For those of you not yet decided on where to retreat to after a day of races and entertainment at Cheltenham Festival, you’re in luck.
We got Unique Homestays to round up their collection of hand-picked private homestays nearby. You can thank us later.
From a stylish farmhouse sleeping up to 18, to an enchanted thatched cottage, there are options to suit all who covet luxury, style and comfort.
All images supplied by and copyright of Unique Homestays.
Whittington | 6 miles away | Sleeps 18
Resurrected from 18th century barns, this rustic-luxe homestay welcomes large groups with nine sumptuous bedrooms in which to recoup after a day’s sporting antics. Welcome mornings with a wander around the 500 acres of surrounding farmland, or a rejuvenating dip in the indoor swimming pool, and spend evenings hunkered down in the cinema room.
For lovers of modern architecture and simple design, this Cotswolds cottage shows how old and new can work in perfect synergy. Gather together by the fire in the contemporary living area and hire a private chef if you want every whim catered for, promising outstanding dishes awaiting your return.
Brimming with olde-worlde charm, this thatched cottage offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of festival life, so you’re ready to do it all again the next day. Think roll-top bubble baths and lazy mornings in the garden…
This fairy-tale mill house, filled to the brim with charm and antiques, is sure to rekindle childhood fantasies, leaving all grown-up responsibilities at the gate. Stroll through the 11 acres of eden-esque grounds and when the weather turns, the indoor swimming pool offers a tropical paradise.
For couples in search of a private haven, this luxury cottage is accessed only by a quaint humpback bridge and surrounded by verdant greenery. Avid walkers might be tempted to extend their visit after the festival to explore the nearby picturesque villages via the Cotswolds Way.
This charming creeper-clad cottage is set in the quintessential village of Bibury, adorned with elegant furnishings and gentle tones inside, promising a peaceful space in which to unwind. Enjoy a roll top bath, crackling wood burners and a quiet garden for al fresco breakfasts.
A polo farm turned elegant country home, this luxury retreat encourages guests to embrace the outdoors with the Cotswolds most-loved walks on its doorstep, all the while offering a welcoming space to sink into squishy sofas by the fire, G&T in hand.
Burford is a lovely Cotswolds wool town, but head off the pretty (and always busy!) High Street to St John’s Church for some offbeat sights and stories.
The Unwanted Tomb
Lawrence Tanfield was a politician, judge, and a highly unpopular local lord of Burford Manor because of his arrogant and mean behaviour.
When he died in 1628, both Westminster Abbey and Burford church refused to put up a memorial.
But his wife Katherine decided he should get one anyway and marched a team of workmen to the north chapel.
The result was a huge, garish shrine depicting the Tanfields lying below six Corinthian columns surrounded by arches, obelisks and the family coat of arms.
Underneath the couple rests a skeleton carved in stone apart from one real, human thigh bone (origin unknown).
Spirit in a Bottle
The townspeople tolerated the grand tomb (well, it was hard to shift), but burned an effigy of the unlovely twosome every year for a couple of centuries to show the hate lived on.
The vengeful ghosts of the Tanfields were said to haunt Burford by hurtling round the town in a blazing coach and a priest was hired to exorcise the town of these unwelcome visitors.
He captured their spirits in a bottle and hurled it into the nearby River Windrush. Locals were so concerned that the ghastly pair would escape if the river ran dry that they topped up the water during hot summers.
Standing by the Tanfield tomb is a ‘weeper’ effigy of their only daughter.
Elizabeth Cary (her married name) taught herself several languages and was such an avid reader that she bribed her maid for extra candles so she could study at night, defying her mother’s instructions to get some beauty sleep.
The reading paid off: Elizabeth Cary penned the first published play by a woman, ‘The Tragedy of Mariam’, in 1613.
She also found time to produce eleven children and learn a few more languages.
Scratched into the font of Burford’s church is ‘Antony Sedley 1649 prisner’: He was one of 340 Parliamentarian soldiers locked inside.
The group were known as the Levellers and had demanded reforms (and pay) after the victory of their Roundhead leader Oliver Cromwell in the Civil War against the king-supporting Royalists.
