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Penny Parkes Award-Winning Cotswold Author Kim Bailey Trainer of Champions Annabel England on the Race of Her Life Cotswold Calendar Unmissable Cotswold Events Must Visit Cotswolds Our Top Summer Destinations Hot Property Beautiful Homes, Expert Advice Competitions Big Feastival, Cornbury, Battle Proms & More


Spoilt for Choice As both residents and visitors know, there’s no better place than the Cotswolds for a sunny slice of English summer fun. Every year it seem there are more festivals, fetes and frolics in store than ever before. But for those of us who’ve lived locally for most of our lives, it’s also easy to forget the wealth of attractions waiting on your doorstep all year round, waiting to be discovered - or re-visited. That’s why, in this Summer Edition, we’ve compiled the top Cotswold events of the season and listed some of our very favourite places for a day out - from gorgeous gardens to historic manor houses. You could say this issue is devoted to getting you out and about. (Though we’ve also provided a guide to hosting garden parties at home, with Julia Sibun providing plenty of inspiration for those sublime summer evenings) Adding to the lengthy list of Cotswold talent we’ve interviewed over the years are award-winning novelist Penny Parkes and top trainer Kim Bailey, who just so happens to have won The Cheltenham Gold Cup, The Grand National and The Champion Hurdle over the course of his career. Kim’s been helping fundraiser extraordinaire Annabel England prepare for Macmillan’s Ride of their Lives event at York Racecourse this June. Read Annabel’s emotional story inside (and please do donate - every contribution makes a difference). Meanwhile, our cover artist Bridget Lansley provides a revitalising splash of colour, while Alexandra Tilley Loughrey is back at the wheel with a hot take on the Citroen C3 Aircross. And, just to round it all off, we’ve got the pick of the Cotswold market to admire in our Hot Property section. And what’s this? Looks like we forgot to mention the summery bonanza of competition prizes to be won, just a turn of a page away. Just a reminder: you can see what’s on and enter our competitions anytime at

Contents 04 Competitions

Eight pages of giveaways start here

14 Penny Parkes

Getting a look at a novelist’s process

18 Bridget Lansley

Our cover artist on her life and work

24 Annabel England

Annabel’s inspirational efforts for Macmillan need your support

26 Kim Bailey

The seasoned racehorse trainer speaks his mind

34 The Big Feastival

Your glimpse at this year’s family-friendly extravaganza

36 Cotswold Calendar So much to do this Summer

48 Unmissable Cotswolds Our top selection of Cotswold attractions

82 Hot Property

Expert advice and our pick of the North Cotswold property market

Enjoy! Cover Artist Bridget Lansley is a contemporary British artist whose upcoming solo show Bridget Lansley: The Dimension Beyond will be held at the Fosse Gallery, Stow on the Wold. (from 10th – 30th June). Read our interview with Bridget and preview some of her works in this very issue.

Cotswold Homes Magazine Our next edition, Autumn/Winter 2018, will bring you more upcoming events, competitions and articles showcasing the local area – helping you get more out of life in this beautiful part of the world. To speak to a member of the team, please call 01451 822977 or email: Editor’s Desk: Property: Food & Drink/Equestrian: Marketing & Sales: Website & Admin:





WIN! a family weekend pass with camping to Cornbury Festival Festival season is just around the corner, and one making the headlines for all the right reasons is Cornbury Festival. Although festival organiser Hugh Phillimore announced that 2017 would be the last, the demand for its return was such that it’s back this year - bigger and better… And we’ve got a family weekend camping ticket worth £500 to give away! The first wave of acts announced were a welcome injection of girl power in an otherwise male-dominated festival season. Alanis Morissette tops the bill on Saturday - a UK festival exclusive - with singalongs guaranteed thanks to her arsenal of hits, including Ironic, Hands Clean and One Hand In My Pocket. She’s joined by Chicago soul icon Mavis Staples - currently celebrating 2017’s acclaimed album If All I Was Was Black - as well as an appearance on Gorillaz recent album, Humanz, alongside Scottish songstress Amy MacDonald, bubblegum popstar turned dreamy hitmaker Nina Nesbitt, 60s legend P. P. Arnold (The First Cut Is The Deepest) and Pixie Lott. Friday sees reggae gems UB40 headlining, with Jamaica’s Jimmy Cliff joining them on the bill, alongside Stereo MC's, Zucchero and Danny & The Champions Of The World. Closing the show on the Sunday, Squeeze will tempt anyone who's cool for cats up the junction before saying goodbye girl… And there are plenty more pun-worthy tracks from Jools Holland’s former band to keep this terrible joke going. But we won’t. Fellow 80s indie lot Deacon

Blue join them earlier in the day, as does Dutch born jazz singer Caro Emerald, the US’s Lissie (who’s duetted with a-ha, Jack Savoretti and Robbie Williams, covered Fleetwood Mac, and even found the time to release 3 of her own country-tinged solo albums) and Streatham’s very own Ferris & Sylvester, fresh from opening for George Ezra. Not only that, it’s recently been announced that the Hairy Bikers are roaring into Oxfordshire for a 3 day Pop-up Woodfire restaurant adventure at the festival, with the

bikers cooking up a feast and plenty of their witty banter to entertain the crowds too! For more information on Cornbury Festival see  This year's festival takes place at Great Tew Park from 13th - 15th July 2018. To be in with a chance of winning these, and SO many more, celebrating Cornbury Festival’s 15th birthday head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes. com. Competition closes on 28th June 2018.

T&Cs – Prize not transferable and cannot be exchanged for financial value. Age restrictions on Family Ticket (2 x adults and 2 x children under 18) includes weekend camping pass. Tents not provided, quiet camping can be requested. Also includes parking. Does not include travel to festival or on-site hospitality. Winners will be notified and sent collection information prior to event. Usually tickets are sent out one week prior to event, or guests will be added to the guest-list for pass collection on arrival.




SUMMER COMPETITION GIVEAWAY ONLY WITH COTSWOLD HOMES WIN! a weekend family ticket to The Big Feastival at Alex James’ Kingham farm

WIN! tickets to a spectacular Battle Proms Picnic Concert

This summer celebrated local landmarks Blenheim Palace and Ragley Hall will once again play host to thousands of happy picnickers at the Battle Proms and we have 3 pairs of tickets to giveaway!

Go and spend a great weekend of food, tunes and summer frolics with this fabulous prize to The Big Feastival! A Weekend Family Ticket (valid for 2 adults and 2 children) is an entry only ticket that includes admission and live entertainment across the music, food and family stages. The ticket includes entry on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The line-up at this year’s Feastival includes Basement Jaxx, Paloma Faith, Craig David, Tom Odell, Melanie C and many many more, as well as chefs Marco Pierre White and Raymond Blanc among others,. There’s also a whole host of delicious food stall offerings, and for the kids – there’s enough to keep them entertained and beyond during the three day festival! This year’s Big Feastival takes place from 24th – 26th August 2018 at Alex James's Kingham farm. To enter our draw to win this great family prize, head to the competition section of Competition closes on 9th August 2018.

The concerts include a full programme of captivating classical music from the 60-piece New English Concert Orchestra complemented by toe-tapping vintage vocals, breathtaking Spitfire display to Elgar’s Nimrod, sensational freefall demonstration by The Red Devils parachute team, dramatic WWI cavalry display and groundshaking live fire from over 200 cannons! These quintessentially British ‘party in the park’ concerts feature magnificent musical firework displays, culminating in a flag waving, sing-a-long, firework spectacular including all the ‘last night of the proms’ finale favourites such as Jerusalem, Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory. The Battle Proms return to Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire on Saturday 21st July, and Ragley Hall in Warwickshire on Saturday 11th August. Are you ready to pack up the hampers and champers and enjoy an unforgettable night out at one of these stunning stately homes? To be in with the chance of winning one of three pairs of tickets to a Battle Proms concert at either Blenheim Palace or Ragley Hall (it's your choice!), just head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes. com. The competition closes on 9th July 2018. Don’t want to leave it to chance? To book tickets for this summer spectacular, visit




SUMMER COMPETITION GIVEAWAY ONLY WITH COTSWOLD HOMES WIN! tickets to Ariadne auf Naxos at Longborough Festival Opera on Friday 13th July 2018

WIN! a pair of tickets to The Rise and Fall of Little Voice at the Barn Theatre, Cirencester The Barn Theatre proudly presents the Olivier award-winning comedy, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice. Overlooking spectacular views, Longborough Festival Opera’s intimate 500-seat theatre offers a chance to see great works performed by the brightest stars of the UK opera scene. To celebrate the upcoming season – which also includes Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer, Verdi’s La traviata, and Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea – Longborough Festival Opera are offering the chance to win two tickets to the opening night of Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos on Friday 13th July 2018, with a glass

of champagne on arrival to enjoy in the beautiful grounds. “With its scintillating chamber orchestra, Ariadne is ideally suited to the intimacy of Longborough. Having loved it since I was 16, I relish the opportunity to conduct it.” Anthony Negus To enter our draw to win this great prize for the performance on 13th July, simply visit the competition section of our website www. The competition closes on 28th June 2018.

Longborough Festival Opera 2018 Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 0QF 6th June – 2nd August Box Office 01451 830292 |  |

Shy, reclusive Little Voice, living with her hot-tempered mother Mari, realises her talent: emulating every singer from Judy Garland to Edith Piaf. This beautifully crafted modern classic, featuring some of the most iconic music of the 20th Century. With award-winning director Michael Strassen taking the helm, the closing production of the Barn Theatre’s inaugural season is not to be missed. The Rise and Fall of Little Voice runs from 13th July to 4th August. To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets to a performance on a date of your choice of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, just head to the competition section of www. Competition closes on 28th June 2018.

WIN! A pair of tickets to see a film of your choice at Evesham’s art deco cinema, The Regal The Regal, Evesham is a lovingly restored art deco style cinema and live events venue with a coffee shop and licensed bar that attracts moviegoers from across the region! As well as screening the latest films, it hosts a wide variety of events that include live music and comedy performances, live sports broadcasts and transmissions of live concerts,



theatre, ballet and opera productions. 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 26th July 2018.


SUMMER COMPETITION GIVEAWAY ONLY WITH COTSWOLD HOMES WIN tickets to Cinderella presented by Ballet Cymru at the Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury on Friday 15th June 2018 Ballet Cymru prides itself on being different and Cinderella will be no exception, with a brand new music score and circus elements combined with the finest classical dance. Ballet Cymru will be working with award winning composer Jack White and Circus Company Citrus Arts to conjure a surprising world of wonder and magic. Featuring choreography by Creative Wales Award winner Darius James and costumes by Welsh designer Steve Denton, Ballet Cymru brings to life this timeless story using the company’s unique blend of classical technique and storytelling.

Cinderella is a co-production between Ballet Cymru and The Riverfront Theatre, in association with Citrus Arts. To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets to see this fabulous production at Tewkesbury's Roses Theatre on Friday 15th June at 7.30pm, just head to the competition section of The competition closes on 4th June 2018.

WIN! tickets to The Wipers Times at Oxford Playhouse on Monday 3rd September 2018 Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s The Wipers Times tells the true and extraordinary story of the satirical newspaper created in the mud and mayhem of the Somme. In a bombed out building during the First World War in the Belgian town of Ypres (mispronounced Wipers by British soldiers), two officers discover a printing press and create a newspaper for the troops. Far from being a sombre journal about life in the trenches, they produced a resolutely cheerful, subversive and very funny newspaper designed to lift the spirits of the men on the front line.

The Wipers Times runs from 3rd - 8th September 2018.

Defying enemy bombardment, gas attacks and the disapproval of many of the top Brass, The Wipers Times rolled off the press for two years and was an extraordinary tribute to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming adversity.

For your chance to win two tickets to see The Wipers Times on Monday 3rd September at 7.30pm at Oxford Playhouse, simply visit the competition section of www.cotswold-homes. com. Good luck! Competition closes on 16th August 2018.

WIN! tickets to Birdsong at Oxford Playhouse on Monday 16th July 2018 Marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, Birdsong is the critically acclaimed hit stage show based on the world-famous novel by Sebastian Faulks. In pre-war France, a young Englishman Stephen Wraysford embarks on a passionate and dangerous affair with the beautiful Isabelle Azaire that turns their world upside down. As the war breaks out over the idyll of his former life, Stephen must lead his men through the carnage of the Battle of the Somme and through the sprawling tunnels that lie deep underground. Faced with the unprecedented horror of the war Stephen clings to the memory of Isabelle as his world explodes around him. A mesmerising story of love and courage.  Birdsong runs from 16th - 21st July. For your chance to win two tickets to see Birdsong on Monday 16th July 2018 at 7.30pm at Oxford Playhouse, just head to the competition section of Competition closes on 28th June 2018.




SUMMER COMPETITION GIVEAWAY ONLY WITH COTSWOLD HOMES WIN! a 2018/19 Season Pass to Warwick Racecourse valued at £150

Warwick Races is regarded as one of England’s finest small racecourses. It stages 18 fixtures a season, from September through to the end of May. This season pass will give you complimentary access to each and every one of them.

Holiday Monday in May, known as Kids Carnival Day. There are also popular fixtures in the lead up to Christmas, which make for a good party opportunity and the May Racing Carnival, when some warmer days can be anticipated.

Warwick is exclusively a national hunt racing venue and has an established programme of high quality races that act as stepping stones to some of the key events at Cheltenham and Aintree. The feature races such as the Classic Chase and Kingmaker Novice Chase have consequently been won by some of the country’s best horses.

The racecourse is located close to the town centre, has ample free parking and is warm and comfortable facilities including the incredibly popular 1707 restaurant.

Attendances at Warwick have been on the rise with the most popular race days now being New Year’s Eve and the first Bank



Come and enjoy a brilliant day out at the races! To be in with a chance of winning* this fantastic prize, just head to the competition section of Good luck! The competition closes on 23rd August 2018. *Winner needs to be over 18.


SUMMER COMPETITION GIVEAWAY ONLY WITH COTSWOLD HOMES WIN! tickets to the Bugatti Festival at Prescott Speed Hill Climb on Saturday 14th July 2018

It’s been 80 years since the first event was held at Prescott in May 1938. This year’s meeting on Saturday 14th July will be a celebration of the first 80 years, and - as you might have guessed - there’ll be loads of cars and Prescott heroes old and new turning up for the festivities.

WIN! a morning at the Gallops and Breakfast for two at Kim Bailey Racing

This year will see a bumper outing for Bugattis - if you’ve never been to Prescott before, get ready for a motoring spectacle like you’ve never seen. ..and for lucky Cotswold Homes readers, we've snapped up tickets to this great event. To be in with a chance of winning one of four pairs of tickets, simply head to the competition section of our website The competition closes on 28th June 2018.

What a great prize for all you race-goers and equine lovers! Come and visit the Kim Bailey Racing yard at the start of the new season, watch the horses begin their season preparations and enjoy a cooked breakfast with the trainer himself. Kim Bailey has trained over 1100 winners and is lucky enough to have achieved the magical "Big Three", The Grand National (Mr Frisk), The Cheltenham Gold Cup (Master Oats) and The Champion Hurdle (Alderbrook). In a stunning Cotswold location, Kim Bailey Racing is based at Thorndale Farm in Andoversford, near Cheltenham. To enter the draw* to win a morning at the Gallops and Breakfast for two at Kim Bailey Racing, just head to the competition section of www. Competition closes on 6th September 2018. *The prize can be redeemed in October 2018 on a day to suit both parties (excluding Sunday).





Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park has delighted audiences for years with its collection of rare breeds making every visit as educational as it is entertaining. Awarded ‘Farm Attraction of the Year’ by the National Farm Attractions Network in 2014, this is a family day out you don’t want to miss and a real Cotswold favourite for residents and visitors alike.

Cotswold Farm Park is a great way to spend a sunny day this summer, with lots of outdoor activities for young and old.. Now here’s an unmissable chance for you and your family to go free with our prize of a Family Day Pass (2 adults, 2 children)! To be in with a chance of winning this great prize for all the family this summer, just head to the competition section of Competition closes on 26th July 2018.

WIN! a chance to update your wardrobe with Joseph Turner Cotswold Homes exclusive: Be in with a chance of winning a £50 voucher to redeem on the Joseph Turner website! We’re collaborating with menswear retailer Joseph Turner to bring you this fantastic opportunity to win a £50 e-voucher to spend on their online store. A proud Yorkshire brand that incorporates time-honoured features into their pieces, Joseph Turner holds a strong focus on dressing the traditional gentleman. Their range of tweed jackets, pure silk ties and locally supplied corduroy - amongst many more luxury-made garments, shoes and accessories - will supply you with a spectrum of pieces whose quality will stand the test of time. To be in with a chance of winning*, just head to the competition section of our website Good luck! The competition closes on 23rd August 2018. *Terms & conditions apply: The voucher is only permitted for online use and will be received in the form of an e-voucher.




SUMMER COMPETITION GIVEAWAY ONLY WITH COTSWOLD HOMES WIN! a month of Nic-Fit BOSU fitness classes at Upper Rissington Village Hall

WIN! a book bundle of Penny Parkes’ Larkford series of novels

With over 18 years’ experience in the fitness field, Nicola Wemyss works with a wide variety of clients ranging from the young, elderly, disabled and the elite. Nic-Fit offers the following: • Bespoke 1-1 Personal Training, group PT or Skype online training from the comfort of your own home (FREE PT Initial Consultation) • Sports & Remedial Massage Therapy for those day to day niggles or for the elite athlete • Brand new BOSU Fitness Classes available near you! BOSU fitness classes run at Upper Rissington Village Hall on Wednesdays, either 11am-12noon or 7.30-8.30pm  Cotswold Homes has snapped up a great prize for those among you who want to start getting a bit fitter. We’ve got a month of BOSU classes at Upper Rissington Village Hall to give away to a lucky winner. To be in with a chance of winning this prize, just head to the competition section of Good luck! The competition closes on 23rd August 2018. Nic-Fit | Nicola Wemyss Personal Trainer & Sports / Remedial Massage Therapist [t] 07814 383 128 [e] [w]

Terms & Conditions 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.

Penny Parkes is author of The Larkford Series of novels, set in a GP’s surgery in a fictional market town in the Cotswolds. With a passion for writing and languages established early on in life, Penny studied International Management in Bath and Germany, before gaining experience with the BBC. Following several years organising shoots for film, television and advertising, she now lives in the Cotswolds with her husband and children. Penny appears at literary festivals around the country and has written for The Telegraph as well as extensively in her local media. Book 1 of The Larkford Series, Out of Practice, was winner of the RNA’s Romantic Comedy of the Year Award 2017. As well as reading more about Penny in our interview with her on pages 14-15, we’re giving one lucky bookworm the chance to WIN Penny’s The Larkford Series of novels published by Simon & Shuster: Out of Practice, Practice Makes Perfect and Best Practice. To be in with a chance of winning, simply head to the competition section of The competition closes on 23rd August 2018.

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.




PENNY PARKES The bestselling Cotswold novelist on her Larkford series, winning awards and daring to become an author

Describe your Larkford series in a nutshell. I like to think of my Larkford books as a little Cotswold mini-break. Not only is my fictional market town the literary lovechild of Cirencester, Bath and Broadway, but I also enjoy drawing on local traditions and eccentricities - like the duck race, the cheese rolling and the red trousers - to really add authenticity. Coming from a background finding film locations, I suppose it was inevitable that the town itself would play such a pivotal role, but the theme of community really does underpin many of my plotlines. Set in a fictional GP’s



surgery, each book is a real sneak behind the scenes – exploring the ways that the doctors of Larkford balance their personal and professional lives. Or not. Which gives me the perfect excuse to find the humour in their relationships and their endeavours, whilst exploring life in a country town. What inspired the creation of your protagonist, GP Holly Graham? I knew I wanted to write about doctors – there being something inherently attractive about anyone prepared to dedicate themselves to a career in medicine – but finding the balance between the doctors at The Practice was key.


Holly has always been the beating heart of the team – the kind of doctor we all secretly long to have – always ready to go the extra mile and emotionally invested in her patients. But I really wanted to unravel the juxtaposition between her role as an accomplished family doctor, and that as a struggling wife and mother. It’s always lovely to write a character who is juggling identities and Holly was no exception. It was always crucial to me as well, that the two male doctors, Dan and Taffy, had the kind of friendship – dare I say, bromance - that saw them through life’s ups and downs, and also offered the opportunity for wagers and practical jokes. I wanted to show that, in a job that can provide a rollercoaster of emotions on any given day, finding the humour is a crucial part of staying sane. Likewise, the animal cast of Larkford has garnered as big a following as my doctors – time-share puppies, diabetes assistance dogs and a goose with attachment issues just for starters. The paperback edition of your third Larkford book (Best Practice) is out this June, while your next - Private Practice - is released next Spring. How far ahead do you map out developments in the lives of your characters? Now that’s a tricky one to answer, because with each novel my characters are evolving and, occasionally, developing minds of their own. I’ve learned to trust in the process and follow their growth, even if that sometimes means changing the direction of my plans!

“WE ARE INCREDIBLY FORTUNATE IN THE COTSWOLDS THOUGH, TO HAVE A REALLY CLOSEKNIT GROUP OF AUTHORS - FRIENDS REALLY - WHO GET TOGETHER REGULARLY FOR DRINKS, MEALS AND CAMARADERIE.” For the most part though, each book will address an issue that I feel particularly wedded to – Best Practice focuses on rural Air Ambulance provision and the inherent challenges of coverage and funding. It was particularly special to work on this during the Tenth Anniversary year of our own Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, giving me chance to celebrate their amazing work and to raise awareness of their fundraising activities: after all, we all expect the helicopter to be there should we need it in an emergency, so every little donation helps. Issues like this always shape and dictate my plotlines, and by extension the paths some of my characters’ lives and relationships will take. How did it feel to win the RNA's Romantic Comedy of the Year Award with Out of Practice? Just fabulous, really. It was a wonderfully surreal and exciting evening, held in the most stunning library in London. The book had already achieved some considerable success commercially, but an acknowledgement from the RNA was truly special, to be honoured by established authors and publishers with my debut novel made me feel for the first time – maybe I can do this. Writing is quite often a very solitary pursuit, so it becomes even more important that your publishing team and author friends provide a social and support network at times. Award and event evenings like that are signposts of the publishing year and much anticipated. We are incredibly fortunate in the Cotswolds though, to have a really close-knit group of authors - friends really - who get together regularly for drinks, meals and camaraderie. It’s actually one of my favourite perks of the job. Describe your daily writing process - and your journey into writing professionally.

