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Life After Nell Exclusive interview with Lil Rice, Gifford’s Circus Producer A Winter’s Tale A story fit for our times, brilliant new production at the RSC RIP MC Beaton Wise words from the famed author of Agatha Raisin Hot Property A bumper spring crop of Cotswold homes on the market Competitions Cheltenham Races, Giffords Circus, The RSC and more


Path to Spring


Welcome to the Spring 2020 edition of Cotswold Homes Magazine. The path to spring has felt pretty blustery and wet this year, thanks to storms Dennis, Ciara and Jorge. Now we can relish longer days and calmer weather at last!

However, the world around us is changing faster than ever before and nowhere is this more apparent than our increasingly unpredictable climate system. Faced with the catastrophic evidence of climate inaction — from the Australian bushfires to flooded British towns and villages — people around the world are paying more attention to environmental issues. That’s why, in this seasonal edition, we’ve asked our business experts and editorial contributors to tell us how they are embracing the transition to a greener economy and/or changing the way they do business. Miss Dashboard has taken the future of motoring for a test drive (namely in the form of the thrilling Tesla Model 3 ), Anna McCurragh talks about the eco-measures she and her husband have introduced to their Cotswold farm, Rev. Katrina Scott reveals how the Diocese of Gloucester is responding to the climate emergency and, in our Hot Property section, new columnist Ashleigh Clarke discusses how to make the most of green technology in new-build homes. Since the publication of our last magazine, two of the Cotswolds’ brightest talents have been lost; Nell Gifford, the visionary and beloved ring-mistress of Giffords Circus, and famed mystery writer M.C. Beaton, who lived in Blockley. Nell’s niece, Lil Rice, tells us how she’s carrying on her aunt’s legacy as the Circus’ 20th anniversary spectacular, The Hooley, approaches; meanwhile, we’ve done a little digging through the archives to bring you the wit and wisdom of M.C. Beaton as told to Cotswold Homes Magazine over the years. In Hot Property, we have a bumper crop of beautiful homes for sale in the North Cotswolds and an array of local experts give their advice on all things related to the property industry, from the value of good design to investing in bricks and mortar. And last but not least, don’t miss our pick of wonderful forthcoming Cotswold events and a new batch of brilliant Cotswold competitions. Enjoy!

Cover Artist Cover image: Kitchen Orchids by artist Lucy Pratt, cropped (Original 24 x 30 inches, Oil on Canvas) Lucy is represented by Stow-on-the-Wold’s Fosse Gallery. See more of Lucy’s beautiful work at www.lucypratt.com

04 Competitions

Win tickets to Cheltenham Racecourse, Giffords Circus & more

08 Lil Rice

The Giffords Circus producer on Nell’s Legacy


The Royal Shakespeare Company

Take a peek at The RSC’s new productions

Wise words from the bestselling author

Model 3

Test-driving the electric supercar

A grand day out!

Our top picks for Spring

22 Remembering M.C. Beaton 26 Miss Dashboard - Tesla 32 Andoversford Races 36 Events

56 Hot Property

Beautiful homes & expert advice

Cotswold Homes Magazine Our next edition, Summer 2020 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 01608 651000 or email: Editor’s Desk: editor@cotswold-homes.com Property: karen@harrisonjameshardie.co.uk Marketing & Sales: keelin@cotswold-homes.com Website & Admin: admin@cotswold-homes.com Design







Take a trip to the thrilling final meeting of the racing season at Cheltenham Racecourse – finished up with an amazing afterparty, featuring a set from legendary DJ Greg James. Race Night is Cheltenham’s only evening fixture; a time when amateur riders and trainers compete for the ultimate dream of winning at the Home of Jump Racing, with seven fiercely fought hunter chases over distances ranging from an extended two miles to four miles. After the racing action ends, racegoers will head to the Centaur, where Greg James will treat you to a special set from 8.30pm9.30pm. A Centaur Party Package includes: • • • • •

The Centaur entry wristband to Greg James Club/Tattersalls Entry Ticket £10 of Betting Vouchers £9 Food & Refreshment Voucher Racecard

Don’t miss this chance to enjoy an unforgettable evening out at the races with your friends and family. Find out more about



the event at www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/cheltenham/events-tickets/ race-night This competition closes 15 April 2020. To enter, visit www.cotswold-homes.com/competitions-andoffers



We’ve teamed up with the Royal Shakespeare Company to give one lucky winner the chance to see the brand new production of The Winter’s Tale, in Stratford-upon-Avon. Set across a 16-year span from Mad Men to the moon landings, a jealous king rips his family apart but is tormented by grief and regret. Will he find the daughter he abandoned before it is too late? Spanning tragedy and comedy, darkness turns to joy in an explosive conclusion in this unmissable new production. The Winter’s Tale runs from 28 March to 2 October 2020, at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. Find out more about the play at www.rsc.org.uk/the-winters-tale This competition closes 15 April 2020. To enter, visit www.cotswold-homes.com/competitions-and-offers

WIN! SUNDAY LUNCH at ANDOVERSFORD RACES (5 April 2020) This prize includes admission for four people, reserved parking, table for the day and a two-course Sunday lunch in our trackside restaurant, catered by the award-winning Seven Tuns at Chedworth. Andoversford Races is the leading point-to-point fixture in the UK calendar, with a prize fund of £5,000 built around the Robert Hitchins Group Andoversford Grand Annual Chase, a race first run on the course in 1834. The day includes six steeplechases, pony races, dog agility and a tent pegging competition alongside loads of shops and stalls, bookmakers and a bar. It’s fabulous fun to keep you and the family entertained all day long, but alongside the best of class racing, you’ll likely see the riders and trainers that will become household names at Cheltenham and Aintree in a year or two’s time, alongside the current racing fraternity. For more information on the day, or to book tickets, visit www.andoversfordraces.co.uk To enter, visit www.cotswold-homes.com/competitions-and-offers





The amazing Guiting Music Festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year – and we’ve got tickets to two of its biggest events to give away. The Open Air Jazz concert will feature Parisian Gypsy Jazz group Selmer #607, the premier exponents of ‘jazz manouche’ (the inimitable style of French gypsy jazz) and The Seddon Deadly Sins. The Open Air Blues Concert is set to include singer-songwriters Dani Wilde and Ian Parker plus Trevor Steger of Babajack fame. And, of course, festival-goers will enjoy the offerings of these must-see musicians in the spectacular countryside of Guiting Power – the most beautiful Cotswold surroundings one could hope for. For more information on Guiting Music Festival, see the special feature later in this very magazine, and visit www.guitingfestival.org to book tickets. This competition closes 1 July 2020. To enter, visit www.cotswold-homes.com/competitions-and-offers





WIN! A FAMILY TICKET* to GIFFORDS CIRCUS FANTASTIC 2020 SHOW, THE HOOLEY Do you believe in fairies? Take the family on an unforgettable trip to see Tweedy and friends this year, courtesy of Giffords Circus. 2020 is the 20th anniversary of Giffords Circus and, to celebrate, the fairy folk are coming out to play. Come along and dance to the timeless Celtic rhythms and drums. Family favourite Tweedy the clown will be joined by Giffords favourites Nancy Trotter Landry and Lil Rice. There’ll be beautiful horses, clapalong music and awe-inspiring acrobatics – plus all the other ingredients that make Giffords Circus so special. *This family ticket is valid for two adults and two children to a weekday show (subject to availability). The tour runs from 9 April - 27 September 2020. For more information on the show, please visit www.giffordscircus.com. This competition closes 15 April 2020. To enter, visit www.cotswold-homes.com/competitions-and-offers




Lil Rice. Photography by Gem Hall

Carrying on Nell Gifford’s Legacy

Nell’s Niece, Producer Lil Rice, on The Hooley Lil Rice’s life changed forever when she wrote to her aunt, Ringmistress Nell Gifford, asking for a job at the Circus. Lil talks to us ahead of Giffords’ 20th anniversary show, The Hooley — a Celtic-themed knees-up that will celebrate Nell’s life and work.

When did you get your start in circus life? Way back, before the War and Peace tour in 2011. I was looking for a job and felt really uninspired by the Philosophy & Theology course I was doing up in Glasgow, so I wrote to Nell and told her I’d do whatever was needed. She invited me to come and stay and I assisted Nell during her planning for the show.



During the tour there was a brilliant hand-balancer named Pat Bradford — I think he came from a sixth or seventh generation Belgian circus family — who did an amazing tap-dancing, hand-balancing act. I asked him to teach me some circus; a bit of splits, some aerial… I worked with Pat after the shows every day for six months and then Nell persuaded me to apply for a circus school in London, which I didn’t even know existed. So it was all through Nell.


It’s a big Celtic party! That’s as far as I can go… but Cal always manages to create something completely magical.

Everybody who went to Xanadu in 2019 will remember your unique act – spinning around in a cyr wheel while somehow singing at the same time! Did you develop this act during your time in London? Yes! I’ve always been able to sing, and the thing I always wanted to do in the circus, next to the circus discipline, was sing. You do see people in cyr wheels, but nobody was doing it while singing, so I decided to make that my discipline. I spent the first two years learning the wheel, every day, for five or six hours a day, alongside flexibility, ballet and acrobatics. In my last year I had vocal coach lessons for two terms, working on breathing techniques for arching and stretching, learning how to keep my voice steady… You’re now Producer at Giffords Circus. What sort of responsibilities have you taken on? A lot of my responsibilities are things that Nell and I had been discussing over the last few years. When Nell got her second diagnosis in Spring 2018, she asked if I could shadow her. Most of the responsibilities are creative: keeping the look and the feel of Giffords going, the beautiful wagons, the way we go out on the road, the sign-writing… In the everyday, I’m running the office, keeping my ear to the ground, making sure that everyone’s happy, knowing what’s going on, and working closely with Cal McCrystal, our incredible director. He’s now got the very sad job of doing it without Nelly.




There’s a huge sadness that we all feel daily. But Nelly was a real trouper and a firm believer that the show must go on. So everybody is trying their best to keep that feeling.

Nell Gifford with daughter Red, 2018. Photograpy by Mark Lord

2020 will be a very significant year for Giffords Circus — it’s the 20th anniversary, and also the last show Nell produced. What is the atmosphere like right now? It’s really mixed. There’s a huge sadness that we all feel daily. But Nelly was a real trouper and a firm believer that the show must go on, so everybody is trying their best to keep that feeling.

had four or five years ago that didn’t feel quite right at the time. By July/August, the production team — basically Nell and Cal — would come up with the theme, and later on the name. That happened by the end of the tour, but it wouldn’t be announced until the next year. Without going into spoilers, what can circus goers expect from The Hooley?

The biggest thing I’ll be doing this year to keep Nell in the show is taking over the horse team, so I’m learning a new horseback act this year. And that’s something that’s going to be very new to me!

It’s a big Celtic party! That’s as far as I can go… but Cal always manages to create something completely magical. This year will be a tribute to Nell in all sorts of ways — we’ll be bringing the joy.

Everybody’s keeping Nelly in their hearts in very different ways — whether it’s through the acts we pick or in the through-line we keep going.

The fantastic illustrated map Giffords sent out caused a big splash in the Cotswolds. Will we see more of these lovely things in the future?

Last year, Nell hired a brilliant man named Joe Avery to run the art department; the map was his and Nell’s creation. Since then, Joe’s put out two great fliers. He spent a lot of time with Nell in the last few months, helping her with her big body of work for the February exhibition in London. He’s going to carry on with those ideas. Expect to see more beautiful artwork. What is your favourite Giffords memory to date? For me, it would have to be Nell’s act last year, when she rode with her daughter Red to The Kinks’ song Days. That song was first used years ago, in the 2008 or 2006 show; I also sang it at Nell’s funeral. Red will be the one carrying on the ‘family name’ after me. So yes, that would have to be my top memory.

When do the first ideas for a show begin to emerge? Cal and Nell would have started talking about their ideas by the end of January; sometimes, they’d pick up an idea they’d



Book tickets for The Hooley at www.giffordscircus.com


Giffords tent, 2018. Photography by Gem Hall.

Ringmaster and singer Michael Fletcher and the whole company in the finale of Xanadu, 2019. Photograpy by Gem Hall




You’ve directed The Winter’s Tale before. Can you tell us about that production? Yes, it was for the original Southwark Playhouse, so a very intimate space – 60 seats I think – and I set it either side of the First World War, so very different to this one. Lucy Briers was a wonderful Paulina, and Fraser James was Leontes, and I have very happy memories of discovering what an emotionally intelligent and invigorating play it is. What made you want to revisit the play, and how are you approaching it this time? It feels timely in a much more urgent way now. It is essentially the story of a man, the leader of a nation, abusing his power in wild, appalling and explicitly misogynistic ways and then, remarkably, acknowledging in public what he has done and that he was quite wrong – and not only apologising, but devoting his life to always remembering the shame of what he did. That feels like something we don’t see in public life right now, and I hope will feel like something of a miracle! I am setting the first half in an imagined Spain in the early 1950s, as though the monarchy there had survived fascism but that its vestiges and its tactics haunt Leontes’ court. Then we’ll move sixteen years to 1969 in England – a time of great energy and youthfulness, excellent music and new ways of thinking about love. Our Bohemia will feel like the north east coast – a place of true community, hard work and a capacity to celebrate together. You’ve said that The Winter’s Tale is one of your favourite plays. Why is that? Because it is everything I love about the theatre in one play! It is dark, suspenseful, clever, sharply observed, emotionally rich and then utterly magical, fun, cathartic and thoroughly surprising. It is a terrific challenge to a director, as you need so many tones and tools, but also a huge treat as it uses all of theatre’s special qualities. Ultimately it is about redemption, so it is full of rich, hard-won hope, and all my favourite plays share that.



The acting company features two Deaf actors, William Grint and Bea Webster. I believe they will be ‘translating’ some of Shakespeare’s words into BSL. Can you tell us more about how that will work?


William is playing the Young Shepherd and he will work entirely in British Sign Language, which is a very visual and expressive language and we will make it so that both D/deaf and hearing audiences will have access to William’s text. Bea is playing two roles – Emilia in Sicilia, who is Deaf but uses English as she would have been expected to in the 1950s, and then a friend of the Young Shepherd in Bohemia who speaks and signs. We are enjoying finding equivalents in British Sign Language for Shakespeare’s imagery and rhythms as well as his naughty jokes. You’ve worked with a number of the actors in the production before, such as Joseph Kloska (Leontes), Andrew French (Polixenes) and Amanda Hadingue (Paulina). What do you think they, and other members of the cast, will bring to the production? Joe is a wonderfully instinctive and truthful actor and will bring a big heart to Leontes – he is a very dark and tortured character, but Joe is exploring him with real compassion. Andrew is a great interpreter of Shakespeare’s language and I love the detail he brings to the rehearsal room – his Polixenes will be a very loving man, I think. And Amanda was born to play Paulina! She is so smart and speaks truth to power with such clarity. I think her dressing down of Leontes will bring a tear to a few eyes.

Andrew French who plays Polixenes

Joseph Kloska who plays Leontes

Joe is a wonderfully instinctive and truthful actor and will bring a big heart to Leontes – he is a very dark and tortured character, but Joe is exploring him with real compassion. Similarly, you’ve worked a lot with the show’s designer, Tom Piper. Can you tell us something about the set and costumes, and your working relationship with Tom? I love working with Tom, he is such an inventive collaborator – always listening to the needs of the show and prepared to explore new instincts and ideas as they arise. This time we’re both working with Maddy Girling, who is designing costumes and bringing a wonderful eye for colour and fabric. The key idea in the design is to join the two worlds of Sicilia and Bohemia by one open space, with a couple of key scenic elements that allow a lot of light to flow through, so that the human misery and suspense of the first half is taken over by a more epic, elemental quality to take us forward sixteen years into Bohemia. We are going to use costume to express the instant oppression of the women in Leontes’ world and the new freedoms of Bohemia in the 1960s – we even have a hint of glam rock and what the 1970s will bring!

Can you tell us more about the music in the show, composed by Isobel WallerBridge? Isobel is a wonderful collaborator whose music always makes my heart soar. She has the rare ability to move effortlessly from something rich and profound to having fun and getting us on our feet dancing. We are influenced by north east folk, northern soul, as well as 1950s jazz sounds and a strong Mediterranean flavour. The Winter’s Tale is famous for the stage direction:‘Exit, pursued by a bear’. How are you ‘doing’ the bear? Well I don’t want to give it away, but I’ll say that we are investigating the spirit of Hermione who visits Antigonus (the character who is pursued by the bear after he follows orders to leave the baby Perdita on the dangerous shores of Bohemia) – so our bear will be made up of mother bears who are, when wronged, some of the most dangerous animals on earth…

The Winter’s Tale runs in rep in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon between 28 March and 2 October 2020. Box Office: 01789 331111 | www.rsc.org.uk




CELEBRATING EUROPE’S Past, Present & Future

This year the Royal Shakespeare Company presents Projekt Europa, a season of plays and other work that explores, celebrates and interrogates our relationship with Europe. At the heart of the season are three productions in the RSC’s Swan Theatre, which take inspiration from European stories old and new: Europeana, Peer Gynt and Blindness and Seeing. All three shows will be performed in English by a company of sixteen actors, most of whom will appear in two or three of the plays. Projekt Europa is co-curated by RSC Associate Artist, Maria Åberg, and Judith Gerstenberg. Commenting on the season, Maria said: “Projekt Europa is a playful and profound investigation of how we live together in the context of our shared history and our possible future. We’ve invited the most exciting theatre artists from across Europe to come and make work especially for our audiences in Stratford-upon-Avon, in a joyous celebration of the very best of European theatre-making. “I’m hoping that we can illuminate some surprising aspects of the European question, that we can excite and inspire, spark curiosity and debate, and that we can really give Stratford audiences a taste of the very best of European theatre-making right now. Maria opens the season by directing Europeana, a playful piece of theatre based



on Patrik Ouředník’s satirical Czech novel of the same name. It compresses a hundred years of European history into a fast-paced and eclectic narrative, which collides the invention of the bra with the tragedy of the Holocaust, Barbie with dictators, and fleeting human moments with epic events. “An integrated Europe was formed following the two world wars when several countries sought closer economic, social, and political ties to achieve economic growth and military security,” said Maria. “This is sometimes forgotten in such a diverse continent, with such different cultures. When the Berlin Wall fell and the Cold War ended, philosopher Francis Fukuyama prophesied the ‘end of history’ – a belief that, after the fall of communism, free-market liberal democracy had won and would become the world’s ‘final form of human government’; that we would have no more need for history. We now know he was wrong, and this is the basis of Europeana.” The next production, opening in May, is a reimagining for the 21st century of Ibsen’s epic European myth, Peer Gynt. Barbara Frey, former Artistic Director of Schauspielhaus Zurich and Artistic Director designate for the Ruhrtriennale international culture festival, directs.


