Saturday, 7 May 2016

Bank Holiday Cotswold Trip

I love this time of the year in the UK as it's bank holiday time - or as I like to think of it 'free holiday time'. The only challenge is you never know what the weather will be like so planning anything is a risk. Last year we were trudging through mud being rained on in Wales and the year before we were sunbathing in the garden!

As we had Laura's parents staying with us we thought we would make the decision to go somewhere and make it work come rain or shine. The destination was a last minute cabin we found in Somerford Keynes in the south part of the Cotswolds. Not a million miles away from home but tranquil and relaxing and perfect for long dog walks and chilling out.


The relaxing part was taken to a whole new level when we realised on arrival that there was no internet.....three of us had read the cabin description and not one of us had spotted the lack of wifi! After the initial shock we rallied and agreed that it was actually a good thing. If we needed to check something balancing on one foot hanging out of the cabin got us just enough signal to get data to survive :)

The cabin was lovely. A perfect size with a well equipped kitchen and cute bathroom. The fire had to be kept alight with wood they had pre-chopped for us although Laura's Mum took a turn at wood-chopping too. It also came well stocked with board games and puzzles - we discovered bananagrams and had a very competitive game! At night it was so dark and quiet it felt as if we were back on the Isle of Skye.


We had also checked the essentials - like where to eat, shop and what we could do before we left-  we had found a great pub called the Greyhound in Siddington (thank you TripAdvisor) less than 10 minutes away - and that the Cotswolds water park was a short walk away. 

The owner of the cabin was also super helpful and had left us a folder of maps and things to do guides. I had my highlights listed within half an hour of arriving. 

The trip wasn't so much about the doing though, it was just nice to have some time away and a change of scenery. The Cotswold's never fails to looks impressive, we love the quaint villages and houses that look like they belong in story books. The flowers seem to bloom all year and the sense of stepping back in time all add to any trip we make there. 

Somerford Keynes is just a small village, it has a pub and a shop and that's it. Oh and a Sculpture part that backed on to the drive way we had to use to get to our cabin. So in terms of things to do we had to head a bit further afield. Cirencester, Bath and Gloucester were all less than half an hour away but the Cotswold water park seemed like a good choice. Unlike the name would have you thinking it's not a water park with slides and rides, this water park is a park with lots of water well lots of lakes. It does have water activities: kayaking, canoeing, wake boarding etc but it's best know for it's wildlife and beautiful walks - and having a beach! Well a strip of sand - don't go expecting a beach!

We spent a couple of hours walking around the main lakes and Bisbee had her first attempt at a swim. The water was cold so it was a brief attempt and only done because 4 adults were shouting encouragement - we don't think she's a natural water puppy!


The cabin itself was not far from the source of the Thames River so our other walk consisted of us following a stream (the American's were less than impressed with the size of the Thames at points). Compared to the Thames in London it is on the small side but from small acorns grow great trees and from from small streams come great rivers - I was impressed!




I also introduced everyone to pooh sticks - turns up this is a British thing that no-one else had heard off! And I'm not sure in the modern world it holds quite the same level of excitement as it did for me as a kid.


The Greyhound had kept us well fed - everything we had there was amazing. The menu made it hard to choose just one thing but if you are in the area for lunch, dinner or just a snack check it out! Their ice-cream is well worth having - I had mine with a waffle - so good I had two!

Our drive home involved a pit stop in Burton on the Water a typical, beautiful Cotswold village and our timing was perfect as may day celebrations were getting started. We wandered around the fete and entered a duck race - we paid £1 to enter a duck in a race where they float down river and the winner over a set distance gets a prize. Our duck failed...badly...even with Bisbee squealing with excitement and getting us to chase it down stream.



After a yummy baguette we got back in the car and drove to Broadway - one of our favourite Cotswold towns. This time our timing wasn't so good, we arrived at the Broadway hotel just as the lunch time rush did and as our hopes of a cream tea faded into the crowd we suddenly got lucky when Laura's mum spotted a family leaving and swopped in. For the next 2 hours we sat comfortably stuffing our faces. Bisbee's spent the 2 hours sleeping at our feet. As the rain started pouring outside we decided heading home was the best option. Up to that point we had enjoyed an unexpected about of sunshine so it wasn't worth pushing our luck!

The trip to the Cotswold did not disappoint, we can't wait for more guests to share the experience with.

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