My writing process has quietly evolved over time, as I’ve had to take on a more professional approach – no more waiting to be ‘in the right mood’ when there are deadlines looming. And quite often I find myself promoting one novel, whilst writing the next, and submitting plotlines for the one after that. It’s certainly a full-time job! I tend to plan in my mind what I’m going to write each day, whether whilst walking the dog, or swimming, or driving, and then sit down, switch off from the world for hours, until those words are committed to the page. I’ve taken to setting alarms for lunch and the school run, as I have been known to lose track of time when the words are properly flowing! I think really, my path to publication is something I should share with all would-be writers: I talked about writing for nearly twenty years, but never actually got on and wrote a book. I’m incredibly thankful to my evertolerant husband for giving me an ultimatum – ‘take a year and either write a book, or stop talking about it!’ Three years later, my first novel was on the shelves. I’m not sure he’ll ever stop reminding me of that every time my books top the charts! Who are your literary heroes? I was a voracious reader long before I was a writer and it was the most perfect apprenticeship, so really my literary heroes would have to be the authors behind those books – Veronica Henry, Jilly Cooper, Marian Keyes, Katie Fforde, Jill Mansell…Their books inspired my writing ambition, their characters filled my teenage years and imagination, and I genuinely cannot think of a better gift to share than to provide escapism, empathy and emotion. A good book, after all, can transport you anywhere – and I’m thrilled to share my love of the Cotswolds with my readers all over the world.

Best Practice by Penny Parkes publishes on 28th June Find out more about Penny Parkes and the Larkford series at WIN! For your chance to win all the Larkford novels, simply turn to this issue’s competition section or visit competitions-and-offers/ COTSWOLD-HOMES.COM



Interview with the Artist:

Bridget Lansley We caught up with our Front Cover artist Bridget Lansley ahead of her summer exhibition at the Fosse Gallery in Stow in the Wold




You’re from a family of artists. How has your background shaped the art you make today? My mother painted and I grew up in a home with art around. When I was very young I visited Washington DC with my parents, and I suspect a trip to the Mellon Gallery had a huge impact‌the vividness of colour, shape and form, introducing me to the endless possibilities of the visual arts. My sister became a professional artist from the start, which no doubt also contributed to the ease and comfort I felt with painting, though I was a much later starter than her. You previously worked in publishing. Tell us about the transition to painting. The well-known difficulties making a living as an artist, if not copying my sister, lead me to earning a living in publishing eventually becoming one of the founders of London Portrait magazine. Its success enabled a return to my first love and my life as an artist.




The turning point whilst painting in watercolours was attending The Lydgate Research Centre started by Robin Child. My passion was to paint in oils and through many challenging and exciting courses with him my career as an artist evolved. How did you arrive at your distinctive ‘simplifying’ style, with its carefully controlled palette? I’m not sure it is ever easy to explain the journey to any particular point, much less the impact on others of what eventually appears on the canvas. All I know is the mood and atmosphere I looked for at thirty-five had profoundly changed by forty-five and is ever-evolving. It is only when I look back at my earlier paintings that I see the how my ‘simplifying’ style is still in evidence but I am constantly wanting to be less defining. Like Turner said to Ruskin - ‘ I never lose an accident.’ I would like to feel that I could achieve this too! Your love of the Scottish countryside (and its shooting season) is evident from many past works. Can you tell us about your connections with the country? My childhood in Oxfordshire with holidays in Dorset and Devon I think provided the starting point for my love of the countryside - [as for] my passion for the outdoors, I started early. Visits to my grandparents in Devon provided a high point - the kaleidoscope of the passing countryside with its flashes of colour might have started my thinking about the countryside. Whilst walking across miles of hills and moors in Scotland, I was motivated by the space and colours but also by the gait of the sportsman in front of me.

Is the way you approach a still life different from how you tackle other subjects?

Visits to my grandparents in Devon provided a high point - the kaleidoscope of the passing countryside with its flashes of colour might have started my thinking about the countryside.

See Bridget’s latest exhibition Bridget Lansley – The Dimension Beyond at the Fosse Gallery in Stow on the Wold (Sunday 10th June 2018 - Saturday 30th June 2018) Find out more about Bridget’s work at See more Fosse Gallery artists at 20


I enjoy still life with its opportunity to focus on shape and colour and - whilst its more difficult to evoke mood - achieving impact is satisfying. My figurative works offer a different challenge. Capturing the mood of a scene and the posture of people within it provides endless fascination. Tell us about the works that will be featured in your new solo show at the Fosse Gallery. Being offered a Summer Show inspired me to think of colour. It has been my most considered and important feature in all my paintings. My palette has given me huge excitement and challenge in balancing the colourful figure paintings for my Solo Show, from the Summer pursuits to the more subdued colours of the sporting scenes. I have balanced these with my ever-popular paintings of sheep with a series of vibrant still life paintings. Which artists have been of greatest inspiration to you and your career? A question I have been asked often! I continue to be inspired by 20th Century art. My love of the Post-Impressionists, Matisse, Cezanne, and the Fauve period is still with me. Modigliani and Vanessa Bell, together with Duncan Grant are always a fascination but the Scottish colourists are inspirational too. I am drawn to colour and its ability to bring a painting alive and many of these artists have excited and inspired me for this reason.





After a harrowing year spent battling cancer, Cotswold resident and mother of two Annabel England will be competing in Macmillan’s Ride of their Lives 2018 (at the Macmillan Charity Raceday, York Racecourse, Saturday 16 June). With the support of her partner Simon and her sons Leo and Elliot - and not to mention the equestrian talents of trainers Kim Bailey and Fergal O’Brien - Annabel’s been making strides towards her ambitious goal. With the raceday imminent, Annabel shares her story, and urges readers to donate to this excellent cause.

2017 was a trying year for you. Could you tell us about your experiences and how they have shaped your activities and goals moving forwards? Having received the shocking news last summer that I had cervical cancer - and only a few weeks after my father and also a close friend had told me they had cancer - I was overwhelmed with a huge array of emotions. I had never experienced such a sense of fear, or such a reflection of my mortality. Until I had further scans and assessments I would not know if the cancer had spread and therefore which treatment I would need. I experienced some very dark moments during that time, with my mind playing terrible tricks



on me, followed by such an intense sense of relief when the news finally came through that the cancer was contained and operable. I have received so much love and support from my family and friends for which I am eternally grateful. Simon has been a constant source of strength for me, Leo and Elliot. I don’t know what I would do without him.

was given the all clear. I have been so lucky and experience feelings of guilt for being OK, whilst others, including my dad, still battle on. This has given me the motivation to take on my impending challenge and be able to give something back. Raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support seemed to be the natural choice.

I was not to know if chemotherapy or radiotherapy would be needed until after the operation, as it was possible the cancer could have spread into my lymph glands which, as a precaution, would all have to be removed then analysed. I literally prayed for a positive outcome. My prayers were answered and after a four and half hour operation in September and - after a bit more waiting for results - I

Tell us about the Ride of their Lives charity race event at York Racecourse. What will it entail? I entered the Best Western & Macmillan Ride of Their Lives charity race in November, just two months after my operation. It is Macmillan’s largest annual fundraiser and held at York Racecourse. I was chosen along with


eleven other potential jockeys and will be racing over a distance of one mile and one furlong on racehorses who are currently in training. As jockeys, we have had to train diligently over the last five months, riding out most mornings whatever the weather and becoming fit enough to take part in the amateur jockey’s fitness test and riding assessment at The Northern Racing College. What personal preparations have you been undertaking?

I literally prayed for a positive outcome. My prayers were answered and after a four and half hour operation in September and - after a bit more waiting for results - I was given the all clear.

My personal preparations for the race have been quite testing, as after major surgery I have felt quite vulnerable physically. I suffered some nerve damage to my left leg and initially used a stick to help me walk. I continue to regain strength in the leg, but my mobility has not been affected. I obviously needed to heal internally and initially had to be cautious about training. I now go to the gym twice a week to see local fitness trainer David Gainford, who has helped me with my rehabilitation, strengthening and overall fitness. I also see jockey coach Robert Bellamy once a week, where he puts me through my paces on the equisizer - sometimes with Elliot, who wants to be a jockey one day. What sort of help and training have you received from equestrian stars such as trainer Kim Bailey? I’ve been very lucky to be able to ride out for Kim Bailey and Fergal O’Brien. Both have been so generous with their time and help in getting me back in the saddle. Belinda Keighley, who won the race last year, has lent me all her training kit and I have had a spin up their gallop too. My partner Simon, who is clerk of the course at Cheltenham, gave me the most amazing opportunity of riding round the racecourse and I was delighted to be

accompanied by Paddy Brennan. Between Kim and Fergal, I hope to be able to find a suitable horse for the race. As part of your fundraising activities, you organised a special car boot sale and dog show. What were the highlights of the day? In April, Simon and I held a car boot sale and dog show at our home. It was a wonderful day and I received so much support from local businesses and the community in general. I cannot thank everyone enough and was overwhelmed by such generosity and kindness. I got such a buzz from watching everyone having a good time and I would definitely consider doing it again. We raised over £5,000 on the day, which exceeded all my expectations. What have you learned about fundraising along the way? I had no idea how hard, and time-consuming, fundraising can be, but also very rewarding. I would say I have a very different outlook on fundraising now and a newfound respect for those who do lots of it. I have now exceeded my initial target of £10,000 and I have set myself a new one of £15,000. Macmillan Cancer Support are in need of vital funds, so it is really important that people keep donating. Annabel is taking part in charity race the ‘Ride of their Lives’ to raise vital money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Her race is sponsored by Harrison James and Hardie. You too can show your support by donating at York Racecourse images courtesy of Macmillan Cancer Support







Kim Bailey The Mind of a Trainer Karen von Speyr interviews the seasoned racehorse trainer – winner of The Grand National, The Cheltenham Gold Cup and The Champion Hurdle - at his picturesque Cotswold yard It’s so beautiful up here, isn’t it? Why did you bring your yard here? Well it certainly is beautiful, right on the top of the Cotswolds with one of the finest views in the country. If you’d asked me fourteen years ago whether I would like living in the Cotswolds, I would have said: ‘Over my dead body.’ But I’ve been here eleven years now and I absolutely love it.

But I also find Cheltenham extraordinary. There’s always something going on. There are a lot of festivals - music, jazz, gin, beer, food festivals. I get involved in all of them. The Literary Festival is wonderful. Everything is. I love all the restaurants, the pubs, the theatre… People are incredibly friendly. They actually talk to you; they want to help you. That’s the attitude everybody has and I think it’s a fantastic community. It’s got culture and everything you could want. And it’s got racing as well. The best racing in the world.




when they phone up on Sunday morning now I am as nice as anything. That’s why our gate is always open. People often ring me up and ask if they can have a look round. That’s why we take on as many people as we can. We invest in additional staff because I want to promote horse racing. We do breakfasts during Race Week, that sort of thing - we’ll get thirty or forty people, owners and so on, up here every day calling in. What qualities must you have to be a really good trainer? You must understand animals. You must have a great love for animals - you’ve got to be a bit of a stockman. You see the horses every day, so when you look at them you see something different in their eye. I am sure it’s like being a doctor - you can see if someone doesn’t look very well. So it’s about observation. That’s the important thing. You must never miss anything.

I very quickly realised that if you’re out of the press you get forgotten. If you say things perhaps you shouldn’t say, then people won’t forget you. You said sharing a house with Nigel Twiston-Davies was one of the happiest times in your career. Do trainers generally like each other? It was a long time ago and we had a lot of fun. We were both unattached and life is very, very easy when you’re single and er, yes, that was an interesting period and we all enjoyed it. [Laughs]. The truth is, we are all jealous of each other – sorry, but that’s natural! When people say ‘oh, I’m so pleased for him’ it’s an absolute load of b****t. We’re all here to win, not to say well done to someone else. When we have a Grand National everyone wishes each other good luck and it’s most probably the only time of the year when we actually, genuinely mean it. Let’s put it this way: when I was second in the Grand National, I didn’t speak for four days. Of course you have to have the desire to win. You just don’t do second. You can’t. I am a competitive individual - I want to win and finishing second is not easy.



You seem very happy with social media, which is unusual for a trainer… I was one of the very first (perhaps the first!) trainers to see the importance of it all. I started a website in 1996 and it’s been something I’ve [kept up] since then, with an update once a month. I have never minded about speaking my mind, because when I had my down period in Northamptonshire, I very quickly realised that if you’re out of the press you get forgotten. If you say things perhaps you shouldn’t say, then people won’t forget you. [Laughs]. The most important thing in this business is not to be forgotten. It’s a game of fashion, and it doesn’t matter how good you were yesterday. It’s only how good you are today that counts. I used to complain on Sunday mornings when the press used to ring me up after we had another big winner - they would drive me around the bend. [But] when we didn’t have any winners and everything was going wrong, I longed for the phone to ring. So

You reputedly have a difficult relationship with jockeys… It has become bit of a joke that I hate jockeys. I don’t know why people say that, although if you ask Nigel about my relationship with them he’ll say I do. [Laughs]. David Bass, my stable jockey is an integral part of the operation - he rides for me ninety per cent of the time. He’s here three days a week and perhaps I am slightly more demanding than most trainers. I expect jockeys to be here on a regular basis riding out the horses so that they get to know them. And in return, I give them the rides. People will argue it’s like [being] a racing driver. You have that natural ability to be spectacular. I am sure if Lewis Hamilton got in someone else’s car he’d still win in it because he’s got that ability to do things that other people don’t. But I remember the summer when Jason Maguire was hurt and Tony McCoy rode eighteen winners for me - and some of those wins no one else would have won. He was extraordinary. The thing was his attention to detail. He was magnificent. He would watch a video of these horses, moderate horses, and he would come out and say ‘I think you’ve been riding this horse wrong, I’m going to try something different.’ Then he would go on to win on it.


It’s intelligence and application - not just talent - that makes an outstanding jockey. They have to be brave enough to tell me what they think too, even if it’s not what I want to hear, because the horse could be running again the following day. Even a difference of opinion is good information. Injury is the fear in every sport. How do you handle all that - and what is your biggest dread? You dread every sort of injury. We had a lad who was kicked in the head here recently - the horse was being helped into a box and turned round and kicked him. He was knocked unconscious and he sustained a broken nose for his trouble. You don’t want someone to be injured ever, especially here it reflects on us, for all the wrong reasons. Of course, if you’re a jockey you have to be tough. It’s like that time AP [McCoy] had his teeth all knocked out. He refused to have an anaesthetic before his next race then the press all gave him a hard time for not smiling when he rode a winner. Horses getting killed on the course is one of the ghastly things that happen. But I know at least that the horse has been looked after so well and treasured - it will have had a great life. These horses have been honoured and treated with huge respect their entire lives. The awful dread of death is part of having animals because you have an enormous amount of love for them. It’s like Sunblazer - he’s such a character. He does things that no other horse does. He sits on his hind legs or he lies in his bed and he won’t get up so you have to muck out round him The kiss of death is if you have two horses in the same race. I loathe that part of my job. It is like being headmaster of a fee-paying school. The pupils are the horses and the teachers are my staff - the owners are the parents, and you’ve got to keep them all happy. But of course in a championship race you can’t avoid it. If you have got two of the best horses in the country then they have to take each other on.

This interview has been edited for length. Read the unabridged version at Visit Kim's website at Photography by Jenny Stewart

Kim Bailey has been supporting fundraiser extraordinaire Annabel England as she prepares to compete at Macmillan’s Ride of their Lives at York Racecourse on 16th June. What sort of horse you would provide her with for the race? It’s tricky as we have a very nice flat horse, but unfortunately he is rated too highly for the race. We would like to find something that has got speed, but also has experience (as we wouldn’t want Annabel galloping past the start!) KIM ADVERTISING THE LAGERS FOR SALE AT ANNABEL ENGLAND’S COTSWOLD COUNTRY HOMES CAR BOOT AND DOG SHOW.

How have you been supporting Annabel? Annabel has been riding out here at Thorndale and at Fergal O’Brien’s yard. We are yet to find her a suitable horse, but we will try our best to find her a winner!

What advice would you give Annabel? Annabel has been working hard getting fit for the race, riding out daily and enlisting a personal trainer. She passed her fitness test the other day, which was no surprise. I do hate to finish second in any race but I hope that Annabel enjoys the experience - it is for a great cause and one she will never forget.





WARWICK RACECOURSE With more attendees flocking to Warwick Racecourse than ever, the sixth oldest racecourse in the world is coming on leaps and bounds. Warwick’s General Manager Andre Klein helps explain the racecourse’s recent successes Warwick Racecourse sits on the threshold of the town and country. It’s a three minute stroll from the impressive-looking new turnstile building to the ancient town centre but the view from the grandstand provides a wonderful vista of the North Cotswolds. It’s always been pleasant location for a day at the races, but it is fair to say that it has been rather unheralded in some quarters for a number of years. However, a massive rise in race day attendances over the last few seasons hints strongly that the secret is out and Warwick Racecourse is well and truly a track to get back to. At the course’s recent May Bank Holiday meeting, the first day of its 4-day racing carnival, it attracted its largest race day attendance since 1997, just shy of 7,000 people. Its celebrated New Year’s Eve meeting has enjoyed huge growth too, more than doubling in size in the space of three years to push the venue close to its capacity. Last season at Warwick crowds grew faster than at any other track in the land, rising an impressive 36%. In fact, it seems that every few months the course makes some sort of statement indicating it is going from strength to strength. Andre Klein took over as General Manager of Warwick Racecourse in November 2015, after returning to his Warwickshire roots after nearly two decades of working in horse racing in Australia and New Zealand. “I think I landed the role at a particularly interesting time,” Klein says. “The track’s image had endured a bit of a battering. There was high profile dispute with the local community over the siting of a potential



hotel and the decision to discontinue flat racing had just been made, due to the racing surface being deemed unsafe. I arrived at a tricky chapter in the course’s long history.”

worked hard to build bridges with the local community and re-instate the relevance of the racecourse by being much more involved in Warwick life.

And Warwick Racecourse has a very long and colourful history. Not a lot of people realise it is the sixth oldest racecourse in the world; racing commenced on St Mary’s Land - the public common on which the track is located - over 300 years ago, in 1707. Interestingly it was the first racecourse to officially programme a hurdle race, way back in 1831. It’s fitting, therefore, that it is in the jump racing sphere that it is re-making its reputation.

“Secondly, we have really worked hard to develop race day events that deliver a truly enjoyable occasion. We are building a reputation as one of England’s friendliest and most welcoming courses. And finally, the racing itself has to be a key component of all that we do, and by focusing on jump racing only, we have been able to establish ourselves as a serious racetrack with the best horses, jockeys and trainers competing in our races. The form-lines from Warwick have become really strong,” Klein explains.

“The flat racing was never a strength at Warwick but the jump racing has always been good quality. I put our recent growth down to a number of things. Firstly, we have

If you haven’t been to Warwick Racecourse before, or if it’s been a while since you ventured there, it’s certainly worth galloping along to.



Dates for your Diary: The 2018/19 season commences Tuesday 25th September. There are 18 fixtures to be enjoyed. The best races are to be witnessed on Classic Chase Day on 12th January and Kingmaker Chase Day on 9th February. The biggest party is New Year’s Eve. The best family occasion is the first May Bank Holiday and the best day to get dressed up is Ladies Night on Saturday 11th May 2019. COTSWOLD-HOMES.COM



With more mouth-watering grub, bigger tunes and more fun on offer than ever before, this year’s Big Feastival is looking simply scrumptious. Here’s a small taster of the goodies in store.



THE FOOD & DRINK Gourmets, gluttons and grazers of all kinds will always be well catered for at the Big Feastival - you can count on that. And all the Feastival staples are back on the menu, from extravagant feasts and banquets to tantalizing street food stalls.

THE MUSIC Talent like this needs no introduction: Basement Jaxx return to the Feastival for a barnstorming Friday night DJ set, the unstoppable chart-topper Craig David rules over Saturday’s festivities and - riding high on the success of her album The Architect - Paloma Faith will close the Feastival on Sunday.




Alex James’ Cheese Hub returns (of course!) as does the NEFF Big Kitchen (where you’ll catch top chefs in action), the NEFF Cookaholics Cookery School (where you can sharpen your own culinary skills) and Table Sessions - which is all about intimate hands-on sessions, talks, tastings and demonstrations.


Children can grab a side of education to go with their gobbling at the NEFF Little Kitchen, where they’ll will learn to pick their own organic produce then prepare and produce their own dishes..

2018 also welcomes in Clean Bandit (the act who’ve had more UK top five singles than Adele or Bruno Mars), mega-selling artist James Arthur, Brit-winning singer/songwriter Tom Odell, 2017 X-Factor winners Rak-Su and Hackney’s own rapper/songwriter/actor/ presenter wunderkind Professor Green. But that’s not all. This year summons some real icons of music onto Alex James’ farm from hip-hop pioneers The Sugarhill Gang to original Spice Girl Melanie C. The Undertones will also be bringing plenty of Teenage Kicks - and what would the Big Feastival be without an appearance from The Cuban Brothers and Cheltenham’s home-grown beatbox superstars, Duke? We’re especially looking forward to Britpop Brass – promising ‘classic tunes from the golden era of Britpop, performed by the world famous Cory Band.’ (For the complete line-up, make sure to check the website.)





