My Perfect Day in the Cotswolds

Celebrate the release of our new guidebook and win a break for two at the Three Ways House Hotel

My Perfect Day in the Cotswolds – win an overnight stay at the Three Ways House Hotel

To celebrate the release of our new Slow Travel The Cotswolds guide by Caroline Mills we are running a special competition to find the most perfect day in the region.

To enter, simply write a description of your perfect day in no more than 500 words. Your day might have really happened or be something imagined: it might include investigating the birthplace of the Bard in Stratford-upon-Avon, hiking a section of the Cotswold Way or sipping on a cold ale from one of the north Cotswolds’ many breweries. Whatever shape your perfect day might take, we want to hear what makes the Cotswolds special to you. 

The prizes

The winner will receive an overnight stay for two at the Three Ways House Hotel – home of the world famous Pudding Club! You’ll be staying in one of their wonderfully quirky pudding themed rooms – will it be the Oriental Ginger or Spotted Dick and Custard?

Exterior © Three Ways House Hotel

Three runners-up will each win a free copy of Slow Travel The Cotswolds. The winning entry will also be published in an edition of the Wilts & Glos Standard newspaper, as well as Cotswold Living magazine.

Chocolate room © Three Ways House Hotel

Three runners up will receive a copy of Slow Travel The Cotswolds by Caroline Mills. 

How to enter

Send your entry, in no more than 500 words, to either, with ‘Cotswolds competition’ as the subject line, or post it to Holly Parsons (Cotswolds competition), Bradt Travel Guides, IDC House, The Vale, Chalfont St Peter, Bucks, SL9 9RZ.

Entries must be received by 31 May 2017, and the winner and three runners up will be notified by 30 June 2017.

The entries will be judged by Caroline Mills, who will pick her favourites based on their passion, colour and originality. Read Caroline’s own perfect day below. 

My Perfect Day in the Cotswolds by Caroline Mills

I’m up early, watching the sky turn dusty pink as the sun rises over Ilmington Downs. The soft sound of gentle toe-tapping is heard from Ilmington Morris Men as they welcome the May Day dawn. I have a flask of tea and a hot sausage butty, the sausages bought from Todenham Manor Farm.

Wide awake, I venture to Whichford Pottery to choose one of the magnificent handmade flowerpots to adorn my garden. It is a lovely feeling to buy locally made products. The visit is rounded off with a delicious frothy coffee in their quirky Straw Kitchen, sat at one of the mismatching tables while admiring the building made from straw bales and lime plaster.

Refreshed and raring to go, I set off on a family walk along the Cotswold Way. The trail starts in Chipping Campden though we might begin at the top of Dover’s Hill to allow time for the magnificent views. I’ll be lingering as I wander my favourite section of the trail through the sheep-filled Clump Farm, close to Broadway Tower, to photograph the wild orchids, cowslips and hawthorn blossom there before we descend into the village of Broadway.

At Broadway Deli, we pick up treats to load into rucksacks, ready for a walk through beech woods at Woodchester Park where we delight in the total immersion of the hidden valley. A picnic lunch will overlook the string of lakes there, basking in the silent summer sunshine, watching electric-blue damselflies dart among the King Cups. We’ll finish the walk with an enjoyable nose around the captivating never-to-be-finished Woodchester Mansion.

It’s only a short hop across the Nailsworth Valley to reach Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons where we say ‘hello’ to the roaming herd of rare-breed cows, and appreciate the beauty and quantity of wildflowers and butterflies. We stop at Winstone’s for a homemade ice-cream – my scoop is Blackberries and Cream.

In the afternoon I’m at Kelmscott Manor, soaking up the creative vibes and appreciating the craftsmanship on display of Arts and Crafts Movement founder William Morris, his family and friends.

It precedes a stop at the Eastleaches, where we sit on the tiny clapper bridge, remove our socks and dip our toes in the diminutive River Leach. A family of ducklings visit and a scent of wild mint pervades the air.

Early evening and I’m soaking in the open-air rooftop pool of the Thermae Bath Spa. The bells are chiming from the neighbouring abbey, its walls and the surrounding hills illuminated under the spotlights as dusk falls. Rubbed dry, a magic carpet has whisked me the length of the Cotswolds to Stratford-upon-Avon where I meet up with friends to enjoy a heart-rending performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Swan Theatre.

