Cotchford Farm

12

A sublime restoration of a historic 16thC farmhouse, with a tennis court, swimming pool and heaps of space for 12

6 Bedrooms

4 Bathrooms

Beauty/wellness treatments

Child friendly

EV charging

Parking

Private chef on request

Private garden

Swimming pool

WiFi

Woodburner

Space & setting.

This glorious 16thC Sussex farmhouse, with its dancing swags of white wisteria, skirts of dewy lawns and blossom-scented gardens, was once the home of AA Milne. It had us at rhododendron terrace, but there are countless picnic nooks, as well as an astro tennis court and pool with a fabulous old-school diving board. Not to mention acres of ancient woodland and the adjacent Ashdown Forest to explore, the inspiration for Christopher Robin’s adventures with Winnie the Pooh. This was one of the main draws for its current owners, who are passionate about the protection of Ashdown Forest, giving 10% of their profits each year towards its conservation. You can duck into the wilderness at any time for den-building and butterfly-chasing with little ones, ears pricked for the tunes of warblers and nightjars. Or send older kids off for games of hide-and-seek that last for hours.

There are 6 double bedrooms in which to gather your tribe – be it friends or family – and history sings from every wonky eave and wooden beam. Restoring a property this sympathetically is no mean feat, but the owners have struck an admirable balance between classic and comfortably cool, choosing mossy greens and peacock-blue backgrounds to showcase stunning reclaimed finds: table lamps, classic pendants and a stone-trough sink from a church vestry. Further afield, there are vineyards for tastings, rowboats on the River Ouse, and a brace of excellent local pubs. But once you’ve settled in, there’s really nowhere else to be other than here: by the pool then on the terraces with carafes of local wine and candlelit feasts that last into the night.

Getting here: you’ll need to drive

Special touches.

+ Beauty treatments from a mobile therapist

Ashdown Forest Farmhouse

Owners Chris & Mandi lovingly renovated the property whilst living in it with their 3 kids, and it is their forever home. But Mandi received an un-turndownable job offer in America, so they relocated in January 2023, and are renting the house out for 10 years. Their aim is to attract visitors and therefore income to the Ashdown Forest, the magical area that inspired Winnie the Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood.

My Kip favourites

 They love
Lazy breakfasts on the terrace, warmed by the morning sunshine.

We love
The house’s incredible history. It was also home to Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones in the 60s, who sought respite from the whirlwind of his rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle here, finding solace and inspiration within its idyllic surroundings.

You may not love
A min 3- or 7-night stay (see Specifics). You’ll need to drive to shops, pubs and restaurants. The indoor dining space is split between the kitchen and dining room. Sorry, no pets.

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  • "We had the most amazing stay and loved every minute. Hermione the host was lovely and super helpful greeting us on arrival. The house is charming with lots of lovely quirks. Would definitely stay again. Thank you for a wonderful stay."

    Sarah, Feb 2024
  • "One of the best travel experiences I've had in a long time, with exceptional hospitality and kindness from the host. The property was fantastic; the location was perfect, too - with nice pubs nearby, yet still tucked away in a peaceful and quiet area."

    Alex, April 2023

Sustainability.

 10% of profits are donated to The Ashdown Forest foundation to aid their management and conservation of the endangered natural habitat.

Surrounds.

  • Ashdown Forest © Craig Payne
    Ashdown Forest © Craig Payne
  • Ashdown Forest © Craig Payne
    Ashdown Forest © Craig Payne
  • Ashdown Forest © Craig Payne
    Ashdown Forest © Craig Payne
  • Ashdown Forest © Craig Payne
    Ashdown Forest © Craig Payne
  • Glyndebourne Opera House © James Bellorini
  • Artelium Vineyard
    Artelium Vineyard © Will Hearle
  • Ardingly Antiques
    Ardingly Antiques © Sussex Local
  • Ashdown Forest Farmhouse
    Ashdown Forest
  • Ashdown Forest Farmhouse
    Ashdown Forest
  • Roaming the Ashdown Forest is a given, whether on foot, bike or horseback. Two nearby pubs are great for a pint or lunch afterwards: try The Dorset Arms in Withyham and The Hatch Inn, Hartfield.
  • Children will love exploring the magical landscapes immortalised in AA Milne’s books: they can visit ‘Pooh Corner’ and play ‘Poohsticks’ on the bridge.
  • Pack a fancy picnic and dress in your finery for outdoor opera at famous Glyndebourne, which has a summer-long programme of events.
  • Bluebell, Rathfinny and Artelium are a trio of local vineyards for wine tours, or to purchase a bottle or 6 of Sussex bubbles.
  • Head to Barcombe Mills and walk along the River Ouse, or pootle downstream on a rowboat rented from the Anchor Inn.
  • Salvage your own antiques at the renowned Ardingly Antiques Fair, 25 minutes by car.
  • Cultural pick Farleys Farmhouse is a lesson in Surrealism, while Charleston has exhibitions and festival-type events celebrating all things from gardens to poetry and music.
  • Fill your tote with fresh produce at Waterlane Food Market and book a table for lunch. The setting is a quintessentially English dream, with walled gardens and a stunning Victorian glasshouse.

Specifics.

  • Historic 1540s farmhouse with formal gardens
  • 6 king / super-king bedrooms
  • 4 ensuite bathrooms
  • Fully equipped kitchen with dining table for 6
  • Basic supplies
  • Additional dining room seating 6
  • Living room with books, board games and Smart TV
  • Baby cot, highchair, trampoline and playroom with toys and games
  • Garden with formal terraces and alfresco seating
  • Heated outdoor pool with diving board and security cover
  • Tennis court, with balls to borrow
  • Pool towels to borrow
  • WiFi but poor phone reception
  • Parking for 4 cars and an EV charging point
  • House manager available by phone
  • Sorry, no pets
  • Security deposit: £750
  • House rules: no outside noise after 10pm
  • Booking conditions: a 3-night minimum stay, which rises to 7 nights during July, August and over Christmas and New Year

 

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