Cromwell decided to teach them a lesson.
The group were ordered onto the roof of their church/prison to watch as three of their leaders being shot – the bullet marks scar the church wall. Sedley and his friends were then released.
The rebellion was over.
Three ‘A’s: Arts and Crafts, Americans and an Antique
Other highlights in the church include a memorial with the earliest known English images of American Indians, and stained glass windows by Arts and Crafts designer Christopher Whall.
Oh and one of Britain’s oldest mechanical clocks has been ticking away here since 1685.
… and watch out for that blazing Tanfield carriage battling through the permanent traffic jam on the High Street!
A Bit About the Author
Sean Callery is a Blue Badge guide for the Heart of England and the author of Offbeat Cotswolds.
Looking for things to do in or around the Cotswolds town of Moreton in the Marsh?
Here’s a list of places to visit, all within a 10 mile radius, closest first.
1.6 Miles- Batsford Arboretum
Batsford Arboretum is home to the country’s largest private Arboretum (a place with a lot of trees, in case you’re wondering) – a selection of trees and shrubs covering 65 acres.
As well as being able to tour the grounds, there is a visitors centre with a cafe, shop and plant centre. The Arboretum dates back to the early 17th Century and is now run by a charity known as the Batsford Trust.
It’s open every day of the year excluding, Christmas Day, from:
9-5 Mon – Sat
10-5 on Sundays
It’s dog friendly which is a great feature and would be sure to keep the kids amused for a day.
Chastleton House is a 400 year old Jacobean House and Gardens, built in the 1600’s and now owned and managed by the National Trust.
It’s one of the only National Trust sites that has focused on conservation rather than restoration, which means that there has been little change to the house in modern times, giving you an unspoiled look into how the house was built and used.
You can pick up a special explorer pack for kids to keep them amused during your time touring the house and gardens. The garden features a Topiary and a Croquet area in the summer months and you can get a free guided tour of the gardens.
Opening months are March to October with a few opening weekends in December. Website says dogs allowed in fields only so it doesn’t really count as a dog friendly location.
Prices – Free for National Trust members. Non-members: House and Garden – £10.50 Adult, £5 kids, £27 Family. Garden only £4 adult, £2.50 kids, Family £10 (prices need updating for 2020).
Cotswold Motoring Museum is situated in the picturesque village of Bourton on the Water. It’s designed to be a journey through the motorcars of the 20th Century, complete with vintage cars, classic cars, caravans and motorbikes.
Possibly most importantly, it’s the home of the famous Brum!
There are 7 showrooms over 7500 square foot where you can discover over 50 classic and vintage cars. The Museum is dog friendly too.
It’s open from 15th Feb until mid December and is open 10am-6m daily.
Prices- £6.25 adults, £4.50 Kids (ages 4-16), under 4’s free, £19.75 Family
Tags: Good for Kids, Dog Friendly
8.3 Miles – Bourton on the Water
Bourton on the Water is known as the Venice of the Cotswolds and is one of the most popular villages in the area.
It sits on the river Windrush and it’s main features consist of the many small bridges which cross the river in the centre of the village.
Bourton is buzzing with day visitors and has lots of quirky shops as well as places to eat.
A number of the other tourist attractions in this list are located here including the Cotswold Motoring Museum, Model Village and Railway and the Birdland Park and Gardens.
Price – Free (except for parking charges)
Tags: Good for Kids, Dog Friendly
8.3 Miles – Bourton Model Village
The Bourton Model Village is a replica of Bourton on the Water which is built at a one ninth scale of the actual Village.
The Model Village was opened in 1937 and took 5 years to build. The Village is famous for it’s mini Bonsai style tree’s which are pruned to replicate the scale of the model. See if you can spot the models village’s model village. It a gets a bit Inception like…
It aims to be open all year (weather dependant) but dogs are not allowed and there are restrictions on pushchairs and wheelchairs due to the size of the replica paths and roads.
The Village is child friendly, although given the strict instruction for what kids can and can’t go near, we wouldn’t want to be the ones responsible for the little one breaking a tiny house!
