UK holidays: Magnolia Cottage provides a home away from home in the idyllic Cotswolds

Cotswolds: Idyllic village in England toured

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One of the principal market towns in the northern Cotswolds, Moreton-in-Marsh promises quaint cottages, rustic pubs, and a plethora of treasure-filled antique ships all set against the green rolling hills of the English countryside. Though the town offers a dreamy escape from the urban grind, thanks to its positioning as a “traveller’s town” for at least 1,700 years, Moreton-in-Marsh is easy to get to with or without a car. In fact, it is just a 90-minute direct train journey from London’s Paddington Station, and just 30 minutes direct from Oxford. It is also a one hour drive from Birmingham city centre.

Part of the allure of the Cotswolds is its unique architecture, of which cosy cottages make up a huge portion. Luckily, many of these are available for holiday rentals, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in village life. That’s where Cotswold Cottage Gems come in.

Cotswold Cottage Gems handpicks honey-hued cottages from across the region to allow holidaymakers the opportunity to kick back and relax in an environment that feels truly like a home away from home.

On a quiet street, set back from the main hub of Moreton-in-Marsh sits the adorable Magnolia Cottage, boasting all of the quintessential attributes of a traditional Cotswold cottage.

The grade 11 home sleeps six people and is idyllic from the offset. The front garden, surrounded by a typical Cotswold’s dry stone wall, is a sea of stunning wildflowers and sweet-smelling Magnolia trees – a haven for jolly bumblebees and butterflies.

Once inside, Magnolia Cottage is every bit the fairytale abode one might expect. From customary wooden ceiling beams to a fully functioning log burner, the main living space is perfect for cosying up in. Whether you’re sitting down for a movie, thanks to the cottage’s smart TV, or curling up in one of the large armchairs of the library corner, there is ample space to relax and unwind.

The living space leads through into an open plan kitchen, complete with all of the necessities for a delicious home-cooked meal. The kitchen is fully stocked with cooking utensils, crockery and plenty of glassware.

It also boasts an oven and hob, microwave, dishwasher and washing machine. Even the smallest of kitchen essentials aren’t missed; with Cotswold Cottage Gems providing cooking oil, coffee, tea and milk to get you started on your stay.

During our stay we were also pleasantly surprised with a basket full of local produce; including some smooth Cotswold fudge, delicious rapeseed oil and even some bubbles chilling in the fridge.

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The open plan dining room overlooks a large back garden, bursting with perfectly pruned flowers, shrubbery and, of course, the cottage’s prominent namesake Magnolia tree.

Perhaps one of Magnolia Cottage’s finest assets is the “secret” garden.

A winding path twists and turns its way through blossoms and blooms, with several spots to set up camp and enjoy the golden rays of sunshine dotted throughout the yard.

A barbecue offers plenty of opportunities for al fresco dining, along with a large outdoor table and six chairs situated on the main patio area.

Magnolia Cottage comfortably sleeps six people across its three well-sized double bedrooms. The first suite overlooks St David’s churchyard and is complete with a sumptuous bed and built-in storage.

The second bedroom, to the rear of the house, offers the same spaciousness and built-in cupboard.

However, this one is also ideal for the most glamorous of residents, thanks to a perfectly placed vanity table and large mirror.

The back bedroom also overlooks the “secret” garden, from which the perfume of bluebells and magnolia can drift in through the open window on particularly toasty days.

This is also the only room serviced by its own en-suite bathroom, complete with a built-in shower.

Our favourite of the three bedrooms, however, was tucked away behind a small wooden door.

A short flight of stairs leads up into the attic of the house, which has been converted into a delightful double bedroom complete with low wooden beams and a small window that looks out over the scenic views of the surrounding town.

Though the loft bedroom does not have built-in storage, there is plenty of room, as well as a few small cupboards and shelving spaces, and clothes rail for items that need hanging.

The main floor has a large shared bathroom, including a bath and shower. All towels and linen are provided by Cotswold Cottage Gems, and the provider has gone one step further by ensuring everything from shampoo and conditioner to a nifty sewing kit are on hand. The cottage also comes complete with a hairdryer and even hair straighteners.

While the cottage provides the perfect place to put one’s feet up, there is also plenty to do in the surrounding town. Moreton-in-Marsh is home to a speckling of pleasant pubs along its main strip, alongside plenty of local cafes and restaurants.

The area also has several takeaways including a highly recommended Indian restaurant, for those evenings you don’t feel like cooking. Details of these eateries, as well as nearby trails visitors can explore, are all included in the handy guest information book provided by Cotswold Cottage Gems.

Our stay at Magnolia cottage allowed us to truly experience the Cotswolds lifestyle, combining all of the leisure of a holiday with the welcoming comforts of home.

Stays at Magnolia Cottage start from £250.

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