Nestled along the lake’s edge, The Landings is a picturesque, gated community of New England style holiday cottages in Cirencester. Each one offers privacy and uninterrupted views of the gorgeous 114-acre lake, and there are even 2 tennis courts available to use. We couldn’t miss an opportunity to visit this place. We stayed at 10 The Landings, and it was just incredible!
With 4 large bedrooms able to accommodate 10 guests, 3 bathrooms, and an open-plan kitchen / dining / living space, 10 The Landings would make an ideal retreat for a group of friends, or a family. The space was almost wasted on the two of us, but it was lovely to spread out.
We arrived late afternoon on Thursday, and Oscar and Henry made themselves at home as soon as they stepped through the door. The ground floor was so bright and airy, with a hallway that led straight to the open-plan living space and instantly we were drawn in to the incredible views of the lake. Windows ran along the entire back wall of the living area, including sliding doors leading to the private terrace and jetty.
Upstairs also didn’t disappoint. Each bedroom welcomed in a lot of light, so – of course – we went for the master with the biggest windows! We also found kayaks by the side of the house, with life jackets and oars, which was a pleasant surprise, a BBQ on the patio, and tons of board games in the living space. The garden out front wasn’t blocked off, but as it’s a gated community, there was very little traffic and the Boys wouldn’t get far if they decided to run off, so I wasn’t concerned about letting them out the front to do their business.
I was pleased to find a coffee maker in the kitchen, and even happier that it didn’t take me too long to figure out how to use it – after the long drive, caffeine was definitely needed! We took in a quick food shop delivery we’d booked before our arrival (such a time saver), and were keen to start exploring the outside world. We went for a walk from the house, with Henry taking a particular interest in the swans and ducks on the water, and – no surprise – Oscar found a big stick he insisted on walking around with the rest of the way. We found ourselves on the old railway line. You can download a map of walks around the Cotswold Water Park area here.
We were surprised by how easy the journey was. We travelled for half an hour to the Wightlink ferry terminal at Fishbourne and got the 40 minute journey over to Portsmouth. From there, it was only a two hour drive to Cirencester. However, driving is tiring in itself, let alone with two pugs that – whilst adorable in everything they do – are not quite as adorable when they are barking in excitement the entire way. Feeling a little drained, we opted for spending a quiet first night in. We cooked a delicious steak and chips from our food shop (while admiring the view over the lake at the same time), and snuggled up with the pugs on the sofa to watch some Netflix – the cottage has its own account, so no need to try and remember passwords.
Top tip: If, like ours, your AirBNB doesn’t allow pets on the soft furnishings, bring a couple of blankets with you and lay them on the furniture. No dog hair on the furnishings, and you still get all the snuggles – it works a treat!
Friday proved to be a beautifully sunny day, and watching the sun rise above the lake as we enjoyed breakfast pastries was the perfect start to the busy day we had planned. Oscar and Henry wolfed down their own yummy breakfast by Pets Love Fresh and we were off to our first stop – the main town of Cirencester. Labelled as a market town, it wasn’t that difficult to find one once we arrived. We stumbled across a market with lots of food stalls, so naturally the Boys pulled us along to investigate the delicious smells. They bypassed the bread, cakes, and green grocers, until we found a dog stall, where we bought the Boys some delicious treats to occupy them on the drive home later on.
With pockets full of treats, we had a stroll through the high street, stopping for a coffee along the way. We came across several beautiful interior design shops, all of which allowed the dogs, so of course we had to take a look. There wasn’t a great deal else to do there, so we moved on to the next place on our list…
The next stop was Bourton On The Water. A popular tourist destination in the Cotswolds, this old-world village is full of life and charm, and we can honestly say we’ve never been to a more dog-friendly place! There are plenty of shallow lakes, which were great for Oscar and Henry to cool off in the heat. As it was a warm day, so many dogs were taking advantage of the cool water, whilst their owners relaxed on benches along the lakes. We stopped for an ice cream and to the boy’s surprise, they sold Scoops dog ice cream by Marshfield Farm (their favourite). Oscar and Henry looked up at us with their big brown eyes, and made it impossible to say no! It is definitely high on the list as one of their favourite treats.
As we were in the Cotswolds, we couldn’t resist visiting the ever-popular farm shop owned by Jeremy Clarkson. Diddly Squat Farm shop is in Chipping Norton, about 30-minutes’ drive away from Bourton On The Water. To say we were disappointed is an unfair statement, as we didn’t actually go into the shop or eat at the restaurant, home of the supposed “best burgers in the world” – so we can’t really make a fair judgment. The shop was surprisingly small, and the queue to get into it was so long and seemingly immovable, so we decided to avoid it altogether.
After the disappointing trip to Diddly Squat Farm, we went on to Buford. There were dog bowls absolutely everywhere and all of the shops allowed dogs too! The buildings were absolutely beautiful and we stopped off in a lovely pub for a refreshing shandy. We had a browse in some lovely little interior shops, but soon became hungry after a long day of walking. We’d booked a table at the Bell Inn in Langford, so gave them a call to bring the table forwards and headed off to our final destination – food! We enjoyed pizza and burgers (with a large glass of wine for me) before heading back to our home for the night.
Saturday’s weather didn’t bode well for our plans, but we powered through anyway. After a bit of a lay in and quiet morning at the house, we took the Boys on a local walk in the afternoon: Chedworth to Roman Villa. You can see the route on the map below, or click here to follow it.
The walk took us about 3 hours, after we’d had a few photo stops, and was mostly flat terrain with a couple of small hilly areas. Despite the gloomy weather, the views were still really pretty. Oscar and Henry enjoyed running ahead, sniffing the tall grass, and saying hello to the few dogs we met on the way round, although I have to say, we didn’t meet many people. Oscar picked up three different sticks before finding his favourite. It was considerably smaller than the tree trunks he’s managed to pick up in the past, but I’m not complaining.
We were happy to discover that the end of our walk led to The Seven Tuns Inn. As the sun had made an appearance and chased away the gloomy clouds, we decided to have an early dinner in the beer garden. Oscar and Henry sat under the picnic table, not once taking their eyes off us as I had what I can only describe as the best burger ever, and Matt enjoyed a plate of sticky ribs. Definitely a must visit pub if you’re in the area, especially as the walk literally ends at the pub – the dream.
Wanting to make the most out of the nice weather, we decided to head back to the cottage and get ready to play tennis. There are 2 courts in The Landings which are free for anyone in the community to use, you just have to bring your own equipment. We left the boys at the cottage, as they would only want to chase after the ball and get under our feet.
Later in the evening, once I had recovered a bit from my work-out, I decided to get cosy with a glass of wine out on the jetty to watch sunset. My little shadow, Oscar didn’t want to be left inside with Matt and Henry watching TV, so joined me to enjoy the view. The sunset across the water was just breath-taking, and so peaceful. Swans glided across the water, and the birds sang to each other from the nearby trees.
Sunday was going home day, but before that the plan was to go kayaking. However, the weather finally decided it had enough of playing nice. It was very windy, and not being confident on a Kayak, I didn’t want to get blown down the lake and end up smashing into the bank or another jetty.
Not leaving until late afternoon, we decided to have a chilled day at the cottage – Sunday is the day of rest, after all. We spent our last day snuggled up in blankets on the sofa watching movies, armed with both human and dog snacks. Traffic was kind to us on our journey home and we got a slightly earlier ferry, so we could get home and get ready for work the next day.
We’d highly recommend a trip to The Landings and the Cotswolds as a whole and are already thinking about our next trip!
Emma & The Handsome Pugs 🐾