I’ve always wanted to spend some time in the Cotswolds – I have only ever heard great things about it. It’s a place where the “who’s who” of society have holiday homes, celebrities reside and “old school” poms spend their weekends. It’s lavish gardens, traditional pubs and friendly community are some of the many reasons why I wanted to visit the Cotswold’s. Not to mention; red wine, fire places and a cute English cabin – just like the movie “The Holiday”.
How To Get There
The easiest way to the Costwolds is by train ( Great Western Railway ) from London Paddington to Kingham. It took about an hour and 45 mins from station to station. We left London during “out of peak hours” on Friday night and managed to get tickets for about 45 Pounds return. The prices vary depending on what time you leave, as well as when you book the tickets. If you have a rail card- you are eligible for discounts as well.
We caught a taxi to our residence in Great Rissington- a tiny little village in the Cotswolds. We pre booked our taxi as you will definitely NOT find an Uber or any other form of transport at 9pm on a Friday night.
TIP: Stock up on snacks and perhaps even a bottle of wine – it makes the train ride much more fun!
You can check train times and purchase tickets here.
We ended up staying in an Airbnb, which much to my surprise was my first Airbnb experience!. Staying in this cottage was like taking a page out of Cameron Diaz’s experience in The Holiday. All we needed was some snow, a little dog and Jude Law, lol! Easterleigh (the cottage) was quaint, quirky and charming – the only draw back being the fact that it was missing some everyday immensities (which we didn’t prepare for). Thank goodness for friendly neighbors who came to the rescue with tea, coffee and milk! We each had our own room with a separate bathroom and there was plenty of space for all of us.
What To Get Up To
There really isn’t much to do in the Cotswold’s, other than eat, drink, sleep and walk – all of which we did lots of, lol! On Saturday morning, we cooked up a traditional English breaky and later took a stroll around the village. Following our sweet but short walk around the cobbled town, we ended up at the only pub in sight – “The Lamb Inn”. I mean, we couldn’t visit the Cotswold’s and not have a pint and some pub grub! Their service was impeccable! I just loved the friendly, warm welcome we were given- it literally made the trip that much more enjoyable.
Hike From Great Rissington to Bourton
Following our delicious lunch, we decided to venture off on a 16km hike from Great Rissington to Bourton-On-The-Water (the nearest town) which ended up taking just over 3 hours. Although it was long and we were dressed incorrectly, it was well worth it. Living in London, you don’t realise how much you miss the fresh air, the quiet environment and the greenery – this was the highlight of the trip.
The two towns are almost adjacent to one another; but in order to get there, you have to walk 3 hours, in a complete circle to arrive in Bourton. We found out later, we could have walked along one straight and narrow road and it would have taken us half the time – but it would not have been as fun!
FACT: “Starting from the Lamb Inn, a great pub in the centre of the village, the walk follows the River Windrush, then heads across Sherborne Water Meadows. The meadows were developed in the early 17th Century, covering 140 acres on the west bank of the Windrush. They were in use until the 1930s to produce large amounts of lush grass for sheep to graze. In 1992, the ditches and sluices were reinstated to allow the fields to be used as water meadows once again” – View Ranger
Bourton is such a cute little town! We only had a few short hours there before it got dark and had to make our way back to Great Rissington. So we ended up finding a cute little coffee spot a.k.a The Cornish Bakery, had a pint at Kingsbridge Inn, strolled through the village and ended off with a quick grocery shop to stock up on ingredients for dins.
I wish we could have spent more time in Bourton – there is plenty to explore – from little shops to secret sidewalks- this is an Instagrammers heaven! Perhaps this should be on your bucket list of places to stay when visiting the Cotswolds area.
That evening, we cooked up some traditional bolognese, drank red wine and stayed up until the early hours of the morning. One of my favorite things about being in the countryside is that you can see every single star in the sky… something that makes my heart long for home.
Sunday In The Cotswolds
Sunday was a typical chilled day for everyone. We all split into our couples and headed off on our own little walk around the town. I love going away with friends but it’s also important to spend some quality time with your better half. We had a sweet breaky filled with pastries, hot cross buns (yes, they have been in stores for the last month already) and coffee. The day was a lazy one up until we had to pack up, clean up and make our way back to the train station.
Overall, I really did enjoy our time in the Cotswolds, however, we definitely needed an extra day. Arriving late on a Friday night and leaving midday on Sunday doesn’t really leave much room to relax and unwind properly. If I were to visit again, I would definitely stay in Bourton as the town is vibrant, buzzing and there is so much more to do.
For more travel adventures – including our trip in Dubai, click here.
xoxo – Kendal Olivia