From an animal skull to loved one’s ashes – what staycationers have been leaving behind this summer

From an animal skull to loved one’s ashes – what staycationers have been leaving behind this summer

WHAT do a badger’s skull, octopus, set of chef’s knives, wedding dress and tiara and memorial ring containing ashes all have in common?

They feature among the lost property items left behind by staycationers at one of the six Winchcombe Farm lodges this summer!

Winchcombe Farm Holidays, lost property
Jo Carroll and Steve Taylor with some of the lost property left behind by guests at Winchcombe Farm.

Jo Carroll, who runs the Upper Tysoe boutique glamping retreat with husband Steve Taylor, said: “People leave the strangest things behind when they go on holiday! We always have a bulging lost property box and spend hours trying to reunite items with their owners.

“A badger’s skull was probably one of the more unusual items we’ve found to be honest.”

“We would urge guests to check coat hooks on the back of doors as they vacate their holiday home  – that always seems a favourite place to leave things. We once found a wedding dress hanging on the front door of the tree house, which the newlyweds had put there and completely forgotten about when packing up. We managed to contact them and they turned their car around.”

Winchcombe Farm Holidays, lost property
A badger’s skull is among the more unusual items left behind by guests.

Jo has compiled a list of the top ten things in their overflowing Lost Property box this year. . .

  1. Bikes – “Unbelievably, we’ve now had to reacquaint six bikes with their owners. Guests leave them on the outside decks and forget to load them into their car. We’ve had to ring several people now and ask them to turn round and come back to collect their bicycle!
  2. Children’s comforters. “These often get left in beds and we receive calls from frantic parents asking for them to be returned by next day delivery, fearing their child will never sleep again until they are reunited with their bedtime buddy.”
  3. Sun hats and sun glasses – “These are normally found in the hammocks in the garden after lazy afternoons basking in the sunshine.
  4. Slippers – “These are nearly always recovered from underneath beds, particularly in our geodesic stargazing domes which have circular beds in for watching the night sky in comfort.”
  5. Wellies – “All our lodges have outside boot racks for walking shoes and wellies, as many of their guests ramble around the surrounding Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”
  6. Gold rings or jewellery – “Lots of people remove jewellery when they get into their hot tub. We’ve returned wedding and engagement rings, as well as memorial lockets and a ring containing ashes.”
  7. Flip flops – Also usually found by hot tubs.
  8. Alcohol – Wine left in the wine fridges and vodka in the freezers are the most common. “Sadly these are difficult to post, so we ‘dispose’ of them ‘safely, Jo reassured.”
  9. Coats – “They are nearly always hung on the back of doors and forgotten about.”
  10. Phone chargers – “I can’t even begin to count the number of phone chargers I’ve posted back to guests.”

Jo and Steve have now introduced a departure checklist to help guests go home with everything they arrived with; “this includes ‘children’ just in case!” quipped Jo.

More about Winchcombe Farm Holidays:

Winchcombe Farm Holidays is home to six bespoke luxury holidays homes nestling in an idyllic Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the rolling Warwickshire countryside on the North East tip of the Cotswolds. Surrounded by a working farm, Winchcombe Farm lies beneath the famous battlefield landmark of Edgehill and is just a few minutes’ drive from Stratford-upon-Avon and picturesque Cotswold villages including Broadway and Stow on the Wold.

This oasis of tranquillity – with just sheep, chickens, moorhens, ducks, ponies and alpacas for company – is the epitome of luxury living. From private hot tubs, hanging chairs, hammocks and outside shower, to barbecue shed, pizza oven, BBQ hut, firepit for tasting marshmallows and even geodesic domes with king size circular bed plus personal telescopes for a spot of stargazing! Guests even receive a welcome hamper on arrival to start their holiday in style.

For further information about Winchcombe Farm Holidays, visit www.winchcombefarm.co.uk

Enjoying the lap of luxury at Winchcombe Farm (Review)

Enjoying the lap of luxury at Winchcombe Farm (Review)

THE phrase five-star luxury is much overused when it comes to holiday accommodation. But never have I before considered it to be an inadequate description for somewhere I’ve stayed . . .until now.

The newest lodge at Winchcombe Farm Holidays in Upper Tysoe, is quite simply, luxury on another level.

