Little Horseshoe Lake is a Cotswold destination like no other – a sustainable retreat immersed in nature where contemporary eco-design is fused with traditional craftsmanship.

The five-architect-designed luxury holiday homes that comprise this 55-acre private eco-estate in Gloucestershire are current and cool. Each is an open-plan space of light and air, beautifully furnished in sophisticated simplicity. Floor-to-ceiling windows heighten the feeling of being one with the great outdoors, and the private decks guarantee that guests discover the joys of birdsong at dawn and sensational star gazing at night.

Within the walls of four one-bed lodges is a well-equipped kitchen, a neat living/dining room, and upstairs, a bedroom and en-suite shower room with transcendent views of water, trees, and sky. The two-bedroom Pond Lodge is arranged on one floor but shares the same organic design, sharp décor, and thoughtful touches.

Two pristine lakes and a reserve make up the grounds. These valuable wetlands offer sensational wildlife spotting for habitats for bats, wildfowl, mammals, fish, dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies, and other invertebrates. While these surroundings make it tempting to do nothing but fish and wander the zigzag paths through floral woods, there is plenty to explore further afield.

The Cotswolds, with its narrow network of lanes, honey-colored stone villages, medieval pubs, and stately homes, is the largest Area of Outstanding Beauty in England and Wales. The closest village, South Cerney, dates to the 10th century and has three friendly pubs. Six miles away, the Roman town of Cirencester has a magnificent church and the Corinium Museum, one of the country’s most exceptional small museums. Blenheim Palace, Sudeley Castle, Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, and Oxford and Bath are easy day trips.

Those keen on land-and water-based activities: trail running, cycling, rowing, fishing, water-skiing, sailing, or canoeing only need to look at the Recreational Lake at the Cotswold Water Park, a five-minute walk away. For shopping, Bicester Village is within reach, as are the market towns of Tetbury and Stow-on-the-Wold. If pampering is a priority, the Bamford Spa at Daylesford is a 40-minute drive, and the DeVere Hotel Spa is on the doorstep.

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Cotswold Water Park itself has an array of activities for kids, particularly if they like watersports.
Towns and Villages

Cirencester

Welcome to Cirencester, often referred to as the “Capital of the Cotswolds”. This charming market town is steeped in history, with roots reaching back to Roman times, earning it the title of the second largest town in Britain during that era. As you wander through Cirencester, you’re walking on layers of history. One of the highlights is the Corinium Museum, home to an impressive collection of Roman artefacts. Here, you can immerse yourself in the region’s past, exploring exhibits that tell tales of Roman life, the town’s agricultural roots, and its growth through the centuries. Stroll through the town centre and marvel at the grandeur of the Church of St. John the Baptist, standing tall since the 15th century. With its imposing tower, intricately carved stonework and beautiful stained glass, it’s a marvel of medieval architecture. In the heart of the town, you’ll find the Market Place. On Mondays and Fridays, the square is bustling with local vendors selling a variety of goods, from fresh produce to local crafts. It’s a vibrant scene that encapsulates the spirit of Cirencester. Lastly, don’t miss the Abbey Grounds, a beautifully landscaped park adjacent to the site of a former Augustinian abbey. It’s a perfect spot to unwind, with the pretty River Churn flowing through. Cirencester offers a delightful blend of history, charm, and Cotswold character – truly a place where the past and present meet. Experience it and let Cirencester charm you as it has so many before.

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