The final play, opening in August, is Blindness and Seeing, based on the novels by Nobel Prize winning Portuguese writer José Saramago. At the start of the story, a city is overcome by an epidemic of blindness that spares only one woman. She becomes a guide for a group of seven strangers and serves as the eyes and ears for the reader in this profound parable of loss and disorientation. We return to the city some time later for a satirical commentary on government in general and democracy in particular.

Projekt Europa also includes Voices from The Edges of Europe, a series of newly commissioned monologues from prominent European writers to be presented in The Other Place; Decameron 2020, a unique collaboration between the RSC’s Next Generation ACT young company and Mattias Andersson, one of Europe’s most exciting directors of theatre for young people; and a rich and varied feast of talks, debates, exhibitions and events.

Director Maria Aberg

Renowned Portuguese director Tiago Rodrigues, Artistic Director of the Teatro Nacional Dona Maria II in Lisbon, will combine Saramago’s two books into one performance. Judith Gerstenberg will act as dramaturg on each production, helping to shape what is finally seen on stage. Talking about the season, Judith said: “For a lot of new writing produced in UK theatres, a writer produces a script and the director leads the actors to a finished performance for public consumption. At the RSC, with a playwright in our Company name, our audiences are very used to seeing work created in this style. The European theatre-making style is generally a more organic process and quite different. For the European-style, a dramaturg works closely with the director to create the shape of a production.”

Europeana, Peer Gynt and Blindness and Seeing run in repertoire in the RSC’s Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon between 9 April and 26 September. More information and tickets: rsc.org.uk and 01789 331111










A FEAST for the Eyes

Meet the artists featured in The Fosse Gallery’s new exhibition, Lyrical Colourists (3 - 23 May 2020) At the Fosse Gallery’s brilliant new show, Lyrical Colourists, four artists with very different approaches to the definition of colour are showing their work together. Whilst the paintings are similar in their strong figurative approach, each artist is expressing their love of colour with something new and fresh in their work. Interestingly, they all hail from the surrounding area of the Cotswolds, with Em Isaacson living near Burford, Christopher Johnson from Tetbury, June Redfern from Oxford and Anthony Yates a little further afield in Birmingham.

Christopher Johnson has colour pouring out of his canvases, probably because he was born and raised in Zimbabwe, where light and colour are in huge supply. June Redfern is a renowned artist and takes her love of colour from the Scottish Colourists. Em Isaacson has lived in South Africa for long periods of time and her take on colour is again completely different. Meanwhile, Anthony Yates’s colour palette is more muted and rooted in the English light, presenting a delightful contrast to the other works in the show. These four artists might be very different, but their eye-catching images all exude a joy of life.


Isaacson Em Isaacson uses her pastels to express her love of colour, her fascination with texture and exploration of line.

if they were thread, watching an image emerge from the paper, weaving together the power of colour with the control of line to capture the essence of her subjects.

Graduating with an honours degree from Loughborough College of Art in 1976, her background as head of one of the country’s largest woven textile design studios, as well as in teaching, led to her involvement with both the British Crafts Council and The Royal Society of Arts.

In 1998, she left the UK for South Africa, where her work was hung at The Everard Reed Gallery in Cape Town, as well as the Residence of the British High Commission. She became noted for her pastel paintings of African women who moved and inspired her.

She has developed a unique style of painting from her heritage of weaving and defines imagery by manipulating her pastels as

“To embrace them with colour, to define them with line and texture is the only way I know to express my admiration for their beauty and their strength,” Em says.




To embrace them with colour, to define them with line and texture is the only way I know to express my admiration for their beauty and their strength

In London her work has been shown at the Boundary, Thompson and Catto galleries, as well as being held in both private and worldwide corporate collections. Em returned to the UK in 2013 and now lives and works in the Cotswolds, where the study of colour and line continues to be central to all her figurative work. “It is as if the figure is already there, invisible, hidden deep within the paper, waiting for me to weave it into life. It is my tapestry on paper.”



Christopher Johnson is an international artist of great distinction. Born in Zimbabwe, Johnson divides his time between Britain, Europe and South Africa, but regards the UK as his home. “While Christopher Johnson seeks his subject matter in landscape, he handles his paint with verve and vigour, squaring the circle that makes form and content of equal importance and forging that creative tension that is essential in any work of art,” said Richard Jaques in The Scotsman. “In a series of paintings of scenes from home and abroad and favouring a long

format, whether horizontal or vertical, he shows himself adept both in his use of colour and in his whiplash calligraphic line… “Johnson is a sensitive and perceptive artist whose future is well worth watching.” Christopher Johnson has exhibited widely, both in the UK and abroad, including The Aldeburgh Gallery, Pierrepont Fine Art (Oxford), The Scottish Gallery, Roedean College (Johannesburg), St John’s College (Johannesburg) and at the Fosse Gallery. His solo exhibitions include galleries in London, Oxford, Stockbridge, Edinburgh and Gloucestershire.

Christopher Johnson’s work is widely represented in private and public collections, including Anglo-American Corporation (SA), Bank of England, Bank of Scotland, Baring Asset Management, Central Holdings (Luxembourg), Cheltenham & Gloucester Building Society plc, Cullinan Holdings, Cultura Venezia, De Beers (SA), Eagle Star and many others.

Cherington Ponds




Love and Roses



June Redfern is a renowned painter who has displayed work around the world, including London’s National Gallery. She has also appeared on BBC2’s Oil on Canvas series, exhibited in major commercial galleries and internationally at many art fairs. She lives in Oxford.

“Flashing yellows and reds, deep saturated blues and luscious greens flow together in broad romantic sweeps that have a lilting, almost symphonic, quality that offers such beauty and delight that it becomes difficult to draw oneself away and to stop looking at them.”

“It is very easy to be seduced by the paintings of June Redfern,” said Colin Wiggins of The National Gallery (London). “They are beautiful objects with a richness of colour, applied in generous liquid brush strokes that evoke a sensuous response in the spectator. Irrespective of what they actually mean, these paintings emphasise the sheer pleasure of looking. They are paintings that can be indulged in, that have an almost hypnotic effect.

June Redfern’s work is widely represented in private and public collections, including The National Gallery (London), Leeds Education Authority, Contemporary Art Society (London), Middlesborough Art Gallery, Dundee Art Gallery, Charlotte Englehart Foundation, Bradford Art Gallery, Laing Art Gallery, Kirkcaldy Art Gallery, University of Strathclyde and many others.







Anthony Yates was born in Aston, Birmingham in 1957 and attended Bournville College of Art. He was elected member of RBA in 2005. His numerous awards include ‘Best Group of Paintings’ at the Mall Galleries 2005 and a prize in the RBSA Prize Exhibition 2012. Anthony’s recent visit to Italy formed the inspiration behind the paintings for this exhibition. He has works in many private collections, both here and abroad, in France, Ireland and in Oregon and California, USA. Often choosing subjects from his immediate surroundings, he pushes beyond objective reality and his vigorous handling of paint can belie the struggle to reach the final image.

Window, Montemarcello

Coffee Pot

Lyrical Colourists runs at The Fosse Gallery, Stow on the Wold from 2 May 2020 until 23 May 2020. For more information on the exhibition, please see www.fossegallery.com







The Wit and Wisdom of




Remembering the creator of detectives Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth A prolific writer who brought pleasure to millions of adoring readers, Marion Chesney (best known by her pen name, M.C. Beaton) was a well-loved figure in the Cotswold community. Over 21 million copies of her books have been sold, and she is frequently named the best-borrowed author from UK libraries. The Cotswold Homes team remembers her as a witty and generous interviewee, filled with hair-raising anecdotes about her time as a crime reporter in the Glasgow slums and wry observations about the world of publishing.

Born in Balornock, Glasgow, Chesney began her working life as a fiction buyer for John Smith & Son, the oldest bookshop in the City, before joining the Scottish Daily Mail as a theatre critic. Later, she worked as a crime reporter for the Scottish Daily Express. Her years as a Fleet Street reporter in the 1960s saw her covering the Profumo affair and the antics of British fascist Oswald Mosley. She then moved to America with her husband, journalist Harry Scott Gibbons, where she began her career as a prolific writer of fiction. She wrote over 160 romance novels under a variety of pen names, including Anne Fairfax and Jennie Tremaine. Marion and her family returned to England and made a home in the Cotswolds, where she turned her hand to crime writing – to great success. Famously, she detested being described as a writer of ‘cosy’ crime fiction and disliked the BBC adaptation of her Hamish Macbeth series. Agatha Raisin was later adapted for television by Sky TV – a third series was commissioned in 2019. In celebration of Marion’s life and literary achievements, we’re publishing some excerpts from our favourite interviews with the author.

M.C Beaton on her childhood: “My mother was very Highlands. She used to put a saucer of milk out for the fairies – though the hedgehogs would drink it, she’d think it was the fairies. Very superstitious. She’d had a very hard life, as well. She would play piano for the silent movies. She worked in a music shop in Glasgow, and if you wanted to know the latest musical from London, a girl like my mother would sit down and play the whole thing for you. She was very talented in that way, but she was a difficult person. “I lived in libraries. To me, they were palaces of dreams. I would look around the shelves and dream of one day being a published author. I dreamed I would have a publisher in Belgravia. When Constable & Robinson took me over, they had a publishing house in Belgravia — and it was Georgian…!”




On her time as a crime reporter: “The only time I ever got punched was by a Daily Mail photographer, because I was keeping crime witnesses away from the papers. It was sordid, ghastly – the poverty, dear God. The lice, the smell, the razor gangs… the axemen even had their own pub to disassociate from the lower class, the razor gangs. When I got a transfer to London, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. There, the newspapers were all nice to one another.”

On moving to the Cotswolds: “I remember looking at all these hills through the fog and thinking that there was a probably a splendid party going on over on the other side, to which I hadn’t been invited. And then, when the time came to go back up to London, I suddenly felt as though I no longer belonged: I couldn’t wait to get on the train [back to the Cotswolds]. It’s beautiful everywhere you look… it’s like driving through a series of English landscape paintings.”

On writing over 160 books: “I think there’s more than that, but I forget how many. Now I’m pushing eighty, I really would like to write just one book a year. That would be luxury… or would it? Would I just fart around and do it at the last minute?”

On being a writer: “I think of myself more of an escape artist than a writer. The moment people hear the word writer, they start thinking of the Booker Prize and the literary world and ‘the Great Novel’. Well, you can’t write beyond your capabilities… you can’t pretend at another kind of writing. “I had a friend in Paris who said: “You’ve got a very good literary background – why don’t you try writing something different.” He meant better. And I said: “You don’t get it. This might be very light and frivolous and easy to read but I’m writing to my very best – really, my very best.” “Funnily enough, you can’t write in another genre just because it happens to be popular, or you become childish. I once tried to write a Scottish historical. It was dreadful. “I’m often damned as being cosy. I don’t mind so long as people still like [the books], but it’s a bit patronising. It reminds me of Terry Pratchett’s famous remark, when he was asked to speak at festivals, in the way I am, that there often seems to be a subtext that says “of course I don’t read your books but my gardener’s son simply adores them,” and you try not to spit on the stage!”

I think there’s more than that, but I forget how many. Now I’m pushing eighty, I really would like to write just one book a year. That would be luxury… or would it?



On Scottish writers: “Of course, sex and drugs does have its place. The black humour of the sort that you get from Stuart McBride is very funny. Val McDermid [is] a frighteningly intelligent woman. And there’s Alexander McCall Smith, Ian Rankin… so many great writers from Scotland [laughs]. Of course, a lot of us started with our admiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped. What a wonderful, exciting piece of writing.”

On flawed detectives: “The actress who plays Saga in The Bridge is brilliant – a sort of Asperger’s James Bond, almost invulnerable… But it got soppy! You see her background! I don’t want to see her background – I loved Columbo because you never saw Mrs Columbo. And Cagney and Lacey died a bit over a drunken father and a stupid unemployed husband… You don’t want too much of their private lives. “The idiots who were filming my Hamish Macbeth – well, in my opinion they were idiots – they said “We must bring out his dark side.” To which I said: “He hasn’t got one.” They said: “He isn’t married.” I said: “You don’t get married until you’re about 40 in the Highlands.” And Robert Carlyle insisted that Hamish smoke pot – he said if the pot smoking was taken out then he would leave the series. “Agatha’s problems are human. She drinks a bit – well, socially, she drinks a lot – but she’s not an alcoholic!”

On the process of writing: “Somebody asked me once: “How do you target your readers?” You can’t target them. If you start targeting them, you’re dead. Sit down, begin at the beginning and go on to the end. “You have to write what you enjoy. The brain is like a computer: you can only get out what you put in. The essence of storytelling is often forgotten… You’re talking to the reader. You’ve got to grab their attention. You don’t want them to get bored. “Readers have got to be amused, got to be taken out of themselves. I think, for me, a detective story is a bit of P.G. Wodehouse, a bit of romance and a bit of a crossword puzzle.”

Find out more about M.C. Beaton at www.mcbeaton.com





Myth-Busting in the

Tesla Model 3 Miss Dashboard dispels some popular misconceptions about electric cars Electric car use continues to hit the headlines, with the Government recently announcing that within 15 years no more new diesel or petrol cars (including hybrids, as they have petrol engines) will be sold in the UK. And, as I type, according to the industry website goultralow.com, an electric car is now registered here every seven minutes. But the myths surrounding EVs (electric vehicles) still seem to circulate in everyday conversation, on social media and from more traditional media sources. I recently got my hands on (and they had to prise them off finger by finger) the Tesla Model 3 – the ground-breaking electric car maker’s car for the masses – and it got me thinking that it was time to tackle some of these common misconceptions… Myth 1 – electric cars run out of electricity Like any car, you need to keep it topped up with ‘fuel’ (aka electricity) and, just like a mobile phone, charging at night is a simple habit. But a typical electric car now covers 100-200 miles on a single charge and even



longer on some models. Hyundai’s Kona Electric can drive as far as 279 miles with one charge. You wouldn’t drive 300 miles without stopping for a coffee or a pee, so that’s when to re-charge. Myth 2 – they’re really expensive Electric cars are actually considerably cheaper to run than traditional cars, as they barely need servicing (they have fewer moving parts, no oil change), have zero road tax – and electricity is about seven times cheaper than diesel or petrol. It’s true that EVs are currently more expensive to buy (new) than their traditional counterparts, but as more mass production occurs, these costs will plummet. Myth 3 – they’re slow (and boring) ‘Oh no they’re not!’ Okay, so we can’t all afford the electric Porsche Taycan, but driving an electric car gives so much joy – and acceleration for those who want it. Instant torque means EVs can usually accelerate quicker than their petrol or diesel equivalents. Hyundai’s family car, the Kona Electric can accelerate from 0-62mph in just

7.9 seconds and Tesla Model 3 in as little as 3.2 seconds. Myth 4 – there’s nowhere to charge them in the countryside If you live in the middle of nowhere, you’re more likely to have a garage, or space for your own charge point, which is the easiest way to charge an EV. There are more public electric charging points in the UK than petrol stations! zap-map.com lists more than 14,500 public charging points in more than 9,000 locations in the UK – and the Government’s pledge to have 5,000 rapid public chargers by 2024 means that the infrastructure is going from strength to strength. Myth 5 – I live on a street, so I have nowhere to charge If you really want to drive (and charge) an EV there’s always an answer. Websites like pod-point.com give a range of solutions to people who don’t have driveways – from installing a charger in your street, to charging at a petrol station (how oldschool), at work and in other destinations like commercial car parks.


