The Old Post Office is in the pretty hamlet of Fossebridge, in a spectacular dip in the Roman Fosse Way, between the Cotswold towns of Cirencester and Northleach. This 7-bedroom, 3-bathroom property, which dates back to the 17th Century, has a wealth of character, including flagstone floors, beamed ceilings and feature fireplaces. This wonderful family home is arranged over three floors, has lots of downstairs space for all the guests to spread out around and has a self-contained double-bed annexe adjoining the property.
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- Open Fire / Wood Burner
- Pub within 1 mile
- Shop within 1 mile
- Parking - Private parking for up to 4 cars
- Travel Cot - x1
- High Chair - x1
- Bedding & towels
Updated 5 Feb 2020
Full Description & House Rules
The Old Post Office is in the pretty hamlet of Fossebridge, in a spectacular dip in the Roman Fosse Way, between the Gloucestershire towns of Cirencester and Northleach. This 7-bedroom, 3-bathroom property, which dates back to the 17th Century, has a wealth of character, including flagstone floors, beamed ceilings and feature fireplaces. This wonderful family home is arranged over three floors, has lots of downstairs space for all the guests find their own space and has a self-contained, double-bed annex adjoining the property.
As you pull into the gravelled drive of The Old Post Office, you’ll be greeted by the sight of the beautiful landscape garden running down towards the River Coln. Walk down the winding path, breathe in the view, then head round to the front of this impressive 17th Century home framed with rambling roses and tiny white hawthorn flowers.
The mature landscaped garden has several separate areas for all the guests to enjoy, with two lawns, a dining area next to a pretty summer house and the lazy, gurgling mill stream babbling towards the River Coln, a patio with a refectory-style bench for enjoying al fresco eating, a wooden bench positioned to enjoy the setting sun and an enclosed sun-trap courtyard with a bistro table and chairs – perfect seclusion for an early morning cuppa before the rest of the party gets up.
We like to describe the feel of the Old Post Office as “Cotswold country house-rustic with a touch of French farmhouse charm”, which means it is full of character, is a great entertaining place, is fantastic for large groups, and has a cosy lived-in feel. It has been a much-loved family home for many years – the smooth oak floor boards and moulded flagstone flooring is evidence of the many feet that have passed through – and you’ll feel that energy as soon as you step inside.
The hamlet of Fossebridge, with its own pub, (the dog-friendly Inn at Fossebridge), is on the Fosse Way (the A429), an impressive Roman road that runs in and out of a steep wooded valley and over the River Coln. It is surrounded by some of the most beautiful, rolling countryside that the Cotswolds has to offer.
- Main house sleeps: 10 in 6 bedrooms across 2 king-size bedrooms, 1 twin, 1 double and 2 single bedrooms
- Annex sleeps: 2 in 1 double bedroom
- Bathrooms: 1 family bathroom; 1 family shower room and 1 ensuite shower room (annex)
- 2 reception rooms: Living Room and Snug
- 2 dining rooms
- Welcome pack with basic local produce, e.g. milk, eggs, cake, and a bottle of wine
- Parking for up to 4 cars
- Central heating: oil fired
- Child / dog friendly
- All bed linen, bath towels and tea towels provided
- 2 fireplaces: 1 Clearview wood burner, 1 open fireplace – starter logs and kindling provided for two fires
- 3 TVs: 65” Smart TV with Amazon TV Firestick; 55” flat screen; 32” TV/DVD player
- Wide range of action DVDs
- Blaupunkt all-in-one digital audio system (kitchen), Alexa speakers in living room.
- Fully equipped kitchen with kettle and toaster; crockery, glassware (including champagne flutes) and cutlery for 12, plus hand blender, Kenwood blender, bakeware, saucepans, teapot, cafetiere, bowls, serving dishes and recipe books
- Britannia range oven with 5-burner hob
- Nespresso coffee machine
- Cooking basics: oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, herbs, sugar, tin foil
- AEG Washing machine and Hoover Washing machine (Annex kitchenette)
- Zanussi dryer
- 1 high chair
- 1 travel cot: linen for the travel cot is not supplied – please bring your own
- 1 set of stair gates
- Private, landscaped garden with mill stream and glimpses of river through the copse of trees just beyond
- Outdoor patio/dining areas
- Garden furniture – seats 12
- Weber BBQ (charcoal – please provide your own)
- Handwash and toilet paper is provided in all bathrooms
The Old Post Office is entered through the Outer Courtyard door. (Note: the main oak door at the front is very old and tricky to open from outside, though it does open from the inside.) Step inside from the Outer Courtyard onto the original flagstone flooring and turn left along the hallway to head towards the heart of the house.
