Rebecca Moore and family go in search of relaxation in the countryside
With everyone I know sharing instagram snaps of rolling hills, quaint churches and chocolate box limestone cottages, the Cotswolds looked to be the perfect place for a pre-Christmas weekend retreat. And living in London, I couldn’t think of anything more lovely than the chance to escape the city with my sister Vicky and her two children, Sam and Sophie.
With this year marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s passing, his native Stratford-upon-Avon, often known as the gateway to the Cotswolds, seemed like the perfect place to start our trip. The medieval market town is bustling and vibrant, and the restored Shakespeare’s Birthplace museum is definitely worth a visit, with family-friendly live performances and seasonal activities.
That afternoon, we made our way to our hotel, The Wild Rabbit, set in the sleepy village of Kingham. The traditional inn is one of Carole Bamford’s creations – and if you’re familiar with her Daylesford farm shops and her passion for holistic living, you’ll instantly recognise the luxurious and homely feel of the place, which oozes eco elegance in the cosiest setting. With 12 rooms to choose from, all named after woodland creatures, The Hedgehog is the hotel’s family offering. It has a charming four-poster bed for younger guests on the first floor, and a sumptuous king-size for the grown ups in the next room. The complimentary Bamford products in the bathroom added to the luxurious feel.Daylesford Farm is conveniently located a few miles up the road and as expected, you could feel a real sense of community, with families hopping between The Garden Room shop, the luxurious Bamford Haybarn Spa and the Old Spot restaurant. Vicky and I took it in turns to spend some time in the spa, enjoying a treatment that included elements of reflexology, shiatsu and Swedish massage, and later that weekend, lunch in the café provided the much-needed fuel for our journey home.
We ended our visit by stopping at Stow-on-the-Wold and Bourton-on-the-Water, both idyllic towns with so much for families to enjoy. They also look postcard-worthy all year round – now, time for my own Instagram upload…