The Cotswolds in May – It’s hard to find anywhere more beautiful!

27 05 2023

On a drive back from a visit to my parents, I couldn’t resist stopping to capture this view. The cow parsley is in full bloom and there is so much of it as so many verges are being left wild. The buttercups are also in full flower and with the magnificent trees and the blue skies, it was a perfect view.

Historic Houses Membership (HHA)

27 05 2023

We joined HHA last year so that we could make regular visits to Sudeley Castle adventure playground with our grandchildren. What we soon realised was that the membership has opened up a whole host of other places, many local, that are free to visit.

So we now make regular visits to walk round the gardens at Seizincote (open a few days a week every month except December), Miserden which hosts a sculpture exhibition in June and of course Kifsgate which is a spectacular garden, famous for its roses but worth a visit at other times too (photo below is at Kifsgate)

Winchcombe Welcomes Walkers

3 02 2019

Winchcombe is a ‘Walkers are Welcome’ town and it holds an annual walking festival in May. The organisation has a great website:

The website has details of 22 walks with maps and clear instructions that all start in Winchcombe.  They are checked and updated on a regular basis. We have laminated copies of these walks in the Barn and occasionally we walk some of them ourselves!

They are separated into circular, linear, bus and train walks. We always enjoy walking up to Cleeve Hill and back but it is also possible to catch the bus up and walk on Cleeve Hill before picking a route back to Winchcombe (see the last post).  You can get food and drink at Cleeve Hill golf course.

On Monday, it was cold but gloriously sunny so we decided to walk up Langley Hill. Days like these make retirement such a bonus! We were using Walk 4 which gave us some great views in all directions as you can see below.  We just made it back before the large black clouds covered the town.

Walking to Cleeve Hill and Belas Knap

1 11 2018

Winchcombe is a place steeped in history.  With Sudeley Castle, St Peters Church and the remains of a huge Abbey it is possible to step back in time on ever corner! Hailes Abbey and church are a short drive away or a longer walk. But for me the place I love to walk to is Belas Knap.  It is a Neolithic Long Barrow.  This was used over 5500 years ago as a burial site and may have been used for longer.  It is hard to imagine just how long ago that was but it is a special place to visit at any time of the year.

On Monday last week, we walked up Langley Rd to Cleeve Hill.  It was a glorious, warm sunny October day.  We stopped at Cleeve Hill golf course for a drink and then walked on to Belas Knap.  Cleeve Hill is the highest point in Gloucestershire and the views can be amazing.  If you don’t want to walk, you can always catch the bus to the top and then walk back to Winchcombe.  If you walk, it’s about an 8 mile round trip and very well worth the effort.


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!

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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.


New season at the Barn Reborn

17 03 2015

The first guests of the season are in the Barn.  Spring is on the way but the wood store is full of lovely dry ash to keep the wood burner in action for a few more weeks!  The Barn has been promoted by English country Cottages as one of their top heritage properties and we felt proud of what we have achieved with a derelict building literally reborn.

The garden will be the backdrop for a sculpture exhibition in May and we are opening for the NGS yellow book scheme for the 3rd year.  Lots of  gardening work to do!





Autumn and Winter Season 2014

1 01 2015

The Barn has been let throughout the Autumn as well as for Christmas and New Year. We have welcomed guests for a second visit and others who have booked again next year.  Our visitors have enjoyed walking local paths, travelling on the steam train, visiting Sudeley Castle and National Trust properties as well as trips to Bath, Cirencester and Cheltenham.  They have eaten at Wesley House, the Lion and 5 North Street.  Others have  visited Purslane and Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham. Local pubs and the deli Food Fanatics has been popular.

We have continued to support local food suppliers in supplementing the basics in our welcome basket with Hailes Farm apple juice, bread from Norths bakery and Cotswold eggs.  We add Norths biscuits or a homemade cake which gives me an excuse to bake!  For Christmas I used Nigel Slater’s Christmas pudding recipe and Nigella Lawson’s marzipan cake.  I can recommend both as very tasty and to quote my son ‘this cake is far too good to eat only at Christmas!’  And of course for we decorated the Barn and added some extra treats including local honey, mandarin marmalade, chocolate and nougat as well as champagne to toast the seasons.

