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Things to do as a twosome

Browse the boutiques

Shopaholic or not, Bicester Village is a treat. Some of the biggest designer names have outlet boutiques lining the boulevards of Bicester, meaning you can pick up pieces from brands such as Vivienne Westwood Gucci, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Mulberry and more – all for a fraction of the usual price. There are plenty of restaurants on site too, should you shop up an appetite.

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Take a punt in Oxford

In summer, a visit to Oxford isn't a visit to Oxford unless you take a punt on the river. Head to Magdalen Bridge Boathouse and either hire a chauffeur and sit back and watch the world float by; or pick up a pole and put your own punting panache to the test. The route south down the Cherwell past the botanic gardens and through the Christ Church College Meadows and the Magdalen School rose garden is simply sublime (especially when accompanied with annex of strawberries and a glass of something cold and sparkling).

Pop to the palace

Around 40 minutes’ drive from Farncombe Estate in Woodstock, the ancestral home of the Dukes of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace, makes for a great day out whether you’re interested in architecture, art, horticulture or history. The palace itself is a Unesco World Heritage site, containing a spectacular collection of art and atrefacts, whereas the gardens – all 2,000 acres of them – include water terraces, a succession of formal and pleasure gardens, a butterfly house and the famous Malborough Hedge Maze. Dining options range from casual coffee and cake to full-on fine dining, and the palace maintains a packed events calendar so check what’s on before you turn up.

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Discover Daylesford

The nerve centre of the upmarket organic-food empire, this farm shop and cookery school stocks an array of fine fresh edibles, with clothes, kitchenware, gifts, garden and spa products on the side. They run cooking classes every day from Wednesday to Sunday and garden workshops in everything from foraging to floristry every weekend.

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