Our little family weekend in the Cotswolds {Part 2}…

Oh Cotswolds, you were beautiful. The yellow stoned buildings, bright flowers, beautiful villages and country lifestyle. We had such a nice stay for two days in Evenlode, we holidayed at the brilliant Wigwams Evenlode and couldn’t resist exploring all the local villages around us. As a family we really needed this little break together, to forget the stresses of Year 2 SATs (all forgotten now) and in some respects reconnect after a busy few weeks being adults. I love how just a couple of days break can often leave me feeling fresher than a whole week away. I’m the type of person who struggles to switch off from work especially when I know my team are working, whereas a long weekend away when they are also switched off is definitely the answer.

I don’t think we have ever visited an area that had so much to see and do just a few minutes around our base camp. The Cotswolds has been on our travel wish list for so long, since first watching The Holiday actually but a place we have never made it over to. It is now firmly on our must visit again list. If you are looking for a base with the most stunning views within a few minutes of some of the prettiest towns then definitely take a little look at my review of the Wigwams. At the end of that post I promised you a whistle stop tour around this gorgeous part of the country and so here you are…

It is safe to say that you will be blown away by the beauty of this area. Fields filled with rapeseed and bluebells, winding country roads, cobbled streets of villages straight out of a postcard  and some of the best coffee shops we have frequented. I just didn’t expect it to be so beautiful, country living has certainly grabbed my attention. And best of all as we visited in May the streets were in full bloom which made it all the more pretty and definitely made me smile, I couldn’t help but think how beautiful all the photos would look on my Instagram. Definitely one for the photographers. Let me show you around…

Stow-on-the-Wold…

Stow-on-the-Wold was our favourite, it had something for everyone. It is one of the larger market towns in the Cotswolds and definitely a fun place to spend a few hours, we actually visited twice as we loved it so much. We first visited in the morning when the streets were quiet, walked through alleys filled with independent shops and grabbed a coffee and hot chocolate for George in the cutest place – Coach House Coffee Shop. Just outside the coffee shop there is a gorgeous green that was lovely to just sit and watch as the streets started to come to life. We also stopped for drinks later in the afternoon at The Porch House and The Sheep – both had great menus and lovely outdoor areas. Who doesn’t love to people watch? One of my favourite things to do in a new town is to watch as the locals go about their day.

Daylesford Farm Shop

A gorgeous spot to stop off at in between village hopping, effortlessly styled and like nowhere else we have visited – in terms of geography it is in and around the Moreton-in-Marsh area. Grab some lunch in their formal setting or something more casual from the deli or the food van in the courtyard. We picked up two tasty salads from the deli to go with our bbq food that night back at our Wigwam, we definitely made the right choices – they may have cost a small fortune but both were super tasty. Such a dreamy location and you definitely feel like you’ve stepped into somewhere quite special. There is also a Spa on site now which looked relatively new and rather exclusive and I am sure we saw some accommodation there too, a very dreamy location. The grounds around are beautiful, even the carpark was instagrammable – a trip to Daylesford is one for the list for sure.

 

Broadway…

A favourite with all the family. Definitely one to park your car and walk around – so many beautiful buildings, full of so much colour and gorgeous little shops. Like all these little villages you could quite literally drive through, blink and you may have missed it so… don’t blink! Stop and take it all in. One of my favourite memories was being sat on a bench under a tree in the large green in the centre whilst George mastered his roly-poly and quite simply to people watch. A gorgeous couple asked me to take their photo and even smiled when I moved them slightly to get the best angle. Apparently their daughter loves photography and is always styling them. The atmosphere in this village was lovely, probably the friendliest and definitely full of so many pretty things to look at, even if that was the trees in full bloom. I even made the boys pull over as we made our way out along Leamington Road to grab a shot of the Wisteria *inserts smiley face*. One shop I would recommend you calling into would be the Broadway Deli – we grabbed some lunch and enjoyed our pickings alfresco style on the green in front of The Broadway Hotel. We love our time here.

Bourton On The Water…

Truly beautiful and definitely one for wandering through, a photographers dream and stunning on a summers day. Postcard perfect for sure. There was a great toy shop in the middle of the village and we had coffee in a lovely little bakery called Bakery On The Water – be sure to head out the back as the you can enjoy drinks next to the river. I guess my only negative which actually spoilt our visit is that the village is quite literally filled with coach after coach of tourists, I think we saw more than 20 on the carpark – who were invasive and quite rude. Disappointing really as we’re all tourists. I appreciate that tourists keep these little villages alive but the others we visited didn’t seem to struggle, this area just seems to be the spot they all come to in droves. So a little tip before you go: try and avoid it on a busy day if that is even possible, we arrived before 10am on the Sunday and were shocked by how busy the streets were. At one point we were made to wait before crossing a bridge as a large Chinese family were taking a photo and by that I mean 1234 – quite sad really as without the crowds it would be such a gorgeous destination.

Chipping Campden…

This was the last village we visited on Sunday before we made the journey home. I can imagine it being a must visit on any other day of the week, I’m just sad that all the shops were closed, in some respects it was so peaceful, you could explore without the hustle and bustle but sadly we quite literally had to window shop. This village was probably the most quintessential of all that we visited, full of so many gorgeous buildings, so much character – I literally walked around looking up at all the buildings and beautiful floral displays. It must be a rule that you have to grow wisteria in these parts, not a bad rule to live by.

 

We also visited the Broadway Tower on our way back to our accommodation which was the perfect stopping off point. You can enjoy a walk around the tower and adjacent grassland area free of charge. The views were breathtaking. You will also find a herd of deer and a cute little cafe which serves ice cream – again you will be spoiled by the views, the hills just keep going. You could enjoy a picnic here and really make a day of it or even a few hours. One thing we noticed were how many walks you can enjoy in this area – our accommodation had lots of maps to choose from, most connecting all the little villages together. As we drove back to Evenlode we found this gorgeous rapeseed field – I have always wanted a photo in a yellow field and thankfully the boys didn’t mind. Doing it for the gram of course! I hope you enjoyed our little whistle stop tour around the Cotswolds. It has to be said that there are many more villages to explore. We were also recommended Burford, Upper and Lower Slaughter and Cirencester. Ones to go back to for sure.

 

 

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