Bank holiday Monday, 29th August will once again see the usually peaceful River Windrush meandering it’s way through Bourton-on-the-Water invaded by a football match. It is one of the wackier annual events to take place in the Cotswolds! Goalposts are set up in the river, and two teams of six players from Bourton Rovers football Club play a 30 minute match. The annual match has been taking place for over 100 years and attracts hundreds of spectators to the grassy banks of the river. The usually calm waters of the River Windrush become a huge splash zone with one of the aims of the players being to get the front row of spectators as wet as possible!
It's #nationalmeadowday today. We think the Lower Mill Estate is a pretty good place to spend it. So many beautiful swathes of wild flowers at the moment as you walk around the estate and into the wider Nature Reserve. I took this photo of a Pyramid Orchid with a 5 Spot Burnet Moth a few days ago.
Just 10 minutes drive from the Lower Mill Estate, Jesse Smith, a family owned butcher that was founded over 200 years ago has recently opened a Farm Shop and Coffee House. Jesse Smith has a great local reputation for quality fresh meat and personal friendly service – they also have a traditional butchers shop in one of Cirencester’s oldest Streets, Black Jack Street.
The Farm Shop looks fabulous when you walk in, with fresh fruit and vegetables stacked high, glass fronted meat and cheese counters and shelves of deli products. Jesse Smith’s is an ideal place to call in to stock up for a barbecue, with a wide range of sausages, chicken, lamb and beef kebabs as well as a huge range of cuts of meat the only problem will be deciding what to choose.
Much of the meat stocked at Jesse Smith’s is locally sourced, with as much lamb as possible coming from the Cotswolds. The butcher also stock the traditional free range Gloucestershire old spot pork. Locally sourced game is also available.
The coffee house serves food throughout the day. As one reviewer on Trip Advisor wrote, “When you walk in the place is just gorgeous. The food is all fresh, local produce and tastes amazing. I could have stayed all day and eaten the whole menu.”
One of the lovely things about Daisy Chain is the abundance of birds to be seen. Herons, Egrets, Grebes, Terns, Swallows and Kingfishers to name just a few. But have you ever wondered what the Lower Mill Estate looks like to them? Some recent guests shared these great pictures taken from a drone.
Swooping over Somerford Lagoon, Clearwater Lake is straight ahead. To the left is Howells Mere with Swillbrook Lakes beyond. To the right beyond the green, the tennis court and the Mill Village pool is Spinney Lake, edged on the near side by the new houses with their green eco roofs.
Zooming down towards Daisy Chain you can see some people sitting on the grass enjoying the sunshine and pick out the barbecue on the lower deck – perhaps they’ll be wheeling that out in a minute to cook up some burgers and kebabs by the lakeside! That belt of reeds doesn’t just look great in the sunrise photos that guests take from their bedrooms, it’s also home to many birds – and sometimes a murmuration of starlings lands there during the winter. Just over to the left in the corner of the lake is the handy place for slipping the canoe into the water.
Here she is, as seen by the birds, slipping quietly across the calm waters of the lagoon. Where are they off to? Round the island before breakfast? Paddling to the reed beds to see how many different species of birds they can count? Heading across to the narrow strip of land where they can portage across and canoe on Flagham Fen to see if they can spot the beavers in the water just a few metres away from them? Or just enjoying the simple pleasure of being afloat, the freedom, the ripple of the water, being captain of your own boat, the satisfaction of learning to make the canoe go where you want with the ‘J stroke’ (turning the paddle at the end of the stroke to act as a rudder so you don’t have to keep switching the paddle from side to side). It’s just great being out on the water … I wonder if they can smell those burgers cooking yet?
We love reading reviews sent in by our lovely guests – and seeing their photos too.
"We had an absolutely fabulous week at Daisy Chain. The setting was superb, something for everyone and the accommodation was excellent, definitely the best we have stayed in. All the things we could have possibly wanted or needed were there. Thank you for providing all the information we required before and during our holiday. I am sure we will be returning in the future."