THE CHEFS Stepping into the kitchen this year are culinary luminaries Marco Pierre White, Raymond Blanc, Pierre Koffmann, Mark Hix, Andi Oliver, Gizzi Erskine and Masterchef 2017 winner Saliha Mahmood Ahmed - and a larder’s worth of other big name chefs (not to mention party-starter and Feastival Favourite DJ BBQ). Check the BF website’s Recipe Corner to get you in the mood for food.




THE DETAILS WHEN: FRIDAY 24TH AUGUST - SUNDAY 26TH AUGUST 2018 WHERE: ALEX JAMES’ FARM, KINGHAM, OX7 6UJ Direct 90 minute trains to Kingham Station available from London Paddington; evening bus service to Oxford via Chipping Norton available - check for details



THE FUN This year, children’s faves Peppa Pig & George, Paddington Bear and the Gruffalo will be joined once again by children’s TV maestro Justin Fletcher - while Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park will be bringing more furry and feathered friends along for the Feastival fun. As for hands-on entertainment? Little ones can learn circus skills aplenty at the Jitterbug Circus and clamber a haystack mountain in the Little Dudes’ Den (while generous parents splash out on some groovy gifts for youngsters at the Little Dudes’ Shopping Village).

Meanwhile, The Makery will encourage all sorts of arty-crafty business, as tree-climbing and workshops gets both minds and bodies running wild.


Parents will welcome the chance to browse the Lifestyle Village, where boutique home wares await. And let’s not forget the Vintage Funfair - its big wheels, waltzers and dodgems offering non-stop fun for all ages, all weekend!


Flavours from around the world at the sizzling Street Food Alley; A West End sing-a-long family fun in the Big Top with Baby Broadway; Rock n' Roll for kids with Andy and the Odd Socks





Events & Festivals

Longborough Festival Opera

New Banks Fee, Longborough, 6 June - 2 August Longborough Festival Opera is a 500-seat theatre (formerly a barn) sat in the gorgeous heart of the North Cotswolds. The founders of LFO, Martin and Lizzie Graham, have over the years endeavoured to create their very own mecca for opera lovers - with great success. This year’s productions are sure to have the visionary flourish and musical excellence that LFO has become known for.

This Year at Longborough Festival Opera:

Best of the Cotswold Summer:

The Top Events of the Season

Der Fliegende Holländer (6 - 13 June) The captain of a ghostly ship, condemned to sail the sea forever, comes ashore in search of his only chance of redemption: true love. La Traviata (23 June - 3 July) Considered by Verdi to be his greatest work, this extraordinary, heart-wrenching love story features some of the best-known music in operatic repertoire. Ariadne Auf Naxos (13 - 21 July) Ancient Greek myth is ingeniously interwoven with Commedia dell’arte, as the music of Richard Strauss comes to Longborough for the first time. L’incoronazione Di Poppea (28 July - 2 August) Longborough’s Young Artist Production for 2018. Poppea, mistress of the Emperor, seeks the crown. Spurred on by ambition and love, she attempts to persuade her lover to set his wife aside – despite warnings of the Empress’s revenge.




Northleach Charter Fair

King George V Playing Fields, Northleach, 30 June Now featuring the Festival on the Field, the Northleach Charter Fair takes place this year on Saturday 30 June. It remains a favourite fixture on the local calendar, and as good a place as any for a summer shindig, Cotswold-style.

Blenheim Palace Flower Show Blenheim Palace, 22 - 24 June

Returning for its sixth year, the three day flower show at the splendid Blenheim Palace - the birthplace of Winston Churchill - will feature a brand new orchid tunnel.

Giffords Circus - My Beautiful Circus

Touring Gloucestershire/Oxfordshire, 4 May - 30 September ‘Who wouldn’t want to run away with the circus?’ asks Giffords’ latest extravaganza. ‘Who doesn’t dream of travelling in a velvet-lined circus wagon, under the stars, circus music accompanying a life of freedom, family and art?’ Years after Nell Gifford and husband Toti first realised their dream of creating a touring circus, Giffords is taking a timely look back at the beginnings of circus. After all, it’s 250 years since entrepreneur/ equestrian Philip Astley kicked off circus as we know it. If you’ve never been to Giffords before - prepare to be astounded. This year the caravans will be calling at Fennels Farm, Sudeley Castle, Daylesford Organic Farm, Blenheim Palace, Oxford University Parks, Chiswick House and Gardens, Windsor Great Park, Stonor Park, Barrington, Frampton on Severn, Minchinhampton, Marlborough and Cirencester.

Meanwhile, the Grand Floral Pavilion, full of exhibitors, provides a beautiful centrepiece to the show, while the Shopping Village, Food and Drink Pavilion and Home and Country Pavilion give plenty of opportunities for visitors to splash out on gifts, homewares and refreshments.


The Great Tew Park, 13 - 15 July Long live the Cotswolds’ original family festival! Cornbury Festival makes a surprise return with its 15th incarnation, featuring ‘a truly international cast’ studded with stars such as Alanis Morissette, UB40, Pixie Lott, Squeeze and Jamaican pioneer Jimmy Cliff. Regulars know there’s more to Cornbury than just the music. Comedy, therapy tents and Kids Zone entertainments round off the Cornbury experience - plus this year there’ll be an appearance from the Vintage Mobile Cinema, one of the few surviving Mobile Cinema vehicles from the 1960s.

National Garden Open Scheme’s Open Gardens Across the Cotswold area (and beyond)

Around 3,700 gardens open each year for the National Garden Scheme - use the website,, to find out which (or alternatively grab the annual Garden Visitors Handbook). Just as you might expect, there are many gorgeous private gardens that will open round the Cotswolds this summer - more than could possibly be listed in full here. Opening times are limited so careful planning is advised; approximately 15 gardens at Stanton, for example, are open for one afternoon only (on 17 June).








Wilderness Festival

Big Feastival

Four days of ‘live music, theatre, arts and the outdoors’ - Wilderness is no doubt the artiest, most bohemian festival offering in all the Cotswolds, oozing with cool acts, late night parties, riverside frolics, literary curiosities and cultural pursuits.

The Big Feastival serves up another generous helping of music, food and entertainments for all. Headliners include Craig David, Basement Jaxx, Paloma Faith, as well as top chefs such as Raymond Blanc - plus family favourites Peppa Pig, Justin Fletcher, the Gruffalo and Paddington Bear.

Cornbury Park, 2 - 5 August

2018’s headliners include Baxter Dury, Nile Rodgers and Chic and Bastille. Take a look at the programme and you’ll discover activities you won’t find elsewhere in the Cotswolds - such as Life Drawing with Art Macabre: Scarecrows and Ragdolls, which asks you to sketch out masked figures. Or indeed Letters Live, featuring readings from luminaries that - in the past - have included Benedict Cumberbatch and Nick Cave.



Alex James’ Farm at Kingham, 24 - 26 August

All that plus the Vintage Funfair, Adam Henson’s Farm Park, workshops, the Lifestyle Village - and, of course, Alex James’ Cheese Hub - The Big Feastival recipe for fun is impossible to beat.


Battle Proms

Blenheim Palace, 21 July Stuff your hampers and head to the magnificent Blenheim Palace for the 14th annual Blenheim Palace Battle Proms Concert! This year’s festivities include music from the 60 piece New English Concert Orchestra, ‘vintage vocals’, a Spitfire display to Elgar’s Nimrod, a daring demonstration from The Red Devils parachute team, a breath-taking WWI cavalry display the roaring of 200-plus cannons. Phew! And let’s not forget the stately grandeur of the Palace itself the birthplace of one Winston Churchill - and the rolling grounds. It’s enough to make you proud to be British.

RAF100: The Royal International Air Tattoo RAF Fairford, 13 - 15 July

This year, the Air Tattoo - perhaps the world’s greatest air show marks a very special occasion: the centenary of the Royal Air Force. RAF100 will be a three day event, featuring over 7 hours of aerial spectacle on all three days. Friday will see a Royal Review of aircraft, showcasing dramatic flypasts to celebrate the centenary. Free entry for accompanied under 18s. For a list of participating aircraft and more information, do visit the Air Tattoo website.

The Cotswold Olimpicks

Dover’s Hill, Chipping Campden, 1 June Held on the Friday after Whit Sunday, the Cotswold Olimpicks is a traditional festival quite unlike anything else in the country. Historical evidence suggests they are in fact the precursor to the modern Olympics. The Olimpicks were founded around 1612, by one Robert Dover - whose name was later given to the hill on which the games are based. Conceived all those centuries ago as a series of rural competitions, games and merriments, the festival is still known for its hard-hitting Shin Kicking competition, as well as the Champion of the Hill contest. After the games were called off in 2017, anticipation is high for 2018. Come along and show your support - and don’t miss Chipping Campden’s Scuttlebrook Wake, which follows the games. Featuring a fancy dress parade, a maypole and dancing, the Wake includes the crowning of the Scuttlebrook Queen, plus fair and stalls.




Cheltenham Music Festival 30 June - 15 July

Established in 1945, Cheltenham Music Festival is one of the best music festivals in the world - featuring ‘dozens of intimate chamber concerts, magnificent orchestral ad choral works and stunning solo performances in beautiful spaces across Cheltenham and Gloucestershire.’

Cheltenham Science Festival 5 - 10 June

This June, the Cheltenham Festival of Science bears a ‘Connected:Divided’ theme - one ‘exploring how our world is connected and divided – from personal relationships, health and language to the law, global politics and the universe.’ It’s fitting then that this year will see the debut of a brand new Cyber Zone, plus the enthralling programme that regulars have come to expect - one showcasing the History of Robots, talks on the human brain and the human heart, and the experts from Channel 4’s hit programme Hunted, who’ll be telling us how not to get caught. (There’s even a talk dedicated to unravelling ‘the impact of Trump’s personality and policies on our people, our planet and our global democracy.’) Inquisitive kids are sure to love talks and workshops on the science of sweets, coding and how to build their own universe. Curated by Broadcasters Maddie Moate and Olly Mann and cyber security experts Jessica Barker and FC, the Cheltenham Science Festival is sure to deliver a timely hit of fascinating science.



2018 will feature a Festival Evensong, the Sitkovetsky Piano Trio, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, plus a haunting lyrical poem rendition of Hansel & Gretel in the Parabola Arts Centre and Cheltenham Ladies’ College - a world premiere performance including puppetry and shadowplay. This year also sees the return of the popular Classical Mixtape - played from four different stages in the spectacular Tewkesbury cathedral.

Prescott Hill Climb - 80th Anniversary & Bugatti Festival 14 July

It’s been 80 years since the first event was held at Prescott in May 1938. This year’s meeting will be a celebration of the first 80 years, and - as you might have guessed - there’ll be loads of cars and Prescott heroes old and new turning up for the festivities. This year will see a bumper outing for Bugattis - if you’ve never been to Prescott before, get ready for a motoring spectacle like you’ve never seen. Check out our competition section for a generous helping of free tickets to be won!


The 48th Guiting Music Festival

The Festival of British Eventing

For nearly half a century now, the Guiting Music Festival has been enriching the Cotswolds’ with exceptional classical, jazz and blues music, performed from by artists from around the world. In that time, it has built up a strong band of very loyal supporters.

A beautiful estate, championship eventing - what’s not to love? For over 35 years, the Festival of British Eventing has taken place at Gatcombe Park, home of HRH The Princess Royal. It’s an unmissable event - and not just for competitors and equestrian enthusiasts.

The 2018 Festival features the Albion String Quartet, Marici Saxes, clarinettist Jean Johnson with pianist Ilona Timchenko, classical guitarist Thibault Cauvin and many more. Head to the festival’s website for the full programme and to book tickets.

The Festival includes incorporates the British Open, Intermediate and Novice Championships, as well as the Amateur Championship, The Corinthian Cup and now the RoR/NTF Retrained Racehorse Event Championship. As such, it’s the best showcase for eventing around. Swing by the Shopping Village and you can jewellery, gifts and equestrian goods.

Guiting Power, 20 - 29 July

Gatcombe Park, 3 - 5 August




The Cotswold Festival of Motoring

The Cotswold School, Bourton on the Water, 12 August The inaugural Cotswold Festival of Motoring will be on Sunday 12 August 2018. The Festival is attracting a wide selection of vintage, classic and sports vehicles - around 200 spectacular vehicles will be there for visitors to ogle. As well as the vehicle displays there will be fun for all the family with food and beverages served from classic vehicles, traditional stalls in a Village Fete area, plus merchandise and music. Organised by the Rotary Club of the North Cotswolds, proceeds will be going to charity and The Cotswold School in whose grounds the event is being held.




RSC Summer Season The Royal Shakespeare Company is putting on a world-class programme this summer in Stratford upon Avon, featuring performances from stars of screen and stage. From Christopher Eccleston’s star turn as the tormented Macbeth to Anthony Sher’s acclaimed Lear, there’s hardhitting drama to savour - and plenty of frivolity on offer, too, with Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor and Mary Pix’s The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich.

Playing at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre:

Playing at the Swan Theatre:

Macbeth (until 18 September) Polly Findlay directs Christopher Eccleston in his RSC debut as Macbeth, with Niamh Cusack returning to the company to play Lady Macbeth in a thrillingly dark, modern production.

The Duchess of Malfi (until 3 August) John Webster’s violent revenge tragedy, directed by Maria Aberg. 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.

Romeo & Juliet (until 21 September) The RSC’s latest production of Romeo & Juliet looks at a generation of young people born into violence and ripped apart by the divisions of their parents. Erica Whyman directs, with students from the RSC’s Associate Schools playing the Chorus, alongside the professional cast. King Lear (23 May - 9 June) RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran’s critically-acclaimed production returns to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre for three weeks only, with Antony Sher reprising his role as King Lear, one of the greatest parts ever written by Shakespeare. The Merry Wives of Windsor (4 August - 22 September) Fiona Laird will direct the heart-warming comedy. David Troughton returns to the Company as John Falstaff, following his recent title role in Titus Andronicus and Gloucester in King Lear.

The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich (until 14 June) An undiscovered gem by Mary Pix, Aphra Behn’s 17th century contemporary, and directed by Jo Davies. Pix’s comedy of manners combines mischief-making and mind-bending plot twists with a sharp satirical and distinctly female wit. Miss Littlewood (22 June - 4 August) A brand new musical, directed by Erica Whyman, about inspirational and revolutionary theatre maker, Joan Littlewood, with book, music and lyrics by Sam Kenyon, developed in collaboration with Theatre Royal Stratford East. This new musical of Joan’s life story, told with her own uncompromising candour, reveals a mighty love story at its heart.




SUMMER ENTERTAINING AT HOME After months of cool weather and dark evenings, it’s finally time to invite your friends over to share a glass of Pimms and enjoy some delicious al fresco dining. Event Manager Julia Sibun shares her top tips for entertaining at home

With summer in full bloom, there’s no better venue to have a good time than your own back garden. Entertaining at home doesn’t have to be elaborate – just delicious simple food, great company and a convivial setting is all you need. With that said, there are a few measures that transform a simple gettogether into a gathering to remember.

THE SETTING Firstly, agree your ideal position in the garden, considering the time of the day when your guests are arriving – a not too warm, or not too shady spot – and set up your mix-match of garden furniture tables and chairs. (Not forgetting soft, comfortable cushions to keep your guests lingering at the table for longer). Colourful table cloths and umbrellas are ideal to make the area feel welcoming and don’t forget to hang some fun summer bunting between the trees and around the garden. Fresh flowers picked from the garden in mix and match jam jars and bottles look fabulous across the dining table and dressing the bar and pud tables.

... agree your ideal position in the garden, considering the time of the day when your guests are arriving – a not too warm, or not too shady spot – and set up your mix-match of garden furniture tables and chairs.



TABLEWARE Colourful plastic tableware does make life easy, and avoids the worry of any possible breakages. But if it’s a special occasion, bear in mind that wonderful bespoke china can be hired for the day. Emma Bridgewater china really makes the table look amazing, welcoming and cheerful.




Selecting your menu and the method of cooking is always the fun part. The outdoor chefs in you will want to cook on the BBQ, but alternatives include to construct (or hire) a wood-fired pizza oven, make a paella in a giant paella pan or simply cook on a grill over your log fire bowl. Equally, for those hosts who really do want to impress their guests, why not invest in a Kamado Joe Ceramic Japanese BBQ – the flavour really is second to none, and you can cook your meat long and slow all day long before your guests arrive.

A dependably sweet follow-up is always toasting marshmallows over open fires, but alternatively you can set up a self-service pud table with homemade Rocky Road, chocolate brownies, bowls of fresh soft fruits raspberries, strawberries and blueberries.

Ensure you have a plentiful selection of meat and vegetarian options to offer your guests – a number of people have dietary requirements and it is good to be able to offer food that all of your guests can enjoy. Cooking on skewers works well – how about Goan coconut chicken and lime, or marinated chilli prawns, or tamarind squash and halloumi? Or you can BBQ a whole spatchcock chicken with coriander, lemongrass and lime. Everyone loves a steak or a traditional burger, (and for the children try locally-reared sausages). For the vegetarians, crispy sweet potatoes with chickpeas and tahini yoghurt, grilled corn on the cob with coriander butter, barbequed baby aubergines with tahini, harissa and zatar, and vegetable kebabs are always a winner.

Cooking on skewers works well – how about Goan coconut chicken and lime, or marinated chilli prawns, or tamarind squash and halloumi?

The freezer should be stocked with treats for children and adults alike - such as tubs of your favourite locally produced ice creams. Try the ‘cow-to-cone’ offerings of Spot Loggins, a family-run farm using their own organic milk. Their many delicious flavours (including honeycomb, salted caramel and chocolate orange) will delight.

To accompany your cooked foods, have a table laden with colourful, delicious salads - carrot salad with harissa, feta and mint, or kale, apple, celery and walnuts…or red beetroot and golden beetroot, British quinoa, balsamic dressing…or a green bean salad with toasted hazelnuts and an orange dressing and tabbouleh and bulgur wheat with red onion, chickpeas and harissa dressing – the list can be endless, and composed purely of fresh ingredients from your garden or local farm shop.




DRINKS Consider carefully which drinks that you would like to serve. Ensure there is a firkin of locally brewed beer for the boys, and perhaps prosecco with peach puree for your homemade Bellini on arrival for the girls! Many people are drivers, so you will need to ensure a great variety of soft cocktails such as a Very Berry (fresh blackberry puree and pomegranate syrup over ice with apple juice), or a Thai Ginger Limeade (fresh ginger with angostura bitters, lemon and lime juice shaken over ice with soda water). Another favourite is lychee puree and elderflower cordial over ice with fresh mint and cranberry juice. Self-service Kilner jars from your homemade bar are fun for a constant supply of flavoured or plain water to keep your guests hydrated on the warm days. Freezing fruit into ice cubes such as blueberries or raspberries make a fun garnish and will jazz up the presentation of your drinks. Colour-coded drinks buckets work well – place red and white wines in beach buckets of the same colour and guests will always know what they are reaching for – chilling a bottle of the lighter bodied fruity reds such as a Spanish Rioja can be refreshing when served cool.

When the sun goes down and the temperature starts to drop, bundle up a few outdoor blankets or pashminas together so your guests can wrap up and keep warm.

around gateways, and in the trees. Garden paraffin flares located around the garden are also very effective - and can mark out the route back to the cars for guests. If the weather is warm, citronella candles and incense sticks are good for keeping all the bugs at bay.

A great option for lighting is to hang colourful paper lanterns from the trees and bushes, and to use pretty white pea lighting

Lastly, don’t forget to pop on a summer playlist, shake up those cocktails and enjoy your al fresco dining experience!


For more information about Summer entertaining, please contact Julia Sibun











Family Days Out

The Attractions of Bourton on the Water Over the years, Bourton on the Water has become the posterchild for the Cotswold tourist experience, and not without good reason. In this riverside village are assembled some of England’s most unique and often eccentric attractions - there’s so much for families to do that the village deserves an entry of its own.

Birdland Park and Gardens

Acres of aviaries will delight and amaze at Bourton’s best known attraction

There’s a wealth of family-friendly destinations to visit in the Cotswolds. Read on for ways to keep young and old entertained

Featuring a truly exotic collection of over 130 species of avian wildlife, Birdland contains flamingos, pelicans and cranes - plus, of course, the only king penguins to be found in England, Ireland and Wales. (In fact, it was Birdland’s penguins that were used in Tim Burton’s 1992 film Batman Returns - naturally as minions of Batman’s adversary, the villainous Penguin). Established in 1957 as one of England’s very first ‘bird encounter’ experiences, Birdland’s come a long way since its founding by local builder and wildlife enthusiast Len Hill. With open aviaries, Desert House, Hatchery and the dino-riffic Jurassic Journey, a visit to Birdland is always entertaining and educational. (No first trip to the Cotswolds is complete without watching the penguins at feeding time). Visitor information available at




The Model Village

The Cotswold Motoring and Toy Museum

There’s only one way to really experience Bourton on the Water, and that’s by roaming like giants through its 1/9th scale, Grade II listed, 1930s miniature replica. Bourton’s famous Model Village was created by a past landlord of the Old New Inn, who assembled it together with a team of local craftsmen over five years. It opened in 1937, on the coronation day of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

Founded in 1978, the Cotswold Motoring and Toy Museum has been delighting generations of visitors - not least because it’s the permanent residence of children’s TV star, Brum. (Who, at the start of every episode, would sneakily drive out of the museum to explore the world beyond).

