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Jim Hamilton Rugby Superstar Louis Turpin Leading Horticultural Artist Charlie Brooks Top Trainer on Cocklebarrow Races Cotswold Calendar Spring Events Competitions Racing, Theatre and Feasting Spring Weddings How to Host at Home Hot Property Beautiful Homes, Expert Advice Cotswold Homes Online Launch of new Cotswold property platform


Racing into Spring From the thrills of the Gold Cup, to an interview with a sporting star and a searing test drive in the car of the future - this issue’s all about energy, novelty and excitement With the worst of the winter chills behind us, it’s time to welcome in a whole new year of Cotswold wonderment - kicking off, as is customary, with the sensational Cheltenham Festival. But beyond that, there’s a whole new season to enjoy, which is why we’ve dedicated four pages this issue to summing up just what new racegoers should be looking out for. This issue we also turn our attentions to a hero of a different sport: Jim Hamilton, Saracens and Gloucester rugby superstar, who looks back on his illustrious career as he prepares for a move away from the Cotswolds. Talking injuries and inspiration, he provides an insight into the mind of a true sporting professional - one who gets to walk away from a truly gruelling sport with all the glory of international achievement. As all our dearly-wed readers will know, with Spring comes a flurry of wedding planning…not to mention all the related expenses. Good job then that two of our sagest experts - events planner Julia Sibun and garden designer Sheena Marsh - are on hand to offer all the advice you need to host some of the festivities in your garden. (Or your parents’ garden, perhaps…) Meanwhile, our motoring correspondent Alex Tilley-Loughrey takes the fantastic Tesla Model X for a spin in a review that’ll show you the future of driving, and all the fantastic plays, events and exhibitions of the upcoming months (including Fresh: Art Fair’s fantastic second outing) are detailed for your enjoyment. There’s so much going on that it threatens to put even your typically eventful Cotswold summer to shame. Last and certainly not least is our usual property showcase, bringing you the pick of the North Cotswold property market. Ah, but there’s so much we haven’t mentioned - from our lookback at the Heythrop Hunt’s Cocklebarrow Races and interview with Charlie Brooks, to our features on the Royal Shakespeare Company’s latest productions, and the lavishly illustrated second part to Your Guide to the North Cotswolds… best to let you discover that for yourselves. Enjoy - and see you in the Summer! Cover Image: Church in the Hill by Louis Turpin Louis Turpin will be exhibiting his new work at Stow on the Wold’s Fosse Gallery from Sunday 4th to Saturday 24th March 2018. Read our interview with Louis in this issue, and visit his website at

Contents 04 Competitions

Featuring tickets to The RSC, the races - and much more

08 At Home with Jim Hamilton The rugby superstar talks career and Cotswolds

12 The Vivid World of Louis Turpin Our cover artist displays his new works

18 Your Cotswold Racing Primer Get to grips with the season with our guides

24 Cocklebarrow Spectacular Looking back at the January P2P

30 Home Weddings Hot tips from two specialists

42 Events

The best springtime offerings

50 Driving Miss Dashboard Alex takes the Tesla Model X for a spin

56 Hot Property

Beautiful Cotswold homes, sage advice from property experts

66 Cotswold Homes Online Launching our bespoke Cotswold property portal

Cotswold Homes Magazine Our next edition, Summer 18, will bring you more upcoming events, offers and articles showcasing the local area – helping you to get more out of life in this beautiful part of the world. To speak to a member of our team, please telephone 01608 651000 or email: Editor’s Desk: Property: Food & Drink/Equestrian: Marketing & Sales: Website & Admin:





WIN! A FAMILY TICKET to see MACBETH – RECORDED, CAPTURED LIVE - ON 23RD MAY AT THEATRE CHIPPING NORTON The ruined aftermath of a bloody civil war. Ruthlessly fighting to survive, the Macbeths are propelled towards the crown by forces of elemental darkness. Shakespeare’s most intense and terrifying tragedy, directed by Rufus Norris (The Threepenny Opera, London Road), will see Rory Kinnear (Young Marx, Othello) and Anne-Marie Duff (Oil, Suffragette) return to the National Theatre to play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. For your chance to win a family ticket (4 x tickets) to see Macbeth (recorded, captured

live at the National Theatre) on Wednesday 23rd May at 7.30pm at the Theatre Chipping Norton, simply visit the competition section of Good luck! Competition closes on 19th April 2018. In an attempt to prevent the fiercely independent Duchess from marrying the man she loves, her corrupt brothers go on a disturbing quest to destroy her. Remarkable for its inventive and grotesque violence, yet full of dark humour, this violent revenge tragedy asks how anyone can survive in a world where masculinity has become toxic.   The Duchess of Malfi plays in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Theatre from 1 March, and we’re thrilled to offer you the chance to win tickets to see this rarely performed play.*

WIN! A PAIR OF TICKETS TO CRIMES UNDER THE SUN AT THE ROSES THEATRE ON WEDNESDAY 21ST MARCH A secluded island hotel just off the English coast becomes a crime scene, as a scandalinducing femme-fatale is felled. All the guests on the island are suspects, but are they alone and is this the first crime this idyllic island has witnessed? Award-winning theatre company New Old Friends present Crimes Under the Sun, a comedy thriller directed by James Farrell (Associate Director - The 39 Steps, West End). The show features four actors playing multiple outrageous characters, and a plot that romps along in the company’s trademark inventive style. Inspired by Agatha Christie, Hitchcock and film noir, you are invited on an hilarious but murderous trip to a classic English Riviera retreat.



WIN! a pair of tickets to see The Duchess of Malfi at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon

We’ve snapped up a pair of tickets to see Crimes Under The Sun at The Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury on Wednesday 21st March at 7.30pm. To enter this competition, head to the competition section of Prize draw closes on 8th March 2018.

Cotswold Homes is offering two tickets to any of The Duchess of Malfi performances until 3 August 2018, subject to availability. To be in with a chance of winning this great prize, just head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes. com. Competition closes on 19th April 2018. *Terms and conditions apply. Prize cannot be transferred and is valid for the named winner plus guest only.


SPRING COMPETITION GIVEAWAY ONLY WITH COTSWOLD HOMES WIN! two tickets to A Streetcar Named Desire at Oxford Playhouse on Tuesday 8th May Every man is a king. Stanley Kowalski is no exception. Until one summer, when his sister-in-law Blanche comes to stay. Anxious, seductive and fiercely clever, Blanche is just about keeping it together. But her arrival threatens his entire way of life. As the temperature soars and passions intensify, a burning desire threatens to tear their world apart. This bold new revival of Tennessee Williams’ timeless masterpiece is a fiery portrayal of what it means to be an outsider, in a society where we’re all desperate to belong.   A Streetcar Named Desire runs from 8th – 12th May at Oxford Playhouse. To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets the 7.30pm performance on Tuesday 8th May, just head to the competition section of Competition closes on 26th April 2018.

WIN! a family ticket to George’s Marvellous Medicine at Oxford Playhouse on Tuesday 10th April

Most grandmothers are lovely, kind, helpful old ladies. Not George’s Grandmother. George’s Grandmother likes to gobble up slugs and bugs, and is always telling George what to do. But one day, when his parents leave him alone with the grizzly old grunion, George takes his chance and sets about creating a brand new medicine to cure her of her cruelty. Little does he know that his perilous potion will be the start of a rather marvellous adventure... Following the success of Fantastic Mr. Fox, Curve’s magnificent new co-production with Rose Theatre Kingston promises to be yet another hugely imaginative and entertaining stage adaptation. George’s Marvellous Medicine is bursting with growing grannies, feathery farm animals and bags of frothbuggling family fun. Join us to see Roald Dahl’s treasured tale brought to phizz-whizzing life!   George’s Marvellous Medicine runs from 10th – 14th April 2018 at Oxford Playhouse. To be in with a chance of winning a family ticket (4 x tickets) to the 6.30pm performance on Tuesday 10th April, just head to the competition section of Competition closes on 29th March 2018.

WIN! A PAIR OF TICKETS TO SEE A FILM OF YOUR CHOICE AT EVESHAM’S RENOWNED ART DECO CINEMA, THE REGAL The Regal Cinema in Evesham is a lovingly restored art deco style cinema with a coffee shop and licensed bar that attracts moviegoers from across the region. It hosts a wide variety of events that include live music and comedy performances, live sports broadcasts and transmissions of live theatre productions, as well as the latest blockbuster films!

The lucky winner of this pair of tickets will be able to see a film of their choice for free (subject to availability).   To enter our draw, visit the competition section of Competition closes on 12th April 2018.

WIN! two tickets to The Winslow Boy at Oxford Playhouse on Monday 12th March A major new revival of Terence Rattigan’s astonishingly involving classic family drama comes to Oxford Playhouse with Tessa PeakeJones and Aden Gillett. Having been expelled from the Royal Naval College for stealing a five-shilling postal order, young cadet Ronnie Winslow’s entire family are pulled apart by the repercussions of this charge. Set against the principled English values of Edwardian London, the Winslow family fight to clear his name or face social ostracism as the case becomes a national scandal. Based on a real-life event, The Winslow Boy is a courageous and delicately humorous window into the class and political hypocrisy of the time. Tessa Peake-Jones (Only Fools and Horses, Grantchester) stars as Grace Winslow, wife of Arthur Winslow, played by Aden Gillett (House of Eliott, Holby City), the father who embarks on an extraordinary campaign for justice for his son. The Winslow Boy runs from 12th – 17th March 2018 at Oxford Playhouse. To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets to the 7.30pm performance on Monday 12th March, just head to the competition section of Competition closes on 1st March 2018.




SPRING COMPETITION GIVEAWAY ONLY WITH COTSWOLD HOMES WIN! two tickets to the British & Midland Championships at Prescott Speed Hill Climb

The Bugatti Club at Prescott Hill Climb in Gotherington, near Cheltenham, plays host to the annual British & Midland Championships over the weekend of 28th and 29th April 2018. This two day event features the opening rounds of both of the UK’s premier series the British & Midland Hill Climb Championships.

For some speed hill climb racing, there’s no better place to be on this last weekend of April! We’ve snapped up a pair of adult tickets to be won for Sunday 29th April. To enter this prize draw, just head to the competition section of our website The competition closes on 12th April 2018.

Fans of wine and cheese (who isn’t?) will be well-catered for at this top night of feasting and drinking.

For your chance to win a £25 MooreGolf voucher and a 45-minute lesson with Duncan, head to the competition section of www. The competition closes on 12th April 2018.

For your chance to win 4 tickets to the Majestic Wine & Cheese Night at Upper Rissington’s favourite eaterie, The Hangar, simply visit the competition section of our website The competition closes on 15th March 2018..

Entry to our competitions is open to all except the colleagues (and their families) of Cotswold Homes and Harrison James & Hardie. Winners will be drawn at random and notified by e-mail or by phone and may be posted on our website. No alternative prize or cash substitute is available for any of the prizes. In the event of a winner being unable to accept their prize then another winner will be drawn. It is a condition of entry that all rules are accepted as final and that the competitor agrees to abide by these rules. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into.



Duncan Moore is Burford Golf Club’s newly appointed Head PGA Professional. Duncan provides Burford Golf Club with a fully stocked Professional Shop, MooreGolf, with the best products including all the latest golf equipment such as Ping, Callaway, Titleist, TaylorMade & Mizuno with numerous shaft and head combinations and all at very competitive prices.

WIN! 4 tickets to the Majestic Wine & Cheese Night at The Hangar, Upper Rissington on 31st March

Terms & Conditions

WIN! a £25 MooreGolf voucher AND a 45 minute Golf lesson with Duncan Moore PGA Professional worth £45

Entries must be made via the competition section of the Cotswold Homes website www.cotswold-homes. com (or as specified in entry terms of a specific prize) and entry is restricted to one per person. Late, illegible, incomplete, defaced or corrupt entries or entries sent through agencies and third parties will not be accepted. The winner will be drawn at random from all entries received by the closing date and notified via the contact details supplied. The winner will be contacted within seven days of the closing date of the prize draw. Should the Promoter be unable to contact the winner or should the winner be unable to accept the prize, the Promoter reserves the right to award the prize to an alternative winner, drawn

in accordance with these terms and conditions. The prize is described as available on the date of publication and all prizes are subject to the terms and conditions of the supplier. The prizes do not include travel insurance, food and drink, personal expenditure, or incidental costs, other than where mentioned. All elements of the prize are non transferable and there are no cash alternatives. The winner may be required to take part in publicity. Events may occur that render the prize draw itself or the awarding of the prize impossible due to reasons beyond the control of the Promoter and accordingly the Promoter may at its absolute discretion vary or amend the promotion and the entrant agrees that no liability shall attach to the Promoter as a result thereof.



We’ve secured tickets for a pair of lucky winners to one of the most exciting events in the Jump season calendar!

throughout the day with all Folk’ed up continuing the craic over in the Best Mate enclosure.

Celebrate St Patrick’s Day on 15th March 2018, day three of The Festival, with special guests, The Fureys. It’s a typically Irish affair with plenty of tradition available in the Guinness Village. Racegoers are treated to authentic music around the course

As well as the atmosphere, the racing is top notch with the first race of the day, The JLT Novices’ Chase, plus The Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle and The Ryanair Steeple Chase. May luck be ever in your favour for one of the highlights of the year! St Patrick’s Thursday

WIN! A PAIR OF TICKETS TO SPRING RACEDAY AT WARWICK RACECOURSE ON 28TH MARCH With The Festival™ finished at Cheltenham, for many the pressure is off, and this laid-back Spring Raceday at Warwick is a perfect example of a simple but pleasant day out at the track. Come and join us for a relaxing occasion at Warwick’s great little racecourse with some great racing! Opens 12:00 | First race 2:00pm | Last race 4:45pm To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets to Spring Raceday on 28th March, just head to the competition section of Competition closes on 15th March 2018.

is a day that is guaranteed to be full of fun and fantastic racing. Opens 10:30 | First race 1:30pm | Last race 5:30pm To be in with a chance of securing a pair of Club Tickets to St. Patrick’s Thursday, just head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes. com. Competition closes on 1st March 2018.

WIN! A PAIR OF TICKETS TO ST. MARY’S LANDS CUP DAY AT WARWICK RACECOURSE ON 5TH APRIL Come and enjoy a day’s racing on 5th April 2018 at the world’s sixth oldest racetrack, Warwick Racecourse. St. Mary’s Lands has hosted horseracing since 1707, nearly fifty years before The Jockey Club was formed. Racing was conceived as an initiative in Warwick to bring people to the town following the great fire. The St. Mary’s Trophy is run on behalf of all the other forms of entertainment staged on the common, including the Racing Club Warwick Football Club, Warwick Corps of Drums, the pigeon racing club, the golf course, Hill Close Gardens and model aeroplane club. Opens 11:50 | First race 1:50pm | Last race 4:35pm

To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets to St. Mary’s Lands Cup Day on 5th April, just head to the competition section of Competition closes on 15th March 2018.








When the new neighbour turned out to be Saracens rugby club and international star Jim Hamilton there was a definite thrill in the air. This is the Cotswolds after all. Here rugby is the beautiful game - no doubt his reputation as fearsome second row warrior precedes him. In person he looms so man-mountain that he makes all our men folk suddenly look as if they should be wearing short trousers. We try not to show it but we’re all a bit awestruck. However Jim is the reverse of expectation – alpha but not remotely menacing, just affable and self-effacing. Over the last year I have seen him amicably pitching in many times, obligingly helping out the locals whether serving burgers at the village fireworks or running around with the Rissington School’s rugby squad. Being so unavoidably noticeable must get tiring, though. When Jim and his wife Becki and two little children arrived in the North Cotswolds he was still playing for Saracens. Having announced he would be leaving at the end of the 2017 season it’s been a time of great change and considerable pressures, not least as they have recently had premature twins. I bet you’re always being asked to do stuff to help out since you’ve been here? “I don’t mind. I love living here. I have lived all over the world and it’s genuinely the

friendliest place I have ever lived. Being out in the countryside gives plenty of time for reflection - all these open spaces and fresh air have been just what I needed. There’s a great solace in how safe Upper Rissington is for the children, too. I love the fact that they can run around freely. We have made lots of friends here. Doing some coaching for the primary school’s rugby squad was a great experience – a really well behaved bunch of kids, really focused, terrific. They did very well and I enjoyed it.” Is professional coaching an option for you, now you have retired? “I had a few offers in the Premiership but have decided against that. I did set up my own rugby academy with my friend Larry Cummins a while back, offering teenage kids the opportunity and insight to train like professionals. We ran summer camps and involved players including Gregg Laidlaw [Scotland captain], Charlie Hodgson [England fly half], Kelly Brown [Scotland back row] and Gloucester lads Henry Purdy and Nick Wood. As well as playing and practical skills we talked a lot about nutrition and mind-set. Parts were very enjoyable but I found others frustrating. Some kids just couldn’t benefit from what we were trying to deliver. So we have put that on hold for now whilst we work out a sustainable strategy.”




What did rugby do for you as a youngster? “I had a bit of a tough background - my dad was in the forces, my mum’s family were Chinese and lived in Coventry. We went back there when my parents divorced. Times were hard, struggling financially. I was living with the influence of just my mum and younger sister. I didn’t always have that direction and discipline needed to be successful. But adversity is good for you because it teaches character, resolve and determination. When I picked up a rugby ball in my late teens I suddenly found inclusion and team-ship, something that I hadn’t experienced before. “The biggest thing for me – and which would continue to be a big factor moving forward - was challenging my natural aggression in a very combative sport. Playing team sport helps you in so many ways. It sure makes you understand the massive value of praise and recognition, the equation of effort and achievement. It teaches you resilience and gives you a true sense of fulfilment and self-esteem. It’s equally about humility and absolute focus because you all have to be in the same mind-set to succeed. If you’re not nothing goes right.”



So as captain at Gloucester, how did you motivate your team to succeed? “I am definitely not a directional, headsdown Yes Sir military-style person. I am not a shouter or a bully. I would rather lead from the front. I might not be the best player on the pitch but I always worked my hardest - that wins you respect. A positive attitude amongst everyone is the difference between success and failure - that’s why Saracens have been so successful over recent seasons. It’s a great culture, with great players brought together by positive energy and relationships. Did everyone like each other? No, of course not. Did everyone respect each other, absolutely! “Some of my best memories were playing for Scotland. I played sixty three times - nine Six Nations and two World Cups. I had amazing experiences, I got to travel the world and meet some fantastic people. The rugby itself was sometimes tough because we didn’t have huge amounts of success. It wasn’t through lack of trying - we just lacked quality and leadership in some areas. Your biggest learning curve as a professional athlete is how you deal with things in adversity, when times are hard. I managed to get thorough the other side of that.”

