When nature matches humans’ built.
Stow-on-the-Wold – 2017
The Cotswold is one of the prettiest areas of England I have ever been to. Rolling hills, green valleys, quaint villages, everywhere you look is out of a postcard.
We woke up bright and early to made the most of the 2 days we had in the region. On the first day, we visited Blockley, Kingham, Stow-on-the-Wold, Lower Slaughter and Bourton-on-the-Water. It seems like a lot but some villages are teeny tiny so you will only need an hour or so there. On the Sunday, we explored Painswick, Miserden and Bibury, before heading back to London.
Now to help you plan your trip to the Cotswolds, I listed all the villages below with a few recommendations here and there. Also keep scrolling if you like pictures of quaint houses and autumnal foliage. Bundle up and let’s go!
Blockley was just waking up when we arrived on Saturday morning. It is a very small village so you won’t need long to explore it. Take a moment to appreciate the local architecture. All house are built with the local sand colour Cotswold stone.
Walk to the top of the hill for glimpses of the countryside.
There you will find picturesque church, and you will see that even cemeteries are pretty in the Cotswolds.
Our next stop was another very small, yet very pretty, village. Kingham is on flat land, the exact opposite of Blockley.
It is all in the details in Kingham, the front porches are all ridiculously quaint.
Walk around the main green and wander toward the church.
And if you happen to be in Kingham at lunch time, make sure to try The Wild Rabbit, we didn’t eat there on this trip but I heard great things about it!
For lunch we headed to Stow-on-the-Wold, a bigger town and the perfect spot if you are looking for a busier atmosphere and an opportunity to shop!
The place has a lot of local products shops and antics boutiques. Make sure to explore some to find little treasures or souvenir!
If you happen to be there around lunch time, make sure to grab a bite at The Hive, I cannot recommend it enough!
Explore the city centre, everything is so pretty you will feel like you are in a Jane Austen era movie.
Finally make sure to pay attention when driving out of Stow-on-the-Wold, there are some amazing view points which worth stopping at for a picture our 20 (you should see my memory card).
Lower Slaughter is famous for its network of small canals. The village’s streets follow the path of the water to create the most charming atmosphere.
Walk along the canal and head to the old mill, there you will be able to make friend with the ducks and see the hikers splashing around in the water to wash their muddy boots.
We then headed to the church and happened to run into a bride and a groom, freshly married, who were taking their wedding pictures in the village. I have to say, with that weather and the golden Autumn colours, their pictures will be extremely Pinterest-able.
Our last stop on Saturday was also the busiest place we visited. Bourton-on-the-Water is full of tourists so be warned.
It is absolutely beautiful though so it still worth merging into the crowd to walk along the water.
It is nicknamed the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ and rightly so. It’s all about crossing bridges, feeding the ducks and grabbing a sweet afternoon treat there!
On the Sunday, we started our day at Painswick. It is a very small village but it has a very noticeable cemetery (Again! I told you cemeteries worth a visit in the Cotswolds). The trees leading to the village’s church are all shaped like mushrooms. This makes for great pictures…
…and ‘avant-garde’ head pieces (I am a very funny person indeed).
The village is also a hub for the serious hikers, so much so that you may struggle finding a free parking spot, even on Sundays.
Miserden was one of the prettiest, if not THE prettiest, villages we visited. Teeny tiny but really worth stopping by!
The views of the valley are beautiful, mostly in the Autumn.
The village is very peaceful, the locals friendly, the chickens walk freely in the streets, and honesty boxes are the common way to shop there. A little peace of heaven.
Also make sure to grab a little something at The Nursery on Miserden Estate, a nice spot for a cup of coffee and something sweet.
Our last stop was Bibury. This place is probably the closest I will ever get to feel like I am in the Lord of the Ring. Look at the houses! Hobbits could easily live there!
The place is charming and therefore very popular with tourists.
It isn’t very big either, so once you are done walking around, head to The Swan for a warming drink or a Sunday roast (we went for the later).
The Cotswolds are the perfect Autumnal destination, and it was the perfect weekend away with the great weather we had! We came home rested and with (maybe) a bit of a tan.
Today’s address is a real gem hidden in the middle of the British countryside!
A couple of weeks ago we headed to the Cotswolds for a weekend away from the big smoke. We were blessed with amazing autumnal weather and spent the Saturday and Sunday exploring the little Cotswolds villages.
On Saturday, we happened to be in Stow-on-the-Wold around lunch time. Our plan was to find a cosy pub to grab a bite, but it all changed when we walked passed The Hive.
From the outside it looks like a conventional little tea shop. We looked at the menu which seemed appetising and thought ‘why not?’.
The big BIG highlight when eating at The Hive is the staff, ‘nice’ is an understatement. Everybody at The Hive is absolutely lovely! The waiters and the owners are all very polite, very friendly and, most of all, super attentive – by the end of our lunch I wanted to hug them goodbye!
Now let’s talk about the food, simple yet delicious is the best way I would describe it! The menu mainly offers simple lunch options like soup and sandwiches. The quantities are generous though and we left very full and in need of a digestive walk.
Andrew went for the egg and mayo sandwich. A generous melting filling sandwiched between two slices of ‘crispy on the outside and soft on the inside’ sourdough bread. What else can you ask for?
I picked the soup of the day which was sweet potato, coconut milk and spices.
On the side, I had the option to choose either white sourdough bread, brown bread or a cheese scone. I went for the cheese scone, obviously!
The soup was creamy and flavoursome, the cheese scone had the perfect consistency and cheesiness, and I was happy.
With still a little bit of space for something sweet, we decided to share a huge slice of the lemon and pistachio cake. Pure sweetness bliss…
So if you are wandering in the Cotswolds hills and looking for a place to have lunch, head to Stow-on-the-Wold!