Last month we took a short ‘staycation’ to The Cotswolds where we stayed in a gorgeous stone cottage for a lovely long weekend. We booked the cottage on Airbnb earlier this year and I was so excited when the day finally came around for our trip! We’d planned just to have a nice chilled break away from home for three nights and it was the perfect little getaway we needed. Although we did end up doing lots of walking and eating lots of yummy food!
‘Forget Me Not Cottage‘ is located in a small village called Blockley which is the perfect place to have a base in the Cotswolds. We drove all over and nowhere was too far away from the cottage. It’s just a short distance between Broadway, Moreton-in-Marsh, and Chipping Campden, plus Stow-on-the-Wold isn’t too far away either.
The pretty traditional Cotswold stone cottage was built in the 1800’s to accommodate silk mill workers and has been restored with many original features including flagstone floors, exposed beams and stonework, and a wood burning stove. Primarily we booked this cottage because we thought it would give us the perfect experience of living in a real Cotswolds chocolate box village house!
The living room was everything I had hoped for, with exposed stone walls and wooden beams along the celing. It was too warm for us to need to light the wood stove but it made for a lovely feature! The whole house had been tastefully decorated in keeping with the style of the building and it had a really ‘homely’ feel to it.
The bedroom was gorgeous, with an iron king size bed with pretty floral bedding (very me!), shabby chic bedside tables, and a vintage wardrobe. The kitchen was quite small but fully equipped with everything you might need, and the bathroom is light and airy with a lovely relaxing power shower.
The cottage was only £50 per night on Airbnb, which was an absolute steal considering the hotel prices in the area. And it was so nice to have the whole place to ourselves too, and not have to worry about noise from other guests or awkward encounters with strangers. If you book with Airbnb, don’t forget to use my link to get £25 off your first booking!
We arrived on the Thursday evening after work, so by the time we got there and settled in, it was dinner time! As we hadn’t quite got our bearings yet, we decided to take a walk around the little village, as I had read online that there was a few pubs nearby.
Luckily we found The Great Western Arms just a short walk away, and it was steak night! For only £20 each we enjoyed a 10oz ribeye or sirloin steak with a sauce, side, salad, and a glass of wine. We were lucky that they had a table for us in the bar area as it was very busy and packed with locals! Which wasn’t surprising as the food was delicious and would 100% recommend if you’re ever in the area.
Day 1 – Bourton-on-the-Water
On our first full day we decided to get up early and head over to Bourton-on-the-Water which was about a 25 minute drive away. We got there at about 10 o’clock so it was still very quiet as the shops hadn’t yet opened! We found a lovely little bakery where we bought ourselves bacon baps and then sat by the river to eat them whilst the village was getting busier and opening up.
If you do ever visit The Cotswolds, Bourton-on-the-Water is a definite must! It’s such a pretty little village with a selection of quaint shops and tea rooms. The River Windrush runs right through the middle of the village, so there’s several small stone bridges guiding you across which makes it very picturesque.
I remember visiting when I was younger too, and as the river is so shallow, I used to take my shoes off and all the children would play in the water!
There’s quite a bit to see in Bourton-on-the-Water too! We went to look at the model village, which is a tiny 1:9 replica of the village itself which you can walk around. It’s only £3.60 each for adult entry, and although it doesn’t take too long to walk around it, it’s a nice thing to do on a sunny day, and kids would love it! I would suggest walking around the ‘real’ village first, and then coming to the miniature village afterwards and trying to spot all the places you’ve already seen full size!
There’s also The Cotswold Motoring Museum (home of Brum), Dragonfly Maze, and Birdland Park and Gardens, which has a collection of birds including penguins, birds of prey, and parrots.
On the drive back to the cottage we stopped off in Stow-on-The-Wold for a bit of lunch. We went to Huffkins’s Bakery which is a little tearoom in the heart of Stow that is famous for its yummy cakes and bakes. I opted for a hot chocolate whipped cream and marshmallows and then decided to try something new as recommended to me by my colleague at work.
I ordered the The Classic Cotswolds Rarebit with mature cheddar, double hloucester & Hooky ale. If you’ve not tried rarebit before, it’s basically just posh cheese on toast! The bread is toasted under the grill and topped with a delicious variety of fresh local cheeses and served with fresh leaves, spicy tomato & caramelised onion chutney. It was delicious!
Day 2 – Burford & The Slaughters
On our second day we drove to Burford to visit Cotswold Wildlife Park, which was approximately a 25 minute drive away from the cottage. We were lucky that the weather was lovely as we spent all day walking around! Cotswold Wildlife Park is the largest privately owned zoological collection in the UK and includes rhinos, giraffes, and lions (although we didn’t get to see any lions!). We spent a good few hours at the zoo, and then we drove into the town of Burford to explore and find some lunch.
The town of Burford is absolutely beautiful and is known as the ‘gateway to The Cotswolds’. The high street is lined with gorgeous ancient shops, restaurants and cafes and it was lovely to walk along looking in the pretty shop windows. We found a lovely little pub along the high street called The Cotswold Arms which serves traditional English food using locally sourced produce. I ordered a camembert for starters and a steak sandwich as my main and it was delicious!
After we had out little stroll around Burford it was time to drive home, but as we were feeling adventurous, we took a slight detour and ended up visiting The Slaughters. Just over a mile from Bourton-on-the-Water are the twin villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter, and despite the rather grim sounding names, they’re actually very pretty! Possibly even one of my favourite places in the whole of The Cotswolds!
We arrived in Lower Slaughter and then took a walk up to Upper Slaughter, passing the lovely rows of old sandstone cottages along the way. We also found this 19th-century water mill on our journey next to the stream, and then continued the walk along a footpath until we got to Upper Slaughter. It was a very nice walking route to take and it was so nice being able to explore away from all the tourists!
Day 3 – Broadway & Chipping Campden
On our final day we still had more exploring to do before heading home. We started off by visiting Broadway Tower and we were lucky that it was such a beautiful sunny day. The sky was blue and I was able to get some great photos upon the hill. We only visited the tower briefly but you can pay £5 each to go inside the actual tower itself.
We then made one last stop in Chipping Campden before we started the journey back home. Chipping Campden is a small market town which again is lined with pretty terraced stone shops and restaurants. If you’re not that into seeing pretty villages over and over again, then The Cotswolds probably isn’t for you! Luckily for me I quite enjoy walking through these old towns and villages and eyeing up all the attractive architecture, and I think The Cotswolds is the ideal place to come to relax and unwind.
Have you visited The Cotswolds yet?