Hillside Cottage is a beautiful, 17th-century retreat in a private and tranquil location, overlooking glorious Cotswold countryside. Sleeping up to 4 guests across 3 bedrooms (1 standard double, 1 small double, 1 single) with 2.5 bathrooms: 1 ensuite (with bath/over-bath power shower), 1 family bathroom (with power shower), and 1 downstairs W.C. (with toilet and sink). The cottage has a big, open fireplace, a delightful, private garden, is dog-friendly and is in walking distance of a great pub.
(*Dogs: Up to 2 well-behaved dogs are welcome at the cottage at an additional cost of £30 per dog. Please let us know if you will be bringing a dog(s) and we will then revise your booking confirmation.)
Hillside Cottage is a cosy, 17th-century retreat in a private and tranquil location, with an elevated position overlooking glorious Cotswold countryside. The cottage is nestled in the picture-perfect village of Swerford, with a delightful and private country garden, offering an ideal Cotswold escape for up to 4 guests across 3 bedrooms; perfect for anyone, especially walkers, wanting to explore the area.
With a population of less than 200 people, the Cotswold village of Swerford, home to Hillside Cottage, is the place to go if you want to get away from it all. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by the cottage’s honey-coloured stone exterior, perfectly framed by the climbing wall plants and secluded garden. The interior boasts some beautiful period features and beamed ceilings, as well as a host of unique antique treasures.
Once inside, you will experience the cottage’s seamless fusion of contemporary design with a quintessentially English country feel. The walls display pops of colour and a fascinating art collection, intermixed with all the features and comforts required to ensure your stay is as perfect as possible. As its name suggests, Hillside Cottage enjoys an elevated position over the rest of the village. Look out the window, and you’ll be met with the sight of nothing but rolling green fields and the odd charming rooftop.
This three-bedroom cottage sleeps four guests comfortably, making it the perfect property for a family holiday or country break with friends. Literature lovers will adore the sitting room at Hillside cottage with its extensive collection of books. Nothing beats curling up in one of the cosy armchairs next to the roaring open fire (logs provided) with a good read in this magical location. If you’re feeling inspired by your surroundings to put pen to paper yourself, you can use the antique writing desk in the entrance hall with its beautiful view into the garden!
Bed linen, towels and tea towels
Logs for fire provided-the first basket is free
Outdoor dining area
2 bathrooms with power showers
Miele washing machine
Pub within walking distance
Private parking for 2 cars
The nearest local amenities can be found in Chipping Norton, just a 10-minute drive from Hillside Cottage. The Co-Operative Food in Chipping Norton is well-stocked to serve all of your grocery needs, with an additional Aldi on the edge of the town. If you fancy taking the hassle out of your stay completely, we recommend planning ahead with a grocery delivery; Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons all deliver to Hillside Cottage.
If you require medical attention, the closest medical facility is Chipping Norton Health Centre, Russell Way, Chipping Norton OX7 5FA. Call 01608 642742.
If you need veterinary assistance, please go to Banbury and Chipping Norton Veterinary Hospital, Banbury Rd, Chipping Norton OX7 5SY or call them on 01608 642547.
For all other information including attractions, pubs and walks, see the Guide Book (below).
Stepping through the cottage’s traditional porch is the entrance hall, you will find this a bright and vibrant space thanks to its eye-catching yellow walls, white-washed beamed ceiling and light-filled windows. If you’re feeling inspired by your surroundings to put pen to paper yourself, you can use the antique writing desk in the entrance hall with its beautiful view into the garden, and the perfect spot to unwind with a peaceful morning cuppa.
Straight through to...
The Living Room
Heading through the entrance hall you’ll enter the cottage’s main living space, with its striking egg-yolk yellow walls, which provide a lively juxtaposition to the rich heritage of this 17th-Century cottage. Sink into the comfy blue sofa and big armchairs while you enjoy the huge floor-to-ceiling library of books, the eclectic paintings, and the big stone fireplace - the centrepiece of the room (logs provided). With a front-facing window overlooking the garden, this snug hideaway offers the perfect space to relax, no matter what the weather. Literature lovers will adore the sitting room at Hillside cottage.
