The additional facilities you can freely enjoy as guests of Kingham Lodge are what set us apart from other self-catering cottages in the Cotswolds. Click on the titles below to read more about them.
The Indoor Swimming Pool
The pool is 11m long and 5m wide and is deep enough for strong swimmers to do their “tumble turns” at each end. The shallow end is large and flat for playing water games but since the average depth is 1.35m of water all small children must wear appropriate floatable aids and be accompanied by an adult at all times. The pool is heated all year and is available to guests for several hours each day.
Please note: Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. We also advise adults to not swim alone but to always swim in company.
A Hammam is a traditional Turkish bath and is the perfect area to relax. We can also pre-book a massage treatment in the Hammam; just let us know you would like this when booking and we can arrange for the masseuse/masseur to come during your stay.
A small shed is being fitted out for small children to play in or have sleep-outs (at parent’s risk and supervision). It is near the cottages but hidden by the trees so feels appropriately mysterious.
There is an all-weather hard tennis court available for tennis enthusiasts bringing their own racquets, shoes and tennis balls.
A croquet set is available for use on the main lawn, also usable for Frisbee, boules, or other games.
The gardens at Kingham Lodge have been planted in the last two decades and have been a massive family project. From the cottages you can walk up to the main lawn and then choose your route. Along the 150 metre border, backed with trellis there are two sections, the first basically blue and white and the second in shades of red from orange to purplish. Between the border and the tennis court hedge there is a quiet green walk leading first to the vegetable garden and the tennis court and secondly to the chickens (and compost/bonfire area) and the Newbury plantation. Now becoming mature the area has an over-storey of pine and many varieties of eucalyptus (some badly hurt in the winter of 2010-11) with underneath a middle layer of lilacs, magnolias, prunus, malus and cherry varieties, and then a bottom layer with rhododendrons, azaleas, and many other shrubs. Unusually for the Cotswolds we are situated on sand over gravel so are able to grow a number of ericaceous plants not normally seen in the Cotswolds.
Through the Newbury you can cross the waterfall by the quarry pond. In May the laburnum arch to the left and the azaleas look stunning. Past them the walk goes on round the Plantes, named after the circular tree areas that surround Cracow in Poland. These shaded walks have a top storey of mostly deciduous forest trees and then a lower storey of flowering trees and a base layer of shrubs and interesting herbaceous planting. The year starts with aconites flowering under trees, in February there are thousands of snowdrops giving way to anemones, and specie tulips and then daffodils, tulips, erythroniums and many other later bulbs and irises. From January to July there is a rhododendron in bloom although the big displays are in May, along with the azaleas.
From the walks are longer views, first of the park areas around Kingham House (a lovely William & Mary house that was once the rectory). Through the gates, commemorating a family wedding in 2006, there are views over the valley to the hills on the Stow-Burford ridge, and then over to Stow itself where the tower of St. Edward’s Church can be seen on the horizon.
The return walks take you past the rectangular mirror pond eventually to be linked into an Islamic garden planned for the old barn site. The unusual green stone sculpture in the middle of the pond was carved in Zimbabwe. After the pond there are choices to be made between the massive Pergola, flanked with espalier apples and hung with wisterias, clematis, roses and other flowering climbers, or down the Parterre with its complicated patterns of box bushes. The repeating rhythm of sections each contains a different contemporary design. In special years (such as daughters’ weddings!) these designs are planted with flowering annuals making a complicated carpet of colours. A wander back across the large main lawn brings the walker back to the path to the cottages, with views of the croquet lawn, the main house and the coach house.
Over the years Chris and Delphie have used many local tradesman including one carpenter Rob who said. ‘I always like working for Chris, I never know what the next mad project will be.’ That neatly encapsulates the thinking behind Chris’s vision. To date Rob has made a barrel shaped roof, lanterns for The Loft and Chris’ office, the shutters in Kite’s Gate, and the pergola in the garden. The pergola you will see in the garden was inspired partly by San Simeon in California and partly by a wonderful example in New Zealand. We hope you enjoy your walks through the gardens as much as we do.
The Sequoia Room
Around the end of the nineteenth century a previous owner of Kingham Lodge planted a Wellingtonia, the giant sequoia. This huge tree was struck by lightening in the 1950s and very slowly died back. It was felled in 2006 and its timber planked. One wall of this room is made of those planks, fascinating swirls of redwood. They stand immediately over the spot where the tree grew.
The room has surround sound speakers and the full Sky movies and sports package. It is separated from the pool by sliding glass doors so it is easy for some guests to play in the pool while others are watching the Test match or whatever.
With chairs removed the beautiful oak floor is perfect for doing yoga or pilates for up to twenty people at a time. When the whole property is used for a retreat the pool, tennis, gardens, and Hammam are all popular for relaxation.