Cotswolds is just an hour and a half away from London but when you are there it feels like you are thousands of miles away from the nearest city. The tranquillity, the green scenery, the fresh air... it really is unbeatable.
I wanted to go to the Cotswolds to spend a wonderful weekend with my family as my 30th birthday approached. No parties, no fuss, just a nice few days away but this time with a baby – my nine-month-old son, Ethan.
We headed to the Cotswolds to enjoy an amazing weekend at the confetti and lavender fields
Nothing is smooth sailing with a baby, and right now we try to avoid small/crammed hotel rooms, which can feel extra claustrophobic with a little one. Instead, we chose to rent a child-friendly house via HomeAway so we could have our own space; Ethan is in the crawling stage, so room to manoeuvre is vital! We also wanted a separate bedroom for him, a bathroom with a bath and a garden if possible, so we could make the most of the weather. And we hit the jackpot with our choice! We rented a luxury three-bedroom lake house situated in a gated community located in South Cerney, in the Cotswold Water Park. The property was beautifully decorated and was surrounded by a well stocked fishing lake as well as a playground and an activity centre which was equipped with snooker and table tennis tables!
The stunning view from our bedroom
After much-needed rest and sleep, we travelled to the confetti fields which are located in Wick. Acres and acres of delphiniums and cornflowers bloom on the Wyke Manor Estate Farm in Worcestershire every July, and as it's only open one week a year, our aim was to get there for 10am, when the doors opened. We were the first in the field and it was even better than I had anticipated.
As soon as we got out of the car, my son Ethan began to excitedly flap his hands and kick his feet. He even managed to smile broadly without me or his dad having to make silly noises or gestures. Once he got up and close to the delphiniums... that was another story. I can honestly say he had an amazing day. And it's not only a perfect destination for parents with babies, older kids would have an amazing time, running around the fun flower paths and taking pictures with their (or mum and dad's) cameras.
The confetti fields are only open one week a year - make sure you visit them!
I first discovered these gorgeous fields last winter whilst scrolling through my Instagram (which is a great social platform for travel inspiration), so I had been waiting for this moment for months. It truly is a magical place and I can't recommend it enough. There are pink, purple, lilac, white and red delphiniums across the 1,000 acres of delphiniums and cornflowers! And what's even more special is that they are grown to be harvested for wedding confetti.
Ethan enjoyed the visit and had lots of fun posing for mummy and daddy
Our next stop was the wonderful Cotswolds Lavender farm, located in Snowshill. It's just a 20 minutes drive from the confetti fields, so both trips are manageable in one day. These wonderful fields are full of lavender, all types of it; Peter Pan, Hidcote, Imperial Gem, Folgate... I could go on for ages!
There's no time limit when visiting these fields, you can stay as long as you want, so make the most of it. Take pictures, enjoy a nice coffee or ice cream, take in the stunning views... and relax!
The lavender fields in Snowshill are stunning
Family tried and tested cheat sheet
When to go: The best time to visit the fields is during the first weeks of July, but you have to keep an eye on their official websites because the exact days can vary from year to year. It should be noted that the Confetti fields are – sadly – only open one week a year, so make sure you check around May/June for exact dates. Luckily, the lavender fields are usually open for nearly two months, from June to August, so you have plenty of time to enjoy them.
Where to stay: We chose to rent a house via HomeAway rather than stay in a hotel because we really wanted to experience the Cotswolds like a local. We wanted a cosy cottage in a busy village but in the end we chose a small luxury house in the Cotswolds Lake. It's a wonderful choice if you have kids; our luxury lake house had a playground, 24/7 security, a beautiful lake with ducks and even tennis courts - a dream for any parent who wants to keep their children entertained at all times.
Our luxury lake house had tennis courts, 24/7 security and a playground - which Ethan loved
Top tips: Plan ahead and be an early riser. Ethan, like most babies, is up at the crack of dawn, so this was 'easy-peasy'! There is nothing more beautiful and peaceful than being alone in these fields. It really feels like you’ve been transported to a faraway land! And, obviously, take a fully charged camera with you, you will be snapping away during the whole visit.
Things to avoid: Crowds, so be an early bird and get to the fields as soon as they are open to the public. Both fields receive hundreds of visitors every day and from all over the world! Because the confetti fields are only open for a week, they are very busy throughout, so if you can, try and visit on a weekday.