Visiting this impressive replica is a must for Bourton newcomers

Complete with miniature bonsai trees, tiny glass greenhouses and even a Model-Model Village, the Model Village is best enjoyed as part of a day of activities. Find it behind the Old New Inn. Visitor information available at

The Dragonfly Maze

A perplexing and imaginative maze created by one of the country’s canniest artists

A collection of vintage vehicles and classic memorabilia offering a nostalgic look back at the past

Journey backwards through time and explore the early days of motoring with the museum’s collection of rare and classic vehicles and memorabilia. The accompanying vintage toy collection offers an insight into the lives of children from a bygone age. Don’t miss the museum’s 40 Year Flashback - an exhibition ‘looking at Britain in 1978 through a collection of photographs, posters and sounds, and focuses on exploring the museum’s origins, telling the story of how it all began.’ Visitor information available at

Bourton’s Dragonfly Maze was devised by famous illustrator Kit Williams - author of the 1979 book Masquerade, which led to a national hunt for the hidden golden hare. There’s a puzzle at the heart of this small-but-engrossing hedge maze - one that clever kids will delight in unravelling. All the cryptic clues must be discovered before you attempt to visit the grotto at the maze’s heart, where there’s a final riddle to be solved. Will your family locate the golden dragonfly?




Batsford Arboretum and Falconry Centre

Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park

Batsford Arboretum is a must-visit destination for all the family. Horticulturally-inclined parents and grandparents will marvel at the many colourful specimens of plantlife on display, while youngsters will delight in finding their way around the arboretum’s children’s trail - there’s also a play area, shop and cafe, not to mentions regular special events.

Now managed by Joe’s son, Countryfile presenter Adam Henson, the Farm Park has grown from strength to strength, educating the public and providing heart-warming interactions with furry/feathered friends in equal measure.

Located next to Moreton in Marsh, a visit to the Arboretum and the neighbouring Falconry Centre offer a complete day of activities

Located next to the Arboretum, you’ll find the Falconry Centre home to over 150 birds of prey, including falcons, owls, eagles and vultures. Daily free-flying demonstrations allow visitors to get up close and personal for some thrilling bird encounters. Cotswold Archery also have an archery range at Batsford, suitable for budding Robin Hoods of ages 8 and up - booking is required. Visitor information available at, and



Founded by Joe Henson - whose work towards the conservation of rare breeds saw him awarded an MBE - the Cotswold Farm Park has been a favourite of local families for generations

There’s a variety of things to do at the Farm Park - from admiring the rare breeds, camping and feeding the lambs in lambing season to learning a few survival skills in the new bushcraft experience. This summer, an exclusive members’ evening will be held on Friday 22nd June from 5pm to 8pm. Visitor information available at


Weekly Sessions and Workshops at The Theatre Chipping Norton

Best known for its world-class Christmas pantomimes, the Theatre offers plenty of creative and practical programmes for both children and adults Those wishing to learn new skills and meet people couldn’t do better than the Theatre Chipping Norton’s Take Part weekly sessions and workshops. Children interested in performance will love creating their own productions at Chippy. This summer offers an exciting Three-Day Drama workshop for 3-7 year olds; ‘improvisation, mime and storytelling’ will be explored before the youngsters take their new production to the stage. Meanwhile, Drama Weeks are specially tailored for children aged 8-12 years, also culminating with a stage performance. Musical Theatre Weeks and Three Day Musical Theatre experiences are also available - this year with a spooky Addams Family twist.

Fairytale Farm

Found outside of Chipping Norton, Fairytale Farm is the UK’s first attraction to put disabled children first in design and layout, as well as being a fun-filled destination for all Split into six fun-packed zones, Fairytale Farm was created as a rural-accessible centre of play and learning for disabled children. Other new features for 2018 include interactive dancing water fountains and the Wildlife Walk, which includes: ‘a range of plants and wildlife habitats, including bird, bat and hedgehog boxes, logpiles, mini-beast hotel and worm-world, seed and nectar bar, bird feeding station and hibernation boxes.’ Plus you can meet Fairytale Farm’s three Shetland ponies Hamish, Rupert and Dainty in new viewing area! Visitor information available at

More information available at

Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens

A long-standing Cotswold family favourite, the Cotswold Wildlife Park conserves rare and exotic species from around the world for visitors young and old to discover If you’ve never taken the trip to Burford’s very own wildlife park what are you waiting for? Lions, lemurs, zebras, rhinos, penguins and giraffes await your visit - as does a children’s farmyard, adventure playground, reptile collection and the park’s iconic narrow-gauge railway. A trip to the wildlife park means a full day of education and entertainment for all. And did we mention the baby rhino? Earlier this year, keepers welcomed baby Belle to their rhino family - the fifth to be born at the Burford collection (Nancy and Monty’s third calf). Due to a twisted foot, adorable Belle had to be separated by her mother and reared by hand. Now reintegrated with her family, Belle’s ready to be admired by all-comers as the adorable proof of the park’s successful conservation efforts. Visitor information available at

Other Ideas • Days Out with Thomas the Tank Engine at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway - booking is required. ( • Broadway Activity Park, an expansive (and free!) playpark for children. ( • Cogges Manor Farm, a beautiful old manor farmstead with Victorian kitchen and historical costumes for kids to wear (




Gorgeous Gardens Love gardens? The Cotswolds offer

Hidcote Manor Garden

Nestled in Hidcote Bartrim waits one of the most celebrated Arts and Crafts gardens in England - one featuring a beguiling series of ‘outside rooms’ The gardens at Hidcote Manor are the legacy of American garden designer and plant collector Lawrence Johnston, who for over 40 years endeavoured to turn the grounds around his mother’s 300-acre estate into a striking and imaginative series of ‘rooms’ linked to the thenburgeoning Arts and Crafts scene local to the area. Each of the rooms possesses its own character, growing less formal the further visitors travel from the actual manor house itself. Yew, holly and beech hedges create walls and boundaries, making for an exceptionally engrossing English garden. Visitor information available at

visitors all manner of arboreal, horticultural and architectural beauty, from the country’s sole surviving Rococo garden to Anne Hathaway’s romantic cottage grounds. Read on to discover our favourite garden destinations.

Kiftsgate Court Garden

The beautiful creation of three dedicated generations of women gardeners, Kiftsgate is a splendid place to visit Only a stone’s throw from Hidcote is the similarly exquisite Kiftsgate Court Garden. The first of Kiftsgate’s designer-gardeners, Heather Muir, was in fact a friend of Johnston’s and embarked on her project with his occasional help and encouragement. However, her philosophy was to let the garden develop organically - consequently, her work is often described as being less rigid/masculine than Johnston’s. Visitors will truly feel the difference in approach, not least thanks to the creative endeavours of Muir’s successors, Diany Binny (who opened Kiftsgate to the public) and Anne Chambers, who notably favours ‘evolution not revolution’ as her Kiftsgate design ethic. Spectacular views of the Malvern Hills and the estate’s Georgian portico help make any visit to Kiftsgate a sumptuous sensory experience. Visitor information available at




Bourton House Garden

The artisanal three-acre garden of an 18th century manor house is the perfect destination for a casual summer afternoon Found in the Bourton that’s on-the-Hill rather than on-the-Water, Bourton House Garden is an award-winning garden that’s gone from strength to strength since its first ever public opening in 1987. The garden’s inspirational planting, imaginative topiary and collection of rare/exotic specimens distinguish the garden from the usual country house fare - as does a recently-opened walk in the seven-acre walled pasture opposite the garden, which allows visitors to view a collection of trees planted in the 1990s. And as for architecture, the house itself and the estate’s tithe barn are also rather fascinating to behold. Horticulture lovers and casual strollers alike shouldn’t dream of missing Bourton House Garden. Visitor information available at




Cotswold Lavender

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

A bit of a cheat, this one, since it isn’t technically speaking a garden. But newcomers to the Cotswolds shouldn’t miss the summery riot of purple that is the lavender fields near Snowshill. Cotswold Lavender is a third-generation family farm featuring 40 different varieties of lavender, around 140 miles of rows and over 500,000 plants in total (there’s also a bit of camomile, too).

There’s lots to discover inside Anne Hathaway’s 500 year old cottage - not least the Hathaway bed and medieval kitchen and parlour. But outside the structure lie nine acres of orchards, woodlands and gardens, and sculptural works inspired by the swan-of-avon himself.

There’s more purple than you’ve ever seen in the fields near Broadway. Visit the farm to learn lots about lavender

Open from 9th June – 5th August, 10am - 5pm, Cotswold Lavender isn’t all fields; there’s a shop and tea room, too. Visitors can also visit the distillery, dependent on the weather. Visit the website for a look at the products, an insight into the oil distilling process and a few recipes to boot. Visitor information available at



Best enjoyed as part of a day out in Stratford upon Avon, the beautiful former home of Shakespeare’s bride-to-be offers picturesque gardens and a sculpture trail to explore

The cottage and grounds won’t take long to explore, but Shakespeare’s Birthplace and Mary Arden’s Farm are only a few minutes’ drive away. A gift shop, cafe and picnic tables will mean you’ll want to linger a while in this historically romantic setting. Visitor information available at


Sezincote House and Gardens

A Mogul Indian palace implausibly set in the heart of the Cotswolds, Sezincote House is truly breathtaking - and so are its grounds Sezincote is a remarkable private estate found just outside Moreton in Marsh. Public opening times are limited, but once seen Sezincote’s multiple marvels are unforgettable: elephants on the lawn, a copper dome, pools and streams and Indian-inspired architecture will transport you to a different realm. Sezincote’s gardens are open January - November (on Thursdays, Fridays and Bank Holiday Mondays only, between 2pm - 6pm) while the house itself is open May - September (on Thursdays, Fridays and Bank Holiday Mondays only, 2.30pm - 5.30pm - regrettably no children are permitted within the house except with special permission).

Don’t Miss The sumptuous gardens of Sudeley Castle and Blenheim Palace, the quirky charms of Mill Dene Gardens (private tours only until September), Westonbirt National Arboretum, Batsford Arboretum, Snowshill Manor

Visitor information available at

Painswick Rococo Garden

The country’s sole surviving Rococo garden supplies visitors with enough pleasurable views and woodland walks to satisfy any Georgian aristocrat Created in the 1740s by Benjamin Hyett as a means of entertaining his guests, Painswick’s gardens are, as the website says, ‘a country gentleman's experimental creation, not the realisation of a horticultural dream.’ Expect delightful views, serpentine paths and charming ornamental features - not to mention a café and shop. Visitor information available at





History & Heritage The Cotswold area is simply bursting with castles, manor houses and various buildings of historic import. (We even have our own steam railway). The following list includes just some of our favourites - the essential destinations for any visit to the Cotswolds.

Broadway Tower

This iconic tower has a dramatic history. Standing 1,024 feet above sea level, it offers unparalleled views of the Cotswold landscape and its surrounding counties Constructed atop a beacon hill, this striking folly was conceived by the visionary English landscape architect Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown and George William, 6th Earl of Coventry. After Brown’s death the tower was finished with the assistance of architect James Wyatt - who added distinctive ‘Saxon’ elements such as gargoyles, turrets and balconies. The tower was finally completed in 1799. In 1819 the tower passed into the care of the eccentric book collector, Thomas Phillips, who situated his own printing press inside the structure. Years later, the Tower was frequently used as a holiday getaway by Arts and Crafts luminaries including William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. It is believed to have influenced Morris’ passion for the preservation of English heritage, and therefore his founding of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. In the 20th century, the tower site had a different role to play after the founding of the Observer Corps, who established a base just 250 yards from the tower building. During WWII, observers would stand atop the tower and scan the skies for enemy aircraft for hours at a time - until an RAF Honeybourne bomber crashed just metres from the tower, when it was decided a dugout would be used for surveillance purposes instead. Following the beginning of the Cold War, the Royal Observer Corps founded a nuclear bunker at Broadway Tower. It remained manned until 1991, the end of the Cold War, and was re-opened to the general public in 2010. Check the website for details of openings and tours. Visitor information available at




Chastleton House and Garden

An immaculately preserved, 400-year-old Jacobean estate granting a faithful glimpse of a vanished past Nestled in the small village of Chastleton, only 6 miles from Stow on the Wold, lies a peerless trove of English History. Constructed between 1607 and 1612 on land bought from Gunpowder Plot mastermind Robert Catesby, Chastleton House is currently managed by the National Trust. What is remarkable about Chastleton is that it has remained unchanged for 400 years, spared from refurbishing and remodelling by the ever-declining fortunes of its owners. The paintings on the walls have never felt the touch of a restorer’s touch - likewise the 17thcentury garden layout still endures. New visitors to this time capsule will be astonished by the tapestries of the Fettiplace Rooms, the barrelvaulted ceiling of the Long Gallery and the soot-scorched Old Kitchen. Chastleton was recently seen on screen as a filming location for the BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall. It is also, as the National Trust notes, ‘the home of the game of croquet, which was created and codified at Chastleton.’ Visitor information available at








Sudeley Castle and Gardens

This beautiful, treasure-filled castle is of historic significance - not least because it’s the resting place of Henry VIII’s final queen. Sudeley’s more than just a castle. It’s a sprawling 1,200 acre estate, a collection of breathtaking gardens and a private home. It’s also the only private residence in all of England to have a queen buried on the grounds. The queen in question is Katherine Parr, the last of Henry VIII’s famous six wives and the final consort of the House of Tudor. The Dowager Queen retired to Sudeley after her Henry’s death and outlived him by a year (after quietly marrying the notorious Thomas Seymour, which caused something of a scandal). Her marble tomb is found in St. Mary’s chapel, located on the castle grounds. But there’s much else to Sudeley besides the fascinating story of



Katherine Parr. The remains of a splendid banqueting hall built by Richard III, who used the castle as a base for the Battle of Tewkesbury, stand as testimony to the castle’s storied history. Queen Elizabeth I visited the castle three times during her reign. Today the castle is owned by Lady Ashcombe, widow of Henry Cubitt 4th Baron Ashcombe, and Lady Elizabeth’s two children: Henry Dent-Brocklehurst and Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst. Under their guidance Sudeley was opened to the public, and today the castle is one of the Cotswold area’s premier attractions. There’s plenty to do at Sudeley - whether it’s admiring the castle’s collection of treasures (some dating back to Roman times), strolling through the beautiful gardens or attending one of the special exhibitions. Visitor information available at


Belas Knap

An ancient burial mound constructed on a hilltop around 3,000 BC This Neolithic long barrow once housed 31 skeletons (since excavated). Due to its dramatic hilltop situation, Belas Knap offers sweeping views of the attractive Cotswold countryside as well as prehistoric mystique. The mound is free to visit during sensible daylight hours and is best enjoyed as part of a planned day of activities - such as visiting the nearby Hailes Abbey or Sudeley Castle. Visitor information available at

Hailes Abbey

Once a place of pilgrimage claiming to possess a vial of Christ’s blood, Hailes Abbey is today a collection of scenic ruins Though largely demolished during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, Hailes Abbey is still well worth a visit. While exploring the monastery’s tranquil remains, visitors can take an audio tour offering insights into the monks who lived and worshipped here. The site also features a heritage gift shop and museum. In June 2017, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) reopened Hayles Abbey Halt, a request stop half a mile from the abbey which allows members of the public to visit the site by rail for the first time in more than 50 years. Visitor information available at

Gloucester Warwickshire Heritage Railway (GWSR) The glory of travel by steam engine is preserved in the Cotswolds, thanks to the dedication of local volunteers and rail enthusiasts A heritage railway offering a round trip of 28 miles, the GWSR uses a former Great Western Railway route from Birmingham Cheltenham, which formerly ran via Stratford upon Avon. The heritage railway operates magnificent steam and diesel engines between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway. From the carriage windows you’ll observe some of the most spectacular scenery the Cotswolds has to offer. Current GWSR stations include Broadway, Toddington, Hayles Abbey Halt, Winchcombe, Gotherington and Cheltenham Racecourse. The GWSR hosts a number of special events throughout the year - including the very popular Santa Specials at Christmastime - so do check the website before planning a trip. Visitor information available at

Stanway House and Fountain

A splendid manor house, home to the highest fountain in Britain A Jacobean manor house first owned by Tewkesbury Abbey, Stanway House is today the private residence of Lord Wemyss. Situated in the magnificent grounds of this historic property is a 300-foot fountain the highest fountain in Britain and the highest gravity fountain in the world - and a wonderful 17th century water garden. Fans of historic houses should not miss Stanway House, which once hosted Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie. Open days are typically held in June, July and August on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Private tours are available. Make sure to check the website for opening times and ticket prices. Visitor information available at




Blenheim Palace & Park

Blenheim was the birthplace of Winston Churchill, and served as his inspiration and ancestral home. The Palace’s dedicated Winston Churchill exhibition was extensively updated in 2015 and is a mustsee for those interested in Britain’s greatest wartime leader.

Situated in parkland as grand as the house itself, Blenheim Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-see destination.

Featuring guided tours, Pleasure Gardens, seasonal events and 2,000 acres of landscaped gardens designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, Blenheim Palace is to be enjoyed all year around.

The birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill, this magnificent building stands as testament to the accomplishments of his ancestors

Construction began on the monumental house in around 1705, after lands and funds were granted to the 1st Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill, after his military successes against the French. But Churchill’s wife Sarah quarrelled bitterly with her friend, Queen Anne, over the irregularity of the payments. Finally the funding ceased altogether. The Marlboroughs went into exile, and did not return until Anne’s death in 1714, when they regained favour. When John Churchill himself died eight years later, the stubbornly determined Sarah finally saw the palace completed. Over the following years, the estate’s fortunes diminished, depleted by the magnificent structure’s upkeep and the irresponsible behaviour of the 5th Duke of Marlborough. Generations later, the 9th Duke of Marlborough hit upon a solution to the financial woes when he wedded the American railroad heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt. The marriage was loveless, but Blenheim was saved. During WWII, the 10th Duke opened Blenheim to the evacuated boys of Malvern College, and later MI5.



Visitor information available at


Snowshill Manor

Chedworth Roman Villa

The legacy of this 16th-century country house was forever changed when it came into the ownership of one Charles Paget Wade - an eccentric architect/poet/artist and passionate collector whose personal motto was ‘let nothing perish.’

One of the largest Roman villas in Britain, the villa at Chedworth was constructed from the 2nd to the 4th centuries. Its remains were discovered in 1864, and are now in the care of the National Trust. The Trust’s ongoing conservation efforts have showcased the longburied secrets of this extravagant dwelling, creating an engrossing visitor destination for all to enjoy.

Bursting with treasures and curiosities collected by its former owner, Snowshill Manor is unlike any other historic house or museum you’ll ever visit

The fantastical treasures and curiosities that Wade brought to Snowshill - including 26 suits of Japanese samurai armour, masks and musical instruments - fill the manor house. (Wade himself lived in the Priest’s House in the grounds outside while he was working on the manor house). To visit Snowshill is to be astonished; no two rooms are similar, and in fact each have a separate name and special designated purpose. The property and its collections are now in the custodianship of the National Trust, but Wade’s vision has been immaculately preserved. There are no labels and signs stuck about Snowshill - the heads of the room guides are stuffed with all the knowledge you’ll need.

The remains of a splendid residence are still revealing secrets including some of the Roman Britain’s most stunning mosaics

The villa’s splendidly-preserved mosaics, left in-situ for your inspection, have to be seen to be believed. There’s also a museum to browse, guided talks and audio tours to enjoy, a woodland trail to wander, and spectacular views of the surrounding countryside to savour. Those who wish to keep exploring the history of Roman Britain should also pay a visit to Cirencester’s Corinium Museum, which displays many extraordinary relics of the age. Visitor information available at

From the attic hung with bicycles to the artisan ‘outside rooms’ of Snowshill’s garden, Snowshill Manor is a magnificent box of curios just begging to be explored. Visitor information available at




A chunky little run-around – in (nearly) all the colours of the rainbow Alexandra Tilley Loughrey gets behind the wheel of the new Citroen C3 Aircross If you’re looking for a second, or even a third vehicle (darn those pesky learner driving teenagers’), this chunky little car is “un bon choix” (a good choice). My first ever car was a Citroen 2CV named Henri, so I’ve always had a soft-spot for the odd Citroen (I know, some people think they’re all odd!). They’re well known for good suspension – just what you need when negotiating the potholed roads of the Cotswolds. The 2CV was quirky with bags of character, and for a modern run-around this is ‘tres fun’ too – so is the sort of car that owners may well want to name (NO answers on a postcard please). Citroen describe the C3 Aircross as an SUV on the outside and MPV inside. That means it has a solid feeling when bouncing along the Cotswold lanes – and is high enough to get a really good view of what’s around the corner or about to leap over the next



hedge (is it me, or is the pheasant ‘season’ getting longer?) – as well as having enough room inside for three long-legged teenagers in the back (they overtake any adult in the leg stakes with their ever extending limbs and slouchy poses – biased, moi?), with enough comfort still for the driver and front passenger. Oh – and the boot is big enough for all their clobber as well. In fact, this car has the biggest boot-space of any similar sized car. The C3 Aircross has twelve change-at-thetouch-of-a-button driving aids, including ‘grip control’ designed to make it easy for your to drive in a range of conditions. I initially pooh-poohed the need for the ‘hill descent’ option (I hate paying for unnecessary gimmicks), designed for slowing you down on sand-dunes or thick snow. I know we had a hard winter, but how often would you use this, I thought, until I drove down the hill along the extremely steep

driveway to have lunch at the Fish Hotel above Broadway – and rather than driving like something from an out-of-control Wacky Races, it helped me glide over the descending speed-bumps with grace and ease. This car will never set the world on fire (like most small SUVs it’s not that kind of motor), but driving around in it with the radio on did make me smile – and for something that really is just designed to get you from A to B, joie de vivre is surely a bonus. I liked the easy-to-see dashboard, loads of cubby space for storing all the usual rubbish that we all need to drive around with, from sunglasses to chewing gum, to bite cream (or is that just my family?), big enough cup-holders to actually keep drinks upright in – and the lack of faff with having a wireless phone charging point, which worked brilliantly with my iPhone (they don’t guarantee compatibility with all phones).


Fast facts Fuel consumption – The BlueHDi engine claims up to 70mpg Road tax - £140 Safety – A variety of safety features as standard include lane departure warning, driver fatigue detection and speed limit recognition. Automatic emergency braking is only available as standard on the more expensive Flair models..

