Step outside the estate and you are in the heart of The Cotswolds, surrounded by some of the most picturesque countryside in Britain. Think thatched-roofed pubs, farmers’ markets and the sound of cricket on village greens. This is rural life at its best.
Whether your preference is a pint by the fire or a Pimms in the garden, there are some wonderful pubs close by. The Five Alls in Filkin and The Swan at Southrop are worth particular mentions. The Swan's within walking distance and home to Keene's Cotswold Premium Lager. Try the wheat variety in Spring and the dark ale when the nights are drawing in.
The Cotswolds is crisscrossed with waterways. The Thames, Avon and Severn all run through the region and the Coln and Leach join the Thames at Lechlade. That makes the town a favourite mooring place for narrowboats as well as a hub for cruises. You can tour up-river on a Thames Launch or charter your own craft and spend a day, enjoying the world glide by.
The nearby villages are idyllic. The market town, Lechlade, is home to a popular family-friendly music festival and a churchyard that inspired Shelley. Burford, a picturesque medieval town, featured in Forbes list of Europe's loveliest places to live. Filkins was part of the estate of Sir Stafford Cripps and Southrop has a beautiful 12th century church.
With 3000 miles of public footpaths and an idyllic, and flat, landscape, the Cotswolds is a walker's paradise. An afternoon stroll will take you past honey-coloured cottages, along drovers' tracks and through ancient beech and oak woodland. Or if you're feeling ambitious, why not spend a few days walking the length of the Gloucestershire Way: 100 miles from the Forest of Dean to Tewkesbury Abbey?
Food lovers are spoilt for choice. For meat, try Foxbury the butcher just north of the estate. Daylesford Organics specializes in handmade cheeses, breads and pastries as well as homegrown garden produce. For fish, head to Col Valley Smokery in Northleach which still uses brick kilns and other traditional methods. And top it all with fresh organic apple juice delivered direct from Benson's Farm.
CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL – GOLD CUP
The Cheltenham Festival, The Gold Cup, is upon us again, from March 15th - 18th. For more information about the thrilling Cheltenham Races and tickets, go to www.thejockeyclub.co.uk. Our luxury holiday rentals are the perfect base to enjoy the festival from - a 5 star hotel experience, with the privacy of your own lodge.