Local Cotswold Attractions and Events
One of the delights of staying at Holly House is the central base we have here in Bourton to visit so many different Cotswold Attractions. We have a host of Houses and Gardens to visit, local markets to browse for local goods, Neolithic and Roman remains to wonder at and Outdoor Sports both traditional and modern. If you feel like just taking in some of our remote, typically Cotswold villages that appear to have been frozen in time...there are lots of those too......
Bourton-on-the-Water Village Attractions :-
The Cotswold Perfumery ( www.cotswold-perfumery.co.uk )
Bourton is well known for The Cotswold Perfumery - it has been blending perfumes now for over thirty years. To call it a factory is probably misleading. No steel structures or lorries here, and the only chimney to be seen is from a gently crackling log fire in the shop. The Company is based in a magnificent eighteenth century traditional stone building where oak beams and crooked floors are the norm. But behind this idyllic facade is in fact a thriving company that that has grown steadily over the past thirty years and now manufactures fragrances for some of the most famous perfume houses in the world. As well as stocking unique fragrances and jewellery for purchase, The Cotswold Perfumery also runs perfumery courses.
Cotswold Motor Museum ( www.cotswold-motor-museum.co.uk )
Located in the village, The Cotswold Motoring Museum is a fascinating journey through the 20th Century. Though the main focus is on motoring, the Museum is full of the everyday paraphernalia that made motoring so popular including picnic sets from the 1920s, alongside caravans, radio sets, gramophones and knitted swimsuits. You can visit Brum at his home and see where he was filmed. The little super hero car whose adventures start and end at the museum can be found at the museum everyday
Birdland Park & Gardens ( www.birdland.co.uk )
Birdland was first established in 1957 and was sited in the centre of Bourton. The current location was a trout farm and prior to that a Poplar Tree plantation There are still over 150 trees which create a high canopy for the River Windrush and enclosure. Birdland is a natural setting inhabited by over 500 birds; Flamingos, pelicans, penguins, cranes, storks, cassowary, and waterfowl can be seen on various aspects of the water habitat. Over 50 aviaries of parrots, falcons, pheasants, hornbills, toucans, touracos, pigeons, ibis and many more. Tropical, Desert and Toucan Houses are home to the more delicate species.
Bourton Model Railway
Enter the world of your childhood dreams with some of the finest operating indoor model railway layouts in the country, covering over 500 square feet.Over 40 British and Continental trains run automatically on three main displays of OO/HO and N gauge, with the unique attraction of visitor control.Follow the trains' journey through the imaginatively designed scenery of open countryside, mountains, steams, industrial sites and suburbia. Watch day change to night, experience the fun of the fair and generally enjoy the attractive illusion of colour and movement enhanced by many working model accessories.
Bourton Model Village at The Old New Inn
The Old New Inn is known all over the world for the fascinating model village in its garden. Built by an earlier inn owner and a small team of local craftsmen during the early thirties, the Village is a 1/9th replica of Bourton-on-the-Water, built from the local Cotswold stone. It was opened on the Coronation day of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937.
Further afield :-
Moreton-in-Marsh Market: Tuesdays 8.00am-2.00pm weekly (Parking can be difficult - Go early!)
Bourton-on-the-Water Farmers' Market: 4th Sunday monthly, 9:30am-1:00pm (Countrywide Car park)
Stow-on-the-Wold Farmers' Market: 2nd Thursday monthly, 9:30am-1:00pm (The Square)
National Trust and English Heritage
Many of our guests love to roam National Trust and English Heritage Properties, of which there are many here in the Cotswolds, as well as privately owned Estates open to the public. You will find details of these in the Tourist Information Area at Holly House. Please remember that opening times are restricted or non-existent in winter, so it is always wise to check the NT and EH websites for details if you are planning a visit during winter.
Roman Villa at Chedworth
Chedworth Roman Villa is the remains of one of the largest Romano-British villas in the country. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00am to 5.00pm until 2nd November. The drive from Bourton to the Villa is enchanting, at any time of year.
Sherborne Lodge Park
The first time we came across this place we were stunned! It was a gorgeous winter's day with the sun streaming through the clouds and we happened to glimpse masses of Deer through the gates. It was quite astonishing! The Park itself is equally impressive. Lodge Park was built in 1634 as a deer coursing grandstand for the Dutton family, and the National Trust renovated it in the 1990's. The grandstand sits within the 4,000 acre Sherborne Estate of stunning Cotswold countryside with views down to the River Windrush. The grandstand should be open 11.00am-4.00pm Friday-Sunday and is a novel experience! Walks in the Estate are free and well worth doing.