This Citroen is a practical, roomy and solid not-so-little car, that far exceeds the rainbow of colours of a Fiat 500 ... OK, so it’s not as cool as a Fiat 500, but do you really want to bomb along local lanes in a car that was designed for gently bobbing over Tuscan city cobbles? This Citroen is a practical, roomy and solid not-so-little car, that far exceeds the rainbow of colours of a Fiat 500 (as it has a whopping 85 colour combinations) and some blingy interior dashboard accessories to make driving fun, as well as practical. It even has roof-bars as standard, so great for teenage surfing weekends, bikes, skis…(so we don’t have the Alps, but there’s always the Gloucester dryski slope).

Media - Huge easy-to-use touch screen media unit that can be easily linked to your phone or any of the family’s devices, keeping everyone happy on long journeys. That Bling Thing – Park assist – the car will actually park itself – and I’m getting lazy! This season’s colours – 8 body colours, 3 roof colours and 4 colour pack combinations to really personalise your pride and joy. The drive – An absolute joy to drive, especially with the DSG (automatic 7-speed) gearbox. Light as a feather and no vomitinducing wallowing for those in the ‘very back’ Trim – three – touch, feel and flair – as some ad says, ‘the possibilities are endless’ Automatic or manual – a choice of both (with up to 6-speed gearbox) across 6 engine choices. Diesel, unleaded, electric or hybrid – They’re sticking with the traditional petrol or diesel at this stage… Optional extras – the panoramic sunroof gets my vote as it made the car so light and airy

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

Warranty 3 year or 60,000 mileage, plus 12-year body protection & 3-year paint protection Price from £13,995




A Garden

for All Seasons Sheena Marsh of Oxford Garden Design on getting a garden to shine all year round A standard excuse that we gardeners use to visitors is that the garden was looking better last week, or will look better in the summer, spring, or‌any other time, except now. Most of us have gardens that have peaks and troughs throughout the year. We might have concentrated too hard on that spring bulb display at the expense of summer perennials or indeed, entirely given up on winter months.

The style of the property cried out for a cottage garden to complement it and there were precious ornaments and statues to be integrated into the overall design. Often winter is a better season for seeing garden art, when there’s less to distract the eye. This little chap (dragonfly pictured below) tends to get overlooked in the busyness of the summer garden.

The key to designing a really good garden is to plan for all the seasons; to select plants that give lasting value and structure the garden to make the best of it all year round. The owner of this Hook Norton garden, pictured below, wanted it to be as lowmaintenance as possible. Above all, this needed to be a garden that looked good whatever the time of year, so we made good use of evergreen hedging and topiary that just requires clipping once a year.



The owner of the garden wanted plenty of seating areas where the garden can be viewed from different angles. A simple bench next to the back door (as seen below) becomes a private space of tranquillity.

These rustic chairs create another viewpoint and complement the character of the property beautifully.


Sheena’s Top Ten Tips for Creating a Garden for All Seasons 1. Make sure the outside space works visually

from inside the home. Although a garden is used primarily in summer, it is viewed from the house all year round so consider what it will look like from a window. A garden has to work equally hard in summer as in winter so make sure there is something interesting to see at all times.

2. Foliage is the pivot on which a garden turns, providing leaves for emphasis and framing more seasonal planting. Choose evergreen stalwarts with care. Holly, pyracantha, euonymus and hebes are examples of plants that look good all year round and grow well in Cotswold soil.

3. Trees are the backbone of any garden

and even where space is at a premium there is usually room for just one. Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’ - the ornamental pear tree - is perfect for all seasons. Growing to just 5 x 3 metres in 20 years, it looks good as a feature in its own right or grown as an avenue. The dark green foliage in spring contrasts brilliantly with the mass of single white flowers produced in April/May and it is one of the best trees for autumn colour for the local soil.

shine like stars all through the dreary winter months and the leathery evergreen leaves make a good backdrop for summer flowering perennials. Placed in a raised bed or above a wall, to enjoy the nodding flowers to best advantage.

6. For all-year interest, ornamental grasses

are hard to beat. The small neat tussocks of Festuca Glauca, for example, grown in groups, will provide attractive blocks of blue, contrasting well with summer flowering plants, such as Geranium ‘Russell Prichard.’ The graceful Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ is very easy to grow in most situations and, although it looks good most of the year, it’s particularly impressive in the autumn when it can produce feathery flower plumes.

7. Planting in containers is a great way to

bridge the seasons by providing temporary colour when the rest of the scheme is past its peak. It also allows you to introduce plants into the garden that wouldn’t otherwise grow in the native soil. An Azalea planted in a large tub of ericaceous compost, will produce a profusion of spring flowers in that gap when bulbs have gone over and summer plants are yet to emerge.

8. Use lighting for dramatic impact.

Subtle outdoor lights extend the feeling of space in addition as being practical. Adding outdoor lighting along paths and walkways can help to define the edges of a path and also illuminate any flowers that are planted next to them. The key thing to remember is that a little goes a long way and remember that darkness can also be used to good effect to conceal any less attractive areas! Decide on the areas you do want to light and focus on those.

9. Fences can be used as a support for

evergreen, climbing plants to give all-year interest. One of the best climbers for a sheltered, sunny spot is the star jasmine, Tracheleospermum Jasminoides. Truly a star, with highly fragrant, delicate, white flowers in summer, its autumn and winter foliage gives it all-year interest.

10. Any garden will benefit from a feature to act as a focal point. If your style of garden is modern this could be a sculpture, if traditional an urn or statue might be appropriate. Whatever the season and whatever the weather, a well-placed ornament will attract attention and interest.

4. Most gardens have a damp, shady area

where nothing much will grow, but such space ought not to be overlooked. One of the best plants for such a situation is the shade loving ground cover, Ajuga reptans ‘Atropurpurea’. In early summer it raises blue purple spikes above a bed of dark bronze purple leaves and it mingles well with the yellow flowers of our native Primula vulgaris, which enjoy the same sort of conditions.

5. Perennials are the non-woody plants

that can live for several years, they can be evergreen, giving interest for most seasons. The flowers of the Christmas rose, Helleborus niger

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




A hairy new arrival at Tagmoor farm triggers various sensibilities - but how bad can one rescue cat be when you’re already caring for children, dogs, ponies and one hundred and fifty cows? Anna MacCurrach writes. excitement from the children and complete consternation from the dogs. The atmosphere was tense, words were exchanged (Him: “I can’t believe you drove to Derbyshire for a cat!” Me: “You can’t expect me to live on a farm and not have loads of animals!” Him: “I would have preferred it if you’d bought a pony” Me: “You’ve got a hundred and fifty cows, why are you whining about one cat?” – ok, that was weak but it was all I had at the time).

The ponies are almost at the end of their stay with us and, whilst it has been emotional at times, the experiment has gone pretty well. Most surprising, though, has been the minimum effect they have had on me, given that I am allergic to them. Boosted by this, I thought I would push it one step further with the latest addition to our animal family, a one-year-old black and white cat we have called Howard. I am allergic to him as well. Jimmy hates cats, and not in a mild way, so I had to keep this a secret. Amongst our friends I am famous for my “don’t tell Jimmys” – mostly related to buying furniture on eBay but this one was my bravest yet. Plotting with a vet friend who had operated on Howard after he’d been run over and was no longer wanted by his owners (who didn’t want to pay the bill), we set forth for Derbyshire on Good Friday to collect him. (My sister-in-law did ask if there wasn’t a cat in Gloucestershire we could have had but as we were meeting at a mutual friend’s house, I felt the journey wholly justified.) Once the transaction was complete, I thought I had better warn Jimmy, so before returning



Howard is settling in really well and the comedy value he brings was worth the miles – the interaction between him and the young dogs is absolutely hilarious. Their peripheral vision and quick reactions have never been so tested.

home I sent him a photo of Howard with the words Happy Easter Daddy written across it. The reply? A single emoji. Of a gun.

Only our elderly Jack Russell, who at the grand old age of fourteen has seen it all, pays him no attention whatsoever. We think this is because she is confident she will outlive him. Maybe she knows my husband better than I do. I might hide the ammunition.

This was going to be harder than I thought. We brought him into the house, triumphantly holding the cat box aloft amidst squeals of

Find out more about Tagmoor Farm at


This Summer at

Cotswold Farm Park The team at Cotswold Farm Park have a number of activities to entertain people of all ages throughout the summer. Here’s what you can expect:

Cotswold Farm Park is a great way to spend a sunny day this summer, with lots of outdoor activities for young and old. There is plenty to keep kids entertained in the sun, including the bouncing pillows and the adventure playground. Enjoy a walk through the Rare Breeds Through History walk, where visitors can meet some of the Farm Park’s rare breeds and learn about their history. The animals can be hand-fed in this area - the greedy goats will be your best friend if you have a bag of animal food in your hand. The usual Farm Park fun will be happening indoors, including bottle-feeding of lambs and goats and cuddling cute chicks and fluffy bunnies. Visitors can enjoy the different seasonal demonstrations; watch a cow get milked in the Milking demonstration and learn about sheep through the ages with the Sheep show. Milking is on now and the Sheep show returns on the 18th June.

Visitors can grab a bite to eat in Adam’s Kitchen which serves hot and cold food, drinks and snacks. As well as Adam’s Kitchen, there are snack bars in the park to grab an ice-cream or drink to go. The Farm Park shop also sells a variety of products and produce to take home, including meat and eggs which come from the farm. The Gloucester Old Spot sausages are not to be missed! During the summer holidays, the Maize Maze will be returning to Cotswold Farm Park. The maze opens on the 21st July and will be open until the 2nd September. This year, the theme of the maze is ‘Wonderland’ and there will be a delightful tea party in the centre of the maze. There is also a smaller guided route suitable for young children, where they can follow white rabbit signs directly to the middle. The maze experience is included within the standard cost of admission for all Farm Park visitors. For any maze fanatics, maze-only admissions will also be available.

The Farm Park is open daily from 10.30am to 5.00pm. Visit for more information on what’s on. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate, but are always cheapest when purchased online.




Make Hay While The Sun Shines Can I convert my farm buildings to residential use? Are there any limits on what I can develop? In March this year further changes were announced that provide rural communities with more options to convert agricultural buildings into family homes. The maximum new homes capable of being created from existing agricultural buildings on a farm will increase from three to five and will allow for up to 3 larger homes within a maximum of 465m2; or • up to 5 smaller homes, each no larger than 100m2; or • a combination of both to create up to 5 homes provided that no more than 3 are larger homes 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 not-for-profit clients. She also has niche specialist experience on agricultural matters and energy and renewables. To speak to Sally call 01684 299633 or visit

sually to change the use of an agricultural building to provide residential accommodation or commercial space you need to obtain planning permission. However, with the introduction of ‘Permitted development’ it may be possible to change use without having to go through the full planning process. (Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (SI 2015/596)). Permitted development covers changes of use for various buildings; Class Q deals with the conversion of agricultural buildings to residential and Class R looks at changing agricultural buildings over to more flexible commercial uses in certain circumstances. Although planning permission isn’t required, you do still need to make a prior approval application to the local planning authority What is a prior approval application? You need to supply the planning authority with information about your development and of course this will vary depending on your proposed changes. You will usually need to consider any impacts the change will have noise, air quality, highways, flooding and contamination as well as looking at the siting, design or external appearance of your proposal and whether the planning authority may consider this impracticable or undesirable.



You can also change agricultural buildings under 500m2 to a flexible commercial use subject to meeting certain conditions. What do I need to provide to the planning authority? You need to provide the planners with the following information: • a written description of the proposed development and detailed plan indicating the site etc •

a statement specifying the increase in houses, the number of smaller and larger houses proposed and if any development has already taken place the number of smaller and larger houses built

• a site specific flood risk assessment (if applicable) • include your contact details and the fee. • You may also be required to supply various additional documents including: • any impact or risk assessment and details of any mitigation of these risks • details of the proposed building Are any third parties involved? Once you application is received the planners may need to consult with other departments depending on any potential impacts from the development, for example. Any increase in the character or volume of traffic may require your application to be referred to the highway authority. If there may be a potential flooding risk, the planners must consult with the Environment Agency where the development is in an area within Flood zones 1, 2 or 3. How long does all of this take? The planners will specify the length of the consultation period which must be at least 21 days The planners will also give notice of the proposed development by displaying a site notice and

serving a notice on any adjoining owner or occupier, this notice will describe the nature and address of the proposed development and supply a date by which any representations must be given. The planners need to consider: • any representations made • The National Planning Policy Framework and the local plan • any contamination risks The planning authority must usually make a decision within eight weeks, where no other period is specified, starting on the day following the day which the application is received by the LPA or any longer period which is agreed in writing. The planners may grant approval either unconditionally or subject to various conditions relating to your planned works. When can I start work? You must not carry out any works until you have received written notice confirming that prior approval is not required or that prior approval is granted. Technically you may, in some circumstances, be able to start works if you have not received notice and at least 56 days have passed from your application being received but it is recommended that you do not start works until you have received written notice. Remember that any external building work associated with a change of use may still require planning permission. Can the planners refuse to give prior approval? Your application may be refused where: •

t he development doesn’t comply with any conditions, limitations or restrictions applicable to the proposed development under the regulations, or

y ou haven’t supplied sufficient information to enable the planners to establish whether the proposed development is permitted.

You may have a right of appeal if you application is refused. Are there any other considerations? •

Depending on the works carried out, you may need planning for other matters beyond change of use.

you still need to comply with building regulations requirements

If your proposal meets the permitted development requirements but you are unsure, for peace of mind you may choose to apply for a lawful development certificate. This is not the same as planning permission but is proof that your building work is lawful.

We can infer from the changes earlier this year that the government is now encouraging use of permitted development to boost the housing supply in rural areas and creates a good opportunity for you to realise value from old agricultural buildings particularly where these are no longer suited to agricultural use.


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

We are now well into the season of village fetes. I feel these are such special occasions – lots of visitors, and residents together, music, stalls, games, and hopefully a little sunshine too! They are days filled with planning and hard work for the ‘home team’, but also lots of laughter, fundraising for good causes, and friendships. Whenever I come home after one of our fetes, I come home giving thanks for that local community. There are people who put up tents, who carry tables, others who bake cakes and serve endless glasses of Pimms, there are people who count out all the pennies, who decorate the streets, run the stalls, or who direct traffic to the car parks… and so many more. Fetes wouldn’t happen without so many committed volunteers and they are a great focus of community celebration. Jesus talked again and again in the Bible about how we relate to the people around us and he stressed how important our

community relationships are. One of my favourite stories he told is of the Good Samaritan, he told the people to ‘love their neighbours’, and told that story so that they would ‘go and do likewise’. I see these principles being acted on week after week in our Cotswold villages and I give thanks for them.

Fetes wouldn’t happen without so many committed volunteers and they are a great focus of community celebration.

Fete season is a great chance for us to celebrate our local communities, to serve our neighbour and to show what a difference communities working together can make. Katrina Rev’d Canon Katrina Scott is a 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 lived here since 2015, having previously served in Coventry for 15 years. Katrina loves being a vicar, and loves being a wife and a mother too.




Retreat, Relax, Revive Yoga instructor Emma Lawrence of The Yoga Tree on how discovering yoga changed her life and revitalised her spirit

Six years ago I went on my first yoga retreat. I had two young children and was mentally exhausted with the newfound responsibility of nurturing and nourishing two human beings not to mention being physically fatigued from having two hard-going pregnancies later in life (geriatric according to the NHS). As a can do, will do sort of person, I had ‘can do’d’ a little too much and had herniated two discs within a year of each other. I needed some time away from it all to re-evaluate what I needed to do - however, I didn’t know I needed to do this, until I had done it. My good friend sent me a photo of an advert for the retreat with a cheeky little message ‘fancy it?’. Within an hour we had very cheap flights booked and were going on our first yoga retreat, having never really done much yoga. What possessed us, I will never know. Three months later, off we went. Neither of us had left our children for that long (Sunday – Friday) and we both left ridiculous lists including silly amounts of detail for those (our families) looking after our children. Those few days changed my life for the better. It changed my marriage for the better. It changed our family life. For the better. I left knowing I needed to have much more yoga in my life, and I wanted to share the benefits that yoga can bring to both the mind and body. Most of all I knew that I probably wasn’t the only person who needed to escape occasionally, even if only for one hour, once a week. Today, that is still my goal.



Most of all I knew that I probably wasn’t the only person who needed to escape occasionally, even if only for one hour, once a week. Today, that is still my goal. In March this year I ran my third retreat. The ages ranged from late twenties to early seventies. Two pregnant mamas. A coeliac vegan and someone with more allergies than I have space to write. (It was, it would be fair to say, a mixed bag.) But whatever their differences, the participants all had one thing in common: exhaustion. Exhaustion that had manifested in illness. Exhaustion which culminated in daily anxiety and then the good old-fashioned ‘I could just sleep anywhere’ exhaustion. The setting was important. It had to be tranquil, beautiful with space to wander off and enjoy the views and contemplate. Despite it being cold and wonderfully snowy, it was a wonderful environment and we kept warm with a roaring fire. Everyone arrived on Friday afternoon, settled in to their rooms and met for the first of their freshly prepared organic nourishing meals. The next two days were filled with seasonal yoga,

deep relaxation, an essential oils workshop where they created oils blends that suited their current needs, two wonderful talks on nutrition and gut health/stress from Linda at The Fig Tree, Yin Yoga, a healing gong evening and the option to have massages, reflexology and private consultations with Linda. Just as important as the timetable was the food. Food they didn’t have to choose, didn’t have to buy, didn’t have to cook and didn’t have to clean up afterwards. If they even offered to move a chair or clear a plate they were informed that the consequence would be they couldn’t come again. Eventually they succumbed to being nurtured. It was a long weekend of eating (lots), de-stressing, learning how to replace old negative habits and forming new friendships. They came, relaxed, retreated and went home revived, with a new perspective on life. Find out more about Emma’s classes at


Dental Health Matters ‘Tooth-Friendly’ Snacks for Children Parents often find that when they pick up their child from school they need some sort of snack to boost flagging energy and keep hunger at bay. But what snack can our children eat that doesn’t damage their teeth? Dr. Trevor Bigg What snacks and drinks are healthy for teeth between meals? Food contains fat, protein and carbohydrates. At one time nutritionists advised us that fats were harmful to our bodies and told us to consume less fat and more carbohydrates. Now we know the situation is much more complex and that foods low in fat but high in carbohydrate, such as ‘low fat’ yoghurts, may be adding to the obesity crisis. So snacks containing fats are a healthy option. Cheese, even those processed cheese triangles, and nuts contain fat and protein, and are an excellent way of filling tummies until teatime. But what if they want something sweet? Virtually all of us have a ‘sweet tooth’. Sweet foods contain carbohydrates that can be complex, like the starch in bread and potatoes or simple as sucrose in sugar, lactose in milk and fructose in fruit. All carbohydrates are broken down in the body to make glucose that is used to feed our cells. Glucose does supply

a short-term boost to our energy levels, but it doesn’t last, unlike fat or protein, and there is a price to pay. Why are sugars bad for our teeth? All mouths, even clean ones, contain bacteria. These feed off carbohydrate and in doing so produce an acid that starts to weaken the enamel of our teeth. If this is repeated often enough, a hole is made in the enamel and a cavity is produced. So if a snack tastes sweet, unless it says it’s sugar free, it will cause decay, pain and eventually tooth loss. So what are the good snacks? • Cheese, nuts, breadsticks • Savoury biscuits, rice cakes • Fruit, vegetables such as sliced carrots and cucumbers And what are bad snacks? • Anything that tastes sweet! • Sweets, chocolate, dried fruit • Honey, biscuits, cakes • So-called ‘health’ or ‘energy’ bars

• Fruit juices, smoothies and fizzy drinks Does this mean we can never eat sweet foods? Eating sweet snacks between meals is most damaging to our teeth as we only produce a little sticky saliva during the day. When we eat a meal this changes to thinner saliva that contains chemicals to remove the acids. So we can enjoy our puddings and ice cream without a guilty conscience! If you want more information about the contents of the article, go to https://www.˜/media/Denplan/files/ pdfs/myteeth/snack-choices.pdf, or contact Penny at Milton Dental Practice: 01993 831 396 or email for a copy of the Denplan Preventers Snack Choices leaflet. 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.




Beautiful rooms made simple Design solutions and top tips Renowned interior designer, Amanda Hanley, answers questions on how to transform your home, and shares the latest design ideas for smart updates. How can I easily inject colour into my home this summer? Colour is clever, and getting it right can really lift your spirits and make you feel happier. The ability of colour to transform your surroundings; to excite, tantalise and calm, is second to none, and is easily achievable with a small amount of confidence. Colour palettes can range from hushed tones - muted and complex - to intensely saturated spaces, crammed with technicolour. Choose your colours with feeling; if you are happier surrounded by the colours of nature, then follow that instinct. If taking risks and making a statement is more your thing, then opt for a bolder scheme. Whatever you are drawn to, one of the easiest style updates you can make is with fabric and accessories. Try brightening up a cool room with a touch of contrasting colour, such as pinks or reds with blue – it will immediately lift the space. This can be as simple as adding some cushions, or if you have a bigger budget, consider your curtains, blinds and upholstery too. Alternatively, add depth to your scheme with tonal colours – adding lighter and darker versions of the same colour.



Manuel Canovas

How should I add interest to my neutral room without using bright colour? The key to a neutral scheme is texture, and lots of it, to build up contrast. You can add texture in so many ways, incorporating a mixture of smooth and rough, fluffy and sleek, hard and soft. Mix up your soft furnishings; for example, if you have a woollen cushion on your sofa, you don’t need to choose wool again for

additional cushions – try introducing a completely new texture, like velvet, silk, linen, or even leather. It’s the interplay of different materials that brings a space alive. Texture can also be added to walls, by using a subtly patterned wallpaper – there is now a huge range available, mimicking the feel of natural materials. And, finally, a big rug is always a winner!


