A modern cottage with a refined, classic feel, in the heart of one of the Cotswolds' prettiest hidden villages. Somewhat of an under-the-radar gem when it comes to Cotswold destinations, the village of Blockley offers a picture-perfect escape for those in search of quintessential Cotswolds away from the crowds, nestled in a valley far from the well-trodden tourist track.
Read full Description
- Pub within 1 mile
- Shop within 1 mile
- Parking - x2
- Travel Cot - x1
- High Chair - x1
- Bedding & towels
Updated 18 Apr 2019
Full Description & House Rules
Somewhat of an under-the-radar gem when it comes to Cotswold destinations, the village of Blockley offers a picture-perfect escape for those in search of quintessential Cotswolds away from the crowds, nestled in a valley far from the well-trodden tourist track. Located in its heart is Stepping Stones, a small-but-perfectly-formed modern cottage set within a pretty development of converted barns. Sleeping up to 4 guests across two well-sized bedrooms, here you can enjoy a slice of Cotswolds village life without having to battle the crowds that some of the larger market towns nearby draw in. Life here truly is idyllic; there’s a babbling stream running directly through your garden, providing an unending gentle water chorus to your stay; views from the cottage look directly out to the village’s perfectly maintained 13th century church; there’s even a traditional village shop in walking distance, serving up some of the tastiest cake for miles around. Perfectly petite, Stepping Stones is an elegant cottage with plenty of traditional charm, offering a simple yet cosy living space for families and couples alike to unwind in. Family and dog friendly, it’s the perfect escape for those in search of easy country living with the benefits of village amenities on the doorstep, with miles and miles of unspoilt Cotswold landscape at your fingertips.
The Living Space
Stepping through the cottage’s useful internal porch, complete with traditional wooden bench seat to make easing your walking shoes on and off a breeze, you’ll enter the main living space of the house; a cosy, bright living room overlooking the cottage’s extensive front garden. Comfortably seating up to four guests, the room is elegant yet welcoming. Exposed beams, country cream hues and a warming electric fire give the room a classic cottage feel, whilst chic sofas, bright tartan curtains and quirky cushions bring the space well and truly into the modern day. Leading through the living room to the rear of the cottage is a well-equipped kitchen diner, benefitting from sweeping views of the cottage’s beautiful rear garden. Decorated in a classic farmhouse style with sleek grey tiles and a slate tile floor, in here you’ll find all you need for a self-catered stay, including an electric hob and oven, dishwasher, microwave, built-in fridge/freezer, microwave and plenty of crockery to make use of. An attractive oak dining table and bench seat offer the perfect pew to enjoy a feast, sat alongside french doors which open-up directly into the garden; perfect for easy indoor/outdoor living during the warmer summer months. Dog friendly, canine guests will love the easy garden access, not to mention the meandering stream that can be found tucked away at the bottom of the garden.
Up the winding staircase accessible from the cottage’s living room are two spacious bedrooms, sleeping up to 4 guests.
Overlooking the front of the house is the master bedroom, a spacious room perfect for couples. With a large built-in wardrobe, dressing table and elegant armchair in the corner, there’s more than enough breathing space in here for couples not to feel crammed in, with a calming light, bright feel thanks to a large window that benefits from beautiful views over the shared lawn to the cottage’s front. The centrepiece of the room comes in the form of the sink-in superking bed, piled high with a billowing duvet and pillows which make it an irresistible spot for a peaceful night’s shut-eye. There are plenty of books in the room for those who like to curl up with an enticing read before bed, plus a handy TV for those who prefer to be lulled to sleep with the sound of their favourite show on in the background.
Sitting across the landing to the cottage’s rear is Bedroom 2, a quaint twin room ideal for younger guests. With the same country-cream colour scheme that can be found throughout the house, this room too boasts plenty of space, including two single beds (placed at opposite ends for more privacy), two dressing tables and an additional built-in wardrobe. Benefitting from beautiful views over the cottage’s garden and out towards the church in the centre of the village, younger guests will love perching by the low-lying windowsill and watching the local wildlife enjoy the stream that runs through the garden.
