Monday, 12 September 2016

Three Must See Places In The Cotswolds

Lower Slaughter, The Old Mill Museum, The Cotswolds

One of the prettiest parts of the country is The Cotswolds, a protected area of outstanding natural beauty in central England. The communities here are quintessentially British, featuring on chocolate boxes, calendars and even UK passports! There's so many villages dotted around in the hills you could spend weeks exploring this scenic area. I recently visited three places all within minutes of each other - perfect for a day trip or weekend getaway.


Lucy's Tearoom, Afternoon Tea in The Cotswolds

The small town of Stow-on-the-Wold sits near the top of The Cotswolds and is around 90 minutes by car from Cardiff and 2 hours from London by public transportation.
It's a haven of posh antique and crafts stores, art shops and tearooms, including Lucy's in the large market square.

Cotswolds Cream Tea, Lucy's Tea Room, Stow-on-the-Wold

Popular on TripAdvisor, I made a beeline for this place on arrival for a ham and cheese toastie using simple but locally sourced bread and fillings.
A trip to The Cotswolds wouldn't be complete without an English cream tea or cake and their scones hit the spot nicely.

Lucy's Tea Room in Stow-on-the-Wold
Stow-on-the-Wold Market Square

Other highlights here include; The Stow Lodge Hotel that has a beautiful summer garden and traditional Georgian interior, and The Porch House that claims to be the oldest inn in England - dating back to 947AD!

The Stow Lodge Hotel Stow-on-the-Wold, Hotel in The Cotswolds
The Stow Lodge Hotel, Georgian Manor House, Cotswold Hotel

There is free parking in the town for two hours which gives you just enough time to get a feel for the place before moving on...

Stow-on-the-Wold street

The Slaughters

The Old Mill Museum, Lower Slaughter Mill

Only 3 miles south is Lower and Upper Slaughter, one of the prettiest places I've visited here in the UK (its even won an award for its beauty). The Old Mill in Lower Slaughter still turns today and visitors can explore the museum and quirky gift shop.

Lower Slaughter Mill and Shop

There's an ice-cream parlour and riverside tea room inside, as well as a luxury Manor House and Country Inn nearby for a local brew.

Lower Slaughter, Prettiest villages in England

You don't really need long here, but it's so charming and quaint you'd be silly to drive by and miss the scenic stroll along the gentle river past the old yellow brick houses.

Lower Slaughter, The Slaughters, The Cotswolds


Bourton-on-the-Water, The Venice of the Cotswolds, Bourton High Street

Known as 'the Venice of the Cotswolds', Bourton-on-the-Water was the final stop on my day trip (and less than 2 miles from Lower Slaughter). It's easy to see why it's popular with tourists, the picture perfect high street is split by the shallow river Windrush with five arched bridges dating back as early as 1654!

L'Anatra Italian Kitchen, Bourton-on-the-Water, Chocolate box village

The high street alternates between craft shops, tea rooms and pubs with plenty of outdoor seating to watch the ducks pass by. There's a little something for everyone here including a perfumery, retro sweet shop, chip shop and a smart Italian restaurant called L'Anatra that serves a lovely cup of coffee. 

L'Anatra Bourton-on-the-water, Cappuccino

Just off the High Street is The Model Village, a one-ninth scale replica of Bourton-on-the-Water constructed in the 1930s. Miniature roses and alpines ensure the landscape is as realistic as possible and they even use a small mower to maintain the lawn! I'm sure those travelling with children would love this attraction, as well as The Dragonfly Maze and Birdland Wildlife Park, home to over 500 birds. 

The Model Village Bourton-on-the-Water
The Little Nook, Green & Pleasant Tea Room, Bourton-on-the-Water shops

If you've not explored the Cotswolds before, Stow-on-the-Wold, The Slaughters and Bourton-on-the-Water provide a lovely insight to the relaxed, country lifestyle and beautiful buildings typical of this area.
It could also be a good stop off when exploring the historical Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare - click to view a blog of my day here.

© Explore With Ed | A Cardiff based Food, Travel and Cruise Blog

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