 Manuel Canovas Build up texture with different materials and patterns

I’m happy with my colour scheme, but my room still lacks ‘wow’ factor. Do you have any suggestions? The best trick in the book is to add statement pieces, to make your room feel creative and sophisticated. They can help define a space or highlight an architectural feature with a splash of colour, pattern or an unexpected texture. The idea is to move away from the predictable and conventional, and indulge in what makes you smile. Multiple statement pieces take a room to a whole new level. Aim for at least two or three to tantalise the eye and layer up complexity. Listen to your gut; if your instinct tells you that it’s too much, try going back to a blank canvas, then reintroduce pieces until it feels right.

Colefax and Fowler Patterns and plains combined for a welcoming and sophisticated look

Think about where you’ll be using the design. Generally, the larger the surface, the larger the pattern that will complement it. Can you give me any advice on using patterns and how to combine them? Pattern is a fundamental part of design and can include anything from stripes, flowers, checks, graphics or geometrics, which can look extremely striking when combined in the right way. To keep your room cohesive, you need to be smart about building it up. The following tips should help: • Start with one design that you are drawn to, and that fits with your overall scheme • Aim to choose an odd number of patterns, such as three or five • Importantly, vary the scale of those patterns – at least one should be large, one small, and one in-between

• Go for strong contrast in the pattern combinations i.e. mixing chevrons, florals and stripes • Your patterns should match in their colour intensity: bold with bold, pastel with pastel • Ideally at least one colour carries through your chosen patterns, although two or three are even better • When mixing pattern, the fabrics should be of a similar weight or feel •

Think about where you’ll be using the design. Generally, the larger the surface, the larger the pattern that will complement it

• Don’t forget to use solid colours along side pattern – they provide relief and balance

 Manuel Canovas A symphony of statement pieces here creates a feast for the eye, with unexpected seat colours, an unusual light fitting and a boldly patterned screen

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



Dining in style at Newlands of Stow During the warmer weather residents can also enjoy al-fresco dining on the terrace or even pre-order one of our newly launched gourmet picnics. Picnics include a range of homemade goodies and allow our residents to enjoy a traditional meal anywhere on the grounds or whilst out exploring the neighbouring villages. We also have some exciting ideas for the impending months including a range of healthy fruit and vegetable smoothies, focusing on providing nutritious and hydrating drinks to enjoy whilst the sun is shining.

Phillippa Cook, Registered General Manager of Newlands of Stow, where she has just completed her first year.

As an example of a typical lunch menu we might serve salt and pepper squid with a Vietnamese noodle salad followed by roasted chicken supreme, braised peas bonne femme with duchess potatoes, and then an elderflower panna cotta with prosecco jelly to finish.

As the General Manager and Registered Nurse at Newlands of Stow, I understand the importance of delivering a nutritious and well-balanced diet. Equally, working closely with the Head Chef, Steven Keene, serving food that inspires is at the heart of our philosophy.

Menus here are innovative and regularly exceed expectations, with everything being prepared and freshly cooked on the premises, including the treats for afternoon tea!

Our beautiful on-site Seasons Restaurant provides a wonderful venue for residents, overlooking the terraces and stunning gardens and views. Here we are able to showcase our passion for delivering high quality cuisine.

Of course, some of our guests have specific dietary requirements so we also appreciate the need for flexibility to provide a suitable diet and a healthy lifestyle but still focus upon taste and presentation; sometimes something simple can be just as inspiring as a highly complex dish.

Diners would certainly feel as though they were eating in any one of the very best restaurants found around the Cotswolds. It’s the same behind the scenes. If you were to walk into our professional kitchen at Newlands, you would always find fresh seasonal produce from local suppliers. We believe in supporting businesses right on our doorstep and in doing so making the most of all the range of fabulous produce on offer here in the Cotswolds. Menus here are innovative and regularly exceed expectations, with everything being prepared and freshly cooked on the premises, including the treats for afternoon tea!



Special diets are given the same consideration and attention to detail. One of the key elements we focus on is to provide choice and to treat people as individuals, tailoring every meal to match their own personal preferences on portion size and ingredients, but the end result is never compromised. At Newlands of Stow, we always aim to provide the very best quality of life. There is no doubt that healthy, delicious and inspirational food, eaten in beautiful surroundings and in pleasant company, is at the very heart of living and ageing well.



A substantial, 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. Entrance Hall | Sitting/Dining Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Snug | Utility Room | Cloakroom | Master Bedroom with Walk In Wardrobe and EnSuite | Guest Bedroom with En-Suite | Two Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Open Bay Double Garage | Wrap Around Gardens | Off Road Parking For Several Cars | EPC Rating: D

Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893


£699,950 (SALE AGREED)

An architect designed Cotswold stone detached residence occupying an elevated position on the edge of this highly sought after North Cotswold market town. Entrance hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility Room | WC | Downstairs: Lounge | Two Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Upstairs: Master Bedroom With En-Suite | Two Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden To Front And Rear | Parking For Several Cars | Garage | EPC Rating: C

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 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

Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893

FARTHINGS, ASTON MAGNA £580,000 A substantial detached family home occupying an elevated position at the head of a serene cul-de-sac enjoying distant countryside views to the front and attractive gardens to three sides. Entrance Hall | Sitting/Dining Room | Snug | Kitchen | Utility | W.C | Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Guest Bedroom with En-Suite | Three Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Double Garage | Garden To Three Sides | Parking | EPC Rating: F

Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893

Country Homes from harrison james & hardie



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. Entrance Hall | Living Room | Conservatory | Kitchen/Dining Room | Shower Room | Office/Playroom | Utility Area | Master Bedroom | En-Suite Bathroom | Three Further Bedrooms | Bathroom/Shower Room | Rear Garden | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: E Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 824977



A substantial Grade II Listed townhouse occupying a central position within the popular market town of Northleach. Entrance | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Garden Room | Conservatory | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility Room | WC | Cellar | Master Bedroom | Dressing Room | En-Suite | Bathroom | Two Further Second Floor Bedrooms | Detached Cotswold Stone Garage with Guest Suite Above | Walled Garden to Rear | EPC Rating: Exempt

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

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


£695,000 (SOLD)

Occupying one of the most secluded and sought-after positions within Upper Rissington is this original Officers’ house - a four bedroom detached home enjoying beautiful panoramic views. Entrance Hall | Living Room | Dining Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Conservatory | Shower Room | Bedroom Two/First Floor Sitting Room | Two Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Second Floor Bedroom | Dressing Room | En-Suite Shower Room | Gardens | Driveway Providing Parking | Double Garage | EPC Rating: E

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



Windrush Cottage is a substantial attached barn conversion with a generous amount of living space predominantly arranged on one floor, enjoying the far-reaching views over the Windrush Valley. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Cloakroom | Study | Dining Room | Utility Room | Drawing Room | Master Bedroom | En-Suite | Two Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Shower Room | Garden | Walled Courtyard | Double Garage (with storage above) | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: D

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

Country Homes from harrison james & hardie


Colnbrook Withington 82



Colnbrook is to be found at the far end of Woodbridge Lane about a mile from the village of Withington, situated on a tiny road that traces the course of the shallow river Coln under the (disused) Victorian railway embankment en-route to Chedworth.

Occupying an isolated elevated position surrounded by woodland and nestled into a steep bank with far-reaching views overlooking the broad meadows of the Coln (hence the name), this imposing detached cut stone villa, topped by a steep tiled roof and deep-timbered eaves with tall brick chimneys, has something of a fairytale quality about it. With land of approximately 19 acres stretching up beyond the shelter of mature trees, situated within wide-spreading lawns, paddocks and pasture, the whole offers a host of possibilities. To the front and side are outbuildings including an old four-bay stable block, a large timber barn, garage and separate workshop. No doubt this is a proper children’s paradise with endless opportunities for imaginative play and the full embrace of a traditional country lifestyle. Owned by the same family for fifty years, whilst much will need comprehensive updating this is also an interior designer’s dream, with enormous potential for

refurbishment and improvement. Extended in the early twentieth century with a grand upper storey of late Edwardian design, the house is blessed today with a host of original features including high ceilings, tongue-andgroove panelling, quarry-tiled floors, open fireplaces and deep picture bays with sash windows. Approached via a small elevated front garden, broad stone steps lead to a parttimber porch and a wide formal reception hall, opening out to four principal reception rooms. The main sitting room looks out at the best of the views, divided from the dining room by sliding panelled doors. Another formal sitting room and a separate snug are located further along a stone-tiled inner hall, also overlooking lovely countryside views. Beyond is a ‘below-stairs’ kitchen opening out onto the garden, with a number of adjacent service rooms including a larder / utility, w.c., and an eminently practical boot room complete with a little pot-bellied stove (ideal for dry storage and wet dogs!)




With land of approximately 19 acres stretching up beyond the shelter of mature trees, situated within wide-spreading lawns, paddocks and pasture, the whole offers a host of possibilities. To the front and side are outbuildings including an old four-bay stable block, a large timber barn, garage and separate workshop.




Above on the first floor are five grand double bedrooms, each with picture windows overlooking the gardens and views. An antiquated arrangement to the far end of the landing includes an attic storeroom, a sizeable servant’s bedroom (with a single high window) plus a narrow corridor with a wall of original fitted laundry cupboards and opposite a small separate bathroom, shower room and w.c.

necessary planning consents, for considerable reconfiguration. Upstairs, the installation of two large family bathrooms could be achieved fairly easily by opening out the ‘servant’s quarters’ and similarly, the removal of the service stairs to the kitchen would create a far more spacious family kitchen / breakfast room, especially with the installation of an Aga in the fireplace for year-round warmth.

Fortunately it appears much of the internal division is not integral and therefore offers the possibility, subject to the usual

There is apparent potential, too, for conversion of the outbuildings (subject to the necessary planning consents, of course). The

stable block and barn could possibly achieve planning permission for a separate dwelling and, given a sizeable footprint occupied by the garage and workshop, this too might provide an annexe or another separate dwelling. Being situated equidistant between Cirencester and Cheltenham, within twenty minutes of Bourton on the Water, enjoying the best of glorious countryside and relatively easy access to the A40 / Fosse Way, the clear potential of Colnbrook means that early viewing is unhesitatingly recommended.

Colnbrook is offered to the market at a Guide Price of £1,200,000. For more information or to book a suitable time to view please contact James von Speyr at the Bourton on the Water offices of Fine & Country North Cotswolds on 01451 824977.





An exclusive new development of five desirable 5 bedroom homes ideally located in the beautiful village of Long Compton.  The properties are constructed by Colburn, an established independent residential development company with a renowned reputation for building homes of the highest quality and specification. Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01608 653893

Country Homes from harrison james & hardie



A substantial detached residence with a generously proportioned and attractively landscaped rear garden situated just a short walk from the highly sought after High Street of Chipping Campden. Entrance Hall | Living Room | Dining Room | Kitchen/Family Room linked to Sitting Room via an Orangery | Office l Utility Room | WC | Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Guest Bedroom with En-Suite | Two Further Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garage | Garden | Parking | EPC Rating: C Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893


£3,200 PCM

Orchard Leigh is a beautifully presented, detached, furnished property set in a prominent position on the edge of Chipping Campden, having been extensively extended and refurbished to provide modern flexible accommodation with surrounding countryside views and generous garden. The sitting room with large bi fold doors and master bedroom with balcony have been designed to have full advantage of the impressive views over the garden.  Orchard Leigh now provides ample family accommodation being a short distance from Chipping Campden School or for a professional couple wanting the space to be able to work from home yet have the space to be to entertain and accommodate guests. Entrance Hall | Open Plan Living Room / Dining Room | Family Room or Separate Dining Room | Kitchen / Breakfast Room | Utility | Downstairs Shower Room | Larder / Storage Room | Conservatory | Master Bedroom Suite with Dressing Area and Bathroom | Four Further Bedrooms Bedroom Five / Study / Dressing Room | Family Bathroom | Off Road Parking | Gardens | EPC Rating: C Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893

Country Homes from harrison james & hardie



Blockley Grange Cottage occupies a serene location on the southern edge of Blockley, shared with only a small handful of neighbouring properties, elevated high above a tiny lane that ultimately connects with the village centre, looking out upon a steeply wooded bank of glorious seasonal colour, part of the Mill Dene estate. South facing, this mature modern three-storey house is of traditional vernacular, constructed of mellow stone with a pitch tiled roof, deep eaves and picture windows.



Situated within a profusely stocked gardener’s paradise, the property has accommodation arranged over three floors, cleverly reconfigured by the present owners to create a balanced, open and spacious ground floor with a luxurious retreat above, making great use of natural light, the whole beautifully furnished to the highest possible specification, decorated in a palette of warm muted colours and presented in immaculate order throughout.


Although the house was in need of a lot of work that took us about a year to complete - nothing like the brief I had in my mind! we were immediately and totally captivated by such beautiful surroundings.

A large and comfortable sitting room with a deep feature bay window looks out over the garden, warmed by a Cotswold stone fireplace fitted with a wood-burning stove, walls newly lined with bespoke Cotteswood bookcases. The kitchen / dining room is similarly fitted with a beautiful and generous array of bespoke handmade Cotteswood kitchen units complete with a central island and a Lacanche range cooker. Perfect for informal entertaining, arranged with a table for eight set to one end, also looking out over the garden and views, this has become the heart of the house. Upstairs the bedrooms are all elegantly and classically furnished with ample fitted wardrobes and recessed cupboards, complete with bespoke bathrooms and shower rooms, the whole with a similarly lovely aspect looking out over the garden.

“The garden is particularly important to us. The grounds had already been professionally landscaped by the previous owner, a very skilled and knowledgeable lady. Although the house was in need of a lot of work that took us about a year to complete - nothing like the brief I had in my mind! - we were immediately and totally captivated by such beautiful surroundings. At every time of year there is a new joy to invite us, something to enhance and embrace the bliss of simply being outside in the fresh country air.�




The garden has been gently terraced into informally structured rooms complete with arbours, ponds, sheltered contemplative places, sun-filled patios, packed borders of seasonal shrubs, flowering trees including magnolia, cherry, apple, the whole suffused by calming scents, with honeysuckle, roses, clematis in abundance. “It’s a wonderfully private and calming environment with quiet places to rest and restore the soul, but we spend most of our time with friends in a little stone-walled garden at the top of the plot. This is the warmest and most sheltered place of all, where we can happily turn our faces to the sun all day long. We have permission to put a roof on it but why would we? It’s idyllic as it is.”

What will the vendors most miss about Blockley?

The kitchen / dining room is similarly fitted with a beautiful and generous array of bespoke handmade Cotteswood kitchen units complete with a central island and a Lacanche range cooker.

“From the moment I first came to see the house I was welcomed immediately when I went into the village shop for a cup of coffee. I was keen to get a sense of a place that, despite years spent in the Cotswolds as a young child, I had never visited. I realised that it was a connected and caring community, and we have not been disappointed. We have made so many friends, even having to divide our time equally between here and St Lucia. Now newly retired, we have made the decision to move closer to family but we both wish that we could simply lift the whole place - the house, the garden and the village - and take everything with us, having been so happy here.”

Offered for sale by Fine & Country North Cotswolds for £925,000, an Open Viewing Day is being held on Saturday 9th June. For further information and to arrange an appointment to view please contact Sales Director Tom Burdett 01608 653893.




Silverdale Longborough

Silverdale is a true bungalow built in the 1960s, constructed of reconstituted Cotswold stone with pretty mullion windows and a cross-hipped pitched tiled roof, set within a gated plot and occupying a highly desirable position on Banks Fee in the Cotswold hill village of Longborough.

Enjoying beautifully tended mature gardens, the property is blessed with a high degree of natural privacy yet is only a short stroll from a traditional village stores/ coffee shop, primary school, public house, village hall and ancient church, Approached via a broad sweeping driveway, the bungalow is centrally situated within its grounds. Overlooking glorious views above the rooftops of a neighbouring property, the gardens are mainly laid to lawn, bordered with mature trees and shrubs with a paved, elevated and sunlit terrace facing out over the surrounding countryside. The present arrangement of living accommodation whilst dated is meticulously maintained, with considerable scope for alteration and the opportunity for further extension. Currently providing living room, dining room, study, kitchen-breakfast room, master bedroom en-suite with two further double bedrooms and family bathroom this well-designed, spacious, flexible and brightly lit interior offers around 1900 square foot of living space.







One gable however is currently given over to an enormous double garage with picture windows overlooking the garden. This could be converted into further living accommodation, perhaps providing a grand living room or a fabulous family kitchen / breakfast room with bi-fold doors opening onto a broad sunlit dining terrace. The vast and steeply pitched trussed-rafter roof meanwhile requires an appropriate consideration of construction and necessary planning regulations, however with the installation of dormer windows to take full advantage of the wonderful views could easily provide a number of additional bedrooms and bathrooms.

The present arrangement of living accommodation whilst dated is meticulously maintained, with considerable scope for alteration and the opportunity for further extension. Being centrally positioned within its plot and blessed with a sizeable footprint, given the funds and appetite for a grand design there is no doubt Silverdale presents a very tempting proposition for anyone seeking to create an ideal family home.

Offered for sale by Fine & Country North Cotswolds, an Open Viewing Day is being held on Saturday 9th June. For further information or to arrange a viewing, strictly by prior appointment, please contact Tom Burdett, Sales Director at the Moreton in Marsh offices, on 01608 653893. 94




43 Todenham has been affectionately named Straws by the present owner in honour of Ada Straw, a redoubtable lady who once used to run a post office and stores from this address.

As a house dating back to at least the eighteenth century and reputedly with a tunnel beneath from the cellar to the church, no doubt there are stories to be told that have been lost in time but in every room and view there is still a pervading sense of its long history. Austenesque in presentation and atmosphere within, situated opposite to the church, this house is part of old village life. From the front of the building one can see it is a property of two halves. The larger half is Georgian, maybe older still in origin, constructed of crafted red brick with stone



lintels - the smaller half is of more regular brickwork, clearly a later addition. Within it is a high archway over a previous passageway, once an entrance for apple-carts to the huge cider press that lay beyond (but which has now found its way to the manor house!). This cottage and others in the row belonged to the Sassoon family estate - evidence of which is in the delightful ancient walled garden that lies behind, now divided into separate plots. Straws has serendipitously retained somewhat the lion’s share, laid initially to a raised terrace with stone steps leading down to an old pond and thence to

lawn, bordered by a yew hedge and a high brick wall, looking out over fields populated with sheep and to open countryside beyond. The rear of the property has been rendered, presumably to create a homogeneous whole - undoubtedly most of what lies beneath it will be of brick construction in keeping with the front. Stepping inside from the front porch onto an original flagged floor, it is clear that the passage of time has taken its toll. There is work to be done to restore this cottage to its full magnificent potential but, with so much


period character and scope, an exciting proposition for anyone seeking a restoration project. As a substantial and charming home, it would be ideal either for a family or just as a tranquil place to retreat from the rigours of city life, being situated in a rural village that yet lies within a five minute drive of Moreton and the mainline train station to London Paddington. The two main reception rooms are elegant, high ceilinged but narrow and cosy with bay windows and fireplaces that are no longer used, doors leading between and up. Across the width of the property is a later addition

... it would be ideal either for a family or just as a tranquil place to retreat from the rigours of city life ...

- a sun room with picture windows set to overlook the garden and views, and next to it a small kitchen leading back through to the dining room. Upstairs on the first floor are three double bedrooms and a shower room. Above, set into the eaves within an exposed ‘A’ frame is a grand master bedroom and a bathroom of luxurious size, with plenty of space for a separate dressing room.

Straws is currently under offer with Fine & Country North Cotswolds. To register your interest for similar properties please contact Tom Burdett, Sales Director, at the offices of Moreton in Marsh on 01608 651000. COTSWOLD-HOMES.COM



Of all the homes in Upper Rissington, none are more sought after than the handful of prestigious officers’ houses designed by renowned architect Sir Edwin Lutyens to be found in a cul-de-sac at the quietest edge of the village, bordering fields and woodland with views towards Oxfordshire. Smith Barry Crescent boasts just six substantial and highly sought-after homes that were originally built for the highestranking officers on the former air base. Of these, Number 9 has undergone a wealth of upgrades and refurbishment throughout in the last eighteen months, and as such is an exceptionally well-presented and attractively finished property today. Just an amble to the nearby primary school, it not only fulfils the ambition of those looking for a perfect family home but also offers a most prestigious address. Bordered by dry-stone walling and a gravelled driveway, offering considerable privacy behind a high beech hedge, there is still plenty of potential to extend given the size of the plot and inherent potential uplift in value, with a generous garden surrounded by mature trees bordered by dry stone walling, backing onto a protected natural open space (designated as such within the village plan) and an attenuation pond at the rear.



The current owners most certainly have design talent – more importantly, they have poured heart and soul into their intended forever family home.


The main ground floor accommodation includes a delightful entrance hall with wooden floors, stairs newly fitted with oak banisters, a dual aspect formal sitting room with picture bay window warmed by a woodburning stove, a stunning central kitchen/ family room fitted out with a huge central breakfast bar and ornate cast radiators, plus two ground floor cloakrooms and a separate utility room. With five double bedrooms on the floor above including a new master en-suite shower room and a newly fitted family bathroom, each room has been redecorated and enhanced with highly attractive white painted shutters to every window. Already sizeable enough for the most thriving of families, the roof space above nonetheless offers clear potential to convert to more accommodation, subject to the necessary planning consents. The current owners most certainly have design talent – more importantly, they have poured heart and soul into their intended forever family home. Clearly no expense has been spared and therefore leaving after such a

short time is something they are doing with deep regret but comes of necessity with a relocation for work.

around freely and we have all made lots of friends.