Myth 6 – they’re not any greener than diesel or petrol cars Electric cars are not perfect, and the haters may never be convinced, but let’s not pretend that a petrol or diesel car can claim to have lower carbon emissions, reduce noise pollution and have a minimal effect on air quality. An EV can. The green credentials of your electric car depend on how the energy you use is generated. Solar panels produce emission free driving. If your electricity comes from a provider that’s powered by fossil fuels, you’re shifting your greenhouse gas emissions from your exhaust to its chimneys – so the simple answer is to choose an energy company that uses renewable sources – like Octopus Energy (approved by Friends of the Earth). Myth 7 – EV batteries don’t last very long and are expensive to replace Wrong! Most new electric batteries have an eight year warranty. And there are so many battery recycling schemes that you’re unlikely to be affected. Myth 8 – electric cars are the silent killer Some EV haters call them the ‘silent killer’ as they have no engine noise. But they do have tyre noise (like any car, agreed) and, more importantly, as providers of the latest technology, have huge amounts of safety features to protect pedestrians, including automatic emergency braking if something/ or someone happens to get in the way. The real silent killer is air pollution. Myth 9 – you can’t take an electric car though a car wash and you’ll get electrocuted if you charge in the rain And the moon is made of cheese! Of course we’ve all been told that you don’t mix electricity with water, but when it comes to EVs it is perfectly safe to use a car wash and there’s no extra risk of driving in a lightning storm, charging your car in the rain, or driving through a puddle… Myth 10 – there isn’t enough choice The electric car market is expanding rapidly for both new and used cars. There’s literally an A-Z of availability now, from the Audie-tron, BMW i3, Mini-electric, Jaguar i-pace, Nissan Leaf, to the Kia e-Niro, Volkswagen I-D range – and the ZOE, from Renault. For more details on these, and other, myths visit the most reputable source on all things electric car and energy related: fullycharged.show

And a few words on the Tesla Model 3

Yes please, I’d like one - NOW! – Model 3 is Tesla’s smaller, simpler, more affordable car, similar in size to a BMW 3 Series or Audi A4. See it as your typical run-around (well it really isn’t, it’s stupendous) or second family car. Range and charging – The range is so good you won’t even have to worry if you forget to plug it in every now and again. The cheapest version has a range of up to 240 miles and the more expensive can drive up to 348 miles on a full charge. Charging at home overnight (or whenever you park) is the simplest option, though if this isn’t possible or you’re travelling long distances, Tesla’s supercharger network (to 180 miles of range in 15 minutes) is expanding – rapidly. There are also ‘destination chargers’ – plugs available at offices, car parks, pubs, leisure centres etc., some are free, others require an app or subscription. Road tax – £0 – it’s a zero emission car. Safety – This little beauty is built for safety, as well as speed. It can see things that you, as a driver, can’t and acts upon them (it’ll brake automatically if something gets in the way) – thanks to eight surround cameras & twelve ultrasonic sensors. Media – The car is operated by the equivalent of a large iPad (you’ve got to drive it to believe it!) – a 15” touchscreen that’s as easy to use as the easiest smartphone – scrolls through media, satnav, climate control – it’s all there. And, for the

child in you, the ‘toybox’ button turns your clicking indicator into a fart sound – and you can even have a virtual log fire crackling away on-screen. This season’s colours – For a groundbreaking car, the five paint options are understated (white, black, silver, blue and red) but hey, who wants to be seen in a pearlised sky-blue pink car? It really is the inside of this car that counts – with seats available in ‘vegan’ (oh yes!) leather in black, or a white that’s more opaque than a Hollywood A-lister’s smile. The drive – It’s a dream to drive, as it’s effortless, comfortable, intuitive. As with all electric cars, when you take your foot off the accelerator the regenerative brakes automatically slow the car down, as well as saving electricity. Switching the Model 3 to autopilot lets the car steer, accelerate and brake automatically when it senses other vehicles and pedestrians, but can always be over-ridden by you. Warranty – 4 year/50,000 mileage and 8 year battery warranty. Price – The Model 3 Standard Range Plus starts from £39,490, Model 3 Long Range from £47,990 and Model 3 Performance from £52,990. But for leasing options (in my humble opinion by far the best way to ‘own’ a new car, especially with technology evolving so quickly) check out websites like www.driveelectric to lease from £420 a month (plus deposit).

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




Stacey Kent

From 24th July to 2nd August 2020, one of the best Cotswold festivals will be celebrating fifty years of musical excellence in the beautiful countryside. Here’s your guide to what’s on.

For half a century, the Guiting Music Festival has enlivened the Cotswolds’ summer calendar, bringing an exciting variety of highly talented performances of classical, jazz and blues music by artists from around the world. The festival is held in the beautiful and unspoilt Cotswold setting of Guiting Power, near Stow-on-the-Wold. The Festival combines indoor concerts with two days of open air jazz and blues, offering ten days of music.

The 50th Guiting Music Festival has an incredible line-up.

has been travelling the world for over two decades, releasing twenty albums and collaborating with many major artists along the way. Seckou Keita from Senegal is one of the world’s foremost kora players, involved in many international projects including his ground-breaking duo with Welsh harpist Catrin Finch. Brazilian percussionist Adriano Adewale has collaborated with Bobby McFerrin, Joanna McGregor and Benjamin Taubkin and has composed music for orchestras and dance theatre. Together they create a joyful, uplifting and life-affirming musical collaboration.

Friday 24th July Stacey Kent

Stacey is an American jazz singer with a host of honours and awards, including a Grammy nomination and gold, double-gold and platinum-selling albums.

Saturday 25th July The AKA TRIO

The AKA Trio is an international musical summit meeting of three world-renowned virtuosos: Antonio Forcione, Seckou Keita and Adriano Adewale. Antonio, Seckou and Adriano grew up in three different continents and were formed by three different cultures and musical traditions. All these differences have converged in AKA Trio, and the product is Joy, a new album released in May 2019. Italian guitarist Antonio Forcione



The AKA Trio

Sunday 26th July Open Air Jazz featuring Selmer #607,

the premier exponents of jazz manouche, the inimitable style of French gypsy jazz, followed by the lively quintet, The Seddon Deadly Sins.

Monday 27th July Lara Melda, pianist

Lara Melda won the BBC Young Musician 2010 competition and made her BBC Proms and Royal Albert Hall debut last summer as one of the soloists performing with the BBC Concert Orchestra.


The festival is held in the beautiful and unspoilt Cotswold setting of Guiting Power, near Stow-on-the-Wold.

Selmer #607

The Albion Quartet

Lara Melda

Tuesday 28th July The Marici Saxes

A marriage of harmony and diversity sums up English saxophone quartet Marici Saxes. Four unique musicians, all supremely successful saxophonists, they came together through a craving for collective creativity.

Wednesday 29th July Raphael Wallfisch, cellist & John York, pianist

Raphael Wallfisch is one of the most recorded classical artists in the world. A celebrated cellist performing on the international stage, he is regularly invited to play at major festivals, such as the BBC Proms.

Thursday 30th July Xuefei Yang

Xuefei Yang is acclaimed as one of the world’s finest classical guitarists. Hailed as a musical pioneer, Fei was the first-

ever guitarist in China to enter a music school and became the first internationally recognised Chinese guitarist on the world stage. Her international success has led her to be invited to play in more than fifty countries, at numerous prestigious venues with the world’s leading orchestras, and collaborate with artists including Ian Bostridge, Rosalind Plowright and Sir James Galway.

Friday 31st July The Albion Quartet with Joanna MacGregor

Formed in 2016, the Albion Quartet brings together four of the UK’s exceptional young string players who are establishing themselves rapidly on the international stage. The coming season will see performances at several festivals, including BBC Belfast International Arts Festival, Presteigne, Stratford, as well as return visits to Oxford Lieder Festival, King’s Place London and Kettle’s Yard Cambridge. They finish the evening with a Shostakovich Quintet with Joanna MacGregor.

Saturday 1st August Joanna MacGregor – piano recital

Ian Parker

Joanna MacGregor is one of the world’s most innovative musicians, appearing as a concert pianist, curator and collaborator. Head of Piano at the Royal Academy of Music, and Professor of the University of London, Joanna is also known as an artistic director of festivals and concerts series, and the Guiting Music Festival was proud to have her as their Hon. President for much of the past 25 years. As a solo artist, Joanna has performed in over eighty countries and appeared with many eminent conductors.

Sunday 2nd August Open Air Blues featuring: Dani Wilde

‘Best female vocalist’, British Blues Awards. Blues and Country singer songwriter Dani Wilde has performed at thousands of venues and festivals across Europe, America, Canada and Africa.

Ian Parker

Songwriter Ian’s ability and willingness to share genuine honesty and emotion with his audience is what sets him apart. His latest recording, Spoonful of Gold (Blues for Willie) a selection of gems from the back catalogue of blues legend Willie Dixon, delivers a respectful, vibrantlycoloured innovative album.

Trevor Babajack Steger

Best known as a founder member of multi-award winning band Babajack, Trevor Babajack Steger has established himself as an accomplished solo performer. A tour-de-force with his guitar, harp, voice and stompbox. “Howling Wolf meets Screaming Jay Hawkins... carried on the wings of a wailing slide guitar”— Richard Wall, Blues in Britain.

The Guiting Music Festival runs from 24th July to 2nd August 2020. To book tickets, please visit www.guitingfestival.org







Nestled within the heart of the Cotswold's AONB is Peak Fitness & Lifestyle, a brand new independent

gym that offers a functional approach to exercise, rehabilitation and lifestyle. Situated on the outskirts of

Northleach, this state of the art fitness facility neighbours the existing indoor & outdoor climbing centre Far Peak, making it an ideal destination for fitness fanatics alike.

Owner David Gainford, who opened Peak Fitness & Lifestyle alongside co-owner Ed Shaw in February 2020, says 'Most people have a preconceived idea of what a gym is like, and sometimes that can put you off making that first step towards joining. We have worked hard to create an environment that welcomes everyone and offers the best possible facilities for fitness, health, wellbeing and enjoyment!'


'Some of our facilities include a dedicated cardio suite on our mezzanine level (with all the equipment you need to get your heart pumping), a functional fitness area for your complete workout and 24 acres of Cotswold countryside to take advantage of.'

Ed continues 'With our extensive experience and specialist equipment we have worked closely to improve mobility, activity levels and confidence for a wide range of clients.

Our movement based rehabilitation suite is designed to turn exercise into a functional therapy for people living with a wide range of conditions, and we are very fortunate to be able to offer the use of cutting edge therapy devices that can help manage impaired motor functions, reduced mobility and diminished cognition.' 'We offer a variety of membership and personal training packages, and will work closely with you to devise a bespoke health profile that includes exercise plans, nutritional guidance and lifestyle management. Please get in touch to arrange a free, no obligation tour of our facilities we'd love to see you!'



Gloucestershire’s original racecourse To many, spring in the Cotswolds means just one thing – the Cheltenham Festival. Four days of bacchanalian fun, where the fastest steeplechasers and hurdlers in the Northern Hemisphere stake their claim to championship honours at the world’s most famous jumps racecourse. But did you know that there are actually eight racecourses in Gloucestershire? The other seven are all point-to-point courses, staging one or two fixtures each winter and spring, but with a claim to be the legitimate roots of the sport whose apogee is Prestbury Park. April is peak season for point-to-point racing with fixtures every weekend. The best known of the seven is Andoversford Races which, in recent years, has grown into something of which Gloucestershire can be rather proud. The fixture on Sunday April 5th harks back to one of the very earliest recorded steeplechases in the UK – the Grand Annual Chase, held over much of the same ground in 1834 and subsequently.



Re-introduced four years ago under the title sponsorship of local developer Robert Hitchins Group, the race forms the centrepiece of the UK’s most valuable fixture of the genre, offering £5,000 across six races – quite an achievement when the maximum prize allowed is generally between £750-1000. The result is an irresistible draw for horsemen from all over the surrounding counties, and often far beyond. Andoversford has long ceased to be merely a day’s racing. Since 2017, the course has added other entertainments, including camel racing, a donkey derby and, last year, a woolly Grand National. 2020 is the year for yet another quirky equestrian discipline – a charity tent pegging competition. Tent pegging is a sport whose roots are firmly in the cavalry regiments of the British Raj in India, where lancers would prick and pick up rings or tags in the ground at full gallop as an illustration of their prowess in the saddle. Nowadays, riders come from any walk of life, but the basic concept is the same – one step removed from Sir Lancelot – and very exciting to watch.


Teams representing the Punjab Lancers, other regiments and the Cotswold Hunt will test their mettle between three pony races for the jockeys of the future and the start of racing. And alongside these, there’s an all-day dog agility contest, parade of the Cotswold Hounds, loads of children’s entertainments – some traditional, some more contemporary – and more shops than you could possibly absorb in a day! The entertainment starts at 10.30am.

on hand to guide you through the card, and food supplied by the award-winning Seven Tuns Inn, Chedworth.

The annual point-to-point is a quintessentially British affair, but times are changing, even in this conservative rural environment. Where, previously, spectators would bring their own food and picnic from the boot of the car, now you can enjoy Sunday lunch in a cosy marquee overlooking the winning line, with a tipster

Peter McNeile, mastermind behind the evolution of this endearing event, adds,

Round the corner, local business networking group Circle 2 Success is illustrating that Andoversford is not just a venue for farmers. Businesses as wide-ranging as Porsche Tewkesbury, RE Resource Group, Rendcomb College, Western Computer and Dubarry are all getting in on the act.

“Point-to-point racing represents the base of a broad pyramid of jumps racing enthusiasm which peaks at Cheltenham. However, horses competing here at Andoversford are quite likely to join the

professional ranks and grace Aintree, Ascot and Cheltenham too. Andoversford offers a very grounded introduction to racing, where you can find out about the sport as a family day out, where betting is a secondary activity, and where the countryside can come out to play in lots of different manifestations. I’d recommend it to anyone!” And so say all of us!

For more details and to book tickets or lunch, visit www.andoversfordraces.co.uk or ring 07850 091523.




01. BATHE LIKE A ROMAN… No visit to Bath would be complete without dipping one’s toe in a soothing pool; in this city, indulgence is only traditional. Modern visitors should head for Thermae Bath Spa, where the naturally-warmed, minerally-rich water can be enjoyed in the open-air Rooftop Pool, where bathers are surrounded by the city skyline — or the Minerva Bath, replete with massaging jets and fancy columns. The Wellness Suite provides additional pampering, including both Roman and Georgian Steam Rooms.

02. …AND LEARN HOW THE ROMANS BATHED The ancient Roman Baths are just a two-minute walk away from their modern counterpart. These baths were so much more than a glorified hot tub; they were a centre of worship and community life. Here, a heroic effort has been made to bring



the past back to life. Carefully assembled reconstructions and clever projections show the inhabitants of Aquae Sulis as they go about their business — relaxing, gossiping, working and praying to Minerva Sulis, the goddess of the spring. The best bit of the museum is the collection of scribbled curses that disgruntled townsfolk used to throw into the pool. If somebody had stolen your favourite cloak, for instance, you might stop by the spring to ask the gods to blind the culprit!

03. GET BETTER ACQUAINTED WITH AUSTEN Jane Austen is one of Bath’s best-known residents, and the city was certainly a major influence on her writing, appearing chiefly in her novels Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. The Jane Austen Centre is dedicated to preserving her legacy and promoting her literary work. Here you can visit a museum showcasing the novelist’s Georgian influences, enjoy a dainty nibble at the Regency Tearoom, browse a variety of Austen-related

gifts and even don period costumes. This charming museum is a must-visit for anybody with even a casual interest in the author.

04. AMBLE ACROSS PULTENEY BRIDGE Pulteney Bridge is one of Bath’s architectural icons, stretching elegantly across the River Avon, and is the shortest of strolls from the city centre. It is quite remarkable for being lined with shops on either side (which is really rather unusual for a bridge). More importantly, it looks fantastic — it’s an almost irresistible spot for taking a selfie or staring thoughtfully into the river. Saunter across, and you’ll soon arrive at our next recommended destination.

05. BROWSE THE HOLBURNE MUSEUM This stately and perfectly-digestible museum is home to a curious (and sometimes eccentric) range of curios and artefacts,


Pulteney Bridge


largely collected by Sir Thomas William Holburne (1793-1874). It also features contemporary exhibitions from the likes of Grayson Perry. But the collection is only part of the appeal — the building itself and the surrounding parkland are simply ravishing. Even the approach (via Pulteney Bridge and Great Pulteney Street) is a thing of beauty. A visit to the Holburne Museum should definitely be worked into any itinerary.

06. GAZE UP IN WONDER AT BATH ABBEY Bath Abbey is truly sumptuous, inside and out. Its storied past stretches all the way back to a Saxon convent, dated around AD 675. Today, it is the majestic heart of an extraordinarily beautiful city. The Abbey has many interesting features, from its splendid vaulted ceiling to a myriad of carved angels. Before you even step foot inside, you’ll see a magnificent stone representation of Jacob’s ladder and a grand wooden gate. The epic stained glass windows are likewise not to be missed. Bath Abbey is a real feast for the eyes and remains a thriving centre of worship today.

07. STRUT YOUR STUFF AT THE FASHION MUSEUM Bath was home to many dashing dandies and elegant society ladies in its Regency heyday. So the City makes a natural home for this collection of exquisite objects, each one telling a story about the time they were made and the people who wore them.

Bath Abbey

Displaying items from Shakespeare’s age to the present day, the Fashion Museum shows that, while trends change, the desire to be fashionable never goes away — and the kids will love dressing up!

08. CALL AT ROYAL CRESCENT Bath doesn’t get more iconic than this; a curving row of terraced houses, constructed between 1767 and 1775. There’s a museum dedicated to Georgian life here, plus a luxurious hotel. Royal Crescent is frequently used as a filming location. It’s easy to see why, as residential areas don’t get much grander. The Crescent has housed many notable figures, as evident from the plaques lining the walls. Well worth a quick visit.

09. GRAB A BITE AT SALLY LUNN’S EATING HOUSE This historic tearoom makes an ideal stop for the hungry wanderer; it is the oldest house in Bath (and makes a pretty famous bun, from a very secret traditional recipe). Sally Lunn’s is well-known for its very English menu and opens for ‘breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, pre-theatre dinner and dinner.’ It’s a popular destination, as you’d expect, but you shouldn’t have to wait long for a table. Evening reservations can be made.

