As I gaze out across the moonlit lake from my balcony, the stars shimmer in a clear night’s sky, their mirror images reflected in the water. It’s my first night in an idyllic log cabin in the Cotswolds. Below me, a rowboat is moored by our private jetty. There’s not another building in sight. Not a soul stirs. The only sounds are the occasional bird call and the wind gently caressing the leaves of the trees. I’m staying in one of eight lodges with hot tubs discreetly dotted around a large lake on a 130-acre private nature reserve in the Cotswolds with Log House Holidays.
Luxury lodges with hot tubs in the Cotswolds
Earlier that day, I’d headed off in my car, with far too much luggage, along the motorway and through the English countryside, passing green fields and villages bathed glorious sunshine. As my destination drew nearer, the roads got narrower. And narrower still until they’re just a single track with very occasional passing places. “Crikey! I hope nothing comes the other way.” I thought “I’d hate to have to reverse very far along here.” But I don’t see another car along the lane leading to the log cabins all week.
I’m the first of our group to arrive. As I step inside, I quite literally feel myself relaxing. Nowhere in the world has had quite such an effect on me. I’ve never felt such a sudden discharge of my everyday worries.
The living room and kitchen are open plan and have a cosy, country feel. There’s everything a group of six might need while on holiday including a wood burner for chiller nights (a basket of logs is included in the rental). A full-length glass double door leads from the kitchen onto the wooden decking looking out across the lake. A large toilet and walk-in shower room plus a twin bedroom complete the downstairs.
A bright red spiral staircase leads upstairs. I wouldn’t fancy hauling a heavy suitcase up there, but that’s the only drawback I can see. On the first floor, at the front of the log cabin, a huge double room looks out across the lake. Its balcony is the perfect spot for a morning cuppa or a quiet drink in the evening. There’s another twin bedroom at the back and a large bathroom with a lovely freestanding rolltop bath in the centre. A skylight overhead means you can lie back amongst the bubbles (bring your bubble bath) and see the sky. It’s a beautiful vivid blue today.
Click on any image in a gallery to see it enlarged.
Each of the eight Scandinavian log cabins is hidden out of view of the others and has a hot tub, private beach, rowboat and lakeside fire pit.
Every detail has been taken care of, including life jackets, binoculars, and an ordnance survey map, not to mention marshmallows for the fire pit. A folder left on the coffee table contains details all you might need to know about a stay here with suggestions of where to buy provisions, local walks, pubs and restaurants.
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Things to do at your log cabin in the Cotswolds
While it was tempting to simply sit out in the sun with a book, there were too many things we wanted to do to allow us to sit still for long. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. I’d love to come back here in the winter though, to have an excuse to keep the fire roaring away and curl up with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate.
But the sunshine beckoned. We swam, rowed, paddled, kayaked, and walked around the lake, drank Pimms in the hot tub, and dined alfresco.
One afternoon we had a fabulous cooking lesson baking cakes with Danielle Ellis, from Severn Bites. She’s an ambassador for the Real Bread Campaign and a French-trained baker. The class was great fun and the cakes spot on. She hosts classes in her Gloucestershire home or any venue of your choice including the log cabins at Log House Holidays.
Days out from your luxury log cabins in the Cotswolds
We explored nearby villages, most notable, Bibury, which William Morris rated as “the most beautiful village in England”. Sadly, its popularity is its undoing, and it does get jam-packed, but it’s just a 25-minute drive away from the cabins, so it’s easy to head over there early in the day to avoid the crowds. Don’t miss Arlington Row thought to be amongst the most photographed cottages in the country.
Another day, we used the map conveniently left in the cabin to explore some public footpaths including one to the source of the River Thames near The Thames Head Inn, followed by a very reasonably priced and tasty lunch at the Tavern Inn in Kemble. Formerly known as The Coffee Tavern, it opened in 1890 serving as a refreshment room for Kemble Railway Station. It didn’t become a pub until 1946. It now also has a skittle alley, a large garden and a children’s play area.
Another recommended walk is the 30-minute stroll along the Thames Path to the 16th-century coaching inn, The Wild Duck in Ewen. Frustratingly it was closed for refurbishment when we visited, but it has an excellent reputation and will no doubt be open again soon.
Cotswolds lodges with hot tubs
Our stay wasn’t nearly long enough, and I’d be more than happy to go back again at any time of year. After all, the hot tubs are, well… hot, whatever the season. So whether you’re seeking a cosy fireside retreat or a relaxing summer escape, I think Log House Holidays is the perfect choice. The cabins instil such a sense of calm. The smallest sleeps 4, while the largest sleeps 11 and comes with its own heated swimming pool and sauna. It’s perfect for a family celebration or a large group of friends.
Each of the eight lodges with hot tubs offers a truly unique escape. We stayed in Kaiser Kabin, named after one of the family dogs and I’d go back in a heartbeat.
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