Travel: Treasure in the Cotswolds

Birmingham Evening Mail (England), May 14, 2005 | Go to article overview

Travel: Treasure in the Cotswolds


Byline: BY BILL HOWELL

WHEN HG Wells wrote his classic Time Machine at the end of the 19th Century the Lygon Arms had already been welcoming guests for 363 years.

But a peek inside this hidden treasure in the sleepy Cotswolds can convince anyone that time travel is possible.

The Lygon Arms doesn't just smell of history... it tastes of it.

Wells may well even have stumbled upon this Broadway gem and into one of its many bars or various snugs with roaring log fires for Afternoon Tea when he first put quill to parchment.

First established as an inn in 1532 by the Whyte family during the reign of King Henry VIII, it was first known as the White Hart Inn.

Between 1839 and 1841 The Lygon's Arms was born, later changing to The Lygon Arms, when two brothers from an esteemed local family saw the huge potential on offer.

Cosy? Definitely. Unique? Certainly.

Warm and friendly and yet with more character than a box of Dickens novels, this utterly charming hotel creates an atmosphere like no other. Charles the First and Oliver Cromwell were guests in the mid-17th Century, though not apparently at the same time.

More's the pity, because perhaps if they could have shared an ale, or sipped on an expertly mixed cocktail as they relaxed after a nine course meal in the Great Hall - a part of the building added on because the local hunt required a venue for its annual Ball - then perhaps the English Civil War would have been fought simply between two blokes arguing over a missed shot in the Billiard Room.

They'd have been mates. That's how special the Lygon makes you feel, from the moment an immaculately attired doorman takes your keys and offers to park your vehicle.

The service isn't just first class. It exudes quality.

From the stone doorways, to the antique furniture and Georgian ceilings the hotel's history is unmissable.

But it is not just history that prevails, as romance fills the air just as predominantly as the many scented flowers on view.

It's not hard to see why so many starry-eyed lovers propose marriage within these walls and why the hotel's facilities are so in-demand to carry out the service itself. …

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