More Than Gareth Malone……

Waynflete Singers
A force for choral music in Winchester, Tewkesbury!

Waynflete Singers are usually known as a force for choral music in Winchester, they are truly one of Southern Englands premier amateur choirs, but for this weekend Tewkesbury are claiming them for their own for one night only in the stunning Tewkesbury Abbey.

The inspirational Tewkesbury Abbey in Sunshine

A fitting location for this concert, Portrait of Parry, a celebration of one of gloucestershire’s finest, the great Edwardian composer Sir Hubert Parry. As a composer he is best known for the choral song ‘Jerusalem’, many reading this will have been moved by its delivery on occasion, but none such as this. In choral, as it was designed, with the incredible backdrop and acoustics of Tewskesbury Abbey and under the fine baton of noted musicologist and broadcaster David Owen Norris. With Carleton Etherington on organ.
Choral music has seen a huge increase in popularity with the support of ‘celebrity’ choral animateur Gareth Malone and as he says “Singing bonds people together. The camaraderie of communal singing is of benefit to people – have you noticed how much everyone enjoys singing en masse at football matches and religious gatherings with no thought of their own ability? You don’t get that feeling when listening to a CD.”
So take this opportunity to feel the emotion the sound of the human voice, expertly woven, will evoke and stay in your memory forever….
With selections from Parry’s diaries read by
The Hon. Laura Ponsonby, the composer’s great-grand-daughter

Portrait of Parry
The Idyll & The Tuneful War
Saturday 5th July 2014
Tewkesbury Abbey 7.30pm

Full order of service Tickets available on the door or in advance from Tewkesbury Abbey Shop
tel: 01684 856148, e-mail:
prices £15 (£8 students), unreserved

Read more about the dedicated Waynflete Singers, now in their 41st Season

Lovells Vineyard, wines of excellence

The Truth About English Wine…..

Rows of carefully tended Malvern vines
Rows of carefully tended Malvern vines

In a small village at the foot of The Malvern Hills, on the edge of The Cotswolds, just a stone’s throw away from your luxury holiday home sits a vineyard. Beautifully tended, the rows of vines sit majestically under the protection of the inspirational countryside and hills beyond.

The UK weather is known to be slightly doolally, but the vines at Lovells defy our preconceptions about growing fruit in the UK.

They stand and deliver year after year and although the owners, Cathie Rolinson and her husband John, will have had their fair share of ups and downs creating this wonderful vineyard, the vines, to me look like they’ve never once put a foot (or grape!) wrong. Nor do they look like they’d ever consider not producing fantastic fruit after the obvious dedication they have received.

The first 900 vines went down in 2010 and the hard work, dedication and a bit of luck have paid off- 2012 saw the production of a sparkling rose and 2013 was onwards and upwards with a bumper crop and the beginnings of the production of 3,000 bottles of their first English still wine. This great start, coupled with their joining forces with a local, more mature vineyard, Tiltridge, has gone onto add something distinct that you don’t get in an ordinary supermarket bottle.

The tour of the immaculate grounds, seeing the vineyard in it’s beautiful surroundings and hearing Cathie & John’s story will inspire you to champion theirs and all English wines. And the proof is of course in the pudding and what vineyard tour would be complete without a little tasting? ‘Try and stop us sharing them with you’ Cathie’s enthusiasm for what they’ve created is obvious and infectious.

Clean, crisp and fruity, you can see the wines on offer the Lovells website or enjoy with a meal at some of the fine local restaurants that offer the Lovells wines to compliment their meals.

So, what is the truth about English wines? And our own Malvern grown wines? Truth is they’re created with dedication and hard work, they win against the forces of our doolally weather, they prove the UK’s ability to produce quality wines; fighting preconceptions that only warmer climes produce excellence.
The truth about English Wine is that it’s able to give any other wine in its category a run for its money, and can truly hold its own as some of the best available. It can sit comfortably in a top class restaurant, and regularly does. It’s stylish, beautifully cared for and nurtured from the moment the root touches the soil.

The truth is UK wines are excellent and with families such as the Rolinsons at the healm, they’re here to stay.

Enjoy a visit to Lovells as part of your luxury stay in the Cotswolds, enquire now to start your journey

Written by: Elaine Watt
Copyright: Just Cotswolds Ltd
Welcome to Just Cotswolds-It all starts here….




Cheltenham’s Lady-Hare & The Minotaur


The Hare and The Minotaur- Cheltenham

The Lady-Hare & The Minotaur on the Promenade
The Lady-Hare & The Minotaur on the Promenade

by Artist, Sophie Ryder

On the Promenade in Cheltenham you will find, sitting companionably together on an oversized bench and in huge scale, A Lady-Hare and A Minotaur. Not your usual sight whilst out shopping and taking in the regency style beauty of a gorgeous City such as Cheltenham!

