Elemental Sculpture Park (Somerford Keynes)

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The Elemental Sculpture Park in Somerford Keynes is only 5 minutes’ drive or 25 minutes’ walk from Nightingale House and is well worth a visit! It opened in 2015 and has well over 100 exhibits, tastefully displayed in extensive grounds. Enjoy and hour or two meandering … Continue reading

Upper and Lower Slaughter

The Old Mill on the River Eye at Lower Slaughter

If you fancy combining a leisurely walk with a visit to a couple of stunning Cotswold villages, take a drive to Lower and Upper Slaughter (just over 20 miles from Lower Mill Estate). Park in Lower Slaughter and stroll along the River Eye past picturesque cottages on your way to the Old Mill with its quirky craft and tea shop. From the Old Mill

Upper Slaughter Ford

Upper Slaughter Ford

follow the footpath beside the river and across a meadow to Upper Slaughter  (just a mile away) and explore a second charming village.

The Lords of the Manor at Upper Slaughter

The Lords of the Manor

Maybe stop for lunch at The Lords of the Manor Hotel in the beautiful gabled Manor House with its spectacular views down to the river before retracing your steps back to Lower Slaughter.

For a longer walk, follow footpaths from Lower Slaughter to the celebrated Bourton-on-the-Water which is couple of miles further on. For more details see ‘Cotswold River Walks’ by Colin Handy (Walk 11 page 34) on the bookcase in the second bedroom.

New Lower Mill Estate Restaurant: ‘Ballihoo’

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Ballihoo Restaurant

Lower Mill Estate’s new restaurant ‘Ballihoo’ opened on site in July 2015! It is open every day in peak season and at weekends at other times.

The restaurant is open all day and serves breakfasts, snacks, lunches and evening meals or you can pop in for coffees or drinks at any time. We found the service very friendly and helpful and enjoyed all the dishes we sampled. Prices are a little higher than the ‘Baker’s Arms’ in the village but it’s much more convenient. Situated next to the Spa, ‘Ballihoo’ restaurant is light and airy with a cosy fireside area as well as formal dining tables and some outdoor seating.

They also do take-away meals (mainly gourmet burgers and pizzas).

Telephone: 01285 840181

Lower Mill Estate Rentals aren’t all the same!

Lower Mill Estate Rentals aren’t all the same…

Lower Mill Estate is set in a beautiful 550 acre nature reserve with a spa, surrounded by lakes and rich in wildlife, but of course not all Lower Mill Estate Rentals have these uninterrupted lake views…

Nightingale House with views over Swillbrook Lake

What is special about Nightingale House?

Our main reason for choosing a house on Nightingale Walk was for the panoramic views over Swillbrook Lake: sitting on our balcony overlooking the lake we see herons, coots, egrets, swans and much more but there are no other houses in sight. Our Lower Mill Estate house is detached and in a quiet enclave of the estate and spending time there always feels like a relaxing retreat.

A little bit of luxury… and every convenience

There are luxury fittings and architect designed furnishings throughout the house, a feature wood burning stove and ‘state of the art’ entertainment systems. Nightingale House is our own home so we always leave it as we would like to find it, with spare logs for the fire and equipped with lots of little extras. We find it frustrating if we go away somewhere ourselves and the kitchen cupboards are bare and you end up buying umpteen different herbs, spices, sauces etc just to cook a few meals… So we’ve made sure there is a good supply of all of these items at Nightingale House plus tea, coffee, tins, rice, cereals etc . There are several options for a first meal to save guests the trouble of having to shop the minute they arrive. We leave a welcome bottle of champagne in the fridge and there’s even some scotch and brandy if you fancy a digestif.

You will certainly find cheaper properties at Lower Mill Estate, but if it’s a relaxing luxury rental / luxury spa break that you’re after, we are sure you won’t be disappointed.

Take a look at the comments below from previous guests….

A spectacular getaway in a beautifully appointed modern home with lakeside views that immediately inspire relaxation. Luxury fittings with all the technological mod-cons imaginable make it the perfect getaway. Robert from Ascot August 2014

Our winter stay was very cosy, with ever-changing views of the water, sky, sunrises and bird-life. Ian from New Zealand January 2014

Right on the edge of the water, overlooking incredible wildlife, this lovely home is so ideally situated. Nick from London, May 2013

‘The house is stunning in a lovely location with beautiful unspoilt views over the lake.’ The Malcolm family from Edinburgh, April 2011

A truly beautiful house set in idyllic surroundings Nichola from Burry Port, March 2011

Sunshine in November! The huge windows maximised every little bit of sunshine so that it felt summery even though there was ice on the lakes. Rosemary from Norfolk, November 2010

A wonderful place to stay for ornithologists, nature lovers and photographers. Margaret from Hertfordshire, August 2010

Walk from Nightingale House to the ‘Wild Duck Inn*’ at Ewen

 A gentle country walk through farmland and beside the infant River Thames

Walk from Nightingale House on Lower Mill Estate to the Wild Duck Inn at Ewen

Distance: 2.5 miles each way

Time: Allow 1.5 hours each way plus time for refreshments at the Wild Duck Inn

Restrictions: None except for keeping to the Thames Path when it goes through private land.

