The Sycamore is a beautifully designed, luxurious retreat for two in the popular Cotswold village of Arlington, in the parish of Bibury. The owners have spared no expense furnishing this bolthole, using a clever combination of contemporary building materials, sumptuous fabrics, gorgeous antiques and eye-catching artwork. The Sycamore sits in the grounds of Arlington House, in the heart of the Cotswolds, and includes many extra welcoming touches that will delight you and make your stay that little bit special. A minute’s walk from a local pub with a roaring log fire and garden and less than five minutes' walk from the famous Arlington Row cottages.
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- Pub within 1 mile
- Parking - x1
- Bedding & towels
Full Description & House Rules
The Sycamore is a beautifully designed, luxurious retreat for two in the popular Cotswold village of Arlington, in the parish of Bibury. The owners have spared no expense furnishing this bolthole, using a clever combination of contemporary building materials, sumptuous fabrics, gorgeous antiques and eye-catching artwork. The Sycamore sits in the grounds of Arlington House, in the heart of the Cotswolds, and includes many extra welcoming touches that will delight you and make your stay that little bit special. A few minutes’ walk from a local pub with a roaring log fire and garden and the famous Arlington Row cottages.
As you pull through the wrought iron gates and up the driveway of Arlington House, a stone’s throw from the popular village of Bibury, you’ll see The Sycamore at the end of the driveway. It is a truly deceptive retreat, looking like a neat and tidy new build from the outside, but step through the front door and you’ll be wow-ed by the spacious, stylish, fully equipped and open plan character of this one-bedroom bolthole.
The front door opens into a small entrance lobby from where an oak and glass staircase leads up to the open plan living area. At the top of the stairs you’ll find the dining area followed by a well-equipped kitchen and the slightly off-set gorgeous seating area, overlooking the patio through bi-fold doors. Also, at the top of the stairs, is a luxury shower room, featuring a large, walk-in shower. At the far end of the living area is the inviting bedroom, with its king-size double bed on a majestic wooden bed frame. Throughout, no expense has been spared in the presentation of The Sycamore, from the oak flooring to the unique artwork and from the sumptuous furniture to the extra welcoming touches that you’ll discover as soon as you arrive.
Arlington was first mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086) and was for centuries a village known for cloth making. Arlington village and Bibury village sit side-by-side, separated by the River Coln, a tributary of the River Thames. The village’s honey coloured cottages are what many visitors regard as quintessential Cotswold, with most making a beeline to the famous Arlington Row cottages, once depicted on the inside cover of every UK passport, and just a minute’s walk from The Sycamore.
Arlington was also the ancestral birthplace of John Custis II, who emigrated to the Colony of Virginia and named his Virginian mansion “Arlington” after the village. Arlington Mansion was abandoned, but the name was used again by Custis’ great-great-grandson, George Washington Parke Custis (the grandson of Martha Washington and step-grandson and adopted son of George Washington, the first President of the United States) as the name for Arlington Estate on the south shore of the Potomac River near what is now Washington, D.C. Today it is known as Arlington National Cemetery. The 19th-century artist and craftsman William Morris called Bibury “the most beautiful village in England” – he probably meant Arlington too!
Full Property Description
Step from the gravelled parking area immediately in front of The Sycamore into an entrance lobby with polished limestone floor, handy coat hooks and a pretty antique chair – ideal for perching while you remove your boots or shoes before heading up the beautiful oak staircase to the open plan living space and king-size bedroom.
Emerge at the top of the stairs to a brightly lit, elegant and beautifully decorated living space, with the stunning king-size antique bed in view at the far end. A dining table at the top of the stairs comfortably seats two around a contemporary, glass-top table. The dining space leads to a central island housing the oven and hob, crockery and glassware. At the far end is a double ceramic sink, kettle, toaster and fridge-freezer, while a sideboard at the dining end houses a microwave oven.
Within the main living area, but slightly off-set, is the delightful seating area, with a three-seater sofa and plush, velvet cushions, a coffee table and a large smart TV with an Amazon Firestick. The living area has bi-fold doors that open out on to the patio.
At the top of the stairs, French doors open out onto an elevated walkway that leads round to the back of The Sycamore’s patio.
At the far end of The Sycamore is the beautiful bedroom, with a king-size bed on a fabulously carved mahogany bed frame, creating an opulent feel, perfect for any couple wanting to escape for a romantic break. The bedroom has bedside tables with reading lights, a comfy antique armchair and occasional chair, with a low coffee table between the chairs, a large double wardrobe with hanging space and shelves and a Velux window (with fitted blind) that allows the sunlight to flood in.
Just opposite the dining area is the entrance to the luxurious shower room, which features a large walk-in shower with handheld and overhead showerheads, a contemporary wash basin with vanity unit and large mirror, a dual flush W.C. and a heated towel rail. All towels, shampoo and soap are provided for guests.
The Sycamore’s guests have a private patio at the rear of the property, accessed through the living area’s bi-fold doors or through French doors at the top of the stairs. A table and seating is provided along with a charcoal BBQ (please provide your own fuel). The patio looks out to a towering beech tree and Arlington House’s lovely garden.
The Sycamore’s patio adjoins the owners’ private garden. Though it may be tempting to take a stroll in the garden, we ask that you remain on the patio as the main garden and pool is not for The Sycamore guests’ use. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Places to Eat
Guests at the The Sycamore are lucky to have plenty of great pubs, cafes and restaurants to choose from, with a few in walking distance. Here are the owners’ local favourites:
The Village Pub, Barnsley (3 miles away): Casual dining in a traditional pub with outdoor seating. Good food.
