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The UK staycation your kids will love – with a countryside lodge that has a slide to the garden

OVERLOOKING a quiet pedestrianised road, the childhood home of our most famous playwright, William Shakespeare, still stands.

It’s a surprisingly sturdy 16th ­Century house, fitted with timber beams and traditional door frames.

Enjoy the quaint streets of Shakespeare’s birthplace – Stratford-upon-Avon
Kids will be bowled over by the slide that winds from the bedroom to the garden

Today it’s a museum, a treasure trove of fascinating memorabilia, including bits of furniture that belonged to the writer.

But despite Shakespeare putting the town of Stratford-upon-Avon on the map, he is far from the only reason to visit.

This romantic region of South Warwickshire is crammed with ­traditional market towns, small ­villages and excellent walking trails through peaceful fields and rolling hills that make it a ramblers’ ­paradise.

And if it’s the country strolls that tick your box, then the five-star boutique retreat Winchcombe Farm, located on the border of Warwickshire and Cotswolds, will be right up your street.

It features six stunning holiday homes, all built and designed by co-owners Steve Taylor and Jo ­Carroll — and even has a treehouse.

We were in the newest of the lodges, Jess’ Tree Bach, which can house up to four guests and comes with an open-plan kitchen and lounge with all the mod cons, as well as an outdoor hot tub and a huge bedroom with TWO rolltop baths.

If you’ve got kids in tow, they will be bowled over by the four-metre tube slide that winds from the bedroom straight down to the garden below.

Outside, little ones can let loose on the woodland play area, while adults can whip up feasts on the outdoor terrace which comes with a barbecue and pizza oven.

We were welcomed to our holiday home with a homemade Victoria sponge waiting for us on the kitchen side.

And our arrival was made only more homely by the gift bag filled with mugs, teabags and a packet of coffee from local brand Monsoon — which turned out to be some of the best coffee I’ve ever tasted.

Those who don’t fancy cooking can still enjoy the excellent kitchen ­facilities with a gourmet experience from local chef, Richard Bramble.

His company, Bramble Dining offers a fine-dining private chef ­service dishing up wonderfully fresh five-course dinners.

We dined on plates of crispy calamari with ­saffron aioli, pan-fried wild seabass and some of the most delicious chocolate brownies I’ve ever tasted.

And with our tummies full, we ventured to our little attic room for an evening of star-gazing.

This small space has been turned into an observatory with a telescope pointing at the dark night sky.

During the day, you can pick up one of many walks straight from the farm that lead across the sprawling countryside, where sheep, chickens, moorhens, ducks, ponies and some very friendly alpacas graze.

But, if you have a car, you may want to venture further afield.

A 20-minute drive took us to Stratford, home to not just Shakespeare-themed attractions but some great brunch spots, including The Vinter — a classic Tudor building that serves a cracking Full English.

Friendly alpacas

Then, 15 minutes from there was Warwick, a historic market town full of quaint boutiques and cosy pubs serving pints and Sunday roasts.

Although for a proper drink, you should head to That Gin & Cocktail Bar ( that does a tipsy afternoon tea, where coronation chicken and egg mayo sandwiches, quiches, mini pork pies, and homemade desserts are served with G&T, instead of a cup of breakfast tea.

This fun new concept bar, owned by gin aficionado Steven Bazell, lets gin lovers choose from 100 bespoke flavour combinations, concocted especially for the individual based on their taste preferences.

You’ll be able to try everything from blood orange to passion fruit and even a jalapeno gin, which was surprisingly delicious.

But if gin’s not your tipple of choice, the family-run Napton Cidery is a half an hour drive away.

Here you can gorge on one of the biggest Ploughman’s sandwiches I’ve ever seen, while quaffing refreshing cider.

And you’ll be grateful for the two separate baths when you get back to the lodge — after all that food and drink, a long soak is just the ticket.

The bedroom at the five-star boutique retreat Winchcombe Farm
Head to That Gin & Cocktail Bar that does a tipsy afternoon tea
Gorge on Ploughman’s sandwiches while quaffing cider at the family-run Napton Cidery
William Shakespeare put the town of Stratford-upon-Avon on the map

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