The Kitchen/Dining Area
Hillside Cottage has a charmingly traditional kitchen and dining space. The vibrant pillar-box red kitchen walls make for the perfect backdrop against some of the quirky takes on traditional country kitchen utilities. A deep Belfast-style sink, curtained cupboard space and country antique furniture add to the kitchen's rural feel, whilst a new electric AGA, large Smeg fridge/freezer, dishwasher, microwave and washing machine ensure you have all the mod-cons you need for a comfortable stay. The dining area has an antique oak dining table seating up to 6, the ideal spot for leisurely meals where you can discuss plans for the day. The kitchen is a fantastic communal space and very well-equipped if you’re looking to cook whilst you’re away. Sit around the antique wooden dining table and absorb the Cotswold views and morning sunlight through the large bay window.
Tucked around the corner from the entrance hall is a downstairs cloakroom with toilet and washbasin - a great addition to a cottage of this size.
Head up the winding staircase from the cottage’s entrance hall to find the three bedrooms of the house, sleeping up to 4 adults comfortably in softly furnished, pastel-hued bedrooms.
The en-suite master double room sits at the top of a spacious landing and has an attractive white-panelled ceiling and postcard-worthy view, framed by pretty floral curtains and pelmet. The en-suite bathroom features a bathtub, with over-bath power shower, WC, and wash basin.
Next door to Bedroom 1 is the cottage’s second bedroom, perfect for younger guests or adults travelling solo. Quaint and charming in equal measure, with a single bed, calming pale blue-green walls, a writing desk and clever hidden storage for clothes.
The final bedroom of the house is found at the end of the landing, housing a cosy double bed; great for couples, or single guests. Decorated with cornflower blue hues and an impressive collection of paintings. The window overlooks the gardens below.
A small family bathroom can be found next to Bedroom 3, making good use of a small space with a single power shower, toilet and basin.
Vibrant flora and lavender frame the cottage’s frontage, while across the driveway sits your very own private garden space, entered through a honeysuckle-covered pergola in classic Secret Garden style. The garden has a swing, picnic table and benches - the perfect spot for a summer-evening supper. Guests staying during the autumn may pick their own fruit from the garden’s apple and plum trees.
About the village
The quiet and quaint Oxfordshire village of Swerford sits on the River Swere, four miles north-east of Chipping Norton. The hustle and bustle of the more popular Cotswold towns and villages has by-passed Swerford, perhaps why it is so well-preserved and picture-perfect. The village was first recorded in the Doomsday Book (1086) when Robert D’Oyley (a Norman who accompanied King William during his invasion of England) became the local landowner. The remains of a 12th century motte and bailey castle is open for visits, as well as the 13th century St Mary’s Church - partly built from stones taken from the castle. Often referred to as a ‘village in two parts’, Swerford’s Church End and East End are separated by a mile of countryside known as ‘Between Towns’. Hillside Cottage is in East End.
Walkers will enjoy the easily accessible network of local footpaths, including one direct from Hillside Cottage to The Boxing Hare, and a 2.5-mile walk to the pretty village of Hook Norton. Hooky, as it’s affectionately called by locals, is well known to beer enthusiasts for its Victorian Tower brewery and delicious brews. Daily tours of the Hook Norton Brewery provide a chance to sample Hooky, Haymaker and Cotswold Pale beers - visitors may also like to eat breakfast, lunch or light meals at the Malthouse Kitchen Café and visit the free museum.
Country lovers who prefer to visit the busier Cotswold towns, but stay in a quieter setting, will enjoy Hillside Cottage and Swerford’s rural charm.
Sightseeing & Activities
Swerford is less than 10 miles from several towns and villages, including Banbury (8.5 miles), Chipping Norton (5.3 miles) and Hook Norton (1.8 miles). The centre of Oxford is a 45-minute drive away (a handy Park & Ride is a 42-minute drive away), while several other well-known Cotswold towns and villages are within 20 miles, including Bourton-on-the-Water (17 miles), Stow-on-the-Wold (13 miles) and Moreton-in-Marsh (12.5 miles). Hillside Cottage is also conveniently located for visits to Bicester Village (18 miles), the designer outlet shopping centre, and Soho Farmhouse (4.5 miles), a popular wedding venue.
Little and Big Kids
Home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough and family, and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is a spectacular masterpiece of architecture sure to wow visitors of all ages. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, there’s plenty to see and do here: explore the Palace and its priceless collections; amble through the stunning park and gardens; get stuck in at the Family Forest School or check out the Palace’s busy schedule of events and attractions, running throughout the year.
