Each New Year my Boyfriend and I have a tradition of going for a little getaway. This year, we chose to go away to the small sleepy hamlet of North Newington in the Cotswolds. We love this part of the world, and as teachers, we thought it would be the perfect escape from reality. We decided to go there for the best part of a week, spending the days going on country walks, eating lots of food and playing board games over a tea or hot chocolate. It really was the perfect way to spend the final days of our holiday and I’m going to tell you all about it!
Our little home for the few days was situated on the village green, and appeared rather small on first appearances. When we entered the cottage however, we realised that it was a bit like the Tardis from Dr. Who! The kitchen was well-equipped with an oven, fridge-freezer, lots of storage, a mini dishwasher (which was super handy!) and a charming wooden table right in the centre. The walls of the cottage exposed Cotswolds Stone which provided the rustic country-feel we so desperately wanted for our New Year’s celebration, yet despite this, the cottage was certainly not old-fashioned in the slightest and was incredibly cosy and homely.
Three steps down from the kitchen was the living room, which was the cutest and cosiest room I think I have ever stayed in. This room was equipped with sofas, a tv, a DVD player, lots of films and games, and there was even a large blanket to wrap yourself under – perfect for twenty-year-old-granny’s like me! The living room made for the ideal rainy-day film viewing area, and it became our home-from-home very quickly.
The kitchen also had another staircase which lead upwards to the bedroom area. This was again large, with beautiful exposed beams from the original building (a 19th Century coach house), a very comfortable bed, and a large en-suite complete with bath and shower. There were also funky decorations around this room, and indeed the entire cottage, which gave the place real character.
On day one we decided to do what all good travel bloggers do; explore the new place. We decided to find the nearest footpath and follow it for a while. We chose wisely, as this took us up some wonderful hills and into some picturesque woodland. It was very muddy, no thanks to the British weather, but that didn’t get in the way of us marching over the hills of the Cotswolds, amazed at just how lovely and green the surrounding scenery was, even in December!
When we got back to the village, we popped into the local pub The Blinking Owl for a quick drink, and then settled in for the night, ordering a large curry between us and watching some great films.
Day two was filled with yet more exploration. We started the day by heading into to Banbury, which is the nearest town, to have a look around and (more importantly) buy some snacks for New Years. We settled on mini pizzas, Chinese food, mozzarella sticks, pringles, halloumi and of course, some fizz. When we got back home to the cottage, the celebrations could begin. We started our evening by playing a serious game of Monopoly (for which my boyfriend brought the Pokémon edition…), which lasted for a good few hours and resulted in me being crowned the champion. After this, we got all of the food out and began our feast whilst watching some classic films together – as I’ve got older, I’ve decided that this is my ideal way to see in the New Year, not partying! As it approached midnight, and still nursing our food-babies, we turned over to BBC 1 to watch the fireworks in London. As always, these were spectacular and continues to be my favourite way of seeing in the new year.
New Years morning arrived, and it was unfortunately our final full day in the cottage. My boyfriend treated me in the morning to our favourite breakfast; poached eggs and avocado on toast!
We opted for a slow start, before setting off for one last countryside exploration despite the on/off drizzle outside. We had seen in leaflets left by the owners that there was a medieval castle only a mile or so away from the cottage, and decided that it would be great to go and visit it. We left the cottage thinking that this would be a nice easy stroll, but due to mud and rain, this actually became quite the hike. However, once the showers had subsided, we were rewarded with some of the best views imaginable in the countryside.
These views were improved further still when we got to Broughton, the village where the castle was located. The houses looked like something out of Wuthering Heights and their classic Cotswold stone made them look so majestic. When we finally got our bearings and worked out how to get on track to the castle, we set off once again down a narrow country lane, passing yet more lovely houses until we reached the castle estate’s entrance and gatehouse.
The sun was just beginning to set which meant that we got a myriad of different autumnal colours during ‘golden hour’, and left us feeling dazzled by how spectacular the castle and grounds looked – the photos certainly do not do the colours justice. It was the perfect way to welcome in the New Year, and to end our little getaway to the Cotswolds.
The next morning we unfortunately had to leave, and I was genuinely sad to go from the cottage. It really had become our home from home, and we will definitely return to see it again. However, it also marked the start of a new year, and allowed us to plan some pretty exciting trips in the near future – it’s safe to say 2018 could be my most exciting travel year ever!
I hope you enjoyed my little recap of our New Year’s trip. I would highly recommend the cottage, which we booked through Airbnb and would be pleased to share the details with anyone interested in visiting for either a quiet country break or as a base to explore the Cotswolds.
How did you celebrate New Years? I’d love to hear about where you went! Love V x