Why you should stay in Coln St Aldwyns
If, like us, you love the idea of escaping to the countryside, to a beautiful village, hidden in an untouched Cotswold valley, where you can head out on wonderful countryside rambles in all directions and meet the locals in a vibrant village pub, enjoy easy access to a variety of experiences, yet be in a place that isn’t overrun with visitors, then allow us to introduce you to Coln St Aldwyns.
This charming village is tucked away in the picturesque Coln River Valley, almost slap bang between Burford and Cirencester, away from the usual madding crowds, but close enough to explore the myriad of attractions the Cotswolds are famed for. We also have some beautiful Coln St Aldwyns holiday cottages where you can base yourself for a wonderful stay. These are reasons enough for us, however if you need a little more convincing then read on…
The boots were made for walking
Coln St Aldwyns is surrounded by exceptional walking country, so pull on your hiking boots and head out into the fresh country air. As a starter, the gentle 1-mile walk around the village will be a good introduction and a great way to get your bearings. Head further afield and you’ll find a landscape of woods and water meadows. Try the 4-mile walk through the valley to nearby Quenington or wander a little further with a 6-mile circular walk to Bibury, home of the Arlington Row cottages, one of the most iconic, much-photographed scenes in the Cotswolds. There are plenty of spots for refreshment in Bibury including the Catherine Wheel pub, the Swan Hotel, or head to the Bibury Trout Farm Café, which serves up their own fabulous smoked trout as well as other delicious treats.
The Cotswold explorer
Although tucked away in a tranquil spot you should not be fooled into thinking Coln St Aldwyns is a million miles away from everything – it’s not. Within a 30-minute drive, you’ll find a wealth of Cotswold delights to explore including the Roman market town of Cirencester, beautiful Burford, home to one of the prettiest high streets in England, Stow-on-the-Wold, and Bourton-on-the-Water to name just a few. The National Trust property Lodge Park and Sherbourne Park Estate, Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park and the Cotswold Wildlife Park are also within easy reach and within a 30-minute drive from your door, as are the magnificent trees of Westonbirt Arboretum, the charms of Tetbury and the beautiful gardens at Highgrove House.
Wining and dining
The New Inn is the local village pub, a thriving 16th-century coaching inn. Inside there are hidden nooks and crannies and an open fire, whilst outside is a lovely garden with rural views. We have it on good authority that the cocktails are particularly special. The Keepers Arms in nearby Quenington is what we’d term a ‘proper pub’ with flagstone floors, a menu of homecooked, local and seasonal dishes and a spot in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide since 2011. For something special head to the Ox Barn at Thyme, just under 5-miles away. Soaring beams, lofty arches and Cotswold stone rubble walls make this contemporary restaurant a stunning place to dine.
Living the local life
Coln St Aldwyns has a true village feel about it which is never more evident than in the Community Stores and Café. This resides in what was once the village poor house and is entirely owned and run by members of the community from Coln St Aldwyns, Quenington and Hatherop. Inside you’ll find a wonderful array of local and organic produce, an off-license and a café serving coffee and cakes.
If you’re visiting with little ones pick up a coffee to go then continue on down the hill to a delightful adventure playground. Afterwards keep heading down the hill to the River Coln for a splash in the stream. With sheep and cows in the surrounding fields this is a truly idyllic spot.
The area is also known for its superb fly fishing, the River Coln is a true limestone stream and probably the best trout river in the Cotswolds.