So where have our large human-animal hybrid friends come from? Why Cheltenham? And why such mythical creatures?

Gloucestershire based artist Sophie Ryder, created the sculpture for a temporary exhibition at the Cheltenham Museum and Art Gallery in 1995. The overwhelming public response to the exhibition saw a campaign to retain this particular sculpture and the Hare and Minotaur was acquired by public subscription back in 1998.

Much of Sophie Ryder’s fascinating work focuses on mythical creatures and hybrids, having captured her imagination early on and having been inspired by the works of Picasso and his depiction of the aggressive and ferocious Minotaur. Sophie describes her version of the Minotaur as “not threatening but strong, loving and protective but sometimes quite camp”.

The Lady-Hare, a human female body with the head of a hare, was created as a companion for the Minotaur. “I wanted a female body with an animal head and the hare head seemed to work really well.”
Sophie’s art has another signature-the pure monumental scale on which she manages to produce the individual works. For her the reasoning is two-fold; firstly her art is often displayed surrounded by nature or is competing against large buildings in an urban setting. Secondly she says it allows her to move around and with the art, truly working with it as well as on it during the creation process. Many of Sophies works have been displayed in luxury properties and fine homes in many places.
Sophie’s artwork has been displayed worldwide and it continues to evolve with the passing of time. Her available works are listed on her website  and further inquiries can be made from there. You can also learn more about the incredible creation process in her series of photographs and videos.


Written by: Elaine Watt
Copyright: Just Cotswolds Ltd, The Coach House, Noak Farm, Martley, Worcs, WR6 6PD. 07795 633233.



Meadow Edge Luxury Cotswolds Holiday Accommodation

Luxury Cotswolds self catering holiday accommodation, brought to you by emotional escapes. Get the most from your selfcatering Cotswolds, England, holiday and visit the local experts who will assist you in finding the right property, in the right location with everything you want close by.

Fed up of inflexible hotel stays? Contact us now!

Call me, Elaine,  on UK 0800 020 9552 or +44 1886 889085 and I will find your dream holiday home in The Cotswolds, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, to fit your needs.

The Best 5K In The Cotswolds?

The Best 5K in The Cotswolds?
But Will You Survive The Course?

5k of Blood, Sweat and Mud……and the undead…………..

Beware of Zombies

Really? Yes, really and truly, here in the peaceful Cotswolds, from your beautiful luxury Cotswold holiday home you can go and take part in a muddy, challenging and downright thrilling 5K, whilst being chased by zombies!

If you’re into fitness and running, the open air, a bit of adrenalin, raising money for charity and great fun this run is absolutely for you. It’s not massively challenging, but you will have to outrun the undead-they will try to take your 3 lives, fastened to your waistband, the aim is to get to the end with your lives intact-are you up for the challenge??
Last week’s race held, of course, on Friday 13th, was a huge success with more than 300 people taking part. First over the line in 34mins and 54 seconds was Ant Hopton and first female Courteney Thorp in 44mins and 18 seconds. “It was brilliant,” said Anthony “There were a few good chases with the zombies and it was a great course.”
All funds raised by the event go to National Star, a charity based in Cheltenham. The work of this charity enables the people it supports to access opportunities which enable them to reach their potential and live an independent life. The race takes place at the National Star College, Ullenwood, Cheltenham
The Terrifying Tyre Zone, The Torturous Tree Zone and The Wicked Water Zone are all in the making for the next run on Saturday 1st November, you can sign up at….see you there!
Are you ready to your place on this extreme 5k challenge run?
You will have three lives.
Will you keep your cool and avoid the kiss of death as zombies try to steal them?
This is not a race
This is a test of survival

Written by: Elaine Watt
Copyright: Just Cotswolds Ltd

Tel: 01886 889085, Mob: 07795 633233
Reg: The Coach House, Noak Farm, Martley, Worcestershire, WR6 6PD



Just Who Are Just Cotswolds?

Just who are Just Cotswolds Ltd?

meadow edge
Just Cotswolds is a family run business; our collective backgrounds cover property development and property letting, sales and marketing. Our portfolio of exceptional properties continues to grow and cover more and more of the beautiful Cotswolds, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The self catering accommodation here at Just Cotswolds are exceptionally high, not just in the quality, character and charm that are abundant here in the style of many of the properties in the Cotswolds, but in the attention to detail, quality of the service, and pure care and enthusiasm of our holiday home owners. It’s never just the property that makes the holiday and we work with best, most passionate holiday home owners, here on the ground!

