Cottage | 1 bedrooms | sleeps 2
A refuge from the stresses of modern life, Lantern Cottage, which was showcased in the November 2009 issue of Period House and featured in Warwickshire Life (May 2010), will take you back in time to the cosiness of an open fire, exposed beams, antiques and curtains drawn against the cold - but with 21st century amenities. On summer days, you can sunbathe in our pretty walled garden or eat on the patio as the fountain plays near by.
For theatre lovers, it's just a 15-minute drive to the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford, where you can also visit buildings going back to Shakespeare's time and earlier. Not only that, there are river trips, a Picture House, pubs and restaurants for all budgets and plenty to attract shoppers.
Outdoor types can walk straight from our doorstep on to a public footpath, leading to the Avon, with a lock and narrow boats one way, and fields leading to Bidford and its shops the other (and beyond to Stratford). Excellent fishing right along this stretch of the Avon is available for Birmingham Anglers Association members - just two minutes' walk away, and you can easily join online. The whole area is a network of footpaths, lovely, varied scenery and an abundance of pubs. Welford-on-Avon Golf Course, Bidford Gliding and Studley Manor are five minutes away, as are National Trust (and other) properties. If you prefer to cycle to any of these, you can hire a bike from Stratford Bikes.
|Size||Sleeps up to 2, 1 bedrooms|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings, Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest Amenities||2 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Birmingham 83 km, Nearest railway: Evesham 12.8 km|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, TV, CD player, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||1 bedroom, 1 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||Double beds (1), Dining seats for 2, Lounge seats for 4|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ|
|Further details indoors|
This is a very pretty, bijou cottage that combines old-world charm with modern facilities - the kitchen is very well resourced with everything you need to prepare a gourmet meal - from hand mixer, blender, wok and steamer baskets to cafetière, coffee grinder and serving dishes. For the cook in a hurry, there's also a microwave/grill. In the cupboards, you will find tinned tomatoes and beans, pasta, herbs and spices, olive oil - enough to prepare a pasta sauce without going to the shops. Easy peasy. There's also five types of tea, coffee beans, ground coffee and instant coffee - even homemade jam for midnight snacks. And, if you want to be informal, there's a traditional kitchen table for casual meals.
The living room, which features an inglenook fireplace (free logs in the shed) and exposed beams, overlooks the front garden. It's great for chilling with Freeview television, a CD player with dozens of CDs, a DVD player and DVDs and games - plus there's a comfy sofa with cushions and patchwork throw, should the temperature drop. There are candles and tea lights in holders for romantic lighting. The small dining table with antique pendant light and oversized carved candlestick provides the perfect setting for an intimate dinner for two.
The old, twisting elm staircase (make sure you don't trip) leads to the galleried study with an antique desk, complete with ample stationery, where you can work online (or take your iPad wherever you like with wifi access), and a selection of books. A comfy easy chair with cushions and side table provide the perfect spot to hide yourself away with a book. There's also a hatbox with guides and maps inside.
Leading from the study is a compact, airy bedroom with a comfortable double bed, feather pillows and duvet (If you have a feather or dust allergy, ask at the time of booking for a synthetic duvet and pillows to be made up instead.), ample storage and a radio on the curtained shelves by the bed. There's a sewing kit and buttons in another hatbox on the side. The fitted wardrobe is in the study.
|Further details outdoors|
The walled back garden has a sunny patio with herbs, flowers and shrubs in the borders. There's a table and chairs for al fresco dining facing the lawn - you can pass the food and china out from the nearby kitchen window. The rest of the garden is laid out with a small curving lawn, well-stocked flowerbeds, box hedges and topiaries. At the end in a sunny spot is a wrought iron bench, where you can sit with a glass of wine and the crossword or a book. On the side patio, where the wall fountain is, there is another small bench and tiny - very pretty - side table. There's also the space / slot for the rotary dryer, which is kept in the shed.
The shed contains a freezer (top drawer for guests), barbecue, rotary dryer and logs. You can store your bikes in the shed as well.
The cupboards are ready stocked with fresh and instant coffee, four types of tea, drinking chocolate, dried goods, oils and vinegar, condiments, rice, pasta and spices etc - enough to prepare a simple pasta dish. You will also find milk and biscuits on arrival and flowers on the table. Homemade jam is in the cupboard as well. A fire will be laid in the wood burner and more wood is available in the shed at no extra charge. If you want us to arrange for your groceries to be delivered, there is a £5 charge. Alternatively, use Tesco! There's a catalogue in the living room.
