Honeymoon Destination: The Cotswolds

Photo by Chloe Ely Photography

I am so thrilled to introduce you to a Honeymoon Destination series with Melissa Smith. Melissa and her husband Robert spent their honeymoon jaunting throughout Europe for two whole months during the summertime. Through a series of posts, she will be sharing her itineraries of the UK, Spain, France, Italy, and Greece. Today, she’s giving us an inside look into the Cotswolds, England and I’m sharing some packing inspiration to go along with the trip!

To celebrate our new Honeymoon Destination series with Melissa, we’re hosting a giveaway on Instagram for a luxury beauty gift set just in time for Mother’s Day.

During our summer honeymoon through Europe, it was important to my husband, Robert, and I that we spend extra time in England, where he is originally from, so we could not only visit with his family, but explore the countryside in the Cotswolds.

The Cotswolds is a region just north of London, made up of traditional English countryside villages. The area is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and they live up to that name, showing off a stunning display of rolling hills lined with sheep, honey-colored stone villages, and endless pubs and antique shops. An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is an area of countryside in England, Wales or Northern Ireland which has been designated for conservation due to its significant landscape value. The Cotswolds has been used for numerous films and shows including Pride & Prejudice and Downtown Abbey. I can see why because it’s picture perfect and full of that rustic charm that I love so much about the countryside.

One thing to note about the English Countryside is that the people are incredibly kind and friendly! Just stopping in shops and talking with people is part of the magic of this place. There are plenty of walks through the country known as “footpaths” on private land that the public has the right to use for the purposes of passing through.

Shop Packing Inspiration for The Cotswolds:

Photo by Chloe Ely Photography

Where to Stay

My village recommendations are Chelthnam, Stowe-on-the-Wold, Moreton-in-Marsh, Northleach, Woodstock, Bibury, Burton-on-the-Water, Snowshill, Broadway, and Tetbury.

Soho Farmhouse

The Swan Hotel

Dormy House Hotel & Spa

The King’s Head Inn

The Wheatsheaf Inn

The Wild Rabbit

Cowley Manor

The Porch House

Barnsley House

Farncombe Estate

Where to Eat

The best thing about The Cotswolds’ hotels is that they all have fabulous restaurants on site! 

The King’s Head Inn

The Magdalen Arms


The Wheatsheaf Inn

The Wild Rabbit

Wild Thyme

The Ox Barn

Lucy’s Tea Room

Bakery on the Water

The Lucky Onion

What To Do

Take a Day Trip to Blenheim Palace: Home to the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, the magnificent Palace is surrounded by 2100 acres of beautiful parkland, sweeping lawns, award-winning formal gardens and the great Lake, offering a unforgettable day out for all.

Shop antiques: Tetbury is the capital of the Cotswolds when it comes to antiques.

Visit Cotswolds Lavender Fields: During July and August, Cotswolds Lavender Fields allows visitors into their fields to see spectacular displays of many varieties of Lavender. There are also areas of natural wildflowers which come to life at the same time.

See a horse race at the Cheltenham Racecourse

Take cooking classes: Daylesford offers courses focused on simple cooking techniques to enhance your wellbeing.

Explore Sudeley Castle & Gardens: A Tudor castle set in the Cotswolds and the final resting place of Queen Katherine Parr

Enjoy a Gin Tasting: Cotswolds Distillery‘s latest gin, Cotswolds No.1 Wildflower Gin, is fresh, floral, and fruity and is inspired by the glorious grasslands of the Cotswolds.

Visit the home of Shakespeare

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