Wrought-iron gates, a gravelled path, another gate… and then a tiny walled garden. This is a hidden retreat, tucked amongst the charming Cotswold cottages of pretty and popular Painswick. You’ll probably spend most of your time in the conservatory attached to the small 18th- and 19th-century cottage which overlooks the colourful garden with its fishpond.
On chillier days, you might eat in the Aga-warmed kitchen. The owners are passionate cooks, so you’ll find everything you need if you want to be creative and the local area is packed with great places to shop for local and organic ingredients. Relax with a book in the conservatory or in the little sitting room – the feel here is very relaxed and calming but you’re a stroll from the centre of the village. Upstairs bedrooms have views to hillsides in the valley below.
There are two pubs within walking distance and the hotel serves good food. Spend a day wandering round the Rococo Garden – they have a cafe there too and lots of different exhibitions. Food shopping in Stroud is at the Saturday market – the gooseberry doughnuts are unmissable apparently, but there are also jewellery and bric-a-brac stalls. Return to your cosy little cottage and the quiet of the village.