So, there is no reason that a honeymoon or romantic getaway must be on a beach. There is this common thinking that a sizzling trip requires the traditional hot climate and relaxing of holiday styles. This my friends may be true depending on your holiday style, but isn’t the only option for such an important vacation. Some couples prefer adventure, exploring new cities, exiting their comfort zones and discovering those untold stories by interesting communities. Is this you? It certainly is me (though I must confess, we spent two glorious weeks at an all-inclusive Cuban resort sipping cocktails under an umbrella after our winter wonderland nuptials) and with this in mind, we bring you the ultimate romantic itinerary in the cute and quaint Cotswolds villages of the UK’s English countryside.

The Most Romantic Honeymoon in the UK's Cotswolds
The Most Romantic Honeymoon in the UK’s Cotswolds

First, a few facts:

As one of the most picturesque, quaint, scenic, and romantic areas in all of England, the Cotswolds brings such amenities, charm, and pleasure to any holiday.

  • The name “Cotswolds comes from the derivative of “Rolling hills with Sheep.” This is entirely accurate as while you drive through, you cannot help but marvel at the hundreds of sheep in the pastures!
  • Bibury – particularly Arlington Row, is the most photographed village in all of the United Kingdom!
  • Bibury’s Arlington Row is pictured on the inside cover of UK Passports!
  • Many of the homes and buildings in the area are made with the Cotswolds Stone.
  • The Cotswolds  are considered one of the most quintessentially English areas of the country with its thatched cottages and gardens of English roses.
  • The region covers 790 square miles of the entire English Countryside.
  • The region is comprised of these main areas Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Bath & North East Somerset. (Oxfordshire, Bath,Warwick, and Somerset, coming soon to the blog!)
Charming Bridge in Bibury, Gloucestershire
Charming Bridge in Bibury, Gloucestershire

More about the Cotswolds Counties:

Gloucestershire:

This region of the Cotswolds brings some of the most beautiful villages in all of the region. This area should be the main focus of your holiday in order to see the epitome of English charm. Such villages include Bourton-on-the-Water, Bibury, the Slaughters, and Cheltonham

First, Bibury

Deemed the most picturesque village in all of England, this charming little county attracts thousands yearly to get a gander of the beautiful Arlington Row – English cottages complete with roses, stoned architecture, and in some cases, thatched roofs. Built in 1380, these cottages were initially places for weavers and used as a monastic wool shop. in the 17th century, they were then converted to house the weavers. Nowadays, they bring tourists from all over the world and have been used in a many a film including the popular Bridget Jones Diary trilogy.

Bibury Arlington Row
Bibury Arlington Row

 

Bibury is famous for English Roses
Bibury is famous for English Roses

 

Gorgeous Bibury Cottages of Arlington Row
Gorgeous Bibury Cottages of Arlington Row

After taking oodles of pictures of this beautiful row of homes, head to the trout farm and throw a line in! See if you can catch a few for a fresh lunch.

Prepare to spend a mere 1-2 hours here in Bibury. It is a very small village with very little to do other than take photos of Arlington Row and attempt to fish for trout. It is our personal recommendation to allot much more time in Bourton-on-the-Water:

Bibury Trout Farm
Bibury Trout Farm

Bourton-on-the-Water

Another adorable little village, Bourton-on-the-water is the epitome of charming with such attractions as boutique shops, riverside eateries, and historical landmarks.

One attraction in particular that everyone should visit while here is the miniature village. See all the buildings that make up the village in this miniature adaptation at 1/9 scale. Since 1937 this attraction has added buildings once erected in the area. There is a minimal entry fee, but very worth it to help maintain this incredible place.

The Incredible Model Village
The Incredible Model Village

 

Enjoying the model village
Enjoying the model village

 

The Incredible Model Village
The Incredible Model Village

 

The Incredible Model Village
The Incredible Model Village

 

The buildings are nearly identical
The buildings are nearly identical.

After you enjoy the village, make sure you head to the Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection. This collection of motor vehicles including cars, RV’s, and motorcycles will surely impress even the non-auto enthusiasts (like myself who cannot understand the fascination now and then!) Some of the collection was even featured in popular children’s programs.

Cotswolds Museum & Toy Collection
Cotswolds Museum & Toy Collection

 

Some of the Vintage Car Collection at the Cotswolds Museum & Toy Collection
Some of the Vintage Car Collection at the Cotswolds Museum & Toy Collection

After spending some time here, why not take your sweetie to the Cotswolds Perfumery?

Enjoy a browse in this adorable little shop that makes bespoke fragrances ideal for everyone. Why not buy your spouse a bottle of the fragrance of choice? Would make a lovely additional wedding gift, or something just because…

If you have more time available, why not take a perfumery course?  Fees start at £195 and you get a bottle of your created fragrance and a certificate of completion.

Cotswolds perfumery
Cotswolds perfumery

Where to Eat:

Bourton-on-the-Water is a treasure trove for foodies. We believe we found in this quaint village the best fish and chips in the entire country (now THAT is a big statement!) and most satisfying soft-serve ice cream.

Let’s start with the Fish and Chips. A national favourite, this battered plate of deliciousness was definitely a treat when we stumbled upon the Windrush Garden Cafe. My husband who has a sensitive palate strongly feels that the fish and chips he enjoyed here was the ***BEST*** he has ever eaten and rated it #1 in all of the United Kingdom. His reasoning (and I must agree) comes from the taste of the light and fluffy batter, combined with the flaked fish. It is not overpowered with grease and the chips were crispy and hot. Get the entire meal complete with mushy peas and tartar sauce and sit outside by the water. A very satisfying meal indeed for a romantic getaway!