We Visit and professionally photograph each property, giving us the ability to offer knowledge based advice to holiday makers on best location, best property and best experience tailored to them.

Meeting and building relationships with holiday home owners is a huge part of our day and we work closely to bring mutual success. After listening to owners we have created a free resource for holiday home owners where bitesize, useful and useable videos, documents, checklists and ‘How to’s’ to improve owners holiday let businesses and most importantly their guests experience are delivered direct to their inbox on an ongoing basis and is constantly evolving to meet the needs of owners.

For our owners, there is no cost to the service we offer and we do not demand exclusivity. We offer the opportunity to advertise with an organisation that is growing every day, generating cross-referrals from within and offering some of the finest luxury holiday homes in the market around the world.

If you would like your property to be evaluated with a view to joining us, please contact Elaine Watt on
07795 633233 or 01886 889085
Or email me
Of course also please get onto our free useful & useable resources for owners at


Top 6 Museums in the North Cotswolds

Top 6 Museums in the  North Cotswolds

A Dose of Culture from Your Self Catering Cotswold Holiday Cottage


Bourton on the Water, home to The Cotswold Motoring Museum
Bourton on the Water, home to The Cotswold Motoring Museum

So, you’ve arrived in the Cotswolds, you’re on your holiday-Yes!! You’ve got your character cottage, the authentic beams and slightly weaving staircase have you hooked; the surrounding countryside is breathtaking, the English garden is charming and there’s something else very English going on here-a slightly grey day interspersed with showers. Hmmm….perfect day to take in the culture!

1. The Cotswolds Motoring Museum-Bourton on The Water
• Home to TV’s Brum!
• Vintage and classic cars & Motorcycles
• Toy Collection & memorabilia
• Exhibitions & Gallery
• Learning Zone
• Gift shop
• For real car enthusiasts you can also hire a 1970 MGB Mk2!
No cafe but Bourton itself has plenty of cafes, or bring a picnic! A great day out for all with or without the family to Cotswold Car Museum

2. The Ashmolean Museum Broadway
• Fine and decorative art from the 17th to the 21st centuries
• Displays on loan from the Ashmolean Museum.
• Paintings and furniture, given by Elias Ashmole to the University of Oxford in 1683.
• Ever-changing galleries of local artists work
No cafe, but Broadway has plenty within walking distance, this museum is not for kids or families, the more discerning visitor who would like a glimpse into the past will be very at home here. You could easily mosey around for a full day here, but half a day would be more realistic.

3. Court Barn Chipping Campden-A Museum of Craft & Design
Silver winner of the Cotswold Tourism Awards Small Visitor Attraction of the Year 2014!
• Celebrates talented local designers & craftspeople from the beginning of 20th Century
• Exhibitions changing, visit several times and still see more!
• True local heritage
• Museum shop, gifts & books inspired by its collection
• Family-‘Sit, think, write, create area’ & activity sheets to get everyone involved!
No cafe, but there’s plenty on offer at Chipping Campden! Enthuse & entertain the whole family, enough for a full day out

4. Chipping Norton History Society & Museum
• Chipping Nortons own local history
• Costumes
• Work & Life
• Collections of books & memorabilia
• See the history that shaped the Chipping Norton of today
No cafe, but Chipping Norton is pretty and full of places to visit to eat and drink. I would think you can entertain the family for a couple of hours here, but use the rest of the day to see Chipping Norton or one of the villages within a few minutes’ drive; Charlbury, Witney, Burford, Stourton, Hook Norton to name a few!

5. Wellington Aviation Museum-Moreton in Marsh
• Aviation memorabilia
• Moreton in Marsh-its own history of involvement in the World Wars
• Rare pieces
• Real sectioned Hercules
• Unframed aircraft prints
No cafe, open 1 day per week as it’s a private collection, pass an hour or so, longer if you are an enthusiast!

6. Cotswolds Cricket Museum-Stow on the Wold
Well, any excuse to go to the delightful Stow on the Wold, but if you’re a cricket enthusiast there’s even more reason!
• Treasure trove of artefacts from around the world
• Photography
• Clothing
• Cricket through the ages
• Jazz & Buffet evening last Thursday of every month
Gorgeous tea & coffee lounge serving homemade cakes & great food. Free Wifi. You can easily spend most of the day here as a sports fan, enjoy lunch then go on to see more of the gorgeous shops, pubs, antiques and history of Stow on the Wold!

