top of page

Weekend in the Country

We waited too long to book flights for Easter weekend, which is a four-day weekend in London, so we opted for a local road trip instead. We hadn’t yet seen any of England outside of London, so this felt like the perfect opportunity. Rolling green hills, acres of farmland and gorgeous old England charm were the themes of the weekend.


Friday March 25

Avis Rental Car

London Euston Train Station, 88 Eversholt Street, London NW1 1BP

We thought it made more sense to get the rental car closer to our flat, rather than taking the tube all the way to Heathrow airport. In hindsight, getting it at Heathrow would have made more sense, given we were driving in that direction anyway. Most of the traffic we hit was between the car pickup and Heathrow, so that would have been avoided.


What should have been an hour drive took us closer to two. We parked in the center of town and just kept topping up our parking. Our first stop was the Covered Market for lunch at Pieminster. While the company now has spots all over London, the one in Oxford is the original and delicious as ever. Our plan had been to hit up the original Ben’s Cookies for dessert, but we were won over by Moo Moo’s Milkshakes, and were so glad we opted for that instead.

Our stomachs sufficiently full, we were ready to explore Oxford’s wonderful architecture. Some of the colleges are open for visitors, but we didn’t do research ahead of time to find out which ones. We wandered a bit on our own, but would recommend trying one of the guided walking tour of city center which are offered daily on the hour, since they take you inside many of the buildings. Oxford also has a ton of cute shops and well-known pubs such as the Lamb and Flag and Turf Tavern, and we could easily see ourselves going back for another day of college town fun.

Woodstock Manor, Woodstock

Open daily 10:30-5:30 (park is open until 6)*

A 30-minute drive brought us to Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill. The Duke of Marlborough still lives there with his family, and there are various guided tours available such as tours of their private apartments or an “upstairs downstairs” tour. Having already paid the hefty £22 entry fee, we opted to just view the State Rooms and Churchill exhibit which were included with our ticket, rather than pay an extra £6 for a special guided tour. The palace sits on a beautiful and massive plot of land, so we spent awhile exploring the gardens and their hedge maze.

Night in Chipping Campden

Chipping Campden is an adorable little town in the Cotswolds. The Cotswolds is an area of England known for the impeccably preserved honey-colored homes and green rolling hills. Chipping Campden is one of the “market towns” with a main street (or high street, as they call it here) with a few shops, restaurants and B&Bs).

High Street, Chipping Campden GL55 6HB

We stayed at a small B&B that’s also a tea room during the day, which seems to be popular combination in this area. Our hosts were very nice, the room was clean, and breakfast was good.

Dinner at Lygon Arms

High Street, Chipping Campden GL55 6HB

Friends recommended the Lygon Arms for dinner, so we made a booking in advance, which was good because Chipping Campden only has a small handful of restaurants. The space was quintessentially British, with a roaring fire and well-preserved architecture. The food was fantastic – the fish and chips were some of the best we’ve had. They seemed to be running on “Cotswold time” here, and dinner was at a very leisurely place. We didn’t mind though, since we had already hit up the one other pub in town, were happy to spend the rest of our night here.

Saturday March 26

Cotswalds Drive

Our friends had visited the Cotswalds a few months ago, and they recommended following a drive through in this Guardian article. The route was approximately 80 miles and took us through many of the little Cotswold towns. Some were similar to Chipping Campden, with a high street full of shops and restaurants, while others were sleepy towns with little other than the beautiful houses and a stream. Our first stop was Broadway Tower (Broadway Tower, Middle Hill, Broadway WR12 7LB, 9am-5pm daily) which on a clear day, would have given us a view for miles. Unlucky for us, this day was windy and rainy, which didn’t make for great viewing. From there we drove our way past countless farms and tiny towns. Highlights were the Daylesford Organic Farm (Daylesford near Kingham, Gloucestershire, GL56 0YG), creamed tea at the Waterfront Tea Room in Burton-on-the-Water, and the rare moment of sunshine which allowed for a walk around gorgeous Lower Slaughter.

Bibury, Cirencester GL7 5ND

We were unfortunately seated in the newer extension of the building and didn’t get to experience the charm and atmosphere of the older 15th century side of the restaurant. The fish and chips were okay but not particularly memorable, and the soup was delicious and incredibly filling. After lunch the weather worsened, and we scrapped the rest of the drive and headed for our B&B for the night

Night in Castle Combe

Castle Combe is one of those pretty, sleepy towns with only two restaurants and not much else other than peace and quiet. It was one of the prettiest places we visited on this trip, and we would definitely recommend spending some time walking around. If you’re looking for a quiet escape, this is the place for you.

