|Minimum Stay||3 - 7 nights|
Just 15 minutes' drive from Stratford-upon-Avon, Lantern Cottage offers a refuge from the stresses of modern life. Featured on the front page of Period House magazine and showcased in Warwickshire Life, the detached cottage takes you back in time to the cosiness of an open fire, exposed beams, antiques and curtains drawn against the cold . . . but with 21st century amenities.
On summer days, you can sunbathe in our pretty walled garden or eat on the patio as the fountain plays near by.
Inside, there's a log burner (as well as central heating) with free logs, CDs, DVDs and Freeview downstairs. Upstairs, you can work online at the antique desk in the study or read one of our books in an easy chair. Alternatively, with wifi, you check your emails in the comfort of the living room - or in the garden on a fine day.
The cottage isn't suitable for children (too much scope for accidents - and breakage), but it would - and does - suit a couple with babes in arms, as the study, which is next door to the bedroom, is ideally suited for a cot.
On Your Doorstep
Bidford is a walk away over the fields, and you can do your weekly shop there at the supermarket - and buy bread and cakes from the independent bakery. There are some good pubs - the Frog is the current favourite -and several restaurants, including the Bridge, and take-aways (Indian, Chinese and fish & chips). There's also a post office, baker's, butcher's, paper shop, Lloyds Bank (open daily), florist's, hairdresser's and chemist.
Nearby Welford not only boasts a rated pub with posh food, the Bell, but also marks one end of the Stratford Greenway, a former railway line, now laid out for cyclists and walkers. It is a most enjoyable way of getting to Stratford, particularly as there is a converted railway carriage where you can sit down to tea and cakes and hire a bike. Of interest to open-air types are Bidford Gliding Club, literally round the corner, Welford Golf Course 10 minutes' drive away, Stratford Race Course and fishing literally a five-minute stroll away for members of Birmingham Anglers Association (you can join online).
Stratford, home of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is a 15-minute drive away - or you can take a signposted walk there from Marlcliff. The main RSC theatre has been rebuilt and extended, complete with a tower from which you can get an excellent view of the surrounding area. The lovely Swan Theatre, which replicates a 17th century theatre, can now be reached from the main foyer, which is good in the rain! There are also a poetry festival, literary festival, the summer season of the Orchestra of the Swan and, of course, grand celebrations round Shakespeare's birthday on 23 April. There are lots of restaurants, and the theatre goers' pub, the Mucky Duck, frequented by actors, is opposite the Swan Theatre - and always fun. Foodies will like the farmers' market on the first and third Saturday of the month.
Within Easy Access
There is a great deal going on in the area, as it is a hive of activity - both low and high culture.
Cheltenham hosts the Everyman Theatre, while Montpellier, Cheltenham's Regency district, is great for independent shops, cafés, including the Michelin-starred Champignon Sauvage, and trendy bars. Just a short drive from the cottage are Winchcombe with its nationally regarded pottery, and picture-postcard-pretty Bourton-on-the-Water and Broadway - the latter's near Snowshill Manor, a wildly eccentric estate with wonderful gardens. Then, of course, there's Hidcote Manor, which popularised garden 'rooms' to stunning effect.
Birmingham (45 minutes away) offers the National Exhibition Centre and Bourneville World, the Birmingham Eye (like the London one), Birmingham Rep, the Royal Ballet and Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Shops like Harvey Nicholls are in the Mailbox (with underground car park), which leads on to the revamped canals - you get a fantastic view from the restaurant end of the Mailbox, walking down, it seems, straight onto the narrow boats. The waterfront is littered with great bars and restaurants. Did you know Birmingham has more canals than Venice? And it is wonderful to walk along, as well as being just a few minutes' walk from the wonderful Symphony Halls with its flawless acoustics.
Summer festivals – from music to literature - easily accessed from Lantern Cottage include:
* AsparaFest 2014 – as well as asparagus, there’s two music stages, workshops, a cookery kitchen etc. Badsey, Nr Evesham, Worc. Sat 31 May - Sunday 1 June.
* Wychwood Music Festival 2014 – includes the Boomtown Rats and the Stranglers. Cheltenham Racecourse. Fri 30 May - Sun 1 June.
* Cheltenham Science Festival – from the origins of the universe to cocktails, cakes and cats. Tues 3 – Sun 8 June.
* Lunar Festival 2014 – Tim Burgess, Donovan and the Polyphonic Spree. Nr Birmingham. Fri 6 - Sun 8 June.
* Cheltenham Music Festival – Nicola Benedetti, Milos and more. 2-13 July. -
* MFY (Music for Youth) National Music Festival – everything from jazz and rock to brass and chamber music. Birmingham Town Hall and Symphony Hall. Wed 2 – Sun 6 July.
* Wireless – featuring Kanye West plus appearance by Pharrell Williams. Birmingham. Fri 4 - Sun 6 July.
* 2000 Trees - Indie rock with Blood Red Shoes, Frightened Rabbit & Band of Skulls. Thurs 10 – Sat 12 July. Nr Cheltenham.
* Global Catherine - dance festival with 16 stages, featuring David Guetta, The Prodigy, Tinie Tempah etc. Stratford-upon-Avon. Sat 25 – Sun 26 July.
* Fusion Festival Birmingham – line-up includes Pitbull, Jessie J, Dizzie Rascal & Foxes. Cofton Park, Birmingham. Sat 30 – Sun 31 Aug.
