We love to try out different places and explore the local countryside. The Cotswolds is always a lovely rural area to visit and we were certainly not disappointed when, on the 6th August we enjoyed a lovely couple of days stay at The Amberley Inn near Stroud in Gloucestershire.
Built in 1855, this traditional Cotswold inn, serves good, wholesome food and is positioned on the crossroads of the village, overlooking the wonderful Woodchester Valley.
It is as if you have stepped back into history, especially when you hear how the infamous highwayman, Tom Long finally met his death after fraternising with the landlord's daughter and causing her disgrace. Tom Long's post, marking his death can be found on Minchinhampton Common. It is said that his ghost returns to the inn to be near his lost love.
The inn itself, has original oak-panelled rooms, parquet flooring and stone mullioned windows, thus giving it charm and atmosphere.
There are 12, light, airy rooms, each with its individual style and comfy beds with their soft, Egyptian cotton bed linen. Television and tea provisions are available and the bathrooms are spacious with good facilities. From our room you looked out onto the crossroads with views across the valley. It was quite a novelty to see the local cattle grazing on the nearby bank in the early morning. They are free to wander around in the summer months, hence the need for cottages to have cattle grids outside their entrances! Being on a crossroads, there is of course some traffic, but it really didn't bother us.
The Amberley is a dog friendly hotel and has a golf course on the 'door step' for those keen on this recreational sport. Accommodation is also available in the adjacent Garden House reached through the hotel garden.
We had the two night mid-week break including dinner on one night, which was an extremely good deal. There is a wide breakfast choice ranging from continental to full English. The only disappointment was the 'mushroom omelette' where the mushrooms were mixed together with the eggs and turned out rather burnt looking! Fortunately, I chose the haddock and poached eggs which was delicious. The evening meal was very good, with a wide choice (and a bottle of very nice red wine was included as part of the deal). Local suppliers are used to purchase the fresh quality food including that from nearby Gatcombe Park Estate which supplies beef and lamb to the local butcher, Taylors of Minchinhampton.
The staff are very friendly and helpful, and interestingly, one young lady, had attended the village school.
Another bonus is the location of the inn, providing links to some great National Trust properties, Highgrove House, Cheltenham races Slimbridge Wetlands Centre, Berkeley Castle, Gloucester Cathedral (used in the Harry Potter filming), Cirencester as well as many other places of interest.
For anyone interested in the paranormal, the Ram's Inn at Wotton- under- Edge is believed to be one of the most haunted buildings in the country. It is 800 years old and stands on an old pagan burial ground. (We went passed it a couple of times, and never realized it was infamous until I got back home, or, would have paid a visit!
In all, a great couple of days, and we definitely hope to go back.