Great things to do in the Cotswolds

Written by: Elaine Watt

Just Cotswolds Ltd, The Coach House, Noak Farm, Martley, Worcester, UK, WR6 6PD
Mob: +447795 633233 Tel: +441886 889085

UK FREEPHONE: 0800 020 9552


5 Superb Welcome Hamper Ideas Your Guests Won’t Forget!


5 Superb Welcome Hamper Ideas that will Create A Lasting First Impression for Your Guests of You And Your Holiday Let Home!

1. Themed Basket!
Look at your local area-what stands out? What is it famous or well known for? Walking? Golfing? Are you near a beach? A lake? Have you equipped your holiday home to attract families with small children? Look at the theme of your property or area and see if you can match accordingly. For a walking area why not add a small basket with enough cereal bars and bottles of water for each guest. Some trail mix divided into small bags for each guest, some walking socks and a back pack for their use whilst on holiday, make sure there are maps in the basket showing the best walks nearby and maybe details of a local outdoor shop. Let your imagination go and you’ll come up with something great that will really resonate with your guests!

2. Seasonal Basket
What season are your guests arriving in? Winter Idea why not leave a pair of fluffy slippers or slipper socks for each guest according to age and gender, some hot chocolate, a bottle of red wine and a mulled wine spice packet, some fruit cake and if you have a log burner or open fire, make sure it’s on for their arrival. Summer Idea Leave a bag of ice in the freezer and a tub of ice cream, put a message in the hamper to tell them it’s there, maybe with the ice cream cones! If you have a garden leave a swing ball and some bats and maybe a beach ball and some sun cream and flip flops.

3. Local Attraction or Restaurant Gift Card
Even if you don’t live in the area of your holiday home, you’ll most likely have spent time there and will have got to know the local area and the best restaurants, this is valuable information for someone on holiday to a new area, they have a short time there and they want to get the right restaurant, quickly and easily. You can approach your favourite restaurant and speak to the manager, top up a gift card for your guests and ask for a discount for sending this guest and all future guests to them. It’s a win win situation for you all! Your guests are most likely to spend more than the value of the gift card whilst they’re there, the restaurant manager will realise this too.

4. Traditional Welcome Basket
Simple and cheap to create, yet they will leave a lasting impression for your guests! Breakfast Basket-Ground Coffee, Tea, Cereal Selection, Fresh Fruit, Loaf of Bread, Jam
Relaxing Basket-Bath salts, Body Lotion, Foot Scrub, Face Mask, Shower Cap & Eye Mask
Family Entertainment-Box with Colouring books and crayons, craft box with paper, glue and tissue paper with sequins or sparkles

5. Holiday Memorabilia Basket
Help guests remember your holiday home above the rest! Give a small frame they can add a picture to, leave a throw away camera, 5 or so postcards from your local area and stamps to attach if they want, a map to take away, a magnet and a key ring with the local area on!

Copyright: Just Cotswolds Ltd

Introducing “Meadow Edge”

Introducing Meadow Edge

 Stratford Upon Avon / North Cotswolds

meadow edge
Beautiful Thatched Cottage North Cotswolds
Meadow Edge Lounge and Open Plan Living
Master Suite at Meadow Edge, Beautiful Original Vintage Comforts

  Beautiful thatched black & white Cotswold country home, in a picturesque Hamlet close to Stratford Upon Avon, with it’s own delightful English Country Garden.

Sleeps 4 people in two bedrooms

The absolute perfection of the English Country Thatched Cottage, in an attractive, country Hamlet and complete with charming gardens where you can relax in the peaceful surroundings.

The property is traditionally decorated and the true age of the property is apparent in the delightful features. The large inglenook fireplace in the lounge allows a comforting warmth in the cooler months, you can feel the sway of the floor and walls of the staircase and upper floor where the original wooden floors, under carpet, have moved with the passing of time. The heavily beamed ceilings complete the package.

The ground floor is open plan – the lounge, with solid traditional style furniture, opens onto the dining room which is over looked by the newly fitted kitchen.

The large dining table is set for 4, but could happily seat 8, the large welsh dresser is fully equipped to cater for all.

The staircase off the lounge area takes you to a light and airy twin bedroom, with en suite shower room. And to the right is the master suite, very spacious for such an old home, with plenty of hanging and sitting space. With its own very modern bathroom with bath and shower over.

The owners are experienced and attentive hosts who live on site and will be on hand should you need anything, and more importantly allow your privacy during your stay

16 Essential Items For Your Holiday Home


16 Essential Items For Your Holiday Home

Learn the most important things to add now that will propel your property from good to 5* for your guests satisfaction!

