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Oxfordshire & #AMBRIDGESHIRE The Cotswolds


Issue 5 - 2014

Annual Publication The Ultimate County Guide

Historic Houses | Attractions | Museums & Arts Gardens & Festivals | Open Air

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CONTENTS Historic Buildings Gardens & Festivals Attractions Museums & Arts The Open Air

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Welcome to the 2014 edition of the Oxfordshire & the Cotswolds County Signpost Tourist Guide, your indispensable guide to the best tourist attractions and days out the county has to offer. We hope that you find our guide, a pleasure to read, both interesting and informative, and that you will take it away with you, to use again and again.

We offer a taster of the visitor attractions and events within the County, for both locals and those who wish to visit from afar.

To be featured in our next edition please email the editor.

For a free download please visit our new map-driven, online magazine website

Published by: County Signpost Ltd Editor: Adam Davison

All material in this magazine is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of printing. County Signpost Ltd does not accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies which slipped through. Copyright County Signpost Ltd 2014. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher.

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Please mention Signpost when visiting any of the attractions.

County Signpost Ltd 01743 874098

NSome ATIONAL TRUST special places to see

View over the garden to the countryside to the south at Newark Park, Gloucestershire ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

Whether you love to explore houses and glorious gardens, or enjoy roaming through parklands, woods and our wonderful countryside, The National Trust’s special places have something for everyone. Why not make a day of it? Bring a picnic or treat yourself to a delicious meal in the restaurants, cafes and tearooms. There are some great shops selling treats and gifts, and an varied events programme to suit all ages.

Surrounding the house you will find wild and romantic gardens, which offer fantastic views towards the Mendips, and lead you towards the estate walks down into the valley below. Newark also has footpath links to the Cotswold Way. There are croquet sets for hire, great spots for taking a picnic and lots of space to roam about. Look out for the snowdrops in early spring and events and exhibitions throughout the season.

Newark Park,

Ozleworth, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire GL12 7PZ 01453 842 644

The quirky interiors of Newark Park, a large estate to explore and fantastic views make Newark Park a favourite for many. Furnished with an eclectic mix of old and new it is easy to relax at Newark Park and discover the story of how it became a home from its origins as a Tudor Hunting Lodge.

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The south front of Newark Park, Gloucestershire ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

View looking West from the Old Garden to the Stilt Garden gates at Hidcote Manor Garden, Gloucestershire © National Trust Images/Nick Meers

Hidcote Manor Garden,

Hidcote Bartrim, nr Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire GL55 6LR 01386 438333

Memories don’t get much better than those you will take away from Hidcote Manor Garden. One of England’s greatest gardens, designed in the Arts and Crafts style by horticulturalist Lawrence Johnston, you can experience for yourself the fulfilment of a quiet American’s English fantasy. A series of exquisite garden rooms each has its own unique character, with rare shrubs, trees, herbaceous borders and unusual plants from around the world. The

garden changes in harmony with the seasons, from vibrant spring bulbs to autumn’s spectacular Red Border.

Whilst you are there, you can enjoy a game of tennis or croquet, join one of the free talks, or enjoy a delicious meal using home-grown produce from the kitchen garden in the refurbished Winthrop’s Café. Why not visit the largest plant centre in the National Trust where you can buy species from Hidcote – including the famous Hidcote lavender. Nestled in the Cotswolds, with sweeping views over the Vale of Evesham, a visit to Hidcote is inspirational at any time of year.

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View of the Great Room at Lodge Park, Gloucestershire ©National Trust Images/Nadia Mackenzie

Lodge Park and Sherborne Estate,

Lodge Park, Aldsworth, Nr Cheltenham, Gloucstershire GL54 3PP 01451 844130

Discover Lodge Park, a unique and beautiful 17th-century grandstand complete with a mile long deer course and accompanying deer park. Created in 1634 for John ‘Crump’ Dutton, Lodge Park indulged Dutton’s passion for deer coursing, gambling, banqueting and entertaining. Here you can find out about the National Trust’s historic renovation of Lodge Park, and the fascinating history of Sherborne Park Estate, Lodge Park and deer coursing. Why not enjoy games and a family picnic on the lawn, explore the parkland walks and trails, designed by Charles Bridgeman, or take light refreshments from the Courtyard Café.

If you are looking for a unique venue Lodge Park is a stunning and stylish setting and available to hire – there are two different reception rooms, stunning views from the

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balcony and access to extensive grounds. It’s a magical environment for weddings, civil partnerships, corporate functions, private dining, photo shoots or filming and the National Trust can help you to create your own distinctive celebration.

Look out for a varied calendar of events throughout the year including the summer arts programme, open air theatre and opera and living history days.

A visit to the wider Sherborne Park Estate will reward you with an abundance of wildlife, from fallow and roe deer to badgers and foxes. Ancient trees such as veteran oak, ash, beech and lime provide important nesting and feeding sites for birds, bats and insects, and Barn Owls and woodpeckers can sometimes be spotted. Ewe Pen Barn is the starting point for several of the Estate’s main walking routes. Do make sure you leave some time to visit the 18th-century water meadows (home to otters, water voles and dragonflies) and to follow the sculpture trail in the Pleasure Gardens.

Snowshill Manor,

Snowshill, nr Broadway, Gloucestershire WR12 7JU 01386 852410

This is a real one-off. Snowshill is home to an English eccentric’s treasure trove. Charles Paget Wade’s passion for craftsmanship, colour and design began when he was just seven years old. His motto was ‘let nothing perish’ and his life was dedicated to finding, restoring and enjoying objects of beauty, both everyday and extraordinary. The manor is packed to the rafters with over 22,000 objects from tiny toys to Samurai armour, musical instruments to fine clocks – all laid out theatrically just as Mr Wade intended. You can start to make sense of it all by hearing the story of Mr Wade, as told by one of the volunteers daily in the garden (weather permitting).

Well Court with lily pond in June at Snowshill Manor and Garden, Gloucestershire. ©National Trust Images/Jonathan Buckley

The Manor nestles in a peaceful and intimate Arts and Crafts-style terraced garden with hidden vistas and quiet corners. It is the ideal place to come and relax, enjoy a delicious homemade lunch in the restaurant, with fresh produce from the garden, or take a cream tea on the terrace.

Part of the collection of Javanese and Balinese (Wagang and Topeng) theatre masks in Seraphim, Snowshill Manor, Gloucestershire ©National Trust Images/Stuart Cox

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Chedworth Roman Villa © National Trust Images / Allan King

Chedworth Roman Villa,

Yanworth, nr Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL54 3LJ 01242 890256

At one of Britain’s grandest Roman Villas you will discover the Golden Age of Roman Britain, walk in the footsteps of Romans and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of Roman life.

The site was discovered in 1864 on the Earl of Eldon’s estate by a local gamekeeper and then excavated by his estate workers – a visit to the Victorian Museum tells the story of these early days and has a unique collection of artefacts from the site.

Following a major project in 2012 the extraordinary relics of the site were unveiled anew. The wonderful new cover building enables you to see amazing in-situ mosaics which can be viewed from suspended walkways. This year you may be able to discover what else lies beneath as

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the team carry out some exploratory archaeology on the enigmatic North Wing of the villa.

Other highlights to the site include the remains of the dining room, bath houses, water shrine, latrine and the under-floor heating system. In addition the site is rich in natural history, with breath-taking views of the Coln Valley. Look out for some very large snails which were introduced by the Romans and which are still found living around the villa.

