Stepping Stones is a delightful two-bedroom home located in beautiful Blockley village in prime walking country at the heart of the Cotswolds. Stepping Stones is a modern home with a refined, classic feel set within a pretty development of converted barns with stunning shared gardens, and private patio and BBQ, leading down to Blockley Brook. Sleeping up to 4 guests across a double bedroom and a twin bedroom, with a fabulous, spa-like family bathroom, here you can enjoy a slice of Cotswolds village life without having to battle the crowds that some of the larger nearby market towns attract.
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- Pub within 1 mile
- Shop within 1 mile
- Parking - x2
- Travel Cot - x1
- High Chair - x1
- Bedding & towels
Updated 6 Feb 2020
Full Description & House Rules
Stepping Stones is a delightful two-bedroom home located in beautiful Blockley village at the heart of the Cotswolds, in prime walking country. Stepping Stones is a modern home with a refined, classic feel set within a pretty development of converted barns with stunning shared gardens, and private patio and BBQ, leading down to Blockley Brook. Sleeping up to 4 guests across a super king size bedroom and a twin bedroom, with a fabulous, spa-like family bathroom, here you can enjoy a slice of Cotswolds village life without having to battle the crowds that some of the larger nearby market towns attract.
Life here truly is idyllic; there’s a babbling stream running directly along the edge of the garden, providing a beautiful background water chorus to your stay; views from the cottage look directly out to the village with its 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.
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 to enjoy. 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.
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 yet away from the crowds, nestled in a valley far from the well-trodden tourist track.
Blockley developed as a mill town during the 9th Century, using the water of Blockley Brook to power 12 water mills that are recorded in the Domesday Book. During the 18th and 19th centuries Blockley was a major centre of England’s silk industry, with the silk mills using Blockley Brook, which runs through the centre of the village and forms the boundary of Stepping Stones’ garden.
Following the collapse of the silk industry, the town went in to relative decline, leaving behind lots of mill buildings and workers cottages – perfect for renovation and development in the 20th Century. At its heyday, Blockley had over 60 shops, seven inns, four banks, and two piano factories and the Vulcan iron foundry and works. Today there is one excellent shop/cafe, a pub, a hotel, several small business units and a Post Office. The entire parish lies within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), making it a very popular destination for walkers.
- Sleeps 4 in 2 bedrooms across 1 double (super-king) bedroom and 1 twin bedroom
- 1 bathroom; bath and double shower (overhead and hand-held)
- Welcome pack with fresh milk and bottle of wine
- Shower gel and handwash provided
- All bed linen, bath towels and tea towels provided
- Parking for up to 2 cars
- Heating: gas – with easy-to-operate thermostat
- 2 TVs: 55” Smart TV with Netflix (living room); 40” Smart TV/Freeview (Bedroom 1)
- DVD player
- Free WiFi
- Child / dog friendly
- Fully equipped kitchen with toaster, kettle, Nespresso coffee machine, utensils, crockery, cutlery, glassware (champagne flutes, tumblers and wine and water glasses) teapot, cafetière, bakeware, food preparation items.
- Oven/induction hob with extractor fan
- Washing machine
- Cleaning Starter Pack (for 2 nights): dishwasher tablets, scourer, cloth, washing up liquid, bin bags, kitchen paper
- Baby/child equipment: 1 high chair, 1 travel cot (linen is not supplied), 2 stairgates
- Private patio and beautiful communal gardens with direct access to Blockley Brook
- Outdoor patio/dining area
- Garden furniture – seats 4
- BBQ (charcoal) – please provide own charcoal
- Safety equipment: fire extinguisher, fire blanket, carbon monoxide monitor and smoke alarm.
Stepping into the cottage’s useful internal porch, you will find a pretty, antique wooden pew – the perfect spot to ease your walking shoes on and off – an umbrella stand, coat hooks and a handy mirror.
The cosy, bright living room overlooks the cottage’s front garden, where there’s a double seat to sit and enjoy the garden and birdsong. Exposed beams, country cream hues and a woodburner-effect electric fire give the room a classic cottage feel. Comfortably seating up to four guests in front of the fire on two sink-in sofas, the living room is elegant and cosy. The fireside seating is complemented with a long, padded footstool, bright tartan curtains and quirky cushions and a TV stand housing a 55” Smart TV with Netflix and Blu-ray DVD player, plus games, puzzles and a selection of DVDs.
Next to the main seating area, heading towards the kitchen, is a large bookcase with a wide selection of novels and guide books with an armchair and reading light – the perfect spot to plan the next day’s activities!
Straight through to…
Leading through from the living room to the rear of the cottage is a very 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 oven and induction hob, dishwasher, microwave, built-in fridge/freezer, washing machine and plenty of bakeware, crockery and glassware for guests’ use. An attractive oak dining table and seating offer the perfect place to enjoy a feast, sat alongside the French doors, which open directly on to the patio (with two bistro tables and 4 chairs) and the garden – perfect for enjoying a sunrise or sunset.
Carpeted stairs up to the landing leading to two bedrooms and a family bathroom:
Overlooking the front of the house is the Master Bedroom, a spacious double room perfect for couples, with its own 40” flat screen TV. The centrepiece of the room is the super-king bed with its sumptuous duvet and pillows, complemented with a large, built-in wardrobe, dressing table and elegant armchair. Decorated in a sunny yellow hue, this bedroom has a calming bright feel with lovely views over the shared garden to the front of the cottage. This elegant bedroom provides more than enough room for a couple to relax and enjoy the space in great comfort.
