The aparthotel (a cross between an apartment and a hotel room) is supposed to be a short, 15-minute walk from Stroud train station, but in the pitch-black darkness, howling wind and relentless rain, it takes far longer.
After the trek, we let ourselves into the self-catering apartment and relish in the warmth and comfort of the luxurious penthouse suite. With the rain battering the town, it was the perfect evening to make use of the provided refreshments; putting on the kettle, making hot chocolate and devouring on a pain au chocolat.
The evening soon turned into night, and with the storm ever relentless, bed welcomed us. The huge double bed was alike to a cloud, the duvet enveloping weary travellers into a dreamless sleep.
The next morning, the storm continued and put a stop to the walks across the Cotswolds that had been planned. Instead, we drank coffee and ate porridge, both of which were provided, and admired the rolling hills from the breakfast bar. Being in the penthouse suite, the views were idyllic, and the countryside seemed never-ending.
Instead of embarking on a trek through the hills, we opted for a visit to the town centre. The walk was much quicker in the daylight, and before long, coffee shops came into view.
With the showers turning from drizzle to persistent rain, we ducked into Coffee#1 and ordered an oat milk flat white and cappuccino.
Reading the Saturday papers and watching the shoppers outside, it was easy to see the appeal of this this Cotswolds town. The buildings were beautiful, with shops ranging from independent gift stores to Poundland and Home Bargains. Pubs dotted the centre, with a Lounge dominating a section of the high street.
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Fuelled by coffee, we investigated the town centre further, exploring vintage stores, and feeling welcomed by the local community.
After a day of shopping and coffee, and with the storm becoming ever stronger, it seemed like a smart decision to get the train back to Bristol. In just an hour and half, we were back in the bustling city, already dreaming of returning to rolling hills and penthouse suites.
Stays at Five Valleys Aparthotels start from £71 a night. Visit www.5va.co.uk to find out more.
All photos by Lowie Trevena.