Last month in Prior’s Hardwick was a dream…some of the best memories we’ve made together as a family that I’ll never forget. It was definitely a different experience traveling during a pandemic…so much of our trip was planned with safety in mind so we didn’t do as much sightseeing as we typically would and intentionally chose to go somewhere more remote.
We stayed in the English countryside in a quaint stone cottage that was built in 1289—redone in 1987. It’s truly one of the coziest places I’ve ever visited. Everything, from the streets to the buildings to the landscape, has so much history. It’s hard to describe. We quarantined our first 14 days there, but in hindsight, Prior’s was the perfect place for that undisrupted time. Located in south-east Warwickshire, the village is small with picturesque meadows and narrow winding roads. We found this out the HARD way and got a flat tire less than a mile away from the cottage where we would be staying – ha! Not the ideal way to start off the trip, but DEFINITELY a memory :).
One of my favorite aspects of this place is the architecture…each building has it’s own unique design and charm. No two are alike.
If you are looking for a place to unwind, recharge, and get inspired, THIS is the place! If you’re able to make a longer stay out of your trip, I highly recommend it. Part of the magic of Prior’s Hardwick is it’s slow pace—untouched by the busyness of the everyday.
We took Navy to Cotswold Wildlife Park & Garden…a CRAZY beautiful zoo with florals, exotic animals and the most amazing architecture. Definitely worth the visit—so much to see and do!
Another charming historic village—we loved walking up and down the streets looking at all of the leaves changing. Main Street is filled with little shops and restaurants, although guidelines and store hours are changing daily. It’s a sleepy town, and if you’re able to make a trip during the autumn months, it’s magic. Everything looks like a watercolor painting.
Our first few days out of quarantine, we visited the Napton Village Market and got to explore…it looks like it’s been preserved through time. There were fresh veggies, bakery goods and lots of goodies from local farms!!!
The most AMAZING views!!! The tower is actually family-owned, surrounded by a 50+-acre estate of parkland. You need a ticket to get in, but it’s worth it! We packed a picnic and ate lunch on the hillside at the base of the tower and afterwards, Navy was able to run around and explore the grounds.
Warwick Castle is actually a medieval castle that was developed from a wooden fort—built by William the Conqueror in 1068. It was rebuilt with stone in the 12th century. It’s hard to describe the feeling being able to experience something that old, or with so much history. It’s. humbling and inspiring…so much to take in!
We heard Stratford-upon-Avon was more of tourist spot, but it was something we wanted to see and it actually turned out to be a really cool experience! It’s Shakespeare’s birthplace and you can take a tour of the house! It’s surprisingly kid friendly too for any mommas out there! Definitely recommend going if you have the chance—it’s a surreal experience to be in a place with so much history and the whole town has a really vibrant feel.
This was right to next to Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon…I have a MAJOR sweet tooth so I couldn’t help myself from going in. The shop is quaint—over 100 years old and family run.
This was actually in Stratford right outside Priors Hardwick . We stopped here after touring Shakespeare’s Place, and it was the perfect spot because we were able to sit outside and grab a quick bite before heading back to our airbnb. Inside is actually really spacious with quick service! So if you’re day is crunched for time and you’re looking to quickly get in and out, I highly recommend!
We did a lot of eating in during our trip because of the 14-day quarantine. Even after the 14 days were up, we were still careful about going to restaurants. But I did learn how to cook with the AGA (and how to pronounce it correctly – ha!). A lot of you guys shared that this is common throughout the UK. You either use it in your own home or have memories of a parent or grandparent…it took Mad and I a while to get used to it, but by the end of our trip, we finally got the hang of it!
Perfect if you’re looking for a great spot with an outdoor-dining option! Fox & Hounds was an old 19th-century inn refurbished as a restaurant—a cozy, relaxed vibe. I loved it because we were able to get a break from cooking, have amazing food, and still take Navy. If you’re a parent you understand :). I highly suggest the wild mushroom risotto!
On my list for places to go next time we come back to Priors Hardwick! Built in the 14th century, The Butcher’s Arm has a new menu that rotates daily influenced by seasons…with cottage gardens in the summer and huge fireplaces in the winter. Planning a trip back once baby No. 2 is born…I’ve heard their wine collection is amazing!
We found this dreamy stone cottage on airbnb…as promised, I’m sharing the link with you guys! Built in 1289 and then redone in 1987, it truly was one of the coziest most beautiful places I’ve ever stayed. We spent a lot of time exploring the grounds during quarantine—Navy loved that there were sheep on the property and said hi every morning!
If you’re looking for more of a luxury getaway, this is your spot! They have an incredible spa, and everything is designed in a classically romantic style so you feel removed from the everyday…the perfect place to relax and recharge. Planning on booking a visit to the spa next time we’re back!
We looked at staying here when we were first planning our trip, but because of the 14-day quarantine (and our on-the-move toddler), airbnb was a better fit. Built in the 17th century, the inn is connected to a renowned pub, giving it a communal, warm feeling.