Feeling the world away from London, yet just over an hours drive from Heathrow, lay the beautiful Cotswolds.
Michael and I have had the Cotswolds on our ‘places to check out in the UK’ list for months. With Michael’s birthday looming, I set out to plan a surprise weekend get-away. Never having been particularly successful with surprising Michael, I was extraordinarily pleased with myself for booking us accommodation at the beautiful Bay Tree Hotel in Burford for the weekend. I had managed to grin like a fool the entire evening but not tell Michael what I had done, I was pinching myself (to not blurt out my plan) as we got into bed when Michael checked his phone’s google calendar notifications and said, ‘Oh, what’s this? ‘Stay at the Bay Tree Hotel?’
So one month later, we took off on Michael’s “surprise” birthday weekend.
Choosing a town in the Cotswolds can be confusing, they are so many! Some are much smaller than others, some are significantly more touristy. I chose based on the hotel, and we spent our first night in Burford, often referred to as the gateway to the Cotswolds, and we LOVED it.
It was practically perfect for what we wanted, a quiet, idyllic countryside retreat. Burford is small, with a population of around 1000. It was absolutely our favourite spot which we checked out in the Cotswolds, due to the genuine feel of the village and people, breathtaking architecture, easy picturesque countryside walks and our fantastic hotel!
Posing outside St John the Baptist Church
Early morning walk – chillier than anticipated at 7am!
Things to do in Burford:
- Cotswolds Wildlife park
- St John the Baptist Church, right in the village has a beautiful setting and is a beautiful peaceful place to stroll around
- St Mary’s Church (Swinbrook) – great spot to stop as you take a big walk through the countryside
- Tolsey Museum
- Take a stroll along the high street and check out the shops. We found the people in the shops welcoming and happy, it really added to our experience in Burford.
Pop to the Madhatters Bookshop should you be fond of hats (or books) and charming store owners! I bought myself an enormous new white sunhat – here’s hoping for a sunny summer
- Stop at one of the pubs/ hotel bars for a drink
The place to stay:
Bay Tree Hotel we cannot recommend the Bay Tree highly enough. The only problem is, it’s so popular it tends to be booked out on Saturday nights well in advance and can be hard to get a booking. We stayed in the Leafield Room, which is rated a ‘good double room’ on booking.com, and it was perfect. The bathroom is stocked with lovely Molton Brown products and the room is decorated perfectly. We felt very at home and the staff went above and beyond, even offering to pop to the shop to buy soy milk for my coffee in the morning.
Bedroom, and street view at hotel
The particularly handsome birthday boy
The bottom line:
Bay Tree Hotel, ‘good double room’ one night (on booking.com), including fantastic breakfast – £110.00
Hire car from Heathrow Airport Hertz for three days (on the day booking due to prior booking with different agent falling through) – £350.00
Pint in Burford High St – £5.00
Dinner in the bar (more casual dining) at Bay Tree Hotel, mains, dessert and drinks for two people – £ 30.00
New hat =) – £30.00