Summer walking in the Cotswolds August 2017

22 08 2017

Winchcombe is a town that has Walkers Welcome status. (Winchcombe Welcomes Walkers website is here: )

The organisation has produced 22 walks that are easily accessible from the town.  They range from very short to a long day.  The town is on the Cotswold Way and has easy access to many other ‘ways’ l ike the Wardens Way, the Windrush Way, the Isbourne Way and the Winchcombe Way.

Last we week we did Walk 22, (  an 8 mile walk, taking in several of these routes and enjoyed some spectacular views including the low flying training aircraft that fly low over the area most days, and two spectacular kites. These birds are seen ever closer to Winchcombe year by year.

Although we have lived here for 20 years, I never fail to be amazed by the beauty on our doorstep and on yours if you stay in the Barn Reborn!

Low flying aircraftIMG_4578IMG_4549IMG_4581IMG_4589IMG_4594IMG_4611Sudeley castle in the foreground


Summer in the Cotswolds

5 07 2016

Well the one thing we can never guarantee is good weather and the one thing that is certain is that our guests seem good at finding interesting things to do come rain or shine.  And it has to be admitted that compared to the heatwave last June this year it has rained most days.  The upside is that everywhere is green, the trees and shrubs are looking particularly good and when the sun does come out we really do appreciate it.

We are particularly fortunate in being an hour or so away from some wonderful towns and cities and we have more National Trust houses and gardens near us than I can easily count. I would recommend Hidcote, Snowshill and Chastleton.  Travel a bit further and Upton House, Packwood, Baddesley Clinton, Hanbury Hall and Coughton Court are all well worth the trip.  We also have Sudeley castle on our doorstop.

Below are some photos from a visit to Sudeley last week (June) and a trip to Hidcote yesterday.  Hidcote gets very busy with coach loads of tourists and even at 10.30 as we discovered it is teeming but if you are members, arrive at 4.30 for a shorter but quieter visit.  I particularly love the long borders and the vegetable garden and when you visit as often as we have you find new images to treasure. You can see images from Hidcote 2015  here: and 2013 here:


Walking through the trees at Sudeley


Sudeley Castle


Peeping through the ancient yews


Filming for the White Queen


These flowers are a couple of metres tall swaying over the borders


History displayed in the potting shed


View from the window at Hidcote


The long borders at Hidcote



I’d love a watering can like this one!

The Barn Reborn 2016

3 04 2016

We waved goodbye to our Christmas and New Year guests and put the Barn to be for a few months.  Now spring is here and we have already welcome guests from southern Spain, Sussex and Birmingham.  The sun is shining, the bulbs are flowering and everything in the garden is ready to spring back to life. We have lots of bookings for the year but there are still a few weeks available for those like us who book their breaks late!

The photos below show some views from the bedroom window last week, a view of the pond and a couple of photos inside.



Season End 2015/2016

4 01 2016

The Barn has been a popular place for a break this year with 34 lets across about 9 months (as we have had a few holidays ourselves.) Our feedback has continued to be excellent with just one couple having a few issues which sadly they didn’t mention whilst staying.  Luckily the other 33 sets of guests were happy so we must be doing OK!  We can assure future guests that the heating does work and the internet is much improved now that we have fibre and that most mobile phones get a good signal.

We were decorated for Christmas as we had visitors over both Christmas and the New Year.  The weather wasn’t good but the Barn was cosy and the Christmas cake went down well. We now plan a little redecoration and maintenance before our season starts in March.  We already have a lot of bookings so look forward to helping people have a good holiday in 2016.



Sun, showers, birds and squirrels!

25 09 2015

Over the last few weeks our guests have enjoyed a mixture of sun and showers including one day when it rained for 24 hours solid!  But there have been many sunny days as well and our guests have told us what they have enjoyed most about The Barn, Winchcombe and the Cotswolds

Hidcote Gardens and Snowshill, both National Trust properties remain popular with many people. Regular visits to the garden by a white squirrel provides interest for many as do the wide variety of bird species that visit. Last week when we were cleaning, we heard a tapping and looked out of the bedroom window to see a pair of nuthatches. One had a hazel nut from the tree, wedged in a gap between the paving so that he could crack it. Fascinating to watch.
Walking is an ever popular activity and the walks produced by Winchcombe Welcomes Walkers have proved popular. Guests are welcome to borrow the laminated copies together with maps. The walk to Hailes Abbey (stop at the Hailes Farm cafe for lunch, coffee or tea) is popular. So too is the walk back to Winchcombe from Cleeve Hill or Prestbury. Take the bus out and walk back. The views are fantastic, especially in Autumn when the air is clear. The photos below show views from Cleeve hill on a sunny September morning.






Holiday at home in Winchcombe

19 07 2015

We planned to go away, changed our minds at the last minute and decided to go out for days instead. We were amazed by some of the wonderful places we found on our doorstep. So we recommend, if you have already visited the nearby National Trust houses of Snowshill and Chastleton, a visit to Upton House, Packwood and Baddesley Clinton. All three are about an hour away, a nice drive and all have lovely gardens as well as interesting interiors. We also enjoyed the lavender farm at Snowshill (June and July only), the Rollright stones and revisited 2 of our favourite gardens, Hidcote and Bourton Hill.

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May in The Barn Reborn

7 05 2015

It’s been hot and then it’s been cold – extremes of weather in the last few weeks but all around the Barn the trees and shrubs have been blooming and coming into leaf.  The birds are nesting and producing young very early and the dawn chorus is wonderful though to my ears a little loud so early in the morning!

The recent wind has meant that most of the cherry blossom is now carpeting our lawn.  The garden is looking good in the last minute run up to the NGS yellow book garden opening on May 16th and 17th when the Barn kitchen will become the hub of the teas and coffee area!  Meanwhile the garden provides the flowers for the vase in the kitchen just about every week.  The orange geum and the black tulips are especially lovely at the moment.