“We have really loved living here and it’s going to be incredibly hard to leave. It’s genuinely the friendliest place we have ever lived - and we have lived all over the world. There’s a great solace in how safe it is for the children particularly and being out in the countryside gives lots of time for reflection - all these open spaces are very healing. The children can run

“The house has been a great project but more than that, it has been the best family home – it’s really sociable, warm and cosy in winter, private and safe for the children, wonderful with the doors open out onto the garden in the summer – we can’t recommend this house too highly to the lucky ones who get to live here next.

A Cotswold Homes Launch and Open Viewing Day produced multiple viewings on the first day of marketing. Agreed at full asking price, the property exchanged and completed within four weeks. To find out how your property could benefit from a similar marketing strategy please contact Karen Harrison, Principal Director Harrison James & Hardie Fine & Country North Cotswolds, on 01451 822977.



Fosse Ridge House, Halford


A substantial detached family home boasting an abundance of wellproportioned and beautifully presented accommodation.The property is accessed via a gated driveway and is conveniently situated within this popular South Warwickshire village almost equidistant from Stratford upon Avon and Moreton in Marsh. Entrance Hall | Kitchen/Breakfast Room Opening to Family/Dining Room and Snug | Further Sitting Room | Study | Utility Room | WC | Master Bedroom With En-Suite | Three Further Double Bedrooms With One En-suite | Family Bathroom | Carport | Enclosed Garden | Parking For Four Vehicles | EPC Rating: D

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

29 Halifax Way, Moreton in Marsh

£425,000 SALE AGREED

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


A beautifully presented and extremely well proportioned Cotswold stone family home with generous garden and an outdoor swimming pool. Entrance Hall | Kitchen/Family Room Open to Garden Room | Sitting Room | Utility | W.C | Master Bedroom with Bath, Basin and Toilet | Three Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden to Front and Rear | Swimming Pool | Garage | Parking | EPC Rating: E

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

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.

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

17 New Road, Kingham

Spring Cottage, Chipping Norton

£425,000 SALE AGREED

A rare opportunity to purchase a historic townhouse with low maintenance garden, ideally suited to investment or second home buyers. Kitchen | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Three Double Bedrooms | Two Bathrooms | Courtyard Garden | EPC Rating: E

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

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

Red Lion Cottage, Blockley

£385,000 SALE AGREED

A beautifully presented Grade II Listed cottage situated at the highly sought after Dovedale End of Blockley High Street.This double fronted period property has undergone much improvement in recent years, it boasts an abundance of character and charm and currently runs as an extremely successful holiday let. Kitchen | Sitting/Dining Room | Two Bedrooms | Courtyard Garden | EPC Rating: Exempt

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

4 Whitley Way, Moreton in Marsh


A quintessential period cottage situated near the centre of this charming village, the property boasts many original features such an exposed timbers and an open fireplace as well as benefitting from off road parking for two vehicles. Entrance | Sitting/Dining Room | Kitchen | Utility/WC | Two Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden | Parking | EPC Rating: F

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000


A beautifully presented three bedroom home benefitting from a southerly facing rear garden and garage and parking to the side. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility Area | Downstairs WC | Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Two Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garage | Garden | Parking | EPC Rating: B

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

Woodbine Cottage, Blackwell

9 Park Road, Blockley

£285,000 SALE AGREED

A well-presented period cottage with delightful views, situated within this popular North Cotswold village and just a short walk from the village shop with the choice of pubs nearby. Entrance | Sitting Room Open To Kitchen | Two Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden to Rear | EPC Rating: E

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

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Hazelwell, Bourton on the Water

£500,000 SALE AGREED

Occupying a secluded and desirable cul-de-sac 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. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Conservatory | Study/Bedroom | WC | Shower Room | Bedroom | Larder | Large Attic Room | Garden | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: E

Garden Cottage, Bourton on the Water

£495,000 SALE AGREED

A well presented detached Cotswold stone bungalow, situated on a quiet lane and within walking distance of the village centre. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Dining Room | Master Bedroom | En-Suite Shower Room | Bedroom Two | Bathroom | Utility Room | 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

Lulham, Bourton on the Water

1 Glebe Cottages, Hawling

£475,000 SALE AGREED

A four bedroom 1920’s detached family home requiring some updating, situated in a highly desirable location on the Easterly side of Bourton on the Water. The property benefits from scope to extend (subject to the necessary planning consents). Entrance | Sitting Room/Dining Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Cloakroom | Four Bedrooms | Bathroom | Gardens to Front and Rear | Driveway Providing Parking | EPC Rating: D

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


A well presented Cotswold stone three bedroom semi detached house situated in the picturesque hamlet of Hawling. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen | Ground Floor Bathroom | Master Bedroom | En-Suite Shower Room | Two Further Bedrooms | Front and Rear Garden | EPC Rating: F

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

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

7 Whittlestone Hollow, Lower Swell


A Cotswold stone modern cottage style property, in need of some modernisation, set in a small cul-de-sac development within the delightful sought-after village of Lower Swell.The property is available with No Onward Chain.

Stable Cottage, Nether Westcote

£300,000 O.I.E.O

Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen | Three Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden to Front and Rear | Garage | EPC Rating: D

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

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

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

23 Bleriot Road, Upper Rissington

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


Stable Cottage, Ford

£299,950 SALE AGREED

A well-proportioned and extended family home with an attractive garden housing a large summerhouse/home office with light and power.

An exquisite Grade II listed cottage situated in a very accessible and popular location.

Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Family Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility | Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Two Further Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden | Summer House | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: E

Sitting Room/Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Bedroom Two/Dining Room | Master Bedroom | Bathroom | Enclosed Patio Garden | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: Exempt

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

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

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Lutyens Court Upper Rissington

The Officers’ Mess was once a glamorous hub of local high society. Hunt balls were held, ending at dawn after breakfast had been served. Even the Queen Mother came to play, gallantly hosted by the Wing Commander at the nearby ap Ellis House. The 1970s was its heyday, era of the Red Arrows, home to the dashing heroes of the Flying School. It was the place to be seen. Eventually however, the air base was taken over by the Americans and finally abandoned in the glasnost of the1990s, when the MOD sold off everything for private development but the airfield. Standing at the heart of the village, this once proud building was left to slow decay. As the years passed it fell into a monolithic shadow of its former glory. RAF Little Rissington meanwhile became Upper Rissington and all the original houses were refurbished for sale. The new village situated in a golden triangle between Stow, Bourton and Burford, was ’the best kept secret in the North Cotswolds’.



Families flocked to take up residence. Being provided with an Outstanding primary school, a modern village hall and a little row of shops, a balancing number of new build homes arranged in quiet cul-de-sacs and tree-lined avenues were just as eagerly snapped up. Then, almost two decades after the Americans had left the building, attention was turned to the Officers’ Mess. Standing high amongst the most prestigious of addresses in Upper Rissington, Lutyens Court - named after the Arts & Crafts architect who designed the original officers’ houses on Smith Barry Crescent - was at long last magnificently and fully restored, gloriously remodelled into a grand row of elegant town homes. Set back within a broad and newly landscaped courtyard, the whole building is blessed with large picture windows that drench every room in light, facing east and west to enjoy the best of the sunrise and sunset, overlooking wide greens and enjoying soaring views above neighbouring properties to the countryside beyond. The interiors are arranged on three floors, meticulously finished

RAF Little Rissington meanwhile became Upper Rissington and all the original houses were refurbished for sale . The new village situated in a golden triangle between Stow, Bourton and Burford, was ’the best kept secret in the North Cotswolds’.


and decorated, flexibly designed to be amply accommodating whether for a family or a professional couple with lawned gardens to the rear and allocated parking spaces plus visitor parking to the front. Number 4, by Speller Metcalfe, is a particularly good example of this inspired conversion. The current owners only took up residence in December but, having suddenly to relocate north, reluctantly found themselves immediately on the market. Everything is still brand new, decorated in a calming and restorative palette and fitted out immaculately throughout.

A beautiful reception hall opens into a large and generously furnished open-plan kitchen / family room with a glazed door opening onto a private rear garden. A separate study overlooking the front could as easily serve as a TV snug. As such informal day-to-day life can be entirely enjoyed on this ground floor level but sweeping stairs rise up for formal social occasions to a huge sitting room and separate dining room. One of these could be designated as an impressive master bedroom, served by a large first floor family bathroom. Two more gorgeous double en-suite bedrooms are to be found above on the second floor, enjoying the very best of the panoramic views.

As a highly desirable property that is certain to command much interest, offered for sale for ÂŁ399,950 by Fine & Country North Cotswolds, an Open Viewing Day has been arranged for Saturday 9th June. For further information and to book a time to view strictly by prior appointment, contact Karen Harrison at the Bourton on the Water offices on 01451 822977. COTSWOLD-HOMES.COM


8 Smith Barry Road, Upper Rissington


A well-proportioned detached family home boasting a good sized plot and open aspect to the front overlooking the park. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Study | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility Area | Cloakroom | Master Bedroom with En-Suite Bathroom | Three Further Bedrooms | Shower Room | Rear Garden | Double Garage | Driveway Providing Parking for Several Vehicles | EPC Rating: C Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

Green Cottage, Broad Campden


A beautiful period cottage boasting an abundance of character and an attractive garden to the rear, the property is situated in the picturesque village of Broad Campden, just a short walk from the village pub. The property currently operates as a highly successful holiday cottage and can be purchased with contents and future bookings (by separate negotiation). Entrance | Sitting/Dining Room | Kitchen | Two Double Bedrooms | Shower Room | Garden to Rear | EPC Rating: D Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

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15 Cotsmore Close, Moreton in Marsh

£269,950 SALE AGREED

Woodbine Cottage, Bourton on the Water

£385,000 SOLD

A well presented three bedroom semi-detached home occupying a quiet residential cul-de-sac on the Eastern edge of the town.The property benefits from a well-proportioned rear garden, off road parking and a single garage.

Set back quietly from the street, looking out on a pretty front garden and blessed with two off-road parking spaces,Woodbine Cottage is situated just a short stroll from the picturesque high street of Bourton on the Water.

Entrance Hall | Sitting/Dining Room | Kitchen | Bedroom/Dining Room | W.C Two First Floor Double Bedrooms | Study | Bathroom | Garage | Garden Parking | EPC Rating: D

Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Dining Room | Bedroom 3/Office | Shower Room | Two First Floor Bedrooms | Shower Room | Garden | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: D 01451 822 977 01451 822 977

4 Swan Close, Moreton in Marsh

£275,000 SALE AGREED

1 Hidcote Close, Bourton on the Water

£269,950 SALE AGREED

A semi detached two bedroom bungalow situated just a short walk from the town centre, the property benefits from a garage and off road parking and offers scope to extend (subject to the necessary planning consents).

A well presented three bedroom end terrace house situated on the edge of this popular Cotswold village.The property is available with no onward chain, and would be ideal for investment and first time buyers.

Entrance | Sitting Room | Kitchen | Two Bedrooms | Bathroom | Conservatory | Garage | Garden | Parking | No Onward Chain | EPC Rating: D

Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Cloakroom | Master Bedroom | En-Suite Shower Room | Two Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Rear Garden | Garage | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: B 01608 651000 01451 822 977

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What our clients say Dear Karen, Now that we have completed I would like to say how impressed I have been by my experience of Cotswold Homes Online. The Cotswold Homes e-mailer launch campaign combined with an Open Viewing Day did the trick despite a weekend of heavy snow, producing several viewings and an offer. Negotiated to just under the asking price by Sophie and overseen smoothly by Steven, the sales process from launch to completion was done and dusted in less than twelve weeks. You persuaded me that I would be able to benefit from this new platform and you delivered exactly as you promised. Many thanks to Cotswold Homes and Harrison James & Hardie - we couldn’t be more pleased. Mr W, Bourton on the Water

Good morning Karen I just wanted to drop you a quick line and thank you and your team for all the hard work and help with selling our house. The service level experienced from start to finish was fantastic. Steve has been exceptional and a real credit to you and James. We couldn’t be happier regardless of what happens with the onward. I know the team has really looked after our interests and we are very grateful. Mr B, Bourton on the Water

Karen Harrison was already considered an expert in the local marketplace for some years before Harrison James & Hardie was launched in June 2000. The new company proved an astonishing success in securing eighty instructions across the North Cotswolds within the first four months. Quickly established as market leaders, renowned for service standards and consistently outstanding results, Harrison James & Hardie is still at the top of its game after two decades. The directors have always embraced change and stayed ahead of the curve with a policy of continuing investment into new technologies and marketing methods, with an emphasis on the importance of industrystandard qualifications for every member of staff. A particular achievement has been the ongoing development of a bespoke regional property and lifestyle platform www.Cotswold-Homes. com. Launched before the advent of Rightmove and when no other local agencies had such a thing, within three years their property portal was attracting a million hits a month from all over the world. today has matured into a wonderful lifestyle and property platform that commands thousands of unique visitors every month, supported by a registered database of 9000+ local residents and frequent visitors to the North Cotswolds plus a much-admired glossy quarterly magazine with a readership of around 60,000 and an active social media following of thousands on Facebook and Twitter. As a highly effective regional marketing platform with the power to reach a defined target audience, Cotswold Homes has now enabled the design of a luxury hybrid agency model. Cotswold Homes Online launched in March 2018. Suited, says Karen Harrison, for all sectors from starter homes to premium upper quartile, a standard package includes a presence on and Rightmove plus optional sales services and branding upgrades.


Cotswold Homes Online - A new regional model bespoke for the Cotswold marketplace Here, Karen answers some of the most frequent questions about the decision to launch an online-only platform with Cotswold Homes. For more information or to book a consultation with Karen please telephone 01451 822977.

hat is different about Cotswold Homes Online from other national online / hybrid models? Cotswold Homes is particularly effective because it is designed to target a specific regional audience. Thousands are registered to receive our e-mailers about local events and competitions as well as property news. Many of those may not actively be thinking about moving but if the right house comes up will decide to view. As such it’s great for capture of an affluent local marketplace that has always been motivated by desire rather than need to move.

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.

Used in its purest form with Rightmove as an online-only platform it provides the ability to broadcast to the widest possible number of likely buyers at a very competitive price point. Unlike a standard online model our clients still have invaluable access to the most proactive elements of successful and traditional high street estate agency - phone-outs, accompanied viewings, sales negotiation and sales progression. Why do you offer freelance sales services with Harrison James & Hardie? As a hybrid platform this provides complete peace of mind. Clients know there is a motivated and experienced local high street team actively working to achieve a sale. It may seem counter-intuitive but our no-saleno-fee fee is expensive by necessity because we take the risk and burden of all costs until exchange. Bear in mind we have sixteen qualified and experienced staff working out of two flagship high street offices. On average we spend around £6,000 per instruction. With Cotswold Homes the risk is shared with itemised billing rather than a standard percentage fee at the end of the transaction. The cost comes down because we charge only on the level of resources, expertise and time spent on achieving a result. It makes things



fairer and far more affordable on both sides. This new model offers the same excellent provision of expertise and exposure, accessing the very best in local high street agency and upper quartile marketing if required, for around half the average cost of our no-saleno-fee agreement. As such it is far superior to national online / hybrid models. Is going online-only ever a good idea? Wouldn’t you always advocate traditional methods? Well, all of us have one house that we drive past and think: ‘If that came onto the market I would buy it.’ If you know you have a desirable home that could just sell in a single day on the first viewing at the full asking price and you might save yourself £5,000 or £10,000 on sales fees? It’s seductive, I will give you that. However, I would argue you still need to ensure the widest possible audience because the most desirable properties might achieve far more than the asking price. Last year we sold a property in Blockley at £100,000 over the asking price after doing seventeen viewings in one day. That’s a bit of a nobrainer in underlining the value of using a really good high street agency. I can understand why vendors want to take the risk but the virtual equivalent of a window card and a for sale board isn’t going to ensure best price even if it brings a few buyers straight to your door. With Cotswold Homes we have developed a perfect marketing and sales campaign strategy that allows such vendors to test the saleability of their home without being tied into a long and expensive sole agency. You can have the whole shebang - it’s your call. A bespoke Launch Pad e-mailer, an Open Viewing Day, boosted social media posts on Facebook, a glamorous editorial feature in the magazine, the power and reach of Fine & Country. We have the capacity to reach thousands


of potential buyers at local, regional and national level in a matter of days. If your property does sell quickly then the costs will still be considerably lower than a percentage fee but you can feel confident that you have introduced the widest possible number of buyers and therefore that you have definitely achieved the best possible sale price. Do we need the expense of an accompanied sales service? The first viewing is online these days, for sure. That’s why all our instructions are professionally photographed. It’s a visual universe. You get one chance to attract an enquiry online. If the buyer thinks you’re on at too high a price or poorly presented you just won’t get a look in. The internet is just an information tool though - too much to take in, too random. Dismissed on a photograph, hit and miss. We often agree sales on properties that have originally been overlooked by that buyer. It’s our job to press home all the specific benefits of location, the unseen potential of the plot and the flexible arrangement of accommodation. To listen to someone who really knows their stuff is hugely beneficial. Accordingly at least half our viewings each week are self-generated. We spend a great deal of time chasing up on enquiries, phoning out on new instructions, re-qualifying applicants, refining our knowledge of their circumstances, prompting them for offers, thinking laterally, offering a few curve balls for consideration. The internet and social media are amazing tools but nothing can substitute the ability of an experienced negotiator with superlative local knowledge who will persuade buyers to view on the basis of an in-depth understanding of their needs and the suitability of every property in their price range. Great local estate agency is all about capturing those potential buyers and generating fresh activity. It is vital to register each person properly. Not to do so is such a wasted opportunity. And that’s just the beginning - getting people to the door is the easy bit. No one should ever do their own viewings or try to negotiate their own sale and don’t get me started about the need for dedicated sales progression. The national average fall-through rate of one in three. Ours is half that precisely because we have a dedicated and experienced manager doing nothing but sales progression. That’s

‘expensive’ but as only one in six of our sales fall through it’s a good kind of expensive! Without this dedicated approach our conversion would be only half as good. We habitually convert 95% of our instructed stock to sold / let each year. The national average for high street agents is 50% and with standard online agents it’s much less - our research in the North Cotswolds found it was around 25%. I have looked at Cotswold Homes Online - as soon as you go over £350,000 it isn’t cheap? Cotswold Homes is definitely not a cheap brand. It’s a luxury online service - flexible, with control over exposure, services, marketing costs and brand. That’s why we have a threetier branded approach. We match typical cost at entry level because these vendors are most likely to be worried about affordability above all else. Of course we can accompany a viewing on a two-bedroom starter home in a fraction of the time spent on a country house with land at £1.2 million so there are natural economies. Price is also easier to ascertain and negotiations are generally more straightforward. But as you go up in value there’s far more at stake in order to get best price. Professional print marketing, national advertising, the reach of the brand, the seniority of staff what they know and how they communicate, the confidence they instil - and the time required to do a proper job. We haven’t become market leaders by cutting corners but by being the best at what we do in every sector. Upper quartile sales is about service, knowledge, skill so you need the most experienced senior staff and the best marketing profile, therefore of course it’s more expensive. Can I use Cotswold Homes Online if I am on the market with another online agency? Yes you can - with any type of agency. Cotswold Homes is a marketing platform with freelance sales services. If your agent hasn’t done a viewing for weeks you don’t have to wait until the end of their notice period. They are only tying you in because you feel it’s wasted money to go elsewhere if you have to pay another agency fee. But nothing comes of nothing. You might spend another thousand or two with us but we can help to widen reach, to accompany viewings, negotiate your sale on your behalf,

certainly to a better level than you could on your own - in which case we will have paid for ourselves already - and we’ll keep a really close eye on that sale all the way to exchange of contracts. Better still, don’t go online-only in the first place. Remember after the first couple of days, let alone weeks, the average number of click-throughs on new instructions online will plummet exponentially. What happens when that first flurry of curiosity dies away? There’s no strategy. No local staff. No answers but to recommend a price reduction. What is the point of ‘saving’ £5,000 on sales fees if you have to reduce your price by £20,000 to generate fresh interest? Am I cheapening the value and profile of my home by going for an online-only option? The general quality of estate agency has undoubtedly been compromised over the last couple of years, galvanised by those who dress up cheap marketing as a substitute for real sales skills. You only have to read industry publications to discover mounting concern over average length of time on market, slowing transaction times on sales, the worryingly high level of fall throughs. Online disruptors are responsible for a great deal of this because they are all about volume not service. As ever, if you wish to achieve the best price in the shortest possible time you have to look for the company with the most Sold / Let boards in your area. Despite reports of a weakening marketplace, falling prices, panicking landlords and a slowing economy we have recorded a better result than last year to date. Our instruction levels, our sales figures, our lettings figures, our exchanges, our let completes, are all up. We only launched Cotswold Homes in March and we’ve already sold 75% of our stock. You can have whichever badge you wish. We have simply worked out a way to give access to the skills and expertise for which we have always been renowned in a more affordable package - that’s all. Whether we act as Cotswold Homes Online, on a traditional sole agency with Harrison James & Hardie or badged as Fine & Country North Cotswolds, it really doesn’t matter. Our ability is what counts. It’s still the same team working behind the scenes. We don’t distinguish between how those applicants arrive at our door - they’re all coming out to view!




A luxury online property platform designed bespoke for the Cotswold marketplace

Offering complete freedom of choice, flexibility and transparency on marketing costs and sales services, Cotswold Homes Online offers a unique three-tier approach:

Online, Traditional and Bespoke Online Affordable online-only marketing via Cotswold Homes Online / Rightmove From £850 plus VAT (£1020), to include: • Formal marketing consultation by Harrison James & Hardie • Professional floor plan and EPC • Professional photography • Professional online brochure • Property Questionnaire • Compliance with Money Laundering regulations • Presence on Rightmove and • Cotswold Homes Online For Sale Board • Inclusion in one standard property Cotswold Homes e-newsletter




Traditional Optional sales services From £500 plus VAT (£600) per freelance service or offered as an exclusive discounted traditional sole agency package with Harrison James & Hardie.