10. HAVE A CHEEKY FLUTTER AT BATH RACECOURSE With over 22 fixtures and a packed program of festivals and events, Bath Racecourse is the source of much local excitement. Situated between Bath and Bristol, the Racecourse makes a great destination for thrill seekers looking outside the gentle splendour of the city. With the Kaiser Chiefs and The Wurzels due to appear this year, it’s not all about racing — it’s a great venue for music and entertainment, too. See the website for the latest updates.




Cotswold Calendar: Spring 2020 Time to come out of hibernation and seize the season with our pick of top springtime events

Craft Festival Cheltenham Cheltenham Town Hall 20 - 21 March 2020

Love textiles? Go ga-ga for glasswork? Or perhaps you prefer pottery? Then we’ve got wheely good news! The Great Pottery Throw Down star Keith Brymer Jones will open Craft Festival Cheltenham (formerly known as Made in Cheltenham) this March. Meet over one hundred talented makers at this one-of-a-kind event. With live demonstrations, workshops galore and a special festival café, here’s your chance to mingle with fellow craft enthusiasts - and perhaps pick up something special to decorate your home.

Andoversford Races


Andoversford Races

Awakening Woods Westonbirt Arboretum 21 - 22 March 2020

Andoversford Races is one of the most established fixtures in the Gloucestershire sporting calendar, and the fastest growing and most valuable pointing fixture in the calendar.

Discover early spring flowers and bursting buds at Westonbirt on this special spring weekend. Make some spring bunting and a simple wool flower to take home - and don’t forget to marvel at the beautiful arboretum while you’re there.

Come racing at Andoversford and you can expect to see competitive and entertaining racing, rub shoulders with friends, the rich & famous, and horsemen from all over the West Country, and enjoy a quintessentially British afternoon’s entertainment.





5 April 2020


OX5 Run

Blenheim Palace 29 March 2020 Runners and walkers of all abilities (aged 14 and over) are welcome to run, jog or walk the five-mile course around Blenheim’s stunning parkland. It’s the Palace’s biggest annual fundraiser for the Oxford Children’s Hospital, which looks after thousands of children. The event raised an incredible £150,000 last year, helping to buy state of the art equipment at the children’s ward at the Horton General Hospital, Children’s Critical Care Unit at the John Radcliffe and Oxford Children’s Hospital. Andoversford Races

Sing-a-Long with The Greatest Showman The Theatre, Chipping Norton 27 March 2020

Head to Chippy this March for a special screening of one of the biggest films of the decade.

Thinking of signing up? Please see the official website for more details. www.blenheimpalace.com

The Birthday Party

The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham 2 - 11 April 2020

Inspired by the imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and tells of a visionary, who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

Harold Pinter’s comedy of menace gets a dramatic new re-imagining from the team behind Waiting for Godot. Opening at the Everyman Theatre prior to a national tour. Starring Michelle Collins and Tristan Gemmill.






Oxfordshire; Minchinhampton Common; Stratton Meadows, Cirencester; Fennells Farm, Stroud. Please see the official website for dates and times. www.giffordscircus.com Giffords Circus

Giffords Circus – The Hooley Touring 9 April - 27 September 2020

It’s time for Giffords Circus 20th anniversary extravaganza - hitting the road a little earlier than you might expect! The fairy folk are coming out to celebrate this year with The Hooley. This year the circus wagons will be calling at Fennells Farm, Stroud; Bowood House & Gardens; Daylesford Organic Farm, Kingham; Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe; Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire; Oxford University Parks; Chiswick House & Gardens, London; Morden Hall Park, London; Stonor Park, Henley on Thames; Barrington,




The RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon 9 April - 25 July 2020 Compress 100 years of European history into a fast-paced, eclectic narrative and you have Europeana, which collides the invention of the bra with the tragedy of the Holocaust, Barbie with dictators, and human stories with epic events. This brand new adaptation of the colourful, satirical Czech novel is a breathless race through the chaotic kaleidoscope of 20th century history. Europeana is a playful investigation of collective memory and our stubborn belief in progress. www.rsc.org.uk


Peppa Pig’s Best Day Ever Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham 15 - 16 April 2020

Peppa Pig is excited to be going on a special day out with George, Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig - it’s going to be her best day ever! Little ones are sure to love Peppa’s theatrical adventure. Please check the official website for performance times. www.everymantheatre.org.uk

Mr Men & Little Miss On Stage The Theatre Chipping Norton 18 April 2020

Join your favourite Mr Men & Little Miss characters, as they leap off the pages of the world famous book series and onto a stage near you in this beautifully crafted live stage production. Featuring Mr Bump, Little Miss Splendid, Mr Tickle, Little Miss Inventor and many more, Happyland bursts to life in a series of colourful and timeless stories through puppets, music and interactive play. www.barntheatre.org.uk Blenheim Palace

Easter Entertainment Blenheim Palace 10 - 13 April 2020

Blenheim’s Pleasure Gardens will transform into an Easter wonderland with lots of interactive experiences, family-friendly activities, Easter trails and shows to enjoy. Find a traditional fairground, dressing-up tent, princess meet & greet, plus Punch & Judy. Embark on an Easter Bunny walkabout, or frolic with the fairy stilt walkers; or maybe have a go at archery, get jumping on the bouncy castle or try bungee trampolining! Families can also see an Easter puppet show, watch balloon twisters, take part in circus skills workshops and have their faces painted over the four-day celebration. www.blenheimpalace.com

The April Meeting Cheltenham Racecourse 15 - 16 April 2020

It’s no easy task following The Festival. April’s two-day meeting is the perfect time to reflect on achievements past and remember that racing, no matter the event, is above all else a joyous occasion.

Fresh: Art Fair

Fresh: Art Fair

Cheltenham Racecourse 24 - 26 April 2020 Fresh: Art Fair is an easy and enjoyable way to see 51 leading galleries in one convenient place. You can browse and buy the work of 600 UK and international artists from exciting new talent to famous names like Hirst, Emin, Banksy, Blake and McLean.

For the final chance to watch the professionals test themselves on the track before the summer break, head to Cheltenham this April.

There’ll be 6,000 original prints and paintings, sculpture, glass and ceramics from as little as £100 to £30,000 or more, but most of them well within your budget. Fresh: is for everyone from newcomers to established collectors - don’t miss out.






Sudeley Castle

Spring Homes & Gardens Fair

The Comedy of Errors

Spruce up your home this spring at this enchanting event, held in aid of Maggie’s in Cheltenham. Buy furniture for indoors and outdoors, decorative accessories, gifts, fashion items and more. VIP ticket buyers receive free tickets to the Christmas Fair at Cheltenham Racecourse on 28-31 October (tickets to be sent in late September).

A man arrives in a strange town only to find that everyone knows his name but thinks he’s someone else. Confusion mounts as everyone uncouples from themselves. Will they ever find themselves again? Do they really want to?

Sudeley Castle 23 - 26 April 2020


Dawn Chorus Wild Walk Batsford Arboretum 25 April 2020

Join Batsford birding expert Arthur Ball for a stroll through the Arboretum to hear the beautiful dawn chorus. With more than forty years’ experience, Arthur will keep you informed and entertained about the native and visiting birds and help you identify them through their song. Tickets (which must be booked in advance) include a bacon or sausage sandwich and tea or coffee afterwards. Best suited for adults, teenagers and children aged ten plus. Wear warm, waterproof clothing and comfy shoes. www.batsarb.co.uk



The RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon 25 April - 3 October 2020

Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, a fairytale farce of everyday miracles, mistaken identity and double vision, is directed by comedy master Phillip Breen (The Provoked Wife 2019, The Hypocrite 2017, The Merry Wives of Windsor 2012). www.rsc.org.uk

Race Night Featuring Hunter Chase Racing Cheltenham Racecourse 25 April 2020

Cheltenham’s only evening fixture is the time for amateur riders and trainers to compete for the ultimate dream of winning at the Home of Jump Racing, with seven fiercely fought hunter chases over distances expected to range from an extended two miles to four miles. Enjoy affordable racing before the sun goes down. A great way to end the season. www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/cheltenham/


Blenheim Palace

Jousting Tournament

Priscilla Queen of the Desert

A weekend packed with action and entertainment, with knights on horseback charging in traditional tilt and battling on foot with the mighty mace and quarterstaff!

The iconic musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert is coming to the Everyman Theatre.

Blenheim Palace 2 - 3 May 2020

Highlights will included jousters, birds of prey, a medieval blacksmith and barber surgeon, jesters, dragon walkabout and parade, plus a children’s archery range. www.blenheimpalace.com

Classics at Prescott

Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham 18 - 23 May 2020

Starring Strictly Come Dancing winner Joe McFadden, Priscilla is the hilarious adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus bound for the Outback to put on the show of a lifetime. Their epic journey is a heart-warming story of self-discovery, sassiness and acceptance. The non-stop parade of dance-floor classics includes Hot Stuff, I Will Survive, I Love The Nightlife, Go West, Colour My World, Finally — and many more.

Prescott Hill 10 May 2020


This event is organised by Winchcombe Rotary Club and is open to classic car owners who wish to ‘Drive the Hill’ or take part in a static display. Spectators are also welcome and can gain entry for a donation of £15 per car and passengers.

La Vie en Bleu & La Vita Rossa Prescott Hill 23 - 24 May 2020

Proceeds from the event are used by the Rotary Clubs to support local, national and international charities. Almost £250,000 has been raised since the event was first run 16 years ago. Entrants are advised to apply via the website.

A weekend celebration of all things French & Italian. See an eclectic mix of motor cars spanning the last 100 years plus entertainment off track to keep all the family entertained - plus get close and personal to the new Bugatti Divo that will be on track and on show in the Paddock throughout the weekend.






Sudeley Castle

Blenheim Palace Food Festival

Cornbury Music Festival

Blenheim Palace 23 - 24 May 2020

Great Tew Park 10 - 12 July 2020

Gourmets of all ages rejoice! It’s time for the sixth Blenheim Palace Food Festival.

With this year’s festivities set to be headlined by two sensational acts – Van Morrison and Dido – it’s almost time to fetch the tent from the attic and dust down those wellies.

This gastronomic weekend will be packed with engaging talks and demonstrations from celebrity and local chefs, as well as a multitude of family-friendly activities within the stunning grounds of the palace. Last year’s superb line-up included Raymond Blanc OBE, Jean-Christophe Novelli and Celebrity MasterChef Champion, Angellica Bell.. www.blenheimpalace.com

On The Horizon

At the time of press, the rest of the line-up is yet to be announced. But we’re sure that Cornbury will continue to deliver all the usual thrills and spills come July.

The 50th Guiting Music Festival Guiting Power 24 July - 2 August 2020

Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival

For half a century the Guiting Music Festival has been a delightful niche festival to enliven the Cotswolds’ summer calendar, bringing an exciting variety of highly talented performances of Classical, Jazz and Blues music by artists from around the world. In that time it has built up a strong band of very loyal supporters.

An annual highlight for any culinary calendar, the 12th Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival is stuffed to bursting with palate-pleasing delights. Turn up and get tasting.

The festival is held in the beautiful and unspoilt Cotswold setting of Guiting Power, near Stow-on-the-Wold in Gloucestershire.



19 - 21 June 2020







Facing the

Climate Emergency Rev’d Katrina Scott on the Diocese of Gloucester’s new environmental commitments

I was delighted recently to be a part of a decision in the Diocese of Gloucester to assert the importance of our care of the environment. In a large gathering, we agreed a motion that: •

recognises we are facing a climate and ecological emergency which is a crisis for the whole of God’s creation; and

calls on all parts of the Diocese of Gloucester to work towards an 80% reduction in emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases no later than 2030, based on 2006 data (replacing the current target of an 80% reduction by 2050), and to take other measures in order to be carbon neutral, also by 2030.

This commitment includes bringing forward previous goals of reducing emissions by 20 years!

These are not easy goals to achieve – especially when you consider that many of our buildings are very old and are Listed, protected by quite strict planning conditions. It means that a fast and extensive shift in our current practices will be needed, but I feel these are hugely important goals to be working towards. The Bible teaches us that it is a core part of our Christian living to be stewards of God’s creation, looking after it, and caring for the most vulnerable people within it; this is all core within our Christian discipleship. This Lent, our focus in our group of Churches is going to be reflecting on what more we can each do to make a difference. We will be challenging one another to recycle more, to reduce our carbon usage, to limit our waste and to help those who are most vulnerable to climate change. Perhaps you might like to join us?

Rev’d Canon Katrina Scott is a Rector of seven churches at the heart of the Cotswolds (including Cutsdean, Farmcote, Temple Guiting, Guiting Power, Naunton, Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter) and also the Area Dean of the North Cotswold Deanery. She has lived in the Cotswolds since 2015, having previously served in Coventry for 15 years. Katrina loves being a vicar, and being a wife and a mother too.

Find out more about the issues raised in this article at www.churchofengland.org/ environment






Spreading a little random act of kindness to those less fortunate across the cities of the world

The B A Hope Foundation was set up in 2018 to continue the legacy of Billy Abernethy-Hope, a twenty-year-old ambulance driver from Bristol who was the inspiration and idea behind The Billy Chip. After helping support the homeless at Christmas, Billy was disheartened to discover that, whilst people donate to charity on a regular basis, only a small percentage is given directly to people living rough on our streets. It turns out that most people are apprehensive about giving money directly because the common perception is that money will be used for alcohol, drugs or cigarettes. And, even if a donation of food or drink is given instead, people have to engage and then purchase what’s required, which many feel uncomfortable doing. Billy recognised that the likelihood of someone having the time, inclination, courage, and kindness to engage with a homeless person to buy them food or drink was too big a challenge. That was the eureka moment when Billy first thought up the concept of the Billy Chip. Sadly, Billy never got to launch The Billy Chip as he had planned, due to his untimely death whilst backpacking in Thailand. The Billy Chip is a token that can be purchased for a £2 donation via a local retail outlet supplying take-away beverages like tea and coffee. The Billy Chip can be given to any homeless person, instead of money, to redeem in any participating outlet displaying The Billy Chip sign.



Jon, Sarah, Meg & Billy Abernethy-Hope at a recent fundraising event



OUR MISSION The Billy Chip can be given to any homeless person instead of money to redeem in any participating outlet for a drink - and hopefully food, or a night in a safe, warm place in the future. We need to engage with businesses who provide take away drinks and food to become part of the scheme. We need amazing people to share and talk about the idea to encourage companies to get involved. We need to spread the word through existing charities, but most importantly we need fabulous people like you to buy Billy Chips and spread a little bit of humanity to those less well off than you. A random act of kindness spreads faith, hope and charity.

Meg & Billy


Some of that money goes towards supporting the B A Hope Foundation, which works to support homeless people in the local area, and other causes close to Billy’s heart. A proportion of the donation goes to the retailer to cover their costs and the costs of supporting the Foundation’s function.

of kindness and compassion to everyone, no matter what their circumstances. Independent coffee shops and other retailers can go to www.billychip.com and simply click on our 'Become a Partner’ button. There’s a really easy sign-up process to follow and it doesn't cost the retailer anything to get involved.

“The brilliant and unique way The Billy Chip scheme works allows people to donate to the homeless without the worry of their donation being spent in an inappropriate manner. It also encourages retail outlets to do their bit for corporate social responsibility,” says co-founder Meg Abernethy-Hope.

“We have also had fish and chip shops and hairdressers come on board to offer takeaways and haircuts for Billy Chips, and support groups being set up all over the country by individuals who would like to help.. If you would like to get involved in recruiting new retailers, for example, then please send an email to volunteers@billychip.com with your postal address for an information pack with leaflets that can be pinned on notice boards, taken into shops and local homeless charities to inform people of the scheme and how it works.”

"The Billy Chip has already had incredible support in Bristol, Bath, Gloucester and Oxford. It would be wonderful to spread this idea into the North Cotswolds, to spread the message

Billy in uniform

For residents of the North Cotswolds, until the scheme is operating locally, you can donate directly to the Billy Chip Foundation via Harrison James & Hardie.




Dental Health Matters

Making Dentistry Eco-Friendly

We have long been aware that our planet is suffering from climate change, but only recently have we begun to realise the scale of the issues caused by our excessive use of plastics. Dr. Trevor Bigg At last, we are starting to understand that plastic is a problem that affects all life forms on earth, from the organisms in our oceans and rivers to our local wildlife. Microplastic pollution is everywhere – even our bodies. All industries have a responsibility to assess the environmental impact of the work they carry out. Dentists, too, are aware of this and are trying hard to reduce the damage the profession may be doing to the environment. So how can this be achieved? Phasing out silver fillings In October 2013, the Minamata Convention on Mercury took place in Japan. Minamata was the site of the world’s worst outbreak of mercury poisoning, which came from factory wastewater. The Convention met to decide how mercury contamination of wastewater could be reduced to the minimum. As dentistry is the second biggest user of mercury in the world, the Convention (which included the United Kingdom) agreed



to phase out the use of silver amalgam restorations over the next few years. Silver fillings will no longer be used for routine dentistry, apart from a few exceptions, for example where moisture control is difficult, or where large amalgam restorations in need of repair already exist. Reducing the use of plastic This is a much greater problem, as dentistry is governed by the Care Quality Commission and must abide by their rules or risk sanctions. One example concerns the use of spray bottles of disinfectant. In the past, these would be re-used, but this has now been prohibited, meaning that the plastic bottle has to be thrown away and a new one purchased. But it’s not all bad news. Dentistry can help by: • Ensuring all waste is properly recycled • Running a ‘paper-free’ digital practice

• • • •

Using digital x-rays, no need to dispose of developer and fixer chemicals Utilising paper cups instead of plastic Using aspirator tips made from sugar cane cellulose Encouraging the dental industry to make non-plastic toothbrushes and interdental cleaning aids (possibly using bamboo).