Price- £3.60 Adult, £2.80 Kids over 3, £3.20 over 60
8.4 Miles – Birdland Park and Gardens
Birdland itself is set in 9 acres of garden and woodland surrounding the River Windrush in the centre of Bourton on the Water.
It houses over 130 species of birds including Flamingos, pelicans, cranes, storks, parrots, owls, pheasants, hornbills and touracos among others.
There is an on site Cafe, a Jurassic Area complete with hidden dinosaur models and 2 acres set aside as a nature reserve where people have observed rabbits, foxes and deer as well as other animals. There is a small outdoor and indoor kids play area.
Birdland is open daily from 10am, closing only on Christmas day with varied closing times depending on time of year.
Surprisingly, compared to most other places dealing with animals, dogs are also allowed.
Prices- £10.95 Adult, £9.95 Concession, £7.95 Kids (ages 3-15), various family tickets available.
Chipping Norton, or Chippy, as locals call it, is one of the highest towns in the Cotswolds, but this was not always the case.
The town began down in the valley of the River Glyme – the earthworks of the Norman castle, built to keep the locals in order are still there.
But the local lord William FitzAlan had ambitions to make the town a major centre, so he built a huge market square (bigger than the area it covers today) up the hill.
Houses were built to surround the market space, and the long, narrow alleyways behind them remain, showing that these were burgage plots: long, narrow sites that gave every shop a window onto the High Street – this is the origin of the phrase ‘window shopping’.
The medieval buildings around the market place benefited from a makeover after 1704.
The construction of Blenheim Palace down the road made the ornate baroque style fashionable, and lots of Chippy’s main buildings got a makeover with smooth-stoned, symmetrical frontages.
However, cattle, horses and sheep were still sold here, as well as wool, which led to the development of the town’s weaving industry and the building of the iconic Bliss Mill.
The Bliss family played a huge role in the development of Chipping Norton, before they hit hard times and sold up in 1895.
The new management pushed down wages and resisted the rise of the workers’ rights movement. This led to a strike that is famous in trade union history, and one of Chippy’s alarmingly regular ‘riots’ as 50 policeman were needed to hold back picketing strikers when their fellow workers headed to do a shift at the mill.
Another uprising led to the 1845 trial of a policeman called Charles Knott who was over eager in calming down a belligerent pub customer, bashing him over the head with his cosh. The poor chap was flung into a cell underneath the new Town Hall. When they opened up the next day, he was dead. The policeman was found ‘not guilty’ because his victim, rather conveniently, was found to have an unusually thin skull.
Rock ‘n’ Roll
There were 20 coach houses in Chippy at one time, giving customers and horses a welcome respite from the bumpy roads. When rail took over, many continued as pubs, and legendary drummer with The Who, Keith Moon, briefly owned one here from 1970
Many of his mates from the music industry would have been the other side of the bar, for the town had a recording studio from 1972 to 1997. Its walls echoes to hits such as ‘Bye Bye Baby’ from the Bay City Rollers, ‘Too Shy’ by Kajagoogoo, and ‘Baker Street’ by Gerry Rafferty.
Today the town is a hidden gem in the Cotswolds, with independent shops, a wonderful ‘Woolgothic’ church, and a terrific theatre that lives in an old Salvation Army chapel and puts on one of the top pantomimes in the country every year. … Oh yes it does!
A bit about the author
Sean Callery runs regular walking tours of Chipping Norton through his Offbeat Cotswolds guiding operation ( www.offbeatcotswolds.com ). He is a Blue Badge Guide for the Heart of England.
If you want a luxurious time, superior values and customary hospitality then you are looking for luxury hotels in the Cotswolds. Cotswold includes a castle, manor houses, and historical inns. If you take pleasure in being a visitor and not just some other room number, these extravagant hotels are for you. Here are some hotels that may be of interest to you.
