Long walks in the countryside punctuated by pub lunches, and hours wandering around idyllic golden villages, admiring dry-stone walls and pretty cottage gardens: that’s how we spent our recent getaway in the Cotswolds.
Our base for the stay was this charming 19thC Cotswold cottage, in the sleepy village of Andoversford. We arrived at sunset — so beautiful, as the surrounding hills are cast with a golden glow — and immediately felt at home, wandering into the lamp-lit lounge, with its deep sofas, characterful half timbering and exposed brickwork.
The back of the downstairs is a bright and airy kitchen diner, and we loved cooking here, then having long, lazy meals. Bifold doors lead out to a sun-trap garden terrace where we breakfasted each morning, and upstairs we loved the cloud-soft beds and indulgent rolltop bath. [There are 3 double bedrooms so it’s a great place to come with friends, plus it’s dog friendly.]
On our first afternoon, we set out on foot across the fields towards Brockhampton, crossing streams and passing springy newborn lambs. A 3-hour circular walk earned us a delicious dinner at The Frogmill, a gorgeous 16thC inn turned boutique hotel back near the cottage; no need for Ubers here. The following day we headed to Daylesford Organic Farm for a morning of yoga and smoothies at the heavenly Bamford Spa, followed by lunch in the courtyard café and an afternoon exploring the gardens and delis.
And as always, a favourite part of the stay was chatting to the owner about her hideaway.
What’s the backstory of this house?
Owner, Kirsteen: We’ve owned it for 10 years and it was our family home before we relocated to Devon. We extended the back to make a big sociable space to share with family and friends, but were really mindful of keeping the characterful old features we’d fallen in love with.
What’s the history around Andoversford?
In the late 19thC, Andoversford was an important railway town, with a famous livestock market and its own post horses and carriages. Corn, timber and coal were stored locally then distributed out to the surrounding villages, and our cottage was home to a coal merchant.
What was your inspiration for the design?
We wanted to merge traditional features with antiques and a modern tech twist — there’s an EV charger and Smart TVs masquerade as oil paintings. We didn’t want it to be just another holiday let, so we tried to make it feel unique. The clock in the kitchen is an original railway clock, we sourced an old cotton cart to use as a log store, and we incorporated the old animal store into the house and turned it into a cinema room/office.
Where did you buy the more modern furnishings?
The sofa is from Neptune – we wanted something really comfortable for guests that was fairly neutral in design, to allow the reclaimed finds to shine. We shipped over the French oak table from France and the mill cart is from Yorkshire. Each room is a combination from various sources.
What’s your favourite time of year to be here?
Spring, when the trees are covered with blossom, or winter, for long walks then chilling by the log burner.
Any top tips for future guests?
This is a great base to explore the Cotswolds – you’re near the traditional villages – Stow on the Wold and the idyllic Slaughters are only 20 mins by car. I also love Bibury Trout Farm where you can catch your own fish and bring it home to cook on the BBQ.
Read our full review and find direct booking details here