You can enjoy various Roman-themed events and activities throughout the year including talks, workshops and re-enactments, and the family tracker packs, available from reception, are a great way to make discoveries and have fun.

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This wonderful welcoming Elizabethan home, offers something different. Visit Chavenage House near Tetbury and enjoy guided tours by the owner or his family. Learn of the two families that have occupied the house since the reign of Elizabeth I. Hear of the legends and stories (especially the ghosts) – Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Cotswold countryside.

The name Chavenage dates back to AngloSaxon times, from the Norman Conquest until the Reformation it was monastic land. After the dissolution of the Monasteries, Henry VIII gave the property to the Seymour family. In 1551 Chavenage was purchased by the Stephens family who resided there for over 10 generations. The house and surrounding farm were purchased by the present owner David LowsleyWilliams’ grandfather in 1891.

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The main historical interest centres on the English Civil War, when the house was owned by Col. Nathaniel Stephens MP for Gloucestershire. He was persuaded against his better judgement to vote for Charles I’s impeachment and subsequent execution. Soon after the King was beheaded, Col. Stephens died and it is said that his ghostly form was seen leaving Chavenage in a carriage driven by a headless coachman wearing the Royal vestments. These days, the property is very much a family home and even though it is open to the public on a part-time basis.

In recent years the house and its surroundings have been used to host various events, including

Aston Martin & The Morgan Owners' Club.

Chavenage has been used as a film/TV location on many occasions including Agatha Christie’s Poirot story ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’ and is being seen as Candleford Manor in the BBC’s ‘Lark Rise to Candleford’, and was recently featured in Channel 4's 'All in the Best Possible Taste' with Grayson Perry.

Open May-September Thursdays and Sundays 2-5pm. Also Easter Sunday & Monday and bank Holiday Mondays.

Telephone 01666 502329

Check out the vdeo of Chavenage :

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Walk in Royal Footsteps at Sudeley Castle & Gardens Located just eight miles from Broadway, Sudeley Castle & Gardens is a much-loved family home as well as a popular visitor attraction with awardwinning gardens. The castle has played an important role in England’s history, boasting royal connections that stretch back over 1,000 years.

Visitors are offered the chance to walk in the footsteps of kings and queens including Richard III, Elizabeth I and Lady Jane Grey. It is also the only private castle in England to have a queen – Katherine Parr – buried within its grounds.

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For the 2014 season the castle has opened even more of the family’s private rooms, some of which have never been open to the public before.

The additional rooms now open include the Morning Room, the Library and the Sewing Room as well as private bedrooms. These rooms form part of an extended and revamped route around the castle, which includes the highly anticipated ‘20 Treasures of Sudeley’. A collection of artefacts and works of art of great historical importance which include Katherine Parr’s love letters, lacework reputedly made by Anne Boleyn, Henry VII’s ‘Book of Hours’ and Charles I’s personal beer jugs. Open daily from Monday 17th March to Sunday 2nd November; a full calendar of events is planned including the much-anticipated return of King Richard III to Sudeley Castle & Gardens – the castle is one of seven exclusive venues in the UK to host the reconstructed head of the controversial king.

A 3D face replica based of the skull of Richard III, whose remains were discovered beneath a car park in Leicester last year, will be on show at the castle from 2nd to 15th April, allowing the public a chance to come face to face with one of England’s most important historical figures.

Richard III owned Sudeley Castle twice in his lifetime, first using it as his base for the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1469 and then coming into ownership again on his ascension to the throne in 1483.

As part of the exhibit, screenwriter Philippa Langley, who organised the excavation of the car park leading to the royal find, and esteemed historian Alison Weir, whose early modern fictional works are among the most popular in the UK, will be delivering talks.

Sudeley Castle & Gardens is the last stop on the tour, however a permanent Richard III exhibition will remain at the castle throughout the year.

Additional activities planned include an Easter event for families on the 20th April, Giffords Circus comes to town between 23rd and 27th May and there is a chance to experience Sudeley Castle & Gardens through the ages on the 24th August.

St Marys Church

Sudeley Castle’s magnificent gardens are worldrenowned, providing variety and colour from spring through to autumn. The centrepiece is the Queens Garden, so named because four of England’s queens – Anne Boleyn, Katherine Parr, Lady Jane Grey and Elizabeth I – once admired the hundreds of varieties of roses found in the garden.

An owlery, pheasantry, adventure playground with picnic area, gift shop and cafe in the banqueting hall complete the perfect day out. Open Dates: Monday 17 March Sunday 2 November 2014

Telephone 01242 602308

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"Broughton Castle ... about the most beautiful castle in all England ... for sheer loveliness of the combination of water, woods and picturesque buildings."

A generous tribute from historian Sir Charles Oman in 1898, and one continued by the noted diarist James Lees-Milne in a 1989 entry"It is still the most romantic house imaginable. English to the core, as Henry James says. ... Perfection, what with moat, gatehouse, church, and gorgeous orange and buff stone".

A more recent accolade came in 2003 in England's Thousand Best Houses by Sir Simon Jenkins. The author gives only twenty of the

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thousand houses five stars — and Broughton Castle is proud to be one of them.

The garden at Broughton Castle

The walled garden on the south side of the castle, known as the Ladies' Garden was established in the 1880s on the site of the 16th century kitchens.

The fleur de lys beds are planted with 'Rose Heritage' and Rose 'Gruss an Aachen'. The hedge against the castle is of Rose 'Felicia'. The other beds contain many old roses and herbaceous plants, together with shrubs such as philadelphus and deutzia. The tree in the Ladies' garden is crataegus laevigata.

On the west side of the Ladies' garden wall is a mixed border, with pink the predominant colour. The roses in this border include 'FantinLatour', 'Fritz Nobis', 'Frau Dagmar Hastrup', 'Margaret Hilling', and climbing roses 'Albertine' and 'Purity'.

The rose over the arch, looking through into the ladies garden is R. 'Goldfinch'. The border nearer the gatehouse has a blue yellow and grey theme and includes roses

'Maigold', 'Golden Wings' and 'Windrush', together with berberis, potentillas, hypericum and campanulas.

The existing planting is based on advice given by Lanning Roper in 1970, the work being carried out by the then gardener Bert Dancer. In the 1980s, the planting was developed by Randal Anderson, like Lanning Roper also of American origin. The garden is now maintained and developed by one gardener , Chris Hopkins, working on his own.

Telephone 01295 276070

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Sulgrave manor – the birthplace of the modern western world? There are many places that turn us to thoughts of history and the events that may have happened there in the past. The Tower of London for example conjures up thoughts of imprisoned Queens and beheadings, Stonehenge gives us ancient druid ceremony and Brighton Pavilion the supposed debauchery of the Prince Regent. So how, you may ask does a small Tudor Manor House in the ever so slightly rolling hills of South Northamptonshire compare to these great and grand places?

The date is 1602 and a baby is born to a wealthy but somewhat undistinguished family, his father is the Lord of the Manor of Sulgrave and home is a Tudor longhouse. He is baptised in the local 13th century church of St. James the Less and given the family name Lawrence. He thrives in this environment and at the age of seventeen goes up to Brasenose College, Oxford. He is bright and almost immediately upon graduation he becomes a Fellow of the college. This is not unheard of but is certainly worthy of note, he subsequently takes holy orders in the then fairly new church, the Church of England, and hence becomes known as The Reverend Lawrence.