* Cheltenham Literature Festival – details tbc. Fri 3 – Sun 1212 Oct.
Altogether, it's so lovely you might want to give a special friend a Lantern Cottage voucher for short break - or longer. Just ask.
Lantern Cottage is a wonderful experience, it is also fully equipped to prepare and cook pretty much anything! We particularely appreciated real coffee beans, grinder and a selection of cafetieres! Sue is a perfect host quick to respond to emails and provides a lot of information about the surrounding area... If you are after some rural peace and quiet with the rustic feel, Lantern Cottage is exactly what you are looking for!
The house was easy to get to, very comfortable, and had everything we needed for our three day stay. We enjoyed the fireplace in the evenings. Groceries were just five minutes away.
The area is filled with culture and history and a great place for a walk in the woods.
Sue's cottage is beautiful, and the perfect place for a winter break for two. The fireplace meant it was warm and cosy for our cold November stay. It was very well located - equidistant to both Stratford and the Cotswolds. I would thoroughly recommend a stay here!
Lantern Cottage is a truly charming cosy place. It's full of character & lovingly furnished. Highly recommended you won't be disappointed.
My stay was a short one but I will make sure that next time it isn't! It is safe to say I was stunned by the property and its lovely situation. It was more than comfortable and very well equipped. I was touched too by the friendly nature of the people in the village, travelling alone it's always nice to feel included somewhere.
It was very much a home away from home.
Feeling right at home in this beautiful little cottage.... Sue's house is equipped with all the things you need, you name and it's there. Definitely coming back one day... Dutch couple with dog...
OK, the cottage was excellent, full of character, charm and very well equipped and the supplies of biscuits, coffee, tea etc were very much appreciated. It was as described with exposed beams, antique furniture, a log burner etc. with a modern kitchen, DVDs, CDs and WIFI connectivity - the whole place was just full of charm and character.
The walled garden was very pretty and we were out there most days eating, drinking or reading. Some lovely plants and flowers giving off sweet aromas attracting plenty of wildlife gave an air of tranquillity to the place.
The surrounding cottages (with approachable and friendly neighbours) and area were also very picturesque with nice walks down to, and along, the river Avon which led you to Bidford-on-Avon or you can walk the route from outside of the cottage through a few fields to get there - both are recommended!
There are also plenty of other routes you can take for leisurely walks to take in the beauty of this lovely area.
Jump into your car and go to nearby Stratford-upon-Avon for at least half a day - very pretty, clean and full of character.
All in all Lantern Cottage is a Warwickshire gem that you just want to tell everyone about!
You have a great place there Sue - thank you for sharing it.
Terry & Lynne
Just five minutes' drive from Stratford and within easy access of the Cotswolds, Stratford upon Avon, Cheltenham and Birmingham, Lantern Cottage, nevertheless, is tucked away in the countryside, a stroll from the River Avon and at the center of a network of footpaths and country lanes. It is perfect for a romantic hideaway, if that's what you want. Alternatively, it is well placed for a cultural exploration of the region, with nationally regarded theatres in Stratford, Cheltenham and Birmingham, A newer attraction is The Regal CInema, Evesham, a beautifully restored art deco cinema, where you can watch a film at a candelit table with a glass or two of wine, or from a love seat, where you can snuggle. The nearest stately homes - Ragley Hall and Coughton Court - are 10-15 minutes' drive away. Shoppers too are catered for, not just with Stratford with its Tudor buildings, but Cheltenham (45 minutes' drive, but worth it), which, as well as the usual high-street chains, has independent shops, bars and restaurants in the elegant Regency district, Montpellier. For designer bargains, you can't beat Bicester Village, the designer shopping outlet, which is just 40 minutes away.
Other Activities: Bidford Gliding Club. Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
There plenty of festivals all within easy reach of Marlclif. They include:
Cheltenham Science Festival with Brian Cox, Alice Roberts and Adam Rutherford. Tues 2 – Sun 7 June. www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/science/
Lunar Festival 2015 – Wilko Johnson, Tinariwen, m Burgess, Donovan and Public Service Broadcasting. Nr Birmingham. Fri 5 - Sun 7 June. http://lunarfestival.co.uk
Cheltenham Music Festival – Nicola Benedetti, Milos and more. Tues 30 June – Sat 11 July. www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/music
MFY (Music for Youth) National Music Festival – everything from jazz and rock to brass and chamber music. Birmingham Town Hall and Symphony Hall. Tues 7 – Sat 11 July. www.mfy.org.uk/coreseason/national.
2000 Trees - Indie rock with Deaf Havana, Alkaline Trio and The Subways. Thurs 9 – Sat 11 July. Nr Cheltenham. www.twothousandtreesfestival.co.uk
Fusion Festival Birmingham – line-up includes Justin Bieber, Tiny Tempah Rudimental and McBusted. Cofton Park, Birmingham. Fri 28 – Sun 30 Aug
Cheltenham Literature Festival – details tbc. Fri 2 – Sun 11 Oct. www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature/
Altogether, it's so lovely you might want to give a special friend a Lantern Cottage voucher for a short break - or longer. Just ask.
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
If there are vacancies during high season (July - September and Christmas / New Year), we can offer last-minute short breaks (no more than one week beforehand).
* Approximate monthly price. Actual pricing will depend on the days of the month you stay.