It’s been the most amazing thing having some time off to round off 2020 and begin 2021. The strangest thing for me was having a few days off where I’m not actually overseas. Anyone who’s been following my blog for a while now will know that I try to maximise my annual leave where I can, and am 99% of the time in a different country whenever I have a day off. Well, not in 2020. What’s more, the UK has had its restrictions increased, making it harder than ever to travel even across the country. This has meant I’ve had to explore a little closer to home. My first stop during my time off was the quaint little village of Lower Slaughter in the Cotswolds.
Snow in Lower Slaughter
I was a little surprised to wake up to a little flurry of snow earlier this week. We don’t always get snow in this part of the world, let alone around Christmas time, so it was quite a nice change. While the snow hadn’t really settled in Cheltenham, there was suddenly a white blanket across the road as soon as you hit the A40. Despite having lived in Canada, I really hate driving in the snow, but I must admit the snow made for the most picturesque journey through the Cotswolds as we drove to Lower Slaughter.
You might be wondering where Lower Slaughter gets its slightly peculiar name. It comes from the Old English term for a wet area, ‘slough’, as you’ll see by the stream that runs through the village. There’s also the neighbouring village of Upper Slaughter, which you can walk to within a matter of minutes. Lower Slaughter is a beautiful little place, and it looked even more amazing in the snow.
The village is known for its little River Eye, which runs off the neighbouring River Windrush that flows through Oxfordshire. Lower Slaughter is one of the prettiest Cotswold villages, and famous for its gorgeous limestone cottages that make up much of the Cotswolds region. I loved this beautiful cottage, which looks like it was taken out of the movie The Holiday.
We made tracks on the fresh powder, taking in the beautiful architecture around us. Spotting a landmark in the village, The Slaughters Manor House is a magnificent building that we wanted to get a closer look at.
The Slaughters Manor House
The Slaughters Manor House is a countryside retreat in the Cotswolds that dates back to the seventeenth century. Inside, it has stunning contemporary interiors, a great restaurant, and a handful of rooms each with their own unique decor. It’s the perfect country escape, along with others in my roundup of the best Cotswolds hotels.
The manor house also boasts five acres of manicured gardens, as well as a croquet lawn that’s perfect for the summer months, and a tennis court. For other entertainment, you’ll find a billiards room and a cocktail bar.
We took a wander around the grounds, and it looked incredible in the snow. So festive and cutely decorated for Christmas. It would make the loveliest stay during next year’s holiday season! After we’d had a wander round, we head back to explore the rest of Lower Slaughter in the snow.
River Eye, Lower Slaughter
Lower Slaughter has the adorable tiny stream (or River Eye) running through it. It makes the village look so picture perfect, just like a chocolate box street. In fact, Copse Hill Road has previously been named the most romantic street in Britain for a poll for Google Street View.
The stream running through Lower Slaughter can be crossed by a few tiny bridges. You’ll also spot a pub, The Slaughters Country Inn. Sadly, it was shut due to the Tier 4 restrictions currently in place in Gloucestershire, but it would have been perfect for a red wine by the fire! I’ll be back for sure. One lovely idea that they serve is a hamper that you can take away for a picnic, with fresh sandwiches, cheese, pastries, and wine. A great idea for the summer months.
Within just a few minutes’ walk, you can reach the star attraction of Lower Slaughter, the Old Mill. Beyond that, within a slightly further walk, you can reach the iconic Cotswold village of Bourton-on-the-Water. Look out for the beautiful cottages along the way, which look particularly lovely with their Christmas wreaths.
The Old Mill
Lower Slaughter’s The Old Mill is recorded in the Doomsday Book of 1086. From the fourteenth century, it began to become known as Slaughter Mill, and it was last used for business in 1958.
Today, you will see the converted mill with its original water wheel. It’s such a pretty sight, particularly in the snow. There’s also a shop that sells crafts, and there’s a tea shop for grabbing a warm drink to break up your stroll through the village.
One observation was the height of the water levels! I really hope they don’t creep up any higher for danger of flooding the beautiful nearby cottages. Otherwise, it’s such an idyllic place to live!
We walked back towards the car, passing just one more pretty attraction along the way – St Mary’s Church. Composed of Cotswold stone, it was rebuilt back in the nineteenth century but contains an arcade that dates back to the fourteenth century. It’s a pretty little church that again looks amazing when dusted with snow.
That’s my guide to Lower Slaughter! If you enjoyed reading my guide to Lower Slaughter, you might also like my guide to the best Cotswolds villages to visit.
Have you visited Lower Slaughter before? What are your favourite things about this Cotswold village?