How was being at Saracens such a different experience? “Some would say right place, right time. I would say that I bought into a culture that everyone believed in. Great players and coaches, like-minded people who not only wanted to win on the pitch but to better themselves off it, too. I joined Saracens five years in to a ‘journey’ where the club, on and off the field, was restructured and given a new identity. To be able to finish my career at a club like Saracens was a dream come true - two Premiership titles and a back-toback Champions Cup title was amazing. But to share the pitch after my final game of rugby having lifted the Champions Cup with my wife and kids is a memory that will live within me forever.” I tell Jim that I stayed recently at Bisham Abbey where, walking through corridors decorated with huge pictures of Olympians delightedly clasping medals, it was easy to see how that sense of belonging and achievement could be truly uplifting. Jim visibly winces. “I was at Bisham Abbey when I dislocated my ankle. My foot was basically the wrong


way round. They brought in a helicopter to get me to hospital but I was too big to fit in it. I was off for eight months and then it dislocated again.” Even though he’s now retired there is still a reluctance to dwell on the negative impact of those injuries. “Injury is common and playing with injuries is normal. I came home with all kinds – broken fingers and ribs, a broken nose, stitches, a lot of bruises, usual stuff. I had my fair share of big injuries too: dislocations, concussion, ligament tears, major broken bones and operations to fix irreparable damage. I had four shoulder reconstructions in five years. I suffer residual disc problems in my neck and back now.” What was the injury you feared most? “Concussion. I am very passionate about player welfare. My good friend and business partner Alistair Hargreaves had five big concussions that ultimately stopped his playing career. Most players at top level suffer some kind of concussion. Being a father it has been my biggest concern. You used to be applauded for getting straight back up and carrying on playing. It has taken time to understand the true impact. It’s one of those injuries you can’t see but as more and more data is collected on the risks, that damage is now being faced ‘head on’ and thankfully attitudes on the pitch are now changing.” What do you hope for now you aren’t playing at competitive level? “Proper time with my wife and children. My son was born in 2011 - World Cup year. I had just moved alone to France when my daughter was born. Of course, weekends were always taken up – even trying to walk pain-free after a game made it difficult to play with them. Fortunately Becki is content to be at home whilst the children are little. I have looked after all the kids for a day and I can tell you that playing a rugby match against the All Blacks is a lot easier! “They say behind every successful man there’s a great woman and that’s Becki. She has put her life and dreams on hold for me. Any friendships she made usually lasted a couple of years before we moved again. Any career ambitions stopped so we could move freely. She is the main reason I have been able to play sport at the highest level because she really understands the pressures. Becki played netball for the England Under17s and Under-19s and was good enough to be invited to try-outs for the Glasgow Super League, which even back then was a big deal, but there was no money in it. So

it made sense to step back and support my career instead. ” Financial inequality in women’s sport, as in other arenas, seems to be the topic du jour? “Of course it’s unfair that women’s sport is less valued. It’s got nothing to do with ability. There’s absolutely no reason why women can’t be top profile – it just doesn’t pay the same because there’s not the ticket sales to attract commercial sponsorship. I have two little girls and would love to see that change in my lifetime - equality not just in sport but in life and in business by the time they’re grown up. Life is already very different to when we were kids. It’s definitely better now.” What about a new career direction for you? “I am only thirty five with a lot of working years left in me. And I have four kids to fend for. I want them to see me working hard, being successful in my life. I was very conscious a couple of years ago that my career was ending so I took and tried every

opportunity that came to me. I coached the Saracens’ Academy for two seasons. I set up my own digital marketing company. I invested in a London restaurant - Mac & Wild – that’s doing really well even though nowadays I’m only loosely involved. “Some opportunities haven’t materialised but they all took me out of my comfort zone and opened my eyes to the real world. I am still an ambassador for Saracens, still heavily involved in media, doing a podcast and a column for the Times, but my real passion now is for a business initially set up by Alister Hargreaves and Chris Wyles called Wolfpack Lager. We have just opened a bar in Lonsdale Road, Queens Park and that’s going very well, heading into a busy summer. If you are ever in north London and fancy a beer please come down and say hi. We would love to see you!”





















Louis Turpin is one of Britain’s most distinguished horticultural artists. Since turning down a record deal in the sixties to pursue a career in art, he’s enjoyed solo shows around the world. His paintings have been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, The Royal Academy and The Royal Society of Portrait Painters. Louis’ new exhibition, Travels Through Landscapes and Gardens, runs at Stow on the Wold’s Fosse Gallery from 4 - 24 March 2018. The show will include works inspired by the artist’s visits to gardens from the Cotswolds, Cornwall and Edinburgh.




Right now in my studio, I have twenty canvases started, but not finished. Each of them has the story of the painting embedded within the abstract structure on the canvas.

Longing for Spring? I’ve discovered a great remedy for those drab winter days. Simply gaze into a Louis Turpin painting, and suddenly, you’re transported to a breath-taking garden, or some likewise gorgeous slice of countryside. The sight of his pictures immediately lifts the spirits: each painting seems imbued with a luscious profusion of colour. How, exactly, does Mr Turpin do it? How does he shape those bright, inviting scenes, so expertly poised between reality and abstraction, between orderliness and wilderness? And just what does this very well-travelled gentleman make of our own splendid Cotswold gardens? ‘They’re very inspiring,’ Louis affirms. ‘I visited a few in 2017, including Painswick Rococo Gardens, the Rosemary Verey gardens at Barnsley House, and the Owlpen Manor gardens - a fantastic place.’ At the time of talking (December 2017, just before the first snows), Louis hasn’t worked out exactly which Cotswold gardens

will feature in his new Fosse Gallery show. ‘The exhibition will definitely feature some Cotswold works,’ he assures me, ‘but it’s a journey across the whole country, really running from Edinburgh to Cornwall.’ Now at the end of his adventures, he’s enjoying being able to finally take stock, and reflect on all the places he’s visited. Louis’ year of travelling has been his artistic inspiration. But one of those journeys was personal. Accompanied by his two sons, Louis drove into Andalucía, to bury his parents’ ashes in the mountain village where they had lived together for 16 years. ‘It seemed a nice closing of a circle to return them,’ Louis says. During Louis’ childhood, the Turpins lived in post-war London. Louis’ father, Digby Turpin, created and animated informational films for the government; young Louis grew enamoured with the plantlife that pushed its way through the rubble in which he played. Later, his family moved to a Regency house with a ‘garden full of magic.’ The sixties proved nurturing soil for the teenage Louis, who a leading rock manager wanted to turn




into the next music sensation. A tempting three-year contract was offered. Louis declined. ‘I decided not to take the offer. It seemed to me it was easier to be a painter who played music than a musician who painted.’ Nonetheless, music’s always remained a vital part of his life – more so jazz and blues than rock and roll. ‘As I’ve lived my life, I’ve always been able to play, but come into the studio the next morning…’ he says. Is it true, I ask, that you’ve played with Paul McCartney? ‘Oh, only in the front room. We were good friends.’ Eventually, he threw in city living for the more rural pleasures of East Sussex. During his early career, he was an abstract artist and filmmaker. But his new surroundings nudged him towards a new path.

I had a fantastic cottage in the middle of a farm. I would look from my studio window into a hop field. That field was like a trigger for my abstract painting - I would use the poles as starting points - but one day I decided to paint the field as it was, and sort of became a figurative painter. ‘I had a fantastic cottage in the middle of a farm. I would look from my studio window into a hop field. That field was like a trigger for my abstract painting - I would use the poles as starting points - but one day I decided to paint the field as it was, and sort of became a figurative painter. But the underlying structure of my paintings still have an abstraction to them.’ It wasn’t long before he discovered his affinity for representing Britain’s gardens. ‘[The move] happened in an odd way, really. I was doing a portrait of a mother and daughter to replace a picture that they had lost in a fire. They were living in Great Dixter at the time, so I decided to paint them in Great Dixter gardens. Then, two years later, I discovered the fantastic garden ‘rooms’ at Sissinghurst. It forged a new direction for me.’ As first loves go, a budding horticultural artist could do much worse than Sissinghurst Castle Gardens. Created in the 1930s by poet/gardening writer Vita Sackville-West and her author/diplomat husband Harold Nicolson, the gardens were conceived as a series of rooms, each with a different theme. They’re especially interesting when viewed from above - it’s no wonder they appealed to Louis.




And it seems Louis’ affinity for abstraction provides the foundation for his current paintings. He tells me a little of his early working process: ‘Basically, there’s a primary stage which holds the design of the painting together,’ he explains, ‘and all its elements and structure. Right now in my studio, I have twenty canvases started, but not finished. Each of them has the story of the painting embedded within the abstract structure on the canvas.’ As it happens, he’s just this moment completed a canvas. But as soon as we’re finished, he assures me, ‘I’ll be considering the next.’ He’s just as tireless and as dedicated as the visionary gardeners he so admires.

Travels Through Landscapes and Gardens, runs at Stow on the Wold’s Fosse Gallery from 4 - 24 March 2018. Visit for more details. COTSWOLD-HOMES.COM




YOUR COTSWOLD RACING PRIMER Springtime heralds the arrival of top jump-racing action, and Cotswold residents can enjoy it all in person. Read on to plan your trips to Cheltenham and Warwick racecourses.

Four days of racing action mark the highlight of the jump season. Famous and exciting races draw huge crowds, as fortunes are won and legends are forged at Cheltenham Racecourse.

Champions Day

13th March 2018 Opens 10:30, First race 1:30pm, Last race 5:30pm Let the roar commence on day one of The Festival! As the tapes rise for the opening of this iconic meeting, horsemen and racegoers alike celebrate as the 12-month wait is over - and racing’s favourite fixture is back. Be welcomed by Taylor and The Masons on the Centaur balcony and dance your way into the racecourse for the 2018 Festival. Witness the champion hurdler crowned whilst soaking up a winning atmosphere in the Guinness village, with live music from the Lucky 15s. Finish the day by booking your Final Flight ticket where course favourites, The Chip Shop Boys, round things off in true Cheltenham style. Those without a Final Flight ticket can head to The Centaur for further entertainment.




Ladies Day

14th March 2018 Opens 10:30, First race 1:30pm, Last race 5:30pm Ladies Day is all about sporting grace and glamour! Be bold: don your best silks and add a splash of colour on Ladies Day 2018, and you could win one of Cheltenham’s amazing prizes - including a brand new Mini One Car from W.O. Lewis and Sytner Solihull - courtesy of the #ColourMeMarch competition. For your chance to make it a winning day, all you need to do is either get spotted by one of the racecourse team, who will then ask if you’d like to be entered into the Ladies Day competition; or you can enter yourself in the Ladies day marquee. Winners will be selected at random and announced on the big screen overlooking the parade ring. Other prizes include a £2,000 necklace from Boodles, an overnight stay at The Lygon Arms in Broadway with dinner, cocktails, breakfast and spa treatment, an Yvette Jelfs made to order hat worth £700 - and more. Cheltenham’s Ladies Day ambassador for 2018 is Miss England 2017, Stephanie Hill. The 22-year-old - a keen equestrian rider studying for a degree in radiotherapy - beat off 117 other competitors to come third in the world at the Miss World contest. Stephanie will be on hand to present the prizes on the day. And don’t forget all the shopping on offer! Give your wardrobe a touch of Cheltenham class and head to the tented village. Cheltenham’s extensive Shopping Village provides a bespoke selection of unique quality products and gifts for all.

St Patrick’s Thursday

15th March 2018 Opens 10:30, First race 1:30pm, Last race 5:30pm Celebrate St Patrick’s Day on day three of The Festival with special guests, The Fureys. It’s a typically Irish affair with plenty of tradition available in the Guinness Village. Racegoers are treated to authentic music around the course throughout the day with all Folk’ed up continuing the craic over in the Best Mate enclosure. As well as the atmosphere, the racing is top notch with the first race of the day, The JLT Novices’ Chase, plus The Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle and The Ryanair Steeple Chase. May luck be ever in your favour for one of the highlights of the year! St Patrick’s Thursday is a day that is guaranteed to be full of fun and fantastic racing.

Gold Cup Day

16th March 2018 Opens 10:30, First race 1:30pm, Last race 5:30pm Last - but most certainly not least - is Gold Cup Day, where champions are crowned and history is made during the closing day of The Festival. One of the most sought-after titles in racing is decided on the final day of the Festival, and always promises to provide the greatest spectacle. (Racegoers can now post their #Chelfie in the hopes of making it onto the big screen for all to see). The victory celebrations roll on into the evening with top-class entertainment in Final Flight with the Chip Shop Boys and The Fureys hosting the finale in The Centaur. The Festival fun doesn’t end just because the racing has!




APRIL MEETING Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th April 2018 Gates open 12.00 noon, with the first races at 2.05pm and the last races at 5.30pm Still buzzing from The Festival? The April Meeting gives you two weekday fixtures to enjoy. It is a quieter meeting that allows racegoers to experience the more relaxing side of Cheltenham, away from the hustle and bustle of The Festival’s crowds. Although the jumps season is beginning to wind down, there’s still some great racing on the track. The racing highlight on the opening day is the Grade 2 Handicap Chase - worth £50,000 - as well as some top-class hurdle races. It's a chance for racegoers to see their racing favourites before the end of the jumps season, while enjoying a quality day out in the springtime sunshine. Day two of The April Meeting is principally a showcase for keeping National Hunt mares in training, with four of the seven races being exclusively for mares. The fixture provides the mares in training with greater opportunities and great prize money.



WHAT’S ON AT WARWICK RACECOURSE Warwick Racecourse will host four race meetings in the coming months. Don’t miss your chance to catch the thrilling Springtime action at this historic course. The Air Ambulance Countryside Day will act as Warwick’s traditional curtain-raiser for The Cheltenham Festival on Sunday 11th March. Gates open from 12.20pm, with the first of seven races getting underway at 2.20pm. This popular fixture is a major fundraiser for the local Air Ambulance, who host a charity luncheon to which anyone is welcome to purchase tickets. The lunch is staged in the Paddock Pavilion, which is well located next to the Parade Ring. Now in its third year, it has developed into a wonderful social occasion. Guests are welcomed to the event with a champagne reception


and can then sit down and enjoy a special Cheltenham Festival Preview, with a very knowledgeable panel that includes leading trainers Dan Skelton and Kim Bailey. For those willing to get to the track a little earlier, they can undertake a unique course walk, pre-racing, with the Clerk of the Course and other officials. When racing finally gets underway, lunch will be served followed by a light afternoon tea. There will also be a spectacular auction with prizes that money cannot buy! (To purchase tickets for the charity luncheon or to find out more contact Jo Payne from the Air Ambulance on 07825 840150). There are three other fixtures in the coming months. The Spring Race Day on Wednesday 28th March, with gates opening at midday and the first race at 2pm. St Mary’s Land Race Day is on Thursday 5th April, the first race is at 1.50pm and gates open at 11.50am. Finally, No Ordinary Race Day on Thursday 26th April, which will feature seven races.

For more information, and to book tickets, visit: COTSWOLD-HOMES.COM



Charlie’s Cracking Day Out Top trainer, writer and Cocklebarrow Races co-founder Charlie Brooks on Cocklebarrow’s celebrity admirers, the hilarious Tough Farmer Competition and his new series of children’s books Hi Charlie. How far back does your involvement with the Heythrop Hunt go? I’ve been knocking around with the Heythrop all my life. I can’t remember when I got mugged into being the Chairman of the Point-to-Point [P2P] - maybe ten years ago? It’s a pretty old institution, isn’t it? Oh, it’s been going forever. Funnily enough, one of the things that inspired me to waste my life on horse-racing is that my parents took me to the Heythrop P2P when I was a kid. For me, one of the big things about the P2P is engaging with the next generation of children, getting them enthused, creating a day they’ll enjoy. They’ll discover the horses, the racing. What would you say to people who’ve never been to a Point-to-Point before? Turn up and enjoy yourself. There’s no barrier to entry - you don’t need to know anything. It’s a bunch of horses and jockeys galloping around, but there’s other stuff to do. Like horizontal bungee jumping, bouncy castles for younger children and bucking bronco rodeos for older children. And, you know, we’re really careful with charging. At any other P2P, you might have to pay three pounds every time your child wants to go on a bouncy castle - it’ll end up costing you a fortune! But we pay for that, we try to find the sponsors. We want people to bring their children, have an affordable day out, and think: ‘This is great, actually, being in the middle of a field at the end of January. We’re having some fresh air and having a lot of fun.’ What’s the Tough Farmer Competition all about? That is hilarious. It makes me laugh more than anything all year. Basically, it’s this: farmer brings girlfriend along - or young wife - builds a sheep pen, stacks some hay bales, rolls some JCB tracks, stacks some beer barrels, carries the wife back down the course,

chucks her into the sheep pen and necks a pint of beer. It’s so funny. What happens is the crowd ends up joining in - because you can’t shift those JCB tracks on your own. It ends up being a free-for-all, and it’s hilarious. I heard that Giles Coren chickened out of doing it… Giles Coren did, Alexander Armstrong didn’t. John Inverdale didn’t chicken out. There are some well-known people who go to Cocklebarrow. Over the years, Jeremy Clarkson’s come, Jilly Cooper’s come, Giles Coren’s come. John Inverdale came last year, as did Alexander Armstrong. Hopefully, we’ll always have interesting people come because it is a good day out. There are pluses and minuses to holding the event in January, but we’re the most fun to be had in the Cotswolds that day. Were you involved in the design of the course? John Wills, really, was the person who laid out the course and designed it. We wanted to move from Dunthrope, which was a poor course for the horses - the contours were wrong, the camber was all wrong, the vets didn’t like it.

Some people are a bit sniffy about older horses coming back from under rules, taking on amateur horses. But I think that’s nonsense. People love to see good horses, the old favourites running around in semi-retirement enjoying a few P2Ps. It’s not big money. You’re running for the pride of winning. It’s real, amateur sport at grassroots level. Of course, Cocklebarrow is racing terriers now, too… Dog-racing is unbelievably popular! You say over the loud-speakers: has anybody got a dog with them? Come and take part in a race and win a can of Pedigree Chum…Suddenly, 200 dogs turn up out of nowhere. What would you like to see Cocklebarrow become in the future? I’d like to see the non-racing side broaden out. So that people really think of it as just a cracking day out. The other reason why we need to broaden out the non-racing side is if we get a hard frost, the ground is frozen, and horses can’t run. So we need to make sure that if that happens, it’s not the end of the world.

Of course, it takes time to establish a new course. The older the turf gets, the better the track will be. We’ve been at Cocklebarrow for three, four years now. It’ll get better every year. The ground is old sheep country. Three hundred years ago, all of that would have been grass and sheep. It’s Cotswold brash. We’ll have lovely old turf when we’re all old.

What are you up to at the moment? I’m doing three things at the moment. I write for The Telegraph a bit. I’m working on a new series of flat races which we hope to launch in 2019 - that’s still in the early stages of development at the moment. It could be something that’s really exciting, and that could present flat-racing in a more hi-tech, different way. So that is a challenge. It won’t be to the liking of everybody in racing, but we’re doing it to attract people ‘out of’ racing. If we’re not ruffling a few feathers in racing, we’re probably not doing our job!

Point-to-pointing is something of a testing ground for new horses. Very much so. It’s also where young jockeys should be made. I think there’s also a place for older horses, who are not competitive under rules anymore, to have a job - it’s almost like going part-time in your retirement.

And, finally, I’m writing a trilogy of children’s books for Harper Collins. They’re the memoirs of a twelve-year-old girl. They’re not horsey, though ponies are peripherally involved in book two. I’ve pretty well finished volume one. Volume two is finished, but needs re-writing, and I’m halfway through writing volume three.






The 2018 Heythrop Hunt P2P beat back the January blues and welcomed in ex-PM David Cameron and wife Samantha amongst the throngs of Cotswold racegoers ‘We LOVED it’; ‘A super day’; ‘the way forward’; ‘one of the bestorganised point-to-points I have attended’...High praise indeed for this year’s Cocklebarrow Races, which were hosted on 28th January - with final fence and beer tent sponsored by Harrison James and Hardie.


New additions to the event - including a heated picnic tent and kids’ entertainment zone - joined Cocklebarrow mainstays such as the Tough Farmer competition and terrier racing, to the merriment of all. ‘We were thrilled with the turnout and the hugely positive feedback we have received since,’ says Cocklebarrow organiser Mike Wills, who - along with trainer Charlie Brooks and friends had been pulling out all the stops to enjoy the day’s success. ‘We have worked incredibly hard to market Cocklebarrow this year, and whilst the sun shone and undoubtedly helped to draw in the crowds, we were delighted with the overall turnout and hope it is just the beginning of things to come. Watch this space!’ Mike adds: ‘The lovely thing about Cocklebarrow is that regardless whether you are David Cameron, Jilly Cooper or just ‘the bloke from down the road,’ there is absolutely no VIP segregation whatsoever. Everyone there has racing in common which makes the atmosphere electric and brings the event alive in no time.’


