Holly Cottage a gorgeous example of a Cotswold stone cottage, so typical and popular with visitors to this area of England. It is a detached, three-storey property with the perfect combination of character features, including an inglenook fireplace, oak beams and flagstone flooring, alongside modern facilities, which include underfloor heating and Apple TV. Situated on a quiet country lane in Coln St Aldwyns, this beautiful, historic and untouched village, has a great pub, an excellent community shop and circular walks right from the door. The cottage comfortably sleeps eight guests across three double bedrooms and one twin bedroom, with one ensuite and one family bathroom, both with walk-in showers and baths. The cottage has a large, private courtyard garden with a covered eating area and barbecue and parking for three cars.
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- Open Fire / Wood Burner
- Pub within 1 mile
- Shop within 1 mile
- Parking - Private parking for up to 3 cars
- Travel Cot - x1
- High Chair - x1
- Bedding & towels
Updated 30 Oct 2020
Full Description & House Rules
This picture postcard, early-1800s Cotswold stone cottage has a very welcoming, cosy feel, with its original oak beams, flagstone floors and inglenook fireplace beautifully restored and conserved by the current owners. Holly Cottage is bright and airy too, with modern facilities and plenty of entertaining space provided by the large fully equipped Kitchen, Living-Dining Room, fabulous Garden Room and covered outdoor dining area.
The cottage is decorated and furnished in a contemporary style with soft white and grey paintwork, providing the perfect setting for the traditional features and the modern facilities, which include underfloor heating throughout the downstairs area (beneath the flagstone flooring), a Smart TV with Apple TV connection and a DVD player and a fully equipped Kitchen with everything guests need for a self-catered holiday. Eight guests are comfortably accommodated across four bedrooms, including two king-size double rooms, (one can be set up as a twin), 1 twin room (with 2 standard single beds) and 1 standard double. The cottage has a large ensuite to the Master Bedroom, with a shower and bath and a Family Bathroom with a walk-in shower and full size bath.
Framed by a front garden stocked with mature bushes, trees, climbing roses and jasmine, Holly Cottage sits on a quiet country lane leading to the 12th Century church of St John the Baptist. The front garden wraps around both sides of the cottage, leading to a large courtyard area with grassy knolls, mature trees and borders, a covered seating area, charcoal barbecue, rotary clothes dryer, a summer house/wood store, and private parking for up to three cars.
Coln St Aldwyns is steeped in history, dating back to Roman times. Unusually, and one of the reasons why Coln is such a great find for visitors who want to see the real Cotswolds, there isn’t a modern development in the village, with most of the cottages built in the 17th and 18th Century. Opposite Holly Cottage is a stunning 16th Century manor house, once a home of the wealthy Fettiplace family and a gathering place for non-Conformist thinkers, later becoming part of Hatherop School and later still purchased by Sir Michael Beach Hicks, the 1st Earl St Aldwyns. Just up the lane is the 12th century church and two-minutes’ walk down the lane is the village community store, once the village poor house. Close to the shop is the old bakery and bathhouse, the baths were heated by the bakery’s ovens!
- Sleeps 8 in 4 bedrooms across: 2 king-size double rooms, (one can be set up as a twin), 1 twin room (2 standard single beds) and 1 standard double
- 2.5 bathrooms: 1 en-suite to Master Bedroom (walk-in shower, bath with handheld shower attachment, toilet and wash basin); 1 Family Bathroom (walk-in shower, built in bath with handheld shower attachment, toilet and wash basin); 1 downstairs Cloakroom (W.C. and washbasin)
- Parking – for up to 3 cars on gravel drive
- Large courtyard garden with covered seating area
- Fireplace with wood burner – 1 complimentary basket of logs, kindle and firelighters.
- All bed linen, bath towels and tea towels provided
- Hairdryer x2
- Kitchen starter provisions: selection of teas and coffee (including small selection of Nespresso capsules), sugar, salt, pepper, fresh milk
- Cleaning starter provisions: dishwasher tablets, scourer, cloth, washing up liquid, bin bags, kitchen paper, cling film, tin foil
- Bathroom starter pack: hand soap, toilet paper
- Heating and hot water: oil-fired underfloor (ground floor) and central heating with individual thermostat controls.
- Free Wi-Fi
- TV – Smart TV with an Apple TV connection
- DVD player and choice of DVDs
- Games: a wide choice of family board games
- Fully equipped kitchen with Nespresso coffee machine, toaster, kettle, utensils, crockery, cutlery, glassware (champagne flutes, tumblers and wine and water glasses), bakeware, food preparation items, saucepans, bread bin, children’s plates, garden ‘glassware’.