Along the hallway, on your left, you’ll find the original post office building, now the Breakfast Room or second dining room. This is the perfect room to serve the first meal of the day, view the birds in the garden and plan the day. This bright and airy room has views out to the Outer Courtyard and over the garden’s front patio, which you can step out to through a stable door. Furnished with a long pine table and seating for six, plus a sideboard, and featuring The Old Post Office’s in-built, antique safe.
The striking dining room is at the heart of the Old Post Office and features a large antique dining table, with seating for 6, although it can easily accommodate more, (extra seating can me brought in from the Breakfast Room) and an impressive open fireplace. A tall, glass-fronted dresser houses china and glassware for 12 guests, plus plates and bowls for use in the garden. Original beams and an unusual chandelier over the table add to the wonderful character of the room.
The kitchen, with its high-beamed ceiling, cream coloured units and quirky chicken and duck pictures and ornaments, form what must be most people’s idea of a classic farmhouse kitchen. A small breakfast bar sits adjacent to the original stone hatch – an ideal place to perch for a morning cuppa or to sit and chat while a meal is being prepared. The kitchen is fully equipped with gadgets, appliances and basic cooking supplies, including range oven/hob, microwave, dishwasher, Nespresso machine, kettle, toaster, blenders, bakeware, saucepans, teapot, cafetiere, bowls, and serving dishes. (See ‘Facilities’ above for more details.)
This beautiful room is very much the heart of the house and really gives the impression of stepping back into the 17th Century with its smooth flagstones, huge wooden beams and window seating. Dominated by colourful and sumptuous sofas, armchairs and an impressive inglenook fireplace, with a Clearview multi-fuel log burner, this room is an inviting entertaining and relaxing area, away from the distraction of a TV, which is in the Snug.
This handy room off the Living Room is a bit of an Aladdin’s Cave! It’s where you will find the washing machine and dryer, clothes rack, brooms, mop, vacuum, cleaning products, an old but working extra fridge-freezer, and the immersion heater (back up water heating).
At the end of the house is the elegant, dual aspect Snug or second reception room, with its duck-egg blue walls, sink-in corner sofa and open fireplace. This is the ideal place to retreat to play a game, curl up with a book, (on the sofa or window seat), or watch a film on the extra-large TV, (with Amazon TV), or DVD player. (A wide choice of DVDs is provided, with more in the Annex.) Light from the garden pours into the room and is reflected in a stunning mirror over the marble mantelpiece.
Return to the Courtyard entrance hall and through to:
Located at the end of the downstairs hallway, this cosy king-size double bedroom with a brass bedstead feels a bit like a retreat within a retreat set apart from the rest of the bedrooms, with its inglenook fireplace, window seat overlooking the Outer Courtyard and original olden-day manual washing machine. The stone walls and wood panelling add to the unique setting of this ground floor bedroom.
This contemporary shower room, with polished limestone flooring and tiling, sink and dual flush W.C. and heated towel rail, is ideally located for guests in Bedroom 3, but is also useful as an alternative to the upstairs Family Bathroom for guests sleeping on the upper floors.
Between Bedroom 3 and the Shower Room is a small hall with a full-length mirror, hanging hooks for coats and plenty of space to remove and store muddy boots and shoes.
Off the Inner Hallway is an Inner Courtyard which leads to the Annex. (See below for description of Annex.)
A wide wooden staircase in the Living Room leads to Landing One, with a pretty window seat overlooking the garden.
This striking master bedroom, with its ornamental Victorian fireplace and painted tile surround, is furnished with a mahogany king-size sleigh bed, antique chaise-longue, mahogany cupboard, chest of drawers, a dressing table and mirror and a flat screen TV/DVD player. As you walk across the original, slightly creaky, oak floorboards to gaze out over the landscaped garden you’re sure to feel the long history of the house.
The pale olive-green Shaker-style wood panelling in the family bathroom makes this a very inviting and relaxing space. Featuring a full-size bath with a hand-held shower, a large sink, with an eye-catching blue mosaic mirror, and a toilet.
At the end of the landing is a gorgeous twin room – the beds can be linked to make a king-size bed – decorated in a calming silver-sage green colourway. The cushioned window seat beckons you to take a pew and read a book or gaze out over the garden. This bedroom has a hanging cupboard, large chest of drawers and mirror, and bedside tables with reading lamps.