1.    An incredibly informative Welcome Pack-use your knowledge of your property and the surrounding area to your best advantage and get it down in a clear, concise knowledge base in one simple folder or book for your guests use

2.    Simple, cost effective Welcome Hamper-if you don’t want to go all out, just the basics will ensure that your guests stay gets off to the absolute best start-and we all know first impressions count so make sure you leave-Tea, Coffee, Sugar, 2 pint bottle of milk, loaf of bread, pack of spreadable butter, washing up liquid, dishwasher tabs if you have a dishwasher and new j-cloths.

3.    First Aid Kit. Accidents can happen and even the most seasoned of holiday-packers can forget the plasters and antibacterial wipes. Leave the First Aid kit in a kitchen draw, it’ll be a worthwhile addition. It only needs to be basic but make sure it contains-plasters, antibacterial wipes, gauze, small scissors, tape, pack of tissues for tears!

4.    Travel Plug adaptors. If there’s something that gets easily forgotten when travelling abroad it’s an adaptor, and there’s nothing more frustrating when arriving as a guest and realising that’s exactly what you’ve done! If you know your guests are travelling from abroad, plug a couple of adaptors in around the property and have a specific draw in the kitchen where they live-provide at least 4. Leave a kind note in the draw asking them to be returned for the use of the next guests. This is an extremely cheap and very effective way of showing your guests you really have the best in mind!

5.    Universal Mobile Phone Charger. Again-how frustrating if you’ve forgotten it!! It happens all the time and could be an absolute lifeline for someone who could have been planning to work whilst away or just wants to keep in touch, saves all the hassle of going out and finding and buying a new one. You can easily pick up a universal adaptor, ebay is a great place to start and again your guests will love how well you’ve thought everything through!

6.    Rechargeable batteries and Charger. This cheap and easy addition to your property could save you a frustrated phonecall from your guests, a remote control that doesn’t work is enough to annoy someone trying to relax and checking batteries could be overlooked by a housekeeper. A charger that plugs into a socket in the house that you simply slot batteries into whilst it’s sat on the wall is a compact and neat addition. Ensure batteries fit all remote controls and any torches you may have provided.

7.    Rechargeable lanterns and Torches. Safer than leaving candles and matches in the event of a powercut, they don’t happen often but if they do happen and your guests are left in pitch darkness you will have very unhappy people on your hands! See point 6 about using rechargeable batteries for all eventualities.

8.    FREE Wifi. There’s a growing number, ok huge number, of people who are used to having internet access at the tip of their fingers, they will certainly expect to have access whilst on their holiday. Make it simple and add value by not charging for it, it complicates things for you and your guests, if you’re worried about costs hide it in the rental figure you calculate at the end of every year. Simple and effective

9.    Ipod docking station. A night in, or a lazy afternoon would be the ideal time for a little music-and what better than your own selection?! A docking station can be added at little cost and will add huge value




10.Matching quality crockery set. Your guests have chosen to go self catering, ensure they have everything they need should they wish to entertain friends whilst they’re away, ensure you have least double the crockery for the amount of people your property caters for. This should be the same for cutlery, wine glasses and water glasses.

11.Cooking & Baking set. Brilliant addition for a rainy day! Why not leave a cook book, some scales, a cake tin and baking tray, extra mixing bowls, wooden spoons, cake cases and some grease proof paper, along with a list of local shops and markets where they can buy the ingredients.

12.Zip & Link Bed. An incredible invention for holiday home owners!! By having a zip and link bed, (a bed that can be used as two singles or as a super king double) you are ensuring your property has the ability to appeal to as many people as possible, versatility is a real door opener and adding this one item alone could well improve your bookings! You’ll be opening your door to different combinations of families and friends and blended families

13.Hairdryer. Easily and often overlooked, but the value of this item to your guests will be high, especially if they are travelling from overseas, saving on valuable packing weight.

14.Freeview or Sky Package. Most people at home will have and be used to a pretty comprehensive choice of channels

15.DVD Library. Instead of leaving lots of DVD’s in the property, that could get lost or broken, why not type up a complete list of your own DVD’s and leave the list in your welcome pack. Guests can choose at their leisure and request the ones they want. If you don’t live on site or close by, why not email the list ahead of their stay so that they can order the DVD’s up front, you can have your housekeeper leave the requested DVD’s. You’re more likely to be able to offer a bigger selection and your guests will look after them as they know you know what they’ve been watching!

16.Bikes. If you have a garage or garden shed, why not leave a selection of adult and child sized bikes, you can pick them up cheaply on ebay or even for free on freecycle, what a huge value to people coming away, an additional activity that is immediate and takes advantage of the surrounding area! You can leave a puncture repair kit with them and avoid any headaches that way, also leave a map with the best local cycle routes on that they can take with them, you can easily pick up a few from the tourist information office.