12 Stunning Self-Catering Escapes
Who needs to get on a plane when you have these stylish cottages right on your doorstep? If you fancy a self-catering sanctuary close to home when lockdown lifts, read on.
The Flower Press, Arlington, Cotswolds (sleeps 4)
The Flower Press, set in pretty and peaceful Arlington, is the Muddy Stilettoers dream. A mash-up of pure Cotswold charm with a Soho-Farmhouse interior. Tucked away down a private road and behind electric gates you’ll find Farrow & Ball walls, candelabras, chandeliers and a magical garden perfect for watching the sunset with your Apple Sour. Dogs are welcome and you have villages such as Barnsley and Coln St Aldwyns just nearby. Plus, The Stump pub minutes down the road has the Stump Shack – serving up the best (socially distanced) Baz & Freds pizzas for miles around. We might move in right now.
The Egg Store, Kingham, Daylesford Farm (sleeps 6)
Set on the Daylesford estate, the Egg Store is a private, self-catering, love nest with everything you need on tap – including an on-site farm shop for your fresh eggs, charcuterie munchies and evening tipples. The place is filled with rustic furniture and deep sofas and you get a luxurious welcome hamper to delve into when you arrive with lots of organic goodies. Dine on croissants and smoothies in the lovely quiet little courtyard. Kingham is also the perfect base for exploring quiet local bridleways with bikes to borrow on site, or set off on footpaths for miles of breathtaking scenery. For bigger groups or larger families, book into the Potting Shed (sleeps 6).
The Cart Shed, Bibury Farm Sheds (sleeps 6)
The Cart Shed, hidden away in the the lovely village of Bibury, will infuse you with next-level holiday zen. Set in a beautiful, private, renovated farm building it’s a treat of a retreat for up to six people. Described as ‘the prettiest village in England’ by William Morris Bibury also has the bucolic Rover Coln running nearby to sit by, and expect local bacon and eggs, bread from the bakery in Stow and honey from bees down the road waiting for you. Throw open the doors for a bbq, or cuddle up by the woodburner, with the Smart TV and hi-tech sound system for company.
Itty Bitty Cottage, Minchinhampton (sleeps 4)
The brilliantly named Itty Bitty Cottage is the cosiest of Cotswold getaways in our opinion, but don’t be fooled, this beautifully bijou stone cottage is quite tardis-like and actually sleeps 4. Although dogs are not allowed here you couldn’t be in a better place for exploring, with the lovely market town of Minchinhampton on your doorstep one way, and the National Trust’s Rodborough Common with miles of wild walks the other. A picture-postcard stay.
Howell’s Barn, Lower MIll Estate, Glos (sleeps 14)
Situated in the incredible Cotswold Water Park nature reserve just south of Cirencester, Howell’s Barn will have you feeling you’re fully in holiday mode in minutes. Fully equipped so you never have to leave, this stone barn is set in private grounds and surrounded by beautiful lakes to explore (try the row boats they’re brilliant fun or head out on your bike). This 1820s restored house features a private outdoor heated pool, direct lake access and ‘The Hide’ an funky, modernist Grand Designs structure voted Britain’s Best Small Building in 2009 – overlooking one of the largest lakes in the Cotswold Water Park.
Peony Cottage, Moreton-in-Marsh (sleeps 2)
Known on the Gram as ‘the one with the wow factor bathroom’ – we mean – just look! Peony Cottage is a quintessential Cotswold cottage for two that is a style seekers dream. As well as the best bathroom we’ve ever seen – double freestanding slipper tubs and frescos on the walls – there’s a romantic woodburner to in the cosy front room to chill infront of too. Located in Moreton-in-the-Marsh it’s tucked away but also within strolling distance of delish delis and cafes. We also like the off-road parking for two cars and it’s sunny south-facing courtyard at the rear, perfect for a few glasses of wine.
Bruern Cottages, Cotswolds, (sleeps 2 – 10)
The quiet hamlet of Bruern is near Charlbury (with its mainline station into London), Chipping Norton and the ever-delightful Kingham village (featuring The Rabbit and Plough Inn) so you’re in prime Cotswold country. Bruern Cottages are a set of 12 cottages converted from the stables on the Astor estate and are perfect for families with the massive garden, a two storied full-height Wendy House, heated indoor swimming pool and games room. For the adults there’s an on-site chef and spa therapists to splurge on.
And head to Worcs for these beauties …
Orchard Cottage, Broadway, Worcs (sleeps 4)
Who wants to stay in a thatched cottage straight out of a story book?! Then how about 18th century Orchard Cottage in the ever-enchanting town of Broadway. Located in a peaceful street with stunning original features throughout, it’s a great retreat for couples or families wanting a quiet getaway but with shops on hand. Plus Chipping Campden is just around the corner so it’s a great base for exploring.
Wishbone, Malvern, Worcs (sleeps 2)
Imagine a romantic hideaway where no one can ask you for a snack – ahh, the bliss! Muddy is here to grant your wish. Wishbone cottage is tucked into the wild and glorious Malvern Hills, wrapped in 16 acres of lush, rambling meadows, a private apple orchard and a fishing lake. The epitome of rustic charm, this ivy-clad stone cottage is the place to go if you want to drop off the radar into your own little peaceful paradise. Fully equipped with a stylish open-plan kitchen, you also get a luxury hamper on your arrival, Netflix on demand and free Wifi – you may never want to leave.
Pollyanna, Birlingham, Worcs (sleeps 6)
Pollyanna with it’s thatched roof and wishing well is a gorgeously dreamy getaway. Who doesn’t want to escape to a whimsical wonderland after 1,999 days of lockdown. Birlingham is a peaceful little village and the kids are quids in with a trampoline and swings in the large garden. This Grade II listed getaway is a fabulous, family escape. Wander through the pretty orchard and pick a pear or apple to make a cinnamon-sprinkled crumble and kids will love watching boats go through the lock on the nearby River Avon.
Number 36, Broadway, Worcs (sleeps 4)
Tucked away in the bucket-list village of Broadway in the heart of the Cotswolds, this beautifully restored dog-and-baby-friendly cottage dates back 500 years. Snuggle under its blankets by the Inglenook fire, or if it’s sunny throw open the bi-fold doors to the garden where there’s a BBQ to enjoy. Why not visit nearby Broadway Tower, a lovely wide open walk you can do from the cottage, then hit one of its kingsize, Egyptian cotton beds for some proper R&R.
The Parsonage, Ombersley, Worcs (sleeps 12)
If you ever pondered where Alice in Wonderland might have retired to in later life, The Parsonage could very well be the spot. Set amidst 12 acres of super-private landscaped gardens, the adventure starts when you sweep up the long drive past fantastic topiaries and uninterrupted views of the Malvern Hills (strap your trainers on the walks are incredible). Sleeping 12, you could go with loads of your family or friends and still love them afterwards it’s so huge. We adore the polished marble floors, open plan living and Grade II listed features. With deep, free-standing bathtubs or a Tundra hot tub to choose from, this is next level-luxe. You’ll find us thumbing through a good book in the adjacent Orangery, darling.