This week I’m yearning for a quiet escape to the serene countryside of the Cotswalds… an infamously romantic destination located among the rolling hills of England’s southwestern border. Captured in everything from art to poetry to song, I’d be lying if I said there were a more idealic landscape anywhere else in Great Britain.
Plus…there’s nothing better than picking fresh berries and wildflowers on a long walk in the country…don’t you think?!
I especially love touring the historic churches and cemeteries, imagining how things may have looked 100, 200, or 300 years ago and dreaming of what the people might have said had we passed by each other on my way into town.
The region is notorious for their antique shops…a choice of vintage floral china sets from the 1800′s? I say…yes, please! But not before I’ve had a chance to stop by the local pub for a beer.
Here are my picks for the best in where and what you should sleep/eat/see:
Sleep: Byfield House…For the true Cotswalds experience, the Byfield House B&B is the way to go. With origins dating back to the 1500′s, this cozy little B&B in Painswick captures the essence of a historic country manor while providing the comfort and convenience of a modern boutique hotel (yes…they even have wifi service). The Byfield House’s greatest assets? Owners Brett and Jill! You’ll not meet a pair of more gracious hosts anywhere else in the region. If you’re looking to go more of the hotel route, though, I suggest the Cotswalds88.
Eat: The Horse and Groom & Cutlers Restaurant at Number Four…Marked by locally sourced meat and produce, the Horse and Groom offers everything you’d expect for a restaurant and pub in the Cotswalds. The food is excellent, but equally so are the service and atmosphere. For a more fine dining experience, I suggest Cutlers at Number Four. Don’t leave without ordering the local venison, and the side of buttered cabbage with bacon.
See: Landscapes aside, a trip to region would not be complete without a tour of the historic architecture from the 1300′s at Arlington Row or the majestic birds of prey at Cotswold Falconry Center. That said, you’ll likely get as much enjoyment from a long drive or walk among the rolling hills.
Until next week…