The SpaceThe Old Smithy is a recently refurbished holiday property with two bedrooms (one double, one twin), two bathrooms (en-suite to double plus separate family bathroom), and large open plan kitchen / dining / lounge with tri-fold doors leading to private garden area laid mostly to patio. TVs with Freeview channels in lounge area and both bedrooms. Wood burner in lounge area (plus a supply of logs) provides a great way to keep warm on cold days. Kitchen has fridge-freezer, oven with gas hob, microwave, dishwasher and washer-dryer. It's located in a conservation area in a village described as 'the quintessential English village'. Pets welcome by prior arrangement. £20 per pet, per week.
nb WiFi - we don't advertise having WiFi because the signal is poor in Priors Marston. There is however an 'extender' from our router, which should enable some limited internet access. Guest AccessThe cottage is detached and has its own parking space to the front as well as a secure rear garden. Interaction with GuestsWe live just next door to the cottage (it's in the grounds of our house) and we're happy to help guests in any way we can. The NeighborhoodSupermarket
Nearest supermarket is Tesco, Southam – around 5 miles away. There’s a small post office / newsagent / convenience store in Napton, around 3 miles away, or a similar distance in the other direction, a Co-op store in Byfield
Priors Marston’s only pub, The Hollybush Inn is only a few yards away. It has excellent local beers and serves good food – both bar food and in the pub restaurant. A menu is provided in the cottage.
If you venture out a bit there are plenty of other good pubs to be found.
For a posh meal out try the Butchers Arms in Priors Hardwick, just a mile and a half away. It’s not cheap but is apparently a good place to spot celebrities.
Napton also has some nice pubs; the Folly is in a lovely spot right alongside the canal, whilst the Red Lion does good food – Sunday lunches are good and reasonably priced.
Southam offers a good choice of takeaways, including a good chippie, two Indian restaurants (one eat in as well as takeaway), and a Chinese.
Visitor Attractions and Local Activities
Warwick Castle is well worth a visit but quite expensive – go online to book concessionary tickets.
Kenilworth Castle is also worth visiting – it’s an English Heritage property.
You could also try Charlecote Park, a National Trust property near Stratford. And Stratford is the big tourist draw in the area, with Shakespeare’s houses (well worth a visit – our favourite is Mary Arden’s house), the river Avon and the theatre of course.
A little further afield is Batsford Arboretum (24 miles), with a birds of prey centre next door and the pretty Cotswold town of Moreton-in-Marsh close by.
An hour’s drive will take you as far as Blenheim Palace and the lovely town of Woodstock; right into the heart of the Cotswolds; or of course to Oxford’s dreaming spires.
If plants are your thing there’s the National Herb Centre near Banbury (8 miles) or Ryton Organic Gardens, in Ryton near Coventry (12 miles)
For shopping, Leamington Spa takes some beating. It’s a genteel spa town with good shops including independents as well as the usual ‘chains’. And it has a lovely well-tended park – Jephson Gardens, with the river Leam running through it.
There’s lots of good walking – try Burton Dassett hills (7 miles) – associated with the English Civil War battle of Edgehill, or Ryton Pools country park (15 miles). Or just down the road towards Southam you can park the car beside the canal bridge and stroll along the towpath (for miles and miles if the mood takes you!)
You could also try Draycote Water (12 miles) for walking, sailing and fishing
You don’t have to go out in the car to find nice walks of course – stroll pretty much in any direction through the village and you’ll find footpaths taking you across the fields (wellies or walking boots recommended in anything but the driest weather).
If it’s afternoon tea that takes your fancy try Fawsley Hall – 5 miles - (quite posh) or Hilltop Farm on the Fosse Way (9 miles). Closer to home you can get a cuppa and something to eat at the local farm shop – Skylark, in Staverton (4 miles).
Leamington is also very good for restaurants and cafes – if you fancy Indian, we like Kayal in Regent Street.(URL HIDDEN)
For anglers try Dog Lane Fishery – only a couple of miles away
Things to do if the weather isn’t playing ball..
If you’re into cars, try the Heritage Motor Museum at Gaydon, about 9 miles away.
A little further away is Compton Verney Art Gallery (18miles), which has lovely grounds but is also, as the name suggests, art exhibitions – both permanent displays and special exhibitions.
There’s always the pictures – Leamington has the Vue Cinema with several screens and there’s a big multiplex on the outskirts of Coventry.
We hope your stay is relaxing and enjoyable. Please put your own thoughts about places to go / eat etc in the visitors book to help those who visit in the future. Getting AroundA car is an essential in Priors Marston - there's no public transport to speak of. Taxis can be arranged from Southam