Dentistry has a long way to go in reducing the use of plastics, but changes are taking place and, with pressure from the profession, will become more eco-friendly in the years to come. If you want more information about the contents of the article, contact Penny at Milton Dental Practice: 01993 831 396 or email penny@drbigg.com and come to see us for a consultation. To accompany this article, we are offering a New Patient Examination at the fee of £99, including bitewing x-rays if required, and a free Denplan Examination.


As a spring clean approaches, Anna MacCurrach reflects on eco-friendly developments at Tagmoor Farm We have just received an envelope from Cotswold District Council, outlining the new arrangements for rubbish collection this year. I am delighted that I can now safely dispose of the mountain of used batteries that has been gathering under our sink for some time, but one person who won’t be so enthusiastic is my husband. He is about as interested in sorting out the recycling as he is in salsa classes. The bins have always been my department, despite my early protestations that it is a blue job and not a pink one. Jimmy ensured that this would be the case by flatly refusing to put the bins out the night before collection, despite this being standard practice in every other house in the country. He insisted that he wouldn’t forget to put them out in the morning. He always forgot – so I do the bins. This lack of interest in rubbish does not extend to environmental matters generally though, I am pleased to say. As farmers, he and his father take their roles as custodians of the countryside seriously. The grain store and campsite are powered by a wind turbine, the farmhouse central heating is

in eating locally produced meat).

fuelled by linseed straw, field margins are left scruffy, hedges are cut every other year, 12 acres are in a countryside stewardship scheme and planted specifically for the benefit of farmland birds, with a further 8 acres planted with bumble bee friendly legumes. All our animals are grazed on low input grassland, benefitting wildflowers, as well as being excellent grazing land for beef (which is available to buy straight from us, for those interested

Plans for 2020 include planting a new wood which, if approved, will contain 4,400 new trees. Changes in weather and shifting seasons in recent years have made it difficult to predict (as if it was ever easy) how well any particular crop will do. This season they haven’t even been able to plant the winter crops as it has been so wet. One field in particular is almost always waterlogged, so Jimmy has earmarked it as a location for his new wood. In time, we hope that this will reduce our carbon footprint as well as flooding further downstream of the ditches and rivers, increasing biodiversity for flora and fauna and improving the organic matter within the soil – a small legacy for future generations in our corner of the Cotswolds. Bearing all of this in mind, I really don’t think I can get too grumpy about who does the bins. I’ll carry on sorting out the recycling and let him get on with his job.

Find out more about Tagmoor Farm at www.lovemycow.com




Ti p s fo r t h ro w in g a n

ECO-FRIENDLY PARTY Event Manager Julia Sibun shows how you can celebrate a special day – without the waste

Warmer and longer days lie ahead – and what better way to shake off the last of the winter blues than by planning events, celebrations parties and weddings? The spring and summer months are great for covered or al fresco entertaining, and it’s now possible to throw the ultimate party or wedding day whilst remaining eco-friendly. Indeed, green-themed events can be both impressive and inclusive for guests. It’s just a question of adjusting a mindset from disposable to reusable and cutting down on excesses. So, whatever type of event you are hosting, think of ways to offer a greener alternative to the festivities.

on place cards and wedding favours by providing home-made biscuits with guests’ names in icing. •

Use wooden serving platters, bamboo cutlery and plates.

Have lavender, growing herbs or succulents in bio-degradable or terracotta pots as replacements for imported, cut and arranged flowers. Guests can take these home and use them after the event. Avoid floral foam for flower arrangements.

Digital party invitations

Go digital with your invitations by using PaperlessPost. Not only will you be saving yourself money, but you will be consuming less and producing less waste, whilst creating the most stylish of invitations.

Re-think your party presentation

Whilst you will want your event to look festive, the days of buying one-off party and wedding decorations are over. Streamers, balloons and banners are fun for the moment, but can create a lot of waste. Instead: •

Use gauze napkins, chair sashes and table runners – they look fabulous and can be reused or sold on eBay.

Use swathes of green foliage to decorate the sides of a marquee or a venue.

If it’s summer, have a cold buffet – no need to fire up a BBQ, heat or cook anything.

Think outside the box by doubling up



Make your own cotton bunting and use jam jars with candles, or your own flowers or green foliage.

Consider sustainable wedding favours of jam jars containing an assortment of goodies, including ethically-sourced hot chocolate mix, homemade jams/chutney/ relish, vegan soaps or body scrubs. It’s possible to source large, perfectly round or egg-shaped pebbles – and bags of wildflower seeds also make lovely gifts.

How about using real rose petals for confetti?

Adapt new technology by having the seating plan and other images projected onto a wall or a panel of the marquee. Borrow or hire the projector and have some fun with the a/v display.

Re-think your party presentation

celebration, this can be used for a charity event after the wedding – equivalent to making a substantial donation to a good cause.

Source seasonal, local produce from dairies, Pick Your Own, farm shops, farmers’ markets, organic/ game butchers, bakeries and seaside fishmongers.

Having less meat reduces the carbon footprint of any event. People are often astonished that delicious food is vegetarian or even vegan – or go for a locally-sourced hog roast.

Beg, borrow or hire as much as you can from friends, colleagues and neighbours – gazebos, decorations, tablecloths, platters, equipment…

Say yes to greener alternatives •

Avoid paper plates and plastic utensils. People don’t like using them as the plates get soggy and the cutlery doesn’t work. They also clog up landfill. Crockery and proper cutlery can be washed up and reused. Use bamboo straws, plates and cutlery.

Use biodegradable balloons instead of foil/plastic helium balloons (which take hundreds of years to break down).

Avoid Chinese lanterns (fire risk and a danger to farm animals).

Cut down on carbon emissions by keeping your event local, using local suppliers and artisan producers.

Look for a ‘green’ wedding venue – more and more are popping up across the country.

Co-ordinate car-pooling for transport, or hire a coach or vintage double decker to bring guests to the event.

Have an organic wedding cake.

Arrange to recycle glass, plastic, paper/ cardboard and food waste, or check that your venue or catering company can do this on your behalf. If you are on a

If you have a large marquee for a celebration, this can be used for a


budget, consider recycling the bottles yourself rather than paying for the bins to be delivered. •

Use solar lighting to guide people in the dark.

For your wedding day, hire a dress or choose a vintage or pre-loved wedding gown. Ask (and guide) your bridesmaids to choose their own dresses, so that they can wear them on other occasions. If you’re having a dress made, choose an ethical designer.

Haybales covered in tablecloths make for cosy seating which can be eaten afterwards (by animals)!

Consider cotton towels in the bathrooms – not paper or dryers and compostable toilets rather than expensive, chemical port-a-loos. These are not as basic as they sound, and companies can now provide ‘posh’ eco toilet alternatives.

Avoid wasting food. Over-catering creates a lot of extra food which has to be discarded. Ensure your guests reply to their invitations with a reply date so that you can calculate accurately how many people you’ll have at the event. Understand good portion control and have a contingency plan in place for the leftover food – use for lunches for the next few days or, if it works, pack take-

away bags for the guests to take home. •

Why not have musical entertainment which doesn’t require huge amplification and power supplies – string quartet, barber shop, choir, samba, African drumming, dhol (Indian) drumming, singer, duet, acapella, acoustic, folk, jazz, comedy, country or country dancing.

Reduce the number of guests. Have a smaller, more intimate gathering with close friends and family only.

Lose the crackers. People will be having so much fun, they won’t notice. The same goes for party bags, party poppers and crazy foam.

Request green/eco-friendly gifts •

If you would prefer not to receive gifts, ask people to buy an eco gift. Action Aid provides goats for farmers in Ethiopia, classroom bundles for children, emergency bundles for natural/war disaster areas, while Sightsavers provide operations that prevent blindness.

Ask your guests to give you experiences or treatments, rather than items you know you’ll never need or use.

Why not ask for books that you have selected?

Insist on sustainable gifts and reflect this

in your wedding list (tactfully, of course!). •

For children’s parties make sure it’s a ‘no plastic’ theme and request that gifts are wrapped in old newspapers. Instead of party bags, have a lucky dip in sawdust with wooden gifts for all.

Keep children’s games simple (and where possible, outside). It’s not necessary to buy games. Why not plan a nature-based treasure hunt outside, or obstacle races. Nature and outdoor games provide limitless potential for children to discover, explore and create. There’s also Jenga, Connect4 and croquet, plus football or rounders for more sporty kids.

Remember noise pollution too!

Even if your food is locally produced and you are recycling everything at your event, if you’re playing your music too loud and past midnight, your neighbours will be suffering from noise pollution. Remember to be courteous!

For more information about weddings, parties and events please contact Julia Sibun www.juliasibun.co.uk 07974 778 806.




Paint, Paper or Possibly Both Wallpaper patterns can make a serious decorative statement, whether applied on a small or large scale. Design guru Amanda Hanley gives her tips on making brave choices with confidence — you’ll be wondering why you didn’t put the paintbrush away years ago.

When it comes to wallpaper, try not to be influenced by what is likely to date, and go with what you love. Wallpaper can be a powerful influence – bold patterns and bright colour combinations can create major impact, offset by plainer, complementary main fabrics; or wallpaper can be a subtle influence, chosen for its interesting texture, its gentle repetitive pattern or muted shades, that enhance an otherwise strong palette of main fabrics. Explore both options in your mind and use your decision as a benchmark when looking through wallpaper and fabric collections. Before you decide, order large wallpaper samples of your choices to see at least one repeat of the design. Amanda Hanley by Design showrooms will order a sample so you can check your favourites in the room itself.


There are so many beautiful collections that might suit a feature wall. Make sure that the way you use the paper works as a complete scheme; with a subtle feature wallpaper, you will want to use the background colour of the paper to guide your paint choice for the other walls. For papers with a stronger background colour, it’s important to keep the effect going around the room with a sophisticated plain wallpaper in a complementary colour on the remaining walls. This has a wonderful cocooning effect that cuts down on noise; it also creates a far richer quality than paint – a wonderful effect, particularly suited to bedrooms.

Image courtesy of GP&J Baker

Or paint to perfection

With so many nuances and graduating shades, paint offers the chance to find the perfect palette for your home, to set the desired mood.


Choosing wallpaper with a bold, largescale print is a great way to add a touch of excitement to the entrance of your home. Hallways can often benefit from natural light, which will illuminate darker colours if you want a dash of extra drama. Consider a feature wall, as opposed to decorating the whole hallway, for a lighter touch.


Wallpapers are an opportunity to introduce people to the personality of the house. Use bold, contrasting wall coverings to invigorate. Image courtesy of Cole & Son



Painting a room can seem an easier option to wallpapering. However, there are potential pitfalls to negotiate when considering this for your home. Firstly, colour can be tricky to get right as it behaves in different ways in changing lights, appearing unlike the swatch on the test card which you thought was perfect. Pairing it with other tones, both in furniture and woodwork, is also a skill; even finding a beautiful cream can be a minefield. Here are some tips on injecting colour, finding perfect neutrals, pairing shades and options for woodwork to bring your home to life with a lick of paint.


Amanda’s top pics from new collections!

With the new season’s wallpaper launching, now is the best time to breathe new life into your home. These are a true feast for the eyes. It is really important to pair the wallpapers with a complementary colour palette. Statement designs lead the way and, with such choice, the manufacturers and designers are becoming more eclectic, daring and playful with colour, scale and design. Be inspired by Colefax & Fowler’s Salina, Epice:

Image courtesy of Colefax & Fowler

Colour Feature

Although we all love colour, we’re often a little timid about experimenting with it, perhaps using it in select ways on one wall or in small rooms. When you paint a wall, you have to remember it’s not like a cushion – the colour reflects on itself and magnifies. As you’re dealing with large areas it also has more impact and the light reflects from one wall to another, deepening the colour. (Top tip: to know what a colour is really like, paint the inside of a box.)

Perfect Pairings

Pairing two colours together has become a sophisticated trend. In most rooms, a muted tone complemented by a vibrant colour will work. But in smaller spaces opt for neutral shades from the same palette for a timeless look. For an interesting feature wall, pick out an accent colour from a piece of artwork.

Cream of the Crop

Neutrals are famously hard to choose, but getting it right is crucial as there are so many nuances, especially with whites and creams... some are warm, some cold, others pinkish, brown or silvery.

Testing, Testing

Test colours on as large an area as possible. Often, they will be brighter and lighter, or darker and duller than you expect. It is also important to see them in situ with other elements of the room, such as soft furnishings. Any colour change can initially be uncomfortable, so live with it for a while to make an objective judgement.

Seamless Woodwork

Painting woodwork the same as walls gives a great, unbroken effect – a softer look. It actually seems to accentuate elaborate mouldings in a very sophisticated way and visually opens up a space. A little variation can work particularly well using a matt emulsion for the walls and a satin for the woodwork.

Image courtesy of Colefax & Fowler

Consider also using the Magnolia wallpaper from GP&J Baker in your hallway – it remains one of the best loved designs painted by William Turner in 1913. Enlivened with large bursts of chrysanthemum and hydrangea blossom, it is simply stunning.


First, decide if you want the space to be cool and fresh or warm and cosy, and try not to confuse yourself with too much choice. Think about whether you want to introduce colour in a big way for walls or floor, or in splashes on cushions, throws or lampshades. Try to work out a scheme that will be complementary to adjoining rooms and any large existing features, such as a wooden floor or black marble fireplace. Vivid colour is best used in small amounts..

Image courtesy of GP&J Baker

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




A substantial detached residence with a generously proportioned and attractively landscaped rear gardens 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 A Beautiful Orangery | Office | 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, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893


£995,000 – SSTC

A stunning detached barn conversion with gardens and paddock approaching 1.2 acres, enjoying spectacular panoramic views across the neighbouring countryside. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Drawing Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Dining Room | Study | Utility | WC | Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Guest Bedroom with En-Suite | Three Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Double Garage | Gardens | Paddock | Parking | EPC Rating: E

Fine and Country, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893

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


£935,000 – SOLD

Bramley House is a substantial detached family home situated in a glorious location on the edge of the popular North Cotswold village of Ebrington. The property enjoys stunning views both to the front and rear, having outstanding views across the valley towards Chipping Campden at the front and equally glorious rural views to the rear across the fields that rise into Ilmington Hill. Entrance Porch | Hallway | Cloakroom | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Dining/Family Room | Utility Room | Laundry Room | Study/Office leading to a Games Room | Three Further Double Bedrooms (one with an En-Suite) | Family Bathroom | Master Suite with Shower Room and Dressing Area | Off Road Parking | Double Garage | Garden with Views | EPC Rating: D Fine and Country, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893


£725,000 – SSTC

Kerolee is an immaculately presented four bedroom detached family home with ancillary accommodation, generous gardens, garaging and parking, situated within walking distance of town centre facilities. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen | Utility Room | Ground Floor Bedroom/Study | Shower Room | Master Bedroom with Dressing Room and En-Suite Bathroom | Two Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Detached Double Garage with Accommodation over: Open Plan Sitting Room/Bedroom/Kitchen Area | Cloakroom | Off Road Parking | Generous Mature Gardens | EPC Rating: D Fine and Country, Bourton on the Water 01451 824977

Country Homes from harrison james & hardie



Top Farm is a substantial Cotswold stone farmhouse, dating back to the 1800’s, which is being marketed for the first time in 100 years having been a family home for generations. The house is located on the edge of the picturesque market town of Chipping Campden in the quiet hamlet of Westington and is within walking distance of Chipping Campden’s historic High Street with its plentiful array of boutique shops, restaurants, pubs and hotels, as well as excellent schools, a beautiful church and thriving local community. Dining Hall | Sitting Room | Large Kitchen/Diner | Utility Room | Downstairs Bedroom with En-Suite | WC | First Floor Master Bedroom En-Suite | Second Bedroom with En-Suite | Two Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Second Floor Bedroom with En-Suite | Attic Room | Roof Terrace | Separate Garden | Parking | EPC Rating: D Fine and Country, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893



A substantial detached house situated in one of the area’s most popular villages. Entrance Hall | Drawing Room | Study | Cloakroom | Kitchen/Dining Room | Family/Dining Room | Utility Room | Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Four Further Bedrooms | Two Bathrooms | Front, Side and Rear Gardens | Driveway | Detached Double Garage | EPC Rating: D

Fine and Country, Bourton on the Water 01451 824977

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



Mandel House forms part of the Old Brewery, a landmark building and a significant part of the heritage of Northleach. In recent times, the property has been used as offices, but has been the subject of significant refurbishment to provide the substantial residential house that we now offer to the market. Entrance Hall | 44ft Sitting/Dining Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Master Bedroom Suite with En-Suite Bathroom | Two Further Bedrooms | Cinema Room/Study | Shower Room | Courtyard Garden | Private Car Park with Historic Planning Consent for a Single Storey Dwelling | EPC Rating: G Fine and Country, Bourton on the Water 01451 824977



A substantial house with separate one bedroom annexe, situated just off the High Street in the centre of the village. Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Dining Room | Living Room with Large Feature Fireplace | Ground Floor Bedroom with En-Suite Shower Room | Separate WC l Master Bedroom with En-Suite Shower Room | Two Further Bedrooms | Snug/Bedroom 4 l Family Bathroom | Double Garage with Annexe Accommodation | Gated Off Road Parking | Courtyard Garden | EPC Rating: E

Fine and Country, Bourton on the Water 01451 824977

Country Homes from harrison james & hardie


Springside Longborough

Springside has been in the ownership of one family for the last twenty-five years and will no doubt spark competing interest, occupying a particularly desirable position within the muchfavoured traditional North Cotswold hill village of Longborough. Situated at the top of a tranquil lane with a footpath to one side leading immediately onto open countryside and within walking distance of the primary school, pub, church, village coffee shop and store, it is hard to imagine a lovelier setting.