Winchcombe Farm Holidays, Ben's Burrow, Upper Tysoe, glamping retreat, staycation
Photos by Dave Fawbert Photography.

As the paint was literally drying on their newest lodge, I was lucky enough to be among the first to experience the most ambitious project yet, Ben’s Burrow which sleeps up to nine.

Set on two storeys, both indoor and outdoor space is in abundance with a design that makes the very most of its idyllic environment. And we were spoilt for choice for resting spots from which to enjoy the beautiful views – so, over the course of the weekend, we chose them all!

Winchcombe Farm Holidays, Ben's Burrow, Upper Tysoe, glamping retreat, staycation

Luxuriating in a hot tub on raised decking is undoubtedly one of the best possible spots from which to soak up the rolling Warwickshire hills. But, determined to make the most of every inch of the private area exclusively reserved for Ben’s Burrow guests, we also spent time hanging out in the hammocks, and relaxing in the loungers, deck chairs (yes, there’s even a small makeshift beach area!) and geodesic dome. Partly suspended over a duck pond, the dome is the most exquisite spot for peaceful meditation and reflection. I defy anyone not to drift off to sleep on the daybed under the stars if left to their own devices for long enough!

Winchcombe Farm Holidays, Ben's Burrow, Upper Tysoe, glamping retreat, staycation

And for when you can’t sleep – because you’ve been daytime dozing -there’s even a telescope so you can stargaze at the night skies in unrivalled comfort.

Unique to this lodge, you can also enjoy access to your very own fire pit, surrounded by log stump seats. What better way to appreciate the great outdoors than bonding with friends and family over some toasted marshmallows beneath the stars!

Plus there’s also a private patio enclosure to the rear complete with ride-on toys for the littlies.

When indoors the environment’s not too shabby either. The spacious open-plan kitchen and lounge features all the mod-cons including American-style fridge freezer, dishwasher, microwave, SMEG kettle and toaster and oven-grill.

Central feature is a grand dining table as well as plenty of sumptuous seating in which to kick back and enjoy the 55inch Smart TV and DVD player after a busy day out exploring – or, in our case, bubbling in the hot tub.

Winchcombe Farm Holidays, Ben's Burrow, Upper Tysoe, glamping retreat, staycation

If the weather is kind – as it was for us – you can make the most of the alfresco dining area, which even boasts a charcoal pizza over and six-burner gas barbecue.

But it’s owner Jo Carroll’s keen eye for detail and thoughtful touches throughout the property that help really set this place apart. From the welcome basket containing fruit and cake on arrival, to the stylish interior décor statements, you feel like you are guest in her own home – a home that’s been lavished with a great deal of love and attention to ensure ultimate guests satisfaction.

 

But none of it’s at the sacrifice of practicality as Jo has thought of everything. For instance, the downstairs double room, which has been equipped with parents of young children in mind, includes a cot, rocking chair and even a Teasmade, for those disturbed nights.

While the downstairs king-size room affords its own adjoining en suite featuring shower and toilet.

Another corridor reveals a stairway to access the triple bedroom, with its own freestanding bath, double-width power shower and separate toilet.

And there’s the most delightful adjoining self-contained studio flat, fully equipped with twin beds, kitchenette and private bathroom – perfect bolthole for in-laws or teenagers seeking some independent space.

Ben’s Burrow is an absolute triumph and is set to become a hugely popular addition to the Winchcombe property stable

The other properties are:

Will’s Tree House – The only treehouse in Warwickshire, it is ingeniously architect-designed to sit among the canopies of four supporting trees, which rise through the decking and kitchen. It sleeps four people, blissfully combining indoor and outdoor life with every imaginable comfort.

Bob’s Lodge – a two storey house for six but has space for another two in a geodesic dome with a super-king-sized circular bed and stargazing equipment.

Chicken Shed Lodge – Equipped with another geodesic dome and a wrap-around veranda, the third property is a stylishly restored retreat for five people.

George’s Getaway –This sleeps up to eight people in three bedrooms (and a geodesic dome) and boasts twin freestanding bath tubs.

With staycations on the rise, Winchcombe is the perfect destination of choice for a COVID-safe oasis of rest and relaxation.

Winchcombe Farm Holidays, Ben's Burrow, Upper Tysoe, glamping retreat, staycation

If you want to stake your claim I suggest you get in double quick. Check out the website here