(in Chipping Norton)
A fantastic heated outdoor pool, open from April to September each year, with lifeguards on duty and a snack bar offering tasty treats after a refreshing dip. Perfect for when those hot, sunny Cotswold days come knocking. With its heated 25m pool, The Lido is an oasis in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. Whether you’re a serious swimmer clocking up the lengths in our early morning sessions or a family looking for an afternoon’s outdoor fun, The Lido has something for everyone.
A wonderland for little visitors, with six main areas dedicated to learning and play, where you can meet friendly farm animals, explore the wilderness, learn about wildlife habitats and go on your very own mini adventures.
Home of the world-famous Whichford Pottery, where beautiful flowerpots have been hand-crafted here in the Cotswolds for over 40 years, you can meet the makers in the bustling workshop and take inspiration from their stunning garden, before choosing your own memento to take home.
Chastleton House and Gardens
An ancient country house with beautiful surrounding gardens, acting as a time-capsule of family life spanning an impressive 400 years. Built between 1607 and 1612, this rare gem of a Jacobean country house was owned by the same family until 1991, when it had largely remained unchanged. It now offers a fascinating insight into years gone by.
Time To Relax…
Bamford Haybarn Spa, Daylesford
A beautiful wellness retreat at the acclaimed Daylesford Farm Shop, offering a range of pampering massage, facial and stress reduction treatments with an emphasis on the use of a holistic approach to wellbeing. Pick up some luxurious Bamford Bath & Body products whilst you’re there, all made in England using natural, responsibly sourced, organic ingredients.
Cowshed Spa, Soho Farmhouse
A members and guests-only paradise at the famed Soho Farmhouse. Relax with a pampering massage, manicure or pedicure, unwind in the steam room, sauna and hot tubs or take a refreshing dip in the indoor pool; with all treatments undertaken with the famed Cowshed Spa toiletry range.
The Spa at Barnsley House
For the ultimate in luxury, look no further than Barnsley House – an iconic hotel tucked away in the picturesque Cotswold village of Barnsley – where a dedicated spa hidden in the gardens offers all visitors a truly memorable day of R&R. The glass-walled spa really is the ultimate in luxury retreats, boasting an outdoor heated hydrotherapy pool, herbaceous sauna and indoor/outdoor lounge relaxation areas.
Kiftsgate Court Gardens
Located on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment, this family-run garden has been carefully cultivated by three generations. Featuring a beautiful revolving plan of blooms, which burst in to life throughout the year, visitors can discover the garden’s wild garden, orchard, mound and avenue, plus a fantastic water garden and elegant fountain.
The 56-acre arboretum at Batsford is situated just a mile west of the historic market town of Moreton-in-Marsh in the heart of the Cotswolds. A former home to the famous Mitford family, interest in the arboretum begins in late winter when the snowdrops, aconites and early flowering daffodils spring into life, followed by magnolias, hellebores, fritillaries and the beautiful Japanese ornamental cherries – stars of the show from late March until mid-April. The handkerchief tree is another show-stopper in May, as are the beautiful wildflower meadows which bloom in high summer.
Hidcote Manor Garden
One of the finest Arts and Crafts gardens in the country, Hidcote was created by American horticulturist Major Lawrence Johnston circa 1905. Divided into a series of garden ‘rooms’, each garden boasts its own character, intertwined with narrow pathways, beautiful views and plants bursting to life at every turn. A must-visit for the green fingered.
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to walking opportunities in and around Swerford, its prime hillside position in the heart of the Cotswolds means that there are miles of beautiful surrounding landscapes to explore. You can find links to walk in nearby Chipping Norton, Chipping Campden, Moreton-in-Marsh and Banbury here.
Cotswolds AONB :www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk/visiting-and-exploring/walking
Chipping Norton Theatre
The theatre produces a wide variety of plays and screens films for all ages.
Cornbury Music Festival (July)
A one-of-a-kind music festival in the heart of beautiful Cotswold countryside, taking place each July with a stellar line-up of live music, food and entertainment for all ages to enjoy. Day tickets are available for those who’d prefer to stay in comfort in their wonderful Bolthole Retreats cottage.