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Sunny September

5 09 2014



The sun shone in today as we finished cleaning the Barn ready for more visitors

What to do in and around Winchcombe according to Country Living

1 08 2014

Sunny Winchcombe

30 07 2014


So far this year the Cotswolds have been generally sunny and warm with enough rain to keep the countryside green. The lavender in our garden, which you can see from the barn has been beautiful to look at and fragrant as well.

We have coped with a nest of tree bumble bees in the corner of the barn roof, gently buzzing away but fortunately causing no real problem.  Luckily, they only stay a few weeks and don’t return to the same spot.  We have welcomed guests from Germany and Australia and far flung parts of Britain who have all enjoyed the barn and the local places to visit. Most of them have also enjoyed the many places to eat in and around Winchcombe.  The Lion, the Wesley and 5 North Street have all been popular along with Food Fanatics deli.  And of course there is always the fish and chip shop and the Chinese takeaway as well as several nice pubs with gardens!

We look forward to a busy autumn as we are fully booked for September and into October.

Another Easter so Hot Cross buns again in the Barn

18 04 2014

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The sun is shining again, in fact we have now had 2 weeks of mainly sunny days and the Barn has been warm and cosy for its visitors.  Let’s hope it lasts!

A sunny barn ready for guests – April 2014!

11 04 2014

The sun is shining, it’s 3 o’clock and the barn is clean and ready to welcome more returning visitors.

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The Barn Reborn is ready for the 2014 Season!

23 03 2014

The Barn Reborn has started a second season and we have already welcomed several sets of visitors.  We have been having some decorating done which has been necessary after filling some of the gaps around the woodwork where the beams have moved as the oak dries out.  We are already booked for all of April, June and September and most of May.

Christmas in The Barn Reborn

15 12 2013

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The Barn is ready for Christmas, the tree is in and the lights are on.  The biscuit tin is full of Swedish delicacies (homemade of course) and it feels quite festive for our visitors.  It’s not too late to book for a last minute Christmas or New Year break so check the website:

A visit to Deerhurst Priory Church, Tewkesbury

7 10 2013

The Barn has been let for the whole of September and is booked for most of October with just a few days free.  English country Cottages/Cottages4you now have new photos uploaded on their websites so you can see much better images of how it looks now.

We have had American friends staying with us and consequently have discovered some new places to visit in the area.  We enjoyed St Mary’s Priory Church at Deerhurst  near Tewkesbury  and the nearby Odda’s Chapel.  The church is almost entirely Saxon, built originally in 800 AD possibly even earlier and in regular use.  It has one of the oldest Fonts in use in the country (9th century) and is a beautiful place to visit!.


Have you ever wondered how we deal with cobwebs when the ceiling is so high?

7 09 2013



Well if I stand on the top of the stepladder and use this extra long piece of home grown bamboo with a feather duster strapped to the end, I can just reach the apex!

Just 5 minutes up the road….

7 09 2013

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If you cross the road at the bottom of the drive and walk up the lane for 5 minutes then you get this lovely view of Winchcombe.  It doesn’t take long to get to the top and the sight is always worth the effort!

A few facts about the Barn Reborn

5 09 2013

IMG_7345The flowers in the Barn (like those above) usually come form the garden

We have just had our annual grading carried and and again achieved 5* with  a score of 99% which makes us one of English Country Cottages/Cottages4you  top scoring properties.

The Barn kitchen features in October Good Homes magazine on page 114.

We are fully booked for all of September.  We have been booked almost continuously since we opened in March and have taken several bookings for next year.

Our visitors have come from as near as Walsall and as far as Australia!

August 2nd 2013 And is there lemon drizzle cake for tea? A treat for our guests…

2 08 2013


August 2nd 2013 The patio in dappled sunlight this afternoon

2 08 2013


July 1st 2013 A view of our garden

1 07 2013

july 1st 2013 A view of our garden

Most of our visitors are enjoying the local eateries and both The Wesley and The Lion are proving popular. The deli (Food Fanatics) is also popular for picnics and quick meals in the barn. Sadly most reports of the service and food at the White Hart (the wine and sausage) are not good and at present we don’t recommend it. There are so many nice places to choose including the pubs in Winchombe as well as the Oak in Gretton.

June 3rd 2013 Summer in The Barn Reborn!

3 06 2013

This morning the sun is shining and the barn looks beautiful inside and out.  This is what you see you come into the main entrance and if you turn round, this morning you can see a bright yellow laburnum against the blue of the summer sky.  It won’t last long but it’s worth it for the short burst of vibrant colour.



