Have you ever been somewhere that was magical? A place that looked like a scene from a thousand different movies you’ve watched? The Cotswolds is that place for me. I first went to the Cotswolds in 2009. I had lived in England off and on for four years, but never made the 1.5 hour journey from Sussex. And I’m truly sorry I didn’t. The Cotswolds reminds me of Napa Valley, but without all the U.S., and especially California, fluff and ego. The roads leading into The Cotswolds from Sussex are beautiful. Well, once you get off the motorway. They are windy, small and extremely scenic. My favorite road in The Cotswolds is Lechlade Road, leading into Southrop. And speaking of Southrop, there is a pub there that you should definitely not miss. The Swan at Southrop. One of my top 10 restaurants in the world. To see my full list visit my blog Passport Foodie.
My top 5 things to do and see in The Cotswolds:
1. The Lords of the Manor Hotel in Upper Slaughter, Cheltenham – Beautiful, secluded rooms, amazing grounds and they have a one star Michelin restaurant, which is worth dining at whether you stay at the hotel, or not.
2. The Swan at Southrop – About as perfect as a pub can be. Fresh, local food. Stunning dining room, friendly, attractive staff. There’s no wonder this is Kate Moss’ local.
3. The Royalist Hotel in Stow-on-the-Wold – Built in 947 AD this is the oldest inn in England. Ask for the room above the entryway. This may be the smallest and most charming room in the entire country.
4. Broadway Tower – A giant tower that sits atop a hill overlooking most of The Cotswolds. The best view of the countryside.
5. Bibury – The town of Bibury is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. This sleepy little town is home to the Bibury Court Hotel and a row of cottages called Arlington Row. Both will stun the senses.