This weekend I spent a couple of days holed up in a beautiful Air BnB cottage in Wiltshire catching up with the girls I’ve been friends with since school. It was a weekend of cosy village pubs, crisp country walks and fireside laughs that make your face hurt.
The cottage was in the small village of East Knoyle, the birthplace of Sir Christopher Wren – think thatched cottages and red brick homes surrounded by frosty fields. Our cottage couldn’t have been more perfect. It’s uneven wooden floorboards covered by Moroccan rugs, low ceilings and latch doors added to its charm. It was the perfect cosy home-away-from-home that none of us wanted to leave.
A public footpath ran alongside the cottage, taking us on a beautiful walk across fields home to friendly ponies, through woodland with a floor of crisp autumn leaves, past a disused windmill and brought us out to an amazing view point of the Somerset Levels just as the sun was setting. We stood and admired to serenity of the area before heading back along copper leaf-lined road back to our cottage to get ready for another pub dinner in a neighbouring town.
We rounded the weekend off by crossing into Dorset and heading to Shaftesbury, just a 5 mile drive from the cottage. It’s a quaint town with mix-matched cottages, a range independent and highstreet shops, and home to Gold Hill, or as most people know it, Hovis Hill. Although we didn’t cycle down it (kudos to the kid that did, that hill is steep!) we did walk down it. We admired the higgledy piggledy nature of the buildings lining the street and argued over which ones we would live in, despite the total impracticality of lugging your grocery shopping up the hill. The rolling landscape in the distant and patches of low cloud topped off that chocolate box feel.
Tucking into a Sunday roast at The Mitre we reflected on our weekend catching up in the quiet countryside and toyed with ideas for our next get together*. We don’t get to see each other as much as we would like now we’re scattered around the country, but there’s something incredibly special about being able to come together and pick up where we left off last time we were together.
*We’ve just booked tickets to Bilbao and we’re planning a little tour of the Basque country in July. Any tips on places we should visit?