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May 24th 2013 Question: how cold can it be at the end of May? Answer: 6 degrees at midday today!

24 05 2013

IMG_4647So how do we deal with such awful weather? Well, we put on the heating, we add a wood burning stove and an extra fanheater, keep the winter duvet on the bed and provide a hot water bottle!  And tomorrow and Sunday, the sun will shine and it may not be hot but it will be a whole lot warmer for the weekend.

And if you were here this weekend you could be enjoying our garden sculpture exhibition and my textile sale as we are on the Winchcombe Art Trail 2013.

Pictures here:


May 20th 2013 The Barn kitchen turns into a tea room!

19 05 2013

May 20th 2013 The Barn kitchen turns into a tea room!

The kitchen doesn’t usually look like this! As we have had the garden open for the NGS this weekend, we haven’t let the barn. The Children’s Society have done tea and cake over the 2 days and made over £500.

May 11th 2013 Blossom time!

12 05 2013

May 11th 2013 Blossom time!

The view from The Barn Reborn this week has been one of beautiful cherry trees wherever you look. Our latest visitors were very reluctant to go home as they had enjoyed the barn and the surrounding countryside so much. They said that they had walked so much that they needed another holiday to recover! We enjoyed their pleasure in the barn, Winchombe, Sudeley Castle and the Cotswolds.

April 26th 2013 The Barn from our garden

29 04 2013


April 22nd 2013 A view of the sun shining in the entrance hall

23 04 2013

Our latest visitors have enjoyed the architecture of the barn and revisiting the Cotswolds after many years. They loved Chipping Campden which is one of my favourite towns.  The sun was shining as I did a final clean and I couldn’t resist taking more photos of the structure.


Our First Review!

14 04 2013

The cottage can be booked through English Country Cottages and Cottages 4You and reviews on one don’t show on the other.  Our first online review scored us 10 out of 10 for every aspect of the holiday, a standard which we will strive to maintain.  This is the comment:

Amazing, ancient property and true grand design. The barn is an amazing space with very high quality fixtures and fittings, better than home! Fantastic welcome from the owners was a great start to our holiday and we thoroughly enjoyed the barn and the local amenities.

The Sun shining in the Barn

8 04 2013

The Sun shining in the Barn

We have had to invent a way of dealing with cobwebs that form high up in the barn. Fortunately we have grown a huge piece of bamboo that with a feather duster attached to one end allows us to reach (with care!) the furthest corners of the roof.
Our most recent guests have enjoyed eating at the Royal Oak in Gretton. They really loved their meal at The Lion which has the added advantage of being a short walk away! And they recommend the National Trust property at Chastleton about half an hour away near Moreton in Marsh

March 29th 2013 Good Friday

29 03 2013

March 29th 2013 Good Friday

Home made hot cross buns for today’s holiday makers!

March 27th 2013 Welcome to the Barn Reborn

29 03 2013

March 27th 2013 Welcome to the Barn Reborn

March 22nd 2013 Ready for the start of the season- apart from the weather!

22 03 2013

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March 17th 2013 The barn as it was before its rebirth!

17 03 2013

March 17th 2013


March 17th 2013

17 03 2013

March 17th 2013

Ready to curl up in this chair with a cup of tea and a good book?

March 15th 2013 And another aerial view

15 03 2013

March 15th 2013 And another aerial view

March 15th 2013 Aerial view of the kitchen/dining room

15 03 2013

March 15th 2013 Aerial view of the kitchen/dining room

Cleaning the barn this morning ready for the first visitors I couldn’t resist lighting the fire and snapping a few pictures. The space really offers some unusual views!

March 4th 2013 Sun shining in the bedroom this morning

4 03 2013

March 4th 2013 Sun shining in the bedroom this morning

March 4th 2013 Sun shining by the front door.

4 03 2013

March 4th 2013 Sun shining by the front door.

February 19th 2013 Views from the bedroom window on a sunny afternoon

19 02 2013



February 19th 2013 View from the bedroom window on a sunny afternoon

February 18th 2013 More sunny days!

19 02 2013

February 19th 2013  More sunny days!

A great view from high up in the bedroom down beyong the chandelier to the kitchen

January 19th 2013 Still snowing on the Barn Reborn

19 01 2013


The Barn Reborn in winter

6 09 2012