Castle Combe

The Keeper’s Lodge

This tiny B&B had big bright windows which overlook the owners’ horse farm. The room was huge and newly renovated, and the farm-fresh breakfast was delicious.

Dinner at The White Hart

Castle Combe, Chippenham, SN14 7HS

When we booked our stay in Castle Combe, we didn’t realize how quiet of a town it would be. We wanted to eat at The Castle Inn, which looked much cuter but was all booked up for the night. Instead we ate at The White Hart, which was a pub-type atmosphere with a broader menu. The food was decent and did the job for us.

Sunday March 27

Stall St, Bath BA1 1LZ


Bath was about a 30-minute drive from Castle Combe, and we got an early start and beat the lines at the Roman Baths, probably Bath’s biggest attraction. The site is fascinating, and they’ve done a really good job showing you how the complex used to look in ancient Roman times. Part of the exhibit is inside, but the highlight of the tour was outside, so we’d recommend going on a nice day.

Explore Bath

After visiting the Baths, we took advantage of the sunshine and walked around the small city. We stopped by Bath Abbey for some photos, and then walked over to Pulteney Bridge. It’s one of those bridges that has shops built into it, with a cute cafe overlooking the water. We then walked up to the Royal Crescent and the Circus to see some of Bath’s renowned architecture. Bath also has a modern thermae spa, and we waffled about whether we wanted to go to the new baths. Day- of we decided to give it a go. When we got there, bathing suits in hand, the line was around the block. It seems like they do take bookings from their website, so that would have been a good idea. We ended up skipping it because of time.

Lunch at Sally Lunn’s

4, 4 N Parade Passage, Bath BA1 1NX

Monday – Saturday 10am – 6pm.

Sally Lunn’s is a restaurant and tea house situated in Bath’s oldest house. Their claim to fame is the “Sally Lunn Bunn,” which they claim is known all over the world. We waited in line for about twenty minutes before we were seated. We were rushed to order, and then underwhelmed by the food (to us the bun seemed no different than a hamburger roll). There’s a tiny museum downstairs that’s free if you eat in the restaurant, but isn't worth a trip on it's own

Amesbury, Wiltshire SP4 7DE

Check website for seasonal, last entry is two hours before closing time.

Stonehenge was about an hour drive from Bath, so the two could make a great day trip from London. Many friends warned us that Stonehenge was underwhelming and overpriced, but still a must-do attraction. We had also heard that there was a way to see the stones without paying the hefty £17 entry fee. The visitors center is about 1.5 miles from the stones, and ticketholders can ride a bus back and forth. We took a gamble, parked in the lot, and did the 30-minute walk to the stones. When we got there, we discovered there’s a sheep pasture with an unlocked gate, where if you enter you can have a nice view of the stones for free. We also realized that there’s an unnamed road that runs right next to the stones and many people had parked along there. On our way back to London on the A303, we were also treated to another fantastic view of the stones. These views were enough for us, but you definitely could get a bit closer if you pay the entrance fee.



On every trip we share our rose (highlight), thorn (lowlight), and bud (what we're looking forward to).

Rose- walking around the pretty Cotswold towns (Becca), dinner at Lygon Arms (Josh)

Thorn- driving in the torrential rain (both)

Bud- Becca’s parents visit (both)


If you go...things to know

Can you do any of these as a day trip from London? Yes! Oxford, Blenheim Palace, Bath and Stonehenge can easily be done as a day trip from London. The Cotswolds are a bit farther and probably would need at least one overnight stay.

Which towns should you visit in the Cotswolds? It’s really up to you as to what experience you’re looking to have. Many of the towns have interesting and unique museums (such as cricket or automobiles), if that is up your alley. If you’re just looking to enjoy the charm of this well-preserved region, then you’ll likely be satisfied visiting any of the many towns. Lower and Upper Slaughter and Castle Combe are particularly picturesque and quiet (read: few to no restaurants), and Chipping Campden and Bourton-on-the-Water were two of our favorite “market towns.”

When to go? These places all lend themselves to sunnier, warmer weather since much of the draw is walking around and exploring, so we wouldn’t recommend dead of winter. However, if you’re looking to hole up by the fire at a quaint British pub, then winter would be idyllic.

*Opening times and meeting points are subject to change -- double check before you go!

What are your favorite short trips from London? Which Cotswold town to you like best? We would love to hear from you in the space below!



We're Becca and Josh Flyer, American ex-pats living in London, taking every opportunity to explore the world around us. We created this blog to share our adventures with our family and friends and hope it's also a useful resource for other trip planners. Thanks for joining us on our journey as we live life on the fly!


  • Grey Instagram Icon
bottom of page