- Oven/hob: Lexford induction range
- Fridge x2
- Combined washing machine/tumble dryer
- Ironing board, iron, clothes airer, clothes pegs, outdoor washing line
- Vacuum cleaner
- Baby/ Equipment: highchair, travel cot (cot linen not supplied), stairgates (2 sets)
- Outdoor patio/seating area
- Garden furniture – seats 8
- BBQ (charcoal) – available April-October; please provide your own charcoal
- Safety equipment: fire extinguisher, fire blanket, carbon monoxide monitor, smoke alarm, First Aid kit.
The entrance to Holly Cottage is through the back door into the Utility Room. (The front door can be opened, but the owners recommend using it only in case of an emergency.)
This handy room just off the kitchen, which leads out to the back garden, has a freezer, sink, washer-dryer, storage cupboards (containing garden-safe glasses) and hooks for coats and hats. It’s a great place to remove shoes and boots before heading into the cottage proper.
Off the Utility Room is the downstairs toilet with a wash basin and a map featuring Coln St Aldwyns village, dated 1881.
The pretty and welcoming, double-aspect kitchen, with its original oak beams and flagstone flooring (with underfloor heating), draws you all the way to the far window, with its window seat, two dinky children’s tables and a comfy armchair – a great spot for socialising and keeping the chef company! This practical, fully equipped kitchen has everything you need for a self-catered stay, including a Lexford induction range, dishwasher, two fridges, plenty of cupboard and preparation space, a double sink and a Nespresso coffee machine.
Walk through from the Kitchen to the hub of the cottage and the beautiful Living-Dining Room, with its original, exposed oak beams, flagstone flooring (with underfloor heating), and a large inglenook fireplace with a wood burning stove. The living area features two large leather sofas, a wing-back armchair and a great big beanbag, providing seating for everyone around hand-crafted wooden coffee table. There’s a Smart TV with Apple TV connection and a DVD player with a wide choice of DVDs. A ladder bookcase holds lots of interesting books, including ‘The Way We Were – A History of Coln St Aldwyns‘ – a must-read for history buffs. The dining area overlooks the rear garden and has a large wooden dining table, which comfortably seats eight adults. Tucked away in a cupboard under the stairs is the highchair, ironing board, iron, clothes airer and vacuum cleaner.
Head on through the Living Room to the bright and spacious Garden Room, with windows forming the three outer walls, providing a light and relaxing room for guests to enjoy some TV-free time to read, chat or snooze. Furnished with a three-seater sofa, wingback chair and antique sideboard, and featuring the original flagstone flooring updated with warming underfloor heating. A large wicker basket contains a big choice of family board games, including Cluedo, Balderdash, Trivial Pursuit, Ski Run and Chain Reaction (contents may vary). French doors open out from the Garden Room to a flight of stone steps leading to the courtyard garden and parking area.
Stairs lead up from the Living-Dining Room to the first-floor landing and the cottages first two bedrooms. The upstairs area (excluding the bathrooms) is carpeted throughout with a light bark-coloured, sisal. (Please note: Sisal is expensive, and stains are almost impossible to remove. Therefore, to avoid any unnecessary stress for you, the housekeeper or the owners, we would kindly request that you refrain from taking food and drinks upstairs to these carpeted areas.)
Bedroom One-Master Bedroom
This lovely light and spacious double room, with original, exposed oak beams looks out to the beautiful ancient Coln properties on Church Lane, which guests can contemplate while sitting in the window seat overlooking Church Lane. The room has a sumptuous king-size bed, on a Victoriana iron bedstead, and is furnished with a gorgeous pink velvet wingback armchair, bedside tables with reading lamps and a double fitted wardrobe (housing the travel cot and stairgates). Behind the bed are some deep shelves, which were the original staircase leading up from behind the Living Room’s inglenook fireplace.
The large en-suite bathroom, with its lovely, smooth oak floorboards, looks out over the rear and side garden. It has a walk-in shower, an enticing, free-standing, roll-top bath, (with central taps and a handheld shower attachment), a toilet, wash basin and heated towel rail.
The dove grey walls perfectly off-set the beautiful oak beams of the cottage’s second double bedroom, also overlooking Church Lane – a quiet, no-through road along which very little traffic passes. Featuring a king-size bed (which can be set up as a twin room on request), bedside tables with reading lamps, a large chest of drawers, a full-length mirror and a double wardrobe (a single wardrobe houses the cottage’s hot water tank).
