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12 months ago by Alex Swain
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2022: The Cotswolds Trip

We did a thing, and that thing hadn't been done for a few years. We went on a company break.

Recruitment is always on and if you're a good recruiter, you check your emails, work phone & WhatsApp everyday (including the weekends & when you're supposed to be on holiday). It's a habit that is difficult to shake and your mind is always in work mode, but even as recruiters we need some rest & relaxation and we couldn't think of a better place than somewhere with honey-hued stone architecture and selection of the best village pubs.

Cue long country walks, abysmal telephone signal & the sound of a clay shooting in the distance.

The Story

We boarded one of great western's finest on Thursday morning and soon enough found ourselves travelling out of the cities, through the towns & into the distance before we arrived at a train station that appeared to have no staff. A short walk along the country lanes, (looking like right tourists) we soon found the destination of choice and most of us opened the account with a Cotswolds lager, created by a newly adopted local, Jeremey Clarkson. You knew you were in the country when I (of all people) nearly knocked myself out on the low ceiling, as well as the open fire roaring in the corner.

Shortly after a while we headed off and to our hotel, settled in, explored our surroundings, and took in some of that Gloucestershire air! We regrouped and headed out for our first walk across the countryside, exploring the lanes and tracks that took us somewhere (still yet to know exactly where) before we debated on whether we should turn back or persist with the journey.

In typical UA fashion we had a selection of routes that gave us a wide variety of times back to our hotel, however we winged it and ended up back on what Hussain describes as a "Motorway" (It was a B road at best) and followed the route back. A quick change before heading off for the second meal of the day and a lovely dinner, to which the infamous Alex Kirk ordered dessert before his starter or main.

The next day we a treat to really look forward to, Clay Shooting and for many of us it was our first time, but up-steps our self-proclaimed professional Sam Tooke to show us how it was done. After a bit of practice, we got into competition mode, with four of us coming out as joint winners, and Alex Kirk claiming to hit "half of a clay" and finishing runner up.

A journey I'll never forget and we arrived at our last pub lunch of the weekend, a full course to get us feeling fresh & ready for the afternoon, we set sail on another walk which lasted all of about 5 minutes before we found the only other pub in the village. It would certainly be rude if we didn't stop and at least try some of the local delicacies on offer and we put the world to rights for the afternoon.

A journey back to the hotel to pick up from where we left off, but this time with a delightful selection of Indian food, that I could only describe as a banquet big enough to feed the entire village we were staying in. A roaring fire and some of the best red wine I've ever tasted, and it was time to call it a night. We we're up and out early the next day, helping ourselves to the breakfast on offer, some wandered for a little walk, whilst others gathered their bits & pieces. After that we were off and heading back to the big smoke!

As you can see, it was a weekend full of laughs, joy and some well needed mental rest. Here's the next one!

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