Tucked away down an inconspicuous lane leading to a beautiful National Trust valley lies Bellhouse, the south-west wing of the spectacular Grade II listed Woodchester Park House. Sleeping 8 guests, the house has 4 bedrooms with 3 bathrooms, a cosy sitting room, well-equipped kitchen, and high-ceilinged dining room. This unique holiday home emanates a sense of understated grandeur, perfectly complimented by its old-English charm. As well as benefiting from its own private garden and courtyard, Bellhouse is perched on the edge of the National Trust owned Woodchester Park, with direct access to around 500 acres of wonderful woodland, fields and five beautiful lakes.
The first thing that strikes you as you enter the drive is the sheer size and beautiful architecture of Woodchester Park House and the Bellhouse. Its location is idyllic, surrounded by acres of enchanting, wildlife-filled parkland. If you’re a keen walker and looking to lose yourself in the beauty of nature, Bellhouse is the perfect property. From the house, you can walk for miles in peace and tranquillity in the valley, the only noise you may hear will be from grazing livestock or the serene gliders from the nearby Cotswold Gliding Club. You can also walk from the house up onto the Cotswold Way.
Woodchester Park is a hidden gem that never feels busy or overcrowded. Owned by the wealthy Gloucestershire family, the Ducies, they originally built a Georgian house that stood on the site of the current building from the 1600s until 1845. In 1843 they sold their family home to William Leigh, who, on advice from Pugin, demolished the Georgian House and began to build the Gothic revival mansion that stands on the site today. Leigh died in 1873 before the work was complete, and his family, not sharing his love of the gothic revival style, employed a new architect to redesign the house before realising they could not afford to complete a new mansion. The mansion was consequently never completed, and fell through various states of semi-occupancy and disrepair before it was eventually bought by Stroud District Council in 1992, and is now leased to the Woodchester Mansion Trust who manage and conserve the building in its state of ‘glorious abandonment’.
Woodchester Park House, formerly known as The Cottage, had its own role to play in the history of Woodchester Mansion. It was home to William Leigh and his family while the demolition and then reconstruction of Woodchester Mansion took place. After William Leigh died, his family stayed in The Cottage before it was eventually sold in 1938. Woodchester Park House has had a number of uses since the time of the Leighs. At some point before the Second World War it was used as a ‘home for poor girls’ who were instructed in skills such as sewing. During the war it was taken over by a Roman Catholic teacher training college, run by nuns, evacuated from Birmingham. Since then it has been used as a school (for children of leaders of our commonwealth countries) and as a field study centre.
The current owners bought the house in 1995 and returned it to a ‘home’. With 16 bedrooms (but only one bathroom and a couple of showers) work was needed. Now, Bellhouse, the rambling south-west wing of Woodchester Park House is a comfortable and charming holiday home, decorated throughout with quality antique furniture, period art and quintessential country living features such as two wood burners. This is a much-cherished property that offers an authentic homely sense of warmth and conviviality – an ideal home away from home.
A spacious porch with plenty of hooks and room for muddy boots, leading into a welcoming entrance hall.
The high ceiling in this beautiful room gives an immediate sense of grandeur, complete with unique artwork, antique furniture and tall, deep-set windows looking out across the front lawn. Set up two steps from the open corridor that continues into the kitchen, there is ample space for eight guests at the long dining table, complete with cosy wood burner at the far end.
Kitchen + Scullery:
Decorated in country creams with wooden worktops, the kitchen and scullery at Bellhouse are the epitome of well-equipped. Featuring a breakfast table for four guests, display shelves offering a vast selection of glasses, mugs and cups, microwave, kettle, toaster, electric cooker, dishwasher, fridge (freezer and washing machine in scullery) and a fantastic selection of utensils, bakeware and spices – you’ll find everything you need here! There’s even a CD player/ radio in the window to entertain while cooking.
A charming downstairs twin bedroom, with two comfy single beds, a fitted wardrobe, a double bedside table and suitcase stands.
Family Bathroom with separate WC:
A spacious downstairs bathroom with a built-in bathtub, walk-in shower, washbasin and a separate WC next door with an additional washbasin.
Just outside the bathroom, there is a door from which the courtyard dining area can be accessed.
A beautifully furnished sitting room, with neutral walls and warm red furnishings, complete with original stone fireplace and wood burner. Featuring three large sofas, a glass-topped coffee table, Samsung flat screen TV, a Blu Ray player, plenty of board games, and direct access to the rear garden, this room is perfect for relaxing and gathering together.
Turn left at the top of the stairs and you’ll find a small landing area with bookshelves and balcony overlooking the dining room.
A large bedroom with beams, a high ceiling and views looking out over the garden. Bedroom One is the Master Bedroom of the house, delicately furnished in bright whites with hints of cornflower blue, a lovely selection of antique furniture including a free-standing wardrobe, chest of drawers, decorative fireplace and, of course, a lovely king size double bed.
Bedroom One - En-Suite Bathroom:
A spacious en-suite bathroom with fixed bath and central mixer taps + shower head, washbasin and WC.
A good-sized family bathroom with a rooflight, fixed bathtub, corner cubicle shower, WC and washbasin.
A bright king size double bedroom that can be configured as two singles if required. Garden-facing, this bedroom is light and generously sized, with a dressing table, free-standing wardrobe and decorative fireplace.
