As we began to wind our way down the rough track through the woodland, negotiating several hairpins on the way down, my Fiancée asked the Estate Agent "who owns the woodland?"  "It comes with the house" came the reply. From that moment it didn't matter that the house was a tumbling down cottage in the middle of a field with no heating and holes in the roof - we were smitten and so began the adventure. 

In 1987 and fed up with a difficult commute, I started my own business at the house with a council grant. I called it Woodland Cottage Country Gifts. I began to grow and press flowers turning them into all manner of decorative objects and taking them to various craft shows around the country. I quickly realised that to make any money I would need to scale up my operation and supply to the trade. I started to employ ladies and some gents in their own homes making my designs.  At a Trade Fair my goods were spotted by a buyer from House of Fraser and 68 department stores followed along with Harrods, National Trust and Centre Parcs to name but a few. For fifteen years the business grew and expanded selling products all over the world. We purchased more land and built our own factory from old barns that were closer to the road. We spent our summers picking and pressing acres of flowers to get us through the winter orders. Life was good.  Then, in what seemed at the blink of an eye, the fashion changed. No one wanted hand crafted goods, cheaper could be sourced from China, India etc and the passion for flowers and all items decorative turned into the chuck out your chintz era of cream walls, and bland colourless interiors.

It was time to change direction and so I retrained into Interior Design with the KLC School of Interior Design at Chelsea Harbour London. I started a retail business in Cheltenham and built an interiors arm working with property developers on their show houses. Following the banking crisis and a divorce my Mum came along with an article about Airbnb.  You could rent a room out in the house to help with the solicitors fees she said. We created a profile and within a few hours we had our first booking and so began our venture into hospitality.

We are three generations of women: myself Penny, my daughter Fern and my Mother Janet. We love nothing better than to share our remote and romantic haven with our guests. There is so much to discover right on the doorstep. Start your rural adventure right here.

Escape to the Country

In May 2022 we were honoured to have featured on BBC's Escape to the Country. The full video can be found here.