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.
Family events are welcome at the property, but 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.
The first thing that strikes you as you enter the drive is the sheer size and beautiful architecture of Woodchester Park House. 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 Mansion and Park is a popular visitor attraction, now owned by the Woodchester Mansion Trust and National Trust respectively. They are a short walk down from the house into the valley. Woodchester Park itself was laid out in the 18th-19th Century (with advice from Capability Brown and Humphrey Repton). The stream through the valley was dammed to create five lakes of varying sizes, the largest of which contains a man-made island with a heronry. The lakes are home to many large carp and eels and there is a restored boat house which acts as a roost for bats.
Woodchester Park is quite literally 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’, opening it to the public Friday – Sunday from beginning of April until the end of October.
Woodchester Park House, formerly known as The Cottage, had its own role to play in the history of Woodchester Mansion. The house 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
Parking for up to 6 cars
Electric vehincle 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
The closest village to Bellhouse is Nympsfield, with a very good pub, The Rose & Crown, offering a lunch and dinner food service. You can walk to the pub from Bellhouse, it is just over a mile. For something a little bit different, turn left and visit the fabulous café at Thistledown Campsite, serving fresh, home-made food inspired by Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine (much of which is vegetarian/vegan) using locally grown produce and a clay oven. The café is open Wednesday – Sunday for food, serving brunch and lunch throughout the year, with pizza evenings on Friday and Saturday nights from April – October.
A little further down the lane and you’ll arrive in the artistic town of Nailsworth. It is home to a fantastic and unspoiled selection of boutiques, bars, pubs and cafes, and it really does offer some of the best food for miles around. There’s also often live music events, so it’s always worth keeping an eye on what’s going on!
In Nailsworth town centre you will find a Morrisons open Mon–Sat 7am – 9pm, and Sun 10am-4pm. There is also a small Tesco Express store with a Post Office counter inside, open every day 6am-11pm. A small Cooperative supermarket is also situated in the centre open Mon-Sat 7.30am-10pm and Sun 8am-9pm. Nailsworth is home to a fantastic selection of independent shops, be sure to visit Domestic Science, an eclectic Aladdin’s cave of a shop, and Mother Goose is always a hit with craft and knitting enthusiasts. Ruskin Mill is just a short walk/drive from the centre and offers some lovely walks, crafts and food, while working with a great community initiative.
Points of Note
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)
Family events are welcome at the property, but 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
Walking & Cycling Guides
Walking & Cycling Guides
Great weekend in a beautiful house with charming garden and surroundings. Perfect for couple or families.
Wonderful home at the end of a long lane
This is such a beautiful place to stay. It is a wonderful blend of grand and cosy. The rooms are all beautiful but the dining room in particular is a wonderful space to enjoy family and special meals. The facilities were great. The kitchen is very well equipped. We all wished we could have stayed longer and will be trying to arrange another trip.
Perfect house for a family getaway. Large rooms with high ceilings all comfortably furnished. Really interesting location perched on a valley overlooking Woodchester Park with direct access to woodland and lakes. We enjoyed staying here so much we extended our stay
The and the surrounding countryside is breathtaking. We were left a little of wine as a gift which was a very nice touch - would definitely recommend
Delightful place in an amazing setting. Would highly recommend and look forward to returning
Excellent location in a fabulous setting. Just what we needed
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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