Nestled serenely in a generous plot set back from the lane behind a gated entrance, bordered by a low stream fed by a natural spring, banked by a beautiful shaded woodland glade with generously terraced landscaped gardens enjoying a great deal of natural privacy, Springside was built in the 1960s as one of a pair of detached architect-designed homes by renowned local firm Williams.


There is still plenty of further scope given the size of the footprint and inherent beauty of the plot to upgrade and enhance this property

The present owners have greatly improved the original presentation and size of accommodation, extending considerably and adding charm, character and solidity to the interiors, including a Trefurn hand-built bespoke kitchen, stone-tiled and oak floors, with a Hornton stone open fireplace in the main sitting room, latch-and-braced oak doors, exposed beams, French doors and latticed windows. The whole providing a capacious and eminently comfortable family home with flexible living spaces arranged to make the very most of its wonderful position, an open-plan formal sitting room, study and sun room look out over delightful views of stream and wood whilst a separate dining hall, kitchen/breakfast room, family room/ kitchenette and lower-ground-floor informal family room all have double French doors opening out onto the terraces and garden.




There is no doubt that this is a home that would be wonderful for a family, equally for a retired couple or as a holiday home.

A two-storey extension opening from the kitchen/ breakfast room (converted from the original garage) could be a totally selfsufficient annexe, with a double bedroom above that has sufficient space to install another en-suite shower room. On the main ground floor leading off the dining hall, a bedroom wing hosts a master bedroom with en-suite shower room, two further double bedrooms and separate family bathroom. There is still plenty of further scope given the size of the footprint and inherent beauty of the plot to upgrade and enhance this property. Subject to the relevant planning consents, the attic spaces would be perfect for further bedrooms and bathrooms, taking full advantage of the stunning views looking over the boundary tree line towards adjoining fields and onto the distant hills beyond. There is no doubt that this is a home that would be wonderful for a family, equally for a retired couple or as a holiday home. The grounds are a particular delight, approached via a sweeping gated driveway to the front, with broad paved southerly-facing terraces



leading down to a garden laid principally to lawn, planted with a variety of deciduous trees, rose bushes and flower beds with a small vegetable patch, shed and summer house. The stream that runs along the boundary has deep cut sides, landscaped to create a gentle series of waterfalls, and a bank to the far side of mature British trees including oak, willow and silver birch. “My father loved to spend his time in the garden creating havens for hedgehogs, tending the vegetable plot and pruning the roses, whilst mum generally kept the terraces, arranging pots and baskets of flowers full of colour and scent. There’s an abundance of wildlife visitors - Muntjac deer, robins, pheasants, green woodpeckers. It’s such an idyllic place. “The grandchildren enjoyed playing in the stream and building dens on the banks - safe and shallow no matter how much rainfall. Getting up early, it’s just beautiful to watch the sun rising above the trees. With the bedroom windows and doors all flung open in summer, the sound of running water is so meditative and calming.”


Springside is offered to the market via Fine & Country North Cotswolds with a Guide Price of ÂŁ1.15 million. At the time of going to press, an offer of the full asking price had been received. With an Open Viewing Day on Saturday 21st March, to arrange an appointment please contact Martin Frost MNAEA, Senior Branch Manager at the Harrison James & Hardie offices, Moreton in Marsh, on 01608 651000. For more information, floor plans and photographs visit www.cotswold-homes.com






Bourton on the Water 64



Originally forming part of The Manor and situated within a stone’s throw of the High Street, The Old Coach House is a substantial detached period home offering over 3,500 square feet of accommodation. Blessed with natural privacy, tucked away behind high wrought iron gates within a secluded walled courtyard garden, benefitting from off-road parking for several vehicles plus a detached double garage with an annexe apartment above, the property is presented in good decorative order with many character features, including exposed stone walls, exposed A frame and beams.

With an openness of flow that creates a sense of natural grandeur, the main living accommodation includes two large reception rooms: a sitting room with woodburning stove set within a feature inglenook fireplace and a dining room also with feature fireplace, plus a generously fitted bespoke kitchen and a ground floor double bedroom with en-suite shower room. Upstairs, a wide wrought-iron balustraded staircase and split-level landing leads to a master bedroom with en-suite shower room, two further bedrooms and a main bathroom. Outside, the paved walled courtyard garden is planted with a multitude of

mature shrubs and trees, affording shelter from the elements and capturing the heat of the sun on balmy days. Above the double garage, a self-contained annexe, accessed by an external pedestrian door and staircase, provides a double bedroom, kitchenette and shower room with WC. Within easy walking distance of both primary and secondary schools, a modern health centre, large supermarket, boutique shops, restaurants and tourist attractions, the property is equally suited to retirement living, a main family home or, as it has been for the last decade, an imposing holiday home in one of the most desirable and popular locations within the North Cotswolds.




What annual income could be generated by The Old Coach House as an investment proposition?

Tom Burdett, Character Cottages: Providing the property is presented to the highest standard, given it can sleep 8-10 adults comfortably I would expect this property to generate approximately £60,000 to £70,000 gross holiday let income per annum. A large period property in Bourton on the Water – the top location for holiday lets – that is also within walking distance to the centre, blessed with plentiful parking and a pretty private garden will be in very high demand throughout the year.

Edward Slark-Hughes, Harrison James & Hardie: I can only echo Tom’s assessment of Bourton on the Water as a wonderful short let location. For anyone staying in their second home more frequently than a full time holiday let would sensibly allow, the average gross income on a short-let would be around £3,500 per month and, even as an assured shorthold let, it should generate around £30,000 gross income per year, so it’s a really good investment opportunity.

Marketed via Fine & Country North Cotswolds. To arrange a viewing, strictly by prior appointment, contact James von Speyr, Principal Director, at the Bourton on the Water offices of Harrison James & Hardie on 01451 822977 or for further information, floor plans and photos visit www.cotswold-homes.com




Holiday Lets - Going Green I want to give my holiday property a green update this spring. How cost-effective is this?

Certain green renovations will help you win new guests, as well as boosting loyalty from existing customers. For period properties, introducing energy-efficient improvements can help attract year-round bookings, making your property more appealing over the colder winter months, and will encourage those allimportant low season visits, many resulting in revisits during the peak months. Some simple green upgrades can give your holiday let real distinction, helping you stand out from the competition. Reinvesting the savings can, in turn, boost the rates you can charge. Win-win.

Tom Burdett is Managing Director of Character Cottages, specialising in the holiday letting of luxury properties in the Cotswolds. To find out more about their services visit www.character-cottages.co.uk, email letmycottage@character-cottages or telephone 01451 600 844.

hilst energy-efficient or eco-friendly may not be a major part of a guest’s decisionmaking process when booking a UK holiday let, making your holiday property more sustainable makes good business sense. Carbon-cutting your holiday let can reduce the costs of running your holiday home business, directly impacting your bottom line. This spare cash can then be redirected to the more indulgent things that really do matter to guests, like replacing worn linen, repainting a scuffed wall, or installing a wood-burning stove to encourage those cosy winter lets.

Low season is an ideal time for making renovations to your holiday let and, in fact, a good maintenance schedule goes a long way towards ensuring your property is energy efficient. The roof and windows are the biggest culprits when it comes to heat-loss, so check for insulation and consider improvements to the windows. Secondary glazing or replacement double glazing can improve heat retention as well as reducing drafts. There are other improvements that guests won’t see and that don’t immediately spring to mind, but draught proofing and insulation will make a huge difference in how comfortable your property is for guests, as well as saving you money on energy bills. Quick fixes include applying draught excluding tape to your letterbox and external doors, making sure radiators are not blocked by furniture, so there is plenty of space for heat to circulate. Rugs on wooden or stone floors give a cosy feel, as well as stopping draughts, and thermally-lined curtains not only keep heat in but provide darker rooms, ideal for a good night’s sleep. You may think that it is difficult to make period properties that are filled with original features, character and charm entirely eco-friendly, but the fabrication of 16th and

17th-century properties showcase some of the best eco-credentials. It is just a case of being true to the original design when planning your renovations. For example, when freshening up the decor, environmentally-friendly paints are available that won’t suffocate original stone walls as heavy chemical paints can, allowing the property to breathe. House plants can also help with aeration, as well as creating a pleasant ambience for guests. Our data shows us that guests choose a property based on its style, presentation and individuality. Using local artwork adds a ‘sense of place’, as does sourcing local goods, such as shower and bathroom products. Sourcing locally can make good business sense with mutual benefits and also adds to that boutique, cosy, local feel. Stock your home with eco-friendly cleaning equipment and opt for a zero-plastic approach, using airtight containers, rather than individually wrapped items. Include information on recycling in your welcome pack, as well as information on exploring the area car-free and using public transport. On the subject of cleaning, you can upgrade appliances to eco-friendly versions that don’t use excessive power and water. Energy-saving light bulbs, smart controls and setting lamps on timers all make good business sense. Outside, a water butt in the garden can be used to water plants – and installing an outdoor car charging point is very popular these days. These small and inexpensive changes will improve your guest’s experience and your bottom line, whilst doing a little bit for the environment. If you’re looking to generate a second income from a property, a holiday let could be the perfect investment. You can make a healthy profit and have somewhere for your family to escape to for weekends and holidays.





HOUSE Chipping Campden

Teasel House is a substantial detached family house situated just off Back Ends, one of the most desirable residential areas of Chipping Campden. The property, built of reconstituted stone under a tiled roof, boasts attractively landscaped grounds and enjoys farreaching views over Chipping Campden to the distant hills. The principal ground floor living includes a spacious sitting room fitted with woodburning stove and double doors opening out onto a delightful rear patio, a separate dining room currently used as a study and a generous kitchen/breakfast room complete with an Aga, plus a wonderful studio with vaulted ceilings and skylights (converted from the former double garage). On the first floor is a master bedroom with en-suite bathroom, three further bedrooms and family bathroom plus box room/study.




The upper garden is predominantly an orchard, practically organised with a greenhouse and timber shed, and at the very top a further terrace and summer house look out over extensive views




The gardens and grounds of Teasel House are a particularly stunning feature of the property. A five-bar gate opens to a driveway with generous parking and turning space, leading onto lawns that slope gently away and up from the house, landscaped with paved terraces, stocked flower borders and seating areas including a summer house/log cabin. The upper garden is predominantly an orchard, practically organised with a greenhouse and timber shed, and at the very top a further terrace and summer house look out over extensive views. Providing generously proportioned and flexible accommodation, this sizeable detached family home sits within easy reach of the plentiful array of boutique shops, restaurants, pubs and hotels on Chipping Campden’s historic High Street. For more information, photos and a floor plan of Teasel House, visit the Property section of www.cotswold-homes.com




What annual income could potentially be generated as an investment proposition?

Tom Burdett, Character Cottages: I would expect this property to generate approximately £60,000 to £70,000 gross income per annum, providing there are no restrictions such as dogs/children and that it’s presented in its contemporary tip-top condition. Detached properties are always attractive, giving no worry about neighbours. Two generous reception rooms will happily accommodate a large group. The family-sized garden is an additional attraction whilst being within walking distance of the High Street with all its array of shops, restaurants, etc. is a huge bonus for holidaymakers.

Edward Slark-Hughes, Harrison James & Hardie: This marvellous property would be perfect as a second home, generating occasional income throughout the year of around £4,000 per month. As a standard residential let it would generate around £32,500 gross income per annum, so it is a fabulous opportunity for anyone seeking to invest in the North Cotswold property marketplace, without a doubt.

Marketed via Fine & Country North Cotswolds and Cotswold Homes, an Open Viewing Day produced competing bids and an agreed sale considerably in excess of the guide price of £950,000. For more information about the benefits of this unique combined marketing strategy, please contact Martin Frost MNAEA, at the offices of Harrison James & Hardie Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000 or James von Speyr, Principal Director, Bourton on the Water 01451 822977.






Upper Oddington

A unique opportunity to acquire four beautifully presented and comprehensively refurbished Cotswold stone cottages set in the heart of the idyllic North Cotswold village of Upper Oddington. Currently operating as successful holiday cottages let through Character Cottages, the properties are available to be purchased with contents and future bookings by separate negotiation. With



each available separately as a luxurious Cotswold pied-a-terre, or collectively as a portfolio making an attractive and versatile proposition for investors seeking an income stream, Cottages 1, 3 & 4 have one bedroom with shower room and open-ground floor living, the kitchen area equipped with an Aga and living room with wood-burning stove. Cottage 2 has two double bedrooms with adjoining bathrooms, a separate sitting

room with woodburning stove and a kitchen/diner with Aga, plus a useful utility porch. Cottages 2, 3 & 4 also benefit from south-facing gardens, terraces and off-road parking. An additional outbuilding, The Old Laundry, has current planning consent to be demolished and rebuilt as a highly individual contemporary one-bedroom dwelling (Cotswold District Council Planning reference 17/02292/FUL).


What annual income could be generated as an investment opportunity from each cottage?

Tom Burdett, Character Cottages: I would expect the smaller cottages to generate £20,000 to £25,000 and the two-bedroom cottage £25,000 to £30,000 gross holiday let income per annum. Onebedroom cottages are really rare and there’s great demand, especially with such beautifully equipped interiors. Multiple adjacent cottages also open up the market to groups wanting separate accommodation in the same location. A great investment opportunity, for sure.

Edward Slark-Hughes, Harrison James & Hardie: Short let gives owners greater flexibility, perfect for anyone hoping to offset the cost of a second home. The one-beds would generate around £1100 per month and the two-bed around £1400 per month. However, these lovely cottages would be extremely popular with young couples or as an alternative to retirement living: as a shorthold assured tenancy the one-beds would achieve around £775 per month and a shade under £1,000 per month for the two-bedroom cottage.

Marketed by the offices of Harrison James & Hardie as a single proposition at a guide price of £1.6 million (for individual prices, visit www.cotswold-homes.com), for further information and viewing strictly by prior appointment, please contact Martin Frost MNAEA on 01608 651000.




Dating back to the early 1800s, once forming part of the village brewery, this gorgeous and sympathetically extended Georgian cottage is an exceptionally pretty home full of original character. With three reception rooms, a recently modernised kitchen/breakfast room and a separate laundry/ w.c., a master bedroom and en-suite bathroom, plus three further double bedrooms and separate bathroom, this is a wonderful family home with a generous garden that also offers potential opportunity for further extension (subject to the necessary planning consents). A substantial single storey Cotswold stone annexe sitting within the grounds is currently arranged as an open-plan kitchen/living room with a separate sitting room, shower room and loft room over. This could be used for a variety of purposes: as a teenage den, for holiday letting, a work-from-home business, ancillary family accommodation, an artist’s studio, or for an elderly parent. “My mother and I bought the cottage together in 1994 and she lived very happily in her little house beside us for twenty years. She would pop over to babysit and chat, but she had her own space



too, her own front door, her own piece of garden, somewhere to park her car and pop out and do shopping, so we didn’t ever feel in each other’s pockets.” Occupying a lovely position at the centre of Little Compton, set back from the lane within high walls to either side, the property is approached to the front via a latch gate leading on to an abundant traditional English country garden planted with a profusion of flower beds, mature shrubs and deciduous trees. To the side, the garden is laid to lawn with a separate, gated gravelled driveway providing parking for three cars. “The house is predominantly south-facing and so the sun streams in, even in the depths of winter. The west side of the garden gets the best of the evening light. We often thought of extending the kitchen, adding another bedroom, but we didn’t need it. In early spring, looking out from the French windows in the kitchen, it is a joy to see the garden come alive with drifts of snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils and, as the months pass, blossoming into a riot of colour, scents and shade – cherry, roses, honeysuckle, clematis, lavender. It’s truly lovely all year round.”



COTTAGE Little Compton

A summer’s garden

And the walks into the countryside – the beauty of the drive home, a tiny deer park in the village. A proper pub. All of it. It’s as close to perfect as any country home could possibly have been.




What has been the best part of living here? “Everything. We have log fires in the dining and sitting rooms, a cast-iron wood burner in the family room, so it’s always a very cosy house, fabulous at Christmas. The new rear hall brought everything together in the round, so with all the doors flung open back and front in summer it’s cool and airy, just brilliant for parties and al fresco dining. “Then there’s the true happiness of bringing up children here and my mother being with us for all that time. The practical benefits of both Chipping Norton and Moreton being just a stone’s throw; Kitebrook school down the road, regular trains from Moreton to London, Daylesford just five minutes away, Soho Farmhouse fifteen or so. “And the walks into the countryside – the beauty of the drive home, a tiny deer park in the village. A proper pub. All of it. It’s as close to perfect as any country home could possibly have been.”



Offered to the market with a Guide Price of £825,000, Brewery Cottage will be launched on Saturday 28th March with an Open Viewing day. Appointments strictly by prior arrangement, please contact Martin Frost MNAEA at the Moreton-in-Marsh branch of Harrison James & Hardie Fine & Country North Cotswolds on 01608 651000. For further information, floor plans and a brochure, visit www.cotswold-homes.com.


Holiday Lets - Going Green I want to give my holiday property a green update this spring. How cost-effective is this?