A few years later and the country is in turmoil. The King, Charles 1, has fallen out with his Parliament, political and religious tensions are cursing through the country. The Archbishop of

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Canterbury, William Laud, also Chancellor of Oxford University, decides to strengthen this city of learning for the King. The population of Oxford includes some of the sons of the richest and most influential families in the country – this has to be a good move! He appoints a Procter for the University whose job it will be to ensure that Oxford, both city and university, remain loyal to the King and to strengthen that loyalty. The young man the Archbishop gives this job to is the Reverend Lawrence.

The young man performs his task well and Oxford does indeed become a royalist stronghold, so much so in fact that when civil war breaks out in 1642 the King moves his court from London, where the population mostly supports the Parliament, to Oxford, because of its strong Royalist feelings. The Reverend Lawrence, who had left Oxford by now, must have been proud of his achievement – creating a stronghold for his King. By now though he was a wealthy Rector in Purliegh, Essex, married and with children but his job was again political. Essex was Parliamentary supporting territory and his task was to turn it back to the King. Well, it all went horribly wrong! A year after the outbreak of war Reverend Lawrence was denounced by Parliament and hounded out of his comfortable life. He lost everything almost overnight and the future looked bleak.

Reverend Lawrence


The war ended in 1649 and the Reverend Lawrence and his family were broken. He died in 1652, almost penniless and therefore leaving little to his family. His wife, Amphyllis, was reduced to begging her relatives for somewhere to live, fortunately some were well placed in this new England.

However when Amphyllis’s step-father died in 1656 he left small legacies to some of his stepgrandchildren. The Reverend Lawrence and Amphillys’s son, John, thus inherited a small sum. Being the son of a known Royalist did not make for a comfortable life for a young man with ambition and so he used this inheritance to buy a share of a trading ship, the Seahorse of London. His plan to trade with the colony of Virginia and thus keep himself out of England for most of the time. He didn’t want to leave England for good but by embarking on this venture he would come back maybe twice a year and see if his propects had changed.

Off he sets on his first voyage aboard the Seahorse, 22 years old and First Mate, it must have been an exciting time. The ship sails to Scandinavia and picks up a cargo of furniture and house-wares and then across the North Atlantic to Virginia. John must have been a good salesman as the cargo was sold and he purchased tobacco for the return journey. Some say that he may have been too eager (or greedy?), for as the ship was reaching the mouth of The Potomac it encountered a storm and sank.

John was penniless (again) and on the wrong side of the Atlantic but he was not going to let this hold him back. He was befriended by (or was this his salesmanship coming to the fore once more?) a wealthy Virginian by the name of

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Oak Parlour

Nathaniel Pope and subsequently married his daughter Anne, receiving 700 acres of prime tobacco planting land as a dowry. He flourished and so did his descendants.

There is one thing that I have omitted from this story – the family name – it is Washington!

So did a child, born in an insignificant Manor House in Northamptonshire, change the world because of his Royalist beliefs?

I’ll let you decide – but if you want to hear more stories of this remarkable family, dating from the late 12th century until modern times then you need to visit Sulgrave Manor, the Ancestral home of George Washington!

Sulgrave, near Banbury OX17 2SD Please see the website for opening details. Telephone 01295 760205

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Bust of George Washington

Sulgrave Manor and the first President of the United States Sulgrave Manor is a Tudor and Georgian era manor house built in 1539 that owes its survival to the fact it was built and lived in by the Washington family, whose direct descendant George Washington would become the commander-in-chief of the American War of Independence and the first President of the United States of America.

Sulgrave Manor today is a tourist attraction, museum and wedding venue as well as a symbol of continued Anglo-American relations. It tells the story of how the Washingtons lived in England during the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I and of the dramatic events that took them across the Atlantic to start a new life in a new land. This is all set within family friendly gardens with open spaces, picnic areas, an orchard and a variety of different themed gardens.

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‘...a heaven on earth...’ Kelmscott Manor, the old house with ‘grey gables and rook haunted trees’ became the country home of William Morris – poet, designer, craftsman, socialist – from 1871 until his death in 1896. Initially, Morris signed a joint lease with the Pre-Raphaelite painter-poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The grade I listed house was built as a farmhouse around 1600 for the prosperous farmer Thomas Turner; in the 1660s Turner’s grandson added a new, rather grander, wing. Morris loved the house, by then known as Kelmscott Manor, as a survival of traditional craftsmanship in harmony with the nearby village of Kelmscott and its surrounding countryside (one of the loveliest stretches of the river Thames is only a few minutes’ walk away). He found its atmosphere and secluded

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setting ‘very stimulating to the imagination’; for the rest of his life it was a source of profound pleasure and creativity, inspiring many of his most important designs and writings.

Visitors to the Manor will find an outstanding collection, from early furniture owned by the Turners to a unique collection of furnishings chosen by Rossetti, and pieces from each of Morris’s London homes including several designed especially for the iconic Red House. Morris’s wife Jane and daughter May are also vivid presences at Kelmscott Manor, which contains many examples of their beautiful and accomplished needlework; much of this was designed by May, who was a significant designer in her own right. It is perhaps the most evocative of all the houses associated with Morris.

The White Room

Kelmscott Manor also boasts enchanting gardens, restored in 1994 by the highly respected landscape consultants Colvin & Moggridge. The front garden features the topiary yew hedge originally designed and ‘trimmed’ by Morris into the shape of the Icelandic dragon, Fafnir. Beyond the walls of the formal garden stand the impressive farm barns – two of these are now home to the tearoom and shop.

2013 season Open every Wednesday and Saturday, 3 April to end October.

Ticket office opens 10.30am; Manor at 11am – 5pm (last admission 4.30pm). Telephone 01367 252486

The Tapestry Room

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‘I’v e been in man y corners of the world and found n on e more beauti fu l’ (an entry in 2012 Visitors Book)

This award-winning three acre garden surrounds a fine 18th century Manor House and Grade I listed 16th century Tithe Barn. It is a garden of surprises and contrasts; tranquil in spring and flamboyant in the summer months. Bourton House Garden is as famous for its imaginative topiary, which includes a knot garden, topiary walk and parterre, as its magnificent wide herbaceous borders filled with rare, unusual and exotic plants in stunning colour combinations. The garden also features a unique Shade House, a serene White Garden, several water features (including a raised basket pond from The Great Exhibition of 1851) and many creatively planted pots. The garden is beautiful at any time of the year but absolutely glorious in the summer months. You will find many ideas to inspire you and many reasons to return! HHA/Christie’s ‘Garden of the Year’ 2006.

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Bourton House Garden from the raised walk

Bourton House – A brief history Bourton House (along with its Brewhouse, Coach House and Stables) has its origins in the 16th century. The Tithe Barn in its grounds bears a dedication stone dated 1570, with the initials RP for then owner Richard Palmer.

The house was rebuilt as a foursquare Jacobean house by the eminent lawyer, Sir Nicholas Overbury in 1598. At the beginning of the 18th century, the house was once again rebuilt by Alexander Popham, the grandson of a Cromwellian general. The house was taken down to its lower ground floor but the towers retained and the slit windows replaced by generous Georgian sash windows. The architect is unknown. The house has remained unchanged for three hundred years. Bourton House Garden first opened to the public on a single Sunday in 1987 for the NGS. Twenty years later, the garden was presented with the prestigious HHA/Christie’s ‘Garden of the Year’ award.