The spacious family bathroom, with its beautiful polished oak floorboards, has plenty of room to accommodate a family’s requirements, with a walk-in shower (with detachable showerhead), full size, built-in bath (with end taps and a handheld shower attachment), toilet, wash basin with a mirror on a wide windowsill, providing plenty of room for personal items, and a heated towel rail.
Carpeted stairs lead up to the second-floor landing and two further bedrooms both with sloping ceilings and exposed oak beams, a Velux window to the rear garden and a pretty window, with a wide windowsill, overlooking Church Lane and the rooftops of Coln St Aldwyns.
This bright and cheerful twin room with Beatrix Potter pictures, children’s books and a welcoming soft toy on each bed is ideal up for younger guests. However, the two full-size single beds, with pull out drawers for additional storage, and shared bedside table with reading light, also comfortably accommodate adult guests. The bedroom also has a double cupboard with hanging space and a single wardrobe with shelves, housing some toys and children’s puzzles.
The cottage’s third double bedroom features a standard double bed on an evocative Victorian-style wrought-iron bedstead. This simply furnished, cosy bedroom has a freestanding wardrobe, a large chest of drawers and an antique church chair for guests to sit on and contemplate the fantastic view over Coln St Aldwyn’s ancient rooftops.
The back door (in the Utility Room) and the French doors (in the Garden Room), lead out into the large courtyard garden with grassy knolls, mature trees and borders, a covered seating area, charcoal barbecue, rotary clothes dryer and summer house/wood store.
The covered area has a large table with seating for eight, with a charcoal barbecue to the side, available from April to October (please provide your own charcoal).
A wide gravel driveway runs from Church Lane, between planted boarders, to the main courtyard and has space for up to three cars.
The garden wraps around both sides of the cottage (passed the Kitchen to one side and the Garden Room to the other) to the front, where there is a narrow, but very pretty, gravelled front garden with rambling roses, winter jasmine and mature bushes.
The thriving Coln Community Stores is in the centre of the village, two-minutes’ walk from Holly Cottage. Here you’ll find an excellent range of provisions, a cafe, Post Office, off-license, laundry service and lots of local information. There’s even a small cinema in the village (details at the shop) and a bus service (one bus per day) to Fairford and Cirencester, should you want a car-free day trip. (http://colnstores.co.uk/)
There are two pubs in walking distance of Holly Cottage: The New Inn, a beautiful 17th-century coaching inn with restaurant, bar and gardens, and The Keepers’ Arms in the neighbouring village of Quenington (1 mile away) – an award-winning pub, locally famed for featuring in the Camra Good Beer Guide since 2011.
The closest bigger food shops are in Fairford (4 miles) and Cirencester (9 miles).
Fairford Shops: Well known for its RAF base, the site of Concorde’s maiden flight, and the site of the Royal International Air Tattoo, Fairford is an interesting market town with a selection of small supermarkets (Co-Op, Londis), coffee shops, a Post Office, fuel station, a butcher, Boots pharmacy, and other local-interest stores.
Fairford town dates back to AD 850 when it developed as a safe place to cross the River Coln. Later it became a mill town (wool), with the mill still standing today, but not in operation. Today the River Coln is known for its excellent trout fishing.
The town has an impressive church, St Mary’s, known as a Late Perpendicular ‘wool’ church, with beautiful medieval stained glass and interesting wood and stone carvings.
The Market Place and High Street are where visitors will find most shops, cafes etc, with impressive 17th and 18th century stone houses lining the streets, including 7a Coffee Shop (www.7acoffeeshop.co.uk/) and Linwood Café (www.lynwoodandco.com/)
There is free parking in the Town Car park, in the Market Place and at the top of the High Street; other streets have one-hour restrictions.
Fairford is a ‘Walkers are Welcome’ town, the local council provides several walking suggestions and routes taking in the pretty park, water meadows and riverside trails, available to download at: www.fairfordcv.org.uk/walks/
Cirencester, 9 miles from Holly Cottage, is the closest major town with lots to see and do. See the ‘Visitor’s Guide to Cirencester’ (below) for more details of amenities there.
Burford, known as the ‘Gateway’ to the Cotswolds’ is just 15 minutes’ drive and has lots independent shops, pubs and cafes, plus great walking nearby.
Cirencester supermarkets: Cirencester has a well-stocked Waitrose and Tesco Extra, as well as an M&S Simply Food, ALDI and Lidl.
Here are a few of the local places to eat and drink as recommended by the owners of Holly Cottage (further suggestions are provided in the Cirencester guide below):
The New Inn – Coln St. Aldwyns – Tel: 01285 750651
This pub is only 800 yards from Holly cottage and has an excellent reputation for delicious food.
