Wersha Bharadwa gets a dose of the quiet life in the idyllic Cotswolds with Cotswolds Hideaways.
With international travel still off the cards for many of us here in the UK, we’ve been on the hunt for the perfect quarantine-free getaway. With long country walks at every turn and cosy nights in by the fire, a cute Cotswolds cottage promises romance in abundance.
Oh, the joys of the English countryside! After a drive down a rural track, we arrive in the picture perfect village of Blockley, Gloucestershire where the loudest sound we come across is from a gentle mill stream rambling its way down to the bottom of the valley. A short distance from Moreton-in-Marsh, the village is also a regular BBC filming location and perfect for an amorous honeymoon, pre-wedding getaway or even a chilled country hen party.
The Cotswolds Hideaway: Little Shrublands
There’s much to coo about inside and outside Little Shrublands, our honey-hued abode from Cotswolds Hideaways. The cottage comes equipped with quite literally everything you’ll need, from high-spec mod-cons and fittings in a rustic kitchen to a fully stocked fridge, thoughtfully packed by The Cotswold Holiday Company with cheeses, fresh eggs, sausages, bacon and chutneys from the local farms and delis. We were also gifted fresh bread, milk, artisanal crackers, handmade chocolates and a tropical fruit platter.
Countryfied simplicity and flop-down loveliness echoes throughout with floral drapes, plush sofas and a wood burning stove in the spacious lounge. You’ll find enjoying the simplest of pleasures; curling up at every opportunity with gargantuan cups of tea and cake next to the fire. Everything’s complemented by Farrow & Ball walls and mixed down feather cushions. Large double sashed doors open onto a conservatory drenched in sunlight by day and flanked with fairylights at night.
The sun-washed garden is filled with flora and fauna offering views the prettiest views across the beautiful village green and the 11th century medieval church and surroundings. Upstairs, three twee-free bedrooms embody country-charm with mixed handcrafted and antique furniture. It’s tempting to do nothing except snuggle up inside the softest sheets on cloud-like king beds. Two modern bathrooms (one is an unfussy ensuite attached to the master bedroom and there’s a ground floor guest WC) feature powerful hot showers and thick towels.
Things to do in The Cotswolds
While there’s few signs of the area’s 18th and 19th century silk mills, the region is ideal for long hikes. You’ll have gallons of fun walking off long lunches in countryside-crisp air and discovering hidden footpaths and serene river walks. Sudeley Castle is a few country winding roads away– and on rainy days there’s plenty of ways to relax and revive indoors.
The cottage comes with a large chest of drawers filled with books and DVDs (we counted 50), and board games including Jenga and Twister.
Places to Visit
Sudeley Castle: One for period drama fans, Kate Beckinsale filmed Emma at the 15th century castle and Gemma Arterton’s mini series, Tess of the D’Urbervilles was also filmed here. Visit the Spectacle of Light from November – it’s an illuminated enchanted woodland trail set to music and is positively magical.
Warwick Castle: At just 30 minutes away, you can head off on one of the UK’s best days out. Once home to William the Conquerer, there are live shows with a working trebuchet but the castle itself is the main draw. Have a picnic beside the river Avon after trawling halls steeped in tales of the seven monarchs who’ve at different times owned the castle. During the Christmas season there’s the uber romantic winter ice skating too.
Little Shrublands is available from £451 per week along with over 800 beautiful places to stay from cosy cottages for two to luxury larger properties with hot-tubs, swimming pools and wood burners. Head to www.cotswoldshideaways.co.uk to book your stay. Guests booking direct benefit from exclusive discounts with local attractions and restaurants to use during their holiday.