A cosy twin bedroom, with single beds placed at either end to maximise privacy. Guests staying in bedroom three have their own bedside tables and reading lamps, as well as a rattan set of drawers and hook hanging area.
The outside area at Bellhouse is beautiful. You have the choice of two outdoor seating areas, one smaller table in a courtyard and a bigger outdoor dining table that can seat 8, both with access to the large rear grass garden which has two secure levels. There are garden chairs that can be used under the stairs, as well as benches and a charcoal BBQ. Electric vehicle charging point: Keba Type 2 charging point located adjacent to the property, at no cost to users (assuming reasonable use).
Full List of Facilities
Sleeps 8 in 4 bedrooms across a king size double in Bedroom 1, a king size double bed in Bedroom 2, 2 x single beds in Bedroom 3 and 2 x single beds in Bedroom 4 (located on ground floor)
3 bathrooms: Bedroom 1 en-suite with bathtub, upstairs family bathroom with bath + shower and downstairs family bathroom with bathtub + shower
Dog friendly: accepts up to 2 well-behaved dogs, for an additional fee per dog
Parking for up to 6 cars
Electric vehicle charging point: Keba Type 2 charging point located adjacent to the property. At no cost to users (assuming reasonable use)
Private enclosed garden with courtyard and 2 x outdoor dining tables and seating areas
2 x fireplaces with wood burners – logs are provided and additional wood is available from the barn next door
All bed linen, bath towels and tea towels provided
Hairdryer in both double bedrooms
Tea, coffee, sugar, salt + pepper and cooking essentials such as oil and spices
Kitchen essentials: dishwasher tablets, cloths, washing up liquid, bin bags, kitchen roll
Toiletries: Shower gel, shampoo + conditioner, hand soap, toilet roll
Central heating and hot water
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Flat screen TV
Sony CD player and radio
Boardgames + books
Fully equipped kitchen with toaster, kettle, cafetière, utensils, crockery, cutlery, glassware (champagne flutes, tumblers and wine and water glasses), bakeware, food preparation (grater, jug, sieve, saucepans, etc).
Fridge with separate freezer in scullery
Washing machine + tumble dryer
Ironing board + iron
There are 2 travel cots available and there are 2 highchairs available
Outdoor patio/seating area
BBQ (charcoal) – please provide your own charcoal
Safety equipment: fire extinguisher, fire blanket, carbon monoxide monitor, smoke alarm
On your Doorstep
Supermarkets and Shopping:
In Nailsworth town centre you will find a Morrisons. There is also a small Tesco Express store with a Post Office counter inside. A small Cooperative supermarket is also situated in the centre. Ocado, Sainbury’s and Tesco all deliver to the cottage.
Williams Food Hall and Dining (2.9 miles)
The Olive Tree (3.0 miles)
The Britannia (3.1 miles)
Nailsworth is a great place to explore the Cotswolds. There are numerous walks and footpaths to walk along the valleys and over the rolling Cotswold Hills. The walks vary in difficulty to suit everyone. Cyclists are not left out with a wonderful eight-mile, flat cycle path that winds its way from Nailsworth along the old railway line to Stonehouse. This is a great way to appreciate the many mills, industrial heritage and stunning scenery. The Cotswold Way is one of the best walks in England, covering 105 miles of the most beautiful scenery in the country.
Places to Visit:
Woodchester Mansion Trust (2.5 miles)
Ruskin Mill (3.4 miles)
Newark Park (8 miles)
Train - Stroud Station (7 miles)
Taxis - Nailsworth Taxi Company, Omega
There is so much to discover in the Cotswolds, why not have a look at some of our favourite Bolthole Retreats Experiences
Points of Note
It is our policy not to take bookings for single sex group celebrations, which includes Stag and Hen nights, or groups where the majority are under 25 years
Please note that additional guests above the maximum capacity are not permitted.
Parking for up to 6 cars
Electric vehicle charging point: Keba Type 2 charging point located adjacent to the property, at no cost to users (assuming reasonable use)
2 well behaved dogs are welcome, additional fee applies. Dogs must be kept on-lead at all times when outside of the property and the rear garden.
Walking & Cycling Guides
Walking & Cycling Guides
A wonderful magical place to stay!
The house is spacious and comfortable and the gardens and surroundings are beautiful. Highly recommended as a place to stay in The Cotswolds
Perfect place for our stay and visit to the Horse Trials.
Very special property for a special long weekend
We really enjoyed our stay in this lovely house. The small touches made all the difference, such as fresh flowers in the main rooms. The house is also well equipped.
Beautiful private, tranquil location. Property is gorgeous with wonderful, well kept, private garden for children to play and adults to sprawl out in good weather. Everything was immaculate.
Bellhouse's location is idyllic, surrounded by acres of enchanting, wildlife-filled parkland. If you’re a keen walker and looking to lose yourself in the beauty of nature, Bellhouse is the perfect property. From the house, you can walk for miles in peace and tranquillity in the valley, the only noise you may hear will be from wildlife and grazing livestock or the gentle woosh of gliders from the nearby Cotswold Gliding Club. You can also walk from the house up onto the Cotswold Way. The Rose & Crown pub in Nympsfield is within walking distance of the house, while Nailsworth is a 5-10 minute drive, and the larger town of Stroud is around 15-20 minutes away.
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