Quirky Cotswold holiday cottages
It would be fair to say that we have a whole host of quirky Cotswold holiday cottages and unusual places to stay scattered all across the region. If you are looking for something special with a story to tell, a piece of history, or simply somewhere to stay that is a little different to the norm, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve a fabulous cottage which used to be the village police station, an outstanding house that used to garrison soldiers in the English Civil War, a former Nissen hut and even a hideaway cleverly converted from a garage!
Tucked away down a quiet lane leading to a beautiful National Trust valley lies Bellhouse, the southwest wing of the spectacular Grade II listed Woodchester Park House. Surrounded by acres of enchanting parkland, this is a place where you can totally lose yourself in nature. The house has played its own part in the history of Woodchester Mansion and has had a number of uses. It’s been used as a ‘home for poor girls who were instructed in skills such as sewing’. Then, during the war, it was taken over by a Roman Catholic teacher training college and run by nuns. Now, Bellhouse, the rambling southwest wing of Woodchester Park House, is a comfortable and charming holiday home. This much-cherished property offers an authentic homely sense of warmth and conviviality, and a real sense of history.
Marking the entrance to the Sudeley Castle Estate, the Castle Gatehouse is the former gatekeeper’s abode. If you ever dreamed of living in a castle as a child, now you can, albeit in miniature. The master bedroom with an impressive, canopied four-poster bed occupies one wing of the gatehouse. The other wing houses the living space, kitchen and a second bedroom. From the outside, you can gaze at a view unchanged for centuries. When you stay within the boundaries of the Sudeley Castle Estate & Gardens you are walking in the footsteps of history. The castle has been entwined with royalty since Saxon times and is the only private castle in England to have a queen buried within its grounds. Katherine Parr, the last wife of Henry VIII, lived and died here and Henry, Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey, Queen Elizabeth I and Richard III are all woven into the castle’s history.
You would be forgiven for thinking that the beautiful Georgian townhouse was formerly a place that made candles. In fact, it was a dairy farm. The whitewashed wall in the courtyard is where the cooling tower for the milk once stood, and milk churns were stored in what is now the downstairs loo! Inside, flagstone floors date back hundreds of years, and a fabulous cream AGA takes pride of place in the kitchen. In the dining room, the quirky wallpaper has been created from the pages from an edition of The Times newspaper, printed in 1891.
This immaculate cottage is built from traditional Cotswold stone and looks totally at home in the village, and so it should, for this elegant village house is the former police station. The police cells, once home to vagrants and local troublemakers, now form the ground floor wet room and utility room. The high-barred windows are still in situ and the original entrance from the kitchen remains. It’s a delightful place to stay in a charming village, which is close to many Cotswold attractions but untroubled by hordes of visitors. Blockley has a long history and is even mentioned in the Doomsday Book. It rose to prominence during the 18th and 19th centuries as a major centre for the English silk industry. Today it is a peaceful village with plenty of walks, a fantastic village shop and café, and a pub.
Forming part of a beautiful barn complex, Dovecote has bags of charm and style in abundance. It’s not very often that you have the opportunity to stay where the original dovecote is still in situ. Here it takes front and centre stage. Soaring high above the living room row upon row of boulins (pigeon holes) create a magnificent, vaulted ceiling, adding something rather special to this place. The unique blend of old meets new is enhanced by the sleek glass walkway running along the front of the barn. It gives tantalising glimpses of the traditional building behind.
Location: Near Cheltenham
From the outside, Hillview Hideaway looks like a very smart double garage. This is, however, no ordinary garage. The building has been ingeniously and stylishly transformed into a quirky and luxury retreat just for two. Step inside and you’ll find a light, bright and contemporary space filled with every creature comfort that bears no resemblance at all to its exterior demeanour. The mezzanine level boasts a spacious and beautifully appointed bedroom, with air-conditioning to ensure summer nights are cool and restful. Hiding around the side is a pristine patio complete with a private hot tub.
As you pull into the drive there are two very unique and unusual dwellings. One is a converted Dutch barn, the other is Ledge View, a former Nissen hut. Outwardly, its life as a military storage facility is evident. Inside it has been sympathetically and stylishly repurposed to create a spacious and unique holiday home. Exposed, corrugated iron has been incorporated into the design, a considerate nod to its place in the past. Now you’ll find a spacious, open-plan living, dining and kitchen space with a wood burner, and three generous bedrooms. Outside views stretch over a rural landscape as far as the eye can see.
Location: Shipton Oliffe
Dating back to 1864, the Old Chapel is a beautifully restored 19th century chapel with many character features retained including the original chapel doors, elegant arched brickwork, and beautiful stained glass. It’s a peaceful spot with a pretty garden and close to a myriad of attractions including Cheltenham, Cirencester, Bibury and Bourton-on-the-Water.
Cute, quirky and bijou. We love a shepherd’s hut and Outbak is one of our favourites. Set equidistant between Winchcombe and Broadway, this delightful shepherd’s hut is perfectly appointed. Inside there’s a comfy king-size bed on a raised platform, so you can lie back in comfort and enjoy the beautiful views. A well-fitted kitchen area has all the things practically needed for a shepherd’s hut stay and there’s a surprisingly spacious bathroom. Unusually, for a shepherd’s hut, it is fully centrally heated, so even in the coldest weather you’ll stay warm and toasty. Outside is a private deck complete with a wood-fired hot tub. It’s the perfect spot for an evening of stargazing amongst the bubbles.
This aptly named home is a beautiful Grade II listed house that dates to 1633. During the English Civil War, the Barracks was used to garrison soldiers – today it is an altogether more peaceful kind of place. The current owner, only the second in the home’s 400-year history, has transformed the house into a fabulous three-bedroom holiday home, perfectly combining contemporary artwork and facilities with original 17th century features. Outside there is a beautiful garden which has been divided into three distinct spaces with places to dine, contemplate, play, and relax. The village is close to the picturesque town of Burford, Bibury, and the Sherborne Arms, a local family-owned village pub, is a short stroll away.