Hidcote Manor Garden
One of England's Greatest Gardens, an 'Arts & Crafts' masterpiece created by Major Lawrence Johnston, gardens split into "rooms" of individual design. The inspiration for many of our celebrity gardeners it is Open Monday-Wednesday and Saturday-Sunday 10.00am-6.00pm until 1st October and then 10.00am-5.00pm until 2nd November. A Must See!!
Blenheim Palace ( www.blenheimpalace.com )
A firm favourite of ours, Blenheim Palace at Woodstock, is fabulous all year round. Birthplace of our "Greatest Briton" - Winston Churchill, the magnificent palace is the ancestral home to the Dukes of Marlborough. The palace was a gift from Queen Anne and a grateful nation to the 1st Duke following his famous victory at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704. Access to the palace, the park and gardens is available from 13th February and in our opinion well worth the entrance fee. The Christmas Craft shows held there in November/December are wonderful for Christmas gifts with a difference.
Snowshill Manor & Gardens
Charles Wade embodied his family motto 'Let nothing perish', spending his life and inherited wealth amassing a spectacular collection of everyday and extraordinary objects from across the globe. He bought objects because of their colour, craftsmanship and design, restoring the ancient, golden-yellow Cotswold manor house to display them. Laid out theatrically according to Mr Wade's wishes, the Manor is literally packed to the rafters with 22,000 or so unusual objects from tiny toys to splendid suits of Samurai armour. The Manor is surrounded by an intriguing terraced hillside garden designed in the Arts & Crafts style.
Snowshill Lavender Farm
Snowshill Lavender Farm is a third generation family farm set in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold Hills. Traditionally an arable and sheep farm, in 2000 they made the difficult decision to diversify into other crops. The lavender plant loves their free draining limestone soils 1,000 feet above sea level giving the best growing conditions for the highest quality English Lavender Essential Oil. Their crops are steam distilled on the farm and made into their unique range of modern lavender products, all proudly made in Great Britain. In 2009 they relaunched their products under the brandname Cotswold Lavender and since then their product range has continued to grow with the launch last year of the new range Cotswold Hedgerow. Snowshill Lavender Farm is a particular favourite of mine and is an amazing sensory experience during July prior to harvesting. Fields of purple as far as the eye can see and the smell is fantastic! The products are very high quality and make great personal treats or gifts.
The RSC ( www.rsc.org.uk )(Royal Shakespeare Company)
The RSC is located in Stratford-upon-Avon, a 45 minute drive from us at Holly House. Stratford is a wonderful place to visit, so why not take in a play by Stratford's famous Son whilst here? All tickets for plays at the RSC can be booked online via their website.
National Hunt Racing ( www.cheltenham.co.uk )
Cheltenham Racecourse is The home of National Hunt Racing and "The Festival" in March each year. The full fixtures and prices for the 2012 season are available at the website above. Please note that rooms go quickly for Cheltenham Meets and should be booked well in advance.
The next fixture is the main event of the year at Cheltenham "The Festival"
Gold Cup -12th to 16th March
For something different, why not take in a chukka of Polo? A fantastically atmospheric sport, particularly favoured by our royal family, polo is a great excuse for a picnic and matches held at the oldest Polo Club – Cirencester Park – are only £10 per car from May to June and £15 per car July- August. A really different day out!
The Cotswolds are excellent walking territory, for serious or leisurely walkers alike, there are some fabulous trails to follow, one particular favourite with guests being The Windrush Way. Details of lots of walks are available at Holly House with maps to guide you there and back again!
Air Shows ( www.airtattoo.com )
All Air Shows are a real draw for visitors worldwide, particularly Fairford Royal International Air Tattoo – held on 7th and 8th July, The largest military Air Show in the World – it is a spectacular weekend and you must book any accommodation early as this is a very popular weekend!
The Cotswold Air Show, formerly known as the Kemble Air Show has been merged with the Best of British show this year and is to be held on August 26th and 27th due to the Olympics at Kemble Air Field. We recommend booking early to avoid disappointment!