Friday 11th March
Last month, James and I headed to the Cotswolds for the first time!
Like any classic tourist who’s never been to the Cotswolds before, we made a beeline for Bourton-on-the-Water, also known as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’.
We went for a cosy pub lunch at Duke of Wellington, which was delicious!
Although I’d initially hoped to do the walk to Upper and Lower Slaughter, it wasn’t ideal weather for it, so we wandered around the town before heading to our Airbnb in Winchcombe to check in.
No61 was a fab location, and the accommodation was lovely. My only setbacks were that the cottage wasn’t as warm as I’d have liked it to be despite being on the highest temperature setting and you could hear the noise from the neighbours next door due to being a terraced house. However, the bed was incredibly comfortable, and we both slept well regardless.
As James had driven quite a lot that day, we decided to just order a Chinese takeaway from the creatively named Winchcombe Chinese Takeaway, which was a short walk from the house. The hot and sour soup was delicious (but the mains weren’t anything to write home about); we enjoyed our dinner with Meet the Parents, which neither of us had seen in years.
Saturday 12th March
Luckily the sun was shining the next day, so we took the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway to Broadway. The steam train comes up as one of the best things to do in the Cotswolds, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it if you’re only there for a limited time unless you’re a train enthusiast.
It’s much quicker to get there by car, the timetables are sporadic and you won’t have to wait for ages when there’s a delay. The views from the train are nice but no more spectacular than a field you could see from your car, to be honest.
Lunch at Broadway Deli was delicious and tasted so fresh. I’d initially wanted to visit Broadway Tower too, but it was a 45-minute walk from the town centre and the train times were a bit of a pain to coordinate with, so decided to give it a miss.
Once we got back to Winchcombe, James drove us to Stow-on-the-Wold, which means holy place on the hill. It is the highest of the Cotswold towns, on 800 feet high Stow Hill.
The top-rated thing to do here was to visit St. Edward’s Church as local lore says that it inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s Doors of Durin – so obviously James wanted to check it out.
We stumbled upon Cabinet of Colours, a gorgeous little shop filled with bright and quirky contemporary art in the form of cards, art prints, ceramics and more all by a variety of independent makers – think of an IRL Etsy shop. We got chatting to Lizzy, the owner, who was lovely and created some of the art herself, so definitely check out her shop if you’re in the area – it was one of the highlights of the weekend for me 😉
While I’d originally booked a table at Wesley House in Winchcombe for dinner (the food looks incredible), we were quite tired by the evening, so James cooked us a fry up using some of the goodies from the breakfast hamper that he’d ordered with a side of Meet the Fockers.
Sunday 13th March
On our final day, we walked around Winchcombe in the morning after checking out of our airbnb – I was a bit disappointed that most of the shops were closed on a Sunday so definitely something to keep in mind if you’re planning on visiting over the weekend.
Luckily, Cirencester was much livelier and had a vegan market on too. I picked up this chocolate brownie stuffed NYC cookie from the friendly Rebel Rox Kitchen stall, which I devoured when I got home as it tasted extra gooey and delicious after a quick spin in the microwave. Also, how cute is the blue and white checked Habitat plate I picked up from the Blue Cross charity shop in Stow-on-the-Wold?!
Igloo came up as a highly rated restaurant that was only a few minutes’ walk from the market, so we headed there for lunch, and it was fab!
After lunch, we went for a wander before our final destination of Castle Combe, voted as one of the prettiest villages in the UK.
It became the filming location of quite a few films including Stardust, Warhorse and the 1967 Doctor Dolittle who ‘lived’ in the big yellow house!
I think we did a pretty good job of exploring different parts of the Cotswolds and would love to head back there in the future to check out:
- Upper and Lower Slaughter (near Bourton-on-the-Water)
- Kingham (apparently a foodie hotspot with award winning gastropubs)
- Westbirt Arbortoreum
- Baddesley Clinton
Have you been to the Cotswolds before? Any recommendations for our next visit? 😀