English artist William Morris called Bibury “the most beautiful village in England”. No visit to the Cotswolds would be complete without seeing one of its most photographed sites: Arlington Row – a line of 17th-century cottages owned by the National Trust. Here’s our pick of the best hotels to stay after a day of exploring.
Neighbouring the River Coln, where swans swim past and pretty little bridges cross intermittently, this ivy-covered coaching inn is the epitome of countryside luxury, with 18 bedrooms in the main house individually designed with antique furniture, opulent fabrics and Molton Brown bath products. In the courtyard, there are four garden cottage suites for larger parties – one even has a private hot tub. The downstairs bar features a cosy open fire, while its brasserie offers afternoon tea. With slick service and friendly staff, this hotel is one of the Cotswolds’ hidden gems.
The New Inn at Bibury occupies a stunning 16th-century coaching inn with 14 bedrooms – all varying in size and all with unique decor. You’ll find some with modern, minimalist furniture and others with antique four-poster beds and more throw cushions than you could ever need. The dining room and bar are equally charming, with slouchy leather chairs next to a roaring fire. Gloriously cosy in winter and bright and airy in summer, this is the perfect little pub to visit at any time of year.
A long-standing Bibury institution, Cotteswold House is a bed and breakfast that also offers two self-catering cottages. Each accommodation option is decorated traditionally, with double or twin-size beds, as well as modern ensuite bathrooms. It’s situated on the main road running through the village, so ideal if you’re thinking of heading out on a long country walk before hitting one of Bibury’s great selection of pubs.
A couple of miles up the road from Bibury, you’ll find the Keepers Arms – an upmarket pub with rooms nestled in the tiny village of Quenington. Each of the four bedrooms is decorated tastefully with a king-size or double bed, draping curtains and soft blankets, creating a peaceful home from home to return to after a day out. From the low ceiling beams to the crooked staircase, it’s full of charm and character, and the buzzing atmosphere of the pub downstairs makes it a popular watering hole among local residents. Make sure you book a spot for dinner – the kitchen serves locally sourced produce in a range of unpretentious yet tempting dishes.
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