Monday, 1 February 2010

A Weekend Getaway-Nowhere Better Than the Cotswolds

To start the week with a fresh set of eyes, there's nothing better than an imaginary escape to the Cotswolds, London's most popular, yet under-rated weekend destination. A little while back, a lovely gentleman took me to the English country side for a little romantic getaway. For the first time since I'd moved, I saw the beauty that lies beyond the capital's borders and immediately fell in love with English nature and culture.


After a smooth two and half hour drive out of London (on the left side of the road, mind you), we were both still alive- and better yet, we were ecstatic. The beauty of the landscape took our breath away and it was as if we could have stayed glued to the scenery like glued to a Van Gogh painting. The next morning, we woke up in our small bed and breakfast to take a stroll through the teeny tea-cup-seized village of Cirencester. After lunch we meandered slowly towards the Barnsley House Hotel and Spa for some much needed R&R. Built using local natural stone the spa features Cotswold Stone floors, dry stone interior walls, floor to ceiling glass and English hardwoods, the heavenly contemporary spa is comparable to a Swedish winter spa. One massage, one twirl in the outdoor thermal pool and one sweat in the steam room later, we were finally beginning to feel the after-effects of too much relaxation and rejuvenation- basically we were in heaven. 


The Barnsley House is a historical mansion built in the 17th century and absolutely worthy of the adjective "historical." This special place tucked away between the multitudinous hilltops of the gorgeous Cotswolds countryside could not be more breathtakingly beautiful. I found myself being blown away by the untouched and virginal feel of this perfect story-book, doll-house style property. 


Strolling through the romantic gardens, and breathing in all the fantastic floral and herbal scents, I could have stayed there forever- just moved all of my things, my life, my belongings from London and migrated to this English haven of peace and tranquility. The only potential problem would have to be the price of the hotel rooms, but hey, it's always good to dream, right?


  1. This looks absolutely gorgeous. I used to visit the Cotswolds a lot with one particular boyfriend, haven't actually been there since then!

    Funny though, I met up for lunch with my oldest girlfriends at the week-end and we are planning a week-end away together....the Cotswolds is our first choice! I must check out that hotel.

    Have a great week! :)

  2. How dreamy! I wish I could have a little getaway here as well. It just looks so relaxing.


  3. I could do with a little of too much relaxation. Especially as the Gottegris is sick at the moment. Winke Winke and LOL xx MM

  4. What a fantastic place!
    Love the blog :-)

  5. What beautiful pictures! When we were in England we drove thru Burford in the Cotswolds...fairy tale land! We stayed @ Cambridge and only spent 1 day in London. We must return.

    I will post my UK Vacation pics in 2010...

    Tea is such a lovely practice!

    Cheers! Jennifer aka Gigi

  6. Ah the Cotswolds is beautiful isn't it- like the secret garden of all of England. It's great to have a burn up driving over there too- one day I will do it in a vintage sports car!

  7. Sounds like a fantastic getaway! I will definitely check it out!
    Thanks for dropping by ... I will be back to continue with you through your journey!


  8. I would love to visit the Cotswolds or to design a house in that style. So beautiful - thanks for posting about this!

  9. Looks like such a beautiful getaway - I can't wait to visit these gorgeous villages on my travels to the UK :)

  10. Hi Emily,

    So glad you loved the Cotswolds, you must try my neck of the woods some time, it is much closer to Londinium!

    Have a brilliant week, and thanks for your comment,

    Sarah x

  11. Hello Emily - I know that part of UK very well and in particular Barnsley House but I visited there years ago before it was a hotel and was owned by the extremely talented garden designer - Rosemary Verey... - she designed and laid out all the gardens there. Its such a beautiful spot - sigh.... :-)

  12. Rose: yes, definitely stop by that hotel, even for a stroll through their lovely! and their spa! mmmm..

    Gigi: looking forward to seeing those UK pics:)

    Rose: OMG! that would be amazing! I would love to do that as well...maybe one day I too can own a mansion in the cotswolds and drive there from London in a vintage jag:)

    JMW: that would be fantastic. I would love to see how that house turns out:)

    Sarah Jane: I loved your blog! SO dreamy. I will definitely try and stop by your hood, looks lovely.

    Semi Expat: I know! That garden is gorgeous! Thanks for the details on the gardens...they were lovely, perfect for an afternoon spring wedding as well:)

    xxx LZ

  13. sounds like a lovely weekend! cotswolds is great for a bit of pampering. and it's truly beautiful too... feel like i've transported to fairy tale land whenever i'm there!

    we've stayed at russell's of broadway, which i can recommend. very nice! the food is only so-so though.

  14. that looks amazingly beautiful! I would love to take time on my next London visit to travel outside the city and explore the country side.