Cornerstone Cottage, Spa and Pools

Somerford Keynes


Per Night

8 Guests

6 Beds

3.5 Baths

An idyllic 4-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom cottage, Cornerstone Cottage is on the exclusive Lower Mill Estate nature reserve, part of the Cotswold Water Park and near charming Cirencester - ‘Capital of the Cotswolds’. Guests have full access to the Estate's award-winning spa, restaurant and other facilities. A private chef is available to make your stay even more relaxing. Built in a traditional Cotswold style, Cornerstone Cottage features a wood burner in an inglenook fireplace, two Juliette balconies, a spa bath and a fabulous sundeck, with a BBQ, overlooking a gorgeous water garden. It's just a short walk to Somerford Keynes' village pub, with other Cotswold villages, towns and rolling hills nearby to explore. The perfect place for a calm, relaxing spa break in the Cotswolds, a friend’s reunion or family gathering, yet only short journey from London. Feeling more active? Choose from a wide choice of onsite activities, including paddle boarding, kayaking, cycling, tennis, Pilates, yoga and animal spotting!
Read full Description


Cornerstone cottage is set on a series of lakes. You can rent all kinds of equipment for boating lake activities and also for cycling. It’s a terrific location quiet and peaceful. The house provided great Read more
Mark August 8, 2020
Cornerstone Cottage is new to Bolthole Retreats... Be the first to write a review!
Bolthole Retreats January 27, 2020


  • WiFi
  • Open Fire / Wood Burner
  • Pub within 1 mile
  • Shop within 1 mile
  • Parking - Private parking for up to 5 cars
  • Travel Cot - x1
  • High Chair - x1
  • Bedding & towels
  • Swimming Pool
  • BBQ
review score

Updated 25 Aug 2020
2 reviews
2 reviews

Full Description & House Rules

We are delighted again to welcome guests to Cornerstone Cottage from 4th July, and enhanced cleaning measures are in place.

UK Government restrictions mean:

We can welcome groups of up to two households (your support bubble counts as one household).

Please note:

The vast majority of onsite facilities are available for use, however at this date swimming pools, spa and indoor soft play are closed to comply with government restrictions. 


An idyllic 4-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom cottage, Cornerstone Cottage is on the exclusive Lower Mill Estate nature reserve, part of the Cotswold Water Park and near charming Cirencester – ‘Capital of the Cotswolds’. Guests have full access to the Estate’s award-winning spa, restaurant and other facilities. A private chef is available to make your stay even more relaxing. Built in a traditional Cotswold style, Cornerstone Cottage features a wood burner in an inglenook fireplace, two Juliette balconies, a spa bath and a fabulous sundeck, with a BBQ, overlooking a gorgeous water garden. It’s just a short walk to Somerford Keynes’ village pub, with other Cotswold villages, towns and rolling hills nearby to explore. The perfect place for a calm, relaxing spa break in the Cotswolds, a friend’s reunion or family gathering, yet only short journey from London. Feeling more active? Choose from a wide choice of onsite activities, including paddle boarding, kayaking, cycling, tennis, Pilates, yoga and animal spotting!

Lower Mill Estate’s Code of Conduct requires that guests accept their conditions before booking – please see below.

Property Introduction

The approach to Cornerstone Cottage, with views of the lakes and water gardens, sets the scene for an active, relaxing holiday surrounded by nature. The cottage is at the end of a stone pathway, in a quiet and secluded location away from the Estate’s internal roads, yet within a few minutes’ walk of the Activity Hub and Pilates centre, the lakes, nature trails and the LME Spa. Cornerstone has a wide sundeck at the rear of the property, overlooking a beautiful water garden, which is accessed through the Living Room’s French windows or via a wooden side gate.

This wonderful Cotswold holiday rental is fully equipped for a relaxing but active self-catering holiday. Downstairs features an open plan living-dining-kitchen area, with an inglenook fireplace and wood burner (easy-starter logs and firewood supplied), opening on to a spacious sundeck where guests can relax and eat al fresco. A handy downstairs cloakroom provides a washbasin and toilet. Upstairs, there are two ensuite double bedrooms with Juliette balconies – one with bath and over-bath shower and one with a Jacuzzi-style spa bath. (If pre-arranged, both double bedrooms can be set up as a twin rooms (with 2 single 3ft beds in place of 1 superking (6ft) bed.) A further two bedrooms are furnished with full-size bunkbeds (two singles per room), which share the family shower room, which has an electric, walk-in shower, toilet and washbasin. A travel cot is available for guests to use for babies up to 2 years of age (please provide your own bedding for the cot).