Bespoke Upper quartile marketing with Fine & Country North Cotswolds Per bespoke option from £500 plus VAT (£600): A range of online and luxury print options specifically designed to attract the London International / investment marketplace including:

“With Cotswold Homes Online our optional freelance services, exclusively provided by Harrison James & Hardie, are designed to give you complete peace of mind throughout the process for considerably less cost than our traditional sole agency, simply billed on a quarterly basis and deferred until a successful exchange of contracts. “Cotswold Homes Online also offers an exclusive discount of up to 50% on our sole agency package, allowing you to upgrade

• Fine & Country Gold Pack including a professional printed brochure, presence in Refined magazine and on Fine & Country’s website plus access to advertising in Times / Telegraph and free national media PR • Launch Pad Bespoke E-mailer to our subscribed database of 9000+ local residents and frequent visitors to the Cotswolds (including 10% of users from America, Europe and Australia) • Open Viewing Day attended by a senior member of staff, usually a Saturday, for three hours • Boosted PR posts via our social media platforms to thousands of

your profile to Harrison James & Hardie or Fine & Country North

subscribed local followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Cotswolds. Whichever brand you choose, now you can afford the best

• Property Showcase: the most beautiful Cotswold homes featuring

marketing platform and the best sales team in the North Cotswold

as editorial showcase spreads on, designed to


highlight our wonderful traditional Cotswold lifestyle and geo located on our Interactive Map

With experienced and consistent staff working as a unified, trained and qualified team from two flagship North Cotswold high street offices, Harrison James & Hardie ensures peace of mind from initial marketing consultation to a successful exchange of contracts. To include:

• Feature property editorial in Cotswold Homes Magazine our glossy Lifestyle and Property magazine is distributed freely to thousands of homes and high streets throughout the Cotswolds each quarter

Accompanied Viewings: • Detailed registration and pre-qualification of all applicants booking to view • Accompanied viewings (9 am - 7 pm weekdays; 9 am - 5 pm Fri / Sat) • Informal viewing feedback within 1 working day • Formal viewing report within 2 working days • Formal marketing reviews with senior member of staff Professional Sales Negotiation and Dedicated Sales Progression: • Sales negotiation conducted on your behalf • Formal pre-sales qualification of applicant • Detailed pre-sales purchaser questionnaire • Finance, chain and timescale checks • Collection of ID and all regulatory paperwork • Preparation of Memorandum of Sale documentation • Formal instruction of Solicitors • Preparation of comparable reports for survey • Liaison with professionals throughout the chain • Formal weekly sales progress report




Property styling I’ve heard of the TV show House Doctor but would using a home stylist or stager improve the value and saleability of my home before selling?

Hugo Fleming is a House Doctor and director of award-winning Cranberryhome, a property styling and interior design company based in Buckinghamshire. Often found at Ask an Expert at Grand Designs Live, Hugo is in demand as an interior designer all over the UK. Focusing on property styling and enhancing homes, Cranberryhome works with Fine & Country to help homeowners to improve saleability and selling price of homes across the Cotswolds and the Home Counties. Visit or email



veryone loves their own home. A home is our sanctuary, entertainment space and living quarters, however, when people decide to move for whatever reason, your lovely home ceases to be your home any longer and becomes an “open house” for potential new owners.

appearance and you will typically make excuses for any areas of neglect. Potential viewers however see it all and can easily be put off and move on to the next property or offer you a lower price costing you thousands off your realistic asking price.

Staging or styling your property in readiness for selling makes obvious sense. Living in your property for so many years you will naturally be a little blind to its condition, style and

A home styling service like the House Doctor TV series is designed to be a quick low cost and effective way to style your property with a professional team. An in-depth real time


Experienced home stylists use subliminal sensory stimuli to connect buyers to the property, helping them to visualise themselves in your home. After all, you only have one chance to make a first impression.

appraisal of your property in its current state, research in the property value and potential value are looked at initially and a plan put together for preparing your house for sale with different cost options. Expect your professional home stylist to recommend: de-cluttering, de-personalising, purposing each room correctly as well as the potential to freshen up walls, flooring, tiling and even upgrade your kitchen. Experienced home stylists use subliminal sensory stimuli to connect buyers to the property, helping them to visualise themselves in your home. After all, you only have one chance to make a first impression. Professionally staged and styled homes often go onto reach a higher sale price compared to a non-staged home. A difference of 8-10% improvement in sale price is often achieved for

as little as a 1% investment in the property. Buyers are becoming much more savvy these days, most don’t have time to renovate or clean a house before moving in, so investing in your property by using a House-Doctorstyle styling service will ensure your home sells quicker and for the best possible market price. Your professional photographs will engage online viewers more effectively as a result of presenting your home professionally. Think of marketing your property as your CV and the viewing of the property as the interview! So investing in your home by engaging with a professional home stager will enable you to move on quicker and make your estate agents much more effective.



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I have read that London’s rental market is 40% down on last year - is it time to ditch my lettings property?

here have been a number of negative impacts on the lettings marketplace the first major attempt to slow things down was in April 2016 when George Osborne introduced an additional stamp duty tax of 3% for investors. A year later landlords’ relief on mortgages was significantly reduced and in November 2017 stamp duty was abolished below £300,000, creating more competition for entry-level properties from first-time buyers and young families.

those charges. It is possible some lettings agencies will simply not survive.

Now, the government has indicated that the practice of charging tenant fees will be abolished.

They are not - in the main - moving here for work except in the seasonal tourist sector. Equally there are a great number of families choosing to rent here rather than buy, determined to stay put for as long as possible.

Abi Hemmings Says:

Here, too, is a low volume marketplace there are not many one bed flats and two bedroom terraced homes to be had. What is available in the private sector is selling in excess of £250,000. Whilst the first-time buyer marketplace has definitely shown signs of recovery they will be encouraged to take advantage of a growing stock of affordable shared ownership - such homes, of course, cannot be rented out and are free from the competition of investors.”

‘This, for London, will have a huge impact as a high volume marketplace where most properties are multiple occupancy. As people move around constantly for work, an ever-shifting number of sole tenants are being charged separate administration fees - some of which are justifiable and some simply daylight robbery - thereby enabling agents to take huge annual fees from the turnover of every new transaction. The loss of such fees will make a vast difference to bottom line for agents in this sector - costs will have to be passed on to landlords given such administration fees often provide the bulk of their income but it will be impossible to justify the level of



However whilst the same rules apply, the Cotswold marketplace behaves very differently. Young singletons and couples are looking to rent but in the main seek security and longevity, planning to stay in the same place for a couple of years whilst taking first tentative steps away from the parental home or testing a relationship by living together before getting married.

Jude Farrell Says: “Meanwhile, despite rumours of a failing market in London we are seeing the opposite here - we are replacing outgoing tenants within days, often on

the first viewing, often with competing interest and the family marketplace is even more competitive - a recent newbuild four bedroom house in Moreton had six viewings on the first day it came available. Unlike volume town marketplaces, particularly in the entry level sector, values in the Cotswolds maintain for longer and recover far more quickly. Over the last ten years and despite a massive recession prices quickly recovered and since then have accelerated away - a two-bedroom modern starter home in Bourton on the Water, Upper Rissington or Moreton in Marsh is worth at least 20% more today than it was in 2007. So if you are an ‘accidental’ or ‘dinner party’ landlord with a high loan-tovalue buy-to-let mortgage I can see why you might decide to sell. Annual profit margins have significantly dropped. But let’s not forget that the value of the purchase has considerably increased since you bought, even within the last couple of years. This is an extremely affluent area where demand - even with the increasing number of available new homes - has always outstripped supply. As such cash investor / portfolio landlords will be keenly aware of the strong underlying capital growth of their investment and will be prepared to take a far more long term view.”





Caroline Gee

Amy Coldicot

Director of Lettings

Company Lister (Lettings)

Caroline first set up the Lettings department in 2009. Within months she had secured a large share of the marketplace in the North Cotswolds by offering the same superlative service standards and outstanding results for which the company has always been renowned. Today, she oversees two teams with all staff qualified to ARLA standard, based in Bourton on the Water and Moreton in Marsh.

Abi Hemmings Lettings Manager Bourton on the Water With ten years’ experience of the London and Cotswold Lettings marketplace, Abi Hemmings NFOP is Lettings Manager at the Bourton on the Water offices of Harrison James & Hardie. To speak to Abi, telephone 01451 822977.

Jude Farrell Lettings Manager Moreton in Marsh The company recently set up a second Lettings Department at their Moreton in Marsh branch run by Jude Farrell, who with ten years’ experience of the local marketplace previously worked for a large corporate with 300 managed properties. To speak to Jude, telephone 01608 651000.

Recently having returned from maternity leave, Amy has at least ten years’ experience of the North Cotswold lettings marketplace, specialising in the upper quartile sector with Fine & Country North Cotswolds. To speak to Amy, please telephone 01608 651000.

Deirdre Hughes Managed Lets Administrator Deirdre first began working with Karen and Caroline in 1994. Having left to have a family, she returned in 2015 to oversee the company’s managed lettings list of over a hundred properties. To speak to Deirdre please telephone 01451 822977.

Katy Hackling Senior Lettings Negotiator / Lister Currently on maternity leave Katy will be returning in January 2019.

If your property isn’t performing to expectation, why not book a marketing consultation to discover exactly why Harrison James & Hardie is the leading agency in the North Cotswold marketplace!




RENOVATIONS AND RESTORATIONS Michael Pestridge offers a tour of a historic Cotswold property, after Pestridge Construction were tasked to preserve and enhance the distinctive original structure

Tucked away within the rolling hills of the Cotswolds lies an idyllic hamlet, where this distinguished property takes centre stage. We were engaged to further enhance the entrance hallway and reception room, whilst retaining the charming characteristics befitting a Cotswold residence. From the outset, our client required absolute perfection - which, as per Pestridge’s philosophy, we are committed to delivering. Firstly the hall extension and porch works were completed creating a beautifully reworked hallway and gallery landing, providing a wealth of space and light transforming the core of the home. We believe the core of the property was constructed as a show of craftsmanship, using only the best materials. It was paramount that these key features were implemented in the renovation and restoration works, in turn preserving the essence of the building. From commencement, only the very best materials were to be sourced. These materials skilfully and lovingly utilised by the craftsmen have created a truly stunning and unique Cotswold home.




Approaching the south wing you are greeted by the newly formed solid French oak porch. In time, the honey coloured oak will soften to mellow grey tones.

wrapping the building is traditional lime render, which perfectly harmonises and further enhances the aesthetics and ethics of the development.

Nestling beneath the porch enclosure lies the beautifully formed stonework sourced from the local quarry. The soft tone and texture of the stone is identical to the that of the original structure.

Opening the substantial solid oak front door with hand-spun bulls eye glazing, leads you to the opulence of the newly formed hallway and gallery landing. The beautifully warm limestone slabs (sourced from the local quarry), enhanced by the underfloor heating, lead you into the hallway and landing. The room is flooded with light from the solid oak dormer window which beautifully complements the form of the porch and creates an impressive setting for the client’s

A fundamental requirement was to ensure that the new stone work complemented and enhanced the characteristics of the original, without falsifying the latter addition to the dwelling. Abutting the new masonry and

uniquely sourced oak chandelier which hangs proudly over the gallery landing. Moving into the music room - now home to the Grand Piano - you will see the natural limestone fire surround and hearth, again locally sourced, forming the centrepiece of the room. Either side of the chimney breast are two bespoke cabinets enhancing the proportions of the room and providing perfect storage, display shelving and lighting. The unit also conceals modern luxuries so that aesthetics are not compromised during times when entertainment equipment is not required.




“We believe the core of the property was constructed as a show of craftsmanship, using only the best materials. It was paramount that these key features were implemented in the renovation and restoration works, in turn preserving the essence of the building.� Returning to the hallway, a discrete water closet, perfectly placed, provides practicality and functionality with concealing the underfloor heating system and electrical systems. The beauty of the elm worktop proudly wraps around the room, echoing the use of natural wood in the shelving of the music room cabinets. Gazing up you can appreciate the form and position of the solid oak beams which add another element to the space, light and elegance of the room. Moving upstairs you are greeted by the solid oak staircase, leading you onto the gallery landing. From this unique viewpoint you may note the simple and elegant stop chamfer detailing which, upon closer inspection, is evident throughout and echoing fine detailing from the original core structure. The gallery landing not only provides a fantastic viewpoint of the wonderful chandelier but also offers fantastic vistas of both the south and west gardens. From this vantage point you can also fully appreciate the open-aired nature of the development, the beauty and cohesion of the space. Phase one now being complete, the client is able to utilise and appreciate the space, design and light to its full potential.

For more information about Pestridge Construction and their projects, visit +44 (0) 1452 371028 | 124



Maximising Holiday Let Profits during the Summer Season I hear that holiday cottages make most of their money in summer. How can I maximise my income this season? otswold holiday cottages can be a great investment all year round. However the demand and the rental rates are at their highest during the summer, reaching a peak during the school holidays. If you get your letting tactics right, you can make the summer season very profitable! We have summarised our three top tips for you to consider for the 2018 summer season:

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.

Be flexible with arrival and departure days In the past, some holiday letting agents and owners thought that the best way to make money was to force guests to book fixed, weekonly stays in summer, starting and ending on a specific day. Nowadays, telling potential guests when they have to start and end their holiday will severely reduce your potential holiday letting profits. Guests want flexibility and they are willing to pay for it. Consequently, if you can offer arrival and departure days that match guests’ requirements, you will have much higher levels of demand. To turn this demand into super profits it is crucial to know how to price these flexible booking slots… Use booking slot based pricing Should you charge the same for a three-night booking from a Wednesday as a three-night booking from a Friday? The first booking cuts across both a mid-week and a weekend booking slot, whereas the second booking fits perfectly into a weekend booking slot, leaving the adjacent mid-week slots fully available. Consequently, while guests should be able to book either option, the price for the Wednesday start day should be higher, reflecting the fact that it significantly reduces the chances of selling the remainder of either booking slot. With a properly designed pricing system, you can offer flexible arrival and departure days, safe in the knowledge that when bookings don’t



align perfectly in the calendar, they have been priced to take this into account. In practice, understanding and applying booking slot based pricing is very complex, but it is essential to making your summer as successful as possible. Get the best price, but don’t let your cottage go unsold! Some owners and agents believe that variable pricing just means discounting and underselling cottages. The reality is that an effective variable pricing strategy is essential for maximising holiday letting profits. There is no ‘right’ rate for a holiday cottage, as some guests will be willing to pay more for their perfect cottage than others. Consequently, if you think a booking slot might be worth around £900, why not try selling it for £1,000 initially? If it sells at this price, that’s £100 more profit, and if it hasn’t sold by a certain point, then why not try £950? The old fashioned view is that this is a discount, and must therefore be bad – in reality of course, the price is still £50 higher than you were aiming for! Without a variable pricing strategy you will either be selling some booking slots too cheaply, which costs you money, or leaving lucrative booking slots unsold by trying to sell them for too much, which also costs you money. This is particularly important during summer, as rates are at their highest and the room for flexibility is greatest. In the example above, even if the booking slot ended up selling for £800, this is still much better than your cottage going unsold. At Character Cottages we are experts in marketing and pricing luxury Cotswold Cottages. If you have a stylish Cotswold property and you would like to know more about its holiday letting potential, please get in touch with us by emailing letmycottage@, or calling us on 020 8935 5375 during normal office hours.

Dunn House, Upper Rissington


Located down a quiet lane with stunning views of open countryside, Dunn House has been sympathetically constructed from Cotswold stone and is offered with no onward chain.The four bedroom detached property has been finished to an extremely high standard, with features including oak flooring, oak lintels, and a wood burning stove.

Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen | Utility Room | Three Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Gardens to Front and Rear | Gated Off Road Parking | EPC Rating:TBC

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

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


Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the picturesque Cotswold village of Sherborne a small cluster of ex-local authority properties on Haycroft Road enjoy an extraordinarily lovely position. High above the Sherborne valley, Number 7 is set back from the quiet country lane and is blessed with a truly stunning outlook. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility Room | Three Double Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Gardens to Front and Rear | EPC Rating:TBC

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


Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this pretty ex-local authority Cotswold stone end-terrace cottage occupies a wonderfully peaceful location, with extensive gardens and views overlooking glorious countryside in the desirable village of Lower Swell.

Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Family Room | Study | WC | Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Guest Bedroom with En-Suite | Two Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Garden | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: B

7 Haycroft Road, Sherborne

3 Church Piece, Lower Swell

15 The Park, Stow on the Wold

OIEO £250,000

A Cotswold stone three bedroom property occupying a tucked away yet central position within the town and requiring some updating.The property benefits from a well-proportioned garden to the rear and a driveway providing off road parking. No Onward Chain. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen | Dining Room | Three Bedrooms | Bathroom | WC | Workshop | Garden | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: D

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

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Winter’s Toll: Fixing Seasonal Wear on Cotswold Properties My drystone garden wall has developed an alarming bulge this winter. What do I do? his last winter has been a really horrid one! First there was interminable damp, then there were several heavy dumps of snow accompanied by some bitterly cold weather. Then there would be one or two suddenly warm days followed by plummeting temperatures again, and then more wet…not surprisingly the garden has been sulking and the poor birds don’t know if they are coming or going.

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

This type of weather really takes its toll on Cotswold limestone. Many of you will have noticed loose slates on stone roofs caused by the weight of snow or laminated tiles caused by the frost. Often, the tiles or slates hang on and then drop off when the weather has suddenly turned warm. This is a real case of ‘last straws and camels’ in that the natural movement caused by the warming and drying of timbers and stones in the sun will cause a slate or tile to break free. Similarly with your drystone wall. These are a real craft to build and one which is fortunately not lost. ‘Drystone’ means that there is no cement or mortar holding the stones together, but the friction of the stones themselves. Large foundation stones are used at the base of the wall and are partly below ground to ensure a level area. The walls are then built up with the end of each stone facing outward and built as two faces, some two feet thick at the bottom and narrowing together as the wall increases in height so that a cross-section through the wall is an elongated triangle with the top sliced off. Larger stones are used in the bottom courses. The centre of the wall is filled with smaller stones known as ‘hearting’ and absolutely never gravel or earth! Halfway up the wall crosswise stones are put in every metre or so to bond the wall. These are called ‘through stones’ and bind the two faces together. The face stones are wedged in place with ‘pinning stones’ which are



more small stones. The ‘second lift’ are slightly smaller face stones to build the top half of the wall and then the ‘coping’ finishes off the top. It is essential that the joints between the stones of one course do not lie above the joint of the course below – the stones should overlap to provide strength. A good drystone wall will last for years but sadly they can become damaged and bulging is usually a sign that the wall is about to fail. Ivy and creepers are often culprits, gardeners sometimes plant the walls to be more decorative but this can allow water to penetrate into the structure and damage to the stones is then caused by frost action. Ivy or creeper growth should be cut or weed-killed first, then left to die back. Then the dead strands should be carefully pulled away, not just ripped out! Foxes, badgers and pets will sometimes decide to use a lower area of wall as a motorway and small paws can, over time, create quite a lot of damage. Recent weather conditions have been extremely severe for these natural components. There has been some very learned work carried out on drystone walls with scientific studies set up to examine the mechanisms by which walls fail. There is also the phenomenon of ‘stable bulging’, observed where the wall has suffered some movement but will not get any worse. I suggest you contact a local stone-walling expert – they can be found through the Dry Stone Walling Association which has local branches and ask them to restore your wall. It is well worth doing, not that expensive and the walls are an intrinsic asset and part of the Cotswold vernacular. PS. Remember to ask a roofer to overhaul your Cotswold stone roofs this season after such a severe winter!


Which Search Should I Choose? I am buying a property in glorious countryside but, having spoken to various solicitors, all seem to suggest different searches. I am worried about development around the house and flooding particularly. What do you suggest?

do completely sympathise with your predicament as there are many available searches out there in the legal marketplace. It is vitally important that you choose the right ones so that you go into the purchase with your eyes open as to potential issues that could affect your practical enjoyment of the house.

Simon David is Managing Director at Thomas Legal Group. 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 we deliver the highest standards of service. He is a member of the Law Society Property Section.

The most important search to carry out is the local authority search. This is a standard set of questions that the local authority will answer and will include information on the planning history, footpaths within the property, any enforcement notices as well as other very relevant information. Be warned though that the search is only carried out against the house and not surrounding land so you will need to instruct your solicitor to raise a specific question with the local authority about this. The best advice is probably for you to chat to a local planning officer directly about any development around the house that you are concerned about as they are usually very helpful. If you don’t have time to do this then instruct your solicitor to do a planning search which will give you some idea of the planning applications made within a certain radius of the house usually over the last five years. As for the flooding, again do some research yourself as there is lots of information online via websites such as the Environment Agency. Instruct your solicitor to carry out an environmental search and make sure that this will cover flood risk as well as other environmental issues like historic contamination of the land.

What other searches should I think about then if any? You should get a drainage and water search carried out just to make sure that the property is connected to both and also to see where any pipes are on your land. Remember that if you are looking to extend the house at a later date and you want to build over a sewer pipe, you will need a Build Over Agreement from the relevant water company. You may have also seen sinkholes mentioned in the press recently where land has simply collapsed very suddenly for no apparent reason. You may want to consider a specialist search to be carried out that looks at historical ground uses around the house such as old quarries or mines as these are often a cause of ground collapse. Finally, I would also order a search that will cover energy and infrastructure issues like solar farms, wind farms, HS2 and Crossrail. As the drive for alternative clean energy sources gets bigger it is entirely possible that a wind turbine farm could be on your doorstep instead of a housing development. So what will all this cost? A comprehensive search pack is going to cost you around £400 approximately. On the basis that you are spending a huge amount of money on buying your property, don’t scrimp on the searches only to find the diggers move in to the field next door the week after you collect the keys to your dream home.



Profile for Cotswold Homes

Cotswold Homes Summer 2018 Edition  


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