From what to expect on your first Cotswold motorhome trip, to the top things to do in Moreton in Marsh, find out all about my latest adventure in England.
I’ve just returned from a trip with a difference! On Friday morning we picked up a shiny Adria Twin Supreme motorhome and headed off for the weekend.
With a slightly damp forecast we decided to steer clear of the coast, and instead head inland for a cosy Cotswold motorhome adventure! It’s one of our favourite parts of England, and is only a two hour drive from London.
With our comfy van and a plethora of charming tearooms and cosy pubs to choose from, we knew that we’d have a lovely time, whatever the January weather tried to throw at us!
With #vanlife becoming such a huge craze, I was excited for a little taster of life on the road. I’ll admit I’m not much of a camper. If I’m going on holiday, I definitely opt for a little more comfort, but this isn’t camping. This kind of trip offers all of the good bits – a liberating style of travel, achieved in a luxurious way.
So, time to tell you about a few of our favourite things to do in Moreton on Marsh and the surrounding area, as well as what I thought of our first Cotswold motorhome adventure!
Top things to do in Moreton in Marsh
If you’re staying at the Caravan and Motorhome Club site in Moreton in Marsh, or one of the nearby hotels or holiday cottages, then all of these will be a short walk away.
Enjoy a few drinks or dinner at one Moreton-in-Marsh’s pubs
The Cotswolds is renowned for its cosy country pubs. There are hundreds in the region, including six right in the heart of Moreton in Marsh. They’re all located along the high street so you could plan your very own pub crawl. From the Resdale Arms to The Bell Inn, there’s a mix of options, including proper English boozers, sports pubs and gastropubs.
We had dinner in the restaurant of the White Hart Royal, and were very impressed by the standard of the food.
After unwinding with a glass of Malbec, I tucked into a tasty duck dish with potato dauphinoise and a flavoursome orange tapioca. The tapioca was new to me, but it added a wonderfully sweet and flavoursome element to the dish, and complemented the duck well.
After dinner we finished our drinks in the snug bar, snuggling up by the fire. The bar area is steeped with history, and was a cosy place to relax on a cold winter’s night.
Shop for gourmet goodies from The Cotswolds
One of my top recommendations for things to do in Moreton in Marsh is to explore the shops on the high street. There’s an eclectic mix of independent stores, including Cotswold Grey (lovely homewares and furniture), Moreton Beer Cellar (selling all sorts of interesting bottles of beer), The Toy Shop, plus a few clothing and antique shops too.
If you’re a cheese lover then you have to visit The Cotswold Cheese Company. The shop is a treasure trove, stocking anywhere up to 120 different artisan and farmhouse cheeses, with a focus on those made in and around the Cotswolds. We couldn’t resist but buy something special to take back to our motorhome for a pre-dinner treat.
Indulge with a traditional English cream tea
Another of the top things to do in Moreton-in-Marsh is to go for a traditional cream tea. The locals in the stores along the High Street said the place to go was the Cotswold Tearoom, and we were not disappointed!
The cute tearoom offers both a sweet and savoury cream tea, and while the classic one looked great, we heard a couple complementing the manager on how incredible the savoury one was, in particular the cheesy scone! We stopped in for coffee and cake, but next time, I’ll definitely try the savoury cream tea.
Explore a not-so-secret secret garden
Moments from the caravan club in Moreton in Marsh is Batsford Arboretum – a spectacular garden, where you’ll find the country’s largest private collection of trees and shrubs.
You don’t need to be a plant enthusiast to appreciate the beauty here. It’s a peaceful spot to enjoy a walk, admiring the different areas, and taking in views of impressive Cotswold mansion, Batsford House.
When we visited in late January, there was a sea of snowdrops around the stream, and some beautiful red and orange trees. Lots of people were visiting with families and dogs, then warming up with a cuppa and a cake in the garden centre café.
Before leaving we stocked up on some jams and chutneys in the garden centre shop. We knew they’d be perfect with the cheese we’d bought the day before in Moreton in Marsh!
It’s worth noting that the Cotswold Falconry Centre is also located here, so you could easily book tour after exploring the gardens, and enjoy both attractions on a day trip.
Head off on a country walk from Moreton in Marsh
There are lots of beautiful walks through the countryside surrounding Moreton in Marsh. You could walk to Sezincote House, an incredible Indian palace set in pretty gardens, or Bourton House Garden, a famous three-acre garden surrounding an 18th century manor house.
The village of Bourton on the Hill isn’t far either, where you’ll find a pretty main street with a pub at the top of the hill. Or you could amble along to see the Four Shire Stone, which stands on the boundary of four different counties of England.
Other places to visit on your Cotswold motorhome adventure
Moreton in Marsh is a great base for a few days in The Cotswolds. If you haven’t explored the area before, here are a few other places close by that I’d recommend.
I stayed in a hotel in Broadway on my last visit to The Cotswolds and absolutely fell in love with the village. It’s the sort of place you’d see on a postcard of England.
There are a few cute pubs, upmarket shops and a posh hotel, all constructed from the yellowish Cotswold stone. I’d recommend popping into Broadway Deli, stopping off at The Lygon Arms for lunch or a drink, and walking the length of the high street.