The Lower Mill Estate began its life in the late 1990s when the self-made millionaire, entrepreneur and environmentalist Jeremy Paxton fell in love with the undeveloped land and lakes as he flew over it in his helicopter. Quite by chance he discovered the site was for sale – three weeks later Paxton was the owner of what is now Lower Mill Estate. After several years, the Paxton family developed a master plan of 575 holiday homes on the site, with two thirds left as untouched nature reserve and lakes. LME is now owned and operated by the Paxton family and the Habitat First Group. Lower Mill Estate Cotswolds is now an impressive wildlife haven accessible to owners and visitors alike, combining natural beauty with award-winning architecture, sport and relation facilities. You can view the Spa, gym and LME surroundings and Cornerstone Cottage in this short video.


  • Sleeps 8 in 4 bedrooms across 2 double ensuite bedrooms (6ft king-size beds – can be made up as twins) and 2 bunk-bed rooms
  • 5 bathrooms: 2 ensuite bathrooms, one with a spa bath and one with bath and over-bath shower, both with a W.C., washbasin and heated towel rail; 1 family shower room with walk-in shower, W.C. and washbasin.
  • Parking: 1 allocated parking space and extra parking for 5 more cars, both approx. 200 metres from the cottage, plus closer parking for unloading.
  • Private enclosed sun deck overlooking beautiful water garden
  • Fireplace with wood burner – easy-starter logs and firewood supplied
  • Linen and towels: all bed linen (inc. non-feather duvets), bath towels, a hand towel in each bathroom and tea towels provided.
  • Full access to Lower Mill Estate Spa and swimming pools and on-site sport activities (see ‘Local Amenities’ above).
  • Spa towels: feel free to use the house towels. If you prefer, towels can be rented directly from the spa for a small charge.
  • Hairdryer x2
  • Kitchen starter consumables: e.g. teabags, fresh organic milk, Nespresso pods.
  • Cleaning starter pack: dishwasher tablets, scourer, cloth, washing up liquid, bin bags, kitchen paper, baking foil, cling film
  • Bathroom starter essentials: hand soap, toilet paper, shampoo, shower gel
  • Heating and hot water: an energy-efficient heat pump system provides room heating and air-conditioning. Hot water is available on demand.
  • Free Wi-Fi: Gigaclear Ultrafast fibre – nominal average speed of 300MB/s download and upload
  • TV: Smart, 32”
  • DVD player
  • CD music player with iPod dock
  • Games and books
  • Child friendly
  • Fully equipped kitchen with toaster, kettle, Nespresso coffee machine, utensils, crockery, cutlery, glassware (champagne flutes, tumblers and wine and water glasses) cafetiere, bakeware, food preparation (grater, jug, sieve), saucepans, kitchen foil, cling film
  • Oven/hob
  • Microwave
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge-Freezer, family size
  • Washing machine
  • Dryer
  • Ironing board, iron
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Baby/Child Equipment: highchair, travel cot (please provide your own cot bedding).
  • Outdoor patio/seating area
  • Garden furniture – seats 8 + 8
  • BBQ – Weber with starter pack of charcoal provided
  • Safety equipment: fire extinguisher, carbon monoxide monitor, smoke alarm, First Aid kit.

Full Property Description

Ground Floor

Entrance Hall

Open the front door into a bright and light hallway that leads into the downstairs living area. Within the hallway are plenty of hooks for guests to hang coats, and where Lower Mill Estate Spa passes hang ready for guests’ use. Two Spa passes are provided – each covers all guests staying at Cornerstone Cottage (two are provided should you arrive at different times).

Downstairs W.C.

Off the hallway is a handy downstairs cloakroom with dual-flush toilet and washbasin.

Continue through the internal hallway door into the open-plan living area:

Dining Area

A long wooden table and eight comfortable dining chairs sit between the Kitchen and Living Area. Diners have views out towards Somerford Lagoon, the deck and water garden and the cosy Living Room with its inglenook fireplace. In the summer, the French windows next to the Dining Area can be opened out to the adjoining garden and water feature area. A wooden highchair is provided for guests with children.

The Living Area

The main feature of the double aspect, cosy Living Room is the Inglenook fireplace and wood burner and great views out to the beautiful water garden, just beyond the cottage’s inviting sun deck. The Living Room has a flat-screen smart TV, DVD and CD music system, with iPod dock. Furnished with three sofas to comfortably seat eight guests, with reading lamps, a coffee table and a children’s table and two chairs. French windows lead out of the far end of the Living Room onto the sun deck where guests can enjoy a drink or al fresco meal while enjoying the stunning water garden and view towards Somerford Lagoon.

