Spontaneous trips are my favorite. Especially to places like the Cotswolds. Although I have to admit that the Cotswolds, a huge area – almost 800 square miles – that runs through five counties (Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire), was never really on my places to go list. In fact many of the places I want to visit are located outside of the UK. But with limited holiday remaining and a free weekend with no plans, my husband and I decided to plan a spontaneous trip somewhere in the UK. We narrowed it down to the New Forest and the Cotswold. Both places are less than 3 hours drive from our home in Kent. In the end the Cotswolds with it’s cute villages made the cut.
So Friday night, after work, we set off and arrived fairly late at our cute little Airbnb. When possible we like to book Airbnb. It is a great way to meet the locals and also save a bit of money. The room we booked was actually a converted little annex, so beautiful and full of charm.
After a good night rest we set of bright and early the next morning. Our first stop was Burton-on-the-water which was approx. 15min from our Aribnb.
We decided to book a room within the Cotswolds and explore the north of this beautiful area. However, no real plans have been made, which was nice.
So the first stop was Bourton-on-the-water with their famous Bakery-on-the-water. We had a delicious breakfast which was also very reasonably priced. I wish I could’ve bought all the bread and pastries on display!
With full stomachs we were ready to explore. First we had a little walk around the village. We were glad we came early at around 9am, as the first buses full of tourists already started arriving. But we quickly found a little detour and saw some very cute cottages. Houses and cottages are made of the famous Cotswold stone, a yellow oolitic Jurassic limestone. The color of the stone varies according to where it was quarried. In much of the northern part of the Cotswolds the stone is a rich honey color, which, as you go south towards Bath, becomes creamier and greyer.
The Cotswolds is best explored by car, especially when you are only spending a weekend there. Unless you are a keen cyclist, which we are not 🙂
So, we moved on to the next village which was Chipping Campden, a small market town in the Cotswold district of Gloucestershire. At the center of this charming village stands the Market Hall with its splendid arches, built in 1627. Another attraction worth seeing is the early perpendicular wool church of St James.
The next stop was Broadway Tower, a folly on Broadway Hill and the second-highest point of the Cotswolds. We weren’t particularly interested in going up the tower, so instead we admired it from the outside and walked along the fields nearby.
Near the Tower is also a cute little cafe with outside seating. So we sat down and ordered a cheese platter and some cream tea, could it get any more British? 🙂
The last stop on our day out was Stow on the Wold. Another stunning Cotswolds village with plenty of little shops, cafes and pubs.
After a day of exploring all the lovely villages the Cotswolds had to offer, we retreated back to our Airbnb for a rest and to fresh up.
For the evening, we decided to stay local and walk to the nearest pub, which was the Hare in Milton-under-Wychwood. We sat in the beer garden and enjoyed the last rays of sunshine as well as some amazing food.
On the way back we walked through the fields and made some friends 🙂
This pretty much concluded our weekend in the Cotswolds. Sunday was spend enjoying a lovely breakfast and then heading home to Kent.
I think my husbands and I will add some more English destinations to our ‘places to go list’. The Cotswolds are truly beautiful and worth a visit – we sure be back!