The ancient town of Northleach was established as an important marketplace in the 13th century when it rose to prominence as a centre for the wool trade. A common stop on the old coaching route from London to Gloucester, today the A40 now diverts around the smallest market town of the Cotswold District, making it a tranquil, yet vital, hub for surrounding villages in this sparsely populated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.



The original town plan was based upon a single main street running along the valley formed by the River Leach, complete with a picturesque triangular marketplace and beautiful parish church on its south side. In medieval times, strips of land known as ‘burgage’ plots running the length of the high street were offered for a rent-free period in return for housebuilding, forming the narrow street frontage and long gardens that remain a prominent feature of the layout of the town today.


Enjoying zoned lower underfloor heating throughout, the property has the highest standards of comfort on every level.

On the western edge of the High Street, The Old Brewery is a landmark building that played a significant part in the town’s heritage, which has recently undergone restoration and refurbishment into a number of desirable residential dwellings, of which Mandel House is an impressive three-storey townhouse, steeped in character with irregularly shaped rooms, vaulted ceilings and exposed beams. Approached via Guggle Lane, benefitting from its own private car park, the top floor hosts the main entrance, leading to a 44-foot long living room sensibly divided in open-plan sitting/dining spaces with French doors and a Juliette balcony, enjoying views over the town to the church, leading to a kitchen/breakfast room generously fitted for entertaining with a large range cooker. Enjoying zoned lower underfloor heating throughout, the property has the highest standards of comfort on every level. The middle floor provides a cinema/study/hobby room and a large double bedroom, whilst the lower ground floor hosts two more bedrooms including a luxurious master bedroom and en-suite bathroom complete with roll-top bath and separate shower. With its own entrance and external staircase leading up to a gravelled courtyard, the lower floor could easily be divided into separate accommodation. Perfect as a secure lock-upand-leave holiday home, the whole extending to almost 2,400 square feet of flexible accommodation, Mandel House would equally appeal to a family or a couple wishing to generate an income from holiday letting, for example.




What annual income could be generated by Mandel House as an investment proposition?

Tom Burdett, Character Cottages: With such beautifully presented accommodation, especially being situated just off the High Street with private parking and a gin-and-tonic terrace, this would be a popular holiday let property, generating in the region of £40,000 – £45,000 gross income per annum.

Edward Slark-Hughes, Harrison James & Hardie: Northleach is very much ‘of the moment’. Many tenants will be attracted by a quiet town location that gives such easy access to South and North Cotswolds along the A417, and to the A40 towards Oxford / London. As an occasional short let, the property would generate around £3,000 gross income per month and as a standard residential let, around £24,000 gross income per annum.

Launching to the market via Fine & Country North Cotswolds at £695,000, to book an appointment to view, strictly by prior appointment, contact James von Speyr at the Bourton on the Water offices of Harrison James & Hardie on 01451 822977. For more details, photos and floor plan visit www.cotswold-homes.com.




Cherrywood House, Blackwell

Cherrywood House is an individually designed, modern four-bedroom detached village property situated in the heart of Blackwell and overlooking the green. Renovated to an extremely high standard and blessed with a garden extending to a third of an acre, the ground floor accommodation briefly comprises: Entrance hall, sitting room with feature fireplace and inset wood-burner, dining room, kitchen/breakfast room, utility room, ground floor family room/ study and cloakroom. On the first floor: Master bedroom with en-suite bathroom, three further bedrooms and a family bathroom. Outside: Off-road parking

for several vehicles, rear garden laid mainly to lawn with summer house, fenced paddock with timber workshop and greenhouse. Internal inspection of this well-presented and generous family home is highly recommended. Marketed by Fine & Country North Cotswolds at ÂŁ695,000, to book an appointment to view, strictly by prior appointment, contact Martin Frost MNAEA, Senior Branch Manager at the Harrison James & Hardie offices in Moreton in Marsh on 01608 651000. For further information, floor plans and photos visit www.cotswold-homes.com







H A I N A U LT HOUSE Blockley

Hainault House is a double-fronted three storey Grade II Listed four-bedroom property, built in classic honey-coloured Cotswold stone. Dating back to the 17th century, situated in the heart of the historic village of Blockley on an elevated terrace that rises above the properties on the opposite side of the street, the property affords stunning and far-reaching countryside views from first and second floors. Retaining an abundance of original period features, including mullioned windows, flagstone flooring, exposed Cotswold stone walls and a large inglenook fireplace, modernised throughout, the inherent character of the property is further complemented by a contemporary dĂŠcor.

The sitting room is particularly impressive with a wide inglenook fireplace, flagstone floors, exposed stone walls and mullioned windows.

The sitting room is particularly impressive, with a wide inglenook fireplace, flagstone floors, exposed stone walls and mullioned windows. A dining room with a bay window looks out to the front, served by a cosy kitchen warmed by a gas-fired Aga, practically arranged with a separate utility room and adjacent laundry room. Between the ground and first floors is a mezzanine landing with a family bathroom. On the first floor is an oak-floored reception room enjoying far reaching countryside views across the Blockley valley, plus master bedroom with en-suite shower room and double bedroom, and two further double bedrooms on the floor above.




From the rear of the property, steps lead up to an attractive terraced rear garden, laid to lawn on two separate levels, the whole enjoying fabulous countryside views. An outbuilding in need of some repair, accessed from Bell Bank, offers potential for off-road garaging and/or storage. Offered with no onward chain, currently operating as a successful holiday cottage let through Character Cottages, the property’s contents can also be purchased by separate negotiation. For more information on annual gross holiday let income please contact Tom directly: tom@character-cottages.co.uk. Edward Slark-Hughes, Harrison James & Hardie, Lettings, says: “Hainault House would be a perfect occasional short let proposition, generating in the region of £2,000 gross income per month. As a standard residential let, the property would bring in around £17,000 gross income per annum.”



Marketed via Fine & Country North Cotswolds at Offers In Excess Of £650,000, to book a viewing, strictly by prior appointment, contact Martin Frost MNAEA, Senior Branch Manager at the Harrison James & Hardie offices of Moreton in Marsh on 01608 651000. For further details, photos and floor plan visit www.cotswold-homes.com

Maple Cottage, Bledington, £575,000 Originally built as a barn to a neighbouring farm in the early 19th century and converted to a residential dwelling in 1972 by Thomas Williams builders of Longborough, Maple Cottage has also been much improved by the current owners and is now a well-presented substantial stone cottage in the heart of the popular village of Bledington. Entrance Porch | Kitchen/Diner with Aga Cooker | Sitting Room | Conservatory | Master Bedroom with En-Suite Shower Room | Two Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Driveway providing off road parking for several vehicles | Two Timber-Framed Sheds | Garden laid to lawn with far-reaching views over open farmland | Internal inspection is highly recommended | EPC Rating: F

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

Church View, Snowshill, O.I.E.O £425,000 A delightful semi-detached Cotswold stone cottage situated in an elevated position in the heart of the picturesque Cotswold village of Snowshill, famed as a location in Bridget Jones’s Diary, enjoying an idyllic position opposite the pretty church with stunning views beyond. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room with stone fireplace | Kitchen/Diner | Utility Room | W.C. | Two Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Front and Rear Gardens | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: F

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000


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


The Old Stores is a gorgeous, partthatched Grade II Listed detached cottage located in the heart of the popular North Cotswold village of Ebrington, happily situated within a short distance of the renowned village pub. Built of Cotswold stone with a wealth of character features, including exposed timbers and beams, believed to date back to circa 1600, the property was originally three separate cottages and also, as the name suggests, once the village shop. Now in need of some updating, this historic property would certainly reward the love, time



and attention spent upon restoring it. On the ground floor is a kitchen/breakfast room with a feature fireplace, a separate dining room and sitting room, both with open fireplaces, above three bedrooms and two bath/shower rooms. Benefitting from off-road parking and garage, situated in an elevated position with lovely views across the village towards the parish church, the cottage has a pretty traditional garden, flowerbeds stocked with a profusion of traditional perennials and shrubs, laid mainly to lawn with a feature fish pond, a summerhouse and a separate outbuilding. Undoubtedly appealing to a wide range of potential purchasers, internal inspection is highly recommended.

Built of Cotswold stone with a wealth of character features, including exposed timbers and beams, believed to date back to circa 1600 ...


What annual income could be generated as an investment proposition? Tom Burdett, Character Cottages: Providing the property is restored to a high-end finish, I would expect to generate approximately £40,000 to £45,000 gross holiday let income per annum. Thatched cottages are really popular and period character features would create a definite ‘wow-factor’. A wood-burner/ open fire is important, whilst being a stone’s throw from Chipping Campden and walking distance of the Ebrington Arms are both big plus-points, too.

Edward Slark-Hughes, Harrison James & Hardie: What a gorgeous cottage! In its present condition we would expect it to generate around £1,950 per month as a short let, and in excess of £15,000 gross income per annum as an assured shorthold let. As Tom says, spending on the fabric and décor will be rewarded with an uplift in potential annual income and will improve underlying capital grow

Marketed via Fine & Country North Cotswolds, at Offers In Excess Of £650,000, to book a viewing contact Martin Frost MNAEA at the Harrison James & Hardie offices of Moreton in Marsh on 01608 651000. For further details, photos and floor plan visit www.cotswold-homes.com




Ashbury House Notgrove Station



Ashbury House is a four-bedroom Victorian, detached Cotswold cut-stone property occupying a rural position halfway between Bourton-on-the-Water and Cheltenham. Set just off the A436, enjoying delightful views over open farmland to the rear and nestled within a beautifully maintained plot of around half an acre, this charming property is ideally suited either for use as a holiday let, a second home or a main family residence. The property has been thoroughly updated by the current owners. Many period and modern features have been retained or restored during the refurbishment including exposed stone walls and floors, a Shaker style country kitchen with Belfast sink, original feature Victorian fireplaces in the bedrooms and a family bathroom, complete with a rolltop bath and double shower.


Each room is spacious and light, benefitting from square proportions and high ceilings, a simple uncluttered décor and the use of neutral tones throughout. Adults and children alike will want to spend as much time outside as possible, relishing the sense of freedom, peace and tranquillity of this rural location during warmer months and equally more than happy to cosy up indoors during the winter months in front of the roaring log burners provided in both reception rooms. There is no doubt that Ashbury House will appeal to those seeking to get away from it all, hoping to live the good life, but without actually being too far from a wealth of services and amenities. The centre of Cheltenham, Northleach, Stow -on-the-Wold or Bourton-on-the-Water are

within easy reach – as such it is a brilliant halfway house between town and country, with easy access from these centres to a number of major rail and road networks that criss-cross the North Cotswolds. Nearby Cold Aston Primary School is set in a quaint, traditional Victorian school building, offering an idyllic education for younger children with less than one hundred pupils on the register. There are several extremely good state and private schools in Cheltenham, but the property also sits within the catchment of the Cotswold School in Bourton-on-the-Water. Ranked amongst the top state schools by the Times and lauded by Tatler for its impressive performance, this exemplary secondary school has been awarded Outstanding status by Ofsted in all categories.

There is no doubt that Ashbury House will appeal to those seeking to get away from it all, hoping to live the good life ...

Marketed via Fine & Country North Cotswolds at Offers In Excess Of £795,000, to arrange a viewing contact James von Speyr, Principal Director, at the Bourton-on-the-Water offices of Harrison James & Hardie on 01451 822977. For further information, floor plans and photos visit www.cotswold-homes.com



Ashleigh, Lower Swell , £695,000 – SALE AGREED A substantially improved and extended, detached single storey property with outstanding countryside views, occupying a plot of about 0.25 acres. The property has been the subject of significant changes with the current owners having added a single storey rear extension along with an oak framed side extension and the conversion of the loft room. Entrance Hall | Kitchen | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Utility Room | Master Bedroom with En-Suite Bathroom and Dressing Room | Bedroom Two with En-Suite Shower Room | Bedroom Three | Bathroom | Landscaped Gardens | Garage | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: F

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


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


Window Dressing I’ve been told that about 20% of the heat lost from a house goes out of the windows. With the emphasis on making our houses more energy efficient, how can I stop this?

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 www.centralsurveying.co.uk

n times gone by, windows were made large in order to allow maximum capture of daylight to enable reading, sewing and other practices without having to light the candles, gas or, latterly, electricity. In order to create very large windows, the classic multi-paned windows were developed (although in cottages the windows tended to be smaller anyway). These windows were single glazed and consequently very cold and frequently draughty in winter weather – hence the use of thick curtains once the lamps were lit.

to use window shutters – research from Historic England has shown that they can significantly reduce heat loss. There are expert carpenters who can make shutters to fit your house and, where windows are set into very thick walls, they can be made-to-measure to fold neatly back against the embrasure. They tend to be rather cleaner than having fabric blinds or curtains, which can absorb smoke and cooking smells – and there is something wonderfully cosy about pulling across the shutters on a windy and rainy night!

So, today’s owner of a Listed house, or a house situated in a Conservation Area, will often find that they are the proud owners of large expanses of glass that render their house thermally inefficient. Changing them to double or triple glazing, however, may be a Heritage Office issue, so do contact the Heritage Office in your local planning area and find out exactly what their requirements are. Some offices are more pragmatic than others and may allow improvements if they are out of plain sight, but others are more purist in their approach.

However, since no one wants the curtains or shutters drawn during the day, how can we go about making the actual window panes more efficient?

If you want to make your home more energyefficient, reducing draughts is key. If windows don’t fit properly and there are draughts, the house feels colder than it is, which often means the heating gets turned up.

The first suggestion is usually secondary glazing, which allows one to enjoy the daylight whilst being warm and draught free. The mention of secondary glazing often causes people to recoil in horror, since it used to be clumsy and unattractive, but companies have improved the systems enormously. It can be designed with glazing bars that match the window frames, so that it is not noticeable from outside (and can still create good ventilation in fine weather).

Ensure that any gaps caused by poor pointing or shrinking timber frames are filled with an appropriate mortar, carefully matching it to the original pointing. Using draught strips or compression seals and the like will make windows and doors fit and close more accurately against the frame. Doors should also be taken into consideration – to stop the wind whistling in from underneath the door, simply use a draught excluder.

Secondary glazing also has the advantage of retaining the historic window, so is a good choice if there is historic crown or cylinder glass present – sadly, with glass being the fragile thing that it is, very few windows still possess ancient glass. Interestingly, research has shown that where windows are multipaned (for example, classic 12 pane sashes) secondary glazing is actually more thermally efficient than replacing the panes with double glazed ones; this is because of the potential for ‘thermal bridging’ between the frames and glazing bars.

After this, your simplest way of preventing heat losses is to do as Granny did and put up thick, interlined curtains for winter. Another option is

By making a few eco-friendly improvements, you can lower your heating costs – and keep your home feeling cosy.



£499,950  Baytree Cottage, Lower Swell

1 Mitchell Way, Upper Rissington

A substantial five bedroom house over three floors situated a very short walk from The Rissington (Primary) School and within the catchment area of The Cotswold Academy.  Entrance Hall | Cloakroom | Full Length Kitchen/Dining Room | Sitting Room | Three First Floor Bedrooms (Master with En-Suite Shower Room)  Family Bathroom | Two Second Floor Bedrooms (One with EnSuite Shower Room) | Garden l Garage l Off Road Parking l EPC Rating: B

Entrance Hall | Living/Dining Room | Conservatory | Kitchen | Cloakroom | Three Bedrooms | Bathroom | Single Garage | Garden | Parking | EPC Rating: E 

£350,000  5 Spitfire Close, SALE AGREED Upper Rissington

An opportunity to purchase a two bedroom Grade II Listed character cottage with a host of features, including exposed stone, beams, wood-burning stove and listed staircase. 2 Rose Cottage is located in the sought after village of Naunton and is available with no onward chain.  Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen | Bathroom | Two First Floor Bedrooms | Main Garden (to front) | No Onward Chain | EPC Rating: Exempt 

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


A beautifully presented Cotswold stone detached three bedroom home, set within a quiet cul-de-sac in the desirable village of Lower Swell. 

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

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

2 Rose Cottage, Naunton



An immaculately presented two bedroom terraced property, benefitting from off road parking and garden. The property is within close proximity of the local amenities and is ideal for first time or investment buyers. Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Two Bedrooms | Shower Room | Garden to Rear | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: C

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

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

Kinsale House, Bourton on the Water

£450,000 4 Valley View, SALE AGREED Little Rissington

A five bedroom link-detached house situated within a level walk of the High Street, available with no onward chain. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Garden Room | Kitchen/Diner | Cloakroom | Master Bedroom with En-Suite Shower Room | Bedroom Two with En-Suite Shower Room | Three Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Garden | Off Road Parking | No Onward Chain | EPC Rating: C

A red brick, well-presented, semi-detached family house set in a village location with westerly views over to the Windrush Valley. The property has a mature garden to three sides with ample off road parking leading to the single detached garage. (N.B. The property has a restriction giving local people an automatic consent to purchase; anyone from out of the area must get approval to purchase.) Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Inner Hall | Kitchen/Diner | Utility Room | Rear Porch | Cloakroom | Master Bedroom with En-Suite Shower Room | Two Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Gardens | Off Road Parking | Garage | EPC Rating: D

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

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

1 Woodpecker Close, Bourton on the Water

£440,000 SALE AGREED

£415,000 2 Stowe Green, SALE AGREED Stow on the Wold

£357,000 SALE AGREED

A well-presented detached house situated within walking distance of the schools and High Street.

An extremely well-presented three bedroom semi-detached house with double garage, located just a few minutes walk from the town centre.

