If you're anything like us, you may have thought of something sinister when you read 'The Slaughters'. I guessed it was to do with a serial killer, whilst Pete guessed a slaughterhouse. Turns out we were both wrong. Slaughter comes from the old English word 'slough' which means 'wet land'. This fact learnt, we felt much more relaxed exploring our surroundings!
Lower and Upper Slaughter can be found in the North West region of The Cotswolds. The Cotswolds are an area of natural beauty located around 2.5 hours north west of London, or 45 minutes from Oxford. It is an area well known for its quintessential British villages, especially those with stone cottages and fences.
If you have ever come across an image of The Cotswolds, chances are it will be of these villages. With their town centres only accessible by foot, they are the epitome of an old school village.
About the towns
The twin villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter sit only a mile from each other and can be reached by car or a pleasant 25 minute stroll. Settled for more than 1000 years, and with Lower Slaughter being mentioned in the Domesday book, they are somewhere to visit if you enjoy stepping back in time.
There is evidence to suggest that Lower Slaughter has been inhabited since 1000AD with records naming it as Sclostre. Historically, the villages are no more significant than those around them, it is their preserved state and sheer beauty that makes them popular.
What to see
Sitting on the picturesque river sky (although it is merely more than a stream!) the town is noted for its traditional stone cottages and English cottage gardens. It has been voted one of the most Romantic areas in Britain and is not visited by large bus groups of people, making it quiet and enjoyable even in the middle of summer.
Its 1900's mill, which was running up until the 1950's, has been converted into a homewares shop and cafe, where you can sit outside and watch the ducks frolic on the mill pond. It is a perfect place for a cream tea to warm you up, or to sit outside if it is clear.
St Mary's church's architecture is reminiscent of the 1900s, featuring a beautiful spire and well kept grave yard. The church is lovely to wander through or you can explore the grounds.
Where to stay
There are several options within the town itself, most notably the Slaughter Manor House and the Slaughters Country Inn. Accommodation within the town itself does come at a premium. We chose to stay 4 miles down the road at an Air BnB cottage located in Stowe on Wold. We had the most expensive pub meal we've ever had in our lives (it cost about the same price as our overnight accommodation!) but altogether it was a fraction of the price of staying any closer.
The round up
You simply can't visit The Cotswolds without visiting The Slaughters. You'll need around an hour to properly explore and you will want to take a camera as there are plenty of photo opportunities. We visited on a rainy mid Autumn day and it was as pretty as mid summer. I can imagine some of its charm would be lost in winter, but it is a great place to visit during the other seasons.
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