I wonder what 2022 has installed for us all. One thing is for certaIn I will reach the grand old age of 50 in September, so we have already made our plans to celebrate. This does feel like a gamble with the current uncertainty of not knowing how the restrictions maybe imposed, but life must go on and this is the best way for us. For us as holiday accommodation owners we take great pride from knowing that when past guests have had to cancel their stays through an unexpected event, we have provided a full refund without hesitation. This is something that we'll continue to offer our guests and hope that our holiday accommodation provider in September would also do this should it become necessary. As mentioned in my December blog, we had a new TV aerial installed at the end of December which will now ensure that our signal is not impacted by any adverse weather conditions.
At a blink of the eye, we have arrived back at the festive period. We have decorated the cottage ready for our guests over the next few weeks. We have purchased a few Christmas presents for the cottage which will hopefully be in position for our guests to use shortly. New plates, mugs and bowls have been purchased and these will be accompanied by new essential items in the both the bathroom and kitchen. The TV aerial will also be moved from the loft to the roof of the cottage to ensure that we provide the best signal possible for the freeview television. Finally we would like to wish all our past and future guests a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
This month always brings the best out of the village of Colerne. Firstly you have the fireworks display which is always very well supported and well organised and is a definite must for any guests who are staying. The second event is the Sunday remembrance parade which is attended by huge numbers of military personnel in full uniform. The local community really perform a fantastic role in ensuing that the handmade poppies are displayed throughout the Market Place area and along the high street. It really is a heart warming sight and well worth attending.
As I write this months blog, the weather forecasters are promising an India summer to arrive in the UK during September, this is fantastic news for our guests who have secured their stays at the cottage this month. We understand how unpredictable the weather can be, so have taken precautions with the chimney already being swept, so that the log burner is available for our guests to enjoy. Certainly, if the temperatures do rise during this month, the evenings, once the sun has set, will start to get quite chilly. The cottage with its fully centrally heated system and with the addition of the working log burner, will ensure that the cottage remains a cosy, relaxing environment for our guests to enjoy their stays. As for us, both Lisa and myself are well, and are being kept increasing occupied by our 10 month old cockapoo puppy who we have named Bonnie. Rich x.
With the current restrictions in place, which makes planning an overseas trip quite challenging, the UK staycation market has exploded, with the majority of the best holiday properties already booked. We have been overwhelmed by the interest shown in renting Roman Cottage for a break. Certainly both August and September are currently proving extremely popular for the dates which we have made available. We continue to allow at least 24 hours between each of our guest stays to allow the cottage to breath and to provide our local housekeeper with the time to reset the cottage adhering to the current guidelines.
Wow, what a few weeks, especially if you enjoy watching Football. The home nations have all performed well, with England progressing to the semi-final stage (as I write this month blog). If you're not a football follower, then Roman Cottage might just be your perfect sanctuary with miles and miles of open countryside to explore. We continue to be thankful for each and every booking which we have received and we'll do our very best to provide you with relaxing and enjoyable stay. This month's photo is the letter written from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth to all NHS employees in recognition of their exceptional service to the nation during the pandemic. I'm so proud of my wife working as an NHS Nurse and for her professionalism displayed each and every day.
As I write this months log, we are experiencing really warm and sunny weather, which makes for a pleasant change after all the rain we had in late April and for the most of May. During June we welcome the auction winner of a mid week break at the cottage in support of raising much needed funds for the Pre School in Holt. We are pleased to be able this fund raising activity and we'll look to support other worthwhile causes in the future.
Its been a hectic few weeks since lockdown was lifted in England, welcoming guests from all over the UK. Sadly the Wistera tree which hung across the cottages has died and has now been removed, this is really disappointing as it was a spectacular sight when in full bloom. On a positive note we've both received our vaccination jabs, so hopefully normality is not that far away.
It's normally this time of year when the Wistera buds start to show with the expectation that during May the full bloom will appear across the three cottages. Sadly, it appears that the Wistera has died, so we will need to consider alternative ways of providing that colourful sight. At the time of writing this months blog, we are nervously waiting for the UK Prime Minister to share whether holiday accommodation can reopen from 12th April. The image to the right has been shared by our neighbour which shows the lovely sight from the church tower which is located directly behind Roman Cottage. What a beautiful picture the flag master of the church has taken.
It feels like spring has arrived, the longer lighter days, the flowering of the daffodils and Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, has shared his roadmap recovery from the pandemic. This included the positive news that self catering holiday accommodation could potentially reopen from Monday 12th April. With staycations likely to be popular once again this year, it's no surprise that we have received a number of bookings already and are fielding regular booking enquiries from potential guests. If you're looking to book Roman Cottage, I can guarantee that the best value price will always be direct with ourselves. Stay safe, stay positive and hopefully we're see you at Roman Cottage soon. Rich
In England we remain in a National Lockdown, which means we can only accept bookings in very limited circumstances. At this time we are unsure exactly when these restrictions will be lifted. We are receiving may messages from potential guests, which is always encouraging and provides reassurance to both Lisa and myself that Roman Cottage and the holiday accommodation which we offer will get back to providing a comfortable and cosy stay for our futures guests. During January we welcomed the first snowfall in Colerne providing beautiful wintery scenes such a shame that we could not accept guests as it would have been ideal conditions to cosy up in front of the roaring log fire in the cottage.
