Two stunning stone inns settled amongst pretty Cotswold countryside, with large roaring fires in winter and pretty flower-filled gardens in summer. Stay at one or stay at both. This pair provides perfect bases for exploring the surrounding area. Driving time between the inns is 1 hour 6 minutes.
Pairing notes: Waterside, Cosy, Great food, Cultural, Active outdoors
Expect boutique bedrooms, a contemporary menu, gorgeous gardens and a chilled out vibe at this stunning Cotswold inn.
Situated in the market town of Northleach, the creeper-covered, country-smart Wheatsheaf Inn boasts a fabulous dining room, characterful bar and 14 glamorous bedrooms. With well-chosen artworks, leather armchairs and open fireplaces, The Wheatsheaf is the kind of place you can squirrel yourself away and spend a day or two, and there's even a treatment room if you need some pampering.
Everyone's perfect country inn - magical riverside setting, cottage interior, great British food, cosy rooms with rural views.
The Swan Inn Swinbrook seems as much a part of the landscape as the River Windrush that flows past is pretty garden, with creeper-covered Cotswold stone walls as rooted in its environment as the green fields around.
Owned by the Chatsworth estate, the dinky village of Swinbrook is a quintessentially English spot with its church and cricket pitch. In recent years, the inn has been completely revitalised, with boutique styling and a contemporary feel combining beautifully with its Cotswold old-world charm.
History buffs should head to Chastleton House and Garden, a Jacobean house where little has changed in 400 years. Built in the early 1600s and owned by the same family until 1991, the house serves as a fascinating time capsule - you'll really feel like you've stepped back in time.
Situated in a secluded part of the Coln Valley, the Chedworth Roman Villa, run by the National Trust, dates from around AD 120. Open daily from mid-February to the end of November, it was originally believed to have been a farmhouse.
Not far from Northleach are several country estates and shooting schools where clay pigeon shooting regularly takes place, including Ian Coley's Sporting at Andoversford. With advice and guidance, this activity is a perfect way to get a little shooting practice, whether you are an experienced shot or just a beginner.
Don't miss the fabulous local walking and scenery that the area offers. If you just want an easy stroll from the front door of the Swan, take a walk through the beautiful valley of the Windrush to the little medieval church of St Oswald, built on the site of a Roman villa (pictured below).
Elsewhere, there are numerous walks of all shapes and sizes and there's also a good selection of long-distance trails, which can be adapted into manageable chunks - the Heart of England Way, the Wychwood Way, the Oxfordshire Way and the D'Arcy Dalton Way among them.
Nearby is Kelmscott Manor, the Cotswold retreat of William Morris and his family, friends and colleagues. Kelmscott is home to fascinating and important collections of textiles, furniture and paintings, spanning more than 300 years and reflecting the ideas and creative legacy of those who lived and worked there.
Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway, West of Stow, this is the perfect destination for anyone who still savours the unique thrill of steam travel. Though no longer part of the national rail network, these wonderful old trains have made a welcome return to the tracks and are a great way to discover the delights of the Cotswolds.