5 Dreamy Nights In The Cotswolds

Ladies and gents I’m officially in my countryside chic era.

I had the most wonderful break in the Cotswolds with my mum and Archie. We stayed in the most loveliest thatched cottage home, which has been a dream of mine to stay in one of these cottages for a very long time.

The inside was very cosy, homely and we were surrounded by stunning interiors. Oh and the bed was so so comfy! I struggled to get up in the mornings as I was snug as a bug.

I booked the cottage on Airbnb last minute by the way. I don’t always think to use Airbnb, but you do often find some gems on there.

Anyway, for those who don’t know, I travel to the Cotswolds once a year. It’s a fairly new tradition, since around 2019. However, I’ve never stayed for longer than two or three nights.
This time I wanted to make the most of visiting all the pretty villages nearby. We didn’t cover all of the areas I would have liked to, but we covered quite a fair bit from the likes of ‘Bourton-on-the-water’, ‘The Slaughters’ and ‘Stratford-Upon-Avon’ which is slightly further a field. As well as many other pretty locations.

Day 1

We checked into the gorgeous cottage located in ‘Shenington’, which is on the outskirts of ‘Banbury’, a little after 3pm, unpacked our things and went for a brisk walk around the village. I made us an early tea and then we had a super early night, in prep for a full day of exploring the following day.

Everything about the cottage was perfection. Opening the door in the mornings to breathe in the countryside fresh air and listen to the birds chirping was so joyful. As well as this, the free-standing-bath was such a treat to use every single night after a full day of trotting around.

Day 2

We popped to my favourite villages, ‘Bourton-on-the-water’, ‘The Slaughters’ and ‘Stow-on-the-wold’ on day two. They are such serene and romantic towns to walk around. I felt like I was having a “The Holiday” moment, minus anything happening in the romance department and it not being the festive period.

We did drive through ‘Broadway’ and ‘Chipping Campden’ too, both villages looked rather beautiful but we thought we would visit on another occasion as the sun was setting.

Regarding some delicious food moments. Mum and I had the cheesiest scrummiest toastie of dreams and a hot beverage in the cutesy Bakery on the water located in ‘Bourton-on-the-water’.

Also, we had the BEST cream tea in the Cotswolds at Lucy’s tearoom in ‘Stow-on-the-wold’. I do love a warm fluffy crumbly scone with clotted cream and jam. Cream tea is a very British thing to do isn’t it!

Also how lucky were we with the weather, we had gorgeous warm days pretty much every single day in March. Considering how unpredictable the UK weather can be… thanks to Global Warming and just the UK being the UK, I think we hit the jackpot with right timings to go to the Cotswolds.

As much as I love visiting there during the colder seasons, early March was perfect.

Anyway, I very much enjoyed a moment outside St Edward’s Church door in ‘Stow-on-the-wold’, it’s very fairytale-like and surreal. Almost had a bit of a LOTR feel.

I was also admiring all the pretty cottage doors, from the pretty pinks to lots of sage green doors dotted around. I’ve always wanted a modern-cottage-styled door, maybe one day when I’m ready to tackle my forever growing list of house improvements.

Day 3

We decided to give ‘South Leigh’ in Witney a little visit. I’ve stayed in ‘South Leigh’ twice before, it’s where the Artist Residence is located, which I’m a big fan of. It’s very ‘Instagrammable’, well very Artsy as the name states. I wrote about my last stay there here.

We had a delicious lunch at The Mason Arms, attached onto the Artist Residence. A gorgeously styled pub.

We also stopped by the village ‘Hardwick’ which is about 5 minutes away from the Artist Residence, as that is my maiden name. There wasn’t much there, but a few cottages and barns.

After that, we drove to ‘Oxford’ and spent a fair few hours there.