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

Entrance Hall | Sitting/Dining Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Cloakroom | Three Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden | Double Garage | EPC Rating: C

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

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

view all our properties at harrisonjameshardie.co.uk


Designing the Future Eco-Friendly Homes We’re looking into designing a home that is eco-friendly. There are many aspects we need to take into consideration — how to achieve natural lighting, project costing and the use of the right construction materials, to give a few examples. What advice can you give us?

he benefits of creating an eco-friendly and efficient home include lower fuel bills, healthy living space and having a positive impact on the environment. But creating a sustainable home isn’t simply about introducing addon renewable technology, it’s important to consider the fabric of your build as well. Building in an environmentally friendly way has many benefits, along with being both incredibly rewarding and cost-effective too. Not only are you helping to look after the environment, but you’ll also enjoy lower bills, increased energy efficiency and your home will require less maintenance over time.

Ashleigh Clarke is Managing Partner and Architect at Ashleigh Clarke Architects in Bourton-on-the-Water. To contact Ashleigh, email info@ashleighclarkearchitects.com or call 01451 821581. Visit AC Architects at www.ashleighclarkearchitects.com



With a wealth of information and support available, it is now easier than ever before to create a greener and more energy-efficient home. There are many helpful recommended sources out there to provide you with all the information you need and guide you on your way to getting greener. Energy Saving Trust has a website giving guidance on energy efficiency options that you may consider useful towards making your building an eco-friendly home. When it comes to building eco-homes on a budget, there are several things to consider. Let’s start with building materials. Your choice of insulation will play an important part; eco-friendly insulating materials include materials such as sheep’s wool, cellulose (recycled newspaper) or wood fibre. These can be reused and recycled and are fully biodegradable. Sustainably-sourced timber, blockwork, brick and pre-fabricated systems, which are made off-site in a factory, are all viable options to consider.

Dense materials such as brick and concrete offer high levels of thermal mass, so that during the day they absorb and store heat, while at night the heat is slowly released, keeping your home at a comfortable temperature. For the best of both worlds, many prefabricated timber builds can be clad with blockwork or brick. Interior elements such as a polished concrete floor will offer similar benefits of warmth. Not only is lighting an essential component of home design that can have a crucial impact on the general atmosphere, but it’s also one of the simplest ways to go green. But there’s more than one way to switch to eco-friendly lighting; in fact, there’s a variety of options that will help you design an eco-friendlier home with a bright and light ambience that you’ll love. Change your bulbs to either LED or CFL — they are extremely energy efficient and give out effective lighting to your room. Try to make as much use of natural light as possible by adding a window or skylight to open the room up more. Finally, you can maximise the light in the room by choosing light colours and reflective materials for your walls, ceiling or floor. Light-coloured and shiny flooring options like linoleum or polished woods can reflect a lot of ambient light. The possibilities are endless when it comes to designing an eco-friendly home, with many benefits to yourself and the environment. You’ll find that, in the long run, you will save money, enjoy better health and help conserve the environment for both current and future generations.


Getting on the Housing Ladder with Shared Ownership I only have a limited deposit and my friends keep telling me to buy a shared ownership property. I am nervous as a first-time buyer and really don’t know what this means. Are you able to help?

do sympathise with your position entirely, as these sorts of property purchases are not easy to understand and are complicated from a legal perspective. Put simply, shared ownership means that you will initially buy a share in a property (often 50%) with the right to purchase extra shares until you eventually own it entirely. The other share will belong to the shared ownership provider and you will rent this other share from them (so part rent, part buy). It can be a great way of getting on the housing ladder if your deposit is limited. Simon David is Managing Director at Thomas Legal. He is a member of the Conveyancing Association, which is made up of the largest property law firms in the country. To contact Simon, email simon.david@thomas.legal or call 01452 657951 Visit Thomas Legal Group at www.thomaslegalgroup.co.uk

So, are there any pitfalls or extra requirements when buying a property like this? There are a number of things to think about. Firstly, your income must be below 80k if outside London. Secondly, you cannot own another property if you want to buy a shared ownership one. You also need to realise that you will only get a lease of the property when you move in, and that there will be a number of obligations that you will have to comply with. These will include things like restrictions and covenants (governing the use) as well as the obligation to offer the property back to the shared ownership provider (usually a housing association) when you want to sell up, so that they can offer it to someone else who might be on their waiting list. That makes sense. Apart from the usual legal fees relating to the purchase, are there any other costs to think about? Yes, stamp duty will be payable in the normal way on the value of the share that

you purchase, although you could elect to pay stamp duty on the full value of the property instead (but this only applies to new shared ownership property). If you then later buy extra shares in it, then you will not have to pay anything further; this is however a complicated area of law, and specialist advice must always be sought before deciding which path to take! In addition, if the property is a flat then you will have to pay a service charge. This is a payment that you will make every year to contribute towards the cost of the upkeep of the building as a whole, as well as a contribution towards the building’s insurance. In addition (and most importantly) you will have to pay the shared ownership provider rent on the share that you do not own. Whilst your lease will show how this is to be calculated, it is likely to go up every year – as well as the service charge – so you need to budget carefully for this. If you are buying a house, then the situation is simplified as you will be responsible for the upkeep and insurance of the building and will only pay the rent mentioned above, not any additional service charge. Lastly, one word of warning. Assuming that you are purchasing with a mortgage, then it is essential to keep up with your payments. If you are repossessed, the mortgage lender can seek considerable costs against you, including those which it might need to spend to buy extra shares in the property until it owns 100%.



Vallis, Condicote

Guide Price £550,000

Sunrise, Moreton in Marsh


A detached chalet-style family house situated on the edge of the village with countryside views.

A newly-built detached four bedroom Cotswold stone house situated within easy reach of the town’s amenities and railway station.

Entrance Hall | Sitting Room with Feature Fireplace and Inset Log-Burner | Dining Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility Room | Ground Floor Bedroom/Study | Ground Floor Shower Room | Three First Floor Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Gardens Front and Rear | Off Road Parking | Garage | EPC Rating: E

Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Diner | Downstairs Shower Room | First Floor Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Two Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Second Floor Bedroom with Adjacent Shower Room | West Facing Garden | Off Road Parking | No Onward Chain | Internal Inspection is Highly Recommended | EPC Rating: B

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

60 Lysander Way, Moreton in Marsh


6 Lancaster Corner, Moreton in Marsh


A beautifully presented Cotswold stone four bedroom detached family home situated on the popular Moreton Park development, built by Bloor Homes in 2014 and still having the remainder of its NHBC guarantee.

A well-presented Cotswold stone three bedroom terraced home situated on the popular Moreton Park development, built by Bloor Homes in 2015 and still having the remainder of its NHBC guarantee.

Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Study | Kitchen/Diner/Family Room | Utility Room | Cloakroom | Master Bedroom with En-Suite Shower Room and Fitted Wardrobes | Three Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Off Road Parking | Single Garage | Garden | No Onward Chain | EPC Rating: B

Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Diner | Utility Area | Downstairs Cloakroom | Master Bedroom with En-Suite Shower Room | Two Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Rear Garden | Single Garage | Off Road Parking | Ideal For First Time Buyers and Investors’ | EPC Rating: B

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000


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

Barn Cottage, Little Compton

O.I.E.O. £425,000 SOLD

Plum Tree Barn, Stourton

£350,000 SOLD

A delightful Cotswold stone cottage situated in the heart of the desirable North Cotswold village of Little Compton.

A charming three bedroom detached Cotswold stone barn with parking and pretty garden.

Entrance Porch | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room with Rayburn Range Cooker | Garden Room | Ground Floor Bathroom | Master Bedroom with En-Suite Shower Room and Dressing Area | Two Further Bedrooms | Small Front Garden | Rear Garden with Patio and Lawn | Useful Stone Built Workshop/Outbuilding | EPC Rating: E

Open Plan Kitchen/Dining/Living Room | Utility Room with WC | Three Bedrooms | Bathroom | Parking | Cottage Garden | EPC Rating: F

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

Jessica’s Cottage, Blockley

£349,950 SALE AGREED

A former mill workers’ cottage located on the outskirts of Blockley, Jessica’s Cottage is a charming well-presented two bedroom Cotswold stone cottage built in 1837. The cottage, which is in a row of five and set back from the main road on a private driveway, enjoys the use of landscaped communal gardens as well as having its own private rear garden. Porch | Sitting Room with fireplace and inset log-burner | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility Area | Ground Floor Study/Bedroom with En-Suite Shower Room | One Bedroom with En-Suite Shower Room | Further Bedroom | Enclosed rear garden | Open Plan Lawned Area with further access to Communal Landscaped Gardens | En Bloc Single Garage | No Onward Chain | EPC Rating: D

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

Angle Cottage, Bourton on the Hill

O.I.E.O. £300,000 SALE AGREED

A delightful two bedroom period Cotswold stone cottage tucked away off the main street in a popular village location and enjoying rear views towards the Batsford Estate. Sitting Room with Exposed Stone Fireplace and Inset Log-Burner | Open-Plan Kitchen/Diner | Ground Floor Bathroom | Two Double Bedrooms | Garden | Communal Parking Area | No Onward Chain | EPC Rating: E

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

view all our properties at harrisonjameshardie.co.uk


Sweeping Changes for the Property Industry There are around 20,000 estate agency businesses across the country and, as the law currently stands, anyone can practise as an estate agent without any qualifications or previous experience. New government standards designed to make the home-buying process easier will also introduce mandatory professional qualifications to ensure a more trustworthy industry, in line with other associated industries such as conveyancers, solicitors and surveyors. In Sajid Javid’s words when Housing Secretary: “Buying a home is one of the biggest and most important purchases someone will make in their life. But for far too long buyers and sellers have been trapped in a stressful system full of delays and uncertainty... We will require estate agents to hold a qualification so that people are no longer at risk from a minority of ‘rogue agents’ and can trust the process when buying or selling their home.”

companies, as very few agencies currently insist on professional credentials. It will do a great deal of good longer term but such high standards have always been a fundamental part of our company ethos. When Karen Harrison and James von Speyr launched their own estate agency twenty years ago, their stated commitment was to provide a consistently superlative standard of service for all clients and customers and, as such, all employees have always been required to qualify as members of the National Association of Estate Agents and/or the Association of Residential Lettings Agents.

Louisa Ryan, MNAEA MARLA is Senior Sales Negotiator at the Moreton in Marsh offices of Harrison James & Hardie. To contact Louisa please telephone 01608 651000 or e-mail louisa@harrisonjameshardie.co.uk.

e ask Louisa Ryan MNAEA MARLA, who has just completed diploma courses in both sales and lettings in a three-year graduate apprenticeship position with Harrison James & Hardie, how the requirement to study towards professional qualifications will change the industry. “Ensuring that everyone is qualified will send shockwaves through the vast majority of



I was in retail management when I applied for an apprenticeship position, but this is usually offered post ‘A’ level or after university. Daily ongoing training from senior colleagues is supported with external academic supervision by Gold Standard. We are expected to pass NVQs and gain a diploma in sales or lettings within two years, then encouraged to extend our knowledge and qualifications. I went on to do an ARLA course, having gained my MNAEA, and have just completed my final exam, so I am now qualified to the highest industry standard in both lettings and sales. Organised around our day to day, and supervised on a 1:1 basis for a couple of hours every four weeks, we begin with coursework and then formal study towards four exams. Sometimes, yes, it’s hard to maintain focus with a very demanding day job and you do end up taking work home, but with time allocated specifically for study in the weeks running up to

each exam, it’s manageable. Working around your studies helps to put what you are learning into practice and enables you to think about the legislation that goes with it. It also means that the advice you are giving is accurate and well-informed – if, for example, an issue arises with a sale as a result of a structural survey which then turns into a difficult negotiation, a client can trust what you say is both compliant and reliable. I am very proud to have letters after my name. Such qualifications are the best outward signal to clients and customers, when deciding which agency to appoint and who is the best agent to find their perfect home, that they have found a trustworthy professional individual in a reputable business, someone able to meet their needs and often to surpass their expectations. And every single employee at Harrison James & Hardie is qualified, so we offer an outstanding level of service. Having worked alongside wonderful senior colleagues like Martin, Karen and James, who have been operating in the North Cotswolds for decades, benefitting directly from their longevity and huge wealth of local knowledge, simultaneously taking on an apprenticeship, I have been able to accelerate and cement my understanding, certify my competency and experience in the industry, stand out amongst competitors and, most importantly, uphold the Company’s deserved reputation as the best agency in the North Cotswolds marketplace.”


Making the right choice of agency I am currently looking at letting out my home – what things should I be aware of when choosing a letting agent?

hoosing the best letting agent is really important – after all, they are going to be looking after one of your biggest assets. There are a number of things you need as essentials from your agent and this will dictate what you should look for. Firstly, you need an agent who knows the local market inside out – someone who knows the lay of the land, what kind of property is moving quickly, what tends to take longer to let, with a sophisticated understanding of tenants and what they are looking for, too.

Edward Slark-Hughes MARLA is Senior Lettings Manager at Harrison James & Hardie. He has many years of lettings experience having worked in London and the Cotswolds. To speak to Edward, telephone 01451 822977 or e-mail edward@harrisonjameshardie.co.uk.

A great agent will be someone with great EQ, who instinctively ‘knows’ people, who can read tenants beyond what they’re being told at face value, who listens properly to needs and motivation, rather than sticking to a dictated wish list, who maintains regular telephone contact with potential tenants with a list of people likely to want to take a property as soon as it comes to market. And, if you’re lucky enough to have more than one tenant competing for your home, someone who can make a sound judgement on who is better for you and your property. Ideally your agent should be someone you can get on with, but far more importantly someone whose opinion you respect and value, who gives proper honest advice from the outset, who doesn’t overvalue or flatter in order to get the instruction. Your agent should give you frank and sensible recommendations about your property – decorating, updating, price, etc. – not avoiding difficult conversations that will otherwise lead to unnecessary disappointment later on. Even if you don’t always like what you hear, listen – a good

agent will always act in your best interests. Remember that whilst letting agents are a friend to many, they also have to lay down the law and be tough where necessary. You need an ally, someone who will fight your corner and who knows their stuff, someone qualified and up to date with the latest legislative changes; a member of ARLA (Association of Residential Lettings Agents) who will manage your money sensibly by using approved government schemes for registering deposits, for example. And, should a tenant turn out to be unreliable, you need someone who will know how to resolve problems in the correct way, in good time, with the least possible stress and the best outcome. The common thread to all of this is that you need a professional and knowledgeable letting agent who you can trust to do what they say they are going to do; trust to deliver the service they promise to deliver when you first meet them and trust to attract the best for the best outcome. Trust is at the heart of a great agency and, therefore, central to a good reputation in the local marketplace. Ask for recommendations, go into the office, rather than simply talking over the phone, and get a feel for the team you’re employing. Look for an agency with years of experience in advising owners and managing relationships, and seek out the evidence that this business is in command of its patch. A happy, welcoming and professional team and boards that quickly change to ‘Let’ are the most obvious evidence that you’re choosing someone you can trust to do the best possible job.




Home Farm, Chasleton


Home Farm Cottage is a three storey character cottage set within the heart of the rural village of Chastleton, enjoying views over adjacent countryside, close to the beautiful National Trust property of Chastleton House. Sitting Room with Log Burner | Recently Fitted New Kitchen | Orangery/ Conservatory | Ground Floor Bath/Shower Room | Two Double Bedrooms | WC | Study Area | Large Garden with Shed | EPC Rating: Exempt

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

1 The Pound, Little Rissington

12 Park Farm, Bourton on the Water


Recently redecorated throughout, this spacious bungalow offers ample living space. Large Reception Room | Conservatory | Separate Kitchen | Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Two Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Front and Back Garden | Off-Road Parking for one car | EPC Rating: D

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822977


3a Errington Road, Moreton in Marsh


A modern end-terrace three bedroom home in the heart of the village benefiting from front and rear gardens and off road parking.

A well-presented ground floor apartment situated on the eastern edge of the town and benefitting from off road parking and a garden to rear.

Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen | Three Bedrooms | Bathroom | Front and Rear Gardens | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: D

Entrance Hall | WC | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Bedroom | Bathroom | Garden | Parking | EPC Rating: E

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822977

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000


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


Leigh House, Moreton in Marsh


Hercules Close, Upper Rissington




A beautifully presented and lovingly refurbished four bedroom Grade II Listed property located on the sought after High Street of Moreton in Marsh. Entrance Hall/Snug Area | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room with Breakfast Bar | Utility | Airy Dining Room | Three Double Bedrooms one with En-Suite Shower Room | Bathroom | Fourth Double Bedroom | Bathroom | EPC Rating: Exempt

Entrance Hall | Living Room | Kitchen / Dining Room | Cloakroom | Master Bedroom with En Suite Shower Room | Two Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Garden | Off Road Parking | Single Garage | EPC Rating: B

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822977

Ashton House, Blockley


3 Warwick Link, Moreton in Marsh




A charming Grade II Listed cottage in the heart of the village, situated on the corner of a small terrace leading to the church. The property has recently featured in the popular BBC drama, Father Brown.

A well-presented two bedroom Cotswold stone end of terraced house.The accommodation briefly comprises:

Large Sitting/Dining Room | Utility Area | Cloakroom | Sitting/Dining Room to the Family Room/Snug | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Double Bedroom | Bathroom | Two Further Double Bedrooms | Cloakroom on the second floor | No Onward Chain | EPC Rating: Exempt

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

Entrance Hall | Open-Plan Kitchen with a range of integrated appliances | Sitting Room | Cloakroom | Two Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Off Road Parking to the front | Enclosed Rear Garden with patio and lawn | Internal inspection highly recommended | EPC Rating: B

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

view all our properties at harrisonjameshardie.co.uk

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