‘The best bit of all was the family tent which was open to everyone and was buzzing all day. By the time racing had drawn to a close, there was a full on party kicking off with fantastic music from Sophie Gallagher on the decks to close down what was unquestionably, a phenomenally happy day.’ Photography courtesy and copyright of Ian Tolputt (1) and Neale Blackburn (2) Photographer Ian Tulputt covers all the Heythrop Hunt’s activities: Pony Club Camp, Team Chases, Point-to-Point racing, Puppy Shows, Kennel Open Days, Autumn Hunting and most meets during the Hunting Season. A former gamekeeper who has spent most of his working life in the countryside, Ian enjoys taking wildlife pics and all things to do with the countryside. Neale Blackburn is a Buckinghamshire based freelance photographer who covers Point-to-Point racing and other equestrian disciplines across the south of England for a variety of print and online publications. You can see a selection of his images at

















Photography courtesy and copyright of Ian Tolputt (1) and Neil Blackburn (2) COTSWOLD-HOMES.COM




WealthyonWidow Her Way Up...

A quick Q&A with Jo Davies, director of The RSC’s The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich playing at Stratford-upon-Avon’s Swan Theatre from 23rd March - 14th June 2018

period you view a woman in relation to her husband, but in this piece, none of the female characters has a husband and the women that are in search of them are doing so from a particular point of wealth, stability and power. The language is sharp, satirical and biting and the women, bold, brazen and badly behaved. I love spending time with them and I think an audience will too.

You were last with the RSC in Stratford in 2014 directing The Roaring Girl. Could you tell us what you’re looking forward to about working in Stratford again? I love working in Stratford - especially in The Swan. It’s such a magical and beautiful theatre. The intimacy and immediacy of the space is completely engaging for both actor and audience. I love the audience being so close and connected to the action - it’s especially thrilling for comedy. The space demands strong physical action, but with an audience right next to you, to hear a whisper and see even the tiniest thought you also have to be almost filmic in detail, which makes it such an exciting and challenging space to play. I also love just being able to stroll along the river to work – as someone from London, suddenly having just a 2-minute commute is a total gift! This time you’re directing the 18th century comedy, The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich, which is a play many people might not have heard of. Can you tell us a little bit about the story, and what drew you to the play? The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich is actually the fabulous story of two very different widows, both in search of two rather different husbands. Mrs Rich is a wealthy older woman who, through her second husband, aspires to rub shoulders with



The play is written by Mary Pix, who unlike her fellow female playwright, Aphra Behn, has almost been lost to history. What do we know about her?

the great and good, gain a title, more power and higher social standing. Lady Landsworth - a younger, but equally rich widow - has spent the last 5 years of her life caring for her ailing 85-year-old husband in Yorkshire. Now he’s dead, she’s free, wealthy, independent and has come to London, primed and ready for all the thrills the city has to offer and this time is determined to marry for love. We follow the quests of these two women through restoration London in 1700. What’s really unusual about the play, and what drew me to it, is how it’s totally powered by these women. It has 11 women and 10 men - which is incredibly rare as a cast balance from this period. It really is 50/50 in its gender split. Normally, in plays of this

Mary Pix only wrote for eleven years of her life, but in that time, made a great impact on the theatre in the 1700s. We know she was the daughter of a schoolmaster, who died when she was young. She seems to have been quite a saucy and wild young woman. There’s a picture of her that hangs in the National Portrait Gallery and her eyes seem deeply suspicious of the painter, whilst she’s in quite a provocative pose. There were rumours that as a young girl she had an affair with the young replacement schoolmaster at her father’s school, and that during a night of passion the two of them knocked over a candle, and burnt the schoolhouse down. Whether that’s true or not it certainly gives a good sense of the tone of Mary Pix’s cheeky writing and of the woman that hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. You’re working with designer, Colin Richmond, whose previous design work with the RSC includes Wendy & Peter Pan, and last season’s Vice Versa. Can you tell us a bit about the design for the production? The design for the production is essentially of the period, but with a few modern twists.


What’s really unusual about the play, and what drew me to it, is how it’s totally powered by these women. It has 11 women and 10 men - which is incredibly rare as a cast balance from this period. At that time in the theatre in 1700 the physical energy and layout of the stage was shifting from the thrust to the proscenium arch. We play with the notion of that in the Swan and have created a small proscenium arch within the space, which we then use with a series of painted cloths to indicate our changing surroundings. All of the costumes are also generally period - which is exciting. The fashion of the 1700s was quite wild and outlandish. Historically, some women had wigs so tall that they had to sit on the floor of their carriages when they went out! So, it’s a terrific period for Colin and the actors to be exploring. Sophie Stanton is playing the title role of Mrs Rich. What do you think she will bring to the part? Sophie is a wonderful comedienne and has a real feel for the natural eloquence and style within the play. Tonally, the sharp biting satire asks an actor to delicately tread the line between cruelty and comedy and Sophie has such skill and dexterity

with this. From the first time we met, I knew that with all Mrs Rich’s glorious faults and foibles, Sophie loved her - and that’s a terrific starting point with any actor. We’re also being quite bold with our re-imagining of the play and adding some songs and sword-fighting to our evening. Sophie has a great voice and is highly musical which is enormously helpful - and she’s not bad with a sword either! How did you get into directing, and what other productions have you got in the pipeline? I started directing plays at school and university and then I went to New York to train for 3 years in an Academy on Broadway. I started my training in New

York as a performer, but used to direct the other students in secret - so by the time I left, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I came back to the UK and started working as an assistant at the RSC, at the National Theatre and in the West End, and my directing grew from there. In 2004, I directed my first opera and that broadened my career into the international field. As a result, I’ve now directed all over the world and it’s not at all unusual for me to be working on 3 or 4 projects at the same time. Alongside Mrs Rich, I have two other shows opening this year so I’m also working on Kiss Me, Kate for Opera North that will play at The London Coliseum in the spring, and a new production of Oklahoma!, with a 50-piece orchestra that will be for Grange Park Opera later in the year.

Find out more and book tickets at




From the to the

Devil Duchess

Director Maria Aberg is back at Stratford for a dark revenge tragedy: John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi, playing at the Swan Theatre from 1st March - 3rd August 2018. Maria gets under the skin of this disturbing story in this special Q&A. You’ve worked extensively at the RSC in Stratford, and this will be your fifth production in the Swan Theatre. Could you tell us what you’re looking forward to about being in Stratford again? Do you especially enjoy working in the Swan Theatre? There's something that really focuses the work once a company moves up to Stratford from the rehearsal rooms in London. It's like the collective temperature rises a few degrees everyone just steps it up. It's a very exciting



time. As a director, you really start getting a sense of the production as a whole - and then getting on to the stage is, of course, always brilliant. The Swan is an extremely welcoming space, but for me it also has some sort of ritual magic - that probably makes me sound like a complete hippy, but I think that beautiful wood holds some memory of all the words that have been spoken in there, like an old Stradivarius that holds the memory of all the

music it's ever played. You're sharing the space with everyone who's been there before. In 2014 you directed John Webster’s The White Devil for the RSC. This time you’re directing another of his plays, The Duchess of Malfi. What is it about his work that particularly appeals to you? So many things - it's unapologetically political and incredibly theatrical, which is quite a tricky thing to pull off. It's bold, it's lyrical and it's


so emotional - when the Duchess has to say farewell to her husband, doubting that she will ever see him again, she is left alone on stage for a moment after he's gone and she says, 'My laurel is all withered' sort of to herself which breaks my heart a little every time I hear it. For people who don’t know the story, can you give us a quick synopsis?

... it’s unapologetically political and incredibly theatrical, which is quite a tricky thing to pull off. It’s bold, it’s lyrical and it’s so emotional ...

The Duchess has recently become a widow, and, ostensibly to protect the purity of the family blood line, her two brothers explicitly forbid her to marry again. She instantly defies them and secretly marries a man way below her station. Eventually the brothers find out and start plotting their revenge... Naomi Dawson, who you’ve worked with on many occasions, is designing the production. Can you tell us a bit about the design for the show? What is it about Naomi that makes you enjoy working with her? We've tried to create a metaphorical space it's not a literal representation of the locations in the play. We focused our research around the idea of masculine spaces and have layered a few ideas on top of each other to create something which I hope will have poetic resonance with the themes of the play. Working with the same designer again and again means we can both be braver about exploring ideas and pushing ourselves and each other. Joan Iyiola is playing the title role. What do you think she will bring to the part? I first worked with Joan when she played Zanche in The White Devil, and I knew already then that she was extraordinary. She has incredible power, but also a great deal of warmth and humour. And she has both the status and the skill required to play someone like the Duchess. I'm very excited to work with her again. How did you get into directing, and what other productions have you got in the pipeline? It's all I've ever wanted to do! I got into theatre as a child and once I discovered directing as a teenager, I never looked back... After The Duchess of Malfi, I'm directing the musical Little Shop of Horrors at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park - quite a different piece!

Find out more and book tickets at




HOSTING YOUR WEDDING at Home Expert events organiser Julia Sibun on how to plan the perfect home reception

When it comes to weddings, there is really no place like your own home. (Or perhaps your parents have a lakeside house - or maybe your grandparents are the ones with the wonderful view?) The greatest benefit is obvious: not having to plan numerous visits to hotels and wedding venues! Holding a reception at home can offer you a lot more flexibility and more scope to have the wedding that you really desire. No restrictions, no venue fees and no rules and regulations, particularly on timing and noise levels. You have as much time as you need to decorate the marquee and the garden, and you can really go to town with the details and the planning. However: The logistics will need careful planning, so it is important to do your research before finally committing to a large event in your back garden.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PLANNING! Some key questions will need answering. How many people can the garden accommodate? Where are all the guest and supplier cars going to be parked? Where do we locate the marquee? How do we get electricity to the marquee? But don’t be discouraged! Although it may be more work than you anticipated, you will not regret hosting your own wedding reception in the place that means the most



to you. As with so many things, it’s only a matter of preparation. First, determine the amount of space that can be used in the garden, and bring in the services of a wedding planner to provide that vital advice at the beginning of the planning process. Knowing how many guests you can invite is the first crucial decision that has to be taken before finalising the guest list. Invite marquee and tipi companies to provide a quotation, and a layout plan for the reception area, dining and dancing. They will know just how much space you will need to set up the dining tables, bar and dance floor to accommodate your number of guests.

If you do not have a local church available in your village, or simply do not wish to be married in a church, having a humanist ceremony or a blessing at home is a perfect solution. A humanist ceremony or a blessing is not legally binding and you will still need to register your marriage at a Registry Office which can be done a couple of days beforehand. You will then need to agree another location in the garden where you can exchange your vows. This could be in a pretty rose garden, by a pond or lake or underneath a wonderful mature tree - no need to worry about chairs, be relaxed about using hay bales, throws and picnic rugs. Keep an eye on the weather forecast, and if necessary, book an awning for the day to


either shield guests from the sun if it is a hot day, or to keep those frequent English rain showers at bay! Once the location of the ceremony and the marquee have been agreed, consider the general access required for your caterers to the catering marquee, other suppliers setting up, and the route that guests will take from parking their cars to entering the garden. Putting homemade signage around the garden is fun, and it keeps guests to the right pathways.

SHOWCASING YOUR GARDEN It’s important to plan how the garden will be looking on the day of the wedding and which of those flowers and shrubs will be in full bloom. For a spring wedding, wonderful bulb flowers like tulips, daffodils and lilies of the valley will be in bloom - these need to be planted the autumn before. For summer, try annuals like geraniums, gerbera daisies and African daisies. Take the advice of a professional gardener to plant up well in advance of the wedding day to ensure that the flower borders are looking at their best. Don’t forget to consider a colour scheme for the borders that will blend with the chosen colours for the wedding. Sometimes it’s not always possible to have the flowers at their best on the day, due to poor weather conditions. So be prepared

to bring in pots of flowers in bloom such as hydrangeas to fill any gaps.

One of the main worries that come with hosting a lot of people at home is the wonderful British climate!

Pots of flowers and herbs in clusters around the various entrances to the marquee will bring the garden even closer to the marquee and can create natural boundaries. Don’t forget to fertilise the lawn in plenty of time! Mow the lawn a couple of times in the week leading up the day, to ensure that perfect, green ‘cricket pitch’ finish.

DECORATING THE MARQUEE Rent the tables and chairs for dining. Be prepared to make up your own bar and occasional tables from wooden pallets, apple crates or wine barrels to provide that personal touch. An easy way to add colour and personality to a marquee is to hang ribbons across the ceilings and walls for the perfect injection of character, or if you can, make your own bunting to hang from pole to pole.

ADDITIONAL FEATURES TO ADD ATMOSPHERE Lighting the garden will ensure that a pretty, fairy tale atmosphere is created as dusk approaches. There are so many different ways to light the garden. Soft white fairy lights look great threaded through the trees. Paraffin garden flares look wonderful lining the pathways - and give clear directions




back to the car park. Floating candles are perfect on any water features, and candles in glass containers also work really well to keep that twinkling atmosphere. Keep extension leads out of sight, and if any leads are crossing paths, don’t forget to put down some cable cover. A fire pit is a brilliant addition. Pile some logs up next to it, so that guests can keep the fire roaring throughout the evening. Surround the fire pit with wooden seating or straw bales covered in throws - guests will savour the warmth as the evening cools down. Why not provide fork toasters and a large bag of marshmallows as well? Ensure that you have a photographer on hand to record the day and all your bespoke arrangements will make the photographs even more precious when the backdrop is your family home.

‘BACK OF HOUSE’ MATTERS Important facilities such as toilets, electricity, a water supply and the removal of rubbish are all the ‘back of house’ matters that will need to be considered carefully before the big day. Mobile toilet trailers can be easily rented. There are some stylish options available, which arrive filled with water - ready to go. Most homes are unable to accommodate the amount of power necessary to light a marquee or tipi or provide power to a catering kitchen. You do not want to risk a power failure, or even worse, blow out the whole neighbourhood! Check how much power is required from your suppliers and arrange for the hire of a generator from a reputable plant hire company. Or, better still, arrange for an event electrician to do the job for you. Caterers will need a water supply to the rear of the catering marquee. It’s helpful to provide an on/off applicator at the end of the hose to prevent small floods occurring in this area of the garden!



Glass and plastic bottles can be easily stacked in the garage and recycled – large recycling bins can be organised through the local council, and caterers remove their own food rubbish. If you are worried about the amount of general rubbish and packaging that may be left after the wedding, small skips can be easily hired for the duration of the event (but will need to be positioned out of sight of the guests). One of the main worries that comes with hosting a lot of people at home is the wonderful British climate! (No surprises there). Coir matting across the lawns will help keep ladies’ shoes clean and dry. Arrange this with your marquee company.

Holding a reception at home can offer you a lot more flexibility and more scope to have the wedding that you really desire. No restrictions, no venue fees and no rules and regulations, particularly on timing and noise levels.

Finally, don’t forget to be a good neighbour. Advise the local residents close to your home in plenty of time before the day. When there are neighbours who will be aware of the comings and goings and loud music, it may well pay to give them a bottle of wine to keep relationships neighbourly! Having your wedding at home can be heavenly, and so relaxing for your guests. Keep it simple. Provide some delicious food, a pretty, romantic setting, lots of comfort and (of course) a plentiful supply of champagne and wine!

For more information about holding your wedding reception at home please contact Julia Sibun


Planning for a Garden Wedding Sheena Marsh of Oxford Garden Design reveals how you can spruce up your lawn for a celebration to remember The only thing more satisfying than having your own wonderful garden is sharing it with friends and family. You don’t need a stately home with rolling acres to host a garden wedding, but preparing well ahead is the key to a successful, stress-free day of enjoyment.

Ideally, you will want it to look green and lush on the big day, as opposed to balding and yellow. To achieve this, start preparing as far in advance as you can. Several months is ideal but even a couple of weeks is better than nothing.

If you plan on holding any kind of big family function in the garden this year, you’ll need to take some steps well in advance to ensure things go smoothly.

The most important job is to feed the grass to help it green up and improve its strength and resilience. If the wedding is soon, use a high-nitrogen spring/summer feed, which you can apply in granular form providing the grass isn’t too dry and is growing well. This speeds up the rate of growth and helps it cope with the extra wear and tear.

Firstly, take a good look at your lawn. This is going to be the shining centrepiece and will have to be strong enough to deal with being trampled on, having children running around, and possibly also tables, chairs and marquees on it.



If your event isn’t until later in the year, use a slow-release feed in spring, then two weeks

before the big day treat the grass to a single dose of liquid feed using a dilutor that fits on the end of a hose pipe. Spring is also the best time to treat weeds and moss so it has time to thicken up and re-grow. Mow the grass frequently to encourage strong growth and trim round every time you mow for a neat, sharp edge. Next, consider your flower beds and borders. If they need sprucing up, you can buy seasonal flowering plants from your local garden centre. Choose things that will be in flower close to the date, and, if possible, that will match the wedding colour theme. Last year, we helped with the planning for a spectacular September wedding.


This border with its rich autumnal hues of reds, orange and purple was created completely from scratch to give instant impact. The combination of Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple,’ Euonymous alatus compactus, Hebe ‘Mrs Winder’ and Nandina Domestica created a sensational eye-catching display for the special day - one which will be enjoyed for years to come. Make sure all the borders are tidy and weedfree, well in advance of the big day. You will need to go through your current border plants and remove any dead flowers and leaves ensuring the beds and borders look at their best. Usual jobs include putting plant supports in place, staking plants such as delphiniums and tying in climbers. It’s also a good idea to spruce up the garden furniture (or buy new) and get rid of any unsightly junk. If need be, screen off compost heaps or neighbours’ eyesores by using fencing, trellis or planting. For an instant effect, fill pots, placed in prominent positions with vibrant summer bedding. Geraniums and trailing Petunia Surfinia are perfect for sunny gardens, whereas Begonias and Busy Lizzies will add a splash of colour in a shadier spot. For a real wow-factor, add a statement plant in a large pot, for example, an elegant Japanese Maple tree or the bold, architectural Cordyline australis ‘Red Star.’ To fill your garden with delicious scent all through the day and long into the evening, the tobacco plant, Nicotiana ‘Appleblossom’ makes a perfect addition. If you have time, and are feeling particularly green-fingered, start sowing sweet peas in spring into special long thin pots filled with growing compost, once germinated, plant into your garden, with a support to climb

so that by summer the air will be filled with their delicious fragrance. Save a little money on florist fees by cutting the sweet peas as decorative little table vases. Growing your own herbs in small pots as table decorations is a nice touch. Traditionally representing luck and devotion, gorgeous, scented Lavender is a great plant for this purpose. Alternatives include the herb of remembrance – Rosemary, Sage, for a long life or Thyme for courage (should any be required!) Create a checklist for yourself of anything

that you will need to do in the run up to the big event. Last minute jobs include, sweeping and pressure washing paving, weeding between slabs, clipping hedges, clearing away rubbish, checking outdoor lights and wiping down garden furniture. Getting your garden ready for a wedding might seem a bit daunting so it might be worth getting a gardener to help you with some of the bigger jobs. Providing you start planning well in advance - as soon as you know the garden is going to be required then you are guaranteed that your garden will be looking great in time for the big day.

Sheena Marsh is the founder and a director of Oxford Garden Design. For over fifteen years she has worked closely with hundreds of individual garden owners to produce practical landscape plans that result in gorgeous gardens.

For more information on the gardens that Sheena and her team have designed in and around the Cotswolds and to get in touch - simply visit




Art at the heart of the Cotswolds A new Art Fair in Cheltenham has gone straight to the top in the art fair world, described by one leading dealer as “The best contemporary art fair outside London”. We talk to co-founder Anthony Wardle about what makes success and what’s in store for April 2018. visitors buying £500,000 worth of art. Among the Galleries were serious players from London like Panter & Hall of Pall Mall and Gallery Different from Fitzrovia. There were a good few Cotswold Galleries including Campden Gallery, Burford’s Wren Fine Art, Little Buckland Gallery, Cheltenham’s Paragon Gallery andHadfield Fine Art. From Bristol there was Lime Tree Gallery and Gala Fine Art, and from further afield, Camburn Fine Art from Chinon in France. All of these are returning this year.


