A couple months ago, I stayed in the quaint village of Malmesbury for a little weekend break with my friend Amanda. Malmesbury is actually right on the edge of the Cotswolds. It has the same charm, though, is easier to get to, and we still managed to easily spend an afternoon in Cirencester, the capitol of the Cotswolds! So what’s in a name, anyway??
How to get there
The Cotswolds unfortunately aren’t the most accessible region – but that’s part of their charm. The easiest way to get to Malmesbury is by car. If that isn’t an option, take the train to Chippenham and hitch a ride/taxi it to Malmesbury!
Where to Stay
Lucky me, I got to crash with my friend Amanda in her beautiful family home! If you don’t have an old friend in Malmesbury you can still get the home charm, though, with Airbnb! These are my favorite properties:
- On the pricier (yet luxury!) end, we have the coach house at the Rookery, a little cottage for 2, for $135/night. It’s clean and stunning and looks so cozy.
- Did you know you can actually stay in the famous Abbey gardens?! I didn’t until I saw this listing!! What an unbelievable, luxurious opportunity – at $163/night it’s pricer, but the cost can be split between 5 people.
^^The abbey house gardens!
- A bit cheaper but still with all the luxury, this medieval townhouse overlooks the quaint town of Malemesbury. It’s $71/night and can home 2 people. Plus breakfast is provided!
- This place doesn’t have the prettiest online representation…but it has a decent review and at $55/night it’s the cheapest accommodation in Malmesbury!
What we did & ate
The Bird Cage Café
Malmesbury is a teeny town but has some unbelievable cafés. The top of this list is the Bird Cage, which is on the high street and overlooks the Abbey. It’s full of murals and kitschy artwork and even has gluten free pizza! The food is gourmet and yummy.
^^legit almost cried when I forgot my takeaway box. We ran back but they’d “thrown it away” (I used to work in a restaurant I know what this means!!!)
Malmesbury’s most recognizable icon is probably the famous Abbey! It’s in working order but also partially a ruin. It looms over the whole tiny village and is just gorgeous.
Day trips to Bath & Cirencester
One of the best parts of Malmesbury is that even though it’s a little village, it’s so close to big cities like Bath and Cirencester. We enjoyed an afternoon daytrip to Cirencester, the capitol of the Cotswolds, as well as an evening trip into Bath! On the train it’s only about 15 minutes and a couple pounds.
^^Bath shopping street with umbrella installation!
^^The weir in Bath…with people swimming in it???
^^Overlooking the city!
Final afternoon exploring Malmesbury
Our last day we spent wandering through the little village, popping into boutiques and cafes.
^bridge over the River Avon on our way to the “posh grocery store” – Waitrose!
^^Beautiful hanging flowers and quaint stone houses! I love how every English region seems to have its own stone color-scheme. ^^view from the hill
As I mentioned before, Malmesbury is famous for its abbey gardens – partially for the beauty of them, but also because they host the naked gardeners, a phenomenon that used to be on BBC and various other TV shows.
We actually just viewed the gardens from a couple vantage points, as we were so busy and there was an admissions fee, but my mom has toured the gardens and loved them!
It’s funny looking back on my little weekend trip from almost two months ago! It was so fun to see a new part of this country I’m calling home, especially with all the summertime flowers blooming. Now I just need to go back, and this time not forget my leftover pizza at the Bird Cage!!!
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