Gorgeous 2-bed apartment hidden away above an ancient church in Stow-on-the-Wold.
Right in the middle of golden Stow is a Methodist church that dates back to 1814. With gnarled wooden doors, ancient stonework and arched windows, the architecture is restrained yet beautiful, as you may expect. What you probably wouldn’t anticipate – or even believe until you saw it – is the stunning new apartment hidden away in the old clock tower. In direct contrast to the church it’s all light and modernity, an inspired juxtaposition of old and new.
With 2 king or twin bedrooms, it’s a perfect base for friends or a small family to explore the Cotswolds. Stow is one of the area’s prettiest villages, brimming with brilliant independents and artisan cafes. The owners will point you towards the best places, whether you’re after Gloucester Old Spot sausages for a fry up, or fabulous vintage wares for your home. And then you get to wander back down the High Street, away from the tourists, and up, up to this utterly unique escape.
Getting here: drive or train to Kingham or Moreton-on-Marsh then taxi (15 mins).
- Have a drink in England’s oldest inn, The Porch House, which dates back to 947. Then head to The Sheep for its metre-long pizzas (!) or the Michelin-starred Old Butchers, which specialises in seafood and steak.
- Grab the ingredients for a superb cooked breakfast at Lambournes, a traditional butchers around the corner. Their sweet-cured bacon has won awards.
- The town is full of great independent shops and antiqueries. Ali recommends Sophie Oliver for jewellery, and Sam Wilson for beautiful British homewares.
- Day trip around other Cotswolds villages. In gorgeous Upper and Lower Slaughter, you can ride horses through the ford in the middle of the village. Chipping Campden and Broadway are close, too, all honeyed stone and immaculate village greens. Or try Bourton On The Water, and take a stroll along the River Windrush.
- We also love pretty Snowshill (where Bridget Jones was filmed) and Lacock, whose Abbey was the set for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies.