Spa in the heart of the Cotswolds
The Cowley Manor is perched upon 55 acres of beautiful country side in the center of the Cotswolds. Surrounded by peaceful lakes and rolling green hills, this is the perfect getaway from London. Opened in 2002, this spa hotel is perfect for couples and families looking to get away from it all. There are plenty of things to keep the kids entertained while parents relax and let all the cares in the world melt away in the impressive spa.
The building itself was built in 1855 for Sir James Horlick of the Malted Milk Company. In 1930 the building was converted into assisted living for the elderly and continued this way for nearly 50 years. Because of this conversion a lot of the building’s character was lost in favor of function. This allowed the inside of the building to be updated in a more contemporary style. Fusing the new interior design and with the old style architecture gives this hotel a very distinct feel.
The main house has fifteen bedrooms, public and private rooms for entertainment and relaxation. The Stable building also has 15 bedrooms, which are quite a bit different than the main house’s rooms. The rural character of this building gave way to some very creative and interesting rooms surrounding the beautiful garden.
The public rooms have each been approached in a different way. Some are simple, like the dining room that has been lined with timber to be more in line with what you would expect of a 150 year old building. However, other rooms are much more modern, like the billiard room with its padded leather walls and the bar with very modern backlit cherry veneered panels.
A lot of thought was put into re-establishing spaces of scale and proportion in line with the original buildings. New architectural elements were thought of more as furniture within these older rooms, and where original features remained they were restored. A new glass roof was fitted to the old ‘Flower Room’ which presents guests with a spectacular vertical view of the upper two stories of the old house. There is also a vertical slot by the new staircase that allows the existing classic molding to continue inside the building.
The spa is more of an enclosed space then an actual building. Built on the edge of the garden with a sunken courtyard and surrounded by 3 additional garden walls, this relaxation area has a very secluded feel, perfect for a quiet moment. You will also find an outdoor and indoor pool, ‘underground’ treatment rooms, steam and sauna and a gym.
All of these elements combine into a very fascinating and relaxing place to stay while in the English countryside. You can view more about staying at Cowley Manor by visiting their website.
An Old English Specialty
Ever wanted to visit a bed and breakfast and pub that dates back to the 15th century? Well, you’re in luck if you plan on visiting the Fleece Inn located within the Cotswolds.
The property was originally built by a farmer named Byrd, but little else has changed over the years. The last member of the family died in 1977, and the Inn now belongs to the National Trust. Even with the transition to new ownership, the Fleece Inn still functions the same as before, with the only additions being new food items like pub grub, locally grown asparagus, sausage and mash and locally made faggots.
Many events take place at the Inn every year like the annual Apple and Ale Festival, Vale of Evesham Asparagus Festival, May Bank Holiday and even classic car events that people come from all over the area to participate in. Every Thursday night is also folk night, where musicians come and play for the crowd at the pub.
Experiencing what traditional British countryside life is like is what the Fleece Inn is all about, but with the addition of modern amenities that people cannot live without, you’ll still feel right at home. Booking is tight, so if you plan of visiting any time soon, you must make reservations at least a few weeks ahead of time so you’re guaranteed space. At only £97.50 per night with breakfast included, you can experience the traditional life at an affordable price, so even Michigan Used Cars buyers can enjoy what’s to offer.
One would think there’s not much else to do at the Inn besides drink, eat, sleep and enjoy the surrounding countryside. But there’s also the beautiful medieval church St Leonard’s across the village square to check out, in addition to many other village buildings.
You’d never expect a rural Inn like the Fleece Inn to offer so much history and traditional life at such a high level and affordable price, but that is exactly what you get when you visit.
History at its Finest
The Great Hall in Harry Potter…
England is full of history, most of which is deep rooted into the culture of the people that live here. In addition to many historical buildings, churches and castles, the wide open pastures and fields are ideal for anyone who’s the adventurous type.
While all of England is rich with culture and history, the Cotswolds in particular are home to one of the oldest cathedrals in the land: Gloucester Cathedral.
Built in 678 CE by an Anglo-Saxon community, Gloucester Cathedral has stood the test of time, as it has seen everything from indoctrination to coronations of kings. Around 1000 CE, the cathedral became a Benedictine Monastery, and by 1100 CE, St. Peter’s Abbey was consecrated.
In 1216, King Henry III was the first king to be coroneted there, with several other chains of monarchies being reconnected thereafter.
Various historical ceremonies took place up until 2006, when the last known activity there was the replacement of gargoyles on the south aisle of the cathedral.
In addition to learning about the history, what else can you expect when visiting Gloucester Cathedral? Situated in the British countryside you’ll see centuries of some of the finest architecture seen in the area, active services because the church is still operational, music and even guided tours and group visits of the cathedral, tower and surrounding areas.
If you decide to tour the grounds and cathedral in a tour or by yourself, you’ll eventually pass the east window in the Chapter House. Crafted by Christopher Whall, a key member of the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 20th century, the east window features arguably his finest work in the form of stained glass named The Lady Chapel. Gloucester Cathedral also plays a momentous backdrop to the Hollywood series, Harry Potter. The interior was extensively filmed as was many areas around the cathedral.
Considered by many to be the finest stained glass exhibition of that period in England, visitors will be able to witness one of the most beautiful examples of fine art in all of England.
If you’re ever in the Cotswolds, don’t forget to visit the Gloucester Cathedral. While the Cotswolds contain more sites and history than you could possibly get to in a day, the Gloucester Cathedral is one destination that you’ll be glad you fit into your schedule.