best-walks-painswick

Postcards by Hannah: My favourite places to visit in the Cotswolds

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“It’s a love affair. Yes, the scenery is stunning but it’s the pace of life that’s so appealing”

COUNTRY LIVING
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One of the Cotswolds’ prettiest villages, Bibury

“It was love at first sight,” says Hannah Rose of the Cotswolds and Instagram account, Postcards by Hannah. Known for its undulating hills and honey-coloured villages, this was one of the many parts of England she visited over a long and lovely summer searching for a perfect country cottage. “Yes the scenery is stunning but you can meander along at your own pace and people say hello.”

Hannah’s house hunt started online many years ago. “I spent hours scrolling. I was living in a shiny new build but what I really wanted was exposed beams, a thatched roof and rustic interiors.” In May she took her search to the streets, criss-crossing the countryside with her trusty sidekick, Baxter the dog. “I started photographing and writing about all the places I found. I had no idea how popular pictures of the English countryside would be.”

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Honeysuckle Cottage in Moreton-in-Marsh
WHERE TO STAY

The pretty village of Painswick, a historic wool town built from stone quarried from nearby Painswick Beacon, was her base for three weeks of exploring. It sits halfway along the Cotswold National Trail. “I walked for three hours a day – there are looped trails so it‘s easy to head out on your own.“ Honeysuckle Cottage is a quintessential country home – which you can find on Airbnb – in the centre of the village. “There’s a big fireplace, a window seat and it overlooks the church so you’re woken by bells in the morning.”

STEEPED IN HISTORY

In the Middle Ages the Cotswolds‘ bucolic landscape supported vast flocks of sheep, known as Cotswold Lions for their long, shaggy coats and faintly golden hue. Their wool was renowned as the best in Europe and merchants here became wealthy, building striking wool churches and manor houses.

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Ancient treasure | Stow-on-the-Wold church

On her travels Hannah explored Sheepscombe. “It’s a tiny 11th-century village that sits among the hills of Gloucestershire, hidden in a narrow valley,” she says. “It really is as peaceful as it sounds.” But its name has nothing to do with sheep, she explains, ”The original name is Sebbescumbe, from the names of early settlers.”

The Cotswolds is blessed with fantastic produce, and local chefs who really know how to cook. Stow-on-the-Wold is known for its pubs, ancient inns and of course – our flagship resides here! There’s also an enchanting church bound by two ancient yew trees. “It’s magical,” says Hannah. “Legend says that this door was JRR Tolkien’s inspiration for ‘Doors of Durin’ in the Lord of the Rings.”

SEASONAL ATTRACTIONS
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The poppy fields at Condicote

In May, nearby poppy fields burst into life, the most famous of which are near Condicote. “The owners are more than happy for people to visit and enjoy their fields. There’s a donation box for the local poppy appeal.”

After all her searching, Hannah didn’t end up in the Cotswolds. “I found a cottage on the Northamptonshire- Cambridgeshire border, close to my family. I’m very lucky but one day, I know I’ll move to the Cotswolds.”

You can follow along on Hannah’s adventures via her Instagram wanderlust-worthy account, @postcardsbyhannah

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