The Big Feastival (August)
Genius brainchild of ex-Blur bassist Alex James, The Big Feastival takes place each August Bank Holiday on James’ home farm just outside of the beautiful village of Kingham. Expect incredible food from world-renowned chefs, expert demos, a stellar music line-up and plenty of entertainment. Family-friendly, it’s a great choice for those looking for a memorable day out, with day-tickets available over the course of the weekend.
Bicester Village is home to more than 160 boutiques of British and international luxury fashion and lifestyle brands, offering savings of up to 60% on the recommended retail price, all year round.
Individual luxury boutiques, alongside restaurants and cafés offering fine cuisine and coffees all day long, cluster around open-air promenades, providing the perfect setting for a day-out shopping experience. A suite of services, including complimentary valet parking and style consultancies, are available on request.
An hour from London in the heart of Oxfordshire, Bicester Village is easy to reach. By car, leave the M40 at Junction 9 and follow the signs; by train from London Marylebone alight at Bicester Village station. The Village’s own Shopping Express direct coach, operating between central pick-up points in London and the Village, every day of the week, is a swift, direct and comfortable service.
For Big Kids…
The Wychwood Golf Club
Set in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside and just outside the historic town of Chipping Norton, is the exceptional Wychwood Golf Club. Offering spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and Wychwood woodlands. The Wychwood boasts one of the region’s outstanding venues for golf, weddings, business meetings and casual dining. Non-members are very welcome to use the driving range and dining facilities.
Hook Norton Brewery
A family-run brewery with a rich handcrafted brewing heritage and one of the finest examples of a Victorian Tower Brewery in the country to boot. Stop by for a brewery tour and experience the sights and sounds of a bustling working brewery in action, learning all about the brewing process (and sampling its tasty results) as you go. Then, pick up your favourite Hooky brews in the Brewery Shop, before heading to the Malthouse Kitchen for a well-earned bite to eat.
The Cotswolds Distillery
The Cotswolds Distillery is the first-ever full-scale craft distillery within the Cotswolds’ Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). They produce a range of “Outstanding Natural Spirits”, including the first-ever Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky, featuring Cotswolds-grown barley. They also produce the award-winning Cotswolds Dry Gin, featuring local lavender from Snowshill, along with a range of small-batch brandies and liqueurs. Located in the un spoilt North Cotswold village of Shipston-on-Stour, with tours and tastings every day of the week (advance booking required).
The Food Scene
The Boxing Hare
Banbury Road, Swerford OX7 4AP|01608 683212
Less than half a mile from the cottage is The Boxing Hare, an excellent fine-dining pub that can easily be reached on foot. Run by successful London restauranteur Antony Griffith Harris, The Boxing Hare is a chic find in this hidden corner of the Cotswolds. There’s an à la carte menu, alongside a host of local ales, tasty wines and classic bar snacks, should you only fancy a small bite to eat.
Bakeries & Snacks
The Tea Set
24 High Street, Chipping Norton OX7 5AD | 01608 642233
A beautiful tea room offering indulgent treats, freshly-baked cakes, elegant sandwiches and a selection of tempting lunch and dinner dishes, all in beautiful, quaint surroundings.
The Old Mill Coffee House & Bistro
7 West Street, Chipping Norton OX7 5LH | 01608 646005
A reasonably priced, family friendly café on bustling West Street, offering delicious breakfasts, lunches and homemade sweet treats.
Daylesford Organic Farm
Near Kingham, Gloucestershire GL56 0YG | 01608 731700
A must-visit for anyone in the area, the luxurious Daylesford Organic Farm shop and restaurant is anything but rustic… this is luxury Cotswold living at its very best. The café offers fantastic all-day dining from breakfast right through until early supper, with an excellent deli should you want to pick up a few treats whilst you’re there to take back to your holiday cottage.
Lunch & Dinner
Wild Thyme Restaurant and Rooms
10 New Street, Chipping Norton OX7 5LJ | 01608 645060
A Michelin guide-recommended gem run by husband and wife team Nick and Sally, serving up fresh, seasonal produce with a focus on local and relaxed, friendly service.
Whistlers Café Bar & Restaurant
9 Middle Row, Chipping Norton OX7 5NH | 01608 643363
A family-run restaurant with a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere, serving up classic British-inspired dishes with a refined twist.
