Potter the cocoa dusted villages of the Cotswolds
The chocolate-box perfect villages are the essence of the Cotswolds, all competing fiercely for you attention. In their attempt to push ahead, the best Cotswold villages will use anything in their arsenal – crystal clear streams, picturesque cottages, secret gardens or inviting traditional inns.
Aside being a quintessentially pretty village filled with tea rooms, shops and pubs, Chipping Campden also offers an opportunity to stretch your legs properly. Starting from the old Market Hall is a 4 mile loop trail will take you through the village streets as well as woodlands nearby.
This walk is a saviour if you’ve spent hours driving the Cotswold villages, leaving you all stiff and achy. It helps you work up your appetite to the point where suddenly the myriad of tea rooms here doesn’t seem so excessive after all.
Drive up the High Street almost to the top to reach the Mountain Inn, a fantastic place to enjoy a spot of lunch whilst admiring the rooftops of the stuck-in-the-old-times Stanton.
It is Cotswold villages like Stanton that make this countryside world famous. The ambience of wonderfully preserved stone houses hiding behind perfectly trimmed hedges gives the impression that life has hardly moved on in the last few centuries.
The aforementioned Mountain Inn tops off Stanton. It’s a great place to sit, enjoy a meal or glass of wine with Stanton and the rest of the Cotswolds at your feet.
We loved how well Stanton is preserved. The buildings are immaculate, the gardens perfect and even the lamps in the streets are kept in their original design.
The tiny purple flowers of Hidcote lavender feature in every front garden of the ridiculously pretty Lower Slaughter, crisscrossed by the sparkling River Eye.
On our first trip to the Cotswolds, we stopped at Upper Slaughter but driven passed the Lower. What an oversight ! Lower Slaughter, as we later discovered, is a definite aspirant for the title of the prettiest village of the Cotswolds.
Deciduous trees tower over the road leading through the village heart creating a magical ambience. From the centre, where you can park your car, you follow several roads running in all directions. One of them led us down a quaint row of river front houses, at the end of which we managed to purchase an aromatic bag of local lavender – great for making ice cream.