Charingworth Manor is a beautiful escape. The views are commanded over calm rural Gloucestershire Countryside for over 700 years. Perfect for exploring this gorgeous part of England, Charingworth Manor is a peaceful location for vacations to important conferences. Enjoy yourself in the 26 bedrooms that have been newly refurbished to the highest standard offering modern style, all-new beds and duvets, plasma TVs, internet available, and extraordinary bathrooms. Enjoy a relaxing walk through stunning gardens, open country side, and more.
Dine in the intimate AA rosette restaurant with seasonal menu that make the most excellent of fresh Cotswold produce. Unwind in Cotswold spa with its own gym, sauna, steam room and pool. The heart of England is on their doorstep with historical houses and renowned gardens to explore. There is Shakespeare’s Stratford to discover and Broadway and Burford just is just a short drive away. Charingworth is a pet friendly hotel and welcomes your dogs to stay.
Want a romantic getaway to the past? Then visit Thornbury Castle where Kings and Queens have stayed, Courtiers have flirted with ladies-in-waiting in the very old yew hedged gardens, and service girls have whispered in the halls. Thornbury is the only Tudor castle in England to be open as a hotel and still resonates with history. Nevertheless, step behind heavy oak doors and you will find a splendid hotel with roaring fires, extravagant bedrooms, holistic and massage treatments suitable for men and women.
The lunch menu changes on a daily basis enabling the Chef to integrate the freshest seasonal produce. Walk the grounds and benefit from the open air where Kings of England once walked. Enjoy a royal night’s sleep in the Duke’s Bedchamber where King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn slept. If you favor the Cloucester Bedchamber, wake up to a view of the oldest Tudor gardens in England.
If you are looking for a historical getaway then The Goring is your place. Built in 1910 flanking to Buckingham Palace it is ideally the location you want to stay. You can gaze on the historical castle of the Queen. It is within walking distance of the Royal parks, London’s major shopping areas and the spirit of the West End. The Goring has luxurious bedrooms and one of the first to have personal spacious bathrooms.
Lounge in the bar with elite access to the private gardens, dinning on the Veranda during the season of summer, private dining rooms for meetings and special occasions, approved membership to local health club with full access to pool and gym, high speed internet, internet on TVs with infra-red keyboard, and much more. The Goring is one of the oldest but elegant hotels in London but is one of the most updated.
A beautiful Cotswold stone bed and breakfast. Commended with a Four Diamond Gold Rating by the AA, it assures quality similar to a Mayfair hotel, but maintains a personal touch expected from a family run business.
If you prefer a more flexible stay, you can stay in one of the self-catering spacious cottages. The Cotteswold House is definitely a place for the luxurious country getaway.
Bibury Holiday Cottages
If you prefer a traditional 17th century country cottage then this may be for you. These highly sought after cottages (there are only four) are situated on the edge of the River Coln – a calm river separating the village.
They may have been built over 300 years ago but the interior is very much modern fitted with modern day heating! Each cottage sleeps up to 4 people. In the summer, the glorious sun shines on the neatly kept gardens surrounding the cottages.
A few minutes down the road and you can reach 2 fantastic restaurants serving only local produce and a picturesque country pub serving local beverages.
Great Britain is famous for many things, not least its scenic countryside and charming cottages. Here the refreshing greenery and cleanliness of the air are really amazing.
The countryside is also characterized by a pristine beauty including green hills sloping down towards rugged mountain ranges with hundreds of waterfalls, inhospitable gorges, sand eddies, cliffs, subtropical vegetation and numerous lakes.
It is a romantic setting composed of endless pastures and wheat fields. For certain aspects it reminds one of Tuscan landscapes; might this have been the reason why, in the Eighteen and Nineteen-hundreds, English literates moved to and celebrated Tuscany in their accounts and works?
Typically hedges and stone walls delimit the landscape. Here the heritage is without any doubt the pride of this friendly people.
An important part of the history of the place are the worldwide famous English cottages, especially those in the Cotswolds area. But it does not matter from which cottage you depart, in Britain there is always a bit of nature to discover.
The impressive castles, beautiful churches and stately country houses surrounded by beautiful gardens should not be left out from your programme of visits.
