The Cotswolds

I was truly spoiled this Valentine’s Day, treated to a little trip away to the beautiful English countryside. So today I’m happy to show you my snaps and tips from this stunning part of the UK.
We left on the bright Saturday morning, heading out towards Oxford. Initially we had planned to spend the afternoon visiting the city, but once we were surrounded by lush greenery and rolling hills we couldn’t wait for some peace and quiet outside of bustling London. You really do need a break from the buzzing city from time to time!
It’s been on my list for a while now to visit this iconic area. I never actually realised just how close the Cotswolds were to London – now I know this will be a must-do in the summer. For the first afternoon, having arrived a little late for lunch, we treated ourselves to a gorgeous afternoon tea at Huffkins, a recommended local tea-room located in Burford, Witney, Cheltenham and Stow-On-The-Wold. We visited the branch in Burford and couldn’t move after all the sandwiches, scones and freshly baked cakes – highly recommended! Burford has a lovely little high street full of sweet local stores, cafes and charity shops, so we whiled away our afternoon there. Driving back through the windy country roads, we ended the day with dinner at The Bell in a small town nearby. The perfect local Valentine’s Day meal 🙂
Unfortunately for us the weather wasn’t great the whole weekend, despite apparently being beautiful in London. It was typical English winter days of white skies and heavy clouds where you feel like staying in bed all day! Alas, we hit the road early Sunday morning and headed straight for Arlington Row in Bibury – apparently one of the most photographed streets in England (picture at the top). And you can see why! For me this little street of quaint cottages is the epitome of quintessential England – without any cars around, you feel like you could be in any era. I’m glad we had the chance to see this on a quiet weekend, as I’m sure it will be extra busy during the beautiful summer months. For lunch I would recommend The Swan hotel as it’s right in the heart of Bibury, and also looks like a gorgeous place to stay!
Another sweet little village we came across was Coln St Aldwyns. Although this is a teeny place with pretty much one street running through, it is surrounded by lush fields and boasts a wonderful 5 star restaurant, The New Inn, with a gorgeous beer garden on the backdrop of the countryside – another place I would definitely return to this summer! 
And so, after a generous helping of Sunday lunch we made our way back to good old London Town. I completely forgot that Bicester Village was on the way back – would have totally made a quick pitstop there (great outlet store for discounted designer brands). Can’t wait to go back when the weather gets warmer and the days are longer. 
Hope you like the pics!
 

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