Two charming inns in two pretty historic areas of South West England; one is the small market town of Shipston-on-Stour just north of the Cotswolds, and the other is the idyllic Cotswold village of Burton-on-the-Hill. Stay at one or stay at both. This pair provides perfect bases for exploring the surrounding area. Driving time between the inns is 22 minutes.
Pairing notes: Family friendly, Cultural, Rustic charm, Cultural, Country, Town centre,
Revamped in 2017 with an informal and elegant feel, this striking, historic building offers contemporary-smart rooms and classic pub food.
Positioned mid-way between the Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon, the charming small town of Shipston-on-Stour is home to this striking 18th century pub with rooms.
Situated off-the-beaten track in rolling countryside, George Townhouse makes the ideal base for exploring Shakespeare's birthplace and the beautiful Cotswolds. Spruced up in early 2016 and now boasting a modern, quirky style with contemporary bedrooms, the High Street's tallest building opens up to reveal a spacious bar and warren of snug dining rooms that beckon in locals and out-of-towners alike.
Grade II listed Georgian inn in the pretty village of Bourton-on-the-Hill has a spacious garden, three intimate dining areas and five guest rooms.
Rolling green countryside forms a stunning backdrop to this honey-hued Grade II listed Georgian inn nestled in the small and pretty village of Bourton-on-the-Hill.
From the Cotswold stone interior walls and exposed beams to the roaring log fires, the Horse & Groom exudes warmth, comfort and character. In the garden there's a small fruit and vegetable patch where they grow some of the ingredients used in their country-fresh menu.
The birthplace of our most celebrated playwright, Stratford-upon-Avon is a wonderful town for Shakespeare fans to explore. Take in a production at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, or go on the Shakespeare Walking Trail which explores his birthplace in the town: a wonderful half-timbered property, New Place/Nash's House in Chapel Street, Halls Croft in Old Town, Anne Hathaway's Cottage in Shottery (pictured below), and Mary Arden's House in nearby Wilmcote.
There are plenty of National Trust properties in the local area, including Chastleton House and Garden near Moreton-in-Marsh. Built by a local wool merchant in the early 17th century, the house is a fine Jacobean mansion with a striking south front.
For those looking for something a little more active, why not have a go at archery? Deep in the Cotswolds, at the beautiful Batsford Arboretum, you'll find Cotswold Archery, a dedicated archery range. There is a wide choice of bows to use and expert tutors are always on hand.
Or, take to the skies and enjoy a hot air balloon ride, starting at Stratford-upon-Avon's Racecourse. This is a great way to see the glorious landscape of Shakespeare Country, with Cotswold-stone villages and a vast patchwork of fields and hedgerows stretching to the distant horizon.
Situated atop a hill in the North Cotswolds, the inn affords tranquil views over this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which is characterised by rolling grasslands, beech woods, stonewalls, stone buildings and pretty villages, including Moreton-in-Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold and Chipping Campden.
The best way to experience the wonderful scenery is to simply to follow the extensive network of tracks and bridleways, including the 100-mile long Cotswolds Way.
Garden and tree lovers will find much to admire - Bourton House and its magnificent garden is right next door, and Hidcote Manor Gardens, the UK's best-known and most influential Arts and Crafts garden, is down the road.
History lovers shouldn't miss Hailes Abbey, once a site of great pilgrimage because it claimed to hold a phial of Christ's own blood, or The Rollright Stones, which represent nearly 2,000 years of Neolithic and Bronze Age development.