Think of the quintessential English countryside, and chances are you’ll picture the honey-coloured hamlets that line the quaint villages of the Cotswolds. There’s a wealth to explore here, and plenty of grand country house hotels, charming pubs and characterful B&Bs in which to rest your head.
At The Manor, paths are lined with pebbles, fragrant flowers and foliage grow wild by the wayside, and a pretty stone facade beckons visitors inside for a luxurious stay. Each of the retreat’s six bedrooms has its own bathtub, so you can take your pick while admiring surrounding timber beam ceilings, gilt mirrors and grand oil paintings. Head downstairs to the dining room – in which an elaborate chandelier is the focal point and flags line the walls – before stepping outside to practice your tennis serve on the shared court.
Bespoke touches abound at Long Compton’s Ivy Cottage, where you can expect a welcome bottle of champagne on arrival and a fridge equipped with all the essentials. An open-tread wooden staircase leads upstairs to two king bedrooms where a handsome copper bathtub invites you for a relaxing soak. Take a 10-minute stroll to the nearby village pub that is serving great food, or cosy up in front of the log fire with your pick of films.
Camping in the woods doesn’t have to mean sacrificing comfort. This stylish cabin in the heart of the Slad Valley may not have electricity, but it does have a king-size bed, two-seater sofa, a full-sized bath and a wheelbarrow for carrying luggage. There’s also hot water and gas to cook on, with candles adding the finishing touches to a romantic getaway. Wooden signs point to a network of well-maintained trails, leading the way to pub favourite The Woolpack.
Wrapped inside a former 19th-century brewery barrel store, this aptly named stylish hostel in Cirencester offers a rare budget accommodation option in the Cotswolds. Its 14 rooms come in various configurations – and can accommodate up to 43 guests – but all are thoughtfully kitted out to provide everything you need for a comfortable stay, including high-quality Cotswold-made throws and ensuite bathrooms. Guests not keen on self-catering can visit the on-site cafe which serves hot breakfasts, plus light lunches and snacks.
Pitched somewhere between characteristic country pub and fully-fledged hotel, rooms at The Angel are furnished in a relaxed and cosy Cotswold style, fitted with wooden beams, roaring fireplaces and window seats to watch the world go by. Outside, there’s a pretty walled garden and sun terrace – and, on the ground floor, an award-winning restaurant with a menu full of fresh, local ingredients. Ask for the two roasts of the day, served with crispy roasties, seasonal vegetables and a large helping of their famous Yorkshire puddings.
This country house retreat is the stuff of which fairytales are made. The property’s 18 bedrooms house interiors drawing inspiration from its best feature – the enchanting garden – including walls splashed in soft, earthy hues and a grand chandelier made from flower pots. The garden itself is the seminal creation of internationally renowned garden designer Rosemary Verey who also brought to life the visions of Sir Elton John and the Prince of Wales. The gardens envelop a stylish spa with reviving treatments and an outdoor hydrotherapy pool.