Yarrow Cottage

Churchill, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom Book from Book from £200 per night

An utterly romantic thatched cottage for 2-4, in a picturesque and quiet Cotswolds village
Never judge a book by its cover, they say. So although the cover of this cosy cottage is fairytale beautiful, with a 300-year-old thatched roof, we force ourselves not to be impressed until we’ve explored further. Inside, impartiality gets trickier. Low wooden beams are softened by lamplight, ancient stone walls dressed in abstract modern art, and beautiful slate floors warmed by rugs. It's an exquisite blend of old and new. A cosy lounge has sofas that call you to sprawl out lazily, and upstairs, the 2 double bedrooms are ridiculously beautiful. The bathroom is like something from Elle Deco, with an enormous copper tub. We curse the rain, which stops us from heading out into our pretty walled garden, but even the air is lovely inside, fragrant with a White Company diffusion.

But is it all style over substance? 100% no. We cooked up a storm in the kitchen, failing to find even one implement lacking, and loving all the complimentary extras, including fancy honey and fresh bread, a Nespresso machine and a spirits bar. We played Scrabble in the lounge, warmed by a wood-burner in the ancient fireplace. We slept brilliantly (not too hot, not too cold), then went for a blustery winter walk in Batsford Arboretum and a pub lunch. Every last detail was perfect in looks and quality, so we're confident with our judgement: sure to be a best-seller.


  • The sheer style and luxurious detail. Nothing has been overlooked or scrimped on
  • Bathing: a copper bathtub-for-2, a walk-in shower, Bamford toiletries and White Company dressing gowns. Plus underfloor heating
  • The cosy cushion-filled nook in the lounge, where you can snuggle up and watch DVDs or Netflix boxsets
  • Perfect for a minimoon or romantic occasion if you can splash out and rent it for 2; if not, a stylish treat for 2 couples or a small family
  • Just 5 minutes' walk to The Chequers, a great pub with superb food: 'the hottest ticket in the Cotswolds', says Tatler


  • Not a cheap treat unless there are 4 of you, and minimum stays apply: either 3 nights (Fri-Mon) or 4 nights (Mon-Thurs).
  • The second bedroom is small, with the kingsize bed wedged in on 3 sides
  • Uncomfy wire-basket dining chairs
  • Although families are welcome, both beds are doubles, and it's not toddler-friendly (a precarious open staircase and massive potential for breakages)
  • Only one bathroom, which houses the only toilet; fine for a couple, less so for 4 people sharing

Best time to go

Rentable all year and each season has its charms. Obviously summer is lovely, with the private walled garden and all that the Cotswolds offers. Spring and autumn appeal to us more though - hiking amongst spring flowers or walking through autumn leaves, and less tourists in the surrounding towns and villages. The cottage's log-burner and underfloor heating keep it cosy in winter. Book very early if you want to coincide your visit with one of the local festivals in Cheltenham.

Our top tips

15km away, the Longborough Festival's summer season showcases some of the UK's finest opera. In 2017 this includes Wagner's Tristan und Isolde and Mozart's The Magic Flute. Book well in advance and take a lavish picnic, Glyndebourne-style.

Great for...

Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Cottage
  • 2 bedrooms
  • Self-catering; restaurants nearby
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Board games


Upstairs, the 2 double bedrooms have vaulted ceilings, super-comfortable kingsize beds (White Company linens, banks of pillows) and sliding hard-wood doors. Whilst both are beautifully decorated, the spacious master is a total show-stopper; if you’re here as 2 couples, prepare to toss a coin for it. There’s a walk-in wardrobe, heavy silver-cabinet bedside tables and a tripod photographer’s lamp shining onto an easy chair. The 2nd bedroom is much smaller, with its bed wedged against walls on 3 sides – a clever headboard/shelf provides useful space for books and glasses of water. A gorgeous shabby-chic miniature wardrobe and pair of heavy golden peacocks cleverly distract from the room’s diminutive size, as does a fabulous embellished mirror.

If you’re a fan of lazy ablutions, you’ll be in heaven - the bathroom is one of the best we’ve ever seen. A deep, double-ended copper bathtub sits atop heated slate tiles; twin concrete sinks perch on a wooden platform that's suspended by chains and lit by nautical lamps. The rain shower is walk-in (of course) and toiletries are by Bamford.

Downstairs, a cosy lounge (2 sofas, a cushioned TV nook and a stone fireplace with a wood-burner) flows into a small dining room for 6, then into the beautiful kitchen. Exquisite wooden joinery runs throughout. Out back, a beautiful walled garden awaits, with an alfresco dining table.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Dishwasher
  • DVD player
  • Fan
  • Fireplace
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob or stove
  • Ipod dock
  • Iron
  • Microwave
  • Nespresso
  • Oven
  • Phone
  • Private garden
  • Radio
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • Toiletries
  • Tumble dryer
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi


The small kitchen is a triumph. Duck-egg blue cupboards run the lower length of 2 walls, housing everything you need to properly cook rather than just heat things up - measuring jugs, roasting pans, even a carving tray. Open shelves are laid with stylish green crockery, a collection of different glasses, and cookbooks. The massive range cooker has an induction hob, and basic ingredients hide in a cupboard (Oxo cubes, herbs, balsamic, that sort of thing).

Your sparkling wine awaits in the fridge, along with milk, Lurpak, Bonne Maman honey and eggs (at last, something we can criticise; there were only 3!), and a fresh loaf sits on a heavy wooden board. Daylesford is a 5-minute drive away for extra supplies; an award-winning organic farmshop. Or head to supermarkets 15 minutes away.

Have at least one meal in The Chequers, one of the Cotswolds’ best pubs, just up the road. Perhaps twice-baked cheese souffles then roast partridge, or a decadent Ploughmans with seaweed and cider salami and smoked duck breast. There are other great eateries a short drive away; recommendations are provided.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Chef on request
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Toaster
  • Welcome hamper


  • Just stay put. In the colder months, by the fire, playing Scrabble or watching DVDs (there's a collection). In the spring and summer, out in the walled garden, lazing in the sun and reading
  • Neighbouring Kingham - oft called the 'darling of the Cotswolds' - is delightful: 17th-century thatched cottages around a village green, and 2 excellent foodie pubs
  • Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, has gilded state halls, impressive artworks and 2,000 acres of 'Capability' Brown landscaped parkland
  • On a cold January day, we were the only visitors at Batsford Arboretum, and it was amazing to have it all to ourselves; snowdrops and daffodils were just coming into bud, and the trees were all frosty. Autumn is, of course, splendid here
  • The area has wonderful walking, including the 100-mile-long Cotswolds Way
  • History buffs will love Malmesbury Abbey and Woodchester Mansion (an unfinished Gothic revival house). Keen gardeners will enjoy Sudeley Castle, Highgrove and Kiftsgate Court Gardens
  • Bourton-on-the-Water's Birdland Zoo, model railway and dragonfly maze are great for families, as is the Cotswold Wildlife Park (160 acres of parklands)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets
  • Well being
  • Wildlife


Children are welcome and will love the walled garden and TV nook with Netflix. The house has 2 double bedrooms (kids will have to share a bed, or there's the possibility of making the TV nook into an extra bed), and there's space for a baby cot in the main bedroom. We'd say it's best suited to babes in arms or 6+ year-olds.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available

Baby equipment:

A baby cot and highchair to borrow on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Families Should Know:

The staircase is open. There are lots of gorgeous things at snatching level!

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests


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