In 2010, the house and garden once again changed hands. The new owners, Mr & Mrs R Quintus, decided to continue the tradition of opening the garden to the public. The garden continues to evolve and develop in the capable hands of Head Gardener Paul Nicholls, assisted by Jacky Rae and Gareth Griffiths. Open to the public every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday April to October 10am to 5pm Admission £6 (under 16 free) Groups are welcome Monday to Friday but advance booking is essential

Knot Garden

The lands belonging to Bourton House were sold in 1851 by Sir James Buller East MP to the neighbouring Sezincote Estate. Today Bourton House is surrounded by its immediate three acre garden and adjacent seven acre walled pasture.

In 1953, the house was sold at auction and there followed a succession of six owners until 1983 when the house was bought by Mr & Mrs R Paice. By now the house and garden were neglected and unloved. So began years of restoration and the planning and creation of the garden you see today. They were fortunate to have the help of a splendid gardening team, originally headed by Paul Williams and followed in 1999 by the current Head Gardener Paul Nicholls.

Tea/Coffee and delicious home-made cakes are available in the Tithe Barn from June to mid September. You will also find an interesting selection of cards and gifts throughout the season.

Exhibitions in the Tithe Barn

Bourton House Garden will be open to the public throughout both exhibitions Exhibition of Paintings by Richard Raby and Jackie Trott Wednesday 12th to Saturday 15th June 2013 Wednesday 19th to Saturday 22nd June 2013 10am to 5pm

This is the first joint exhibition of paintings by husband and wife Richard Raby and Jackie Trott. The couple met as students at Birmingham Art College in the 1970's. Jackie studied ceramics and was a member of The Worcestershire Guild of Designer Craftsmen for over 25 years. Richard studied Graphics and has had a very successful career in Graphic Design. Jackie and

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County Signpost In 2012, Ann received the prestigious ‘HRH Princess Michael of Kent Watercolour Award’ for the most outstanding watercolour in the Society of Women Artists (SWA) annual exhibition. This will be her third exhibition at Bourton House Garden

Charity Open Days:

Saturday 15th June – in aid of National Garden Scheme Sunday 8th September – in aid of The Friends of The Theatre, Chipping Norton

Bourton House Garden, Bourton on the Hill, Gloucestershire, GL56 9AE T: 01386 700754 E: W:

Richard are now enjoying the freedom of retirement and have put together a collection of paintings in both oil and acrylics which shows work inspired by their home in Worcestershire, the nearby Cotswold countryside and Bourton House Garden. Exhibition of Paintings by Ann Blockley SWA Saturday 29th June to Saturday 6th July (closed Sunday 30th June) 10am to 5pm

Ann is a renowned watercolour and mixed media artist with an individual style developed over thirty years of professional painting. Her pictures are evocative, atmospheric and intuitive. Her longstanding passion has been for flowers and nature, inspired by the gardens and countryside close to her Cotswold studio.

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Sulgrave Manor

Sulgrave, near Banbury OX17 2SD Telephone 01295 760205


A magazine article of 1753, describing this style of garden, finished with the line .......You are taken to a pompous and gilded building, consecrated to Venus for no other purpose that the squire riots here in vulgar love with a couple of orange wenches from the local playhouse.

It seems he was unimpressed with the frivolity of the owners of these gardens.

Art in the Garden Exhibition Situated outside the beautiful Cotswold town of Painswick, and famous for its snowdrop display, the Rococo Garden is a fascinating step back to a flamboyant and sensual period of English Garden Design. This gem of a garden, which was originally laid out in the early 18th century, is set in a hidden Cotswold valley with magnificent views of the surrounding countryside.

The major event for 2013 is the third of the annual Art in the Garden exhibitions. It features local, national and international artists and follows the theme "Deeper than a Vision".

Telephone 01452 813204

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Seven miles from the heart of historic Oxford lies Waterperry Gardens – 8 acres of beautiful ornamental gardens with a fascinating history. Established as a School of Horticulture for Ladies by Beatrix Havergal in 1932, it’s now home to a plant centre and garden shop, gallery, gift barn, museum and teashop.

Lose yourself in the wonderful gardens featuring a formal knot and rose garden, colour borders, waterlily canal, riverside walk and herbaceous nursery stock beds from which all cuttings are taken for the plants sold in the Victorian walled garden plant centre.

The pride and joy is the herbaceous border – a stunning feature from early May to late September when it bursts into life again with Michaelmas Daisies in time for the special Michaelmas weekend. Running more than 200

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feet along the length of the old kitchen garden wall, the south facing border was designed to give as long a display of colour as possible, using early, mid-season and late-lowering herbaceous plants and climbers.

New design elements have been added over the years, including a contemporary herbaceous border featuring plants which are low maintenance and drought tolerant.

The garden shop provides everything you need for the gardening season and the plant centre sells mainly Waterperry-grown plants – with herbaceous plants a speciality. There’s also seasonal bedding and veg plants, Waterperry grown shrubs, trees and climbers as well as a wide range of their own apple trees grafted from our orchards where we produce thousands of bottles of the own juice each year.

© Andrew Lawson

If you fancy a bit of retail therapy, the Gallery and Gift Barn are must-sees – with beautiful, affordable and unusual gift ideas to suit all tastes and budgets. There’s also a small Rural Life Museum and a Saxon Church but don’t leave without a visit to Miss H’s – the lovely teashop where you can indulge in home baked lunches, patisserie and cakes – all cooked fresh on the premises each day using the best local, seasonal produce.

Opening times:

Waterperry is open all year round except during Art in Action (18th to 21st July 2013) Christmas Day, Boxing Day, 31st December 2013 and 1st and 2nd January 2014

There is a full programme of year round events, from horticulturally themed weekends to outdoor theatre and concerts as well as a wide range of arts, crafts and gardening courses to allow you to brush up an existing – or learn a new skill.

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County Signpost

Groups and coach parties are welcome. Please contact us to pre-book and to find out about special rates and incentives. • •

• • • • • • •

• •

Events for 2013

Telephone 01844 339254 Email Website:

Jan: Open weekend, 19th & 20th Feb: Snowdrop weekends, 16th, 17th & 23rd, 24th March: Food event, 16th & 17th. March: Saxifrage Day 24th April: Fritillary weekend 20th & 21st May: Art weeks in the Gallery June: Rare plant fair 9th June: As you like it – Theatre in the gardens 12th July: Art in Action 18th to 21st (Waterperry is closed to all but Art in Action visitors) Aug: The Pantaloons – Sherlock Holmes – Theatre in the Gardens Sept: Michaelmas weekend, 14th, 15th & 21st, 22nd Oct: Apple Weekend, 11th, 12th & 13th Nov: Christmas Market, 23rd & 24th

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© Gemma Wheeler

The Queen of the Cotswolds



Bourton-on-the-Water B ourton-on-the-Water

It’s a It’s an ne enchanting nchanting adventure, adve an ostalgic jjourney ourney a nd a great nostalgic and d ay o ut ffor or tthe he w hole ffamily am day out whole

Pic: Clive Burling

galleries • Over Over 50 vehicles vehicles Seven galleries Seven Or iginal enamel sig ns Original signs curiosities M otoring cur iosities Motoring TTV’s V ’s super hero car, car, Brum superhero Gift shop collection TToy oy collec tion • Gift

Tel. 01242 602308 Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire GL54 5JD

Station Road, Chinnor, Oxon. OX39 4ER

Talking Timetable: 01844 353535 The railway is a friendly country branch line in the style of the former Great Western Railway, providing heritage train rides for both families and enthusiasts alike, along the foot of the Chiltern Hills. Open: Every Sunday and Bank Holiday from mid-March to end of October and tickets give unlimited travel on the day of purchase. Trains depart Chinnor Station from 10.00am to 4.30pm. Cream Teas: The railway offers superb cream teas on many of the Sunday afternoon steam hauled trains. For advance bookings or more details please phone 07979 055366.

