Sunday 23 March 2014

Holiday in The Cotswolds

I've been a bit quiet on the Blog front this week because I've been away with the other half ( Mr Writer) for a holiday in The Cotswolds. I just wanted to share some of the photos with you to give you a glimpse of the beautiful countryside around Gloucestershire. I think sometimes holidays in England are overlooked in favour of get-aways to sunnier climates, but we've got amazingly quaint towns and villages and rolling countryside on our doorstep that are waiting to be explored. Oh and not forgetting some seriously good food!

We stayed here in The Fox Inn in Lower Oddington. It's ideally located to explore the Cotswolds with pretty villages within a short drive and the main cities are less than an hour away. If you're looking for somewhere quintessentially English to stay, I can't recommend it enough. Really lovely friendly staff too.

For foodies out there, we ate in the Fox Inn restaurant here each night- the menu focuses on seasonal and local produce and I can honestly say we had some of the best food experiences here this week, with the highlights being Ox cheek, Bath Chap (pigs cheek) with scotched Quails egg, and (don't knock it 'til you've tried it) Calves brains, which Mr Writer describes as one of the nicest things he's ever eaten. Check it out here

We visited The Rococo Garden on our way back from visiting the pretty town of Painswick. This is an 18th century pleasure garden in the grounds of Painswick House, created during a time of flamboyant garden parties. Really lovely to walk around in the sunshine

View of the valley from one of the garden buildings

Just up the road from where we stayed is Bourton- On the-Water. It's a very pretty village with the river Windrush flowing through and is very popular with tourists looking to visit a traditionally English town. There's also a Motor Museum, which  is home to Brum, if you remember him from the childrens programme which was set here. Although he is on a pedestal to stop him driving off..!

Something that struck me most about The Cotswolds is how much they have preserved their heritage- they really have worked hard to keep their cultural identity and you can see this in the way the buildings have all been kept in the traditional style and the towns and villages are full of independent businesses- you don't see any chain stores here except in the very large towns. This is quite a contrast to back home.

From Bourton- on the-Water we walked between Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter (the name comes from the Old English for "muddy place"), which I recommend for the scenery.

We headed out to Warwickshire one day to visit Anne Hathaway's cottage, just outside Stratford-Upon-Avon. The guides were very helpful in explaining the history inside the cottage and the grounds were very pretty. We then headed into Stratford-Upon-Avon to see Shakespeare's birthplace. This was the only disappointment of the holiday, as Mr Writer and I both felt that there was a certain amount of selling out here- it was a very touristy town and it felt that they hadn't preserved the heritage as well as Gloucestershire.

We also visited Gloucester, which is well worth a visit for the Beatrix Potter museum, housed within the original building she drew for her story The Tailor of Gloucester, the Docks and the stunning Cathedral.

So that was just a little insight into our holiday and I hope it inspires you to visit! I'm now thoroughly fired up to get making, see you later in the week!

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