This superbly designed contemporary house for 10 combines spectacular views, fabulous facilities and a location boasting nature reserves, wildlife walks, a spa, an indoor pool, a grocery store and even a sandy lake beach within a very short stroll. Best of all, the nearest neighbours are as likely to be wildfowl, deer or beavers, as they are humans!
Some of the world’s most acclaimed architects have had a hand in creating the exemplary designed residences of Lower Mill Estate, set within a private 500-acre nature reserve in the Cotswold Water Park. It’s hardly surprising that most owners choose to keep their stunning homes all to themselves which makes Beaver Brook even more exclusive as one of only a handful available for select holiday lets.
Beaver Brook sleeps 10 but this is no place for wild parties and just the place for the most chilled out gatherings of family and friends. There are no stags, hens or party animals here and the only wildlife that might keep little ones and their parents awake are the hoots of barn owls, the squeaks of bats and the spring dawn chorus! Incorporating two Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Lower Mill Estate is a paradise for nature lovers and bird watchers, so it’s worth digging out the binos and keeping eyes peeled for the wildfowl, deer and even the first families of beavers to be re-introduced into England.
Just a minute’s walk from Beaver Brook, families have free access to the £6million ArtaSpa featuring a slate-lined 20m indoor pool, heated slate-lined 10m outdoor pool, outdoor plunge eco pool, steam room, sauna, gym and treatment rooms for soothing away parental stress with indulgent massages and pampering sessions. Lower Mill Estate also has two tennis courts, two play areas, numerous walking and cycling trails throughout the nature reserve, many of which are fine for a sturdy baby buggy. There’s even a sandy lake beach for paddling just 10 minutes walk from Beaver Brook.
5-bedroom Beaver Brook sleeps up to 10 family and friends, plus one or two travel cots can be provided. The house has two double ensuite bedrooms, a third double bedroom and two rooms with bunk beds, one of which is suitable for two children or one adult. The focal point of Beaver Brook is the open plan living/dining room and kitchen on the first floor, with vaulted ceilings, polished wood floors and a private balcony terrace overlooking the trout pond. Leather sofas, bean bags and a funky designer wood burner provide the contemporary comforts and there’s a flat screen TV, Freeview, DVD and VCR players, plus U-rated films, books and toys. The five bedrooms have been furnished and finished to be fresh, tasteful and relaxing, two of which have sparkling white ensuite bathrooms in addition to the family bathroom.
The Cotswold Water Park consists of more than 140 lakes over 40 square miles, created to transform an area of gravel pits into a wetlands and wildlife haven that’s 50% bigger than the Norfolk Broads! The Lower Mill Estate takes its name from the historic water mill by the entrance which is one of just two still working on the Thames. An organic shop is now located by the watermill for daily essentials and The Bakers Arms in Somerford Keynes is well within walking distance from Beaver Brook, with a children’s play area, food every day and good beer.
There are many more pubs and restaurants within a short drive including The Potting Shed at Crudwell which was named a New Pub of the Year in the 2011 Good Beer Guide. The Roman town of Cirencester is only 5 miles away, with plenty of lovely shops, pubs and restaurants, a bustling market, excellent museum and Roman amphitheatre where gladiatorial re-enactments can sometimes be seen.
For all kinds of outdoor activities, or simply paddling and sploshing pebbles, The Cotswold Country Park and Beach is 10 minutes walk from Beaver Brook. On a warm sunny day, swimming, pedal boats, paddle boards and canoes are ideal amusements or kids can even have a go at walking on water by ‘waterzorbing’. Toddlers have a well equipped play ground and beach all to themselves, with a second play area and beach for older children. Cycles for all ages and with child seats are available for hire or the full walking circuit of two lakes is a healthy 3 mile hike but the Fossil Trail is an interesting short stroll or families can track down the chainsaw sculptures dotted around the Park, finishing up with some well deserved refreshments at the lakeside cafe.
10 minutes drive from Beaver Brook, youngsters will love petting and feeding the piglets, lambs, kids and bunnies at Butts Farm, taking a pony ride or hopping on a tractor, while adults can stock up on local produce from the award-winning farm shop and butcher. Slightly further afield near Cheltenham, Cotswold Farm Park is Adam Henson’s rare breeds farm from Countryfile and for wilder animals, an adventure playground and narrow gauge railway, there’s the Cotswold Wildlife Park near Burford.