Court Cottage is a handsome, four-bedroom country retreat with a magnificent view down the Painswick Valley. Built in 1927 as a home for the Tocknell Estate’s home farmer, the interior has been transformed by the current owners into a uniquely elegant sanctuary that perfectly blends contemporary furnishings and fabrics with many original features, including a solid elm staircase, leaded windows and Arts and Crafts Movement doors and metalwork. There is a wrap-around garden with a lawn, mature borders, and a gate that opens to the estate’s meadows and woodland. The cottage sleeps eight guests across four bedrooms, with three bathrooms, and has private, off-road parking for up to four cars.
The approach to Court Cottage is along single-track lanes that wind through some of the Cotswold’s most beautiful countryside. As you drop down the valley to the driveway to Tocknells Court a small bridge crosses Painswick Stream, which once supplied the many mills that made this area wealthy. Follow the driveway alongside the stream to its end where you will find 16th century Tocknells Court to the right and Court Cottage straight ahead, surrounded by its own secluded garden.
From the outside, the house may at first appear slightly austere with its straight lines and pebbled exterior, but that just makes the contrast with the beautifully furnished and styled interior even more breath-taking. On the ground floor to the rear of the house is a fabulous kitchen, boot room/utility room and a shower room. To the front, with the most magnificent views across the garden, fields and woodland, is an uber stylish dining room and separate living room with an open fireplace, and a playroom tucked between the two. Head up the original, 1920’s, polished elm staircase to the first floor where there are three large double bedrooms (one ensuite), a smaller twin room and a family shower room. The cottage’s interior has been styled with the perfect combination of nkuku and Neptune furnishings and lighting, Little Greene paintwork, and sensitively refurbished vintage furniture, which have created a calm and serene ambiance.
The cottage is surrounded by magnificent beech woodland, beautiful limestone grassland and steep valleys, all part of the owners’ 94-acre farm which sits between Cranham Woods, Painswick Beacon and Saltridge Wood – the latter two managed by the National Trust, making it a walkers and wildlife lover’s haven. To one side of the cottage, adjoining the kitchen and boot room, is an immaculate lawn surrounded with flower beds, pots and climbers. The lawn borders one of the Tocknell Court barns – a wonderful example of 16th century architecture. Here you can sun yourself on one of the sun loungers. To the front of the cottage is a second lawn and gravel dining area with a solid wood table, eight chairs and a parasol, and the most idyllic view down the valley, with not a manmade thing in sight.
At the top of the gravel path, which winds up through the lawned garden, is a covered porch with a handy storeroom and storage area where guests will find garden cushions, two sun loungers and lawn games.
The moment you step into the kitchen you’ll feel a sense of tranquillity and style oozing from every touch that has been lovingly applied, from the polished stone floor to the sparkling white worktops and the Shaker-style olive green panelling to the butler’s sink with the view to the woodland behind. The fully equipped kitchen has every appliance needed for a self-catering stay, including an electric Aga and separate oven and hob, dishwasher, Nespresso coffee maker, Dartington glassware and Pro Cook Oslo crockery. Guests can take their breakfast at the kitchen table or head through to the dining room.
Boot Room/Utility Room:
Head down two stone steps from the kitchen into the utility room, which is bigger, brighter and more beautiful than many kitchens. In here you’ll find a U.S.-style fridge-freezer, washing machine, dryer, and plenty of storage cupboards and work surfaces. A back door leads out to the side garden. As the name suggests, this is the room to come into after returning from a walk with muddy boots.
Just off the boot room/utility room is a cloakroom with a toilet, wash basin and cubicle shower. (Please note: this room is in working order but has not yet been refurbished).
This wonderfully elegant, dual-aspect dining room looks out to the garden and the valley beyond. It features a long wooden dining table made from beautifully reclaimed wood, with eight chairs and a pretty dresser, holding table accessories and brushed silver cutlery.
The perfect room for younger members of the group to retreat to and relax in on the two faux-fur bean bags and cosy rugs. In here you’ll find games and toys for guests young and old. A cupboard houses the stairgate and highchair.
Hallway Alcove and Front Door:
The original Arts and Crafts Movement front door opens from the front garden and outdoor dining area into a hallway, with a large rush mat. It features a charming alcove with hooks for jackets, hats and shawls and a bench made from reclaimed wood.
