Orchids in the Cotswolds

Orchids in the Cotswolds

May is such a lovely month – and made all the more beautiful by all the orchids popping up around the Estate and at Clattinger Farm – next door to the Lower Mill Estate.

Photo by Naomi at cotswoldfamilyholidays.com

#orchids #wildflowerphotography #CotswoldsWildlife #flowers #flowerphotography #naturephotography #nature


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A Birthday Weekend At Daisy Chain

A Birthday Weekend At Daisy Chain

Celebrating Birthdays at Daisy Chain

We have just returned from Daisy Chain where we spent a weekend with family celebrating a big birthday. Daisy Chain is the perfect venue to gather all the family to celebrate and fun together.

Daisy Chain is equipped with a Canadian Canoe, but as there were going to be lots of us staying we rang ahead to the Family Adventure Store and arranged to rent a Paddle Board for the weekend.  Jenny very kindly delivered it to Daisy Chain so that when we arrived it was all ready for us.

Some of the family arrived by car, but others arrived by train.  Kemble Station, on the direct line from London Paddington Station,  is only a 10 minute drive away so very convenient to get to.  The birthday boy was dispatched to the station to give us time to decorate the house.  We have bunting and a birthday banner at Daisy Chain so we quickly hung these up and blew up some balloons.

Birthday Banner

Soon we were all gathered, the children were tucked into bed and there was just enough time to walk round to the boat park to collect the Canadian Canoe.  The boat park is only a 10 minute walk around the lake and we had a wonderful paddle back across the lake watching the sun set. It really was golden hour.

Sunset Lower Mill Estate

Saturday started early.  When we are staying at Daisy Chain, if we wake early we can never resist drawing the curtains and watching the sun rise.  It’s such a luxury to be able to lie in bed watching the sun climb over the horizon.  Opening the patio doors, we enjoyed the full sound of the dawn chorus with a Cuckoo and Woodpecker also joining in.

Sunrise Lower Mill Estate

The morning was beautifully blue and still, so as soon as the children appeared we donned buoyancy aids and headed out onto the lake in the canoe and on the paddle board.  It’s always magical on the lake in the early morning – so calm and peaceful.

Paddle board Lower Mill Estate

Having returned to Daisy Chain for breakfast the rest of the morning was spent messing about on the water.  Days at Daisy Chain pass quickly with one activity flowing into the next.  We painted ducks for the Duck Race down the River Thames, went swimming in the indoor, outdoor and eco pools (ok….we didn’t all make it into the eco pool!), played tennis and enjoyed walks around the Lower Mill Estate.

Birthday Tea

Birthday Cake, Cream Tea and Champagne disappeared quickly and we were soon off out again, in search of one of the geocaches that can be found locally.  After such a busy day sleep came quickly to the children at bedtime.

Champagne Cream Tea

The rest of the weekend followed a similar pattern.  I managed to fit in a visit to Clattinger Farm, a wonderful wild flower meadow just 2 minutes drive from the Lower Mill Estate.  It is home to Snakeshead Fritillaries and Orchids by their hundred.  A real treat.

Clattinger Farm Wild Flower Meadow

The children loved completing the Miss Mouse Trail which follows a route around the Lower Mill Estate.  It is interspersed with treasure chests where there are pirate coins to collect and sweet treats to enjoy.  The trail also now includes a bike trail which is a fun stopping off point.

Bike Track Lower Mill Estate

We had fun taking part in the Lower Mill Estate Bank Holiday Duck Race later in the day. I was all ready to take photos of the proceedings, but hadn’t quite anticipated that I would end up whipping off my shoes and socks, jumping into the water and rescuing some of the Ducks who had escaped the barrier at the finishing line!

Lower Mill Estate Duck Race

Staying at Daisy Chain makes for a really easy weekend with family.  There is no need to leave the estate, with so many activities right on your doorstep.  It’s a wonderful location for a family birthday celebration and is often booked for big birthdays – 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th and even 80th.

Birthday Cake

Our birthday boy certainly enjoyed his weekend of fun and family!


Another great week at Daisy Chain

Another great week at Daisy Chain

We've just received this review from guests who stayed last week – thank you for sending the photo too!
Thank you for another great week at Daisy Chain, so well equipped for our family of 10 ranging from a baby of 9 months, boy of 5, girls of 7 and 8 as well as six adults. We went swimming every day in the lovely Spa, really enjoyed Miss Mouse’s Trail which kept the kids entertained on a 5K walk (wear wellingtons if it has been raining). The dipping pool is a particular highlight.
We were disappointed not to get round to using the canoe. All the kids went home much more confident in biking and swimming, all having had a very happy holiday.
We still have some midweek availability over the next few months and one week available in July. Check out our calendar athttp://cotswoldfamilyholidays.com/enquire-and-book/
Drop us an email to info@cotswoldfamilyholidays.com if you are interested!

#cotswolds #lowermillestate #holidayhome


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Bluebells in the Cotswolds

Bluebells in the Cotswolds


From the middle of April woodlands around the Cotswolds will burst into life with a fabulous blue haze of bluebells.  The bluebell season is starting already with a faint mist of blue appearing under trees in many of our woodlands.  I took this photo last weekend.

Early bluebells

There are many locations within reach of Daisy Chain, but two of the best are Badbury Clump near Highworth and West Wood near Marlborough.

There was once an Iron Age Hill Fort at the top of Badbury Woods which was probably built and occupied from around 600BC.  It would mainly have been used for storage and would have housed round huts and grain storage pounds.  Much of the evidence of a fort has been lost through years of ploughing.  In Spring and early Summer, Badbury Clump is very popular as its beech woods team up with bluebells for a spectacular display.  A 6.5 mile circular walk starting at Badbury Hill, including the Great Barn at Great Coxwell can be found on the Faringdon website.    Have a taste of the Bluebells at Badbury hill in this video.

West Woods in near Marlborough is a large plantation of beech trees on a site of an ancient woodland.  West Woods has fantastic displays of bluebells in late spring and a good network of trails allow easy access.  It is very popular with walkers and photographers alike.

The bluebell season is a short but spectacular one and there are so many beautiful woodlands to explore.  Other woodlands to see bluebells in the Cotswolds include:

Aston-under-Hill Woods – which has been described as stunning with bluebells galore.
Lineover Wood, Dowdeswell
Lynches Wood (near Chipping Campden)
Littleworth Wood, Snowshill
Foxholes Nature Reserve, Bruern.

Enjoy exploring!


#CotswoldsWalks  #bluebells