If there are any problems, the concierge lives down the lane.
There are many summer festivals this year – from music to literature - easily accessible from Lantern Cottage (web addresses are available from Sue). These include:
* AsparaFest 2014 – as well as an asparagus feast, there's two music stages, workshops, a cookery kitchen etc. Badsey, Nr Evesham, Worc. Sat 31 May - Sunday 1 June.
* Wychwood Music Festival 2014 – includes the Boomtown Rats and the Stranglers. Cheltenham Racecourse. Fri 30 May - Sun 1 June.
* Cheltenham Science Festival – from the origins of the universe to cocktails, cakes and cats. Tues 3 – Sun 8 June.
* Lunar Festival 2014 – Tim Burgess, Donovan and the Polyphonic Spree. Nr Birmingham. Fri 6 - Sun 8 June.
* Cheltenham Music Festival – Nicola Benedetti, Milos and more. 2-13 July.
* MFY (Music for Youth) National Music Festival – everything from jazz and rock to brass and chamber music. Birmingham Town Hall and Symphony Hall. Wed 2 – Sun 6 July.
* Wireless – featuring Kanye West plus appearance by Pharrell Williams. Birmingham. Fri 4 - Sun 6 July.
* 2000 Trees - Indie rock with Blood Red Shoes, Frightened Rabbit & Band of Skulls. Thurs 10 – Sat 12 July. Nr Cheltenham.
* Global Catherine - dance festival with 16 stages, featuring David Guetta, The Prodigy, Tinie Tempah etc. Stratford-upon-Avon. Sat 25 – Sun 26 July.
* Fusion Festival Birmingham – line-up includes Pitbull, Jessie J, Dizzie Rascal & Foxes. Cofton Park, Birmingham. Sat 30 – Sun 31 Aug.
* Cheltenham Literature Festival – details tbc. Fri 3 – Sun 1212 Oct.
Altogether, it's so lovely you might want to give a special friend a Lantern Cottage voucher for short break - or longer. Just ask.
The Central England/Cotswolds region
From Marlcliff, you step out into richly beautiful and varied countryside - and a cultural gem. The RSC is based in Stratford, which is a 15-minute drive away, and particularly lovely in the winter. The two main theatres are now open for booking, complete with a spectacular viewing tower. Recent reviews have been very good.
Activities in Stratford are varied, including a poetry festival, literary festival, the summer season of the Orchestra of the Swan and, of course, grand celebrations round Shakespeare's birthday on 23 April. Details at www.visitstratforduponavon.co.uk. There are several good restaurants, including The Opposition in Sheep Street, which is ideal for pre-theatre meals - booking advised. Alternatively, try the theatre goers' pub, the Mucky Duck, opposite the Swan Theatre, which is always fun and provides an opportunity to name-check RSC actors. Foodies will like the farmers' market on the first and third Saturday of the month.
North of Stratford is medieval Warwick with its castle on the Avon. A complete contrast is the Regency town of Leamington Spa, while its counterpart, Cheltenham, is rightly known as the cultural centre for the region. As well as the Everyman Theatre, it hosts the nationally known literature festival plus jazz, science and food and drink festivals. Montpellier (the Regency part) is lovely for independent shops, cafés and bars.
Broadway, Winchcombe and Bourton-on-the-Water are all built in traditional style in honey-coloured Cotswold stone, all very different, and all worth a visit. Of these, Winchcombe is our favourite, with a working pottery and several smart restaurants and shops. Railway enthusiasts might want to visit the small rail museum.
Sudeley Castle is off Winchcombe, and you wouldn't want to miss that, what with the gardens and many events. To get to both, you drive through Broadway, which is Cotswolds in aspic, but worth at least one visit. Near Broadway, up the hill, is Snowshill Manor, a very English, wildly eccentric estate with wonderful gardens.
As for on-your-doorstep sights, the site of the former abbey in Evesham with its magnificent bell tower is well worth a visit, as is the nearby timber-framed Almoner's House. From there, you can walk along the river through one of the longest avenues of elms in the region.
The area is not all heritage, though. Birmingham is only 45 minutes away and offers not just the National Exhibition Centre, but Birmingham Rep, a revamped canalside area with restaurants, bars and shops (think Christmas shopping) - and the wonderful Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Shoppers should make for the new Selfridges and the Mailbox, while the chocolate lover's favourite is Cadbury World in Bourneville, of course!
