Characterful little loft on a tranquil farm, with a stunning natural swimming pool
Sleeps 2 + baby
Owls are the loudest thing you’ll hear at this countryside haven on the edge of the Cotswolds. Restored from near-derelict status by its owners, the three limestone barns and farmhouse sit in rolling acres of land, along with Shorthorn cows, Berkshire pigs and a clutch of chickens. The largest barn is an airy studio which hosts regular yoga and pilates classes – the overall ethos of this place is relaxation. The middle-sized one is a rental for 6. And the smallest, sweetest one is this quirky hideaway, set above the old cow shed. Though it may be a bijou space it’s full of charm and totally unique, with a woodburner for chilly nights and a little balcony, where countryside views stretch for miles.
At the foot of the steps is the natural swimming pool – perfect for an invigorating dip, or to sit by at night with a glass of wine. (Or mid afternoon, we don’t judge). Take a wellness class in the big barn or borrow the owners’ bikes to cycle around the countryside. Though you’ll need a car to explore the Cotswolds at large, if you’re simply after a restorative, romantic break, you can whiz here on the train, and just be.
Getting here: drive or train to Charlbury then taxi (10 mins).
- Have an invigorating dip in the natural pool, and watch dragonflies flit around you.
- Join in a yoga, pilates or mindfulness class in the big barn. Or book a private session.
- Walk or borrow the owners’ bikes to cycle through glorious countryside; Kate can recommend routes that lead from the front door.
- Cycle to Daylesfood Farm and stock up on award-winning organic produce so you can whip up an evening feast.
- The area is full of amazing places to eat. The Swan in Swinbrook is Kate’s favourite, or head to The Wild Rabbit or The Plough in Kingham for something more upmarket.
- If you’ve got a car, day trip to Unesco-listed Blenheim Palace (15 mins). Birthplace of Winston Churchill, it’s all gilded state halls and impressive artwork. The 2,000 acre grounds include stunning ancient oak woodland
- Explore nearby Cotswolds villages and towns: golden Kingham and Woodstock are both delightful. Or spend a day in Oxford, admiring its pretty cobbled streets and handsome colleges.