Escape to the Country
Five years ago, I moved from Gloucestershire to London. From one extreme to the other, I waved farewell to our home, surrounded by fields, farmland and views that stretch for miles, and moved into a tiny room in Southwark, London.
While I may no longer be in said Southwark room, I still miss the countryside, and recently have been taking every possible opportunity to escape to the Cotswolds, even if just for a night or two. You may have seen our recent trip to the Lakes by Yoo, in Lechlade, and last week Charlie and I returned to the same area, but this time to a village called Lower Slaughter.
Upper and Lower Slaughter are twin villages, and epitomise the beauty of the Cotswold district. In today’s post I wanted to share a few snaps from our two days there, as well as my top 10 reasons to fall in love with the Cotswolds.
Reasons to Fall In Love with the Cotswolds
- It’s just an hour and a half from London. The Cotswolds is closer than you think. Charlie and I borrowed a snazzy car for the weekend, and embarked on the scenic drive out of the city, and into the middle of nowhere. In the time it takes to get through to the departure lounge at your nearest airport, you could easily find yourself settling in at a friendly pub, enjoying the British sunshine (OK, we were lucky with the weather) and scenery that, in my opinion, beats the Costa del Sol hands down.
- It’s like another world. There’s countryside, and then there’s the Cotswolds. One of the most popular reasons to visit the Cotswolds is the scenery, and the area has been named an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The picturesque villages provide the perfect backdrop for long walks or scenic drives, everywhere you look there’s another spectacular view. The village of Lower Slaughter is particularly photogenic, you just have to come for a walk with us in my Cotswolds Vlog to see why we fell so in love with it.
- It’s a detox for the mind & body. While there are plenty of pubs serving up hearty dishes, there are also a huge range of eateries for local, organic food (more on that later!). Diet aside, the crisp clean air feels noticeably sharp and cleansing compared to London’s polluted atmosphere, even after just a day in the Cotswolds I felt lighter and detoxified from the fresh air. Finally, with so many areas out of reach from phone signal, it can be a digital detox too – the perfect excuse to finally put your phone down, and enjoy a real break from city life.
If it’s good enough for Dexter…
4. You can take your dog! Unlike overseas trips, visiting the Cotswolds is the perfect getaway for both you and your dog! With so many hotels being dog friendly (two favourites being the Slaughter’s Country Inn and Slaughter’s Manor House), and endless walks for you both to enjoy, your furry friend will love the Cotswolds just as much as you do!
5. There’s so much to do. Sometimes when you escape the city you just want to do nothing, and that’s pretty much what Charlie and I did. We didn’t arrange any day trips, instead took long walks, challenged each other at Croquet, ambled through villages and popped into local pubs. If an action packed trip is more your style though, you’ll find Distilleries, Wetland Centres, Farms, Museums, Castles and so much more to explore and visit.
6. Incredible restaurants and pubs. I don’t think I was really expecting our trip to the Cotswolds to be such a foodie triumph! Our trip began with a typical pub lunch at Slaughter’s Country Inn, comprising of a Ploughman’s Platter and homemade Pea & Mint Soup, we also dined at the Inn that evening enjoying Michelin-worthy food. A short drive from Lower Slaughter, we also dined at The Wild Rabbit – the most exquisite ‘pub food’ I think I’ve ever tasted, and also Daylesford farm for an Organic and delicious lunch.
8. You’re treated like a local. Unlike some countryside villages where anyone from London is immediately branded as an ‘outsider’, the Cotswolds is totally chilled out and everyone you meet is welcoming and treats you like a local. We experienced incredible warmth and hospitality at the Slaughter’s Country Inn where we spent our first night, immediately feeling right at home.
9. You’ll be spoilt for choice with places to stay. Even in the tiny picturesque village of Lower Slaughter, you can choose between a chilled out Country Inn vibe at Slaughter’s Country Inn, or a more luxurious opulent stay at the Slaughter Manor House.
10. You’ll instantly feel at home. Perhaps for me it’s because I grew up in countryside close to the Cotswolds, but even for Charlie he agreed that something about the Cotswolds makes you feel instantly at ease and at home. Perhaps it’s the hospitality, the relaxed vibe, the friendliness of everyone you meet – and of course the home-from-home feel of the aforementioned accommodation. I could quite easily see myself living here – I’m just not ready to leave the city quite just yet….
A Cotswold Outfit
Exploring the towns and villages calls for comfort and style, something you can walk around in for hours, but still look chic when you settle for lunch in one of the local restaurants. I opted for flat studded shoes, my most comfortable jeans, and a light jacket – a look that ticks all the boxes!
Have you ever visited the Cotswolds? What do you think about taking a staycation in the UK?