It would be a pity not to discover the ancient British traditions: cricket tournaments and horse races amongst them. But let’s not forget the afternoon tea; this is a lovely tradition that you can enjoy organizing a tea party yourself when renting a home or cottage.
Most of the times you will find a typical English tea set for your personal use. And how can you say no to having an abundant English breakfast, a “Full Monty”, perhaps in the garden, during a beautiful summer morning?
The English countryside is also famous for its small but lively pubs, still rooted in the ancient rural traditions. Having a pint with the locals adds so much flavour to your holiday!
As a matter of fact, cottages often started out as humble rural homes, although nowadays they have become desirable and fashionable, and can be quite prestigious properties.
The term indicates the typical country house of British provinces, intended for one family. Almost always cottages still in use are the result of subsequent additions and enlargements from what the original nucleus used to be.
This was carried on to satisfy the growing needs of a family. The resulting structure is very picturesque due to the combination of various colours and textures, but the most common appearance is composed of stone or bricks.
The typical cottage architecture and look can not only be found in private homes for rent, but also in many hotels, and summer and winter resorts.
Nevertheless, private cottage villas are the best way to enjoy a self catering holiday in the Cotswolds. Just imagine staying in a cozy and quaint English-style cottage. Rooms are fully furnished and comfortable, while fireplaces and fully equipped kitchens provide all the necessary for a romantic holiday in any season.
The intimate and romantic atmosphere of a cottage is ideal for a honeymoon or even just a weekend. These small country houses surrounded by nature are perfect to switch off and recharge your batteries.
Castle Combe, otherwise known as the Prettiest Village in England, is nestled in the southernmost corner of the Cotswolds. Visiting this sleepy, rural community is like stepping back into the 14th century.
Elegantly crafted stone houses, weavers’ cottages, stately gardens and narrow byways combine to create a traditional and picturesque English village.
While the castle on the hill made famous by the Normans no longer exists, the village of Castle Combe is a beautifully preserved example of the way life used to be in the English countryside. If you are out on a walking tour of Wiltshire, be sure to stop here to have a pint and explore its ancient sites and quiet charm. Here are three must-see highlights.
1. A 14th century Market Cross can be found in the centre of the village. These stone landmarks were used to signify the market squares in medieval times. Adjacent to the Market Cross, you will also find a Buttercross. This stone structure is where traders and market goers would tether their horses.
2. Located in the centre of the village, St. Andrew’s Church was built in the 13th century. The tower was added in the 15th century. Wealthy wool merchants funded the tower. The tower’s clock, which was designed by a local blacksmith, is the most famous attraction at St. Andrew’s Church. The clock is not only faceless, which makes it unique, but it is also considered to be one of the oldest working medieval clocks in England.
3. Take a stroll from the Market Cross to By Brook. By Brook is the river that powered Castle Combe’s wool industry in the Middle Ages. The Town Bridge and the Roman Bridge both span this river, and they are charming, well-preserved relics of a bygone era.
Cirencester is a large town (not a city) in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds, with a population of around 19,000.
The town is often referred to as the capital of the Cotswolds and has a long history, stretching back to Roman times. In those days, the town was known as Corinium and was the second largest in Roman Britain.
Located 90 miles west (and slightly north) of London, to the south east of Cheltenham and Gloucester, and the north east of Tetbury, Cirencester is a very historic part of Britain and is a great place to learn about British history and architecture.
This Roman city will provide you with a fantastic travel experience.
Cirencester, the capital of the Cotswolds, has been around since the days of Alexander the Great and during the Roman Empire it was the largest city in England next to London.
The city is filled with amazing architecture like the church of St. John the Baptist, parts of which date back to 1115.
The photo above shows the church of St. John the Baptist, Cirencester, looming over the market square.
Cirencester has a number of great attractions for you to enjoy including Cirencester Park with its lush geometric landscaping, the Cirencester Street Market and several walking tours that highlight the amazing landscape around the city.
There is still evidence of a Roman amphitheatre in Cirencester, although it has only been partially excavated.
