In our post-lockdown world, with travel rules subject to constant change, more of us than ever are taking staycations this year. If you’re one of them, you might be wondering where you should go, and what kind of accommodation you should stay in. We need to be somewhere we can socially distance, but at the same time, we don’t want to get bored. Accommodation must be clean and quiet, but we still want it to have character. With this in mind, we suggest staying in a luxury isolated cottage – somewhere like Thatched Cottage, in the village of Whichford, in the Cotswolds.
As a destination, Whichford is about as typically English as it gets. The village lies just inside the Warwickshire boundary, on the north-eastern edge of the Cotswolds. It’s the perfect base for exploring this iconic region, being just a short drive away from the popular towns of Shipston-on-Stour, Chipping Norton, Stow-on-the-Wold and Moreton-in-Marsh. There’s a pristine village green, and across the road, an award-winning pub, The Norman Knight.
Whichford is a haven for walkers, and there are several paths in the village leading into the surrounding countryside, though there’s plenty to see in the village itself. Whichford has some of the most picturesque cottages in the Cotswolds, many dating back to the 1700s, and all built from the local Honnigton stone that gives Cotswolds homes their classic look. But if you’re looking for the property that’s quintessentially Cotswolds, it has to be Thatched Cottage.
Tucked away down a quiet country lane, Thatched Cottage looks like it has been lifted straight off the cover of a chocolate box. It makes a wonderfully romantic and secluded retreat for two: built in the eighteenth century, this honey-coloured home stands alone, with beautiful gardens to the side and rear, and, as the name suggests, a roof that’s made from traditional thatch.
Step through the old front door into a kitchen complete with washed wooden floors, oak surfaces, handmade cabinets, white shuttered windows, a modern oven and hob, dishwasher, and fridge with an ice compartment – perfect for keeping your wine cool on late summer evenings. The patio outside is the perfect place to enjoy a drink as the sun sets, and on warmer evenings, you can enjoy an alfresco dinner out here too.
Back in the well-equipped kitchen, there’s everything you need to cook up a feast, plus a few extra treats to be found in your indulgent welcome hamper. There’s even a washer/dryer here – perfect if you get a little muddy on a country walk.
Just past the kitchen you’ll find the lounge, which is packed with original period features like stone walls, exposed beams, and an impressively large inglenook fireplace. In the evenings, you can set the mood by lighting the woodburning stove and cosying up on the comfy sofa to watch TV together, warm yourselves in front of the fire, or curl up with a crossword.
If you enjoy reading, you might prefer to lose yourself in a good book in the reading nook; with two floral Joules chairs, this little spot is also the perfect place to read the paper in the morning, as sunlight streams in through the window behind you.
Upstairs there’s a classic king-size bedroom that’s beautifully finished, with low-lighting, plump cushions, and pops of colours from the plush bedspread. You’re guaranteed a dreamy night’s sleep on the enormous bed, which is adorned with dozens of different types of pillows – so whether you prefer a firm or soft place to lay your head, you’ll find your perfect pillow here.
Opposite the bed is the room’s crowning glory: a huge hand-painted, claw foot, roll-top bath. Sinking into a piping hot bath after a long walk is the stuff dreams are made of, and the sweet scent from the complimentary toiletries will relax you even more.
Once you’re out of the bath, wrap yourself in one of the luxurious bathrobes, pop your feet into the slippers, and head downstairs to enjoy a drink in front of the fire. Can there be a more idyllic way to spend an evening? If you prefer showers to baths, worry not: next to the bedroom there’s a modern, stylish shower room with an enormous walk-in shower.
In a nutshell
If you’re looking for a romantic, rural Cotwsolds retreat with your partner, it’s hard to think of anywhere more perfect than Thatched Cottage. The property is peaceful enough that you’ll feel relaxed as soon as you step through the door, and if you’re looking for isolation, you’ll certainly find that here. But equally, if you love exploring the bustling Cotswolds, enjoying the ambiance of a cosy village pub, and chatting to friendly locals, you can find all that in Whichford too.
Romance, relaxation, isolation – Thatched Cottage has it all. With properties like this to stay in, and stunning areas like the Cotswolds to explore, who even needs to go abroad?
A three-night stay at Thatched Cottage starts from £571.