Something's stirring in the sleepy Cotswolds. At the end of the year, a campaign will be launched to make this area the Rural Capital of Culture. The idea is to draw attention to the array of cultural events that brings the area to life throughout the year (see cotswolds.com for the full calendar) and prove there's more to the Cotswolds than the olde-worlde charm of its villages.
Rose Walk, a terrace of four honey-coloured cottages in the village of Upper Oddington, makes an ideal base from which to partake of these cultural delights. The terrace sits in the Oddington Conservation Area, and each cottage has a patio space overlooking the landscaped rose garden.
Inside, traditional and modern, cosy and contemporary are combined. Heavyweight Jane Churchill fabrics and a simple colour palette bring the country look right up to date, yet retain the rural charm. Bang & Olufsen phones and flat-screen TVs sit happily alongside Emma Bridgewater crockery.
One thing's for sure: no expense has been spared in an effort to create a collection of holiday cottages characterised by cosy Cotswold charm, combined with cosmopolitan style and comfort.
The bedrooms are reasonably proportioned, with king-size beds and memory-foam mattresses. There's plenty of storage space for guests on longer breaks. Number 2 Rose Walk is the only two-bedroom cottage: as well as a double, there is a twin bedroom with en suite and a further bathroom – both of which maintain the high spec found throughout.
The food and drink
You'll be set up with a Fair Trade welcome bag of quality basics from the nearby Daylesford Organic Farm. Determined self-caterers can stock up in the gourmet delis and wine merchants of nearby Stow-on-the-Wold then cook up a storm in the kitchen, which is well equipped with all mod cons. For those who wish to venture out, recommended dining options include the Horse & Groom Inn in Upper Oddington and the Fox Inn in Lower Oddington.
The village's 12th-century Norman Church of St Nicholas houses the rare Doom fresco. Fifteen minutes' drive away, there is the award-winning day spa, the Hay Barn, and the Bamford Barn store, both at Daylesford Organic Farm (daylesfordorganic. com). Then there are the Cotswolds' beautiful villages and market towns.
Internal steps, steep stairs and narrow doorways make this inaccessible for those with limited mobility. Children over eight years old are welcome. No pets. Nearby Forge Cottage can accommodate pets and children of all ages.
A three-night break in one-bedroom 1 Rose Walk starts at £250.
Rose Walk Cottages, Old Mill Farm, Upper Oddington, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire GL56 0XL (07853 148362; cotswold-holidays.com ).