A GUIDE TO SOUTHROP AND THE SURROUNDING AREAS
OUR FAVOURITE PUBS:
The Swan, Southrop, Gloucestershire, tel: 01367 850205
The award winning pub, The Swan is a quintessential Cotswold pub forming part of the Southrop Manor Estate. Every morning fresh vegetables, herbs and eggs are collected by the Head Chef, Matt Wardam and his team from the estate kitchen gardens. The Swan makes its own breads and uses flowers for the tables from its cutting gardens. It’s menus combine delicious and wholesome food with more adventurous flavours. A one minute stroll from Grey’s Court Cottages.
Do try, all within a 25 minute drive from Grey’s Court Cottages:
The Wheatsheaf, Northleach, tel: 01451 860244
The Feathered Nest Country Inn, Nether Westcote, tel: 01993 833030
The Swan at Swinbrook, tel: 01993 823339
The Five Alls, Filkins, tel: 01367 860875
Made By Bob, Cirencester, tel: 01285 641818
The Plough at Kelmscott – tel: 01367 253543 – tie into a visit to Kelmscott Manor (see below)
Daylesford Farm Shop/cafe/Restaurant, Kingham, tel: 01608 731700
NATIONAL TRUST PROPERTIES:
National Trust Properties & Historic Houses (within 30 minutes drive from Grey’s Court Cottages)
Lodge Park & Sherborne Estate, Aldsworth, near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 3PP. Tel 01451 844130 or visit nationaltrust.org.uk. A magnificent 17th-century grandstand with stunning views over the Deer Park and surrounding countryside. It was the National Trust’s first restoration project in 1998 which is reflected in its architectural significance. Sherborne is a working estate and has an abundance of wildlife, from fallow and roe deer to badgers and foxes. Ewe Pen Barn is the starting point for Lodge Park’s three main walking routes. Don’t miss the sculpture trail and make sure to leave some time to visit the 18th-century water meadows (home to otters, water voles and dragonflies).
Buscot Park, Faringdon, Oxfordshire, SN7 8BU. Tel 01367 240932 or visit nationaltrust.org.uk. A late 18th-century house set in enchanting grounds. Home of Lord Faringdon, who continues to care for the property as well as the family art collection, the Faringdon Collection, which is displayed in the house. To enjoy Buscot Park to the full, time should be taken to explore its extensive pleasure gardens including one of Britain’s finest water gardens, an unusual marriage of Italianate formality with an English parkland landscape by the renowned British architect and garden designer, Harold Peto.
Bibury, near Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 5NJ. Tel 01451 844257 or visit nationaltrust.org.uk. Visit the 17th-century weavers’ cottages and water meadow set in the idyllic Cotswold village of Bibury. Take a stroll down the picturesque Arlington Row. These cottages were built in 1380 as a monastic wool store and converted into weavers’ cottages in the 17th-century. The surrounding water meadow now provides an important habitat for water-loving plants and birds including water voles, marsh orchid, flag iris and marsh marigold.
The Buscot and Coleshill Estates, Coleshill, near Swindon, Wiltshire, SN6 7PT. Tel 01793 762209 or visit nationaltrust.org.uk. These two very English villages and their surrounding patchwork quilt of fields, woodland spinney, water meadow and parkland, are just perfect for relaxing and exploring. These traditionally farmed estates span 7,000 acres and are crisis-crossed by miles of circular walks and family trails for you to discover. Nestled on one of the most tranquil and unspoilt stretches of the River Thames, Buscot is a haven for wildlife with the chance to glimpse kingfishers, otters and more. Dating back to the Domesday Book, Coleshill is a rural place where time seems to have stood still. Be sure to visit it’s award-winning pub, organic farm shop and tea room, both offering a mouthwatering range of homemade cakes.
Kelmscott Manor, Kelmscott, Lechlade, GL7 3HJ (open Wed & Sat). Tel 01367 252486 or visit sal.org.uk. Voted Cotswolds Tourism Small Visitor Attraction of the Year – 2014 (Gold Award). Kelmscott Manor was the Cotswold retreat of William Morris and many of his friends including Dante Gabriel Rossetti the Pre-Raphaelite artist. It’s beautiful gardens with barns, dovecote, a meadow and stream, provided a constant source of inspiration to him throughout his lifetime. This 17th-century, Grade 1 listed Manor House on the River Thames contains an outstanding collection of the possessions and works of Morris as well as of his family and associates. The estate also boasts a beautiful garden as well as a licensed Tea Room and Shop.
Highgrove, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, GL8 8PH (Group Tours, Individual Tours, Champagne Tea Tours, The Orchard Restaurant, check availability at highgrovegardens.com or call the Booking Office on 0207 766 7310). Tickets for all tours must be purchased prior to your visit. Country residence of HRH The Prince of Wales, since 1980. The gardens at Highgrove embody HRH The Prince of Wales’s passion for gardening and the organic and sustainable principles he has for so long championed. Over 30 years in the making, the organic gardens at Highgrove are some of the most creatively inspiring and innovative in the UK. HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall open the gardens to visitors on selected dates between April and October. Join one of The Prince’s expert guides on a two-hour tour through the extraordinary series of gardens including The Stumpery, the stunning Wildfliwer Meadow and the impressive Kitchen Garden.
Other places of interest to visit are the historic market towns of Burford, Cirencester and Stow on the Wold.
Talland School of Equitation, tel: 01285 740155 – children must be over 5 years old
Cotswold Wildlife Park – an absolute must for families within a 15 minute drive from Grey’s Court Cottages, tel: 01993 823006. Home to one of the UK’s largest zoological collections in the stunning surroundings of Bradwell Grove, a privately owned Gothic Revival Manor House in a stunning parkland setting. For over forty years, millions of visitors have discovered the beauty and diversity of the natural world at the Cotswold Wildlife Park, enabling it to continue its valuable work in education and numerous endangered species breeding programmes. Animals you should expect to see include giraffe, camels, Asiatic lion, giant tortoise, rhino, zebra, Clouded leopard, primates, penguin encounter and many more as well as a huge children’s adventure playground and “Skymaze”, cafe and narrow-gauge Railway which runs during April to October and takes you all around the Park.
Bibury Trout Farm – one of Britain’s oldest working trout farms, founded in 1902 by the famous naturalist Arthur Severn it now covers 15 acres in one of the most beautiful valleys in the Cotswolds. Children of all ages will delight in seeing the trout leap out of the water in their quest for food thrown by visitors. For the more adventurous, or budding fisherman, it’s Catch Your Own Fishery is an ideal opportunity to catch your supper or get hooked on a new hobby. Please telephone ahead of time before visiting to avoid disappointment on 01285 740215.
Cutler’s Butcher’s, High Street, Lechlade, tel: 01367 252451 – high quality meat, vegetables and bread (open 7 days per week, closes 12 noon Sunday).
Londis, stocks everything you require – groceries, newspapers, etc, High Street, Lechlade (open 7 days per week).
Petrol/Co-op shop – Lechlade