“Things have changed. If you want to buy a painting or sculpture in this busy online world you no longer have to scour the country for it, you simply go to an art fair where you can see 50 or more outstanding art galleries in one place”. So says Fresh: Art Fair cofounder, Anthony Wardle. That’s all very well if you’re happy to go to London, but until last year, there was no major contemporary art fair between London and Manchester. Now Fresh: Art Fair has opened its doors in the Centaur building at Cheltenham Racecourse, bringing together 46 leading UK galleries, showing 5,000 paintings and sculptures by some 400 artists. “Cheltenham is perfect for Fresh. It sits at the



gateway to the Cotswolds surrounded by ten county towns and cities all within little over an hour’s drive and we’re only ten minutes off the motorway. The Racecourse is a fantastic venue with unlimited free parking and the Park & Ride to the town centre and station are on the premises. The Cotswolds is a leading cultural hub in Britain …it deserves its own art fair”. But surely people can just buy their art online! “They can and do sometimes but there really is no substitute for seeing art in the flesh, and anyway there’s something very pleasant about two or three hours browsing art with a glass of decent wine in your hand”. The debut Fresh: Art Fair in May 2017 was an enormous success with nearly 4,500

“Fresh: has something for everyone, from complete newcomers to contemporary art to established collectors. There will be original prints and paintings, sculpture, glass and ceramics from £100 to £50,000. There will again be daily Talks by experts, and painters

Now people know that we’re a serious Fair where they can have a lot of fun, we think the word will get around …we hope so.







The Cotswolds is a leading cultural hub in Britain …it deserves its own art fair. and sculptors working live, happy to answer visitor questions. We hope to attract many more visitors this year and substantially increase art sales. For our first Fair people really didn’t know what to expect. The social media chatter was saying “Wow …this is much bigger than I thought …much higher quality of art”. There was an enormous buzz. Now people know that we’re a serious Fair where they can have a lot of fun, we think the word will get around …we hope so”. The next Fresh: Art Fair takes place from 27th to 29th April at the same venue with a Private View on the evening of 26th. We understand there will be 30 of the best 2017 Galleries returning, each with one or two new artists. They will be joined by 15 outstanding new Exhibitors including the highly regarded

John Davies Gallery from Moreton in Marsh and Gallery Pangolin from London and Stroud. This year there will be a new outdoor Sculpture Park showing some 70 pieces of work by 15 local, national and international sculptors. Visitors will be able to walk through the Sculpture Park on their way to the main entrance. The organisers think that Fresh: will be the first UK art fair with a major outdoor sculpture exhibition. Fresh: is not short of friends in high places. They have partnerships with The Royal Academy in Bristol, The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, Cheltenham’s Wilson Gallery and the famous Ashmolean Museum and Gallery in Oxford. They will once again be acting as an agent for the Arts Council supported Own Art that enables visitors to

buy art interest free. The headline sponsor is St. James’s Place Wealth Management. Other partners include International Fine Art Auctioneers Bonhams who will be on hand to advise visitors about selling their ‘old’ art, and Cheltenham’s supercar dealer H R Owen Ecurie. Tickets to Fresh: Art Fair are £6 per person on the door or £8 for two when bought online. There are a limited number of tickets to the Private View available online for £12 for two. Tickets can be used any time over the weekend and visitors may return as often as they wish. There’s a Happy Hour (or a bit longer) with free wine on Friday evening from 5.30pm.





Another year means 365 more days to fill - so here’s a few suggestions to help you wring the most merriment out of your Cotswold 2018.


Lose yourself in Philip Pullman’s latest bestselling fantasy

After 17 long years, the Oxford-based author has finally revisited the vivid world of His Dark Materials, the super-selling trilogy that emerged alongside Harry Potter in the 1990s. The first volume of a new trilogy, The Book of Dust, was released in October 2017, and was quickly followed by Daemon Voices - a collection of insightful essays on storytelling. What better way to while away the gloomier winter hours than by getting reacquainted with one of the most imaginative writers going? Since the second volume in Pullman’s new storyline is already written, perhaps we’ll get the next book, The Secret Commonwealth, in 2018…


Ditch the indoors with family bushcraft lessons Sick of seeing your children affixed to their glowing interactive screens? Revivify the family with a trip to Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park, where recently introduced bushcraft lessons in the nearby forest will help you all get to grips with life in the wild. Turn your couch potatoes into rugged survival experts in next to no time! Just ignore the temptation to leave them in the woods.


Encounter the divine in the country’s best museums

Hop on a train at Moreton or Kingham and set out to explore the spiritual side of humanity with two major exhibitions: Living with Gods at the British Museum (until April 8) and Imagining the Divine at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum (until Feb 18). See some of the world’s oldest religious art and discover how different cultures have shaped and perceived the images of religion today. Don’t miss the British Museum’s 40,000-year-old mammoth ivory sculpture, the Lion Man - the ‘oldest known image of a being that does not exist in nature.’




“Live art demonstrations, a sculpture park, art talks and Fresh: Cafes help make this contemporary art fair an unmissable event.”


Catch Christopher Eccleston’s RSC debut in Macbeth (13 March-18 September 2018)

Returning home from battle, the victorious Macbeth meets three witches on the heath. Driven by their disturbing prophecies, he sets out on the path to murder. The RSC’s contemporary production of Shakespeare’s darkest psychological thriller marks both Christopher Eccleston’s RSC debut and the return of Niamh Cusack to the company.


Pick up a painting at Fresh: Cheltenham’s new contemporary art fair After last year’s barnstorming inaugural outing, Fresh: is returning to Cheltenham Racecourse from 27-29 April 2018.

New and experienced art collectors will love browsing works supplied by over 46 galleries, but that’s far from all Fresh: brings to the table. Live art demonstrations, a sculpture park, art talks and Fresh: Cafes help make this contemporary art fair an unmissable event. Head to the website for more information!


Frolic at the Cotswolds’ finest festivals

Rumours of Cornbury’s demise have been greatly exaggerated - following an enthusiastic response to last year’s ‘last ever’ Cornbury, Hugh Philimore and friends are reviving the Cotswolds’ original family friendly festival! And we’re sure to enjoy another fabulous Big Feastival, courtesy of Alex James, not to mention another wonderfully arty Wilderness at Cornbury Park. Truly, the people of the Cotswolds are spoiled for festival fun. And what about the cultural extravaganzas at Cheltenham every year? There’s much more than just the Cheltenham Literature Festival to tangle with, as dazzling guest speakers and musical stars pour into town for the Jazz, Science and Music festivals.


Wander an autumnal trail at Batsford Arboretum

The beautiful Batsford Arboretum comes alive with colour every autumn. The park’s maples, cherries and liquidambar trees provide a sensational palette of reds, oranges and burnt ambers. Newcomers will find Batsford Arboretum next to Moreton-inMarsh.


See in 2019 in style at Cheltenham Racecourse

As 2018 starts to wrap up, the Cotswolds will only get busier, with more fayres and wintry festivals than you can jingle a bell at. Chipping Norton will launch its next panto, Sudeley Castle and Batsford Arboretum will light up their illuminated trails and Santa Specials at the heritage steam railway will hit the rails… Why not cap off the fun with a New Year’s Day visit to Cheltenham racecourse to enjoy some relaxed racing action? (Maybe a few winners will help replenish those depleted Christmas coffers…)

DON’T MISS The Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse (13-16 March 2018) The Chipping Norton Literary Festival (29-28 April)




Cotswold Events: SPRING CALENDAR 2018 Another hectic winter is over, but have no fear: Spring’s just as bustling with shows, exhibitions and celebrations. And it’s finally time for The Festival at Cheltenham, too.

FEBRUARY Charlie Calder-Potts: The Land I Stepped in, Tales from Persia

at The Fosse Gallery, Stow on the Wold 4 - 24 February 2018 This fascinating exhibition features new works from Charlie Calder-Potts, a contemporary landscape and portrait painter based in Warwickshire. Her work looks at history and its repetitive nature, the value of our heritage and our similarities to previous generations and to each other.

Gentlemen’s and Kingmaker Chase Day, Warwick Racecourse

Beowulf at The Everyman Studio Theatre, Cheltenham

10 February 2018

10 February 2018 (3.00pm, 6.00pm)

One of the most influential gentlemen in English history was the Kingmaker, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. He was one of the wealthiest and most powerful men of his age, so it’s fitting that one of the season’s best races, The Kingmaker Chase, carries his name.

Beowulf - the bravest of the Anglo-Saxon heroes, fighting flesh-eating monsters and fire-breathing dragons, over an inhospitable landscape, in the defence of Hrothgar, King of the Danes.

It’s also fitting that this day is celebrated as Gentlemen’s Day, one where Warwick asks the county’s best dressed men to show us what is fine and dandy. A great day out for everyone - with brilliant racing that provides crucial stepping stones to the Cheltenham Festival and Aintree.



Nine-year-old Sophie knows the story of Beowulf well. She has enjoyed sharing it many times with her mother, a professor of Old English. Together they have even learned to read a language that no one has spoken in this country for over nine hundred years. But Sophie is fighting monsters of her own, monsters every bit as terrifying as those that Beowulf must face. Her mother is dying, and it seems that only Sophie is brave enough to save her…


Nick Sharratt’s Big Draw Along at The Theatre Chipping Norton 17 February (11.30am)

Dogs Don’t Do Ballet at The Theatre Chipping Norton

10 February (11.30am, 2:30pm) Biff is not like other dogs. He does not do dog stuff like weeing on lampposts, or drinking out of the toilet. No, Biff likes moonlight and music and walking on his tiptoes. You see, Biff thinks he is a ballerina! Based on the award-winning book, the show features music, songs, handcrafted puppets and Biff, the ballet-dancing dog! All tickets £8.50.

Join this much-loved children’s writer and illustrator in a family-friendly, fun filled draw-along for all ages. Nick’s best-selling picture books include You Choose, Shark in the Park and Pants. He’s also the illustrator of Jacqueline Wilson’s phenomenally popular children’s novels. He’ll be showing you how he creates characters like Tracy Beaker and Timothy Pope, sharing ways to invent your own crazy creatures and giving loads of top tips as your draw along with him. Bring pencils, paper and something to lean on!

Russian Art at the Paragon Gallery, Cheltenham

19 Feb - 12 March 2018 The Paragon Gallery’s third annual exhibition of contemporary Russian art, featuring 14 artists across a broad spectrum of genres and media. Open MondaySunday, 10am - 5pm.

Chinese New Year at Blenheim Palace 17 Feb 2018 Head to Blenheim Palace this February for their first ever Chinese New Year celebrations! Enjoy a traditional Double Guan Yin Chinese Lion dance accompanied by a drummer and tuck in to some delicious Chinese street food from a variety of stalls in the Great Court. Don’t miss out on special photos and meet-and-greet opportunities with the lion, then venture into the Palace to warm up and discover the magnificent Great Hall festooned with strings of Chinese lanterns. A Palace, Park and Gardens admission (or valid Annual Pass) is required to enjoy all of the festivities.

© Blenheim Palace




Cotswold Events: SPRING CALENDAR 2018

APRIL Paxford Point-to-Point, Bank Farm (2 miles East of Chipping Campden) 2 April 2018


Oxford Literary Festival

Louis Turpin – A Major Exhibition – Travels Through Landscapes and Gardens, The Fosse Gallery, Stow on

This year’s Oxford Literary Festival brings Sebastian Barry, Ruby Wax, Nicholas Parsons, Lauren Child, Anthony Horowitz, Katy Pankhurst and a whole host of other authors and speakers to the city. Featuring a range of events for young people and a creative writing course, the Festival has something for everyone - but book soon to avoid disappointment.

the Wold

4 - 24 March 2018 Don’t miss this new exhibition showcasing new work from Louis Turpin, an exciting contemporary artist with a unique, truly vibrant style. Head to Louis’ website at to see his work.

Batsford Calendar Photography Competition

The Festival at Cheltenham

CLOSES 31 March 2018

13-16 March 2018

Love taking pics? Adore Batsford Arboretum’s beautiful plants and trees? Batsford have teamed up with photographer Alan Ranger to offer a number of prizes that budding photographers can win: simply head to Batsford Arboretum’s website for rules, prize details and terms of entry. Winning entries will be announced by 30 April on the Arboretum’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages - and on


The highlight of the Jump season returns, bringing an atmosphere that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. The Festival epitomises and encompasses everything that is great about Jump racing, whilst delivering an unbelievable occasion as the finest horses, jockeys, owners and trainers battle it out for the highest racing honours, their reputations and over £4million of prize money. Join the party, as just over 260,000 people pass through the gates over the four days.

Macbeth at The RSC, Stratford upon Avon

13 March - 18 September 2018 Shakespeare’s psychological thriller marks Christopher Eccleston’s RSC debut and Niamh Cusack’s return to the company. Returning home from battle, the victorious Macbeth meets three witches on the heath. Driven by their disturbing prophecies, he sets out on the path to murder. Directed by Polly Findlay.


17 - 25 March 2018


Come along to this 18-fence court for some thrilling Easter action - a perfect day out for all the family and a high-point in the Cotswold social calendar. Expect a variety of gastronomic delights. Meeting held on Easter Monday - arrive early to avoid delays! (First race 1pm.)

Gangsta Granny, The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham 4-7 April 2018 It’s Friday night and Ben knows that means only one thing – staying with Granny! There will be cabbage soup, cabbage pie and cabbage cake and Ben knows one thing for sure – it’s going to be sooooooooo boring! But what Ben doesn’t know is that Granny has a secret – and Friday nights are about to get more exciting than he could ever imagine, as he embarks on the adventure of a lifetime with his very own Gangsta Granny! From the acclaimed producers of Horrible Histories comes the award-winning West End production of this amazing story by David Walliams, the UK’s best-selling author for children.


Cheltenham Wine Festival 7 April 2018 Have a great time, explore and taste from over 300 delicious wines. Enjoy your favourites and have fun discovering exciting new ones from among France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, USA (and more…)

Andoversford Point-to-Point 8 April 2018 An enduring fixture in the Gloucestershire sporting calendar - and one of the fastest growing Pointing fixtures. Some of the country’s best steeplechasers have been seen at Andoversford. Situated right in the middle of racing country, the event is equidistant from the large training yards of Jonjo O’Neill, Kim Bailey, Nigel TwistonDavies and Tom George.

Prescott Bike Festival, Prescott Hill Climb, Gotherington 14 - 15 April 2018 Two amazing days - one winning weekend. Saturday is all about chilling and electric. Highlights include Electric Showcase plus Gin Fest in the Clubhouse, Spring Brews & Blues in the Orchard and a different take on Treasure Hunts with some top prizes. Some damn fine motorcycles too. Bring the kids for a great family day out. From 11am till 11pm (restrictions apply after 6pm) The Sunday Fest celebrates the best in engineering excellence on 1, 2 and 3 wheels. Featuring Run the Hill, Paddock Specials, Meet our Guests, Passenger Experiences, Trader Zone, Kids Zone, Beer Tent, Great Food, Entertainment Zone – a real family day out. Gates open 8.30am, track action starts 9.30am, closes at 5pm.

Come racing at Andoversford and you’ll rub shoulders with friends, the rich & famous, and horsemen from all over the West Country. It’s quintessentially British entertainment.




Cotswold Events: SPRING CALENDAR 2018 CADA Art & Antique Fair, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock

19 - 22 April 2018 World-class art and antiques will be shown by over thirty dealers at the sixth annual Cotswolds Art & Antiques Dealers’ Association (CADA) Fair which takes place at Blenheim Palace from 19th – 22nd April 2018. This year’s theme is ’40 Years of CADA’, celebrating rubies and ‘all things red’. With the best of each discipline represented - including furniture, pictures, silver, sculpture, bronze, carpets and textiles, glass, jewellery and much more – this is treat for the collectors and browsers. All works are for sale, with prices ranging from £100 - £100,000+. Open from 10am to 5.30pm daily. Download a complimentary ticket which admits two to the Fair and Palace grounds from

Romeo and Juliet, The RSC, Stratford upon Avon

21 April - 21 September 2018 What if your first true love was someone you’d been told you must hate? Set in a world very like our own, this Romeo and Juliet is about a generation of young people born into violence and ripped apart by the bitter divisions of their parents. The most famous story of love at first sight explodes with intense passion and an irresistible desire for change, but leads all too quickly to heart-breaking consequences.

Chipping Norton Literary Festival 26-29 April 2018 Chipping Norton’s utterly fantastic Literary Festival returns! A four-day festival bringing big-name author talks, writer workshops, a short story competition and a plethora of activities for children and young people, it’s already established itself as a must-visit festival.

Fresh: Art Fair at Cheltenham Racecourse

27-29 April 2018 46 galleries, 400 artists, 5000 works. Fresh: is for everyone - from complete newcomers to established collectors. It’s an easy and exciting way to see 46 of Britain’s best galleries in one place, many of them rarely seen on the UK art fair circuit. This year there’ll be 15 outstanding new galleries, a new outdoor Sculpture Park showing 70 or more pieces by 20 sculptors, new artists working live and more talks. Fresh: prides itself on showing a very broad spectrum of art for all tastes and budgets - from emerging artists to Royal Academicians. There’ll be original paintings, prints and sculptures from £150 to £50,000 with interest free credit from Arts Council supported Own Art. Experts from Bonhams will be there to advise you on selling your old art and there’ll be 2 fabulous Fresh: Cafes.

Wartime in the Cotswolds

at Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway 28 - 29 April 2018 Come and visit 2018’s nostalgic 1940s weekend at the GWSR. Transport yourself back to September 1940 and imagine you are waiting for a train at a small station on



the Great Western Railway. Children are being evacuated to the coast, soldiers are going back to barracks, and aircrew are heading off to airfields in the South and West. Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag, and smile, smile, smile. Dressing up is highly encouraged (1940s British period dress only - civilian or military). Travel on a train between Cheltenham Racecourse Station and Broadway on a beautiful heritage railway line, stopping to look at the exhibits and entertainment on offer at Gotherington, Winchcombe and Toddington stations.

MAY Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2 – 7 May 2018 Tickets now on sale. Catch up with fivetime Grammy winner Christian McBride and his Big Band (and other showstopping headliners) at the country’s most sensational jazz event. Keep on checking the website for more acts and more information.


A Tender Thing (Romeo and Juliet reimagined) at The Theatre Chipping Norton

3 – 12 May 2018 A huge hit for the RSC in 2009 and 2012, this crisp, contemporary production directed by John Terry is steeped in atmosphere, lyricism and heart-breaking romance. Ben Power’s unique and moving play imagines the star-crossed lovers at the end of long lives together. Shakespeare’s original words are woven together into a new, deeply romantic story of loyalty, loss and enduring love.

Thurs 3rd – Sun 6th May, Tues 8th – Sat 12th May, 7:45pm

Hunter Chase Evening, Cheltenham Racecourse 4 May 2018 Cheltenham’s season finale gives the amateur Jockeys their chance to take centre stage at racing’s own ‘Theatre of Dreams’. A hugely popular fixture that invariably draws a large local crowd, this is the only chance to bring family, friends, colleagues and clients to an evening of racing at Cheltenham. To celebrate the end of the season, top DJs Greg James and Huw Stephens will perform a live DJ set after racing, supported by a live band ahead of their appearance.

Spring Jousting Tournament

PDSA PetLife Festival

5-7 May 2018

6 May 2018

Head to Blenheim’s South Lawn for a mighty jousting tournament featuring ‘The Knights of Royal England’! The weekend will be packed with action and entertainment, including falconry displays, archery, puppet shows, jesters, and knights on horseback charging in the traditional tilt, and battling on foot with the mighty mace and quarter staff.