Barnsley House, Barnsley (3 miles away): The original home of Rosemary Verey, the highly acclaimed garden designer, a stunning boutique hotel and gardens open to non-residents. Well worth a visit.
The Wheatsheaf, Northleach (6.5 miles away): Casual dining inside and out with great food and cocktails.
The New Inn, Coln St Aldwyns: Traditional pub with a good menu. You can do a lovely walk cross country to Coln St Aldwyns from Bibury – it takes about 40 minutes each way or drive the 3 miles by car.
The Swan, Bibury – a 2-minute walk: A small bistro attached to the hotel offers non-residents breakfasts, lunches and suppers. Good food and surroundings and within staggering distance although sometimes it can be a bit too quiet!
The Catherine Wheel, Bibury – a 1-minute walk:The nearest old-fashioned local pub that offers traditional pub grub.
Made by Bob, Cirencester (7 miles away): If you would like to explore Cirencester, Bob’s is the best restaurant in the town, whether it is for brunch or a full-blown supper.
Linwood Cafe, Fairford (6 miles away): Great for a coffee, breakfast or a lunch time snack.
The Organic Farm Shop, Cirencester (6 miles away): Fab food that is largely grown on site. On the Burford Road, just outside Cirencester.
Things to Do
There are some lovely walks that you can start from Arlington/Bibury. Maps are provided with the printed Welcome Guide at the property and are attached to bookings made directly with Bolthole Retreats. (Also see Walking/Cycling above.)
If you would like to try your hand at fishing, and have your own rod, the Swan Hotel offers access to the riverbank in Bibury. Just ask at reception for details. Alternatively, you might want to take the easier option and catch your own trout at the Bibury Trout Farm. You can just turn up and they will provide you with everything you need.
The nearby Cotswold Water Park at South Cerney offers a great selection of water sports, from kayaking and sailing to water skiing and rowing. There is also a lake for swimming, and you can hire bikes there to explore the local area. (See www.waterpark.org/)
Between May and September, you can watch a polo match almost every Saturday and Sunday either at the Cirencester Park Polo Club or the Beaufort Polo Club (near Tetbury). If you have never watched it before, just turn up with a picnic and enjoy this very English pastime on a lovely summer day, there is nothing nicer, and you may be lucky and catch a match with a member of the royal family playing!
Cirencester is the nearest town that offers a selection of really good boutiques, small independent shops and the Corn Hall in the Market Square, which features a home, fashion and garden bazaar from Monday to Thursdays, antiques on Fridays and crafts on Saturdays. (The Corn Hall occasionally holds specialist fairs on a Sunday. Check www.cornhallcirencester.org.uk for all Corn Hall events.)
A farmer’s market is held in the Market Square, Cirencester on the 2nd and 4th Saturday in the month, from 9am to 2.30pm.
See the Cirencester Guide at the end of this Welcome Guide for more details about the town’s attractions.
Burford Garden Company is just 8 miles away and is known as the next best thing to Liberty’s outside London. It is well worth a visit to browse, shop and enjoy the great food in their cafe. Burford – known by many as ‘the Gateway to the Cotswolds’ is also very sweet with lovely shops and eateries.
Museums and archaeological sites
As an important area to the Romans, Cirencester and the surrounding villages offer some interesting museums and archaeological sites, including the Corinium Museum in Cirencester and Roman sites at nearby Chedworth and Withington.
A car isn’t essential for a short break at The Sycamore but recommended if you want to explore further afield as public transport is limited.
From Burford: take the A40 signposted towards Cheltenham. After 1 mile, turn left on to the B4425. Continue for 9 miles into the village of Bibury. Pass the famed Arlington Cottages on your right and follow the road as it bears left over the stone bridge, passing the Old Swan Hotel to your right and then Bibury Trout Farm also on your right. Continue up the hill for 0.2 miles. Arlington House is on your left-hand side, marked by a tall stone wall, black wrought iron gates and an ‘Arlington House’ name plate. The Sycamore is the last building ahead of you – a wooden clad barn with two double oak doors and a single entrance doorway. Park in the area marked ‘The Sycamore’. (See entrance photo below.)
From Cirencester: take the B4425 out of Cheltenham, signposted to Burford (and Stow). Continue on the B4425 for 7 miles, passing through the village of Barnsley and into the village of Arlington/Bibury. Pass the Catherine Wheel pub on your right as you descend the hill, and an antiques shop on your left. Arlington House is the first driveway on your right after the antiques shop and is marked by a tall stone wall, black wrought iron gates an ‘Arlington House’ name plate. The Sycamore is the last building ahead of you – a wooden clad barn with two double oak doors and a single entrance doorway. Park in the area marked ‘The Sycamore’. (See entrance photo below.)
The closest train stations with connections to London Paddington (1hr 15 minutes travel) are Kemble (14 miles) and Swindon (17 miles). Please see ‘Taxis’ for transfers to the cottage.
- Cirencester Radio Cars: 01285 650850
- Tony’s Taxis Kemble: 07500803858
- Kemble Station Taxis: 07795159974
- Hills South Cerney Cabs: 07960660885
- Station Taxis: 03338000750 or 01285641339