When visiting The Cotswolds, it feels like you’re stepping back in time. Almost like the area is a perfectly preserved museum exhibit that you’re able to interact with. It’s just charming.
For anyone visiting the UK on a holiday, it’s certainly a place where I feel they’d appreciate that more rural and rustic view of Britain. The idealistic chocolate box vision they may have.
And for Londoners it makes a welcome weekend retreat. Life is just slower. But the important aspects for any Londoner still exist- it’s a place that takes its food seriously and luxury is to be expected.
Our base in the market town of Stow on the Wold couldn’t be anymore exemplary of that, and for that reason I’d definitely recommend it as a place to situate yourself to explore the surrounding parts of the Cotswolds.
We were kindly invited to stay at The Bolthole. A new acquisition for The Old Stocks Inn who have carried their trademark style through to this fabulous six person holiday let.
The beautiful honey coloured stone exterior is exactly what you want from a stay in the Cotswolds. You don’t want to just see the stunning architecture in the area. You want to be living in amongst it all, and The Bolthole certainly ticks this box and more.
Tucked on a corner right by the main square in Stow on the Wold, with its own private parking space, this quaint looking little cottage opens up into quite an expansive retreat with its own outdoor space.
It’s the perfect place to relax after exploring the local region.
But it’s also a sociable home, which was something we particularly loved. There was ample space for the children to explore and play and of course for those times when we needed some peace and quiet, sky movies was available at the touch of a button. Perfect for a nice quiet evening or a rainy day.
From the Nintendo switch (how do we not have one of these in our own home yet?), to a book shelf full of exciting reads or board games we were all kept occupied and were able to relax in the best way possible.
And having self catering facilities meant we had the option to stay in for dinner if we could tell that the children were exhausted from our adventurous days.
The Bolthole made a beautiful and luxurious stay.
Although it’s the self catering option from The Old Stocks Inn, little touches like breakfast being included on the first day of our stay at the Inn restaurant made sure we still felt part of that holiday atmosphere but with a bit more freedom- which I think is essential when you have a family. A little bit for everyone.
With that in mind I’ve listed some things to do in the area. The Cotswolds is a vast place, so I’ve narrowed down the options to the vicinity in and around Stow on the Wold.
1. J. R. R. Tolkien’s Door
A mere stroll from the front door of The Bolthole and you’ll find the door to J. R. R Tolkien’s middle earth. This famous door flanked by two ancient Yew trees is part of St. Edwards Church. Certainly something to see if you’re in the area and you’re a Lord of the Rings fan.
2. The Old Stocks Inn
This boutique hotel (which also own The Bolthole), have a fabulous restaurant that should definitely be experienced. The head chef has two AA rosettes. The locally sourced ingredients definitely create some spectacular dishes. On a side note, the bar makes an amazing espresso martini.
3. The Porch House
Supposedly England’s oldest inn with a history dating back to C.947AD it’s certainly worth popping in here for a little afternoon drink. It’s a friendly pub with a beautiful interior that’s certainly worth exploring. It’s only a short walk from The Bolthole.
4. The Old Butchers
Strangely, The Old Butchers specialises in seafood. And if you’re a lover of seafood this is the place to come. Lunch finishes at 2.30pm and dinner starts at 6.30pm so the times are quite regimented. Reservations are recommended as this place gets fully booked even on weekdays as it’s a favourite with the locals too. We had a fantastic meal there.
5. Afternoon Tea
You are spoiled for choice when it comes to afternoon tea in Stow on the Wold. My advice would be to just walk around and go into the one that draws you in. For us that was In the Mood Tearoom. A place which harks back to the 1940’s. It’s a family owned tearoom and the owners were a pleasure to meet and extremely friendly. The tea was exceptional. The earl grey and the rose tea were both of spectacular quality. Let arguments commence over whether jam or cream goes on first when it comes to a scone…
6. The Wild Rabbit
If you like your food truly fancy, then The Wild Rabbit is for you. Their lunch menu isn’t available everyday, so make sure to double check before going. But this place is certainly one to head to if luxury cuisine is up your street. We turned up on a day where the kitchen was shut. Such a shame but the interior was just gorgeous!
7. Arlington Row, Bibury
Probably one of the most photographed locations in the Cotswolds you can’t miss visiting this beautiful row of houses. We took a lot of photographs with the beautiful houses as a backdrop. It really is a stunning place.
8. Lower Slaughter
This beautiful village sits alongside a babbling stream which makes for a great place to enjoy while in the Cotswolds. There are quite a few things to see, such as the old mill. Copse Hill Road in Lower Slaughter is also meant to be the most romantic street in England too so it’s certainly a place to discover.
Visit this famous organic farm shop, restaurant and cafe just two miles from Stow on the Wold.