DSA, the UK’s biggest pet wellbeing charity, is excited to bring you PetLife Festival ’18. This festival in a day will include loads of great music from the likes of Kaiser Chiefs, Jessie J and The Vamps, and all proceeds from the day go directly to PDSA. PetLife Festival promises to deliver a day filled with smiles, entertainment and fun for all the family - and the pets we all love.

at Blenheim Palace

Families can try their hand at archery, enjoy ice creams, and delicious hot food including pizza and burgers, all on the South Lawn against the beautiful backdrop of the Palace. Champagne and Pimms will also be served. A Park and Gardens admission or a valid Annual Pass is required for this event.

at Cheltenham Racecourse




Daytripper: Springtime City Exhibition Planner With the Cotswolds’ great rail links, it’s never been easier to reach those big city exhibitions. Schedule your next gallery visit with our quick Spring primer. Picasso, Monet - and Winnie-the-Pooh? We’re definitely getting some interesting exhibitions to visit in 2018. Here’s a few worth travelling to. Amedeo Modigliani at the Tate Modern will close on 2 April 2018. Don’t miss your chance to see the distinctive elongated figures and controversial nudes that made Modigliani’s name - it’s the biggest ever UK showing of the tormented artist’s works. Meanwhile, bear lovers of all ages are in for a treat with Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic at the V&A Museum (until 8 April 2018). Marvel at illustrator E.H. Shepard’s original Pooh sketches, see a tea set gifted to the infant Queen Elizabeth II in 1926, and find out all about the creation of A.A. Milne’s classic characters in this ‘magical’ exhibition. The month of March brings numerous delights: not least the Tate Modern’s first ever solo showing of Picasso’s work. The EY Exhibition Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy (8 March - 9 September 2018) promises to be ‘one of the most significant shows the gallery has ever staged.’ The focus of the show is the year 1932: often referred to as Picasso’s ‘Year of Wonders.’ At London’s National Portrait Gallery, visitors will soon be able to peer at the faces of a bygone age with Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography (1 March - 20 May 2018). Photographic portraits of luminaries such as Charles Darwin, Alice Liddell and Dante Gabriel Rossetti are sure to amaze. Over in Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, America’s Cool Modernism (23 March 22 July 2018) promises to connect English audiences with modern American masterpieces from the likes of O’Keeffe and Hopper. Along with its traditional showers, April ushers in the National Gallery’s Monet: Art and Architecture (9 April - 29 July), which offers a

new look at the impressionist’s relationship with architecture - from quaint village houses to the stately Rouen Cathedral. Lastly, Fashioned from Nature opens at the V&A Museum (21 April 2018 - 27 January 2019). This exhibition explores over 400 years of nature’s influence on fashion, placing ‘fashionable dress alongside natural history specimens.’ Intriguing! Don’t forget to check the official gallery

websites for opening times, ticket booking and travel information. If you frequent museums and galleries, the National Art Pass is a fantastic way to keep those admission prices down; meanwhile, a small investment in a Network Railcard can save you up to a third on rail fares. (See www. and for details).




The Future is Now

Alexandra Tilley Loughrey goes ‘fully charged’ in the Tesla Model X Oh my goodness, for me it was infatuation at first drive. But for my kids (and everyone else’s who were drawn like iron filings to the proverbial magnet every time I ventured out in it) the Tesla Model X was love at first dooropening. Those falcon wing doors do it every time. And despite stories from ‘the haters’, they do not get stuck on the roof of multi-storey car-parks or bashed on other car’s doors – as the sensors only allow them to open as far as is safe - in such a delicate little way, like a graceful bird (a falcon in fact) unfurling its wings. The Model X is an up-to seven seater that’s as cool as. It’s incredibly spacious inside but can more or less slide under the radar looks wise. It certainly doesn’t look as ostentatious as a Cotswold tractor (Range Rover), but then (once you open those showy-offey doors) - you might as well play the star-spangled banner and yell “coo-ee, look at us, hello, we’re over here, yes here!”. There really is absolutely no ‘regular car’ like it. I have a confession to make. Unlike other electric cars, where you tend to become addicted to conserving as much fuel as possible, this one has such an incredible



And, oh the joys of ‘in-built’ Spotify, talking to your play list - in fact veritably yelling at it in excitement as the mood takes you from Elbow to Stormzy range (depending on the model you can drive from 250 up to 350 miles in a single charge - yes really!) - and has such lightning fast acceleration, that I just hit the accelerator as often and as fast as possible as we glided smoothly along the M40 - creating a ride to rival any supercar. I’ve never thought of myself as a petrol-head, but now happy to be a selfconfessed electric-head. A huge touch screen - like a large iPad is what controls all of the car’s software - air con, heated seats, heated steering wheel, seat position, door opening (yes, why should you dare lean forward & pull a handle to get out when you can touch the screen). The car is so intuitive I swear a 2-year-old could drive it - if only their legs could reach the pedals. And, oh the joys of ‘in-built’ Spotify, talking to your play list - in fact veritably yelling at it in excitement as the mood takes you from Elbow to Stormzy (depending on which member of the family shouted the loudest).

Even though we didn’t need to take a pit stop to get from Gloucestershire to Kensington Gardens it was fun to try out the Tesla chargers at Oxford services - who knew you could have a VIP experience at a motorway service station. You glide in, plug in, saunter to Starbucks, grab a coffee – and return to find your car supercharged up to full range. It was like a scene from a sci-fi movie - other human beings quietly appear in their Teslas and park next to you in one long serried rank, while mere mortals in diesels and petrol cars can only drive loudly over the speed-bumps and stare at you in disbelief. Standing by the charger finishing off my latte I was introduced to the secret society that is the Tesla ‘Referral Program’. A man said he was keen to buy one and if we referred him we would both benefit - him to a likely discount, while I (as a Tesla owner - I wish) could get access to things like free motorway service charging. Beats a Nectar Card…


Fast facts Fuel consumption - no more trips to petrol stations - ever Road tax - £0 Safety - The maximum five star European (EURO NCAP) safety rating and lauded as USA’s safest ever SUV.

As the car has such a huge range there was no necessity to find a parking space near a charger, so we pulled up outside the Serpentine Gallery. The kids had no interest in looking at the beauty of the Pavilion that we’d driven all the way to see, not even the bribe of an ice-cream would coax them - they just wanted to hang out in the Tesla instead. This is definitely not a car for the shy and retiring. I did feel slightly conspicuous returning to a by-then packed Kensington Gardens on a sunny Sunday - everything is fairly discreet until those doors unfurl…but, hey, sometimes it has to be the case of, if you’ve got it - flaunt it! As we passed the Westfield shopping centre before accelerating back onto the Westway one of my children said “Mummy, if we have a spare £90k knocking around, could we get one of these?”. Time to start looking under the sofa cushions…

Media - Probably the easiest ever touch screen to use. It offers remote software updates, so you know exactly where your nearest Tesla charger is and can programme the satnav to take you there.

“It certainly doesn’t look as ostentatious as a Cotswold tractor (Range Rover), but then (once you open those showy-offey doors) - you might as well play the star-spangled banner ...”

This season’s colours - A palette of fairly conservative options, with versions of black, white, blue, silver and red. Horror of horrors - the leather seats are made of something finer than your great grandmother’s kid gloves - so not necessarily dog-claw-friendly. The drive - smooth and fabulously fast - from as little as 60mph in 2.9 seconds. This year’s model - There are three to choose from: 75D, 100D and P100D - which vary in range and acceleration. Optional extras - As you might expect from such a high-tech car, extras include a medical-grade HEPA air filter, carbon purification filters, and an enhanced auto-pilot, with selfdriving capability a very real possibility... Warranty - 4 years (up to 50,000 miles) and 8-year battery warranty

Follow Alexandra on Twitter @MissDashboardUK for a refreshing take on cars.

Price - from £74,000 to in excess of an eye-watering £160,000 - it’s no surprise that leasing is a favoured option.




Keeping Calm in a Crisis As a yoga teacher, I must teach my students tools that are useful - not just within the classroom, but also within their everyday lives. Clare had been a member of my yoga class for eighteen months before she suffered an accident. Fortunately, she had become stronger, more flexible - and able to call upon her knowledge she had learnt within the classes when she absolutely needed it. - Emma

Clare’s story This is the account of how yoga breathing helped me through a challenging time.

I was taken into a treatment room to have the tibia manipulated. The doctor smiled and said: “Breathe...”. I told him that’s what I had been doing, and that I’d found it very effective.

I was on a much-anticipated walking holiday in Brontë country. (I just love the Brontës’ novels, and their personal lives are just as intriguing). On day one we set off for the Ribble Valley in all our walking gear and were about 45 mins into our walk when I had what I can best describe as a freak accident whilst walking on flat ground. For some inexplicable reason, my ankle turned, but the rest of my leg didn’t follow. I heard a loud snap and then sank to the ground in some agony. Fortunately, a tour manager and two experienced Dales’ guides were accompanying us, so Operation Rescue was swiftly activated. But while all this was going on, my mind was in overdrive. I figured I’d done a lot of damage and I thought I was probably going to need an operation - in which case I knew the guides wouldn’t be able to do much for me. So, I started doing some deep yoga breathing. Firstly, this had the effect of calming my mind - and as I continued, I noticed it was also having an effect on lessening the pain. The guide and tour manager who stayed with me kept saying they couldn’t believe how calm I was, or how I wasn’t crying. It was an hour before the emergency services



could reach me, but it was very spectacular when they did. Over the brow of the hill I saw people in red making their way towards me (rather like Baywatch in mountain gear!). As they approached I heard a helicopter circling overhead. “Ooh!” I said. “What’s going on there?” “That’s for you,” I was told. When I was eventually transferred to the road ambulance, I was told the journey would take about an hour over some bumpy country roads and to make use of the gas and air as often as I needed. I kept on with the yoga breathing and only used the pain relief a couple of times and then only because I lost focus once or twice. When we arrived in A&E, they weren’t sure when I would be taken to theatre - so I carried on with the breathing. More than once I was asked on a scale of 1-10 how severe the pain was, with 10 being the worst and on one occasion I said: “I suppose about a 3.” The nurse looked at me disbelievingly and said: “I’ve seen your x-rays. You’ve broken your leg in three places and you’re telling me your pain is that low?” The only times the pain became severe was when for whatever reason I lost my concentration and focus.

“Ah! You’re a yoga person,” he said, and went on to tell me that his wife took up yoga when she developed a very painful joint condition for which she could find no relief. She found it so effective that she went on to study it - and is now a yoga teacher herself. I haven’t needed to use any pain relief since I came home and I’ve also been incorporating yoga breathing as I move about the house. It takes the strain out of things. And I use it as I do the exercises Cheltenham hospital gave me at my appointment a few days ago. I’m already finding that a high level of flexibility is returning to my knee. It’s going to be a bit of a long haul back to full strength, but I have some powerful yoga life tools at my disposal. I am very fortunate in that as I’ve been going to Emma’s classes for some 18 months I’ve developed a lot more strength generally and that is definitely helping. And I am also fortunate that Emma’s classes don’t just focus on the movements but on other aspects like yoga breathing. It seems to me that for yoga to truly make a difference, you need to have experience of its many facets. I know I am truly grateful! Find out more about Emma’s classes at


Dental Health Matters Hygienists – and why we need them In the past, whenever we attended a dental practice it was the dentist who completed any dental treatment required. Over the years this has changed as the dental team has developed. An important member of that team is the Hygienist. Dr. Trevor Bigg What do Hygienists do? The Hygienist cares for the patient by looking after the health of the gums. Gum disease is very common and affects about 3 out of every 4 adults over the age of 35 in the UK. The main symptoms of gum disease are sore, bleeding gums during tooth brushing. At this stage, the gum disease is reversible, but if allowed to progress, it can lead to bone loss and loose teeth. Gum disease, not tooth decay, is the biggest cause of tooth loss, so the Hygienist plays a vital role in maintaining our teeth for life. How do Hygienists maintain the health of our gums? The hygienist has been specially trained to: • examine the gums for signs of disease, such as bleeding and redness • measure the depth of gum around the teeth to assess whether our gums are healthy

• • •

remove stain, and scale and plaque above and below the gum advise on home-care and the cleaning aids to improve the health of our gums inform the patient when a referral to a gum specialist would be advisable in more severe cases

How often should we see a Hygienist? Generally, 6-monthly appointments are sufficient to ensure a healthy mouth, but in some cases 3-monthly appointments are required. Some people are lucky, born with good genes that lead to healthy gums and little scale, but most of us require regular removal of scale and plaque. The plaque is the soft material that grows on our teeth, which gradually hardens over time to form scale. We now know that plaque is like a small organism, consisting of a colony of germs with different functions. When they are undisturbed, some make a sticky substance so that they adhere to the tooth really well, causing gum disease.

Others take in the sugars from our diet, producing the acids that cause tooth decay. It’s very important to disturb this colony by brushing and also by cleaning between our teeth every day. The hygienist checks to make sure we are doing this well and also removes the plaque and scale from the more difficult areas so that our gums are kept healthy.

If you want more information about the contents of the article, go to the Oral Health Foundation website page on visiting the hygienist (https://www. topic/caring-for-teeth/visiting-thehygienist), or contact Penny at Milton Dental Practice: 01993 831 396 or email and come to see us for a consultation. To accompany this article, we are offering a New Patient Examination, plus x-rays, at the reduced fee of £68.00 (normally £102.00) and a free Denplan Examination.




Rev’d Canon Katrina Scott lists the things that make the season special

I wonder what your favourite part of Spring is? There are so many things I love about Spring. The longer, lighter days; the first sight of the snowdrops; planning that summer holiday; frosty mornings with clear blue skies; daffodils, tulips, trees in bud; Creme Eggs…for me, the list could go on and on. In my last parish - a built up urban community - my favourite moment of Spring was when the ‘Crocus Cross’ burst through the cold ground. A team of church members had spent some hours, a number of years before, digging the ground and planting hundreds of crocuses in a big cross shape. For most of the year, the bulbs were hidden under the grass, but for a wonderful month in Spring, the green leaves would poke through the ground, and flower into a beautiful, colourful cross that lit up the churchyard.



Now living in the Cotswolds, I try throughout the year to really take notice of the seasons, and to enjoy the bigger story that they remind me we are all a part of. For me, that cross of flowers spoke more powerfully than any sermon could! It was a visible sign of the Easter story that we celebrate at Springtime – the celebration of new life. In the cross (which led to Jesus’ resurrection) we celebrate that all sad, dark and painful things can be transformed through God’s love into new life and eternal joy. Now living in the Cotswolds, I try throughout

the year to really take notice of the seasons, and to enjoy the bigger story that they remind me we are all a part of. I try to stop and appreciate the blaze of daffodil colour in our villages, to listen to the noise of the young lambs exploring the fields, to enjoy the taste of Easter egg chocolate, and to notice the colour of the trees, the buds and blossom as they change. All of these things show the amazing creativity of our natural world and remind me of the new life that Jesus offers us all. Katrina Rev’d Canon Katrina Scott is Rector of 7 churches at the heart of the Cotswolds (including Cutsdean, Farmcote, Temple Guiting, Guiting Power, Naunton, Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter) and also Area Dean of the North Cotswold Deanery. She has been here since 2015, having previously served in churches in Coventry for 15 years. Katrina loves being a vicar, and loves being a wife and mother too.


An Alternative Approach – Share Farming How does share farming work?

Return: Each party should work out the values it brings, as these contributions should then be reflected in the profit-sharing arrangements. •

The parties share the costs (inputs) and share the income from sales (gross agricultural output) in the agreed proportions.

The owner will own the growing crops but the agreement should restrict the ability to sell, the parties then have agreed shares in the severed crops and/or livestock.

Share farming allows both parties to share the risks and rewards on pre-arranged percentage terms with the owner providing the land and the start-up farmer or ‘operator’ being responsible for operational activity.

Sally McFadden is an Associate Solicitor in the Business Services Team at Thomson & Bancks LLP dealing with all commercial property matters for a mix of business, agricultural and notfor-profit clients. She also has niche specialist experience on agricultural matters and energy and renewables. To speak to Sally call 01684 299633 or visit gricultural agreements have traditionally followed a partnership, tenancy or contract farming arrangement. As farmland may often stay in the same family for generations, share farming can be a great way to allow new parties to get into farming and to relive some of the operational burden from landowning farmers. • The ‘owner’ typically provides land, fixed equipment, expertise and a share of working capital or livestock and will receive a share of the actual commodity produced. • The ‘operator’ provides labour, machinery and a share of working capital or livestock and again receives a share of the actual commodity produced.



Benefits: Both parties benefit from the economies of scale from the two businesses working together; in addition each have their own benefits. The owner: • retains some management responsibility whilst receiving additional resource for the physical or specialist areas of farm work; • can release working capital; • should receive a higher share of profits than under a contract farming relationship; • gains time by reduced involvement in the day-to-day management. The operator: • has the potential to gain a larger share in the business over time; • may enter farming in a more substantive and permanent way than as a contractor; • requires less initial capital investment than under a tenancy or purchase; • may improve their borrowing potential; • has the ability to run its own farming business with some capital, but no land. Tax & Reliefs: You should rely on your own specialist advice but in principle both parties are ‘farmers’ for

tax purposes, with each party running its own farming business with separate accounts, tax assessments and VAT registrations. Income & Capital Gains Tax: each party carries on a separate trade of farming for income tax and CGT purposes and can apply farmer’s profit averaging. Agricultural Property Relief: the Owner remains in occupation for the purposes of APR however they could lose APR on the farmhouse if they do not have an active role in the day-to-day farming. Basic Payment Scheme: Unfortunately only one share farmer can claim BPS and must include all of the land farmed under the agreement, the income from BPS payments is shared in agreed proportions. The BPS claimant is also responsible for ensuring that the cross compliance conditions are met. Care must be taken to avoid creating either a partnership which could create potential liability for each other’s debts; or a tenancy, as this could risk loss of Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax reliefs. The details of the arrangement should be set out in a written share farming agreement and should include details of contributions and profit share, in addition; •

the Owner should retain ownership of the land and grant the Operator a licence to enter and farm the land, if the Operator requires accommodation it is simplest to grant a separate assured shorthold tenancy.

details of the length of the term and any termination provisions for instance the ability to end the agreement on death, incapacity or insolvency.

Share Farming is useful in developing a medium or long-term arrangement and can be particularly attractive in specialist areas of agriculture where know-how and skill are the difference between success and failure. Finding the right party is fundamental, as share farming relies on a close working relationship with both parties acting for their mutual benefit. It’s important for both the owner and the operator to carefully consider their circumstances and assess what the arrangement will require from them before entering into a share farming agreement.


Spring approaches - with an entirely new challenge for Anna MacCurrach of Tagmoor Farm. But how’s one to manage when one doesn’t speak Equine? let them out into the paddock after they had breakfasted. I thought a few hours would be fine so they don’t overdo the grass. I also thought that if I went to get them in at lunchtime that would give me plenty of time to catch the tricky one before it got dark (3 hours, keeping my goals realistic). Bracing myself, I turned the corner to commence ‘Operation Catch the Pony’ only to see Jimmy strolling into the yard with both ponies following him happily, straight into their stables. My husband, the Horse Whisperer!

We have recently taken delivery of two ponies who needed a home for five months. I cannot believe this has happened and the world is still on its axis. It seemed like a good opportunity and we have the space. However, neither Jimmy or I speak Equine fluently – how would we manage? Still wary, despite the commitment only being for five months, our enthusiastic neighbour Amy promised full practical and emotional support, and we decided to go for it. Now, just to clarify, I just about know one end of a pony from another and haven’t shown any interest in them since I was about nine. Simple instructions are fine – one can get fat so don’t feed him too much, the other can get thin so feed him plenty. Throw me a curve ball though and I will struggle – one needs one rug, the other two, then there are inside rugs and outside rugs. All the rugs look the same but they must be different. Plus one is tricky to catch. It’s ok. We can do this. Day one. Time to let them out for some yard time while they acclimatise. Grabbing what

looked like outside rugs I tackled putting them on. But they are so different to inside rugs! More straps and buckles! I had to abandon this mission and phone the support hotline (Amy). Straps and buckles clarified, the ponies went out into the yard for the afternoon. On their second day with us I felt ready to

As I write this we are almost at the end of our first week. The ponies are still alive and even though I am really quite allergic to horses I am still alive too! I might even go as far as to say that their company is currently preferable to the children who, I have discovered, I cannot leave alone for ten minutes while I feed the ponies without my son wreaking untold havoc in the house. After all the worry, I might actually be a bit sad when they leave.