Barnsley House – Potager Restaurant – Tel: 01285 740000
Barnsley House is in the village of Barnsley, about 5 miles from Holly Cottage, and is one of the most famous boutique hotels in the Cotswolds, with award winning gardens. Booking is essential.
The Village Pub – Barnsley – Tel: 01285 740421
This pub is considered one of the best in the Cotswolds. It is owned by Barnsley House and is always very busy, so if you plan to visit be sure to make a reservation.
The Swan at Southrop – Tel: 01367 850174
Set in a 17th-century village inn, The Swan has a simple motto: ‘home grown, homemade’. Thus, seasonal produce inspires the menu, with ingredients coming fresh from the Southrop Manor Estate’s farm every day.
Daylesford Farm Shop – near Kingham – Tel: 01608 731700
Hailed as one of the most sustainable organic farms in the UK, Daylesford is a 30-minute drive from Holly cottage and definitely a ‘must visit’ for foodies.
The Wheatsheaf Inn – Northleach – Tel: 01451 860244
A 10-minute drive from Holly Cottage, the Wheatsheaf has the best “snug” area – perfect for post Sunday lunch relaxation in front of the open fire!
The Bell at Sapperton – Tel: 01285 760298
A charming pub and restaurant that sits between the towns of Stroud and Cirencester in a sleepy little village called Sapperton. Roaring log fires and cosy corners in the winter, and a beautifully landscaped garden and courtyard for summer means the Bell has something for all seasons.
Jessie’s Bistro – Cirencester – Tel: 01285 641497
A fantastic seasonal restaurant – a good option if you find yourself in town.
Made by Bob – Cirencester – Tel: 01285 641818
Buzzing bistro and deli with chrome and modern art decor serving chic, Euro-English
cuisine – a great lunch venue when out and about in Cirencester.
Step out of the front door and you’re straight into miles and miles of walking. You’ll find a handy leaflet at the cottage describing three circular walks, which all start from the New Inn pub, including an easy 1-mile village walk, a fairly easy 4-mile walk through the Coln Valley to Quenington and an idyllic, moderate 6-mile route to Bibury (famed for its Arlington Row cottages, possibly the most photographed tourist location in the Cotswolds!), where you can have a bite to eat at The Swan, The Catherine Wheel or in the cafe at Bibury Trout Farm. Just a short drive away is the Bathurst Estate in Cirencester and the beautiful National Arboretum at Westonbirt – two great places to walk without having to plan a route.
If you’re staying with little ones, head out on foot past the village shop and on down the hill straight ahead (Hatherop Road) to a safe, secure and immaculate adventure playground, complete with picnic tables and benches. Then wander downhill to the River Coln for a splash in the stream and say hello to the sheep and cows – a truly idyllic scene. If you’re lucky enough to catch a sunset, it’ll be one of the most beautiful you’re ever likely to see!
Walking & Cycling Guides
Great Barrington to Burford Circular WalkWalk_AONB walk5 Great Barrington to Burford
NorthleachAndoversford-MWS Bibury-MWS Bibury-River-Coln-MWS Great Rissington-MWS Bourton and Wyck-MWS Guiting Power - MWS Northleach-MWS Salperton-MWS Stow-on-the-Wold-MWS
CirencesterBibury-MWS Bibury-River-Coln-MWS North Cerney Siccaridge-Wood-MWS
Coln St Aldwyns is easily accessed by car, being located within eight miles of the A417, the A40 and the A429 (Fosse Way), which are three of the main roads through the Central Cotswolds. Once you have arrived in Coln St Aldwyns, follow the road to the right-hand side of the Coln Stores & Cafe. Take the first left onto Church Lane (a no-through road sign-posted with a small sign that reads ‘To the Church’). Pass a high stone wall on your right. Holly Cottage is the second cottage on the right-hand side and is clearly marked with a name plate and the number ‘54’.
Kemble Station is the closest station to Holly Cottage, located 14 miles from Coln St Aldwyns. Kemble operates a direct service to London Paddington in 75-80 minutes as well as offering good transport links to the rest of the UK. Alternatively, Swindon (17 miles) has a fast and regular service from London Paddington.
- A2B Taxis – 01285 655651
- Cirencester Taxi – 07400 288866
- Siren Cars Cirencester – 01285 652388
- T4 Taxis – 01285 641590
Coln St Aldwyns is within 1.5 hours of two international airports:
- Heathrow International Airport: 70 miles, approximately 75-minute drive;
- Birmingham International Airport: 65 miles, approximately 90-minute drive.