Many favour the Cotswolds as their favourite part of Britain and at this time of year the area is perfect for a cosy winter weekend away. For Londoners, Cirencester is an ideal town to stay in, small and quaint but with enough shops and restaurant to entertain an urbanite.
A couple of weeks ago I was invited to spend a night at the Kings Head Hotel in Cirencester. Despite spending much of my childhood with my cousins in Gloucestershire, I had completely forgotten how charming this part of Britain is, especially during the festive season. The local pubs have their fires blazing, hearty local meat is available on every restaurant menu and long country walks offer scenic panoramic winter views.
The stylish Kings Head Hotel was once a coaching inn and the building has hundreds of years of history. The hotel is located in the central marketplace square, surrounded by boutique shops and cafes. Inside, the lobby is instantly welcoming with comfy sofas and dimmed lighting. There are 45 luxurious bedrooms of varying sizes, each with it’s own character.
The Kings Head reopened in 2014 after a transformative renovation, every detail feels thoughtful and very much suits the countryside setting. My suite was spacious and plush with a giant bed, and a modern high-tech bathroom. I slept wonderfully well and woke feeling refreshed and ready for a long countryside walk.
The hotel boasts a great bistro downstairs serving hearty classics like steak and chips and delicious seasonal desserts. Using the best British produce the food is simple but well executed, exactly what you want from a winter meal in the Cotswolds.
Breakfast is also served in a restaurant, an array of continental treats is served alongside a la carte dishes to order. We indulged with full bacon and eggs, coffee, juice, fruit and pasties… silence fell over the table as we gobbled up the feast.
Whilst staying at the Kings Head do not miss a trip to their unassuming but heavenly spa. Found on the lower floor, it is the perfect retreat for weary travellers. I had a completely amazing full body MONU massage here, which soothed my sore muscles and eased my niggling aches. After the treatment you can chill out in the Relaxation Room and there is also a thermal suite for guest use.
Cirencester is a lovely town to explore on foot, pick up gifts in the quaint shops or go for a bracing walk in the beautiful Cirencester Park. I wandered around for hours with a takeaway coffee in hand (try Cotswold Artisan Coffee) picking out fun Christmas presents for family and friends.
If you are spending a few days in Gloucestershire, I recommend trying your hand at clay pigeon shooting at Ian Coley Sporting (group shooting lessons from £49 per person) before rewarding yourself with a hearty pub lunch at The Bell at Sapperton nearby.
Rooms at the Kings Head start from £140 B&B, more information and book here.