Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire

If Mick Jagger or Keith Richards ever fancy a Cotswold escape they should look no further than this charming cottage.
That’s because it is within walking distance of the Rollright Stones, some old ‘rockers’ that are even more ancient than members of the band of the similar name!
Called Cotswold Cottage, for want of a better name, the cottage is in the quaint village of Salford, two miles west of Chipping Norton, close to Oxfordshire’s border with Warwickshire.
The village is all Cotswold stone and there’s little to disturb the peace and tranquillity. Its pub, The Salford Inn, had a great reputation but was a victim of the pandemic and is currently up for sale.
My family and I had the pleasure of staying at Cotswold Cottage last weekend, when it was delightfully decorated for Christnas.
A footpath leads from the village through fields to the Rollright Stones, two-and-a-half miles away (there’s a map in the cottage). But we used winter weather as an excuse to drive to them (there’s layby parking yards away).
The stones have three elements spanning 2,000 years, and legend tells us they are petrified remains of a king and his courtiers  who got on the wrong side of a witch.


The 8ft tall King Stone, circa 1,500BC, is believed to be a marker for a burial ground. It now resembles a seal balancing a ball on its nose, thanks to destructive 19th century souvenir-hunters.
Across the road are The King’s Men, one of the earliest recognised and best known stone circles in Britain. With a diameter of 31m it was a continuous wall of stone when built circa 2,500BC.
About three quarters of the original 100-odd standing stone remain and they are  famously uncountable – if you get the same number three times in a row you’ll have a wish granted.
Beware the witch, who has transformed herself into twigs!
A few hundred yards away are The Whispering Knights, circa 3,800-3,500BC. These burial chamber stones are so named because they are huddled together as if plotting against the king.
Just up the road is Wyatts Garden Centre, known for its 21 flavours of artisan ice cream made on the premises, which can be bought from the farm shop or enjoyed on the tea room’s terrace. 
The market town of Chipping Norton, known as ‘Chippy’,  was built on the wool trade (there’s a remarkable mill that resembles a country house) but is now renowned for its antique shops.
One of them used to be owned by comedy legend Ronnie Barker, who indulged his passion for memorabilia after retiring from TV work in 1987. Sadly, it was never Open All Hours!
The town is also known (or notorious) for the so-called ‘Chipping Norton Set’ – a group of political, media and show business pals who all live in the area.
They include former Prime Minister David Cameron, former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks and former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson.
Just south of Chipping Norton is Clarkson’s Diddly Squat Farm, which was the subject of an Amazon Prime Video documentary series last summer.
According to outspoken Jezza, the small farm shop is full of ‘’good, no-nonsense things you’ll like’’ produced either on the farm or by its neighbours.
It’s so popular that hundreds of people have been known to join four-hour queues to get inside, with locals complaining about clogged up country lanes. 
One irate neighbour recently stated: ‘’The vast majority are more interested in purchasing Diddly Squat merchandise than farming or agriculture produce.’’
We went to see what all the fuss was about. But despite there being only a dozen people waiting in the drizzle outside we exited the car park without stopping because it resembled a quagmire.
Cotswold Cottage was the perfect place to retreat from Diddly Squat Farm. It’s in a quit spot overlooking a small green with a war memorial and round the corner from the village church.


The three-bed, two-bathroom (two doubles / single or double / twin / single) property has bucket loads of character, with exposed beams and a wood-burning inglenook fireplace in the cosy lounge (logs supplied).
The master bedroom has a walk-in closet, the kitchen diner is spacious and well-equipped, there’s a porch and a utility for muddy wellies and a patio garden for warm-weather drinks.
The traditional exterior disguises an interior that’s super stylish, with expensive furnishings, quirky pictures and touches you’d expect from a boutique hotel.
You could say it’s the kind of luxury living that a Rolling Stone will have come to expect.
And, if Mick and Keith are reading, it’s ‘Satisfaction’ guaranteed!

Travel facts

Cotswold Cottage is the second property in the Tucked Away portfolio, following Parson’s Barn in nearby Stow-on-the-Wold. The newly launched company is operated by the team behind the Old Stocks Inn in Stow, known for its quirky style and outstanding service. The 17th century former coaching inn underwent a multimillion-pound refurbishment in 2015 to become one of the Cotswolds’ most renowned boutique hotels, gaining a 4.5 / 5 rating on TripAdvisor. Tucked Away aims to offer luxury holiday lettings where guests can ‘’live life as a local”,  carefully curating a collection of experiences in the area, with concierge assistance prior to arrival. Plans are well under way to expand the portfolio across the Cotswolds in the coming months.

Cotswold Cottage can be booked for a minimum of three nights with prices starting from £275 per night. Weeklong stays have a discounted fixed price of £1,500 (except Christmas and Twixmas). A welcome pack including your tipple of choice is included. Guests have the option of bolting on breakfast or cheese & cracker hampers. There is plenty of free parking. It’s dog friendly. To book visit www.tucked-away.co.uk

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