The perfect midweek break in the Cotswolds, packed full of my favourite places and delicious food.  Relaxing and rejuvenating.  Enjoy.

Day 1 (Tuesday)

Midweek Break - Tetbury

Start your perfect midweek break in the Cotswolds with a visit to arguably the best garden in the country - Highgrove Garden, near Tetbury.  Highgrove is a very special garden and clearly has been planned and implemented with immense care and imagination.  It remains my favourite garden of all time.  You have to book ahead and it is pricey but excellent value for money.  The garden is normally open on selected days between April and September.  I've also noticed a number of workshops and talks happening at Highgrove this year, so if you want an Introduction to Poultry Keeping, or to learn how to make a willow structure, then you can do that at Highgrove too. 

After the delights of Highgrove Garden, head into Tetbury for a stroll around the charming town, which has a wide variety of independent shops and cafes.  Wander around the back streets and see if you can find the Chipping Steps, which is a lovely quaint street heading down towards one of the nicest dog walks in town - alongside the disused railway line, and back across the fields (a pleasant 30-minute stroll).

FInish the afternoon with a visit to Westonbirt Arboretum, which is glorious in Spring and Autumn, and pretty good the rest of the year.   They have a good visitor centre with cafe also.    

And for a relaxing dinner, return via the Tunnel House, which is a very friendly country dining pub (dog friendly also) - open fires and a really nice atmosphere.  (Watch out for pot holes on their very bumpy driveway)

Day 2 (Wednesday)

Kelmscott Manor and Burford

My perfect midweek break in the Cotswolds would continue with a visit to Kelmscott Manor.  This is the Cotswold retreat lived and worked in by William Morris and his family, which retains much of its Arts and Crafts history.  It is the most fabulous and inspirational house.  It is only open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, so if your visit starts on a different day, set Wednesday aside for this.

From Kelmscott, travel to Burford - the quintessential Cotswold town, with lots of shops set in a charming High Street.  After a light lunch at one of the many cafes, relax and explore the town, indulge yourself in some of the shops, possibly also dropping into their wonderful garden centre.  Travel back via Bibury, which is the most beautiful village.

Round the day off with supper at the Weighbridge Inn - their famous 2-in-1 pies are magnificent, and if you're brave enough, you could even try their 2-in-1 pudding also.


 Day 3 (Thursday)

Abbey House Gardens and Chavenage House

Start the day with a wonderful garden - Abbey House Gardens in Malmesbury is one of my favourite gardens which I love going back to see each year.  Then head into the middle of Cirencester - a bustling little town with many independent shops, a craft market in the Corn Hall, and if you're interested in top quality crafts, visit the Brewery Arts Centre, tucked behind Tescos in the middle of town, which also has a lovely cafe.  

After lunch, make your way to Chavenage House which is a wonderful family-run house, open to the public on Thursday and Sunday afternoons, stopping off en-route at the quirkiest cafe I've seen - Jolly Nice - for a quick cuppa.  

In the evening, enjoy a relaxing meal at The Crown at Frampton Mansell, which is a lovely traditional pub serving very good food.


Day 4 (Friday)

 Woodchester Park and Painswick

The final day of my perfect midweek break in the Cotswolds would start with a walk in the glorious setting of Woodchester Park, the grounds of the magnificent unfinished Victorian Woodchester Mansion (the building is open from April until the end of October, except for Mondays, if you want to look inside).  You can choose one of many way-marked paths through mature woodland looking over the lakes and Victorian boathouse.  

Travel via the Slad Valley (fabulous views) to Sheepscombe, where you can get a delicious lunch at the Butcher's Arms.  Then a short drive to Painswick to visit the Painswick Rococo Gardens.  Head into Painswick town also, for a stroll around the few, but interesting, shops and the churchyard full of yew trees (there is a traditional clipping ceremony once a year).  

Back home, I would end the day with a stroll across the fields to the Ragged Cot, for a lovely supper in relaxing surroundings. 


The Close B&B, The Close, Well Hill, Minchinhampton, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL6 9JE
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