Wersha Bharadwa recharges and reconnects with nature at Hipsley Farm Cottages in Atherstone, Warwickshire
Waking up in a veritable love nest (think feather duvets, the scent of freshly baked cakes, and wonderful beds in a deeply gorgeous cottage hideaway) at Hipsley Farm Cottages is the perfect retreat after the wedding festivities.
The farm sits in the sleepy village of Atherstone outside of Lichfield, and the breathtaking castles of Kenilworth and Dudley are only 30 minutes down the road.
Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-Upon-Avon is a mere 40 minutes away, and the historic market town of Bosworth is on the doorstep, too. Neighbouring Birmingham with Selfridges and Harvey Nichols for shopping is also easily explored, and if there ever was a bang-for-your-buck minimoon with the perfect location for a British country getaway – this is it.
Revel in boho-chic luxury
Ann’s advice before our stay is brilliant. She’s the owner, and recommends romantic walks, restaurants and even where to buy groceries should you need to stock up again.
And once you’ve arrived, she will have you well and truly primed for a few days of exploring. Her knowledge of the area and all its attractions is second to none, and based on that, she’s transformed and converted an old 1950s dairy farm into somewhere ultra-relaxing to stay.
The five light-filled cottages overlooking lush green fields take some beating. Most guests are sold by the sight of wild hares hopping around the bushes near the drive as they pull up.
We check into Brook Cottage – a boho-chic cowshed conversion where the exposed brick walls still remain and are complemented by reclaimed antiques and timber.
It’s a two-bedroomed affair that has romance written all over it, especially after a day exploring the nearby fields, strolling past wild deer and rabbits. The red-brick architecture comes with plenty of surprises inside, too, including little works of art and a huge walk-in powerful overhead rain shower.
Vintage and classic English in style, you’ll love the old flag floors, country Laura Ashley fabrics and old farmhouse dark wood furniture pieces.
At night, glowing stars light up the path and lavender and peonies scent the air as you sip wine curled under a blanket together and fall in love with the setting.
We went all out with a bit of marshmallow toasting. You’ll get equally used to watching boxed sets and eating popcorn on the comfy sofas, then jumping into a steaming hot bath with one of the old paperbacks you’ve spotted in the farm library.
It truly is one of the most beautiful spots in the country we’ve visited. And after some hard hiking, Brook Cottage is a peaceful bolthole to unwind in. You’ll leave just as you arrived; deliriously happy!
Enjoy local and organic produce
With wild swimming, walking and cycling all on the agenda, you may return feeling weary, so Ann arranges for exquisite local and organic produce to be brought into the cottage for dinner.
She’s a masterful chef herself, whipping up home-cooked meals using local ingredients so you won’t have to lift a finger. It’s all very discreet: Ann has it in the oven for when you arrive or in the fridge or freezer so you can cook at leisure.
We tucked into a still-warm, lip-smacking fruit cake and a thoughtful box chocolates. There are also tiny hotel-like touches that give the cottages their five-star rating, such as a 24-hour, on-site house-keeping manager, laundry room and the ability to pre-order a delicious breakfast hamper a deux to enjoy in the privacy of your honeymoon hideaway.
What you’ll love
- If you really want to get to know the locals, head down to the historic market town of Bosworth and the Bosworth Battlefield or take a day trip to Kingsbury Waterpark, Lichfield Cathedral and Beacon Hill Country Park are also worth a visit.
- Have a champagne picnic near the moat at Dudley Castle. The 11th century castle is said to be one of the most haunted in Britain and sits in the middle of Dudley Zoological Gardens.
- The National Space Centre in Leicester is always a thrill and hits the right notes for brides and grooms alike with exhibitions on extra-terrestrial life and space travel.
- Love your period dramas? Head to Baddesley Clinton in Solihull, Warwickshire where one of the scenes from the BBC’s Gunpowder series, starring Kit Harrington was based on. The gardens and lakes are beautiful and there’s a gorgeous second hand book shop on-site.