Find out more about Tagmoor Farm at




Create an Inspirational Home for Spring Renowned Interior Designer, Amanda Hanley, advises on how to add colour, texture and style to your home this spring.

Wallpaper Using wallpaper is a brilliant way to transform your home for the new season and provide personality. A bold, large-scale print in your hallway will add interest – equally, a deep, vivid, unexpected colour on one wall of your living room, against a uniform palette of grey or stone, will change the mood entirely. Feature wallpapers are fabulous, but you do need to think carefully about your curtains, sofas and floor colours before you make your choice. Wallpaper can be used to tie in and complement existing finishes in the room, such as fabrics and upholstery, with the use of a subtle and muted pattern. The stronger the background colour, the more important it is to keep the effect going around the room. As an alternative to paint for the remaining walls, a plain paper of a similar texture can be used to create a wonderful and luxurious cocooning effect, which has the added benefit of softening the acoustics of the room – ideal for a bedroom.




While a house’s exterior may give the first impression, it’s the interior design that reflects your personality and makes you feel at home. To breathe new life into your interior this spring, think about introducing unique fabrics, wallpapers, furniture and lighting – elements that lift a room and transform it into an exciting space.




Be confident and bold, buy what you love and do not worry what people think. Fabric My inspiration comes from a love of fabrics, textures and colourful textiles. I always look to create a space with a strong and definable style, achieved with unusual combinations of colour, size and texture, and a mix of modern and vintage pieces. Don’t be afraid of mixing patterns; if drawn from the same colour palette you will be surprised at how well they work together. We are often scared of ‘bad taste’, but so often rooms are strangled by trying to be overly ‘matching’ - they can end up too tasteful for their own good, leaving them looking bland and lacking in individual style. Be confident and bold, buy what you love and do not worry what people think. Have fun with your furniture, and consider using a striking fabric to upholster bespoke statement chairs and sofas. A touch of the unexpected can create a sense of fun, and a real focal point, such as a pop of bright colour, or a bold pattern – perfect for the new season.


Lighting New lighting is a relatively simple, but very effective, way to refresh the style of your interior scheme for spring. It plays a vital role within a home and has the power to transform a room’s look and mood. In addition to being functional, lighting helps to bring a space together and provide an atmosphere. It’s therefore an essential consideration when planning for the lighter days of spring and summer.. Statement lighting is a great way to show off your personal style. With so much choice

and a wonderful range of lighting, from quirky pendants and chandeliers to unusual and striking lamps, you can use lighting to make an impact in every room of your home.

Spotlight on… Fermoie Lighting offers a stunning range of bespoke lampshades, available in a wide range of stylish fabrics and sizes to suit any home. The lampshades are beautifully gathered, made in Fermoie cotton and linen fabrics, and are supplied with appropriate fittings and shade carriers.

Find out more about Amanda and her projects at | T 01993 822 385 | M 07976 353 996 Amanda Hanley by Design, The Gallery, 69 High Street, Burford, OX18 4QA COTSWOLD-HOMES.COM




Accessed via a private gated driveway and occupying a secluded position within the sought after North Cotswold village of Paxford is Mill House; a detached and substantial period barn conversion which has been tastefully restored by the current owners and now offers a refined blend of original character and modern contemporary styles. Bordered by open countryside the property sits within grounds extending to over 7 acres, including a pretty stream and pond, and boasts generous, beautifully presented and light filled living accommodation. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast/Family Room | Dining Room/Office | Utility | Cloakroom | Master Bedroom Suite | Three Ground Floor Double Bedrooms (one with en-suite) | Family Bathroom | Detached Double Carport (with studio/bedroom five and shower room above) | Parking Area | Private Gardens | Grounds of Over 7 Acres | EPC Rating: F Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893

Moreton in Marsh | Bourton on the Water | Stow on the Wold | Mayfair | Lettings



Fox Lodge is a substantial detached village home occupying a central position within a mature plot extending to approximately ½ an acre. The Georgian style property was almost completely reconstructed in 2004 and now boasts well proportioned and characterful accommodation and benefits from a detached, self contained 2 bedroom annexe, garage and office. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Conservatory | Study | WC | Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Guest Bedroom with En-Suite | Two Further Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Gardens | Garage | Home Office | Parking | Detached Annexe Comprising: Sitting Room Open To Kitchen | Two Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | EPC Rating: F Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893



A rare opportunity to acquire a detached barn conversation situated within the heart of this premium Cotswold village and just a short walk from the highly regarded village pub. This charming stone built period home boasts an abundance of character and offers further scope to improve and extend (subject to the necessary planning consents), whilst benefiting from a pretty walled garden and parking for several vehicles. Entrance | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen | Two Ground Floor Bedrooms | First Floor Master Bedroom | Bathroom | Outbuildings | Gardens | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: F Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893

Country Homes from harrison james & hardie



North End House is a three storey detached stone property, late Georgian in design, with balanced proportions and elegant high-ceilings, offering an abundance of highly attractive period features including sash windows and open fireplaces, stripped wooden floors, panelled doors and exposed stone work. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen | Dining Room | Family Room | Utility | Cellar | Master Bedroom Suite with Dressing Area and En-Suite Shower Room | Two Further Double Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Two Second Floor Double Bedrooms | Shower Room | Garden | Off Road Parking l EPC Rating: E Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893



A single storey Cotswold stone barn conversion occupying a secluded position within the sought after North Cotswold village of Blockley. Accessed via its own driveway and sitting within a plot extending to just over an acre, the property enjoys stunning views across neighbouring countryside and benefits from current planning permission to extend (09/00561/FUL & 12/02108/FUL). Entrance Hall | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Sitting Room | Garden Room | Master Bedroom With En-Suite | Two Further Bedrooms (One With En-suite) Bathroom | Office/Summer House | Office/Studio | Triple Bay Garage | Enclosed Courtyard To Rear | Manicured Garden And Orchard | Parking For Multiple Vehicles | Total Plot Extending To Approximately | Acre | EPC Rating: E Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893

Moreton in Marsh | Bourton on the Water | Stow on the Wold | Mayfair | Lettings



A stone built four bedroom detached house situated in a semi-rural location, just outside of Bourton on the Water. Entrance Porch | Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility Room | Cloakroom | Conservatory | Family Room | Rear Entrance Area | Master Bedroom | En-Suite | Two Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Second Floor Bedroom/Office | Bathroom | Front and Rear Gardens | Driveway Providing Parking | Double Garage | EPC Rating: E

Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 824977



A unique opportunity to purchase an interesting period school house conversion with well-proportioned and characterful accommodation arranged over three floors. The Cotswold stone property is centrally located within this premier North Cotswold village and benefits from a substantial open plan living area, parking and distant countryside views from the courtyard garden. Entrance | Open Plan Living/Dining/Family Area | Split Level Reading/Snug Area | Kitchen | Utility | WC | Master Bedroom Suite With Dressing Area And En-Suite Bathroom | Two Further Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Courtyard Garden | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: Exempt Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893

Country Homes from harrison james & hardie




Why offer freelance sales services via an online marketing platform when your reputation is so firmly founded on the local high street? ur core ethos has always been to provide superlative service standards to local customers. Both in sales and lettings, as renowned specialists and leaders in the marketplace we combine a high level of professional ability with a detailed working knowledge of the Cotswolds. With the benefit of longevity and experience in every sector from shared ownership to grand country homes, we have produced consistently outstanding results for our clients over the best part of two decades.

Karen Harrison is co-founder and director of Harrison James & Hardie. The company has a policy of continuous re-investment into the training and retention of local staff, and is committed to the use of new technologies and innovative marketing methods.

Our reputation for success has always been based on results, not on cheap fees. As founder-owners, having worked in the local marketplace for over a quarter of a century, the principal directors still lead from the front today, motivating and inspiring everyone to work hard, encouraging a positive and proactive team ethos whilst ensuring that each person becomes proficient, multi-skilled and independent. All staff also receive external formal training via Gold Standard, working towards industry qualifications and professional memberships, for which we pay all associated costs and subscription fees. We invest equally heavily in the most upto-date technology and modern marketing methods. Our exclusive licence of Fine & Country North Cotswolds, combining the financial might of an international network of upper quartile independent estate agencies, offers uniquely effective marketing to the hugely important London / investment marketplace. In the same way, our exclusive Cotswold Homes marketing platform offers superlative regional exposure via a wide range of affordable social media / bespoke print media opportunities suited to every sector of the local marketplace. With such investment into all elements of outstanding agency, our traditional nosale no-fee model is necessarily a costly provision. However there is no doubt that professional accompanied viewings, skilled sales negotiation and dedicated sales progression are the most important elements of any transaction. With a national average success rate of just 50% of instructed stock



to sales (far less for online agencies in the North Cotswold marketplace from our own research), we habitually convert around 95% of our instructed stock to sales. At least with a no-sale no-fee structure there is proper accountability for the end result. Today there is undoubtedly an appetite for more cost-effective services but a standard national online model is not simply bargain basement. It does not dispense with fripperies and luxuries but essential elements of successful agency. The worst stress points of any transaction are not adequately covered. Fraught with frailties, there is a fundamental lack of provision and investment into highlevel skills, into dedicated sales progression, specialist local knowledge, united teamwork. As Antony Codling of Jeffries has recently demonstrated national online models are at best only half a job, a coin toss with no backup plan. Budget airline is one thing but only one working engine and an automatic pilot is another. If you knew you wouldn’t get on the plane. Relying on a fundamental lack of understanding about the elements that really matter in achieving a successful transaction is essentially a cynical enterprise. However, Cotswold Homes Online is a luxury regional model purposely designed to overcome these insufficiencies, providing superlative marketing opportunities and the best in freelance estate agency services, with sufficient flexibility to be suited to every sector of the local marketplace. Combining freedom of choice on products and services with complete transparency on costs, it provides the perfect answer to cheap and ineffective models. In offering a scale of fees for optional freelance services via Harrison James & Hardie we do not diminish our reputation or ability, whether at entry level or as part of a bespoke international marketing campaign. We merely provide invaluable access to our wisdom, expertise, experience and knowledge of the Cotswold marketplace within an affordable framework, and thereby the facility to ensure a truly successful end result.


A new luxury online property platform for the Cotswold marketplace launching in March 2018 Offering complete freedom of choice, flexibility and transparency on costs and services Sell your property from as little as ÂŁ850 plus VAT Optional freelance sales services; peace of mind throughout Exclusive discounts on sole agency fees with Harrison James & Hardie Bespoke PR, social media and print options with Fine & Country North Cotswolds

For more information visit


8 SMITH BARRY CIRCUS, UPPER RISSINGTON Occupying the most secluded and soughtafter position within Upper Rissington are the original Officers’ houses, built during the 1940s when the village was a new airbase and flying school. Situated to overlook panoramic views and quietly tucked away, the properties here have enjoyed a sense of enduring solitude, even as the rest of the village has undergone a rapid transformation from remote outpost to thriving and popular modern village. Number 8 has had just one owner since the late 1990s, when the MOD finally sold off the airbase for residential development. “We had been despairing of finding our dream home and had all but given up when we spotted this in an agent’s window, the very last available of the Officers’ residences. We were so lucky. We walked up the path and knew it was absolutely perfect for us. “As the Circus and Crescent are set apart



it’s always felt like a little hamlet of its own here. With only twenty or so houses we often socialise together - street parties and safari suppers, Christmas drinks, New Year celebrations - a wonderfully supportive, very friendly little neighbourhood and equally a safe, quiet, beautiful place to live.” Situated within a landscaped cul-desac, shaded by mature British trees and surrounded by fields, this substantial detached home has been demonstrably loved, carefully refurbished and meticulously maintained, the whole presented in excellent decorative order. Set back squarely in its plot with a generous driveway and detached double garage, immaculate mature gardens and spreading lawns, today it is a house of considerable substance. Upon entering, a wide and welcoming hallway guides visitors through to a kitchen-breakfast room, open plan sitting room and dining

room, opening out to a conservatory that is perfectly situated to enjoy the best of the day’s sun. “We have recently installed a solid pitched roof onto the conservatory, which means it’s warm in winter and, with the doors open wide, cool and tranquil on hot summer days. We like to sit here quietly looking out at the garden, full of colour and interest from the earliest days of spring to the very last days of autumn. It’s a very restful space. “We are also blessed with abundant wildlife in the fields beyond; there are birds of all varieties, owls and red kites frequently fly overhead and meanwhile foxes, pheasants, deer and hedgehogs have all been occasional visitors to our garden. ” The vendors have taken over the original main bedroom as an informal sitting room. Situated to take best advantage of the position and


We like to sit here quietly looking out at the garden, full of colour and interest from the earliest days of spring to the very last days of autumn. It’s a very restful space.

dual aspect, at this height far-reaching views open up above surrounding fields and hedges towards the Oxfordshire hills and at night, the distant lights of Chipping Norton. “Although it’s really quiet, the MOD retained the airfield. Very occasionally we get a bird’s eye view of a low-flying plane coming into land, parachutists slowly floating down, Chinooks, a stealth bomber and even a couple of acrobatic vintage aircraft en-route to Fairford’s Air Tattoo. It’s fascinating. The best viewing is to be had from the top of the house, of course.” Reached via an elegant balustrade staircase, above on the second floor is a luxurious openplan master bedroom with dressing room and en-suite shower room. A wall of picture dormers provides a panoramic aspect over the surrounding countryside. “It is so tranquil up here that we sleep really

well; being south east facing there’s nothing better than a cup of tea in bed and some morning sunshine to start the day.” With two more generous double bedrooms (one currently a study), a family bathroom plus a ground floor shower room, this is undoubtedly a great family home. However, the position of the house within the plot gives an obvious opportunity for extension. Indeed most neighbours have already created very sizeable additions to the original living space. “The drain-run is on the other side so there’s no difficulty in joining up between house and garage, of course. Being just two we have

never felt the need. As a furniture restorer, the garage has been very useful as it is. One side has been converted into my workshop – I even have a cast-iron stove fuelled by off-cuts and bits of wood that keeps me nice and warm during the winter months.” After two decades of happy country living, the vendors have taken the decision to sell. “It’s been wonderful but at such a great distance from family we are at last heading back home to Scotland.” No doubt an eminently desirable proposition, the property was launched with an Open Viewing Day on Saturday 3rd February.

Offered with a Guide Price of £695,000, a sale was agreed on the Launch Day. For further information please contact Karen Harrison, Fine & Country North Cotswolds, Bourton on the Water: 01451 822977






VYNERS COTTAGE, Main Street, Long Compton On first sight this traditional, newly thatched cottage has plenty of chocolate box appeal but, upon stepping over the threshold, the interior presents in a completely unexpected way. The subject of an award-winning architect’s design, it has undergone a far more radical makeover than a standard refurbishment. Indeed, this is a transformation from a slightly tired property with difficult small-room layout into an eminently practical and wonderfully sociable modern family home. The surprises, whether just in the size of plot and the full scope of its accommodation, are not obvious. Inside, however, is an unexpected box of delights. According to the archaeologist supervising the works, some parts of the property date back to at least 1645 and there is evidence of even older medieval origins. There are later additions in the nineteenth and mid-twentieth century, and for those who like a clear



narrative from past to present this cottage tells its own story today, from humble dwelling to magnificent showstopper. There is still an abundance of traditional character within the steeply sloping eaves, exposed beams, deep inglenook fireplaces, and bread ovens. Once upon a time this was a pub – The White Swan – and later it became home to the famous war artist Evelyn Dunbar whose posters encouraged women to sign up for the land army. Indeed, the cottage itself appeared in her pretty 1945 Christmas card. “We bought the cottage thirteen years ago,” says James, an engineer. “It was beautiful and extensive, but we knew we would have to sort out at some stage layout issues and low ceilings heights. A small, detached granary had been part-converted as a separate annexe. Given the substantial size of the plot there was plenty of potential but first we had to address the structure of the main cottage. We lowered


and underpinned the ground floor in the main cottage, installing a hidden steel frame which would enable the rest of the works to proceed”. This structural work removed the necessity for obstructive load bearing features enabling the creation of a large open living room with proper head height, improved flow and a sudden abundance of light – a rare feature in houses of this age. Alarmingly we found the original A-frame had historically been cut through and was buckling under the weight of the roof. “It was imperative we did all the structural stuff properly before going on to other practical elements. Only then did we re-wire, install oil fired central heating, running under-floor heating under new slate floors and putting in a state-of-the-art boiler. Much of our original restoration fund went into the unseen fabric, nonetheless it gives considerable peace of mind today!” Meanwhile his wife Rebekah, a graphic designer, was excited rather than off-put by the extent of work required. “All that undoing that was needed allowed us to put in some cool stuff we might not otherwise have done, like the designs for an entirely new kitchen and bathrooms, and even the Bluetooth sound system with ceiling mounted speakers. But it was our architects, Haywards Smart, who were the clever ones. They came up with the connection between the main house and the granary and saw exactly how to maximise the potential and make a house that works for our family.” A showpiece kitchen facilitates the link between the granary and the main house. Lined in high gloss units, complete with a central ‘party bar’ workstation with full-front windows sheltered beneath a glazed copper roof and overhanging veranda, this is an inspirational space. “Not only does it allow a seamless flow between two buildings, this intuitive piece of creative thinking has completely transformed how we live as a family – it’s so healthy, embracing the outside in, come rain or shine.” Making good the outside was equally important. “We completely restructured and enclosed the plot, landscaping and fencing the gardens for privacy, providing large parking areas to the front and rear and installing a sheltered sunny patio outside the kitchen, including a countersunk splash pool for the children plus a large log cabin that we use as a summer dining room and gymnasium. All this space is perfect for large celebrations - last year we imported several tonnes of sand and had a massive beach party! It’s sociable no matter what the weather.”

A showpiece kitchen facilitates the link between the granary and the main house. Lined in high gloss units, complete with a central ‘party bar’ workstation with fullfront windows sheltered beneath a glazed copper roof and overhanging veranda, this is an inspirational space. As part of the architect’s suggested brief, they also built a new two-storey detached office / duplex apartment and integral garage at the far end of the plot. “There’s a right of way onto the green lane behind us and we’ve had approaches from developers since then, offering to split the annexe off, but we wouldn’t part with it.” Able to use this as a handy bolthole during the renovation it now serves as extra living space to accommodate friends and family, and for occasional holiday-lets. “Even restricting usage to 140 days letting a year, The Studio to Vyners Cottage can comfortably bring in a gross income of around £10,000. Everyone who stays here loves it. It’s aesthetically pleasing on the exterior, barnlike, but very warm and snug inside. Looking out across the fields and hills is entirely peaceful – you can even see the church sitting up in bed, all lit up under the night sky, like camping but in complete comfort. And at Christmas we managed to host nineteen people for three days - cramming them in every nook and

cranny! It’s a real luxury to have this much flexible living space.” What has been the best part of life here? “Of course we relish the ‘wow factor’ of such a fantastic house. Everyone who steps inside is taken aback and that’s something to be proud of - the preservation and restoration as much as the exciting new elements. But first and foremost we would say how wonderful village life is here. We have made so many friends, the neighbours are lovely and the children have been incredibly happy. Originally, the garden was a liberating environment in itself with lots of open space to play. Now the children are older we can hike out for miles on the Macmillan Way, stepping straight from the back gate directly onto the countryside footpath leading up towards Whichford. The Norman Knight pub is within twenty-five minutes’ walk – a good summer’s day stroll for Sunday lunch. So, it has been a marvellous family home in many ways - the ultimate good life, I suppose.”

