cotswolds-review

Cotswolds retreat: The ultimate Hygge experience this Christmas

Roaring fires, frosty country walks and cosy pubs - what's not to love?

Emmy Griffiths

When you think of Hygge, what comes to mind? A cosy fireplace perhaps? Surrounded by books in a comfortable, classic and quintessentially British living room, perhaps with a glass of mulled wine to hand? Or perhaps it's slipping into a pair of warm socks and toasty pyjamas after a long day of walking through the countryside? If so, then I can say with confidence that a visit to the sleepy town of Stow-on-the-Wold should definitely be on the cards for you this winter.

The cosy Spa Changing Rooms 

As part of TripAdvisor Rentals, where site users can arrange to stay at some of the most beautiful homes in the world, I decided to explore more of Britain and took a stay-at-home trip to of the most beautiful parts of the UK: the Cotswolds. Using the weekend as an excuse to reunite with friends, we decided to stay at the quaint, charming cottage: Spa Changing Rooms. It was so-named as it once belonged to one of three cottages that originally formed a spa, but has since been converted into a home. For my guests and myself, it was a chance to get out of the city and spend some much needed relaxation time in the countryside, and the quaint house provided everything we needed to restore our batteries after a long week at work.

An authentic cottage stay in the Cotswolds

The three bedroom house, which sleeps five people, is located on the outskirts of Lower Swell, and so is just isolated enough to feel like you are (wonderfully) cut off from civilisation, but close enough to the nearby market town to walk in and enjoy a few drinks at any of the classic pubs, visit the fudge stores or even pop into one of the many locally-owned stores (we particularly enjoyed a small bookshop crowded with new and classic titles).

The cottage had a wood burning stove

My guests and I were immediately struck with how personable the house was, and just how steeped in history. For budding historians, historic grade II* listed property was built over 200 years ago, and we noticed that the original window panes were on display in the dining area, giving you a lovely insight into the history of the place. However, the old house isn't without its modern comforts. In fact, its mixture of a traditional wood burning stove with the addition of central heating and shelves of books along with high tech speakers only improves the experience.

WHAT TO DO

Our weekend was all about kicking back and spending some time in the countryside and away from the city, so we wrapped up warm and went for a five-mile walk through the nearby hills. With stunning views, friendly locals and plenty of dogs being walked to greet, the winter walk was perfect for anyone who enjoys a light excursion, and we felt like our mugs of hot chocolates at a nearby pub were much deserved!

The cottage is isolated, but a close walk to the village

HOW TO TRAVEL

The cottage has parking space across the road if you are planning to drive there, otherwise the best way to travel is by taking a train to Moreton-in-Marsh, which is a less than ten-minute taxi journey away. Find out more or book the cottage for yourself here. 

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