Also great for Christmas shopping is Bicester Village in Oxfordshire, the UK's premier designer outlet, offering many reduced-price bargains. You could probably do all your Christmas shopping there - and have a meal at the same time. It's about a 40-minute drive, but worth it.
The closest town, Bidford, is a walk away over the fields (or a five-minute drive), and you can do your weekly shop there at a very good Budgeons plus buy bread and cakes from the independent bakery. There are some good pubs - the Frogis the current favourite, while the Shakespeare Inn in Welford does a good, cheap meal - and several restaurants and take-aways. There's also a post office, paper shop, Lloyds Bank (open every day), hairdresser's and chemist.
If you're sporty, then Bidford Gliding Club could suit you, while cyclists are very well catered for. You can hire bikes from the Welford outpost of Stratford Bike Hire (5 minutes' cycle from our cottage) and then immediately cycle off along the Stratford Greenway, part of the National Cycle Network. Fishing too is an excellent option, which simply involves joining Birmingham Anglers Association. The river bank is a five-minute stroll away.
Walkers have easy access not only to the Greenway, which you can access from Welford-on-Avon, but also the Heart of England Way see Ramblers Association for major walkways, local walks and local groups). Stratford has miles of walking along the river - right up to Marlcliff, though some is along the road.
Altogether, it is so lovely, you might want to treat a friend to a voucher for a short break - or longer. Can do. Just ring or email for details.
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29 Jan 2014
What an utterly delightful place. There are 5 star properties which tick every box, and then there are those which tick even more! This place definitely lives in the world of the latter. Dripping w… More
Wow from this end too. I couldn't be more pleased. Do come back to stay again. If you can manage a summer visit, I'm now growing delphiniums and cosmos from seed. They should be at their peak from June right through to late summer. The garden is my big project at this time of year.
10 Jun 2013
"Perfect and romantic little country cottage"
My boyfriend and I have stayed in some lovely cottages but Lantern Cottage is by far our favourite. What a beautiful little cottage! It has been carefully decorated in keepping with it's traditional character. The study is absolutely gorgeous and the living room is lovely and cosy with a log burner and free logs included in the price. The cottage has everything you need to cook or if the weather is good enough (and it was) then a BBQ, which was also provided. The garden is so pretty and full of colour. So much thought and consideration has gone into this delightful cottage and garden. The setting is lovely and such as tranquil place to relax. Our dog loved it as he had a river just a few minutes walk away where he spent his days swimming and some beautiful countryside where we enjoyed plenty of walks.
Highly recommend to anyone looking for a romantic escape in a beautiful little English cottage.
I am delighted you both had such a good time, and really pleased we got it right for you. We always have in mind what else we can do to make it even better - and a new rug for the living room is on its way. Of course, it's made easier for us by the fact that it's such a pretty part of the country with loads to do. Do come back and see us again.
30 May 2013
My wife and I stayed four nights at Lantern Cottage for a leg of our European honeymoon. Being Americans, we wanted to experience a quintessentially English and historic property, and could not have hoped for a more beautiful or picturesque cottage. We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of our stay. Sue was great with helping us with our international booking, and the cottage was the perfect blend of historic charm and modern conveniences. We enjoyed having meals in the beautiful and private back garden. The cottage itself was stocked with all the amenities needed for a short stay--plenty of towels, toiletries, internet connection, and firewood to enjoy on chilly evenings. We found the directory of instructions and area attractions to be very helpful, and really enjoyed the selection of teas and biscuits. Lantern Cottage served as a perfect home base for exploring the Cotswolds, and we couldn't have been more pleased with our stay. Hopefully we'll be able to hop across the pond again someday to revisit this great cottage!
I am delighted you enjoyed your stay so much - and thank you for taking the trouble to do a review. We are certainly very much helped by the location, which offers something for everyone, what with the theatre, a restored Art Deco cinema and stately homes with acres of gardens all on our doorstep. And I must say you were perfect guests and left the cottage tidy and spotless. Do come back and explore some more. This country needs more visitors like you!