This chic and sunny room has been decorated in calming greys and greens with hints of ochre. It is furnished in a style that perfectly blends the elegance of the 1920’s leaded windows, overlooking the garden and valley, and the stone fireplace with contemporary sofas, lighting, coffee and side tables and botanical artwork. A 48” smart TV sits to one side of the fireplace.
The original, polished elm staircase leads up to a small landing and a split staircase which divides right to the family bathroom then up three carpeted stairs to the master bedroom and left up three carpeted stairs to the other three double bedrooms. All four bedrooms have Hypnos mattresses, Savoy pillows and Oka or tinekhome bed linen and feature a gorgeous palette of Little Greene greys, greens and clays.
The ensuite, dual-aspect master bedroom features a super-king size, four-poster bed frame and bedhead - perfectly combining modern and traditional - with reading lights above the bed and stripped wooden logs to either side, serving as bedside tables. The bedroom has a reclaimed-wood chest of drawers and original fireplace (not in use), a comfy day chair and a full-length mirror. A built-in wardrobe sits just outside the bedroom door. Lie in bed and absorb the peace and calm of the uninterrupted view of the Cotswold beyond.
A latched wooden door opens from the bedroom into the spacious bathroom which features original wooden flooring, a full-size bath, and a wonderful view across the garden and field beyond. The bathroom has a toilet and washbasin in a custom-built vanity unit with a super-large circular vintage mirror above and a shaver point to the side. An alcove by the bathroom door has storage shelves for personal items and clothing.
This beautifully furnished, dual aspect bedroom features a super-king size bed with a rattan headboard and bedside tables with reading lamps and botanical artwork. The bedroom has a reclaimed wood chest of drawers, an original fireplace (not in use) with a vintage mirror above, and an in-built wardrobe with lots of hanging and storage space.
The cottage’s twin bedroom is furnished with two full-size single beds on Victorian-style bed frames, with bedside reading lamps on raw-wood blocks. A beautiful, antique-effect rug sits in front of the original fireplace (not in use) and there’s a small in-built wardrobe in the corner with hanging and storage space. The bedroom overlooks the side of the house and the owners’ land.
This super spacious, dual aspect bedroom is tucked away at the end of the landing and overlooks the pretty side lawn and one of Tocknell Court’s 16th century barns. The bedroom is furnished with a king-size bed with bedside tables and reading lamps and an antique print rug.
Family Shower Room:
The stylish shower room features polished limestone wall and floor tiles, a double-width, walk-in shower with an overhead, rainfall-effect shower head, a washbasin, heated towel rail and laundry basket.
To one side of the cottage, adjoining the kitchen and boot room, is an immaculate lawn surrounded with flower beds, pots and climbers – the perfect place to sunbathe on the two sun loungers. To the front of the cottage is a second lawn with mature planting and a gravel dining area with a solid wood table, eight chairs and a parasol, and a simply breath-taking view to the woodland and fields beyond. A gate in the hedge leads directly across the fields and down the valley towards Painswick. Soft outside lighting provides a beautiful setting for an evening meal.
Full List of Facilities
Sleeps 8 in 4 bedrooms across 2 super-king size beds, 1 king-size bed and 2 singles (twin room)
3 bathrooms: 1 en-suite bathroom, 2 family shower rooms (first floor and ground floor)
Parking for 4-5 cars.
Private enclosed garden – safe for children (when gates are closed)
Fireplace with open fire – wood and kindling is supplied for first two fires
Bed linen, bath towels and tea towels (Note: robes are not provided.)
Hypnos mattresses, Savoy pillows and Oka or tinekhome bed linen
Cleaning starter pack: dishwasher tablets, washing machine tablets, scourer, cloth, washing up liquid, bin bags
Bathroom essentials: hand soap, toilet paper, shower gel
Heating and hot water via a biomass boiler with individual radiators and thermostat controls
Free Wi-Fi – high speed
Smart TV (48”) – with Netflix
Games: young children and adult games – for indoor and garden fun
Fully equipped kitchen with toaster, kettle, coffee machine (Nespresso), utensils, crockery, cutlery, glassware (champagne flutes, tumblers and wine and water glasses) cafetiere, bakeware, food preparation (grater, jug, sieve), saucepans, bread bin, kitchen foil, cling film, kitchen paper
Oven/hob – electric standard oven and hob and electric Aga
Fridge and freezer (upright)
Ironing board, iron, clothes airer
Baby/Child Equipment: highchair, travel cot (cot linen not supplied), stairgate
Outdoor patio/seating area
Garden furniture: table, 8 chairs, parasol and 2 sun loungers
BBQ (charcoal) – please provide your own charcoal
Fire pit – logs supplied for first fire
Two pubs within 30 minutes’ walk: The Oak at Painswick and Butcher’s Arms at Sheepscombe.