The Kitchen

The fully equipped, bright and airy Kitchen looks down the stone pathway, leading to the front door in one direction and out to the adjoining garden and on to Somerford Lagoon in the other direction. As well as the usual kitchen appliances (dishwasher, microwave, oven, hob, toaster and kettle) the Kitchen also has a large family-size fridge/freezer, washing machine, dryer and Nespresso coffee machine, with coffee pods supplied! 


Carpeted stairs with a handrail lead up to four carpeted bedrooms, three bathrooms and a landing with a bookcase housing novels, local guidebooks, children books and games.

Bedroom 1

Bedroom 1 features a 6ft king-size bed* and ensuite bathroom, with full-size bath, over-bath shower, WC, washbasin and heated towel rail. The bedroom is also furnished with bedside tables and reading lamps and a freestanding wardrobe. French windows open on to a Juliette balcony overlooking the delightful water garden below.

Bedroom 2

The second ensuite bedroom features a 6ft king-size bed* and a deluxe spa bath, hand-held shower, WC, washbasin and heated towel rail. The bedroom is also furnished with bedside tables and reading lamps, an in-built wardrobe, small wall-mounted TV (Freeview only) and full-length mirror. French doors open onto a little Juliette balcony overlooking the stone path leading to the cottage.

* On request, Bedroom 1 and/or Bedroom 2 can be made up as a twin room/s.

Bedroom 3 and 4

Bedrooms 3 and 4 are each furnished with full-size, single bed bunk beds, suitable for children and adults, both with under-bed drawers and a free-standing clothes rail. These two bedrooms have the best view of Somerford Lagoon, one of the many lakes at Cotswold Water Park.

Family Shower Room

The shower room features an electric walk-in shower, washbasin with over sink mirror and shaver point, heated towel rail and dual-flush WC. A step is provided to help little ones do their teeth.


Cornerstone Cottage has two fabulous outdoor attractions: the wider Lower Mill Estate, and all its incredible activities and facilities (see ‘Local Amenities’ above), and its own, large sun deck, with table, chairs, and a charcoal Weber barbecue, overlooking the secluded water garden where guests can watch water birds and wildlife at close hand. The sun deck has two adjoining areas – one with Rattan-style sofas and chairs for relaxed seating and the other with a large, round table and fixed benches, which comfortably accommodates eight guests. In the summer, a parasol is provided for the patio table.

Booking Conditions: Lower Mill Estate’s Code of Conduct

Please Note: Lower Mill Estate’s Code of Conduct – below – requires that guests accept the following conditions before booking:

Lower Mill Estate (LME) is a Nature Reserve located in the heart of the Cotswolds. We promote a safe, family environment for people to enjoy, coupled with a duty to protect the natural habitat of many species of wildlife for generations to come. In order to maintain a balance between these two factors, there are several “Rules” to ensure that the Estate is safe, secure and a peaceful environment for all. Homes on the estate cannot be used a primary residence or be used as base of operation for contractors or a base to commute to and from a place of work. A full set of rules will be located at your property and we ask you to familiarise yourselves with them on arrival, we have summarised some key points for you below. It is the responsibility of the guest to act in accordance with the principles outlined below at all times.

Quiet enjoyment and consideration for others

  • No Hen/Stag Parties or similar such parties that will create a disturbance to others on the estate. We promote a family atmosphere at all times.
  • No bookings from companies on behalf of employees looking to work from our cottage
  • Noise amplifies across water – no external amplified music. Please keep voices low when on decking / balconies.
  • No music or excessive noise at all after 11pm.
  • Be aware that this is a development of privately owned properties – do not walk around houses or borrow/use equipment belonging to other homes.
  • Be aware of ‘light pollution’. Turn lights low in the evening.
  • No fireworks or lanterns – for the safety of wildlife, fireworks or lanterns are strictly forbidden.
  • No corporate bookings

Safety & Estate Facilities

  • The speed limit on the Estate is 10 mph – except where it specifies a 5mph limit. There is zero tolerance to speeding on the Estate.
  • Limited parking on the Estate – please use your allocated parking space. All other vehicles must be parked in the designated overflow car park areas.
  • Children must not be left unattended. This is of paramount importance around equipment, pools and lakes on the Estate.
  • The Spa – for those houses that have access to the Spa please ensure you have your passes. Please take care not to allow other people into the Spa.
  • Please note the safety rules in the pools, saunas and play areas. Please be considerate to others in the changing rooms, which can get crowded.
  • Homeowner-only and Adult-only: please note the times for Homeowner-only and Adult-only for the Spa and Mill Village pools.
  • You should not exceed maximum overnight occupancy as identified in your contract with the owner/agency
  • Traffic management – the Estate operates a shared space policy to reduce the priority of motor vehicles and increase the priority of pedestrian users and cyclists.

