flower which added to it's beauty.

After lunch and a wander round the main sites, stopping en route for the last of the sales shopping {Bath has the best mix of shops!}, we got in the car and drove out to the countryside. Within about five minutes you're in the most beautiful countryside and within about ten minutes you reach the edge of The Cotswolds. We stopped off at Tetbury, somewhere we hadn't been before and ogled the antiques shops.

From there it was onto Cirencester where we knew there was a Waitrose so we could stock up for the week, we always tend to cook in when we go away in the Winter. It's just not so appealing to go out in the cold and dark when you could stay in the cosy cottage. Somehow doing the food shop when you're away for the week just feels so much more fun than the regular supermarket sweep at home. You get to choose yummy dinners and I make Ben help me cook, it's just a slower, more special pace. 

Finally, at 4pm it was time to arrive. And oh what a beauty she was! We booked our stay through Unique Home Stays, a site that I've swooned over for years but never actually used before last week. They have some incredible cottages on there which in the summer can be thousands of pounds, more expensive than a trip to Europe, but in January of course rates are much lower. I found this on their 'romantic hideaways for 2' tab and instantly fell in love with The Honey Pot. It was picture perfect, so English, so adorable and so very Cotswolds. 

It was fairly small but never felt too small, when there's just two of you and you only take a holdall each what more space do you need. I was amazed at how easy it was to keep super tidy too and it made me think about the appeal of small spaces if they have enough storage. There was a well equipped kitchen that opened out onto a little courtyard, complete with an Aga. Ben said it was made for me with the stag picture on the wall too. I loved the beams and how crooked the whole cottage was, they just don't make them like this anymore. I think it was over 400 years old!

We were greeted with a hamper of treats, a loaf of bread and some milk. As well as use of the basics like oil, tea and coffee etc. We filled the fridge with our food shop and explored the rest of it.

The lounge was just as we'd pictured, a log burner to keep us toasty, beams and a deep sofa to sink into. But I think one of the biggest perks was a Netflix subscription! Cue hours and hours of viewing.

We tended to go out in the morning, staying out for lunch and for most of the afternoon before coming back to the cottage just before it got dark, closing all the blinds, lighting the fire, all the candles, cooking dinner together and getting something on Netflix. Our stay coincided with the new release of Making a Murderer and oh my gosh it was the best thing we'd watched in ages. So addictive and so so good to have that week as the perfect excuse to just watch the whole series within about two and a half days! One morning we bought the duvet down just to watch a couple of hours. You have to watch it. 

Other nights we had Silent Witness to watch as well as a couple of documentary movies and the some of the latest series of Orange is The New Black that we hadn't seen. All hail Netflix and the owner of the cottage who left it on the TV!

Upstairs, almost as a mezzanine level, was the bedroom with a bed I wanted to take home with me. I loved the decor.

I think the only slight let-down was the bathroom, it was tucked just off of the kitchen and it just didn't fit with the rest of the beautiful cottage. As you'll have guessed from the name of this blog, I love a rolltop, and this surprisingly didn't have one! We only showered and didn't bath all week in protest ;). 

Cottage photos aside, we'd come to stay in The Cotswolds and even though it was our third trip there of the year {after this spring stay and this one in the autumn - I know, I know, Cotswoldsed out but the November trip was for work}, there's always so much to do there. The cottage was just outside Burford, an old favourite, it's the town on the hill with a high street and gorgeous old lanes running off of it. We wandered round choosing our favourite houses, everywhere is just so old and charming. 

It was a misty morning and there were lots of Christmas wreaths still up with our last glances of fairy lights and trees through some of the windows. We were fairly lucky with the weather, there was no rain during the day to stop us doing anything but we only had sun on the last day. And everywhere was so so wet and muddy with lots of flooding around the rivers after all the rain of late.

I think this pink door was my favourite of the whole week.

Staying in Burford meant we were just minutes from the famous garden centre. And from all the comments on my Instagram I think it's one of the highlights in the Cotswolds for a lot of people, well that and Daylesford! We bought a few Christmassy bits in the sale which were marked down by 75%. I love proper sales, there's nothing more annoying than shops offering only 20 or 30% off. We want proper bargains. There's so much inspiration to take away from there too and a lovely looking cafe. Which we steered clear of, stupid January sugar ban... 

Hints of spring were starting to creep in and we spotted so many daffodils out in full bloom already. I kind of wanted them to go back to sleep until Feb/March, it will be a strange Spring this year with everything out of sync. But they certainly bring some cheer to a grey January!

We took a trip to Bibury with the famous Arlington Row that I've talked about before, I just love that row of cottages with their wonky roofs. 

Some of the roses were still blooming too! Our crazy seasons.

These hydrangeas stole my heart. Faded beauties in front of the Cotswolds stone.

And then it was onto Daylesford for our first lunch. A favourite of ours since this post.

After a yummy lunch and a look around their famous farm shop, {and a heart breaking turn down of dessert or one of their triple choc cookies that I could almost taste thanks to the Jan detox} we decided to explore one of the Daylesford farm walks. If you ask in the shop they'll give you a map with a couple of routes marked out. At this time of year all we saw was sheep in the fields but in the summer there are the Daylesford cattle as well as otters in the river.

It was a grey day but whatever the weather we always love to get out in the countryside. I've decided to split this into two as it's got rather lengthy already. Part Two coming tomorrow with more of our adventures including my list of must see villages! and drum roll, some blue skies at last.

You can find the cottage we stayed in on Unique Home Stays website here.
And nope it's not a sponsored post by the way!
R <3 xx 

You Might Also Like


  1. One can never see too many pics of the gorgeous Cotswolds! Looking forward to reading post #2 about your trip.

  2. Hi Rebecca! I clicked the link for The Honey Pot cottage in Cotswolds under Unique Home Stays and I could not find the adorable cottage to rent. Can you help?

    1. Hi Shelley, oh no the owners have discontinued renting it out :( such a shame. Unique Homestays have some other gorgeous properties though xx

  3. Amei teu blog e essa cidade é belíssima. Amo casa antigas e a vida no campo.
    Feliz 2017.


@rvk_loves on Instagram