On your Doorstep
Supermarkets and Shopping:
Gloucester Business Park at Brockworth (6 miles) is the nearest place for food shopping. Here you will find a Tesco Superstore, Costa Coffee, Subway, and Greggs (and a David Lloyd Racket & Health Club). The Shell petrol station (5 miles) on the A46 roundabout sells basics. Alternatively, head to Stroud (7 miles) which has a Waitrose, Sainsburys, independent bakeries and delis as well as the renowned Farmers’ Market every Saturday (9am-2pm).
Butcher’s Arms, Sheepscombe (1.4 miles)
The Oak at Painswick (3.2 miles)
The Fostons Ash (known as the Polo Pub) (3.5 miles)
Tocknells Court is within easy walking distance of the Wysis Way and the Cotswold Way. Simply walk out the garden gate or down the drive and then down the valley towards Painswick, up the valley towards Cranham or uphill to eventually come to Painswick Beacon on the edge of the Cotswolds. A 2-mile walk around the Beacon (see Cotswold AONB Self-Guided Walks) takes in part of the Cotswold Way, or follow the National Trust’s 4-mile walk based around their training centre at Ebworth.
Places to Visit:
Painswick and the Rococo Garden (3.2 miles)
Miserden Estate and Garden (4.7 miles)
Stroud Farmers’ Market (7 miles)
Train - Stroud Station (7 miles) with a regular service to/from London Paddington.
Taxis - Andy Cox or Dawn’s Taxis
There is so much to explore and experience when visiting the Cotswolds, why not have a look at some of our favourite Bolthole Retreats Experiences?
Points of Note
Due to its rural location and the approach down a steep, single track road, which drops sharply down into the valley, it is recommended that guests arriving during wintery months (i.e., when snowfall is likely) do so in a four-wheel drive vehicle.
The nearby Tocknells Court barn will be undergoing slow and steady renovations during July 2021, which should have little impact on guests staying at Court Cottage.
The shared driveway leading to Tocknells Court (the owner’s property) and Court Cottage has an old mill stream running alongside it. Court Cottage’s front garden can be made secure by closing the garden gate, however the rear entrance to the cottage is currently un-gated. Parents of young children should be aware of the stream and the importance of being vigilant and keeping the front gate closed.
The property has a septic tank, therefore please do not put anything other than paper toilet tissue down the toilet. Any other items, e.g., sanitary products, nappies, will block the system and it is very time consuming and expensive to unblock it. Guests who do not adhere to this rule will be invoiced should a blockage occur.
The ground floor shower room is in full working order, but it has not yet been refurbished.
Parking: There is parking for 4-5 cars on the private drive.
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.
Please be aware that under no circumstances are additional guests above the maximum capacity allowed at the property, for day visits or overnight stays. If you are found to be in breach of this, you will be asked to leave the property.
Walking & Cycling Guides
Walking & Cycling Guides
Incredible house in beautiful surroundings. Host was very accommodating and communication was good.
Excellent property, lots of space. Really high quality finish throughout. Communication was very easy and there was no problem throughout the whole process
Amazing property that completely exceeded our expectations. Incredibly cosy and spacious. Great location to explore the Cotswolds and plenty of amenities nearby. Highly recommend.
Alex and Neema were very welcoming hosts. The house is fantastic and we were given plenty of tips for things to do locally. I would highly recommend the property to anyone considering it.
This is a very special house in a stunning setting. The owners have thought of everything. Countryside beautiful, friendly, down to earth pub in walking distance, terrace for sundown, immaculate interiors. You’re in for a treat.
Melanie - October 2021
Court Cottage is tucked away in a tranquil and secluded location in the Painswick Valley in the grounds of Tocknell Court, a Grade II* Listed home and barns. The Cottage is surrounded by 94 acres of meadows and woodland, with a delightful clear, flowing stream running along the shared driveway, which is a haven for wildlife. Such is the rural idyl of the location, Tocknells Court was the setting for the filming of Granada TV’s version of Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd, yet it’s only a mile to a great pub, three miles to Painswick, ‘The Queen of the Cotswolds’, and 10 miles to Cheltenham.
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