Directions: (numbers refer to map above)

Turn right out of Nightingale House (1) and walk back through the estate to the entrance in Mill Lane. Turn left onto Mill Lane. (The infant Thames is on your left.) At the end of Mill Lane (2), cross the Spine Road (main road) with care. Turn left along the footpath/ cycle path. Take the first turn on the right signposted ‘Somerford Keynes’ and very soon turn left into Neigh Bridge Park.

Follow the path to your right through the park with the Thames to your right and a lake to your left. At the end of Neigh Bridge Park turn right (3) to cross the little bridge over the river, then turn left and follow the path. (The river is now on your left.) Continue on the path beside the river, passing Kemble Mill and Old Mill Farm to your left. When you reach Upper Mill Farm – just after an old wind pump (tall metal structure with water tank on top) to your right– there is a small bridge to your left with a signpost pointing to Ewen: 1 mile (4). Cross the river here and continue along the Thames Path to Ewen. The river is now on your right.

When you reach the road on the edge of Ewen (5), turn right and when you meet a T junction (6) turn right again. Where the road dips after about 300metres you will find the ‘Wild Duck Inn’ (7) on your right.

*The Wild Duck www.thewildduckinn.co.uk Drakes Island, Ewen, Cirencester GL7 6BY Tel. (0)1285 770310 is a beautiful, cosy inn dating from the 16th century with oak beams and a log fire.  It serves very good food and is popular with locals and tourists alike. Evening meal prices at the Wild Duck can be quite high but lunchtime snacks are better value as portions are copious. We shared a sausage and caramelised onion ciabatta (excellent!) last time we walked to the pub for lunch and it was plenty for two.

 

New at our Luxury Holiday Rental on Lower Mill Estate

A Luxury Holiday Rental Property with More…

Canoeing and Cycling

Sunset over Somerford Lagoon  at Lower Mill EstateAs well as our two bicycles (with helmets, padlocks, pump etc) rental guests at Nightingale House (Cotswold Spa Breaks) can use our Pelican ‘Dare Devil’ canoe on Somerford Lagoon during the summer months. (1st April to 31st October) Life vests and a storage box are also provided. The canoe is conveniently located in the open air boat store beside Somerford Lagoon on Lower Mill Estate.

Wildlife

Views from Cotswold Spa Breaks RentalThe wildlife seems to love Lower Mill Estate even more than we do! This summer a family of swans with six cygnets has made their home right beside Nightingale House. During your luxury holiday in the Cotswolds look out for all sorts of wildfowl as well as deer along the path in front of the house and beavers on Flagham Fenn just a few minutes’ walk away.

Watching the Wildlife

Spotting scope and binoculars provided at your Lower Mill Estaate RentalFor rental guests who like to watch the wildlife from the comfort of Nightingale House there is a spotting scope in the lounge and for those who prefer to explore Lower Mill Estate’s 450 acres, binoculars are provided.

Luxury Touches for a Luxury Holiday

Free logs for your log fire at Cotswlod Spa BreaksAt Nightingale House we provide plenty of extra culinary and entertainment touches. Rental guests will find a well-stocked larder, Champagne and Cognac or Armagnac, toiletries in the bathrooms, an up-to-date selection of DVDs (some in 3D), maps, guide books, walk and nature books, novels, a ‘wi’ station and much more….

Lower Mill Estate General Store

The Lower Mill Estate shop and café is open on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays in June and September and every day in the school holidays. It’s far more than a general store: you can order newspapers and fresh pastries, browse their range of homemade meals and small gifts and enjoy snacks and drinks inside or out on the terrace.

The Trouble House

 It might have had a past full of woes, but today it just serves excellent food!

Its location on the busy A433 isn’t as picturesque as many of the little village pubs in the Cotswolds, but The Trouble House a couple of miles outside Tetbury had such consistently good write ups on ‘Trip Advisor’ that we thought we’d give it a try. Continue reading