Visit Mill Dene Garden

call 01451 821255 visit

Tel: 01386 700457

Mill Dene Garden

Mill Dene Garden is hidden deep on the north scarp face of the Cotswolds. It surrounds an old, pre-Norman water mill, with its pond and stream and is set in a tiny valley.

Barry and Wendy Dare fell in love with a building that was falling down with no garden. They had no money and no experience of either restoration or horticulture, but learned on ‘the hoof ’ so to speak, whilst doing other jobs and raising children.

Their creation over a lifetime is there for everyone to enjoy: two and a half acres of interesting planting; of surprises round every corner and a lot of fun. Mill Dene has a tiny misty

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grotto in amongst the bog garden on the stream and a ‘trick of the eye’ apparently extends the boundaries of the garden. It is an exercise of making the most of a difficult site. It is also an exercise in creating something beautiful in which to meditate, and which will nourish the senses.

In this watery wonderland in a steep valley around an old mill, one follows winding paths from the mill stream and pool to a wild garden, through a rose walk, to a potager and fruit garden and down steps to a cricket lawn – all imbued with touches of mischief and incorporating quirky statues and notices. Moreover, the garden changes remarkably through the seasons. Tulips in spring make way for a profusion of culinary and medicinal herbs, attracting pollinators for the nearby fruit. Box hedging and patterned stone retain winter interest, when the garden takes on a meditative feel, possibly because of its historic use a Saxon burial ground. On a lower terrace, a miniature cricket lawn and pavilion, with full sized stumps, are like something out of Alice in Wonderland – a reflection perhaps of the character of Wendy Dare, who designed the garden, and who has lived here with her husband for forty-seven years.

Exhibitions and Art in the Garden 2013 Mill Dene has a permanent exhibition of sculpture and carved lettering. International artists such as Jackie Allwood have been commissioned and her "fossils" are a tribute to Barry Dare's life work.

The Cricket Pavilion

A Serious Garden With A Sense of humour !

Letter carvers from the Cambridge School such as Martin Wenham and Judith Verity, a renowned Gloucestershire artist, have meaningful words beautifully inscribed.

The sculptures are chosen for mutual benefit: the garden enhances the sculpture and the sculpture enhances the garden. There will be occasional artists exhibiting as well.

e mail :

Telephone 01386 700457

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The land that is now Bodenham Arboretum was purchased forty years ago by the late David Binnian and his wife Jennifer. What began as a hobby, planting a few trees each winter, has developed into an area of outstanding landscape beauty and interest.

His vision was to create a modern landscape that encapsulated his love and passion for trees and the countryside. When Bodenham received conditional English Heritage status in 1995 they realized it was a major opportunity for the Arboretum to be enjoyed by the public and it to remain in the family. What the family have achieved, continued and diversified by their son James and now his grandsons, is a thriving working farm and Arboretum that gives enormous pleasure to the many thousands of visitors each year.

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Set in 168 acres there are some 3000 species of trees and shrubs and two chains of pools and lakes. The epicentre lies around the Big Pool where many rare and ornamental trees can be seen in flower or fruit at all times of the year, their autumn colours being a special beauty. Through a patchwork quilt of pools, plantations, dells and glades, habitats provide for flora and

fauna, insect life and numerous species of resident and migrating birds.

Several miles of paths lead through acres of daffodils in early spring, and later primroses, bluebells and foxgloves line many of the woodland walks. The brilliant colours of azaleas and rhododendrons begin in mid- spring and the Laburnum Tunnel is one of the highlights in May/June.

The farm is enjoyed by all ages. Lambs and calves abound in spring, along with chicks from the rare breeds of poultry. Every Christmas time the old farm buildings are transformed to tell the biblical story of the nativity, with life size

wooden characters and Bodenham’s animals, including our own donkeys.

The Visitor Centre is an award winning environmentally sensitive building carved out of the hillside. We serve a variety of home cooked food and cakes, including our very popular carvery. The pork, Herefordshire beef and lamb is from the farm and the vegetables are fresh and local when possible.

Sunday and Christmas lunches are catered for as well as public and private daytime/evening functions, weddings and funeral parties.

Open all day and evening on Thursdays during May to September inc. January – February half term open weekends only

Arboretum Facilities and additional information: • Free car and coach parking • Disabled friendly in Visitor Centre, limited access in the Arboretum • Free entrance to restaurant and shop • Admission charged for Arboretum and Nativity • Groups by arrangement • Hard and grass paths – sensible footwear recommended • Dogs on leads allowed in grounds • Tree and plant sales • Guided walks available

Opening Times: February half term to Christmas open Wednesday to Sunday inclusive, 11am-5pm. Open every day in October, December (ex. 24th and 25th)

To find Bodenham Arboretum: Sat Nav: DY115TB Map ref: SO 8081 Brown signs from Wolverley Church island, along B4189 Telephone 01562852444



Burwarton Show on the B4364 between Ludlow & Bridgnorth - Tel: 01746 787535




.00 pm

• Trade Stands • Shopping Arcade • Food Hall • Handicrafts • Horticulture • WI • YFC Displays • Craft Demonstrations • Sheep Shearing • Inter-Hunt Relay • Cookery Demonstrations

8.1 5am

-7 - Discounted Tickets available on-line: Adults £13, Child £4

A great day out for all the family

Explore E xplore the fas ffascinating ascinating w world orld o off the V Victorian ictorian jjudges udges at at this aawa award-winning ward-winning his historic toric ho house. use. S Stunningly tunningly restored restored and and totally totally hands hands o on.Damp n.Damp ccells ells and and vas vastt ccourtroom ourtroom incl included! uded! Open: 1 March - 31 October, 10am - 5pm Tu Tues - Sun (Open Bank Holiday Mondays) 1 - 30 November 10am - 4pm We Wed - Sun, 1 - 22 December 10am - 4pm Sat - Sun The Judge's Lodg dgin ing, Broad Street, Presteig igne ne, Powys, LD8 2AD.

01544 260650 w u uk k Signpost - page 32

County Signpost


Blenheim Palace is delighted to announce a brand new event in 2013 - The Blenheim Palace Flower Show, taking place from Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd June. This wonderful three-day flower and garden show, will feature over 150 floral and gardens exhibitors, a Grand Floral Marquee with RHS judges, ten garden landscapes, and lots more including food and refreshments and family activities.

Set within the spectacular grounds of Blenheim Palace, The brand new Blenheim Palace Flower Show has it all. The event celebrates everything floral from award-winning nurseries to gardening celebrities and experts who can help you transform your garden into a tranquil haven. The show is packed with inspiration and colour and celebrates the very best of gardening in the UK.

