Nothing gets me excited like a last-minute weekend getaway from London. On a Friday evening, my boyfriend and I decide to be spontaneous and take an impromptu trip to Gloucestershire. We hop in the car Saturday morning and drive west for a cozy winter weekend in the Cotswolds.

Winter Weekend in the Cotswolds

Winter Weekend in the Cotswolds

Our weekend centers around three places: Cheltenham, Painswick, and Bibury. They’re some of my favorite towns in the area, and I can’t wait to see what they have to show us.

Painswick, Cotswolds

Cheltenham

We arrive in Cheltenham in time for a late breakfast. Following our noses to a buzzing restaurant called the Boston Tea Party, we settle in by the window for a meal of sweetcorn hash and poached eggs. It’s just the thing to fortify us for a day in the cold, and by the time we’re finished I’m ready to explore the town.

Brunch at Boston Tea Party, Cheltenham

Most of our exploration focuses on a part of Cheltenham I’ve never visited before: The Wilson. Formerly called the Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum, it’s best known for its collection of Arts and Crafts Movement furniture. The museum keeps us entertained with impressive new displays and good temporary art exhibitions. Its warren of rooms leads us around through the centuries, revealing treasures from bygone eras.

Cheltenham Museum

Painswick

From Cheltenham we get back in the car and head towards Painswick. On the way we can’t resist stopping for lunch at The Butchers Arms in Sheepscombe. The pub is just the cozy place I always hope to find in the Cotswolds, and the fact that the village has the word ‘sheep’ in the name is an added bonus.

Butchers Arms, Sheepscombe

After lunch we continue into Painswick, which I’ve long believed is the prettiest town in the Cotswolds.

Painswick, Gloucestershire, Cotswolds

With its lovely stone buildings and giant hedge-filled churchyard, Painswick is a photographer’s dream.

Painswick, Cotswolds

So is our hotel, The Painswick. My boyfriend found it last-minute and snagged us their only remaining room. The place is gorgeous inside and out, and we can’t get enough of the beautiful design and attention to detail in the decor.

The Painswick, Gloucestershire, Cotswolds

But our winter weekend in the Cotswolds is a quick trip, so we tear ourselves away from the comfy sofas to go on one of the hotel’s many suggested walks.

Path in the Cotswolds

Called “Cider with Rosie” after Laurie Lee’s famous book, the 5-mile ramble takes us across Juniper Hill and into Slad village, where Lee was raised and is now buried.

Slad, Gloucestershire

It’s a beautiful walk through pastures and woods, and we’re rewarded in the middle with lunch at The Woolpack in Slad. The pub has been around for over 200 years, and its wooden interiors and warming food are just the things to fortify us for the walk back to Painswick.

Slad, Gloucestershire

Bibury

The last stop on our Cotswolds itinerary is Bibury, another of the loveliest towns in Gloucestershire. Its famous Arlington Row is one of the most photographed streets in the Cotswolds, and for good reason.

Arlington Row, Bibury

The row’s 17th century weavers’ cottages are straight out of a storybook, and the Rack Isle water meadow provides a beautiful vantage point for admiring them.

Arlington Row, Bibury

And the nice thing about being here in winter is that nobody else is. I’m able to photograph the iconic houses without waiting for people to clear out of my shots. It’s no small thing at such a frequented destination.

Arlington Row, Bibury

My inner photographer satisfied, we hop back in the car for the drive home to the capital. It’s been an amazing weekend getaway from London, and all the better for having been spontaneous.

Arlington Row, Bibury

Have you spent a winter weekend in the Cotswolds? Where did you go?

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Winter Weekend in the Cotswolds

30 comments on “Lady’s Winter Weekend in the Cotswolds”

  1. I visited Bibury last spring, and it was one of favorite places in the Cotswolds! I jokingly sent a a picture of a cottage with a for sale sign to my boss (in the US) asking if she thought I could work from home all the way from England.

  2. I’m determined to visit The Cotswolds this year!!!!!! I’ve always found them so beautiful and in all the comment sections of all your posts about this area I say that I want to visit. So 2017 has to be the year I finally get to do it!

  3. Visited Bibury this winter. Really nice vintage village. And inspite of cold windy weather there were a lot of tourists there. i think, we’ll come back there in spring to be able to contemplate its charm in more vivid colors.

  4. Lovely post and perfect timing as I’m heading to the Cotswolds for the first time in April. I’ll be checking the villages you’ve mentioned as well as a few others besides!

  5. Loved reading this. My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to the U.K. and definitely want to stop in the Cotswolds, so lots of great info here for us 🙂

  6. Cotsworld is on my list of places to visit so this post has just given me the little push I needed to get booking! So quaint and beautiful ♥

    Amy

  7. How to make poached eggs like that!!! and i am planning to visit Cotwolds soon for 5 days maybe since it has been post so many times. No car and no boyfriend though, need to check the bus timetable and hope to visit one more towns

  8. Love the photos and descriptions! I’m looking forward to spending two nights in the Cotswolds at the beginning of August with my boyfriend. Any recommendations for specific villages or areas to visit in the summertime?

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