Wildlife & Nature Reserve

  • Please do not feed any wild animals
  • If you plan to fish, please familiarise yourself with the Estate Fishing Rules located on the notice boards and at the Estate office
  • Canoes, sail boats and wind surfers, please refer to the notice boards for lake closures and information regarding path closures.
  • Please adhere to PRIVATE PROPERTY signage.
  • Buoyancy aids must be worn on the lakes at ALL times
  • Please keep dogs on a lead at all times around the Estate – please remove any fouling and dispose of appropriately.

What if I breach the “Code of Conduct?” Please be aware that a breach of the rules/code of conduct may result. Continuous breaches of the rules /code of conduct could result in all members of your party being evicted from the estate.

Local Amenities

Lower Mill Estate (LME) has been described as the UK’s only residential nature reserve with a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). LME is a stunning location, with 450 acres of abundant wildlife, lakes and countryside, accessible on foot, by boat and on bicycles.

Guests at Cornerstone Cottage have access to the fabulous Lower Mill Estate Spa where there is an outdoor eco-pool, naturally filtered by reeds and water lilies, and two more 20-metre heated pools – one indoor and one outdoor – a steam room, a sauna, a techno-gym, a library and a ‘restful reading’ lounge. The pools are open through most of the season (April to October) and are heated to a comfortable 28-29°C, with poolside loungers. (See spa information above about use and access.)

LME is a fantastic location for adults who want to enjoy the outdoors, in a truly accessible way, then relax after their exertions in the spa, and for families with children of all ages who want to have an activity-packed holiday in a safe and secure environment.

Indoor and outdoor activities at Lower Mill Estate include birdwatching, fishing, kayaking, windsurfing, stand-up paddle, nature exploring, tennis (on hard courts), cycling, trampolining, children’s soft play, trail running family yoga, Pilates, Nordic walking, running clubs and fitness sessions.

The Activity Hub is only a one-minute walk from Cornerstone, and provides bicycle, kayak and other equipment hire, watersports and a wide range of activities, instruction and local information. You can pre-book equipment so that it’s ready for you upon arrival. See ‘Sport and Outdoor Activities’ below for more details.

A nature trail for little ones, called Miss Mouse Trail, is based on a story relevant to the wildlife at Lower Mill and will encourage young children to explore the natural environment. Collect a map at the Miss Mouse meeting Hut and head out onto the trails to find the hidden treasure. (Please note: The Miss Mouse trail is closed from November to March.)

The Lower Mill Estate General Store is open at various times depending on the season, stocking luxury ready meals as well as basic supplies, beers, wine and toiletries. Newspapers may be bought here, but it is best to order the day before to guarantee your paper is available. It also runs a delivery box scheme of fresh organic vegetables and high-quality meat all sourced locally from Chesterton Farm. Phone the shop to pre-order all provisions and newspapers so they can have them ready and waiting for your arrival, and newspapers on the mornings you would like them (email by Thursday or Friday for the weekend.  or call 01285 869817).

Other nearby grocery shops and supermarkets include:

  • Marks & Spencer Simply Food: 42 Dyer Street, Cirencester GL7 2PF
  • Tesco Extra: Kings Meadow Cricklade Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 1NP
  • Waitrose: Sheep Street, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 1SZ

The closest pub is The Baker’s Arms, a pleasant 15-minute walk away, which prides itself on its beer, drinks and food.

Private Catering

During your stay at Cornerstone Cottage you may like to try the very popular Chef-To-You service, as recommended by many guests, including one who is a chef.

A chef comes and prepares a meal for you and clears up too! This is provided in partnership with Dineindulge, who have the highest satisfaction ratings in the private chef arena.  You can choose from a wide range of menus, including kosher, vegetarian/vegan options and a children’s menus too. (Prices start from £24.99 per person for a 2-course meal, ranging up to £69.99 per person.) Cornerstone Cottage’s owners have tried and recommend the Deluxe Signature menu.

It is recommended that you book well in advance as it is a popular service – ideally at least two weeks in advance, though it is sometimes possible to accommodate late bookings. (Booking information is provided once the cottage is booked.)