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West Front & Water Terrace

Stunning floral displays will be featured in the Grand Floral Marquee including RHS Gold Medal winning nursery Primrose Bank Nursery who will be displaying their wonderful range of Hellebores. Also see Heucheraholics, Devine Nursery, Roualeyn Fuchsias, Rougham Hall Nursery, whilst Apuldram Roses will be featuring a selection of modern roses in their grand display.

Meet one of TV’s favourite gardening celebrities Christine Walkden in the plant advisory marquee. Christine will be at the show on Saturday and Sunday and will be holding two Q & A sessions a day. Liz Nicholson (from Nicholsons Nursery in Oxfordshire) will be designing a show garden and running “The Tree & Hedging advice” area. The show will feature over 150 gardening exhibitors, including plants, gardening sundries, garden buildings, quality furniture, food & drink, and visitors can enter the Park and Formal Gardens of Blenheim Palace at no extra cost. If you are feeling peckish, Blenheim Palace has a whole range of catering options available at the show from Cream teas to country wines, salads to hot meals.

The Blenheim Palace Flower Show will take place within the stunning setting of Blenheim Park. On Sunday 23rd June, the Heritage Motor Club Rally will also be based within the Park. Advance tickets available. For all up-to-date information visit

Blenheim Palace, Park and Gardens

Blenheim Palace is home to the 11th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and his family, and is the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The splendour and tranquillity of the ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped parkland and the Formal Gardens are unrivalled in Britain. From the inspirational history of the Palace, to the beauty of the surrounding parkland and formal gardens, Blenheim Palace offers a memorable day out for all.

Secret Garden & Rose Garden

Blenheim Palace is situated in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, only eight miles from Oxford, and is open from the 9th February to the 13th December 2013.

Telephone 0800 849 6500

Flagstaff Gate

All images © Blenheim Palace

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County Signpost


The 15th century manor house, which Raymond Blanc has passionately looked after for 29 years, fulfilling a personal vision - to create a hotel and restaurant where each and every guest discovers pure perfection - in food, comfort, service and welcome. The 32-room hotel and restaurant, which since opening in 1984, has achieved the highest awards and accolades of any restaurant and country house hotel in Great Britain is regarded as one of the very best in Europe. The hotel now matches the two Michelin star cuisine. Blanc's edict is simple yet exacting - he believes in excellence - it's as simple as that - and this philosophy has been applied to each and everything Blanc has put his hand to. One of the few restaurants in the world to retain 2 Michelin stars for 29 years, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons remains a Mecca for gourmets the world over. It

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will come as no surprise then, that he has trained 29 Michelin starred chefs in as many years.

It is impossible to sum Raymond Blanc up in a few paragraphs. He is a chef, an author, an entertainer, a teacher and a pupil. Issues are never too small or too large for him to be interested in or annoyed by. He is always eager to dis- cover new ways to do things and communicate established ways to reconnect with the world in which we live. His admirers all agree that he has worked tirelessly to bring respectability to the industry but his first and last love is for Le Manoir – which is a symbol of all that is beautiful in life.

Blanc once said that living in the UK for 25 years made him a better Frenchman. One can only dare to imagine how the next 25 years will develop for Blanc and his team.

The Raymond Blanc Cookery School

The Raymond Blanc Cookery School is a place where adults and children describe their experience as "fun". The school is all about: offering people with a passion for food the skills to prepare fantastic dishes—and have a great time while doing so. With over 20 different courses, there really is something for everyone.

Weddings and events

A special event or wedding at Le Manoir is a unique and unforgettable experience. Raymond Blanc has created a haven where great food, comfort and service provide a friendly and relaxed environment—the perfect treat for close friends or colleagues. Their private dining room, La Belle Époque, can cater for up to 50 guests for lunch or dinner. M Blanc and his Executive Chef Gary Jones have devised a series of delectable menus for your celebration. For reservations telephone 01844 278881 or email

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County Signpost

DIDCOT RAILWAY CENTRE 177 years after it was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1835, the Great Western remains Britain's best loved railway. It was built on a heroic scale by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, with a broad gauge, beautiful bridges and sumptuous stations. It served some of the most scenic areas of England and Wales and called itself The Holiday Line. It invented the Cornish Riviera as a tourist destination. In the 20th century the GWR’s Cheltenham Flyer was the world’s fastest train. Its locomotive policy in the first half of the 20th century was an object lesson in the benefits of standardisation and evolutionary design. With the end of steam on the horizon by the 1940s, the GWR had built a fleet of diesel railcars and experimented with gas turbine locomotives.

Today Didcot Railway Centre encapsulates the long history of the GWR. The replica of the 1840 broad gauge locomotive Fire Fly offers an experience of travel at the beginning of the railway era. The collection of more than 20

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standard gauge locomotives from the 1890s to the 1940s include many of the standard classes typified by tapered boilers, copper-capped chimneys and Brunswick green paintwork. They are completed by Didcot’s preserved fleet of chocolate and cream carriages. On a steamday you are guaranteed a ride in vintage carriages from the 1930s or 1940s.

But Didcot is much more than a train ride. The original engine shed, built 1932, is an exhibition hall which displays locomotives in their authentic surroundings. As the only complete GWR locomotive depot that has survived, Didcot also has a coal stage and turntable in working order. Within the railway centre, buildings have been brought from around the GWR system and re-erected. These included two signal boxes, one of which is regularly opened with staff to explain how semaphore signalling works. There is a picnic area where you can sit and watch the trains go past. In April, newly restored Auto-Trailer 92 was launched, being the partner vehicle to Steam Railmotor 93. This combination makes a formidable sight, and remains ever popular when in use. The third thing of note was the return of a “diesel gala�, the first since 1987. This event now set to become an annual event.

The railway centre also includes a comprehensive museum of small relics from the GWR. These include the colourful posters which decorated stations, an amazing variety of silverware, glass and crockery used in restaurant cars in the age of elegant dining, and the everyday items crafted in brass or steel and marked with the magic initials GWR.

An interactive Science, Learning and Railways exhibition in two railway coaches explains the theory of steam locomotion to young and not so young visitors. The original air raid shelter from 1940 has been restored as an experience of that dark era when the railways helped to ensure victory, but emerged so run down that nationalisation was inevitable. In 1948 the GWR became part of British Railways, but the brand is so potent that the privatised train operating company has re-adopted the name Great Western.

Looking to 2014, as well as the usual steam gala and diesel gala, both in May, and the regular visits by Thomas, in early March and early October, as well as with Father Christmas in December, there are a number of additions to the calendar.

7/8 June will be a D Day 70th Anniversary commemorative weekend. Sunday 13 July will be a Teddy Bears Picnic, and the August Bank Holiday weekend will be a Victorian weekend.

As always, it is suggested to check the website for details or updates, or to telephone the centre on 01235 817200

The entrance to Didcot Railway Centre is at Didcot Parkway railway station on the London to Bristol main line.

Whether you want to be entertained, educated or to admire engineering excellence, a visit to Didcot Railway Centre is a great experience.

2013 was notable for three things. Firstly, the commencement of the Museum Conservation Store and Reference Library, to be known as the Charles Gordon Stuart Annex. Adjoining /extending the GWT Museum & Archive, this important project continues apace, and should be ready to use during 2014.

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County Signpost


The railway is a friendly country branch line in the style of the former Great Western Railway, providing heritage train rides for both families and enthusiasts alike.