Sitting across the landing, to the cottage’s rear, is Bedroom 2, a twin room ideal for a couple, two friends or younger guests. This room also boasts plenty of space, with two single beds (placed at opposite ends for more privacy), two dressing tables and a built-in wardrobe. Benefitting from beautiful views over the cottage’s garden and out towards the church in the centre of the village, guests will love perching by the low-lying windowsill and watching the local wildlife enjoying the brook that runs along the edge of the garden.
The cottage’s family bathroom sits conveniently between Bedrooms 1 and 2 and features a full-length bath and double-headed shower, heated towel rail, sink with mirror and shaver’s socket and dual flush toilet. Elegant charcoal grey wall tiling beautifully complement the mosaic-style flooring creating a relaxing spa-like bathroom finished with thoughtful and luxurious touches, including candles and Pecksniff’s bath soap.
One of a row of three cottages, within an attractive modern barn conversion, Stepping Stones is framed by beautiful shared gardens to its front and side with a small, private patio and access to the large shared 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 along the edge of the rear garden. Stepping Stones’ garden area 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. Stepping Stones also boasts a small patio area with two bistro-style tables and four seats, 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 to note that the garden is not enclosed, and the Brockley Brook is directly accessible.
Thanks to its handy village location, Stepping Stones cottage has the benefit of some great amenities on its doorstep. In walking distance is the excellent and widely acclaimed Blockley Village Shop & Café, which sells a range of groceries, local produce, newspapers and magazines, fresh and frozen meats, wines and beers, ready meals and much more. The cafe is fully licensed and offers coffee, breakfasts, lunches and evening meals (Fri and Sat only). Also in the village is the the Great Western Arms and the Crown Inn & Hotel (see below for contact info.)
Moreton-in-Marsh is a short drive away (see more about the town below), and has a Co-Operative Food store, Warner’s Budgens, Tesco Express and Aldi. The local butchers offers fantastic, local meat on the town’s high street, with a host of delicious goodies available at the bakery for those in search of a fresh morning loaf. For larger shops, Tesco Superstore in Stow-on-the-Wold is just a 15-minute drive away. Most major supermarkets also offer home delivery to the cottage, including Ocado, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.
Blockley is perfectly placed to explore numerous surrounding villages for a true taste of Cotswolds life. After exploring our delightful village, 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.
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.
- The Great Western Arms – Station Rd, Blockley GL56 9DT 01386 700362
- The Crown Inn & Hotel – High St, Blockley GL56 9EX 01386 700245
- The Churchill Arms – Paxford GL55 6XH 01386 593159
- The Village Shop & Café – Bell Ln, Blockley GL56 9BB 01386 701411
- The Mulberry Restaurant – High St, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 0LJ 01608 650501
- Yellow Brick Café – 3-5 Old Market Way, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 0AJ 01608 651881
- The Spice Room – 3 Oxford St, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 0LA 01608 654204
(Maps are available for your use at the house.)
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.
This circular walk from Moreton-in-Marsh makes use of the Monarch’s Way and the Heart of England Way to explore the countryside, villages and woodland surrounding the popular Cotswolds town. Moreton-in-Marsh is a good base for exploring the Cotswolds with a train station and lots of good hotels to choose from. It’s also very close to two major Cotswolds attractions. This includes the magnificent Sezincote House and Batsford Arboretum, which are both on this route.
Starting in the town you follow the Monarch’s Way south to the village of Longborough where you will find a 12th century church and the eponymous opera house, home to the Longborough Festival Opera in June and July each year.
At Longborough you turn north along the Heart of England Way towards the exquisite Sezincote House. Here you will find a fascinating Mogul Indian palace surrounded by beautiful gardens including an orangery, spring-fed pools, canals and a large lake.
After passing Sezincote you continue north to the pretty village of Bourton-on-the-Hill where you will find the Grade I listed St. Lawrence’s Church, the 17th Century Slatters Cottage and the fine Horse and Groom pub.
After leaving the village you head towards Batsford Arboretum where there are 56 acres of woodland consisting of Japanese maples, magnolias and pines. The final section heads east through farmland back to Moreton-in-Marsh.
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
The Postcode is: GL56 9DP. On the bend of the B4479, turn into School Lane, then take the next right turn which will lead you into a cottage complex. You have two designated parking spaces on the left which can be identified by the name Stepping Stones. Once parked, walk to the first path you come to on your left, head slightly downhill toward the street light, walk around the path’s bend and Stepping Stones is the second cottage on your right. (The most obvious landmark is that we are the gateway entrance just before the Mill Dene Garden entrance on School Lane. Mill Dene is well known and has official signposts in the village.)
Travel by train: The nearest railway station is Moreton-in-Marsh (approximately 2 miles away), which has regular, direct services to London Paddington, with a typical journey time of approximately 90 minutes. Taxis are available for the ride to the cottage from:
- AAA Station Taxis of Moreton-in-Marsh: 07732 382153
- North Cotswold Taxis and Tours: 07832 915871
- Moreton-in-Marsh Taxi4u: 07565 521833
Guests have the use of two designated parking spaces at the cottage complex, identified by the name ‘Stepping Stones’.