Two stunning stone inns, settled in idyllic rural villages amongst pretty Cotswold countryside. Stay at one or stay at both. This pair provides perfect bases for exploring the surrounding area, and is a great choice for those wanting to relax and unwind. Driving time between the inns is 1 hour 9 minutes.
Pairing notes: Country, Family friendly, Dogs, Cultural, Rustic charm, Walking
Fabulous rooms, good pub food and a traditional feel at this refurbished 18th-century Cotswold stone inn.
This mellow Cotswold stone building was revamped in 2017 with 13 stylish bedrooms and a conservatory dining room added. The Lion retains its 18th century charm, boasting modern features and comfortable, luxurious rooms as well as a delicious modern-meets-classic menu.
This 500-year-old inn with rooms and a pretty garden offers a charming place to wine, dine and stay overnight in the heart of the Cotswolds.
Nestled in the heart of the picture perfect Medieval Saxon village of Winchcombe, the 500-year-old Lion Inn combines heritage and mod cons to deliver a relaxed yet charming place to wine, dine and stay overnight. The décor of the eight individually designed double en-suite bedrooms is tasteful and attractive. Expect vintage-chic furnishings, power showers, comfortable beds and high-quality linen.
Top on any list for those in Oxfordshire, the incredible Blenheim Palace. One of Britain's largest and most famous stately homes, it offers a host of treasures to discover. There are guided tours of the staterooms and a chance to explore the estate's sumptuous parkland. A new Winston Churchill Memorial Garden and Footsteps Trail opened in 2015, taking visitors on a journey through the key achievements in the great statesman's extraordinary life and his early years in this area. Churchill's grave can be seen in the churchyard at nearby Bladon.
For something a little more understated, with the pretty River Cherwell flowing through the grounds, Rousham House & Gardens is one of Oxfordshire's loveliest mansions. Dating back to 1635, the house was remodelled over 100 years later and there is more than a hint of the Italianate about the garden with its cascades and ponds, groves, the Temple of Echo and the seven-arched portico known as Praeneste. A peaceful stroll along the tree-shaded Long Walk is a must.
The real star of the show is the city of Oxford itself, which can hold your attention for days. There really is that much to see and do. A walk through the ancient streets of the 'city of dreaming spires' is surely the best and most effective way to see this world-famous seat of learning. As well as the 12th-century Carfax Tower, with its memorable views, and the Botanic Garden - a quiet backwater in the heart of Oxford - there's the chance to visit many of the University's 38 colleges and even explore the familiar haunts of Colin Dexter's legendary detective, Inspector Morse.
The landscape around Winchcombe is characterised by stone walls and buildings, rolling grasslands, beech woods and pretty villages - all best appreciated via an extensive network of tracks and bridleways designed for walkers, cyclists and horse riders alike.
But if you don't want to go too far, the village centre location is hard to beat for classic Cotwolds charm - think unspoilt Medieval Saxon town, gorgeous heritage architecture, quaint cottages, excellent tearooms and superb antique shops. Sudeley Castle, one of the few castles left in England that is still a residence, is just a short stroll away, and the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, which runs classic steam trains, is just 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. The regency spa town of Cheltenham - home to festivals of literature, jazz and horse racing - is just a short drive away.