Sport and Outdoor Activities

The owners of Cornerstone Cottage haven’t tried all the activities listed below, but they come highly recommended by people they know.

Waterskiing: WMSki Cable Waterskiing for all abilities.

Not far from Lower Mill Estate on the Spine Road (B4696). Tel: 0845 895 9000.

Not feeling so energetic, then why not try the neighbouring Watermark Club Lakeside Brasserie to eat, drink and watch the water skiers?

Water Sports: South Cerney Sailing Club for sailing and windsurfing. Tel: 07071 223618. has loads of useful information.

Fishing: Fishing is available on the estate’s many lakes. If you are planning to fish, please contact Steve Rowley (the fisheries manager) on 07980 268917. Or try Ridgeway Lake at Cerney Wick, where you can fish on a day ticket and you are pretty much guaranteed to catch.

Also, try Bibury Trout Farm where visitors can feed the fish and catch their own at the Beginners’ Fishery. Tel: 01285 740215.

Cycling: As well as walking, cycling is a wonderful way to explore, following the tracks around LME.

LME also has a bike track suitable for BMX and other off-road bicycles.

For bicycle routes near to LME see

Bicycles can be hired from The Activity Hub, who also organise “Tickle the Thames” guided off road cycle adventures around the Cotswold Water Park. See | 07971 252 394 |

To obtain the latest information: email

Walking: The Activity Hub at LME organises occasional walks, e.g. the “Into the Wild Night” walks. The walks are £10, which includes toasting of marshmallows on our campfire and hot chocolate. To obtain the latest information: email, visit  or call 07971 252 394

Horse riding: South Cerney Riding School is a 10-minute drive away and provides lessons and hacking for all ages. Tel: 01793 750151.

Golf: Oaksey Golf Club is a 9-hole, par 35 golf course which is a 10-minute walk from Lower Mill Estate. Tel: 01666-577995.

A more challenging 18-hole, par 72 course is at Wrag Barn Golf Club, a 20-minute drive away near Highworth. Tel: 01793 861327.

Tennis: Full use of the nearby all-weather tennis courts on Lower Mill Estate is available to Cornerstone Cottage guests.

The LME App is a great way to explore Lower Mill Estate with new interactive maps that track your position as you walk or cycle through hundreds of acres of our private residential nature reserve. Find your property and key Estate facilities with ease, wander the lakeside nature trails to reconnect with mother nature or head off-site on a selection of local walks around the Cotswolds, one of the UK’s favourite areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

In the app you will also find important information relating to seasonal opening times for key facilities, spa treatments, the Activity Hub and the best things to do at Lower Mill to ensure you make the most of your time at Cornerstone Cottage. You can download the App in Google Play Store or via the Apple App Store.

By Car

From M4:

Take Junction 15.

Follow A419, signposted ‘Cirencester/Cotswold Water Park’.

Stay on dual carriageway for approximately 10 miles. Now follow ‘From A419’ directions (below).

From M5:

Take Junction 11a.

Follow the A417, which becomes A419 at Cirencester. Now follow ‘From A419’ directions (below).

From A419:

  • Turn Left to B4696 (Spine Road exit), signposted to South Cerney.
  • Continue straight on for 1.5 miles and over staggered crossroads.
  • You will pass Keynes Country Park and the entrance to Somerford Keynes village/Spratsgate Lane on your right.
  • About a ¼ mile from here turn left into Lower Mill Estate – this is Mill Lane.
  • Turn first right into Lower Mill Estate’s ‘Main Entrance’. Enter the pin code (which will be sent to you by the owner before your stay commences). Drive through the gates. Continue following the instructions and the map, below:
  • Follow the road as it bears left until you reach a ‘STOP’ sign and a second set of gates (wooden). On your right-hand side you will see a large parking area. Park here.

By Train

The nearest rail station is at Kemble, three miles away and from here there are frequent services to Swindon, Gloucester and Cheltenham as well as a regular service to London, Paddington.


  • Cirencester Radio Cars: 01285 650850
  • Tony’s Taxis Kemble: 07500803858
  • Kemble Station Taxis: 07795159974
  • Hills South Cerney Cabs: 07960660885
  • Station Taxis: 03338000750 / 01285641339


Cornerstone Cottage has one assigned parking space, marked with ‘23’, opposite the property across a small stream and water feature. There is also a large parking area as you approach the cottage (see ‘Directions’ above) big enough for several cars. See ‘Directions’ for temporary parking while unloading luggage/shopping.

Cornerstone Cottage, Spa and Pools

Somerford Keynes

8 Guests

6 Beds

3.5 Baths

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