Our Week Away In The Cotswolds
We recently got back from a 7 day holiday in our favourite part of the country, the beautiful Cotswolds.
It is the perfect place to escape from the fast-pace and commitments of everyday life and to instead, relax, take things a little slower and admire all the beautiful scenery and picture postcard villages which inhabit it.
We decided this time round to book a dog-friendly cottage as we were staying for a week and with friends. We were successful in finding the perfect cottage for us through Cottages.Com They have a large and varied selection on their website, which helps to make it quick and easy to find that perfect holiday home to suit you, your budget and the type of trip you are planning for.
We chose a lovely cottage in a peaceful, rural but well accessible village called ‘Shipton Moyne’. The cottage is called ‘Mary’s Cottage’ but is located on ‘The Street’, which is the main road which runs through the village. It is a two bedroom, semi-detached old stone cottage which was decorated throughout to a very high standard and it instantly welcomed you with it’s warmth, character and cosy feel.
This cottage is also dog-friendly, which is the main reason we booked it, as our Shih-Tzu King Louis, was of course coming with us to enjoy a holiday.
The cottage sat right opposite the local pub sweetly named ‘The Cat & Custard Pot’, which was a really pretty and charming Cotswold Stone pub, which offered a fantastic menu and the perfect spot for some drinks and evening card games. Again, the pub was dog-friendly as most places are in The Cotswolds, which really suited us and the type of holiday we had planned for.
There are so many beautiful, interesting and fun places to visit within the Cotswolds that you are really spoilt for choice! We planned a rough itinerary for our holiday before we went, just to ensure we never woke-up un-organised and not sure what we wanted to get out of the days.
Below is a guide to some of the hot-spots we paid a visit to and my recommendations of local gems for you to explore and enjoy with or without the dog (but hey it’s always more fun with your furry friend in tow)!
Tetbury was only a 5-7 minutes car journey from our cottage in Shiptin Moyne and is home to Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall, in their stunning home ‘Highgrove’, which gives the town the Royal seal of approval.
It is a beautiful town, full of life and character and home to some of the oldest and prettiest stone architecture we saw. The town itself is adorned with bunting and every corner you turn, there is almost nearly someone selling a very quintessential English Cream Tea.
This was also one of our favouriote places to do a spot of shopping and dining, due to some wonderful local buisnesses. One of my favourite shops to visit there was Woodcock and Cavendish, which sold such lovely homeware and gorgeous fashion accessories. We got talking to the lady who owns it, who was very friendly and was telling us about her new collection of beautiful clothing to be launched, some of it made right here in the UK. I brought some lovely cards from there and a branded mug as a reminder for me back home, of that lovely shop in Tetbury.
Seeing as Tetbury is home to the Royal Estate of Highgrove, we also paid a visit to the gift-shop within the highstreet, which sold some incredible pieces for your home and garden. Unfortunatly this ws the only non dog-friendly shop in the town, so one of us had to stay outside with King Louis but out of a whole town, only one shop not allowing dogs in…that’s not too bad going!
Also known as ‘the capital of the Cotswolds’, Cirencester was a much larger markert town that Tetbury and had a lot to offer with well known high-street stores but lovely little indpendants as well.
In the centre of the sqaure is the emposing but stunning Abbey, which dates back to 1117 and was founded by Henry I. The town is steeped in history and offers walking tours to learn more.
After an afternoon of of exploring and shopping, we found a dog-friendly cafe ‘Jack’s Coffee Shop’ and enjoyed some lunch and delious home-baked cake, while we sat and watched the world go by.
Shopping wise in Cirencester, I was happy to find a Joules to take a peek at their new seson pieces and also a lovely independant book shop called ‘Octavia’s’, which had the most adorable window display, featuring Moonmins dressed as ballerina fairies. It’s a shop specilaing in children’s books but does also have a range of titles for teens and grown-ups.
I was extremely excited to be able to pay Bath a visit once again, as the last time myself and Steve were there, was just over three years ago when he proposed to me! Our friends we were with had never been before and neither had King Louis, so I was looking forward to showing them the sites and enjoying a day in one of the most pretty and friendliest cities.
We were very lucky with the weather our whole week away but in particular, the day we went to Bath, the sun shone brightly, the sky was that perfect shade of blue and it allowed for us to jump on an open-top site-seeing bus, to see the city from all heights! I was delighted to be told that we could bring King Louis on board with us, who loves being in a car but had never been on a bus before, let alone an open-top one! Luckily he enjoyed it to and snuggled down next to us while we took in the incredible sites and scenery Bath had to offer.
After our trip on the site-seeing bus, we decided to make the most of the sunshine and took to exploring the cobbled streets which twirl and swirl all around the city.
One discovery I was very happy to find was the most adorable but totally stylish pet shop (boutique I think is more appropaite for it really), cutely named ‘Pug and Puffin’. It is hidden down a lovely street full of little indepdant shops and cafes called ‘Northumberland Place’. They also have a store in Lyme Regis for anyone who is closer to there. King Louis loved the boutique more than me of course! He was greeted by a lovely lady who gave him lots of attention and doggy biscuits and then we explored both floors of the store, which is full of not just treats and accessories for your pooch but also stylish dog accessories for your home.
King Louis is a Shih-Tzu for those of you who may not know and let me tell you now, it is not easy to come across merchandise with this breed on! On this trip I was very lucky to pick up not only some treats for Louis, but some for our home too. I purchased a lovely cushion with beautiful tweed on the back and an illustration of what actually looks like Louis on the front! I also got a cute little sign to hang in the kitchen, which truthfully says ‘I’d rather be walking my Shih-Tzu’!
I cannot recomened this boutique enough to all you dog lovers and owners out there and if you aren’t near Bath or Lyme Regis, fear not as they have a fabulous website for you to browse.
We ended our day in Bath by admiring and snapping away at the impressive umbrella installation they have suspended over the main walkway within the shopping disctrict of SouthGate. No doubt you have seen images of them all over Instagram but in real-life, they are even more bold and eye-catching.
Castle Combe is a quintessentially English village often named as the ‘prettiest village in England.’ The village sits in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in north west Wiltshire.
We strolled along the village in the gorgeous sunshine, to a bridge where we didn’t just only enjoy the picture perfect views, but stumbled across locals selling homemade cakes, sweets or bunches of flowers from outside their houses. The village is like something out of an old fairy-tale!
Tip for you! -Make sure to stop at the bottom of the village by the bridge and enjoy a great photographic moment too.
We ended our week away with a visit to again, a gorgeous and very picturesque (EVERYWHERE is though to be truthful)! village on our way home, called Lower Slaughter. In the past it infact been voted ‘the prettiest village’ in the whole of the Cotswolds and it’s not difficult to see why.
This quaint village sits beside the little Eye stream and is known for it’s unspoilt limestone cottages, built in the traditional Cotswold style.
We visited the Old Mill there which is full of character and antiques, as well as home to a lovely tea shop which allows you to sit outside and enjoy the rolling hills of the breath-taking countryside, sitting by the water and the old mill wheel.
There isn’t enough to see or do here to spend a whole day, but an hour or two on your way through to somewhere else like we did would be perfect.
I hope you enjoyed my guide to The Cotswolds from our recent stay there and I’d love to know if you’ve been before or if after reading this, you’d now head there for a holiday or weekend away perhaps?
We are already planning our next trip there…I can honestly say it’s stolen a piece of my heart I love it that much!