I loved exploring ‘Oxford’, taking in the beautiful architecture and wandering around the streets. ‘Oxford’ reminds me of Harry Potter, so, that’s probably why I loved exploring the town so much as I’m a serious HP nerd. Funny story, well not so much a funny story… I’m still a tad pissed that my mum sold my first edition signed Harry Potter books at a car boot sale for 50p each a few years ago. She is never going to live that down! Also, I could have been in the HP films as they were asking all the local schools around Watford to star in them, I turned it down as I was too shy.

Any who, I would like to go back to ‘Oxford’ and have a proper explore inside some of the stunning buildings as we were quite limited with time.

Day 4

We had a little wander around ‘Broadway Tower’, it’s about a twenty minute walk around the tower. Then we popped to ‘Broadway’ high street for some amazing burgers at Flipside. Afterwards, we drove to ‘Chipping Campden’, which has to be one of my favourites undiscovered towns I’ve visited in the Cotswolds.

It has a gorgeous bakehouse named ’42nd East Bakehouse’ which was very pleasing to look at from a designer’s point of view and the cakes looked and tasted incredible.

The customer service was fantastic and the cookie dough cake we devoured was divine.

Then we stopped off at ‘Shipston-on-sour’, not much to report about this town as it’s super small.

Day 5

‘Stratford-Upon-Avon’ has been on my bucket-list for a very long time. It’s Shakespeare’s birthplace for those who aren’t familiar with the town. It’s honestly such a beautiful town where you’re surrounded by Tudor-styled buildings and so much history.

We had a gorgeous brunch at Boston Tea Party and I bought some fudge along Henley Street.

Afterwards we popped to ‘Leamington Spa’, another town I’ve never been to before. We had a wander around the town and the gardens which was super pretty, and then had cream tea at Fat Birds Cafe.

These towns are slightly on the outskirts of the Cotswolds, but well worth a visit.

‘Stratford-Upon-Avon’ was only about a twenty minute drive from ‘Banbury’. There were lots of lovely interesting restaurants and shops pottered around including a 40’s cocktail bar which is very me.

In ‘Leamington Spa’, I had my eye on two of the Italian restaurants, however, we had the dog with us and we were quite stuffed from brunch. So, next time!

Day 6

We checked out of our lovely thatched holiday cottage at 11am and headed home. We were planning to go Bicester on the final day for a bit of shopping, however, we were feeling pretty shattered from all the adventures.

The Cotswolds break was so lovely and very much needed after a personal hell-ish end to 2023 and start to 2024.

I find it’s always nice to have a break in the countryside, to breathe in the fresh air and stroll along the beautiful cobbled streets.

Honestly though, I feel like I need another resting type of holiday to recover from 15k-20k steps every single day. My legs feel like jelly! But the break was really good for my soul. Travelling will always make my mind and heart happy.

I’m hoping to sort out my solo adventures in the next few weeks. I do have a fancy solo spa day lined up on Monday, I’m super excited to fully relax and recharge. As well as this, I have an upcoming gig, I’m seeing the ever-so handsome and wonderfully talented John Mayer live in London at long last. I also have some afternoon tea’s and brunch dates planned in mid-to-late-March. Oh and on an unrelated note, I saw Dune Part Two before my Cotswolds break, it was amazing, beautifully filmed!

Hope you’re all doing well and I shall catch up with you all soon.

4 Comments

  1. Frieda
    March 11, 2024 / 9:05 am

    Seems like you had a wonderful time. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I am hoping to spent longer holidays in England in the next Autumn and this post definitely convinced me to include the Cotswold.

    • zoey
      Author
      March 12, 2024 / 9:40 am

      Thank you for commenting Frieda. How lovely, enjoy England! So many great places to see in the UK. Cotswolds are definitely worth a visit.

  2. March 13, 2024 / 10:48 pm

    What a dreamy holiday! I’ve been to Stratford-Upon-Avon and lived in Oxford for a few months and loved it. The food you had has me drooling! What a lovely way to spend a few days with your Mum! x

    • zoey
      Author
      March 14, 2024 / 9:10 am

      Thanks Siobhan, it was a lovely break. I’m ready for another one already, ha! Aw no way, Oxford is beautiful. x

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