1. On Form Exhibition at Asthall Manor
Every second year, at a lovely manor house near Burford, some of the World’s most important sculptors exhibit works at On Form, an exhibition that runs over a six week period. Asthall Manor occupies a medieval site but the manor dates from the 17th Century. The famous Mitford sisters grew up here, after their father Lord Redesdale bought the house in 1919. It is now the home of Rosie Pearson, a member of the Cowdray family, and her two daughters who moved here from Jamaica. The 6 acre garden was designed by Isabel and Julian Bannerman in 1997/8 and is constantly evolving. Next door, St Nicholas Church dates from the 12th Centuray and has many rare features including a 14th Century piscine and a huge tomb recess. The manor house overlooks meadows and a small river, with peaceful farmland and a small hamlet of cottages.
Throughout a couple of rooms in the house, including the ballroom and then throughout the gardens and meadow sculptures are cleverly arranged to allow guests to wander round and discover a myriad of different works. There is a huge array of works and the garden has a lot of different ‘rooms’ in which to enjoy them. The summer house has been temporarily occupied by a wonderful book shop and the pool itself has been cleverly converted into a garden pool with plants growing up the sides, allowing for swimming in a central channel. There is something very calming about the way the sculptures are laid out and guests are encouraged to stroke the works which hugely adds to the overall experience. There are smaller ponds, a tree house and gypsy caravan which all help showcase the works in a fun way. At the rear of the property is the excellent potting shed café, run by chef, Fiona Cullinane.
LTR recommends a visit to this exceptional exhibition which is one of the most charming we have ever visited and is extremely easy to access from the A40 and close to the heart of the Cotswolds. It is low key and a lovely place to spend a peaceful few hours. The gardens themselves are simply stunning and a blaze of different colours. To find out more please visit the On Form website.
2. The Model Village
One-ninth of the size of ‘real life’ village, Bourton-on-the-Water, the Model Village in the Cotswolds is an exquisite copy. Having been designed by the landlord of the Old New Inn, it took 5 years to build by local craftsmen and was then opened on the same day in 1937 as King George VI’s coronation.
Complete with a river, miniature bonsai trees that are kept pruned to scale along with greenhouses and garden furniture in the summer, this is a lovely place to visit and especially fun for small children who can relate to the size. There is a Miniature Landscape Exhibition which opened in 2014. There are 7 cottages which have been painstakingly made by miniature specialist John Constable from Somerset. Beautifully done using traditional materials, some with thatched roofs, using miniature stones, rafters and windows all crafted by Constable himself.
This is a really fun place to visit for children who delight in the size of the village, as well as being fascinating for grown-ups, particularly those interested in models. To find out more, visit the Model Village website.
This entry was posted in Bespoke Travel Itineraries Hidden Gems Insider Tips Local Culture Luxury Family Holidays Off The Beaten Path Travel Culture Travel Inspiration and tagged art, cotswolds, culture, do, fun, history, model, On Form, sculpture, things, village .