We stayed in this lovely quaint property for five nights at the end of June.
The property itself is clean and basic, but cosy and has everything you need for your stay.
The farm itself was beautiful and the animals were so looked after. The animals were so friendly and it's well worth paying the extra £5 and going with Tom to feed the animals.
There is so much exploring to be done on the farm. Ducks, chickens, goats, horses, donkeys, a pig! There's a little lake with a small rowing boat that we went out on and my little boy thoroughly enjoyed.
There is a huge amount of slides, little climbing things, trampolines for children which again were enjoyed very much by our son.
The location is brilliant, the wildlife park in Lechlade is well worth a day out as is hiring a boat and going along the Thames from the riverside pub! Crocodile zoo is twenty minutes away and watching the crocodiles Being fed was an experience! Boughton on Thames, voted prettiest village in UK is a twenty minute drive and is a beautiful place to visit. (Has a Christmas shop all year round, as does Lechlade). Could not fault the location - beautiful part of England. According to my three year old it was his best holiday ever and he's been to Disney world America!
All in all our stay was very good and I plan to return. Thanks Tom and family for a brilliant holiday :) hopefully see you again
I’ve just returned from an 8 day stay at the Parlor with my toddler, aunt and uncle (my husband also stayed over the weekend).
When we arrived we bumped into the owner outside who was seemed very nice and helpful. He remained friendly until we had a problem with being locked out (we were only trying to give constructive criticism and were happy to pay a fine) after that he kind of just awkwardly looked away or commented when he saw that we had seem him. In general it was a nice place to stay, but I would expect the property to be in a better condition and much cleaner for the price we paid. I've listed our pros and cons below
- Large grounds to explore
- Lots of animals, who are very friendly and well looked after
- Lots of play equipment for kids (although the play area in the wooded area has seen better days as has the play equipment in the fields further away from the cottages, but my toddler still enjoyed them)
- Beds, toilet, bath, high chair, kitchen work surfaces appeared clean
- Lots of DVDs, books and a few games available in the reception area
- Good shower and lots of hot water
- only one key (for one of the two locks) for a property suitable for 5 people made available
- property has a front door and a back door (the back door is more like a front door as it leads straight out the play areas and the car park). Both doors have locks on the inside which we kept up as the toddler could easily let himself out otherwise. The first time we all left the property we left via “the back door” and after my aunt had a bad turn during the heat wave my husband, toddler and I rushed back to pick up the car keys to pick up my aunt, only to discover that if the door is locked from the inside (it’s a little knob that you push up) that you can’t open it from the outside. We called the owner and his wife turned up after about 10 minutes. She had to go back to their house twice to find the right key to the back door. As described in the welcome book there was a fine of £5 to pay if you forgot your key and got locked out. I explained that on this occasion I was happy to pay the £5 but for future reference they should write in the welcome book that you can lock yourself out if you lock it from the inside and that a key for both locks should be made available. She only replied to say that it was normal with this type of lock (I’ve never used one like it before so it’s not normal if you don’t know) and that if they gave both keys that people could lose both and then they’d really have a problem…
- Whilst the outdoors area is very toddler friendly, it was a bit stressful to keep an eye on my toddler indoors as he kept wanting to run up the stairs (which are listed as being steep), but he could have easily fell through the stairs
- Property in need of a deep clean, the floors were dirty, the table and chairs were dirty when wiped, the fridge was dirty in door seals, hob was dusty, the oven was filthy on the inside, all of the kitchen cookware were dirty, the kettle was disgusting and huge chunks of lime scale were peeling off whenever you used it (probably never been cleaned). It’s cleaner than it was last week though.
- We visited during the heat wave and except for a tiny window there is no ventilation (except if you keep the doors open, which isn’t possible when it’s too hot for a toddler outside). We asked for a fan but there wasn’t one available.
- Washing machine and dryer were payable per hour which isn’t listed in property description
- Terrible WiFi connection, which made it nearly impossible for me to work when away
- Some property maintenance is due: there was a damp smell under the kitchen sink, bathroom door creaks louder than the donkeys bray outside, numerous damp patches which corresponded to missing tiles on the roof, paint peeling off the floor in numerous areas of the property
- No oven gloves, hand soap, tea towels (thankfully we brought our own) or scissors available at the property which was a bit annoying
- The single “room” under the eaves was really too small and appears to have been added at a later date. Also no full privacy provided as curtain only covers half of the area, the other half is vaguely covered by wooden sticks
- Only a recycling bin was provided within the property, but there was no recycling bin outside? Only general waste.
- Pictures of a fire pit online, which say available from 6pm, but there was never anyone there.
This place has huge potential, but is still a work in progress.... It is advertised as 'great for families with young children' and the grounds certainly are-a playground on your doorstep. However, the house itself is a bit of a worry. Even though you are warned of the extremely steep stairs, the banisters are the concerning part-huge gaps for toddlers to fall through, particularly at the very top. Our daughter slept in the downstairs bedroom but obviously was keen to explore-as toddlers do! You will also need to take your own cutlery and plastic bowls/plates/cups for them-it would be really useful is this was provided (Ikea stuff is cheap but perfect!). The basics for a self catering property were also missing-you will need to take your own hand soap, washing up liquid and even oven gloves!! A small basket of toys and books would be a really welcome addition to attract those with young children to return, and travel lighter. If you have a very young baby that still sleeps in the same room, you won't be able to fit a normal size travel cot up in the double room with you. Luckily our baby was still small enough to sleep in a bassinet which we could just about fit down the side of the bed. One of the main attractions of coming to stay here was the pool. Unfortunately this had been emptied and refilled on the Friday before we arrived for the weekend and was still freezing cold by the time we wanted to go in on Saturday morning. As previously mentioned the grounds are beautiful with lots of trampolines, swings etc to play with, and animals to visit. The sandpit could do with a bit of work as we haven't played in a sandpit with plants growing in it before??!! We did have a lovely time staying here, and the Parlour Cottage is ideal for children to play in the play area whilst you watch them from the cottage with a cuppa as it is right on the door step! The only reason I wouldn't recommend to other friends with young children is the dangerous banisters, but If these could be made safer and the little bits added to make it easier staying away with young children then I wouldn't hesitate-the location is great! We didn't need to get in the car all weekend!
We stayed in October half term with my children aged 9 and 12 and my dad. The children loved the quirky bedrooms in the loft and being able to disappear off outside when the weather allowed. We swum in the little pool every day and had no trouble drying the towels as the Parlour was always very warm with plenty of hot water. Be aware that there are not enough arm chairs for 5 but there are two beanbag chairs which the children were happy on. Beware the sign at the end of the drive is not very clear especially in the dark.
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