This iconic tower stands on a hill between Moreton in Marsh and the village of Broadway.
The idea for Broadway Tower came from Capability Brown, and was then built in 1798 by architect James Wyatt. It’s a stunning three-sided landmark, with three turrets and several balconies. You can buy a ticket to go inside, and climb up the tower to the top. On a clear day, you can see for miles, and take in views of 16 counties. Sadly, it was pretty foggy during our trip, but it looked very mysterious with the bleak skies around. Look at how beautiful it is on a clear day though…
Close to the tower is one of the only remaining nuclear bunkers in England, originally built during the Cold War. There’s also a café, shop and a field filled with red deer. It’s also an area popular with walkers and cyclists, with several different routes to follow.
A short drive from Moreton-in-Marsh and you’ll reach the historic market town of Stow-on-the-Wold. It was once THE place for the wool trade, and sheep auctions would happen regularly, hence the large area around the market hall (now used for parking!)
There’s a lot more to see in this town than many of the pretty spots in the Cotswolds. I really enjoyed looking around MASH – a shop filled with lovely nicknacks including jewellery, homewares and gifts. There’s also a lovely old fashioned sweet shop and a fudge shop.
There are plenty of restaurants, cafes and tearooms in Stow too. We stopped by Huffkins for lunch, and enjoyed a generous portion of smashed avocado and poached eggs, as well as a sumptuously cheesy quiche.
We also paid a visit to St Edward’s Church, which is steeped in history. Constructed between the 11th and 15th century, it’s famous for its incredible entrance which looks like something out of Lord of the Rings. The door is flanked by two yew trees and is seriously impressive!
Travel just a little way beyond Stow-on-the-Wold and you’ll reach this quintessential Cotswolds village. Bourton-on-the-Water is one of my favourite spots in the area, and often named as one of England’s prettiest villages.
Despite being pretty small, there is a lot to see, including the Cotswold Motor Museum, Birdland, Bourton’s Model Village and more! The best part though? The fact the village has the pretty River Windrush running through the centre of it. It’s absolutely stunning, with photogenic bridges, weeping willow trees, mirror-like reflections, and ducks bobbing on the top of the water.
What’s it like to travel in a motorhome for the first time?
We hired an Adria Supreme 600 Motorhome for our trip from The Caravan and Motorhome Club. They don’t loan these to customers usually, but if you’re keen to follow in our footsteps, you could check out the Club’s sister brand, Experience Freedom, who have a motorhome and campervan hire service through their partnership with Swift Go.
It was my first time seeing inside a vehicle like this, and I was really surprised by a) how spacious it was, and b) the stylish design inside.
There’s a large double bed at the back of the van, a small cubicle with a toilet and shower, a galley kitchen on one side with a sink and two hobs, then a table with two seats, and two seats at the front for the driver and passenger. These seats can swivel round so you can gather round the table.
There is loads of storage too. We were only going away for the weekend, but this is the kind of vehicle you could pack most of your life into, especially when you see the large boot space (under the bed area).
My fiancé Macca did all the driving, and although there were a few nervy moments at the start as he got used to the width and length of the vehicle, those worries eased quickly. I hopped out to help guide him into parking spaces too.
With everything you could need, from hot water to a flushing toilet, this is a luxurious way to explore a destination, on your own terms.
Staying at The Caravan and Motorhome Club in Moreton-in-Marsh
There are over 150 Caravan and Motorhome Club sites around the England, from the Lake District to Cornwall. There are 12 sites located in The Cotswolds alone, each offering a range of facilities and within easy reach of the key sights of the region.
We chose to stay at Moreton-in-Marsh Caravan and Motorhome Club as we loved the look of the location. It’s just a 10-minute walk into the town, where you’ll find everything you could possibly need, including a supermarket, several pubs, restaurants and cafes, and a beautiful high street too.
Moreton in Marsh Caravan and Motorhome Club site has two large shower and toilet facilities, plus a playground. It’s got a nice open area with grass, as well as a more covered tree-lined section. Staff were really friendly and helpful, explaining how to hook up our motorhome to the electricity and a few other key points that newbies like us wouldn’t know about!
A few tips for your first Cotswold motorhome trip
If this is your first motorhome trip, take it easy. The vehicle takes a little bit of getting used to, but you don’t need to rush!
- We learned that it was important to plan routes in advance and avoid tiny backroads where possible (mainly due to the width of the vehicle). We took the motorway out of London towards Oxford, then stuck to A Roads around The Cotswolds.
- Parking is also a little trickier with a big vehicle like this one. We needed at least a double space when parallel parking, or somewhere we could tuck in easily. I’d recommend looking for large town car parks, supermarket car parks, or places that are used to receiving minibuses or coaches.
- Also bear in mind where you’ll be travelling from and to, so that you can fill up with water, or dispose of any waste.
- Be sure to pack a few home comforts. We took a few battery operated candles to create some cosy lighting inside the van once it got dark.
- More than anything though, relax and enjoy yourself! These trips are all about seeing amazing places and enjoying time with your road trip companions!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my Cotswold motorhome trip. This trip was sponsored by The Caravan and Motorhome Club and we were loaned the Adria van on a complimentary basis for the trip, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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