The cottage’s family bathroom sits conveniently between bedrooms 1 and 2, with modern yet elegant tiling and a full height shower/bath. Little luxurious touches are well thought out in here, including a little basket with neatly-rolled flannels for you to use, as well as a selection of refreshing toiletries in the cabinet.
Despite its secluded, peaceful position amidst a collection of attractive barn conversions, Stepping Stones cottage is just a stone’s throw from Blockley’s village centre, making it ideal for those looking for a country escape without the drawbacks that rural living can bring. One of a row of three cottages within an attractive modern barn conversion, Stepping Stones is framed by a beautiful shared lawn area to its front and small private garden to its rear, affording it a wonderful feeling of privacy. It’s in the back garden where Stepping Stones’ magic really comes alive, thanks to the famous Blockley Brook which meanders directly through the garden at its base. The garden itself is small in size but feels much larger thanks to the sweeping village views it benefits from, separated from its neighbouring houses by discreet fencing. It also boasts a small patio area with seating, accessible via the kitchen’s french doors, making it perfect for al fresco sundowners after a busy day exploring the Cotswolds. A haven for local birds, ducks and wildlife, younger guests will love wiling away the hours paddling at the brook’s shore, whilst older guests can relax on the patio with the gentle sounds of the brook in the background. Dog owners and guests with small children need take note that the garden itself is not enclosed.
BRINGING YOUR DOG TO OUR COTTAGES
At Bolthole Retreats we are proud to provide quality, luxury accommodation in our beautiful holiday cottages. We enjoy meeting the different needs of all our guests by offering a selection of both dog-free and dog-friendly holiday cottages. For this to work for everyone, we have a Dog Code of Conduct, which can be found below.
Our dog friendly cottages can be found on our Dog Friendly Cottages page. We are able to accommodate a maximum of two well-behaved dogs in each of our dog-friendly properties. Guests must let us know they are bringing their dog at the time of booking. We take a small charge of £25 per pet.
When booking, guests are required to accept our Terms & Conditions, including the Dogs Code of Conduct. This enables us to ensure we keep our cottages in excellent condition for all guests.
Dogs Code of Conduct:
- We ask that your dog be kept on the lead in the courtyard.
- The surrounding fields are often used for grazing sheep and lambs. Dogs must be kept on a lead when walking through the fields if they are occupied by livestock.
- We ask that you do not allow your dog on furniture or in bedrooms. An additional cleaning fee will be incurred should there be evidence of dogs having been on beds or furniture.
- If you are part of a group booking, your dog must be kept to the dog-friendly cottage it was booked into. If you wish your dog to go in and out of other cottages included in your booking, the £25 pet fee must be paid for those cottages too. This of course will mean ensuring the other cottages in your booking are also dog-friendly.
- Dogs must be booked and paid for in advance. Any dogs arriving without prior arrangement will need to be accommodated elsewhere at your own cost.
- Dogs are not allowed to be left unattended in any cottage unless they are happy to rest in their own cage brought from home and are unlikely to bark and disturb other guests. A list of walks, as well as dog-friendly pubs, is provided to help you plan a dog-friendly day out.
- We regret that dogs known to bark excessively are not permitted.
- Please wash off muddy dogs before entering the cottage; guest towels must not be used on dogs.
- Please clean up after your dog, including whilst in the cottage gardens, courtyards and the surrounding fields. Dog waste must be binned using appropriate bags.
- Any damage caused by dogs to furniture, carpets, bed linen etc. will incur a commensurate replacement or cleaning fee.
- Please obey the Countryside Code whilst enjoying the area with your dog. Keep your dog under close control at all times for their own safety as well as the comfort of others.
- Upon departure, please leave the cottage as you would wish to find it. An additional cleaning fee will be incurred should excessive cleaning be required following your departure.