An ideal bedroom for a younger guest with its single, Victorian, iron bedstead and pretty window seat with views over the garden. A large walk-in cupboard with chest of drawers provides plenty of space to hang clothes and store suitcases (or hide during a game of sardines!). The room is also furnished with a ladder-back chair and bedside cabinet.
A winding, carpeted staircase leads up to Landing Two in the converted eaves, where there is a large storage cupboard and full-length mirror and the two connecting attic bedrooms, featuring The Old Post Office’s striking oak A-frame:
Bedroom 6 (Attic Room 2)
This single bedroom has extensive built-in cupboards and a large desk, with plenty of power points for electronic devices, making this a great spot for studying or playing computer games, as well as sleeping in the pretty metal-frame day bed. This room has an impressive bird’s eye view of the garden and tree tops from the dormer window, (with blind).
Bedroom 5 (Attic Room 1)
At the far end of the converted attic, through a linking, cut-out doorway is Bedroom 5, (Attic Room 1), a double bedroom with extensive built-in cupboards, drawers and dressing table, plus bedside tables and reading lamps and a dormer window (with blind).
The well-appointed, two-storey Annex has two entrances: one leading from the parking area into the living room on the top floor and the other leading from the Inner Courtyard, (between Annex and the main house), into the downstairs Kitchenette.
The recently modernised and fully equipped Kitchenette features an electric hob and oven, Hoover washing machine, fridge, microwave, kettle, toaster, a heated towel rail and enough crockery, cutlery and glassware for two. (The fuse box for the Annex is located above the microwave.) A small supply of cleaning materials is provided under the kitchen sink.
Head up the wooden staircase to the en-suite studio bedroom:
At the bedroom end of the studio is a king-size, white sleigh bed next to an inviting window seat, with views out over the Outer Courtyard and garden. The bedroom area includes a cupboard and small dressing table with a mirror. The living room area has a two-seater sofa and TV/DVD player.
The house has a gated entrance to both the front and side. There is a gravel driveway to the side with ample off-street parking for 4 to 5 cars. Access to the first floor of the annexe is located from the parking area. A pretty walkway from the parking area leads down some steps, passed a small pond, through the landscaped garden to the Outer Courtyard and courtyard entrance, and then on round passed the Breakfast Room to the oak front door.
All the rooms, except the kitchen, face south and have lovely views over the mature garden, with its shrubs, herbaceous boarders and towering trees, bordered by the babbling mill stream of the River Coln. The garden has several paved terraces, with plenty of outdoor seating and tables for a meal for 12 or a quiet drink in the sunshine. A charcoal BBQ is provided for guests to use, placed down by the river terrace.
The closest food supplies can be purchased at Chedworth Farm Shop, just 1 mile away, which sells basic food items, wine and beer, plus farm-produced cheese and milk, locally reared meat, fruit and veg. (See www.chedworthfarmshop.co.uk for opening times.) The farm shop also has a small cafe, serving all-day, full-English breakfasts.
A wider range of amenities are available in Northleach, 3 miles along the Fosse Way, (see below), while the greatest selection is in Cirencester, (about 8 miles away).
Northleach has a small Budgens mini-market store in the centre, which stocks all the essentials, while Cirencester has all the major supermarkets, including Waitrose, Tesco Extra, Lidl and M&S Simply Food. Waitrose, Ocado, Tesco and Sainsburys all deliver to The Old Post Office.
Fossebridge is in the centre of superb Cotswold walking country. You can walk on footpaths directly from the cottage, up the Coln Valley to the Roman Villa at Chedworth and downstream towards beautiful Bibury and the famous Arlington Row.
For a short introduction to the area, follow a stunning 2-mile walk that starts at the Inn at Fossebridge, just across the road, published by Paws under the Table (http://pawsunderthetable.blogspot.com) – a guide to dog friendly walks and pubs in Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds.
For longer countryside walks visit www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk to download several walks in the area, including an easy 4.5 Mile-Without-Stiles ramble from Northleach through historic Hampnett and back along the Saltway – an historic route along which salt was transported from Droitwich to the Cotswolds. And click on the ‘Walking & Cycling’ tab above.
The Inn at Fossebridge is a stone’s throw from the Old Post Office and is considered by family and visitors as a very handy second larder! It is set in four acres of gardens next to the River Coln and is dog friendly. Serving a wide range of food throughout the day and noted in the 2019 CAMRA Good Beer Guide, this is a welcoming and very handy inn for guests at the Old Post Office.