The Tite Inn
Mill End, Chadlington OX7 3NY | 01608 676 910
A picture-perfect Cotswold stone village pub, offering bags of character, tasty tipples and good-quality home-cooked meals. Expect classic pub grub with reasonable prices to match.
The Fox at Oddington
Lower Oddington GL56 0UR| 01451 870555
A classic Cotswold inn serving up delicious seasonal British food, excellent wines and tasty local beers; perfect for those in search of casual dining with a quintessential Cotswolds feel.
The Wild Rabbit
Church Street, Kingham OX7 6YA | 01608 658389
This award-winning eatery boasts an enviable reputation across the Cotswolds, serving up refined, Michelin Guide-recommend grub in the beautiful setting of the beautiful village of Kingham. Food here is seasonal and locally-sourced wherever possible, giving you a great ‘taste of the Cotswolds’ experience, and although not the cheapest it’s certainly the perfect destination for a memorable feast.
Church Rd, Churchill OX7 6NJ| 01608 659393
A traditional-looking country pub in the heart of the village of Churchill with an impressively stylish vibe inside, boasting tasty locally-brewed beers, a healthy selection of cocktails and great food to match. Anything but old-fashioned, here you’ll feel just as welcome nipping in for a pint as you would sitting down to a hearty feast of British classics with surprising, modern twists.
King’s Head Inn
The Green, Bledington OX7 6XQ| 01608 658365
Winner of Pub of the Year in the 2018 Good Pub Guide Awards, The King’s Head Inn is a traditional Cotswold country inn with a pretty location in the heart of Bledington’s village green. Food here is of excellent quality, locally-sourced and seasonally changing, with provenance at the heart of each of the ingredients used. Expect excellent, restaurant-quality dishes in a laid-back pub setting.
Takeaways & Late Dining
Hookie Food Vans
The village of Hook Norton (about 3 miles from Hillside Cottage) welcomes a selection of fantastic food vans into the village on different days throughout the week, well worth a try should you be in the area. On Wednesdays, JP’s Mobile Pizzeria makes an appearance from 5pm onwards at the primary school, whilst Thursdays see the Thai To Go food van visit between 5pm-8pm outside the church. On Fridays, the Country Fish and Chip Shop parks on Bell Lane opposite the Village Shop, serving up tasty chippy dinners between 5pm and 8pm – locals highly recommend!
Hitchman’s Restaurant, Pizzeria and Bar
2 West Street, Chipping Norton OX7 5AA | 01608 646495
Freshly-made Neapolitan pizzas available to eat-in or take away, offering an elegant twist on the usual takeaway pizza options.
Spice of India
6 West Street, Chipping Norton OX7 5AA| 01608 642785
A traditional restaurant and takeaway serving a host of contemporary Indian and Bangladeshi dishes.
The Arctic Fish Bar
8 New Street, Chipping Norton OX7 5LJ| 01608 641577
A great, reasonably-priced chippy with all the classics you’d expect on offer, affectionately known by locals as “the best chippy in Chippy.”
In addition to the above, here’s a selection of pubs (most serve food too) in Chipping Norton and Hook Norton:
The Blue Boar
1 Goddards Lane, Chipping Norton OX7 5NP | 02034 370 891
A traditional Cotswold pub dating back to 1641 that’s popular with locals, serving a wide selection of lagers, real ales, wine and spirits, plus regular live music.
Goddards Lane, Chipping Norton OX7 5NP| 01608 644717
A classic pub serving up real ales, lagers, wines and a good selection of spirits, plus a traditional pub grub menu should you fancy a bite to eat.
The Sun Inn
High St, Hook Norton, OX15 5NH | 01608 737570 (10-minute drive from Chipping Norton)
A laid-back inn with stylish interiors and a friendly pub atmosphere, serving up a selection of Hook Norton ales and continental beers.
The Pear Tree Inn
Scotland End, Hook Norton, OX15 5NU| 01608 737482(10-minute drive from Chipping Norton)
Handily located at the entrance to Brewery Lane (leading up to Hook Norton Brewery), The Pear Tree Inn offers tasty tipples courtesy of the Brewery itself, as well as tasty pub grub.
As you can see there's plenty to see and do in and around Hillside Cottage!
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