The Wheatsheaf Inn is in the Cotswolds, in the Gloucestershire market town of Northleach, within easy reach of both Cheltenham and Cirencester.
Fly into London's Heathrow Airport (www.heathrowairport.com) – from here it's about a 90-minute drive to the hotel. Gatwick Airport (www.gatwickairport.com) is just over a two-hour drive away. Recommended local firm Rainbow Taxis (+44 (0)1285 740 070) would be happy to pick you up and whisk you to the Wheatsheaf.
The nearest train stations are Kemble and Kingham, reached in under an hour and a half from London Paddington (www.nationalrail.co.uk), and Cheltenham Spa, which takes two hours and 15 minutes, with connections from most major UK cities. All three are about a 25-minute drive away.
A two-hour drive north-west of London, Northleach is just off the A40 between Cheltenham and Burford. Parking behind the hotel garden is free.
Worth getting out of bed for
Active country pursuits abound here, from walking to cycling, horseriding, tennis, rock climbing, golf, exceptional fishing and watersports (at the Cotswold Water Park on South Cerney Lakes), all of which can be organised by your hosts. For riding, trot to Talland School of Equitation, near Cirencester, or Bourton Vale Equestrian Centre. Clay-pigeon and game shooting are a blast, too, with sessions for all levels and regular competitions to test the best. Try Ian Coley Shooting School, near Cheltenham, or one of the private estates recommended by the Wheatsheaf crew.
History buffs can check out various stately piles within an hour's drive, including Sudeley Castle and Blenheim Palace, or ask the hotel team to arrange private tours of one of the glam gardens in the area. Northleach is also brilliantly placed for missions to the heritage-toting, grey-stone Cotswolds towns of Chipping Campden, Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water and Moreton-in-Marsh. Cheltenham's Everyman Theatre should amuse the thespians.
Closer to home, the Wheatshelf keeps up a busy calender of wine, beer, cocktail and champagne tastings, dining deals and sports events, as well as celebrating everything from New Year's Eve to Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night. If you'd rather just relax, laid-back types can luxuriate in the landscaped beer garden, where Cotswolds-green picnic tables, striped deck chairs, sunloungers and a tiny walled nook for sneaky pints beckon.
Sunday lunch is a must at gastropub the Horse & Groom in Bourton-on-the Hill. It's bagged awards for its regularly changing menu, which runs the gamut from rib-eye steak to beer-battered hake. Alternatively, get your roast at the Wild Duck near Ewen, where the Yorkshire pud is seriously good. A brill bistro by the owners of the Wheatsheaf Inn, The Tavern on 5 Royal Well Place in Cheltenham dishes up modern British and French tavern fare, with a focus on fresh local seafood and meats. The Chequersl in Chipping Norton is a cosy option for a drink or weeknight supper.
A top tip for simple food done well is restaurant, café and deli Made by Bob in the Corn Hall, 26 Market Place in Cirencester, which serves breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Chef/owner James 'Bob' Parkinson uses quality ingredients, and the London culinary vibe here keeps folk coming back for more. Don't miss hybrid café, farm produce shop, and chic garden and homewares boutique, Daylesford Farmshop & Café. Set on a Gloucestershire organic farm, it also has outlets in London, and blends impeccable style with gorgeous sustenance.
The Village Pub in Barnsley near Cirencester and Thyme hotel's popular drinkery the Swan at Southrop are both smart bets for sipping a pint in stylish surrounds, with tasty food options to see off that hangover. Overlooking the main square in Northleach, the Curious Cellar has about 20 wines available by the glass, a cosy wood-lined interior and an airy courtyard outside.