Fish and Chips at the Windrush Garden Cafe
Fish and Chips at the Windrush Garden Cafe

 

The Best Fish and Chips found in Bourton on the Water
The Best Fish and Chips found in Bourton on the Water

 

Post fish and Chips
Post fish and Chips

Once you finish your meal, be sure to order a latte here. Not only is the Windrush cafe memorable for its fish and chips, but also for its barista-made espresso drinks. I particularly loved the lattes as they were frothy, light and had a wonderful coffee that wasn’t too overpowering. A truly delightful lunch experience.

Enjoying a wondeful latte
Enjoying a wondeful latte

Time for Dessert

Adding to the charm of this village are the food carts. And I don’t mean food carts of hot dogs, burgers, and other greasy spoon favourites. I am talking desserts, and my favourite – Soft Serve Ice Cream. The perfect treat for an afternoon in the sunshine, be sure to grab a cone from the ice cream truck poised perfectly at the bank of the river. Now, we have noted that the fish and chips here are unbeatable, and we are confidently affirming this about the soft serve as well! Soft serve can taste powdery depending on the quality. I can attest that the soft-serve here was perfect and had no remnants of  powder or artificial flavours; plus, the serving for the price is quite generous. As a bonus, you get a Flake placed within your ice cream…truly heaven in a cone.

The Wonderful Ice Cream Truck
The Wonderful Ice Cream Truck
The Best soft serve ice cream
The Best soft serve ice cream

Afternoon Tea is also an incredible experience here by the water! There are many tea rooms, but do try the Rose Tree Restaurant. They had a lovely afternoon tea spread with sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, fancies, and homemade preserves.

Rose Tree Tea Room
Rose Tree Tea Room

 

Where to Stay:

Here are our romantic recommendations for accommodations in Gloucestershire, including Bourton-on-the-water, Bibury, the Slaughters, and Cheltonham:

The Greenway Hotel and Spa

Malswick Mill Bed and Breakfast

Courthouse Manor Luxury B&B

Hallmark Hotel Gloucester

Mercure Gloucester

Hatton Court Hotel

Broadway Tower

After a good night’s rest, head off to the famous Broadway Tower located in the heart of Gloucestershire. Built in 1799 and known as one of England’s outstanding viewpoints, The Broadway Tower is approximately 1024 feet and boasts views as far as the Vales of Evesham and Gloucester.

The admission is quite reasonable which gives you the opportunity to climb the tower and enjoy the current exhibitions inside featuring the life and times of Sir Thomas Phillipps a renowned printer and designer of the region.

The Gorgeous Broadway Tower
The Gorgeous Broadway Tower

 

The Broadway Tower is even great for gag photos!
The Broadway Tower is even great for gag photos!

 

Broadway Tower
Broadway Tower

 

The views are incredible
The views are incredible

Gloucestershire Docks:

After spending some quality time at the beautiful tower, head off to the Gloucestershire Docks and take a stroll while smelling the sea salt as the vessels come in to the jetties. Grab a drink at the pub and enjoy being by the seaside of such a gorgeous part of England.

Gloucestershire Docks
Gloucestershire Docks

 

Gloucestershire docks
Gloucestershire docks

Foodies? Why not do a Food Tour in Cheltenham!

For £45.00 enjoy a great tour featuring some of the most delicious meals available through this county of the Cotswolds.

Enjoy all the culinary excellence this county has to offer. Known as a spa town, Cheltenham boasts artistic gastronomy fit for any appetite. With 6 tastings on the tour, enjoy a variety of cheeses, desserts, and savouries! Plus! Enjoy a visit to a 1920’s cocktail lounge!

Gourmet Cheese
Gourmet Cheese

Honeymoon Amenities:

The Cotswolds are such a picturesque part of England full of history and things to do. But all tourists get this impression and get to see these features. For newlyweds looking for that special extra to make it more of a honeymoon-style holiday and with that extra luxury that goes along with it, these are just some of the ways to make it your own.

Stay at the Manor House Hotel:

Moreton-in-Marsh is such a beautiful part of the Cotswolds and not too far from the sites and scenery of the above counties. Enjoy staying at this beautifully elegant 16th century sanctuary fit for romance and sizzle. Indulge in award-winning cuisines, have a glass of wine by the in-room fireplace, and catch up on the rest that you lost while planning your special day.

Why not capture your honeymoon with some professional photographs? Contact Abbey Photography right in the heart of the Cotswolds to take snapshots of you the newlyweds with the gorgeous backdrops of the rolling hills, countryside, English cottages, and famous landmarks above. Contact them directly for a free quote and their availability around your travel dates.

Want to shower your new wife with flowers? Why not grab a bouquet or even a plantable English Roses bush for when you get home? Local florists are ready to help! Give The Broadway Florist a call to order your blooms to be ready and waiting for when you arrive.

All couples need a spa treatment after planning the big day! Head on over to the Greenway Hotel and Spa to feel like royalty. Give them a call to inquire about their variety of services and for their availability.

There is so much to offer couples and visitors in the Cotswolds. The untouched landscapes, scattered history within the hills, and picturesque architecture bringing thousands back every year. When you choose your ultimate honeymoon destination, do look beyond the typical beachy resort and consider a more adventurous and exploratory trip creating unduplicated memories to cherish.

Beautiful Bibury
Beautiful Bibury

 

Bibury Arlington Row
Bibury Arlington Row

 

Bibury
Bibury

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