Festive Season

Winter Wandering in The Cotswolds

Winter Wandering in The Cotswolds

With winter magic in the air, we gathered our belongings in pursuit of a heavenly December road trip exploring the Cotswolds countryside, where we discovered that the usual storybook-scenes had been sprinkled with an additional dose of Christmas magic…

Rising early on a beautifully frosty morning, we made our way to the breath-takingly bucolic village of Bibury, where the hazy dawn cast golden rays of light on an array of winter colours. Greeted with nothing but tumbling mist and the silhouettes of barely there branches, we wandered Bibury’s beauty whilst the village remained in slumber. Crossing the arched stone bridge over the River Coln, we admired Arlington Row from afar. Set amongst a winter-kissed backdrop, the quaint hamlet was reminiscent of an oil painting. With scenes this heavenly, it’s no secret why this romantic row is known as the most photographed street in the UK…

Cotswolds riverside scenes

A historic honey-hued cottage in the Cotswolds

Misty river scenes in the Cotswolds

Riverside buildings with a haze of mist in the Cotswolds

Next on the agenda was Bourton-on-the-Water, known as the Venice of the Cotswolds. With auburn leaves crunching underfoot, we drifted along the River Windrush, where the view of darling footbridges and a family of gently bobbing ducks was perfectly framed by a bowed, weeping willow tree – we were simply captivated. Weaving our way onto the charming village green, which was bright with a wholesome, small-town atmosphere, we uncovered the picturesque streets, marvelling over the idyllic boutiques, antique stores, and tearooms within the parish.

A waterside view of Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds

Bakery on the Water in Bourton-on-the-Water, Cotswolds

If you’re longing to discover this bewitching corner of the world, uncover the magic of Honeysuckle, our heavenly cottage for eight, complete with a wood-fired hot tub. For smaller parties, a luxury escape resides at Dovecote, our rustic, dog-friendly bolthole welcoming up to six guests for moments of countryside magic.

The honey-hued facade of the Cotswolds Distillery

An autumnal view of Bourton-on-the-Water with red leaves peppering the ground

Venturing through wintery scenes and frosty hillsides, we later approached the historic Broadway, an endlessly beautiful village known as the jewel of the Cotswolds. Promising pastoral scenes and timeless appeal, we were greeted with old-world charm at every characterful turn. With moody grey skies and the nostalgic scent of woodsmoke in the air, we had stepped back in time for a dreamy little while. Slowly making our way to the top of the honey-coloured high street, we were spellbound by the postcard-pretty whimsical cottages, storefronts, and trees adorned with festive wreaths and twinkling lights. Whilst pursuing the iconic photo-opportunity of the upper high street, we came across a sweet gentleman who had taken to his easel to capture the magical scene of golden cottage rows for himself. On our way back down, we browsed the delights inside Broadway Deli and The Cotswold Chocolate Company, before stumbling upon the Leaf & Bean Coffee shop – a perfectly cosy spot from the cold. 

A collection of images from Broadway in the Cotswolds

For those seeking their own chocolate-box escape, dreamlike travel moments reside at Number 36, our sandstone cottage settled in the heart of Broadway. 

Golden stone cottages in the village of Broadway

An atmospheric pumpkin patch shrouded in mist in the Cotswolds

Winding through sleepy, country lanes towards Burford, the gateway to the Cotswolds, we were simply enchanted by glimpses of frolicking fallow deer and mist-shrouded pumpkin patches. Sketch-worthy scenes awaited at the height of Burford’s unique high-street, where shop windows glittered beneath pretty Christmas lights. With traditional timbered dwellings embellished with festive firs, curiously crooked rooftops and rolling countryside in the distance, the view from the top was simply otherworldly.

The timber-framed facade of Manfred Schotten

Honey-coloured cottages shouldering Broadway's high street

Cloaked in cosy winter layers, we explored sweet, cobbled lanes and secret passageways before retiring at The Royal Oak – a perfect country pub for indulging in mulled wine, crackling fireside embers, and the soul-soothing croon of Christmas classics.

An atmospheric alleyway in the village of Broadway

Those seeking storybook scenes will adore a staycation at the magical Wool Cottage, our 16th century abode in the delightful Burford. 

Waking to nothing but the gentle chirping of robins, we adventured briefly to the bustling market town of Stow-on-the-Wold, where we wandered the charming square before uncovering the infamous oak door of St Edwards church, said to have inspired Tolkien. 

The tree-hugged doorway of St Edwards Church in Burford

For couples dreaming of romantic retreat like no other, Foxcote promises a stylish bolthole to discover the delights of both Stow-on-the-Wold and Daylesford Organic, which is just a stone’s throw away. 

In pursuit of sleepy village scenes, we journeyed to the unspoilt suburb of Snowshill, made famous by the snowy opening scenes in Bridget Jones Diary, a film forever canonised in the Netflix Christmas film collection. Nestled in the heart of rural England, Snowshill boasts romantic views of sweeping countryside and over the Severn Vale. We ambled through the village as if we were on the movie set, admiring the eccentric and ancient cottages surrounding the village green and the historic 19th century churchyard of St Barnabas. 

Honey-hued buildings of Snowshill in the Cotswolds

Our final stop led us to the untouched Castle Combe, a renowned filming location often referred to as one of the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds. Strolling through the spellbinding streets on a still December afternoon, we were captivated by the rustic rows, curiously peeking at the cottagecore facades which remain forever unspoilt by time.

If you’re looking to experience the riverside idyll of Castle Combe for yourself, The Georgian House resides in the heart of the village, complete with two parking spaces - a rarity in this heavenly Cotswolds destination. 

 A view of traditional Cotswolds cottages

For those seeking a fairytale setting to retreat for a Christmas getaway, there’s nowhere dreamier for a spellbinding December escape than the honey-hued embrace of the Cotswolds.

Uncover our collection of luxury cottages in the Cotswolds here

A bright red post box set within a honey coloured wall in the Cotswolds

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