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. 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.
Things to Do
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.
Stepping Stones cottage offers guests their own private parking space during their stay, making it ideal for those travelling by car. Although the village itself does have a selection of amenities and sits on several bus routes, we'd highly recommend driving to give you easy access to all that the Cotswolds has to offer. For those who choose not to, the nearest rail station can be found in Moreton-in-Marsh, which offers good direct rail links to major cities including London Paddington. From here, you'll just need to jump in a taxi to make the short 8-minute car journey to Blockley.
Parking on premises (one car)
Dog-friendly (one well-behaved dog)
Outdoor Dining Area
Amenities within walking distance
Thanks to its handy village location, Stepping Stones cottage does have the benefit of amenities on the doorstep. In walking distance is Blockley Village Shop & Café where you can pick up a host of store cupboard essentials for your stay, alongside a Post Office should you want to send any postcards home. The nearest supermarkets can be found in Moreton-in-Marsh, just a short 8-minute drive from the cottage, where Warner's Budgens, Co-Operative Food, Aldi and Tesco Express give you plenty of choice to stock up during your stay. For a completely hassle-free stay, we recommend ordering your groceries online to be ready and waiting for you on arrival; Ocado, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Morrisons all deliver to Stepping Stones.
Cotswolds Walks- https://www.cotswolds.com/things-to-do/activities/walking-in-the-cotswolds
Moreton-in-Marsh Walking- www.cotswolds.com/dbimgs/Moreton-in-Marsh_Weekend_Walks.pdf
The Great Western Arms – Station Rd, Blockley GL56 9DT | 01386 700362
The Crown 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
The Village Shop & Café- Bell Ln, Blockley GL56 9BB
Warner's Budgens- High Street, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 0AF
Aldi- 10 Stow Rd, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 0DS
The Co-Operative Food- High St, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 0AH
Tesco Express- 13 Manchester Court, High St, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 0BY
Ocado, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Morrisons home delivery available.
AAA Station Taxis of Moreton-in-Marsh-
North Cotswold Taxis and Tours- 07832 915871
Moreton-in-Marsh Taxi4u- 07565 521833