Feeling peckish, we chat about the production over a post-theatre dinner at The Vintner. I’m tired but with a sense of fulfillment. Almost ready for bed, I snuggle up beside a roaring log fire and open up Laurie Lee’s Cider with Rosie. His lilting poetry occupies my dreams as I drift off. My perfect day is over.

Terms & conditions

1. The competition is open to anyone aged 18 or over. Employees, contractors and authors of Bradt Travel Guides (“Bradt”) and the competition partner and members of the immediate family of the above are not eligible to participate.
2. No purchase is necessary. 
3. The competition will be launched in March 2017. All entries must be received by midnight GMT on the closing date, 31 May 2017.
4. There is one main prize in the competition and three runners-up prizes
5. Each entrant may submit only one entry for consideration. Joint entries are not allowed and entries on behalf of other people will be excluded.
6. The competition theme is ‘My perfect day in the Cotswolds’ 
7. Entrants will be sent Bradt’s e-newsletter (providing news and special offers). If you do not wish to receive the e-newsletter, plus put “NO NEWSLETTER” in the message body of the email submission, or alongside the contact information in postal entries. 
8. The winner and runners-up will be selected by Caroline Mills, author of the Bradt Slow Travel Guide to the Cotswolds. 
9. The judge will consider a combination of factors including originality of idea, quality of writing, adherence to theme and creativity.
10. If, for any reason, Caroline is unable to judge a suitable alternative judge will be found, at the sole discretion of Bradt. 
11. The First Prize (as defined below) will be awarded to the entry that the Judge considers to be the best. The Judge’s decision is final. The three runners-up prizes will be awarded to the three entries that the judge consider the next best. 
12. The winner and three runners-up will be notified by 30 June 2017. 
13. The winner of the main prize (the “Competition Winner”) shall win an overnight stay for two in a pudding roomat the Three Ways House Hotel, with breakfast. (the “Competition Winner’s Prize”). Dates of travel are subject to availability and the Competition Winner must give at least one month’s notice in advance of their desired dates of travel. The prize must be taken by 30 November 2017. Saturday nights are excluded, as are bank and national holidays.
14. Bradt will accept no responsibility for any costs associated with the Prize and not specifically included in the prize description, this includes transport to the prize location. 
15. The winner must communicate directly with Bradt about the Prize. 
16. All elements of the Prize are subject to availability. 
17. The prizes are non-exchangeable, non-transferable, and are not redeemable for cash or other prizes. In the event of cancellation by the Competition Winner, for whatever reason, no alternative prize or travel dates will be offered. Once a confirmed booking has been made, reservations may not be changed.
18. If the Competition Winner is unable to take up his or her prize for any reason, or if we have not been able, after making reasonable efforts, to make contact with the winner, we reserve the right to award the relevant prize to an alternative winner. 19. Your competition entry must be all your own work. It must not contain any third-party content or infringe the copyright of any third party and it must not be obscene, defamatory or in breach of any applicable legislation or regulations. We reserve the right to exclude entries from the competition that we consider, in our sole discretion, to be in breach of this clause. 
20. Bradt shall have a non-exclusive right to publish all entries on its website and in print and across other social media. 
21. Bradt reserve the right to withhold the prize, in whole or in part, if the judge decides in their sole discretion, that there are no entries of a suitable standard.
22. Bradt and the competition partners reserve the right to publish the names of the winner and the winning entries themselves, and the winner is required to give their full co-operation to all reasonable requests by the promoters in connection with publicity for the competition, their entry, the prizes or otherwise. 
23. No correspondence will be entered into or comment issued on any matters concerning the competition and no reasons given for any decision made by the Judge.
24. Bradt shall not be liable for any circumstances beyond our reasonable control that prevent the competition being fulfilled, a winner being chosen, or any prize being taken up or fully enjoyed by a winner. Bradt excludes liability to the full extent permitted by law for any cost, claims or losses howsoever caused that arise by reason of any person’s entry into a competition or the award, or non-award, to them of a prize.
25. These terms and conditions shall be governed by and interpreted according to English law and the English courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction to deal with any disputes arising in connection with them.

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