Offered to the market at £895,000, viewings are strictly by prior appointment. For more information, to register interest and / or arrange a time to view, contact Sales Director Tom Burdett at the Moreton in Marsh offices of Fine & Country North Cotswolds on 01608 653893. COTSWOLD-HOMES.COM



A fully renovated, detached mid-century Cotswold stone property recently developed by an award-winning local architect and the subject of Channel 4's Best Laid Plans. Substantially extended at each end, and square within its walled plot, one extension now provides an open-bay integral double garage (offering another potential four hundred and fifty square feet of living space if so required) whilst the extension to the other side is entirely tiled, a fascinating single storey structure with a pitched roof looking rather like a neatly ordered haystack. Inside, the original sitting room has been opened out into this new space, the whole warmed by a steel wood-burning stove, today functioning as a single cooking /dining / entertaining bespoke space. The Italian Pedini kitchen by l’una design is focused



around a magnificent central furniture piece with work spaces, sink, breakfast bar and capacious drawers. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls look out on two sides over the garden, whilst the double-height vaulted ceiling is lit by three large pendants and a deep moulded architrave of concealed LED up-lighting. Leading off from the main hall is a separate snug and cloakroom, more full height storage cupboards and an eminently practical boot-room / laundry, with doors through to the new extension - plumbed in, with power and light, this broad open-bay double garage could easily be converted into another large reception room or subdivided, according to the needs of the new owner. Potential schemes are available as architect drawings to include a self-contained annexe.

On the first floor the quality of the restoration continues to impress, the whole re-fashioned to the same exacting standard, re-plastered with new joinery and fitted with raw steel column radiators, resplendent with luxurious new bath and shower rooms. Of four bedrooms, a double bedroom and master bedroom (with concealed wardrobe/ dressing area) are both set above the new extension. Open-plan and en-suite, these are extraordinarily imaginative spaces, vaulted with inset roof lights, deep dormers with innovative triangular panes and ingenious hand-crafted bespoke shutters fashioned in ash wood. To the exterior is a gravelled driveway for several vehicles, with lawned gardens wrapping around the property, dotted with mature trees and screened by pleached beech hedging.


Offered to the market at ÂŁ950,000, viewings are strictly by prior appointment. For more information, to register interest and / or arrange a time to view, contact Sales Director Tom Burdett at the Moreton in Marsh offices of Fine & Country North Cotswolds on 01608 653893.




When to extend your house We have a period house with too many small rooms and an old conservatory that makes the sitting room really dark. We want more space so our plan is to knock the conservatory down and then extend on two floors. What else should we be thinking about before we start?

e are always receiving enquiries from clients about house extensions. Rising stamp duty, moving costs and increased legislation have all ensured that the ‘don’t move, improve’ movement has gathered momentum in recent years. Your question is a classic conundrum. Existing spaces can fall into disuse when a house is extended. A room can become a corridor with the addition of a conservatory or an extension suddenly block out light and views from an original room.

Lydia Robinson MA | M.Arch | RIBA | RIAS Lydia is an architect and creative director of awardwinning architectural practice design storey. The practice is involved with projects in both the residential and commercial sectors, including the Miner’s Cottages, recipient of the RIBA southwest conservation award and the ‘Arts & Crafts house’ featured on Channel 4’s ‘Best Laid Plans’. Lydia is also a regular contributor to Homebuilding & Renovating magazine. Visit or email



Firstly, it’s important to work out what you are trying to achieve with your home. Is it more space or just better use of what you already have? Do you want to change the look and feel of those spaces, to improve the property’s relationship with the garden or just to enhance the quality of light? How long are you thinking of staying? Do you need to accommodate teenagers and / or elderly relatives at some point in the future? Is this your forever house or just a stepping-stone to the next? These are the sort of discussions we have at an early stage to tease out the hopes and aspirations of our clients. Your answers will form the essential project ‘brief’, the basis for the design, so it is important to provide as much information as possible. Ultimately, we are creative people with the knowledge and skill to think laterally and so to come up with surprising ideas. For example, the site may not lend itself to the scale of the extension on the first floor or it might not be financially viable due to the way drainage runs beneath the ground. Sometimes planning constraints are really too great to overcome, if your property is located in a conservation area or is a listed building. If you aren’t planning to live in your property for

another five to ten years, then is the expense and disruption worthwhile? We might very well discover that the extension project you had envisaged is only a search for more usable space, which we might easily achieve by opening out and de-cluttering your existing spaces. We might recommend that you demolish that existing addition, reinstate the original layout and then find available space by re-working of the interior – that’s a cheap and effective option! Equally, as you have a period home sometimes we will discover your hopes are simply not achievable or we will unearth constraints that might mean we cannot fulfil your ambitions. We may advise you not to try to extend if the property is at odds with your ambitions – as you are looking for a light and spacious house with high ceilings then perhaps your listed cottage isn’t really the best bet? Why not just move and find the right house to fit your aspirations? Speaking to an architect at a really early stage helps to ascertain what might be feasible and sensible. We will always balance practical issues with your dreams and aspirations. Occasionally, the result can be quite unexpected or the answer so much simpler than you first thought but is extending your house always the right thing to do? Ask an architect first and then do some research on the likely value when finished. Sometimes the cost outweighs the benefit so don’t be tempted to crack on with an extension under the misguided view that you will always add value as well as space. Consider all the alternatives carefully first including moving!


“Somewhere simply to rest and relax, a rare commodity in a busy world, this wonderful property is perfect for anyone seeking a retreat from city life whilst being within a stone’s throw of the direct train line back into London. Whilst immaculately presented, given its archetypal stone construction and exquisite location, it could benefit from an imaginative interior re-design. To inject a more contemporary but rural feel throughout, this eminently desirable look could be achieved very simply by taking out all the sleek linear cupboards and fitted wardrobes, replacing instead with painted, traditional free-standing furniture including a farmhouse-style unfitted kitchen. No country home is truly complete without an Aga and a woodburning stove - these two items would cost to install, however the impact would be immediately rewarding not only in the quality of day-to-day life offered by such an inherently beautiful home but also in likely re-sale value.”




Number Nine, Park Street, Stow on the Wold is an elegant eighteenth century townhouse with later editions, currently operating as a Bed & Breakfast and located within easy walking distance of the ancient market square. Arranged over three floors, the property has been cleverly divided to provide substantial guest accommodation offering three double bedrooms, each with bath or shower room, and an impressive open plan dining / sitting room warmed by a huge inglenook fireplace, together with a linked kitchen and private two-bedroom apartment for the owners. With separate, comfortable private living space that can be accessed directly from the street, and including a large charming




Whether continuing as an up-and-running business, as an opportunity for further development or simply conversion to a private home, there is no doubt that Number Nine, Park Street will attract a great deal of interest.

sun-filled walled garden, the property could therefore easily be divided to create the potential opportunity (subject to planning) for two separate holiday-lets. However, being listed as an essential two-day sojourn in the fourteen-day tour of Europe recommended by the highly influential American travel writer Rick Steve, ‘the charming flower-boxed town of Stow on the Wold’ is considered one of five essential stops around the UK (with Bath, Conwy, Keswick, York and London) ensuring that an estimated sixty per cent of all guests staying at Number Nine, Park Street hail from the United States. Once installed, Steve’s delighted readers will be encouraged to tour the North Cotswolds, first visiting Stanton and Stanway House

– ‘home to local aristocracy’, thereafter provided with ‘free time to explore more picturesque market villages’ and to join a ‘leisurely country walk past cottages and sheep, through fields and kissing gates’. Blessed with a wealth of period features, as a quintessential example of a North Cotswold property situated in the most renowned historic centre on the international tourist trail, the commercial fortunes of both town and place are happily entwined. Whether continuing as an up-and-running business, as an opportunity for further development or simply conversion to a private home, there is no doubt that Number Nine, Park Street will attract a great deal of interest. Early viewing is therefore unhesitatingly recommended, strictly by prior appointment.

Offered to the market at £650,000, viewings are strictly by prior appointment. For more information, to register interest and / or arrange a time to view, contact the Bourton on the Water offices of Fine & Country North Cotswolds on 01451 824977.




In with the New I am hoping to extend my period house, which is roughly 250 years old, with some more recent (circa 100 year old) additions. However, I am a little disappointed in that the plans drawn up so far have been really just imitating the old structure, when I was hoping for something more exciting!

ne of the charms of older houses is that they have grown and developed architecturally as they age. For example, a traditional cottage would have had an outside privy and no bathroom or plumbing, maybe a standpipe if you were lucky! And everyone in the family sleeping in one loft upstairs. So things have definitely moved on…

Central Surveying has offices in the Cotswolds and Knightsbridge, specialising in independent professional surveying and property consultancy services for commercial and residential clients in the Cotswolds, South West and London. Robert Hamilton works from Naunton in the heart of the North Cotswolds. To contact Robert, telephone 01285 640 840 or visit



I can understand the architect aiming for something safe and likely to be easily approved, but like you I am not in favour of faux ‘period’ features when nowadays there are so many exciting new materials and innovative methods available for use. And fortunately, even with Listed buildings or in the Conservation Area, the Heritage and Planning Officers are becoming more receptive to adventurous ideas. To take one example, one method of extending I often find myself recommending is to incorporate that stone-built outhouse so many Cotswold houses and cottages have. These were often laundries or, as mentioned before, privies. I recently surveyed a cottage with a truly grand three-seater privy in the back garden! Such stone buildings can be linked by a glass room and one wonderful construction I saw was to use glass to create the rooms inside the outhouse so that the

original beams, stone walls etc were visible but not actually used for load-bearing construction - rather than destroyed to replace with an imitation period effect. Even a modern garage can be used like this. Very few garages seem to contain cars nowadays, most are used as storage/ utility/dumping rooms so to link this single storey to the main house can often be a solution. It is relatively easy and inexpensive to improve the roofs and insulation, stone or timber clad the external walls to improve the appearance, and create another valuable internal area. A caveat here is that whilst retaining a single storey is fairly easy, if you wish to build on top of this type of building, it may require more thought and engineering input. Another method of construction which is actually a revival of a traditional style is the use of oak frames to create the new space. These derive from the medieval ‘cruck beam’ type of construction, but with modern methods of shaping and some discretely used steel. The oak beams become a feature of the final décor as they are kept evident and as they age become wonderfully split and cracked (known as ‘shakes’). This is only superficial and does not diminish their capability, instead it adds to the character. They are also best left untreated to develop a honey-coloured internal patina and silvery to the external timbers. Oak is nowadays is sourced from sustainable plantations and so is an ecologically friendly product, too. I am also very much in love with the recent trend of using agricultural buildings as residential. I am not referring to the stone barn conversions which abound here in the Cotswolds, but the Dutch barn designs, water towers etc. There are some truly stunning houses created in what would otherwise be redundant and unsightly collapsing corrugated iron. As with all design projects, you will need to bear your budget in mind, but I am sure your architect will be thrilled if you discuss the prospect of a more individual style of building. Conservation does not mean preservation in aspic but the continued use of these properties as family homes and so innovation should be encouraged. I would like to think that in another 250 years some future Cotswold resident will look admiringly at your new construction and say, ‘Wow! Didn’t they build some amazing stuff in the 21st Century?’


Using OTAs to market your holiday cottage I want to maximise the income from my holiday cottage and I’ve heard a lot about online travel agents, such as Airbnb. What is the best way to use these marketing channels?

he term ‘online travel agent’ (‘OTA’) refers to companies such as Airbnb, Expedia (which includes HomeAway) and TripAdvisor, who enable holiday cottage owners to list their properties online and take bookings directly from guests, for a commission fee. The OTAs have vast global marketing budgets and attract huge numbers of potential guests to their websites. Consequently, they have become important participants in the holiday letting industry. There is no doubt that using OTAs can boost cottage performance, but the secret lies in how you use them. Andy Soye and Mat Faraday are the co-founders and owners of Character Cottages, an independent company specialising in the holiday letting of luxury properties in the Cotswolds. To find out more about their services visit, email or telephone 020 8935 5375.

At Character Cottages we have been working with the leading OTAs for many years and have learned various important things: 1) To ensure your cottage gets listed high up the search results, you must allow your cottage to be “Instantly Bookable” i.e. when a guest places a booking on the site it cannot be cancelled by an owner; 2) Listing your cottage on only one OTA, such as Airbnb, will not maximise your income. You need to list on all of the main booking sites to generate the best return; 3) Listing your cottage on several ‘Instant Book’ channels opens you up to the risk of taking double bookings, for which you will be

heavily penalised. The only way to avoid this conflict is to use specialist ‘Channel Manager’ software, which integrates directly to the OTAs and manages the live calendars; 4) Finally, and most critically, it is a very risky strategy to rely on the OTAs to provide all of your bookings. The OTAs constantly make changes to the way they work, which you have to react to quickly to avoid a sudden, negative material impact on your financial return. We believe that the best approach is to use OTAs as part of a wider marketing strategy. For example, at Character Cottages, we generate approximately 65% of all our bookings without the help of OTAs, by using our brand, local knowledge, repeat bookings and broader internet marketing skills to reach all the right audiences. This ensures that we are not overly reliant on any individual marketing channel and can therefore deliver high and reliable performance levels, year after year. In summary, we support the use of OTAs to market your holiday cottage, but they have to be used in a managed and balanced way! If you have a stylish Cotswold cottage and you would like to know more about its holiday letting potential, please get in touch with one of our experts by emailing us on or calling us on 020 8935 5375 during normal office hours.





An extremely well presented detached modern home backing onto fields in the centre of this lovely hill village, also benefiting from an adjoining quarter acre plot with considerable potential for substantial extension and/or separate dwelling (subject to all necessary planning consents). Situated within the catchment area for nearby Outstanding schools, this is a wonderful family home with flexible and generous accommodation extending in excess of 2000 sq ft. Warmed by oil fired central heating, flooded with light, double-glazed and elegantly



presented throughout, the accommodation provides a welcoming entrance hall leading onto principal reception rooms and with an open balustrade staircase rising towards the top floor. On the ground floor is a living room complete with wood burning stove – together with the kitchen/ dining room beyond these rooms open out onto a substantial conservatory, thereby providing charming and expansive views towards open countryside. A conversion of the attached double garage to the front of the property has created further flexible living space, currently an office/playroom with utility area and shower

room but which could easily be used as another occasional bedroom. Upstairs there are four decent double bedrooms including a master with en-suite bathroom and a further family bathroom. The outside space is initially laid to raised decking, an elevated vantage point from which to survey the views, thereby to broad split-level garden, planted with mature trees. To the front a gravelled driveway provides ample off road parking. Adjacent is the ancient village church with its famous war memorial to the airmen from nearby RAF Little Rissington (now Upper Rissington).


An extremely well-presented detached house backing onto fields, benefiting from an adjoining quarter acre plot with potential for substantial extension ... Colloquially with long-lapsed planning permission (dating back to the 1970s, for which interested purchasers must make their own enquiries as to the veracity), between church and house is a quarter acre plot identically positioned to enjoy the same outlook and views, owned by the vendors of Trimleys. Offered at a sale price at ÂŁ750,000 with the plot, or without the benefit at ÂŁ650,000, this land offers clear potential to extend Trimleys quite substantially. The converted garaging to the front of the property, for example, might be taken down to create a much more private frontage, complete with grand in-out gated gravelled driveway and separate double garage, with still enough space for further extension of the main living space to the side. With such a plot, much is possible. All ideas are subject, of course, to prerequisite planning permission.

An Open Viewing Day was held on 3rd February and at the time of going to press, an acceptable offer had just been received. For more information, please contact Fine & Country North Cotswolds, Bourton on the Water - 01451 824977




Nursery Close Moreton in Marsh Situated on a no-through road on the northeastern edge of the town, Nursery Close is a quiet collection of substantial properties, widely considered one of the most prestigious addresses in Moreton in Marsh. Offering the perfect balance between rural life and town living, being within a quick level walk of the ancient market centre and the mainline railway station to Paddington yet an equally easy stroll into open countryside, the location undoubtedly offers the best of both worlds.



Tucked into a small cul-de-sac, 6 Nursery Close is a solidly built, beautifully designed modern Cotswold stone property, offering luxurious living accommodation finished to an impeccably high standard throughout. On the ground floor a central hall with elegant balustrade staircase opens out onto three reception rooms: a formal, brightly lit sitting room with carved stone fireplace and wood-burning stove, dining room and study.


Offering the perfect balance between rural life and town living, being within a quick level walk of the ancient market centre and the mainline railway station to Paddington yet an equally easy stroll into open countryside ...

Beyond, situated to look out over the garden, the kitchen-breakfast room and adjacent conservatory form a perfect informal family living space, practically arranged with a separate utility, the whole fitted with a wide range of wall and base units, complete with quality integrated appliances including a water softener and filtered drinking water tap. On the first floor, a wide galleried landing leads onto a master bedroom with ensuite, to another double bedroom with en-suite shower room, two further double bedrooms and a family bathroom. Above is a capacious loft, fully boarded with power and light, offering the potential for extension without impacting upon the current arrangement of the stairs and landing,

(subject to planning and building regulations). Outside, a pretty enclosed rear garden is arranged for ease of maintenance with an automatic irrigation system, greenhouse and separate shed (fitted out with work benches). Laid initially to patio with a neatly maintained lawn, well-stocked flower beds, espalier fruit trees and a young oak tree, this is a restful sheltered space ideal for al-fresco dining in warm weather. To the front, a private drive with parking for three cars leads to a pitch-roofed single garage. Again as an easy conversion subject to consents, the garage and conservatory together provide the opportunity to create just under two thousand square feet of potential living space.

Offered to the market at ÂŁ625,000, viewings are strictly by prior appointment. For more information, to register interest and / or arrange a time to view, contact Sales Director Tom Burdett at the Moreton in Marsh offices of Fine & Country North Cotswolds on 01608 653893.




Occupying a secluded and desirable cul-desac location on the outskirts of the village, Hazelwell is a mid-century extended chalet bungalow constructed of natural stone under a steep pitch tiled roof of traditional Cotswold vernacular. Marketed by Harrison James & Hardie of Bourton on the Water, the property is offered with a Guide Price of £500,000. An Open Viewing Day will take place on Saturday 3rd March – 12.00-3.00pm. Hilcote Drive is a desirable address blessed by a tranquil position and within a level walk of Bourton on the Water’s renowned attractions and amenities. Original properties have been in high demand to upgrade over recent years, with extension and improvement to create more substantial family homes. Those that have come to market have




Original properties have been in high demand to upgrade over recent years, with extension and improvement to create more substantial family homes.

inevitably prompted competing bids. Surprisingly spacious, the arrangement of ground floor accommodation in Hazelwell currently includes a main hall and cloakroom, a sitting room with stone fireplace and Grecian-style arch to an open-plan dining room, a conservatory with a sunny aspect, a kitchen / breakfast room and larder / store room with potential for conversion to a separate utility, with two double bedrooms plus an en-suite bathroom. An open timber staircase leads up to a large and part-converted open-plan room on the upper storey with potential to provide a further two bedrooms and bathroom, enjoying a dual aspect overlooking front and rear garden.

parking and a gravelled turning circle to the front, backing onto fields at the rear, an immaculately maintained back garden is principally laid to lawn, planted with fruit trees and bordered by mature deciduous plants and shrubs to provide a high degree of natural privacy, also benefiting from a traditional log cabin and timber garden shed. Initial improvements and planned alterations have sadly been interrupted by the vendors’ ill health. As such the property is now in need

of some refurbishment. Interested parties should therefore make note of likely work and outstanding planning matters prior to making an offer. Nonetheless, the innate desirability of the location provides a rare opportunity that will no doubt attract competing interest.  An Open Viewing Day will be held strictly by prior appointment, when all interested parties will be given an opportunity to view and Best and Final Offers invited thereafter, accordingly.  

Those enquiring for further information or booking an appointment to view should please call Karen Harrison, Principal Director, on 01451 822977.