The line runs for 3.5 miles along the foot of the Chiltern Hills, parallel to the historic Icknield Way passing through attractive countryside and red kites can often be seen circling overhead. Most trains are steam hauled and operate every Sunday and Bank Holidays departing from Chinnor station. The railway is open from Mothers Day to Halloween and generally tickets give unlimited travel on the day of purchase. The railway also runs a number of special events during the year, including two Gala Days in June

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and August, when all available locomotives and the DMU are in use during the day. There is also an Open Day in May, when you can see behind the scenes to see how the railway operates. In addition, the railway runs its popular Santa and Mince Pie trains on Saturdays and Sundays during December, but these have to be prebooked on 07979 055366.

It also offers superb cream teas on many of the Sunday afternoon steam hauled trains which George Pembroke of Steam Railway wrote ‘The cream tea is the best on-train catering item offered on normal service, and is highly recommended’. For Cream teas availability and advance booking please telephone 07979 055366. The Railway offers Steam and Diesel Driver Experiences, when members of the public can learn how to control a locomotive on the Icknield Line, and drive the steam or diesel loco the full length of the line - full instruction given, and guests can ride in the train behind the driver!! Telephone 07784 189322 for more details. The railway has wheelchair access, but not on DMU trains, Disabled toilet facilities.

Light refreshments are available on Chinnor Station and most trains include a licensed buffet. Souvenirs of your visit can be purchased in the gift shop.

Open Times:

Trains run from mid-March to the end of October every Sunday, and all Bank Holidays, with the Santa trains every weekend in December. Train Times are generally: 11.00, 12.15, 13.30, 15.00, 16.30, apart from Special Events, when they may be more frequent - please see website.

details, on 01844 353535., or go to the website


Chinnor station is situated in Station Road just off the B4009. The M40 J6 is 3 miles away and Princes Risborough is 4 miles further along the B4009. Once in Chinnor follow the brown tourist signs to the railway.


Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway Co., Station Approach, Station Road, Chinnor, Oxon OX39 4ER Talking Timetable: 01844 353535 Party Bookings, cream teas and other queries: 07979 055366, E-mail: Website:

Ticket Price:

Adults £10 Children (3-15) £5.00, Concessions £9 and Family £25.00 (Prices may vary on special event days).

Santa Specials: Special Timetable Check with the Talking Timetable for the latest

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In the beautiful setting of Bourton-on-theWater you’ll find the hidden gem that is the Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection. A popular tourist destination, Bourton is a great place to visit for a day trip, with plenty to see and do in and around the village.

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The Museum You’ll discover over 50 vehicles including cars, motorcycles, pedal cars and caravans displayed in seven galleries covering more than 7,500 sq. ft.! The Museum is a truly fascinating journey through the 20th Century, overflowing with vintage vehicles, hundreds of original enamel

signs and an intriguing collection of motoring curiosities. It’s also home to TV’s superhero car Brum, whose adventures start and end at the museum, and can now be found there every day.

The wonderful toy collection also represents the Museum’s passion for travel. From old favourites from year’s gone past to more modern items, you will be enchanted by the great display of toys and games. After your visit, don’t miss the gift shop which is jam packed with pocket money treats and collectables including Brum memorabilia and souvenirs.

New Exhibition - Glad All Over: Remembering 1964 The Museum is owned by CSMA Club, who have been proudly supporting civil service employees since 1923. This year’s very special exhibition will be taking a nostalgic look back to 1964. On display will be our 1964 Zephyr and two 1964 Royal Enfield motorcycles, as well as photographs, posters and songs from the iconic year. Why not re-live life in the 1960s, or see what all the fuss was about for yourself ? The Cotswold Motoring Museum is open from 10am to 6pm seven days a week, from 14 February to 7 December 2014. Motoring Museum|Toy Collection| Gift Shop|Home of TV’s Brum| Children’s Play Area

Telephone 01451 821255

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County Signpost


Visit Gloucester Waterways Museum and discover the fascinating history of Britain’s most inland port. The Gloucester Waterways Museum is housed in an original Grade II listed Victorian warehouse.

Interactive displays and archive films across extensive galleries illustrate the fascinating stories of our waterways. Discover facts about the ingenious engineering involved in the waterways system, transport and trade, working and living on the canals. Visit the painted ware gallery on level 3.

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Move it! Horses, engines, boats, locks and more... Packed with intricate models, hands-on displays and real working engines, this dynamic gallery looks at the ingenious workings of the locks and boats on our waterways.

You can navigate a lock, race boats to test out different designs and try your hand at boat building and traditional decoration on one of our computer displays.

Just add water! Kids of all ages will enjoy getting their hands wet and discovering for themselves how canals work.

On the museum quayside visitors can see and climb aboard a range of historic boats, including the impressive steam dredger.

Compliment your visit with a 45 minute boat trip with commentary along the Gloucester & Sharpness canal aboard Queen Boadicea II ‘Dunkirk Little Ship’, or book one of our longer themed cruises on board King Arthur. King Arthur is also available for private hire on the canal or river Severn. The Museum gift shop is a real treasure trove, stocking books, maps, model boats, prints and painted ware plus general giftware.  Coots cafe/bar is adjacent to the museum offering a wide selection of refreshments.

Telephone 01452 318201

Volunteers on a dredger

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experience the 'upstairs-downstairs' way of life as they wander through the working Victorian kitchen and laundry, elegant Regency drawing room and charming nursery.

In 2013 visitors will be able to find out more about the composer in the Holst Discovery Space, an open archive facility which opens in September. There will be films available on a touchscreen, and a kiosk where digitised music manuscripts can be 'turned' and listened to using page-turning technology.

Telephone 01242 524846

It feels like going back in time when you step inside the Regency terrace house where Gustav Holst, composer of The Planets was born in 1874.

The museum has four floors of period rooms, with a music room which includes the piano on which Holst composed The Planets. Visitors

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County Signpost


In the beautiful setting of Bourton-on-theWater you’ll find the hidden gem that is the Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection. A popular tourist destination, Bourton is a great place to visit for a day trip, with plenty to see and do in and around the village.

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The Museum You’ll discover over 50 vehicles including cars, motorcycles, pedal cars and caravans displayed in seven galleries covering more than 7,500 sq. ft.! The Museum is a truly fascinating journey through the 20th Century, overflowing with vintage vehicles, hundreds of original enamel

signs and an intriguing collection of motoring curiosities. It’s also home to TV’s superhero car Brum, whose adventures start and end at the museum, and can now be found there every day.

The wonderful toy collection also represents the Museum’s passion for travel. From old favourites from year’s gone past to more modern items, you will be enchanted by the great display of toys and games. After your visit, don’t miss the gift shop which is jam packed with pocket money treats and collectables including Brum memorabilia and souvenirs.

New Exhibition - Glad All Over: Remembering 1964 The Museum is owned by CSMA Club, who have been proudly supporting civil service employees since 1923. This year’s very special exhibition will be taking a nostalgic look back to 1964. On display will be our 1964 Zephyr and two 1964 Royal Enfield motorcycles, as well as photographs, posters and songs from the iconic year. Why not re-live life in the 1960s, or see what all the fuss was about for yourself ? The Cotswold Motoring Museum is open from 10am to 6pm seven days a week, from 14 February to 7 December 2014. Motoring Museum|Toy Collection| Gift Shop|Home of TV’s Brum| Children’s Play Area

Telephone 01451 821255

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County Signpost


The Great Outdoors

The Severn Estuary has the second highest tidal range in the world, giving rise to the famous Severn Bore tidal wave around the spring and autumn equinox.

