Niamh Walsh is here to convince you to visit the Cotswolds with your beau this V-day.
A designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, encompassing almost 800 square miles that run through five counties – Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire, The Cotswolds is the perfect stay-cation for you and your beau. But where should you stay when they're so many places to pick from?
Renowned for its honey-stoned bricks, Moreton-in-Marsh emerges as a quaint market town nestled in the Cotswolds region, where we were fortunate to spend a delightful winter weekend this past January. While navigating the rural lanes, I observed the presence of age-old churches, elegant countryside taverns, and picturesque villages. The landscape seemed suspended in history, embraced by serene, undulating hills and captivating vintage shops. Naturally, my excitement peaked as we eventually arrived at our charming cottage in the heart of Moreton-in-Marsh.
Walnut Cottage epitomises the essence of British cosiness. Nestled in the heart of Moreton-in-Marsh, this cobblestone cottage is conveniently a mere 2-hour drive from London, making it an ideal destination for a weekend retreat. Radiating rustic allure, Walnut Cottage boasts two generously sized double bedrooms (the master bedroom showcases stunning exposed wooden beams), a charming lounge complete with a snug fireplace, and a fully furnished kitchen and dining area.
The cottage also caters to families and is dog-friendly (perfect if you're unable to arrange a babysitter/dogsitter in time for a Valentine's Day weekend). With high-speed WiFi, a Sonos home sound system, and three Smart TVs featuring Freesat & Netflix, it genuinely offers a home away from home. Additionally, a delightful courtyard featuring a coal BBQ awaits those who prefer a springtime visit, allowing them to bask in the British sun while enjoying an al-fresco dining experience.
For those inclined towards an action-packed weekend rather than cosying up with a good book by the open fire, the location is a true highlight. Merely a 2-minute stroll from the bustling high street, you can indulge in a delectable coffee and freshly baked pastries from the numerous bakeries before embarking on your adventure.
Our entire Saturday was devoted to exploring the enchanting Bourton-on-the-Water. Often dubbed the 'Venice of the Cotswolds', this village offers an array of attractions, shops, restaurants, cafes, and tea rooms. Spanning the glimmering waters of the River Windrush, we relished a leisurely winter walk over the quaint, arched bridges, tracing the riverbank's path. Our journey led us to Daylesford Organic Farm, where we savoured a late lunch at their renowned deli counter, greeted by mounds of fresh, artisanal produce. A delightful roam through the impressive farm shop allowed us to procure goods for our evening dinner.
Should you have extra fuel in the tank, consider a trip to Blenheim Palace. As the sole non-royal, non-episcopal country house in England bearing the title of palace, Blenheim Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a spectacle of Baroque architecture.
A brief yet delightful sojourn in the Cotswolds would be incomplete without a traditional Sunday lunch. What better place to indulge than The Kingham Plough, a charming countryside pub just a stone's throw away from Chipping Norton, Stow-on-the-Wold, and Moreton-in-Marsh? This establishment reveres local, seasonal ingredients sourced from trusted suppliers, a commitment reflected in their exceptional seasonal menu. Following a splendid refurbishment, The Plough seamlessly blends traditional British character with contemporary comfort and style. Its distinctive interiors feature 20th-century sketches, prints, locally-sourced antiques, and whimsical vintage furniture. We relished a delectable roast dinner here before reluctantly departing for London, rejoining the inevitable embrace of the real world.
To book a stay at Walnut Cottage, or explore other luxury cottages within the Cotswolds, please click this link here.
To make a reservation at The Kingham Plough, please click this linkhere.
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