English artist William Morris called Bibury ‘the most beautiful village in England’. No visit to the Cotswolds would be complete without seeing one of the most photographed sites in the country: Arlington Row – a line of 17th-century cottages owned by the National Trust. These are the best hotels in Bibury to choose from.
Neighbouring the River Coln, where swans swim past and pretty little bridges cross intermittently, this creeping ivy-covered coaching inn is truly postcard-perfect. The Swan is the epitome of countryside luxury. In the main house you’ll find 18 bedrooms individually designed with antique furniture, opulent fabrics and Molton Brown bath products. Out in the courtyard there are four garden cottage suites for larger parties. The downstairs bar is dominated by a cosy open fire and outside in the manicured gardens you’ll find a covered hot tub. With slick service and friendly staff, The Swan Hotel is one of the Cotswolds’ hidden gems.
The New Inn at Bibury occupies a stunning 17th-century coaching inn with 15 bedrooms – all varying in size, thanks to the quirkiness of the original building, 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 to sink into next to roaring fires. Gloriously cosy in the winter and bright and airy in the summer, it’s the perfect little pub to visit at any time of year.
Just a short drive from Bibury, Barnsley House has 18 luxury bedrooms, a spa and private cinema, everything you need to relax and unwind in the countryside. From the outdoor hydrotherapy pool to the extensive list of therapies and treatments, the on-site spa is one of the best in the Cotswolds. The feeling of serenity continues in the guest rooms, where the modern decor is blended perfectly with the original features of the Grade II-listed manor. Couples on a romantic weekend away will love the Deluxe Garden rooms, which not only come with views of the surrounding landscape but also feature his ‘n’ hers bathtubs. The in-house restaurant, The Potager, serves up simple and rustic fare in keeping with the hotel’s atmosphere and ethos, with much of the produce coming straight from the house’s very own allotment.
A longstanding Bibury institution, Cotteswold House offers both bed and breakfast and self-catered accommodation. The three bedrooms and the two cottages are decorated traditionally with double and twin-sized beds, as well as modern en suite bathrooms. Located on the main road running through the village, it’s perfectly situated to head out on a long country walk before winding your way back to via Bibury’s great selection of local 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 bed, draping curtains and soft blankets, making them a peaceful little home-from-home to return to after a day out. From the low ceiling beams to the crooked staircase, the building is full of charm and character and the buzzing atmosphere of the downstairs pub makes it a popular watering hole with the locals. Make sure you book a spot for dinner – the kitchen serves locally sourced produce in a variety of vibrant but unpretentious dishes, making it a must for guests.