Explore the thick sloping woodland above the River Wye an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty by foot or bicycle, meander along the picturesque river by kayak, or tackle its white waters discovering a perfect example of traditional British countryside at its best.

The Forest of Dean and Wye Valley is a magical place that offers opportunities to escape the stresses of modern day life.

A rich mixture of woodland, meadows, cliffs, rivers, lakes and nature reserves are home to an abundance of wildlife and plants all year round. Deer and wild boar wander freely amongst the trees; peregrine falcons and goshawks circle above and salmon and trout swim through the cool water below.

The Forest is a nationally important site for thousands of bluebells and equally famous is the Golden Triangle of wild daffodils. It becomes nature’s own firework display of yellow, orange, red and gold, as the trees come alive in the autumn, one of the best natural colour spectaculars in the UK, easily competing with others throughout the world.

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Adrenalin seekers can up the pace and swing through the leafy canopy on high-ropes, or for the daring cyclist there’s the more difficult downhill forest terrain, acclaimed by many as the best new trail in Britain the Verderer’s Trail is 7 miles of all-weather mountain biking excitement.

An amazing natural environment, history and heritage and an array of attractions and activities that will keep you busy for hours on end….the question is will there be enough time to fit everything into one holiday?


Set against a spectacular Severn Estuary backdrop, Slimbridge’s mosaic of pools lagoons, reed beds, marshes, woodlands and meadows provides a haven for diverse wetland creatures including otters, plus some of the world’s most spectacular ducks, geese and swans.

Telephone 01453 891900

Explore on easy paths or take to the water on a canoe safari for some awe-inspiring natural encounters. Come and enjoy each season, embrace the elements, shelter in comfortable hides and enjoy hands-on discovery indoors – there’s plenty to see and do, inside and out, all year round.

Come and see:

• •

• •

Delight in a water-level view of 250 flamingos from the new sunken observatory Spot up to 200 wild bird species from all weather hides Witness ducklings first wobbly steps on Duckery Tour days in late spring See our family of otters at their feeding times Enjoy the colourful wildlife and heat of the tropical house. Our fun outdoor wet playground which is perfect for active children The underwater world at Pond Zone (summer holidays) Extra information: Free plentiful car parking and free for under 4s Restaurant and kiosks in the grounds serve delicious home-cooked food

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County Signpost

WESTONBIRT, THE NATIONAL ARBORETUM However, spectacular spring flowers, Treefest (August Bank Holiday weekend), summer walks amongst lush woodlands and the Enchanted Christmas illuminated trail (the four weekends leading up to Christmas) offer great reasons to visit.

From 2013, the arboretum’s long term plans for a better visitor welcome and arrival will start to take shape.

The Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt is an historic, Victorian picturesque landscape and an internationally important tree and shrub collection.

The 16,000 trees (3,000 different specimens) come from Britain, China, North America, Japan, Chile and other temperate climates.

Within the 17 miles of accessible paths and five national collections, children become young adventurers, adults connect with trees through guided walks, workshops, self-led trails or volunteering.

The National Arboretum is perhaps best known for its autumn colour. Autumn is a fabulous time of year at Westonbirt and wherever you go the vibrant colours are superb. The most popular areas are Acer Glade in the Old Arboretum and The Link and the National Japanese Maple Collection in Silk Wood, but don’t forget to use your seasonal trail map to discover the other pockets of spectacular colour.

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Following a successful fundraising campaign, a new Welcome Building and car park and a landscape restoration project will make a big difference to everybody who visits the arboretum. The developments will mean a better welcome, a better visit and a better understanding of the heritage and importance of this world class tree collection.


Visit the Westonbirt Shop and Plant Centre for quality plants, seasonal gifts, gardening books, children's clothing, foodie treats, cards, stationary and much more. The Westonbirt Plant Centre offers a great range of top quality British grown plants, rare and unusual varieties, herbaceous plants, specimen trees, shrubs, acers, conifers and David Austin roses. Trained staff are on hand to offer help and expert advice.

Opening times Open every day of the year Open: 9am weekdays, 8am weekends Close: 8pm summer, 5pm winter, or dusk if earlier

Telephone 01666 880220

Group rate available for 10+ people booking in advance. Membership available.

Family outing at Westonbirt Arboretum Š Rob Cousins

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Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 7NJ 01235 817200

Recreating the golden age of the Great Western Railway with wonderfully restored steam locomotives. Featuring the original 1932 built GWR four road shed, in full working condition. With other original GWR buildings and structures, including the coaling stage with 75,000 gallon water tank atop. (both working) Also a country station, signal box, and transfer shed. 20 former GWR steam locomotives, including a working (on special occasions) replica broad gauge (7 ft) locomotive, dating from 1840. Learn about machines that changed the world, in the interactive Science, Learning and Railways Exhibition

Over 40 mostly GWR coaches. Over 50 mostly GWR wagons. Four cranes. Carriage and wagon works. Working turntable, with demonstrations on steam days.

Special events include Day Out With Thomas (and to meet Father Christmas), special gala events and also non-railway related themed events. Regular steam days during the year. Open every weekend, and daily most school holidays. Telephone or refer to website for details. GWR small relics museum. Café. Shop. Picnic area.

Recreating the golden age of the Great Western Railway Registered Charity No 272616


This charming, lived in, historic Elizabethan (1576) Manor which has been used a a TV location and featured as Candleford Manor in “Lark Rise to Candleford” is set amidst the tranquil Cotswold Hills contains much of interest. Tapestry rooms, furniture and relics of the Cromwellian period. Hear of the Headless Coachman coming to collect the body of a former owner. Open 2-5p.m. on Thus. & Sun. , May to end of Sept. Plus Easter Sun. & Mon. & Bank Holiday Mondays. (Last Admission 4pm) Tours are conducted by the owner or his family. Group visits (20 plus) on any day at any time throughout the year by prior arrangement.

Catering for pre-arranged groups especially teas or light suppers

For further information, please contact: Caroline Lowsley-Williams, Chavenage, Tetbury, Gloucestershire. GL8 8XP Tel: 01666 502329 Email:

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Waterperry Gardens – eight acres of inspirational gardens steeped in horticultural history. Choose from a huge range of Waterperry grown plants, enjoy some retail therapy in the gift barn and gallery and treat yourself to a sumptuous home baked lunch, cake or patisserie in the teashop. Waterperry Gardens – one of Oxfordshire’s most beautiful gardens and so much more. Open every day from 10 til 5pm. Visit or call us on 01844 339254 Waterperry Gardens, Waterperry, Near Wheatley, Oxford OX33 1JZ.

We are on


Kelmscott Manor

Visit the country home of designer William Morris and see stunning collections in the tranquil setting of this sixteenth-century house & grounds.

‘...the loveliest haunt of ancient peace...’

● Tearoom ● Gift shop ● Disabled facilities ● 2 minutes’ walk from the Thames Path ● Dog friendly!

© Stephen Randall Photography Kelmscott, nr Lechlade, Gloucestershire GL7 3HJ Tel: 01367 253348 / 252486

2014 Oxfordshire & the Cotswolds Signpost  

Popular and colourful 2014 edition of the annual tourist guide - full of features on things to do and places to go.

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