There are also two excellent places to eat in Northleach:
- The Curious Wine Cellar (in The Ox House on Market Place: https://curiousaboutwine.com/), which serves light lunches and evening meals, plus daily fresh patisseries and bacon sandwiches at the weekend! They also host occasional live music evenings and one-off events like the ‘Gold Cup Evening’ in March.
- The Lucky Onion’s Wheatsheaf (www.theluckyonion.com/property/the-wheatsheaf/) an award winning (Best of British Tatler Restaurant Awards) restaurant, bar and hotel with treatment rooms which serves a mouth-watering selection of “quality, locally sourced, simple rustic food”, including gin-cured chalk stream trout. Booking well in advance of your stay is advisable for both establishments.
Nearby tourist attractions / Things to do:
The Roman Villa, Chedworth, (a National Trust property) – 3.5 miles from Fossebridge: one of the “grandest Roman villas in Britain” with a stunning Roman mosaic. There are picnic benches and summer deck chairs set to look across fantastic views of the Cotswold countryside and a café that’s open to all.
Far Peak Climbing: This fantastic climbing facility, just 2 miles along the Fosse Way, offers indoor climbing and bouldering for all ages and abilities and an outdoor 15m climbing tower.
The Cotswold Discovery Centre in the Old Prison, a grade II listed 18th century building and now an historic visitor attraction. The centre is also home to the Cotswolds Conservation Board, the Cotswold Lion Cafe and the Cotswolds Dry Stone Walling Academy.). Located on the Fosse Way, 3 miles from Fossebridge.
Northleach, 3.5 miles away, is a fantastic example of a medieval “New Town”, built following the Norman Conquest, and is still very much intact. The free “Historic Town Walking Trail” booklet (available from the Post Office on Market Place) provides an in-depth guide and a map detailing all the major landmarks, including 16th and 17th century merchants’ houses, a workhouse, alms houses and the magnificent St Peter’s and St Paul’s Church (see below).
The Mechanical Music Museum: a living museum with an incredible variety of self-playing musical instruments. Admission by guided tour only.
St Peter and St Paul’s Church: built in the 1400s from wealth generated by the town’s wool merchants, this Perpendicular church is known as “The Cathedral of the Cotswolds”. It has several famed brasses dedicated to the merchants, including John Fortey whose legacy was to rebuild the nave of the church. The church bells ring spectacularly, for services and on Tuesday night. St Peter and St Paul’s is open to daytime visitors. See @NorthleachChurch
The Dolls House: if you or your children are intrigued by Dolls’ Houses a visit to this unusual shop is a must-do. Established in 1971 in London’s Covent Garden, then relocated to Northleach in 1995, this shop sells handmade dolls houses and miniature furniture.
Walking & Cycling Guides
Stow-on-the-WoldBourton Circular-WWS Cornwell-Chastleton-MWS Harford Bridge-MWS Hinchwick-WOW Kingham Station Circular Bourton and Wyck-MWS Guiting Power-MWS Stow-on-the-Wold-MWS
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
CheltenhamAndoversford-MWS Charlton-Kings-MWS Cleeve-Common Cleeve-Hill-West-Downs-MWS Cleeve South-WOW Crickley-Hill-WOW Leckhampton Loop Circular Brockhampton-MWS Winchcombe-Sudeley-Valley-MWS Salperton-MWS Cleeve-Common-Circular-Walk Cranham-Circular-Walk
Bourton-on-the-WaterBourton Circular-WWS Great Rissington-MWS Harford Bridge-MWS Bourton and Wyck-MWS Guiting Power and Castlett-MWS Naunton-Circular-WWS Salperton-MWS
Coming from London: Take the A40/M40/A40 towards Oxford, then Burford. Continue through Burford, then take the A429 (Fosse Way) towards Cirencester. After approximately 3 miles, as you approach Fossebridge, and just after passing the ‘14% steep incline’ sign, turn left towards Coln St Dennis. After 50 yards take the first turning right along a small lane. The Old Post Office is the 3rd driveway on the left; pull onto the gravelled driveway and park.
Safety note: though you can turn left out of the Old Post Office driveway and immediately on to the Fosse Way, it is far safer to turn right out of the driveway and then take the first left, to take you onto the Fosse Way at a junction with far better visibility.
Trains: There are frequent direct rail services from London Paddington to Kemble station (12 miles away) and to Swindon station (20 miles away) which take between 55 minutes, (Swindon), and 1.5 hours, (Kemble).
There is parking for 4 cars – 5 if you don’t mind blocking one car in – on the property’s gravel drive.