The Slaughters

Ugly name, pretty place

Visited October 2020

Wikipedia tells us that the name “Slaughter” comes from the Old English term for wet land – “slough” – which we suppose makes it a little less harsh, but no matter how you look at it, it’s a pretty unfortunate name. That said, these two Cotswold villages combined (Upper & Lower Slaughter) offer idyllic countryside charm that more than makes up for what you call them. We paired our Halloween weekend trip to the Slaughters with a weekend in Bourton-on-the-Water, mostly because we couldn’t find any last minute accommodation in Bourton, but we are glad that we did given how nice our stay ended up being.


Upper Slaughter

Tea and relaxation at the Lords of the Manor hotel

Town Path

Quiet, country walk from Upper to Lower Slaughter

Lower Slaughter

An old mill and peaceful water views


How we got there and how we got around

Upper Slaughter

Enjoying the Manor House

After scouring Expedia for seemingly endless amounts of hours, we found availability at the Lords of the Manor Hotel in Upper Slaughter on Halloween night. The 17th-century hotel and its grounds are absolutely gorgeous, keeping their old charm but with modern conveniences. You can tell it is meticulously maintained and was renovated in the recent past, but you still get a sense of luxurious countryside living from a different era. We arrived around lunchtime and had cozy afternoon tea next to the fireplace in one of its many inviting rooms. The setting and the staff were 5-star, but at less than £30, the price was actually very reasonable. If you’re planning to visit Upper Slaughter, this is a perfect afternoon activity! Our timing was lucky, because we watched the sky clear up as we were eating, and headed out into the sun right after we were done.

As mentioned above, Bourton-on-the-Water was our original destination for the weekend, and you can read about our itinerary there, but before heading out we wandered around Upper Slaughter for a bit, taking in the beautiful stone houses that make the Cotswolds so famous. The town center is tiny, but the grounds of the Lords of the Manor Hotel are open and bucolic, and they mark the start of the path down to Lower Slaughter (more on that walk below). We also walked up the short, narrow lane to St Peter’s Church, which has a beautiful graveyard and views of the surrounding hills.

In the gardens

Afternoon tea

Entering St Peter’s

Town Path

Meandering down to the lower town

We had read about the path between Upper and Lower Slaughter in several articles detailing the “prettiest country walks in England” and so we were eager to embark on it ourselves. Unfortunately it rained nonstop for 24 hours prior to our trip, making the journey too muddy (we did give it a shot for a dozen yards or so, but had to turn back). The good news is that you can reach Lower Slaughter via the surface roads as well, which probably isn’t as nice as the main path, but is still a good way to get 20 minutes of country air. There are several other walking paths in the area that also give pretty views of the surrounding land (including if you go straight instead of turning left towards Lower Slaughter once you are on the main road away from Upper Slaughter), so don’t despair if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Near the start of the walk

Right before we turned around

Lower Slaughter

A creek and an old mill

The main road dropped us off at the western end of the little town, and one of the first things you see is the old mill, which now serves as a museum and gift shop (worth a stop in, especially if you are interested in the history of bread, which Amanda very much is). There’s a really good photo op on the first little bridge crossing the “river”, which at this point is quite narrow, but in general the whole town is very picturesque and Cotwsold-esque. We did a small loop to the Slaughters Country Inn (where we almost stayed before booking the Lords of the Manor Hotel) before turning back.

It’s worth mentioning that we didn’t really see anywhere to eat or drink, besides the aforementioned Slaughters Country Inn, so we didn’t feel the need to spend too much time here besides taking a few pictures and strolling along the river. After retracing our steps back to Upper Slaughter, we hit the road to Bourton-on-the-Water to visit the Model Village we eventually made our way down to Bibury to complete the Halloween weekend.

Crossing the “river”

The old mill


Getting there and getting around

The Slaughters were our home base on our combined journey to Bourton-on-the-Water and Bibury. We had a car for the whole trip, which gave us the flexibility to stop in multiple locations and not have to worry about bus or train schedules. When first doing research, it would have been a bit complicated to get here from London without a lot of transfers, which is why we opted for the car. The Lords of the Manor hotel had a private lot, which made parking in Upper Slaughter easy.

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