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Travel: Weekend Getaway to Cosy Cotswolds Cottage in Upper Slaughter

Upper Slaughter river in the Cotswolds
Yew Tree Barn Holiday Cottage in the Cotswolds
luxury cottage escape for two in the Cotswolds
yew tree barn self-catering kitchen
yew tree barn living room with wood burning stove
yew tree barn upstairs bedroom and bathroom
winter Cotswolds escape
freestanding bath tub yew tree barn

Our stay at Yew Tree Barn Holiday Cottage

As it approaches winter and the daily temperature begins to plummet below 10 degrees I thought it would be an apt time to share in my wanderlust for escaping to the countryside and renting a cosy cottage with a log fire - and I’ve got the perfect place that fits the bill, to share with you! 

And that’s exactly what we decided to do for Alex’s birthday this year. I spent quite a while researching the perfect UK cottage escape where we could live out our fantasy of a romantic escape for two, away from the realities of work, hustle, and bustle of life and copious amounts of laundry! I chose the Cotswolds, because, I mean, is there a more romantic winter destination in the UK?!

I found Yew Tree Barn Holiday Cottage when filtering through Sawdays - I was ideally looking for a self-catering cottage with either a hot tub or log fire (or both preferably) and it was essential that it was not too far to travel by car (a couple of hours travel maximum) as we only had a fleeting visit of Friday evening - Sunday morning. 

Dream of staying in your very own honey-coloured limestone cottage for the weekend? Then read on… 

romantic escape for two with log fire
yew tree barn cottage burning log fire
weekend escape for husbands birthday
self-catering cottage friday night dinner

Friday: Romantic night-in for two! 

We arrived at Yew Tree Barn Cottage on a cold wintery Friday evening in February around 7.30pm (setting the scene for you!) and stopped en route at a local supermarket to grab some supplies for dinner, breakfast, and drinks for use during our stay. As the cottage is self-catering I would recommend also stopping en route as Upper Slaughter itself is a very small village and has minimal shops. However, you do have the neighbouring villages of Stow-on-the-wold and Bourton-on-the-Water close by - and there is a big Morrisons in Bourton! 

Upon arrival, the cottage instantly felt like a home away from home. The furnishings throughout were crisp and modern country chic, and the whole place was super spacious for two, but oh SO cosy and decorated to the highest standard (It was like staying in our very own Shere cottage from The Holiday). The bedroom is actually far more spacious than the photos online suggest, so we were pleasantly surprised at the space available and the king-size bed felt like sleeping on a cloud! The cottage has a single bathroom that was located upstairs and was huge, with a luxurious freestanding bath-tub. 

Downstairs there is a large, open-plan kitchen with cushioned window seat and to add to the country-feel, there is an electric AGA and a large dining table with plenty of space for two, plus a few more! Although, my favourite room in the cottage was the living room, with the wood-burning stove - perfect for a cosy Friday evening ahead. The property also features plenty of modern technology, with a flat-screen TV, DVD Blu-ray player, and Bose Bluetooth speakers, if you wish to hook up your own playlist. 

On our first evening, our plan was to stay in, light the fire and get COSY! We cooked a meal, and the self-catering facilities were just what we needed, all of the essentials provided and did I mention that the property also features underfloor heating throughout the ground floor?! which was a real luxury and meant that I didn’t end up using my slippers much during our stay. After dinner, we sat down to watch some Friday night TV in front of the crackling log fire with a glass of wine in hand. The definition of a romantic winter getaway! 

Yew Tree Barn cottage garden
UK winter getaway for husbands birthday
morning coffee at the river cafe in Lower Slaughter
Lower Slaughter honey and limestone cottages
The Slaughters traditional limestone cottages
romantic weekend in the Cotswolds

Saturday: a stroll around The Slaughters and walking to Stow-on-the-Wold for dinner

On Saturday we had a slow start to the morning and it was heavenly having the bedroom window open, snuggling to keep warm and listening to the birds chirping and church bells ringing - bliss! 

The plan for the day was to walk to the local neighbouring village of Lower Slaughter, about a 10/15 minute stroll (1 mile), take a look around and stop at a cafe for a coffee, then head back to the cottage to cook a brunch using local produce we picked up the day before. After a stroll around Lower Slaughter and lots of ogling at the honey-coloured limestone cottages, we chose the River Cafe, which sits just behind the OId Mill Museum, as our coffee spot. As the name suggests, this cafe overlooks the river and is the perfect spot to sit and watch the ducks. 

Around midday, we headed back to the cottage for brunch! (I recommend pottering around the cottage in bare feet as you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the underfloor heating!). Outside, the cottage also has a gorgeous little courtyard, adorned with gorgeous hydrangeas and surrounded by traditional Cotswold stone walls. In the sunnier months you could definitely breakfast outside, however, as it was a little cooler, we just perched with a coffee to keep up warm, before throwing on our walking boots and heading out into nature.

After brunch, we walked to the nearby popular tourist spot of Bourton-on-the-Water, known to many as the "Little Venice of the Cotswolds". We stopped off at the Bakery on the Water for another coffee and a slice of cake! I would recommend checking out this cafe because not only is the cake delicious, but out the back, you can pull up a chair in the charming riverside garden, where you can watch the world go by and relax by the River Windrush. You’ll also be spoilt for choice in Bourton with quaint tea rooms where you can get a cream-tea! (I would recommend ‘Smiths of Bourton’.)

If you’re looking to travel a little further afield by car, check out my blog post on the ‘Cotswolds Romantic Road’ driving route which allows you a relatively quick way to see all the little villages and hidden nooks and crannies of the Cotswolds in one all-round trip. 

The plan for dinner was to head into Stow-on-the-Wold for food and drinks at The Sheep Pub on Sheep Street. Although cold, the weather was so still and we wanted to hike to the pub rather than drive. The only table availability they had was 8pm. We left ourselves 2 hours for our hike across the public walking route. 

Do bear in mind if you plan to do the same, make sure you are equipped with wellies and a good torch as once it was dark, around the time we started our walk at 6pm, it was then pretty much pitch black around 6.30pm, and although we were doing a public Walking Route, there was one point where after climbing a kissing post, I actually came head to head with a horse as I couldn’t see it in the dark, which in hindsight we both can look back on and find hilarious now but at the time, we were super scared! Luckily, the horse was massively unphased by our presence so there was no issue. 

We had a lovely meal at The Sheep, which felt all the more worthwhile after our 3-mile hike to dinner - of course, we grabbed a taxi home :) 

The only problem with our trip? We wish we could have stayed longer!!

If you are considering booking Yew Tree Barn Holiday Cottage for a future stay don’t forget to quote ‘Right up my street’ for 10% off your booking!* (Please note the discount code is not valid on bookings over Xmas or New Year)

*Disclaimer: I am not being paid to write this blog post or offer the discount code and our stay at Yew Tree Barn was purchased with our own money, the owner kindly offered the discount after seeing my recent Instagram post. 

Yew Tree Barn Holiday Cottage
From £85 per night (minimum 2-night stay)

Other places to stay in the Cotswolds

For other places to stay in Gloucestershire, see my previous visits and reviews of accommodation in the Cotswolds below:

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