The Gloucestershire Way walking tour features a 100 mile walk through the Cotswold farmland. The walking tours are a great environment for taking photographs and just enjoying the fresh air.
Other attractions in the Cotswolds area of outstanding natural beauty include
The Corinium Museum features many great artefacts that go back to the prehistoric days as well as exhibits from the Roman Empire that range from tombstones and mosaics to sculptures, artwork and more.
There are also relics and artefacts that have been unearthed by archaeologists around the area and examples of Victorian lifestyle during the 1800′s. The museum is open every day during various hours and an entrance fee is charged for admission.
The photo above shows a view of the Corinium Museum, Cirencester.
The Bristol Aero Museum in Cirencester features a number of aircraft exhibits from the Bristol Aeroplane Company as well as displays of British Aircraft, missiles and aircraft engines.
The Bristol Aero Museum also features several events throughout the year that display the company’s business practices and industry projects.
Cirencester also features many activities such as ballooning, cycling, horse riding, golf, fishing and more. There are also a number of artistic classes like pottery, wood turning and furniture restoration classes that you can take to learn various crafts.
The Cotswolds are known for great shops and arts and crafts heritage, where you can find British antiques and many art galleries that showcase the artists around Cirencester and the Cotswolds.
The city of Cirencester also includes many Cotswold villas that provide very comfortable lodging during your stay in Cirencester.
There are also several cottages, hotels and bed and breakfasts in the area for you to stay.
If you enjoy camping, there are some camp grounds nearby that offer spaces for tents as well as caravans. There are also several car rental agencies in the area that can provide you with a vehicle to get you around the area.
When you are looking for great holiday ideas for a getaway, check out Cirencester, in the Cotswolds, United Kingdom.
Travelling is associated with a lot of expenditure these days. As a result, either drop the idea of travelling or have reduced the number of travel destinations on their lists. However, if you properly plan your trip and take some precautions during travelling, you can easily reduce the expenditure involved while travelling. This post covers 5 tips to save money on your travel. If you follow these tips during travelling, you can keep the costs involved in limit without comprising the quality of the tour.
Do not Travel in the Peak Season
It is a known fact that high season is associated with higher prices for everything involved. For instance, during peak season, you will have to pay more for the hotels, transportation will be costlier and entry fees to the parks, museums and other attractions will generally be higher. As a result, travelling during peak season can cost too much on your pocket. In order to save money, you should consider travelling in the shoulder season or just after the high season. You will find discounts at these times and an added bonus is that places tend not to be as busy, so you don’t have to deal with the kind of crowds that you’ll encounter at the busiest times of the year.
Compare the prices online
You should check the fares online and compare the prices offered by different airlines. Also plan your trip in advance and book the tickets one month before as it comes with discounted prices. You will be surprised to know that the difference can be as much as half the cost of an immediate booking.
Eat Your Lunch during the Afternoon
When you are travelling, you should take your lunch at about 3 o’clock as the prices are lower during that time in most of the restaurants. You can take snacks before if you feel hungry. The food served during this time is of the same quality and you even get more attention from the restaurant staff as there are less people. Moreover, no reservation is required for such timings and thus you need not pay any special fee. You can save a lot of money this way depending on the number of days involved in the whole trip.
Use City Buses and other public transport
One of the easiest ways to save money during travelling is by using city buses. The fares in the city buses are quite low in comparison to cabs and taxis. Thus if you are tight with the budget, there is no harm in using city buses instead if a private cab. If you travel a lot, you can even get a weekly or monthly pass to save more money. Having proper knowledge of the local places and distances will also ensure that you do not get overcharged for transportation. Thus make a proper if you are travelling to a new place.
Get a Travel Reward Credit Card
In case you travel frequently, you should get a travel reward credit card. These cards provide you some points on every purchase made using it. You can later redeem the points for cash or another purchase. Thus in the longer run, it is just like discount on the overall expenditure done through the travel credit card. However, you need to be careful while selecting the card offers. You need to have a card that offers services useful to you in exchange of the accumulated points. The best option is to choose a travel credit card that offers some cash back for the points accumulated.