Situated within a generous plot with off-road



Cranford, Bourton on the Water


A detached home located within walking distance of the village centre. Cranford has been lovingly extended by the current owners to provide a beautifully presented family home offering flexible living accommodation.The property benefits from further planning permission to extend - Cotswold District Council reference - 11/01393/FUL Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen | Office/Snug | Family/Dining/Living Room | Conservatory | Cloakroom | Utility Room | Master Bedroom | En-Suite | Four Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Rear Garden | Garage | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: C

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

Stable Cottage, Nether Westcote


Entrance | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Living Room | Two Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | EPC Rating: G


A four bedroom detached house situated within walking distance of The Rissington School and the local shops.The property is warmed by gas fired central heating and benefits from double glazing. Entrance Hall | Cloakroom | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Family/Dining Room | Master Bedroom | En-Suite Shower Room | Three Further Bedrooms | Shower Room | Rear Garden | Driveway | Garage | EPC Rating: B

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

Nestled in the quiet heart of Nether Westcote is this small quaint Cotswold stone barn that once formed part of an old farm and which, having been comprehensively modernised by the present owner, is now offered separately for sale. Full of unique character, detached with courtyard garden and off-road parking, this cottage is ideally suited either to a holiday let portfolio or as perfect second home.

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

31 Mitchell Way, Upper Rissington

Darcy & Demis, Bourton on the Water


A detached two/three bedroom home located within walking distance of the centre of the village.The property benefits from off road parking for multiple vehicles and southerly-facing rear garden, and is offered for sale with No Onward Chain. Entrance Porch | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Sitting Room | Bedroom 3/Study | Shower Room | Two First Floor Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Utility/Storage Room | Rear Garden | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: C

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

Moreton in Marsh | Bourton on the Water | Mayfair | Lettings

42 Barnsley Way, Bourton on the Water


A newly decorated three bedroom semi-detached home situated on the popular Bourton Chase development, within walking distance of the centre of the village and the outstanding Cotswold Academy.The property benefits from garage and off road parking, and would be an ideal family home or investment purchase. No Onward Chain.


A beautifully presented new build detached house situated in this historic market town. No Onward Chain.

Entrance Hall | Living Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Cloakroom | Master Bedroom | En-Suite Shower Room | Two Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Rear Garden | Garage | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: B

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

2 The Pound, Little Rissington

18a Macarthur Road, Northleach

Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen | WC | Master Bedroom | En-Suite | Two Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden to Front and Rear | Car Port | EPC Rating: B

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977


A recently improved and beautifully appointed home occupying a tucked away position within this pretty North Cotswold village.The property benefits from the addition of an attractive wood burning stove and also boasts off road parking and a garage. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Dining Room | WC | Three Bedrooms | Bathroom | Generous Loft Space | Garden | Garage | Parking | EPC Rating: D

Flat 19 Brockhampton Park, £149,500 Brockhampton At the centre of Brockhampton Park is an impressive former country house, originally constructed in 1639 of Ashlar stone.The property has undergone many alterations and additions and now plays host to an array of apartments and houses. Overlooking the lake and forming an integral part of the attractive Grade II Listed building, this second floor apartment boasts wellproportioned rooms and high ceilings and benefits from use of the extensive communal grounds. NB.The property is tenanted until August 2018. Entrance Hall | Sitting/Dining Room | Kitchen | Bedroom | Bathroom | Parking for Two Cars | EPC Rating: D

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

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Three Ways, Moreton in Marsh


A double fronted detached period home boasting well-proportioned accommodation and off road parking whilst occupying a central position just a short walk from the town’s amenities. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility | Pantry | WC | Master Bedroom | Three Further Bedrooms | Two Attic Rooms | Garden | Garage | Parking | EPC Rating: E

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893

56 Summers Way, Moreton in Marsh


Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Study | Utility Room | WC | Master Bedroom | En-Suite | Second Bedroom | ‘Jack & Jill’ Bathroom | Three Further Bedrooms | Double Garage | Garden to Rear | Driveway Parking | EPC Rating: B


A traditionally built Cotswold stone property, located in a quiet private cul de sac on the edge of the delightful village of Stourton.The property benefits from five double bedrooms arranged over three floors and has been maintained beautifully by its current owners since new. Entrance Hall | Cloakroom | Sitting Room with Wood Burning Stove and Double Doors Opening To Rear Garden | Kitchen/Breakfast Room Opening To Dining Room | Utility | Master Bedroom With Double Wardrobes And En-Suite Bathroom | Two Further Double Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Second Floor Two Double Bedrooms | Driveway Parking | Double Garage | Front And Rear Landscaped Gardens | EPC Rating: D

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893

This stunning former show home is presented to an exceptionally high standard and is situated in a sought after position overlooking a mature copse on the popular Moreton Park development.The property is available fully furnished by separate negotiation and this can include the home automation system which allows lights,TV, heating and other electronic devices to be controlled centrally using your voice or an app.

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893

10 The Long Close, Stourton

Melbank, Blockley


A detached bungalow occupying an elevated position with distant countryside views and a plot approaching ¼ of an acre.The property offers scope to extend and improve with a large attic space suitable for conversion (subject to the necessary planning consents). Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility Room | Two Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | WC | Garage | Driveway | Large Attic Space | EPC Rating: F

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893

Moreton in Marsh | Bourton on the Water | Mayfair | Lettings

Belmont, Moreton in Marsh


A rare opportunity to purchase a well presented detached chalet bungalow in a highly sought after close just a short walk from the town centre.This three bedroom property benefits from a garage and carport, as well as additional off road parking and a well-proportioned southerly facing rear garden.

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893

Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Study | Kitchen/Breakfast Room With Atrium Style Roof | Master Bedroom With En-Suite | Three Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden | Home Office | Garage | Parking | EPC Rating: B

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893


A charming double fronted Grade II Listed cottage situated within the quintessential North Cotswold village of Blockley.This Cotswold stone property currently operates as a successful holiday cottage and is available to be purchased with contents and future bookings (by separate negotiation). Entrance | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Sitting Room | Study/Occasional Bedroom Two Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Parking | Enclosed Garden to Front EPC Rating: exempt

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893


A beautifully presented four bedroom detached family home occupying a pleasant position on the edge of this popular North Cotswold development. The property benefits from a detached single garage and a recently added home office/day room in the well-proportioned rear garden.

Entrance Hall | Sitting/Dining Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Conservatory | Master Bedroom | Large Second Bedroom (Currently Used As Dining Room), Utility Room | Bathroom | WC | First Floor Bedroom | Bathroom | Garage | Carport | Off Road Parking | Gardens To Front And Rear | EPC Rating: E

Jackdaw Cottage, Blockley

29 Halifax Way, Moreton in Marsh

36 Lysander Way, Moreton in Marsh


A well-proportioned three double bedroom semi-detached home presented to an exceptionally high standard and benefiting from off road parking and a garage Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | WC | Master Bedroom With En-Suite | Two Further Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden | Garage Parking | EPC Rating: B

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893

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New Instructions, Sales, Lets and Open Days - A Wonderful Start to 2018 As the leading local residential estate agency, Harrison James & Hardie are specialists in sales and lettings in every sector of the marketplace from first time homes to grand country pads. With a phenomenal 37 new instructions, 21 agreed sales and 20 agreed lets by the company in January alone, there will be plenty of activity in the Spring marketplace this year!


Tom Burdett, Sales Director The sales market has started very briskly - in January we agreed twenty one sales, some with competing buyers. We have also been invited out to a record number of marketing consultations, with very pleasing numbers of new instructions signing up to launch this Spring. Our first Cotswold Homes Open Viewing Day on Saturday 27th January generated multiple viewings and agreed sales on the following Monday.

However some properties on our list are quietly offered on a ‘below the radar’ basis and will never appear online for sale before they go under offer. Our negotiators always work very closely with registered buyers, regularly phoning out and conducting a number of ‘one-off’ viewings. Therefore anyone actively looking for a property this Spring should check they are currently registered with us.


Caroline Gee, Lettings Director Having agreed lets on almost our entire stock of properties in January, it has been a record start to the New Year and demand for rental properties - whether a one bed apartment, a three bedroom modern property or a charming period village home - continues to be very strong. One thing is certain - if you're looking don't wait for Rightmove! Most of our instructions are let within a couple

Contact the Sales team:



of viewings so it's never been more important to ensure you are actively registered, not least because we always phone out first so many properties are already agreed by the time they appear online. Working closely with the sales team at both offices, we are able to alert investors regarding any new instructions suited to the lettings sector so if you are a professional landlord don't forget to register, too.



Tom Burdett MNEA; Sales Director Lucy Gainford MNEA; Office Manager Louisa Ryan, Sales Negotiator Amy Nicholson MNEA, Sales Negotiator Kirby Clayton, Administrator Tel: 01608 651000

Karen Harrison, Principal Director James von Speyr, Principal Director Jo Hetherington MNEA, Office Manager Sophie Williams, Sales Negotiator Steve Buchanan MNEA, Sales Progression Manager Tel: 01451 822977


New Lettings Department at Moreton in Marsh To enable necessary expansion there is now a Lettings team at both Moreton and Bourton offices. The Moreton team is headed by Jude Farrell who has many years’ experience of the North Cotswold marketplace. Meanwhile the Bourton team is managed by Abi Hemmings NFOPP who now lives in Broadway having previously worked in the London lettings marketplace since 2013.

Meet Abi Hemmings, Lettings Manager, Bourton on the Water Abi joined the company in the summer last year. “I can’t believe how busy it’s been. By the end of January we had already agreed at least twenty lets ranging from £750 p.c.m. to £1,675 p.c.m. As experts and specialists in the local marketplace, most of our properties will be “Let Agreed” within 24-48 hours and on many occasions the very same day as receiving instructions. “Landlords therefore feel reassured, given our proactive and excellent service standards, that properties will be on the market for the least amount of time and that we will find the most appropriate tenants, all sourced and referenced in a timely and efficient manner.” Harrison James & Hardie operates three service levels: • Tenant Only Basis • Rent Collection Service • Fully Managed Service The company advertises all properties on Rightmove and Zoopla, in addition offering exclusive marketing opportunities with Cotswold Homes and enhanced access to the London investment marketplace via Fine & Country North Cotswolds for premier properties in the upper quartile price range.

Contact the Lettings team:

Meet Jude Farrell, Lettings Manager, Moreton in Marsh Jude Farrell is the newest member to join the Harrison James & Hardie team. Mum to two teenagers and living in Shipston on Stour, Jude first moved to the Cotswolds in 2002 where her background in accountancy and admin skills kick-started her new career life, first working for a locally owned private country estate in Warwickshire, overseeing residential lets of 120 listed cottages and farmhouses. In 2013 she won an exciting new role as Property Manager within a large corporate, handling all facets of the lettings business with a portfolio of up to 300 residential properties at any one time. "Having relished the role initially, after time I sorely missed the personal interaction and long-lasting business relationships built from liaising directly face-to-face. My new role with Harrison James & Hardie is a fantastic opportunity to address that missing element. The company's service standards are clearly exemplary. "There is nothing I enjoy more than to find that perfect home for a prospective tenant and then making the move as easy as possible. It gives me equal satisfaction to let properties so quickly, knowing that we are doing our best to maximise the return on each landlord's investment."



Caroline Gee, Lettings Director Jude Farrell, Lettings Manager Katy Hackling, Lettings Negotiator* Tel: 01608 651000

Abi Hemmings, Lettings Manager Deirdre Hughes, Lettings Administrator Amy Coldicott ARLA, Lettings Manager* Tel: 01451 822977

*Katy and Amy are both currently on maternity leave. Amy will be returning soon; Katy will be back in 2019.





Upper Rissington LET AGREED

Beautifully presented Cotswold stone property situated in the sought after location of Naunton.The property benefits from off-road parking, period features, generous garden and private hot tub.

An immaculately presented Linden recently built detached family home, finished to the highest standard in the sought-after village of Upper Rissington.

Dining Room | Sitting Room | Kitchen | Two First Floor Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Further Two Bedrooms on Top Floor | Outside Shower Room and WC | EPC Rating : F

Entrance Hall | Cloakroom | Large Kitchen / Diner | Utility Room | Sitting Room | Master Bedroom with En-Suite Shower Room | Family Bathroom | Three Further Bedrooms | Single Garage | Off Road Parking | Rear Enclosed Garden | EPC Rating : B

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977


Moreton in Marsh LET AGREED

Beautifully presented Cotswold stone three bedroom property situated in the sought-after location of Naunton.The property benefits from off-road parking, period features, generous garden and private hot tub.

A very well presented end of terrace house located on the stylish Blenheim Park development in Moreton in Marsh.

Kitchen / Dining Room | Sitting Room | Bathroom | WC | Two First Floor Bedrooms | Shower Room | WC | Top Floor Master Bedroom | EPC Rating : E

Entrance Hall | Cloakroom | Sitting / Dining Room | Kitchen | Three Bedrooms | Three Bath / Shower Rooms | Single Garage | Off Road Parking | Front and Rear Garden | EPC Rating : C

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

Bourton on the Water | Moreton in Marsh | Mayfair | Lettings


Long Compton LET AGREED

Moreton in Marsh LET AGREED

An end of terrace newly built Cotswold stone modern cottage set in a quality development located in the village of Long Compton.

A surprisingly spacious extended family home located just a short walk from the popular High Street of Moreton in Marsh and the train station.

Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen / Dining Room | Utility | Downstairs Cloakroom | Master Bedroom with En-Suite Shower Room | Two Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Gardens | Garage and Off Road Parking | EPC Rating : C

Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen / Breakfast Room | Study | Conservatory | Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Three Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Garden | Garage | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating : C

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

Lower Swell LET AGREED


Charming mid-terrace, three bedroom property, situated in the sought-after location of Lower Swell.

One bedroom Grade II listed character cottage in the sought-after village of Ford.

Kitchen / Breakfast Room | Living Room | Family Bathroom | Three bedrooms | Generous Garden | EPC Rating : E

Sitting / Kitchen / Breakfast Room | Dining Room First Floor Master Bedroom | Bathroom | Enclosed Patio Garden | Off Road Parking

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

view all our properties at


Stamp Duty for First Time Buyers I’m a first-time buyer and I’ve heard that there have been recent Stamp Duty changes announced by the Government. What are these, and how do they affect me?

tamp Duty is a ‘one off’ lump sum payment of tax that is payable to the Government when a property is purchased in the United Kingdom, with the amount payable being dependent on the price of the property being bought. In the Autumn Budget of 22nd November 2017, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond announced that he was making some changes to the Stamp Duty rules that would affect first-time buyers in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (but not Scotland, as this has an independent system of tax). This was seen to be another positive measure to further boost the property market for those wishing to buy their first home.

Sue Ellis works alongside Johnny Magee as a Mortgage Broker at JEM Financial Planning. The team has over 50 years’ experience in investment, retirement and inheritance planning, mortgages, protection and general insurance. To speak to Sue or Johnny, telephone 01386 840777 or visit

Prior to this date, first-time buyers would be required to pay Stamp Duty on any purchase of a property with a price of more than £125,000 with the duty being levied on a staggered basis above this threshold. No duty was payable on the first £125,000, with 2% being payable on the next £125,000. This then increased to 5% on purchases of £250,001 to £925,000, 10% on the proportion of the price from £925,001 to £1,500,000 and 12% on the upwards price. So, for example, a first-time buyer with a purchase price of £180,000 would have paid a total of £1,100 – i.e. nothing due on the first £125,000 and then 2% of the remaining £55,000. Stamp Duty has now been changed for any first-time buyer in England, Northern Ireland (and Wales, until April 2018), meaning that if they are buying a property with a purchase price of less than £300,000, no Stamp Duty



will be payable. For more expensive locations, such as London, 5% Stamp Duty will be due on the next £500,000. So giving another example, a first-time buyer purchasing previously to the budget buying a property with a price of £475,000 in the capital would have paid a total of £13,750 (nothing on the first £125,000, £2,500 on the next £125,000 and £11,250 on the remainder) whereas now they would pay a total of £8,750 (nothing on the first £300,000 and £8,750 on the remaining balance). The definition of a first-time buyer is strict and is defined to be just that. To qualify a property must never have been owned previously and if being bought in more than one name then all parties must fall under this ruling. The Treasury has estimated that this will mean that 80% of first-time buyers will pay no stamp duty at all, and 95% of them would benefit from a cut. As I’ve said, this is a further attempt by the Government to attract buyers wanting to get on to the housing ladder, following on from the increased Stamp Duty rates and tax changes for landlords designed to slow down the Buy-to-Let market. This has been welcomed by industry experts as a very encouraging sign that will greatly benefit first-time buyers - who are finding it increasingly difficult to get on the property ladder in this day and age with continually rising house prices.


Safeguarding against online fraud how to make transactions you can trust I am very concerned about cybercrime. I have read recently that someone lost thousands of pounds when they sent their money to a fraudster instead of their solicitors. How can you protect me?

t is an unfortunate fact that property lawyers and their clients have been increasingly targeted by fraudsters over the last few years. These fraudsters have realised that millions of pounds are sent electronically around the banking system on the strength of little more than an email or phone call containing bank details and the amounts to be transferred. They have developed sophisticated ways of diverting this money by a combination of identity theft, intercepting emails, and by persuading firms and their clients to transfer large sums of money to the fraudsters’ accounts by impersonating solicitors, banks and property owners. Usually, none of the money is ever recovered, and the solicitors and clients all lose out. Simon David is Managing Director at Thomas Legal. He was previously a Partner at a large regional firm based in the South West where he headed up a sizeable conveyancing department. Simon’s remit is to ensure that Thomas Legal remain the first and best choice for consumers by exploring cutting edge IT technology and ensuring they deliver the highest standards of service. He is a member of the Law Society Property Section Committee.

No solicitor can guarantee that you will not be targeted by criminals, but these are some warning signs to look out for:

• A sudden urgency to send funds to your solicitor for no apparent reason. • Last minute changes to solicitor bank details or lending arrangements. • Last minute requests for more money for no clear reason. • Callers that don’t seem to know any details about the transaction. • Requests to pay money directly to a third party and not to a solicitor account. The price changing suddenly, or being asked to pay a different amount than what was stated on the documentation sent to you.

• Emails containing spelling or grammar mistakes, or addressed to ‘Dear Client’.

So is there anything else that I can do to protect myself further? • Don’t trust ‘call back’ numbers - use numbers you trust or which can be verified independently. •

Don’t click on ‘contact us’ or ‘email us’ links in emails; instead, type in an email address you know, type in a web address you know or just pick up the phone and call someone you know in the team that has been dealing with your transaction.

• Check all amounts and bank information with us if you are suspicious and cross check that there have been no changes. •

Check that the contact details on the email or telephone call received fit with the information that we have already supplied to you.

Don’t trust any emails that purport to be from our accounts department as we would never ask them to contact you directly without informing you first.

Most importantly, don’t ever choose a solicitor to act for you that you have never heard of before but seem attractive due to their cheap fees. Remember that if a product is cheap it may well not be built very well and the same could be argued with law firms. Do you really want to entrust your savings to a firm that could easily be a front for a criminal organisation? As a minimum, check that the firm you are using is accredited by the Law Society as part of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme.






A stunning new home in the heart of the Cotswolds ALL UNITS NOW SSTC

Secured with a deposit from as little as £2,563 (pay a 5% deposit on the share you buy) Prices available between

£51,250* £198,750* and

Secured with a deposit from as little as £3,150 (pay a 5% deposit on the share you buy) Prices available between

£63,000* £219,750* and

Help to Buy Shared Ownership is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to get a foot on the property ladder but can’t afford to buy a home outright. If you have a local connection to Cotswold District Council, you could be eligible to buy a home at a fraction of the full price. *Share prices and purchases between 25% and 75%. Monthly rent and service charges apply. Bromford will determine the most affordable share for you to purchase, which could be anywhere between 25% and 75% depending on your current income and HCA criteria. Terms and conditions apply. Prices correct at time of going to press.

To find out more call 0800 0852 499




Profile for Cotswold Homes

Cotswold Homes Spring 2018 Edition  

With winter behind us, it’s time to welcome in a whole new year of Cotswold wonderment - kicking off with the sensational Cheltenham Festiva...

Cotswold Homes Spring 2018 Edition  

With winter behind us, it’s time to welcome in a whole new year of Cotswold wonderment - kicking off with the sensational Cheltenham Festiva...


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