Howells Barn

UK England South West England Gloucestershire

  • Games room
  • Gardens & Grounds
  • Parking
  • Wifi
  • Dog-friendly
  • Family-Friendly
  • Sensational Views
  • Walking
Unadulterated countryside bliss for a large group looking for a Cotswolds retreat.

Situated on the extensive Lower Mill Estate, Howells Barn is about as luxurious a barn conversion as you will find anywhere. Set in a uniquely bucolic Cotswolds location, this 1830s stone barn, in around 2 acres of of its own grounds and gardens, it in fact comprises two buildings – a main house and the secluded steel-and-glass Hide in the garden, which overlooks the water and marshes of one of the estate's largest lakes. If you're looking for a spot of unadulterated countryside bliss for a large group keen to reside in the utmost comfort, this is it.

Howells Barn is the sort of property that you never get bored with, inviting the outside in but also providing those who don't want to enjoy the great outdoors with plenty to do in case – a games room with home cinema, a games room with pool table and table tennis, an indoor climbing wall, even their own astro-turf football pitch and private open-air swimming pool.  The main house is a modernist gem, with a ground floor that comprises a bright, light hall area and a large dining and sitting area with a Smart TV, plus a well-equipped kitchen with an Aga to complete the country idyll. The ground floor is home to the master king bedroom, which has an en-suite bathroom and dressing room; there is a further bedroom on the first floor, with a king-size bed and en-suite bathroom,  the second floor has a double bedroom, a twin bedroom and a separate toilet, while an adjacent annexe has a shower room and four additional beds in a low-level 'den' that's ideal for teenagers. Finally there's The Hide, which was voted Britain's best small building in 2009 and offers complete seclusion, with its own double bedroom, en-suite bathroom and kitchenette that all host magical views over the lake through floor-to-ceiling glass windows. If the barn is not rented you can also rent The Hide seperately as a glorious romantic retreat for two.

Waking up here is heaven – and even better when you remember the estate has its own spa where you can really indulge yourself, wit numerous treatments on offer as well as 2 heated pools (one indoor, one outdoor), an outdoor 'eco-pool' with water filtered by water lilies, and a sauna, steam room, gym and library.

Lots to do, then, even if you don't want to get out and about, but the Lower Mill Estate is to die for, based around a series of lakes and rivers and footpaths to explore. A former quarry, the estate occupies its own nature reserve, which is home to a range of habitats and wildlife, including waders and waterbirds, and nightingale, woodpeckers and house martins in spring when they arrive to nest in the eaves of the estate's houses. You can spot otters on the lakes and rivers, and even the odd beaver on Flagham Fen.

Lower Mill Estate also has an excellent restaurant, Ballihoo, so you don't even need to leave the estate if you don't want to. But there is plenty on offer nearby if you do. The Baker's Arms pub, in Somerton Keynes, is just a mile away and also does good food and local ales; there's the Cotswolds Country Park lake and beach, which offers watersports in summer, and you can visit the famous source of the river Thames in nearby Kemble. The small town of Cirencester, a short drive away, also offers what passes for urban life in this part of The Cotswolds. Bear in mind also that there are are plenty of other properties on the Lower Mill Estate if you're looking for somewhere smaller. Whatever the size of your party, give it a try – you won't regret it.

Accommodation

Howells Barn can sleep up to 10–14 adults. It has a total of 5 double/twin bedrooms plus 4 single beds in a room with a restricted head height.


Price

2 night stay from £2338.

Opening Times

Always available.

Location

Contact Website  01285 869 489  Howells Barn, Lower Mill Estate, Mill Lane, Somerford Keynes, Gloucestershire GL7 6BG

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Related Guides

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See The Cotswolds

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