9 Feb 2013
"Beautiful winter getaway"
We stayed here at the end of January. Brilliant help from Sue arranging our stay at the very last minute. Arrived in the dark and the snow to this lovely cottage, with a ready made fire waiting for us. The cottage is fitted and presented to a very high standard, Sue has obviously put a lot of work and love into making it a beautiful and comfortable holiday retreat. It was lovely to have biscuits, tea and milk in the fridge waiting for us. I would recommend this cottage to anyone looking for a country get away, and look forward to going back!
I'm really delighted we were able to help our guests book at the last minute, and they were perfect guests. We are always happy to pull out the stops, though there was a more of a challenge here what with the snow and ice - and the inevitable train cancellations. It was touch and go for a while for them, but they got there in the warm. And isn't it worth it, when you're sitting by a log fire with a glass of wine in your hand? Really pleased they enjoyed themselves.
30 Nov 2012
Absolutely perfect, couldn't wish for a more romantic, beautiful place to stay. Fantastic teas and cookies, all the appliances you would need. Beautiful well kept garden. Felt like our own home.
How very kind. I must say I'm a tea and coffee fanatic and like to have a range to choose from. Good to know this went down well. I also adore my garden, and it's surprising how attractive it still looked in November. Not for much longer, sadly, as the frosts start to attack, but, come February, I'll be out there making sure the snowdrops and the other early bulbs have space to strut their stuff.
28 Nov 2012
"Perfect getaway cottage to relax and explore the area"
It was a great week away. The cottage is lovely and the garden gorgeous. Loved cooking Thanksgiving dinner in the kitchen and dining fireside. Had all of the amenities you need and great recommendations were provided about the surrounding area. My husband and I had the perfect balance between recharging our batteries and taking time to explore the beautiful countryside.
To reciprocate, you were perfect guests despite being in the cottage during that awful deluge in November. Thankfully, there were days of perfect sunshine - and you deserved it. Thank you for the review. Come back when you can enjoy lazing in the garden.
29 Sep 2012
"Very pretty, comfortable cottage in lovely surroundings"
Cottage was very well equipped and cosy, with lots of little nick nacks, original features, quirky corners and a beautiful garden. It is in an ideal place for touring Shakespeare country, with lots to see and do nearby. Lantern Cottage was a pleasure to come back to each evening. We have stayed in a lot of holiday cottages and this is one of the best we have been to. Hope to return another year
Thank you very much for taking the time to write this review. We also have stayed at many cottages in the UK, and we tried to build on our experiences and make our cottage somewhere we would like to stay - and be prepared to pay for the experience. Good to hear it works for you. Hurray!
27 Jul 2012
"Wonderful Romantic Cottage, home from home in lovely setting"
We had a wonderful week, the cottage is very romantic and quirky. The little touchs made this the best weeks holiday we have ever had in this country. If you want a romantic cottage in a peaceful area, but close to great walks, Stratford-upon-Avon and surronunding areas then stay in Lantern Cottage, you will not be disapointed.
I am delighted you enjoyed your stay and had such a lovely time. Thank you for taking the time to write a review - and such a nice one.
22 Jul 2012
Das Häuschen ist perfekt und liebevoll eingerichtet und dekoriert. Die Küche ist mit hochwertigen Elektrogeräten ausgestattet, der Garten so schön wie auf den Bildern. Viele nützliche Hinweise zu Ausflügen und ein herzliches Willkommen mit Süßigkeiten, Kaffee, Milch usw. haben alles abgerundet. Wir haben es sehr genossen, hier zu sein.
30 Jun 2012
"Excellent, dream cottage with personal touches - perfect"
This really was a fairy-tale cottage - absolutely beautiful, quaint, well-maintained property with a host of personal touches souch as ingredients left in the kitchen for our first meal, celebration chocolates in the living room and plenty of logs and firelighters for a gorgeous log fire. We came here for a romantic get-away and absolutely loved the place. Size wise the cottage is a traditional "2-up 2-down" but that made it all the cosier, particularly on cold evenings with the log fire!
Good accessability to Stratford upon avon and walks along the Avon starting from right outside the door. Thanks to the owners for making this a really fantastic stay. We'd certainly come back!
£60 per night in early march when we went was an absolute bargain when you consider similar prices for single hotel rooms vs an entire cottage to yourself.
A big thank you for taking the time to complete this wonderful review. It is a lovely spot - quiet and yet close to Stratford, which is exactly why we bought the cottage, as it makes going to the theatre so easy. Recommend the Julius Caesar set in an African state.
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