Sunday, 17 June 2018

How to spend a beautiful summer's day in The Cotswolds

Summer's day in Castle Combe

Planning a summery day trip or weekend away in The Cotswolds? This quaint part of England has around 800 square miles of green hills, pretty villages and walking trails to explore, so here's three of my favourite itineraries that are just as enjoyable as the next...

Cottages to stay in Castle Combe

CASTLE COMBE AND THE MANOR HOUSE
Often referred to as England's Prettiest Village, Castle Combe is located just 15 minutes from the M4 and half an hour from the M5, so travellers will find it easy to navigate from London, Wales or the north.

The Manor House and Golf Club in Castle Combe
Inside The Manor House Castle Combe

The nearby Manor House Hotel and Golf Club has a beautiful summer garden accessed by a grand staircase that's familiar to many Instagram photos, including my own. The outdoor summer terrace is a lovely spot for a refreshing drink or decadent Afternoon Tea.

The Manor House Castle Combe
The Manor House Country Gardens in Castle Combe

Further reading: A winter day trip guide to England's Prettiest Village

You could finish your day at a local pub like The Castle Inn, or explore another nearby village like Lacock (on the southern edge of The Cotswolds) - but don't leave it too late, most businesses will close up by 5pm around here.

Sharing platter from The Castle Inn Castle Combe
Lacock Bakery
English Roses

STOW-ON-THE-WOLD, LOWER SLAUGHTER AND BOURTON-ON-THE-WATER
I typically begin my visits to Stow-on-the-Wold in Lucy's Tea Room where I enjoy a cream tea or breakfast before wandering around the charming gift shops, homeware and clothing boutiques.

Lower Slaughter

Lower & Upper Slaughter
Located a few miles down the road from Stow, these small villages are mostly residential with a pub, gift shop and café. However, the trickling stream, pretty honey coloured cottages and Old Mill make this such a stunning spot for an afternoon stroll. I've also stopped a few times in The Slaughters Country Inn for a drink before walking or driving to Bourton-on-the-Water.

Further reading: Three must-see places in The Cotswolds

Bourton-on-the-Water

Bourton-on-the-Water
Split by the river, the leafy centre is stitched together by several small arched bridges, giving the village its nickname as the Little Venice of The Cotswolds.
This wide street is lined with antique shops, perfumeries, cafes and traditional English pubs with beer gardens for outdoor dining and drinking. On a summers day I like to pick up a bag of chips, find a bench near the river and watch the world (and the ducks) go by...

Broadway Tower

BROADWAY, THE TOWER AND COTSWOLD LAVENDER FARM
My final day trip takes you to Broadway, another quintessential Cotswold village with fruit markets and ice cream carts wheeled onto the main street in the summer months. The Swan is situated right on the edge of the village and is a good starting point for a hearty pub lunch. Alternatively there's the historic Lygon Arms with a luxurious wine bar and courtyard for High Tea.

Vintage Ice Cream cart in Broadway, The Cotswolds
Classic Red Phone Box in Broadway
Pizza from The Swan in Broadway
The Swan Hotel and Pub in Broadway

Broadway Tower
Broadway Tower is the Cotswolds highest castle that overlooks 16 counties - yes 16! It's safe to say if you're lucky to visit on a clear day the view up here is spectacular, plus you may even see some deers.

Further reading: A day trip to Chipping Campden and Broadway Tower

Explore With Ed in Cotswold Lavender Farm
Cotswold Lavender Farm

Cotswold Lavender Farm
Minutes down the road in Snowshill village is Cotswold Lavender Farm. I recommend checking their website to see what's in season but if you're planning to visit in July you have a good chance of seeing the lavender in bloom. It's a delight for the senses and a very relaxing way to finish a day of exploring - see what I tried in their cafe by visiting the link below...

Further reading: A dreamy trip to the Lavender Farm

Relaxing in the grounds of The Manor House, Castle Combe

What itinerary appeals to you? Have you explored The Cotswolds before? Let me know! 😊
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