With Blockley’s beautiful village centre just a stone’s throw away, guests at Stepping Stones have a selection of eateries within walking distance at their disposal. The Great Western Arms can be found in the heart of the village, just a 4-minute stroll from the cottage, and offers a fantastic selection of gastropub classics at reasonable prices; perfect for lazy lunches or evening meals. The Crown Hotel is also just a 5-minute walk from the cottage’s front door, offering a good selection of British classics and bar snacks, whilst Blockley Village Shop & Café (7-minute walk) is a great little spot to head to for a tasty breakfast, light lunch or afternoon tea and cakes. Slightly further afield, Moreton-in-Marsh is just a 10-minute drive and offers a variety of excellent eateries for different budgets. For a memorable evening out, head to The Mulberry Restaurant at The Manor House Hotel; a Michelin-guide favourite offering an excellent selection of locally-sourced seasonal dishes in a beautiful setting. Yellow Brick Café (8-minute drive) on the town’s high street is a real favourite with locals and visitors alike in search of a coffee and light bite, whilst those in search of something a little more exotic need look no further than The Spice Room Indian restaurant (8-minute drive). The pretty village of Paxford is also just a 5-minute drive from the cottage’s front door, homing the renowned Churchill Arms, another Michelin-guide favourite with an impressive menu of pub classics with a distinctly refined twist.
Tucked away from the well-trodden tourist path, Blockley’s unspoiled location amidst the stunning rolling landscape of the Cotswold hills affords it with a plethora of walks leading right from the cottage’s front door. We recommend the beautiful circular walk from Blockley village to nearby Batsford, where its vibrant arboretum can be enjoyed by all ages throughout the year. Starting at Blockley’s 13th century church in the centre of the village, you’ll pass through fields and Batsford village before arriving at the arboretum, where acres of trees of all shapes and sizes burst to life throughout the year. The 4 ½ mile walk then returns through undulating fields back to Blockley, giving you fantastic views across the Cotswold vales as you walk. Nearby Moreton-in-Marsh also benefits from a host of fantastic walks perfect for all abilities. We recommend following the Monarch’s Way from Moreton-in-Marsh to Longborough; a gentle 2-mile stroll, perfect for those who don’t want too much of a challenge.
Blockley is perfectly placed to explore numerous surrounding villages for a true taste of Cotswolds life. We recommend heading to nearby Moreton-in-Marsh (8-minute drive) as a first port of call, a classic Cotswold market town with a host of independent boutiques and cafés to enjoy, as well as a weekly market with over 200 stalls. Chipping Campden (10-minute drive) is also a must-visit when in this neck of the woods, a historic market town hailing from the 7th century with a bustling high street, beautiful church and ancient market hall. Nature lovers will adore Batsford Arboretum’s glorious foliage displays on show throughout the year, just a 5-minute drive from Stepping Stones cottage, whilst Chastleton House (15-minute drive) will keep heritage-fans happy; a National Trust property with a stunning Jacobean home and wonderful gardens to roam. Slightly further afield, Shakespeare’s Stratford-Upon-Avon is just 30 minutes by car, with a host of attractions including Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and the famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre putting on a host of productions throughout the year. Carrying on the heritage theme is Blenheim Palace, just a 40-minute drive from Stepping Stones, where visitors can spend the day exploring the magnificent palace and surrounding Estate.
Walking & Cycling Guides
Stow-on-the-WoldBourton Circular-WWS Cornwell-Chastleton-MWS Harford Bridge-MWS Hinchwick-WOW Kingham Station Circular Bourton and Wyck-MWS Guiting Power-MWS Stow-on-the-Wold-MWS
Moreton-in-MarshCornwell-Chastleton Long-Compton-Cherington Rollright-Stones Stow-on-the-Wold Miles without Styles Walk-1-Chipping-Campden-Circular-Walk
Chipping NortonCharlbury-WOW Charlbury-MWS Cornwell-Chastleton-MWS Long-Compton-MWS Rollright-Stones Spelsbury-MWS
Chipping CampdenBroadway Chipping-Campden (Circular Walk) Chipping Campden (Miles Without Styles) Ebrington Kingham Circular Laverton Mickleton Rollright-Stones Broadway Tower Circular Stanton to Snowshill