Travel - Our Week in The Cotswolds {Part 2}

January 13, 2016

Following on from Part 1 {here}, some more photos from our cosy week in The Cotswolds and some recommendations on what to do there.

There are so, so many picture perfect towns and villages to explore. The Cotswolds covers a huge area from Bath across to Oxford up to Stratford and across to Gloucester/edge of Wales! But once you're there, everything seems so close together. I think it's because driving there is just so pretty, there's always amazing countryside or beautiful villages to drive through.

Depending on where you're based will depend on how much you'll have to drive around to different places. We were in Burford which is pretty close to Stow on the Wold, Bibury, Cirencester, Daylesford at Kingham, The Slaughter's etc. So look on a map before you choose where to book accommodation wise. But equally we drove out to Cheltenham and Stroud one day which was about an hour, and Broadway was about 40mins from us. 

Personally I would avoid recommending Bourton on the Water as it is far too touristy. I mean it's quite pretty with the river running through and bridges but it's just lost all charm with the bus loads of Japanese tourists and crappy shops. If you want real Cotswolds charm then Bibury, Broadway, Burford, Chipping Norton, Tetbury, Woodstock and The Slaughters are where you'll find it. And then Cirencester is a bit bigger {which I talked more about on our last trip here} but still just as gorgeous, Cheltenham is a regency Spa town with amazing shops and gorgeous architecture but much more of a bigger town feel. Oxford and Bath are even bigger, proper cities but still with such a lovely feel about them that's just so different to London that we're used to. And so beautiful! So plan accordingly and see where you visit.

We didn't visit all of those on this recent trip but have done over the last few years. We went back to old favourites like Bibury, Broadway and Burford, {as well as taking half a day at Cheltenham and Stroud which was nice but not our ultimate favs} and discovered some new lovely parts like Chipping Norton which we'd never been to before. Hello house heaven. We wanted to visit Snowshill but completely forgot until it was too late, oops! Next time for sure.

Just what you imagine a little English cottage to look like, right?! In the summer I bet they're all covered in flowering roses too. 

We mainly spent our days driving round to the various villages for a little wander, stopping for lunch at places that took our fancy {Daylesford, the best baguettes from the Cotswolds Baguettes in Stow and Yo! Sushi in Cheltenham lol not very British..} and did small walks because the weather looked a bit iffy. But on our last day the sun shone and we decided to make the most of the countryside with one of the Cotswolds Way circular walks {here}.

We chose a walk that wasn't tooo long, about 4 miles, that started and finished in Broadway, somewhere you must visit. Such a lovely little town and oh gosh the houses!!

There were daffodils everywhere and just behind the high street we were into the countryside. Miles and miles of the greenest fields with the bluest sky. 

It was stupidly wet and muddy after all the rain we've had over the last couple of weeks. Can you remember a milder, wetter Winter?? So we were pleased we had our wellies. You'd have very wet feet if you did it in walking boots/shoes at the moment.

But mud aside, it was a beautiful route taking us through fields, up country lanes, past centuries old churches and even some horses. It really felt like Spring that afternoon and we were reminded just how much we love England {most of the time}.

The walks are well signed {we've got lost in the past following new walks} and it led us up to the Broadway Tower with the best views for miles across to Wales on a clear day. There was a cafe and shop at the top, we mourned the fact we couldn't stop for a hot chocolate due to the no-sugar-january thing. But then had the best part, walking back alll down hill!

It was so good to feel the sunshine and walk under blue skies after weeks of such grey, oppressive weather. It changes everything.

It was so windy being up that high but we took a couple of silly selfies nonetheless... 

... and then decided that we wanted some proper photos to remember this day. So we set the camera onto self-timer mode, rested it on a gate post and posed for these! Which I really love. 

After a few near-misses slipping in the mud down the hill we were back in Broadway ready for a look round the shops {art galleries, upmarket antiques, the OKA showroom, delis and farm shops} and one last ogle at the houses. 

The perfect afternoon to finish our trip with. We went home and watched the finale of Making a Murderer, felt very sad, and then headed home the next day. Why do weeks have to fly by?? The only saving grace was coming home on a Friday so you have a whole weekend ahead before Monday.  

It was a gorgeous morning as we left, bye bye lovely cottage and the cute lane we were staying on. Home awaited with frosty fields and wintry scenes the whole way back. 

If you're thinking of going to the Cotswolds you can read my previous posts on it {1. A Spring stay here}{2. Autumn here} and {3. Daylesford Organic here} and {4. Blenheim Palace here} {5. our very first visit Here} and {6. Summer in Oxford here}. The cottage we stayed at as written about in Part 1 can be found here.

Have you been? Where are your favourite places? Yay for mini-breaks, such special times.

R <3 xx 

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