“In the pretty hamlet of Church Enstone, a cute-as-a-button Cotswold cottage with a couple of aces up its sleeve (sleeps 2-4)”
So far, so blissful. But there are two more trump cards. Next door - with its own entrance - is a second equally chic bedroom, with its own shower room and sitting area, which makes the it perfect for two couples travelling together. And next door the other way is a fantastic Cotswold pub, serving superb dinners and fireside ales when you tire of self-catering. On your doorstep are Soho Farmhouse, the picturesque hamlets of Great & Little Tew, and oodles of picturesque rolling countryside. All in all, it's a winning hand.
- Perfect for either one or two couples, with space for a cot too; bring your parents, your baby, your dog, or just yourselves
- Indulgently equipped: an emperor-size bed, silky bathrobes, stacks of 100 Acre toiletries, and more
- The location - midway between Chipping Norton and Charlbury - has impeccable Cotswold credentials
- Owners Victoria (who handles the bookings) and George (whose impressionistic artworks brighten the interiors) keep it all spick and span
- Food and wine next door are affordable and delicious - perfect gastropub fare
- The set-up won't suit families with younger kids, as the cottage and studio are completely separate (fine for self-sufficient teenagers though)
- There's no garden to speak of, just a patio/dining courtyard
- The sloping bathroom eaves and steep stairs are not great for the super-tall or the less agile
- Longer stays (Monday-Friday, Friday-Monday or whole weeks) are preferred
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Cottage Rental
- Self-catering (+ pub next door)
- Under 2s & over 14s welcome.
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
Upstairs from the ground-floor living room is a spacious but still cosy bedroom, with beamed ceilings, part-panelled walls, and a glorious super-kingsize double (or twin) bed stacked with snow-white pillows and fluffy hypoallergenic duvets. We slept long and late. Two windows look out past the last houses of Church Enstone to fields and woodland. Pretty touches include russet rugs and lambswool blinds, a desk with Roberts radio, a vintage chest of drawers, and further storage cleverly integrated into an obsolete stairwell.
Up another flight, the lovely attic bathroom has space for a walk-in shower and double-ended tub tucked under thick gnarled beams. There are big bottles of 100 Acre toiletries, soft bathrobes and strategically placed leather padding on the eaves in case you stand up from the loo without checking!
Next door is a similarly stylish studio which you can book as an add-on if you want. It has a part-screened bedroom (kingsize double), its own small sitting area (leather sofa, TV) and an open-plan bathroom (feature tub, glass shower cubicle) all on one level. This makes it perfect for two couples wanting a bit more separation and privacy, or perhaps a couple travelling with their parents.
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- Full kitchen
- Hob or stove
- Ipod dock
- Tumble dryer
- Washing machine
The smart little rear-facing kitchen is excellently equipped with all the requisite cooking, chopping and coffee-making appliances, plus some equally appreciated indulgences like beautiful glazed cups, a giant salad bowl, a floral-red water jug, and slow-burning candles for romantic dinners a deux. There’s seating inside for two (or four at a squeeze), and outside in the patio for four (in comfort). Staples are provided - oil, salt, cleaning products - as well as some lovely, locally sourced extras: clear set honey, Pot-of-What jam, amazing Tiddly Pommes apple juice.
If you don't fancy cooking, pop next door to The Crown Inn for outstanding gastropub fare, from beetroot ravioli with goats cheese and pine nuts, to crispy pork belly with chorizo and butternut squash fondant. Friday is fish-and-chip night, Sunday lunch is all about roasts. There are also salads, pies, steaks and veggie options including an excellent halloumi burger. Dishes are presented in artful, manageable portions - which leaves room for a limoncello cheesecake afterwards, or a raspberry and white chocolate creme brulee by the fireside if you prefer.
There are plenty of other eateries nearby, including Wild Thyme or Thai Shire in Chipping Norton (10 mins' drive), and the much-touted Daylesford Organic Farm near Kingham (20 mins).
- Coffee / tea making
- Full kitchen
- Hob or stove
- Restaurants nearby
- Footpaths lead from the door, past the cottages and handsome church of Enstone, along the Glyme Valley: the undulating open countryside is suitable for horse riding or mountain biking too.
- Don't miss the honeypot village of Great Tew, with its thatched cottages, striking Norman church, and perhaps the country's snuggliest pub, The Falkland Arms.
- Browse antique shops in Chipping Norton, art galleries in Stow-on-the-Wold, or eco-friendly gins and whiskies at the Cotswold Distillery.
- It's only 15 mins' drive to Woodstock, where stately Blenheim Palace lords it over magnificently landscaped lakes and gardens - famously called 'the finest view in England' by Churchill (actually Lord Randolph Churchill though Winston might well have said the same).
- There's plenty more, including fishing, clay pigeon shooting and wonderful gardens at Hidcote Manor (National Trust), Rousham and Batsford Arboretum.
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Garden visits
- Horse riding
- Shopping / markets
The cottage accepts babies (up to 2 years, bring your own cot) and older children (aged 14+), but not normally those aged 3-13. This is because the adjoining studio is separate from the rest of the cottage, with its own entrance, so younger children might feel too disconnected from their parents. If you have children aged 3-13, you can still request to stay.
Babies (0-1 years)
Families Should Know:
If coming with a baby, note that you'll have to bring your own cot.
The cottage is in the village of Church Enstone in Oxfordshire, about halfway from Woodstock to Chipping Norton.
London Heathrow is your best bet if arriving from overseas; or try Luton, Bristol or Birmingham. Kidlington airfield (Oxford) receives private flights if you're feeling flush.
A car is recommended, not just for getting there but also for exploring the area and buying provisions. It's 1.5-2 hours' drive from Birmingham, Bristol or London. See our car hire recommendations.
By Public Transport:
You could take the train to Oxford or Stratford and then a taxi, or the bus from Oxford to Enstone (from where the cottage is a 10-min walk).
Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.
- London Heathrow 100.0 km LHR
- London Luton 100.0 km LTN
- Beach 150.0 km
- Shops 1.0 km
- Restaurant 0.1 km