Well firstly happy New Year to you all. 2020 was certainly a challenging year for everyone and I'm sure we're all glad to see the back of it. We certainly missed meeting up with our family and friends and even impacted us from taking our usual breaks both in the UK and abroad. It would appear with the imminent roll out of the COVID vaccinations there is now a glimmer of light that at some point during 2021 the current restrictions will be lifted which will bring back some kind of normality to us all. Stay safe, safe positive and together we will get through this.
As I write the December blog, Wiltshire has been placed within Tier 2, which for now means we are allowed to reopen the cottage for overnight stays. During the latest lockdown we took the opportunity to deep clean the cottage which included the oven. With the fantastic news that the vaccine inoculations will commence in a matter of days, we remain hopeful that 2021 will prove to be more normal.
Finally, we would like to wish all our past and future guests a happy Christmas and a prosperous and healthy 2021.
Last night Boris announced a new national lockdown for England from Thursday 5th November for an initial period of 4 weeks. We are currently waiting for official guidance on how this will impact short term holiday accommodation. Update (5/11)- only in certain circumstances can we accept overnight stays, these include -
Autumn has certainly arrived in Colerne with the arrival of storm Alex . The strong winds, heavy rain and dropping temperatures have made us review our policy for providing logs for the wood burner. A basket of logs will now be made available for all bookings from now until the end of March. With the continued uncertain times linked to COVID 19, we would like to reassure all potential and confirmed guests, that our cancellation policy where bookings are not able to proceed due to the direct result of COVID, 19 a full refund will be provided. Finally a new addition to Roman Cottage has arrived, it's the google nest. For guests familiar with this technology, you just need to speak the words 'hey google' followed by your instruction. With Spotify premium added to the google nest, you'll be able to enjoy all your favourite music albums and songs from the comfort of the living room area. Stay safe, stay positive and i'll bring you another blog update next month. Rich.
We have reopened our calendar to accept future guest bookings and have made some short term changes to support the enhanced cleaning requirements. These include increasing the minimum stay from 2 to 3 nights and at this time we will unfortunately not be accepting pets. We will of course keep these changes under review as we adapt to the 'new normal' way of life. As we look ahead to the colder winter period, we have booked our annual chimney sweep for Friday 4th September which will ensure that the wood burner can be used safely by our guests.
The availability calendar for Roman cottage has been heavily restricted whilst my wife recovers from her recent illness. This will also provide us with additional time to consider the changes required so that we can accommodate guests safely whilst we get used to living with COVID19. Should your requested dates not be displayed, just drop me an email. Thank you for your patience.
We have now received government authorisation that will allow us to reopen Roman Cottage as a short term holiday accommodation provider from Saturday 4th July. These are still really uncertain times, with us all trying to get used to the 'new normal' way of living our lives. As owners of Roman cottage we have been provided with updated guidance on how to mange changeovers between our guests. We are working through these with our housekeeper to ensure that the cottage is prepared correctly, with safety being our paramount concern.
These are really unprecedented times no matter where in the world you live. In the UK we remain in high state of alert with the government continuing advice to stay at home as much as possible. The current governments restrictions prevent any overnight stays for guests or owners before at least 4th July 2020, unless outlined under the 'Extenuating Circumstances' category. The full redecoration of the cottage has now been completed, which took almost 5 working days to complete. The weather up in Colerne during May was fantastic, with most days having unbroken sunshine with very warm temperatures. We hope you are all keeping well and staying safe, we look forward to welcoming you to Roman Cottage just as soon as we are allowed to reopen. Rich & Lisa
As the lockdown continues, we have taken the opportunity to complete a full rewire of Roman cottage and at the same time reposition some of the light switches and plug sockets to more convenient positions. Once these works are completed we will decorate throughout and perform a thorough deep clean of the cottage. The Wisteria to the front of the cottage is now in full bloom which has caught us really by surprise after last year's poor display. We hope everyone is keeping well and following the government recommendations of staying at home. Finally as my wife Lisa is a nurse at the Bath Royal United Hospital (RUH), I just wanted to say how proud I am of her and her colleagues who are performing a critical role during this unprecedented time. Stay say everyone.
It would be impossible for us to write this blog without making full reference to the Coronavirus pandemic which is impacting everyone and the way we live our lives. The only focus during this uncertain period is to protect ourselves and our families and to follow the advice being communicated from our local governments. Our cancellations policies during this period do not apply and all guests who have made bookings will be entitled to a full refund. For now, please stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. Rich and Lisa
The last few days for us have been really emotional as Lisa's Dad sadly passed away after a long battle with prostate cancer. Roman cottage has proved to be a quiet sanctuary for us, where we have escaped to during quiet periods. As I recorded in the February blog, the cottage now has new curtains and cushions in the living room area, along with a new dishwasher. The combi boiler has also been fully serviced by British gas and our gas safety certificate has been renewed for a further 12 months.
Winter breaks at Roman Cottage continue to prove very popular with our guests. The weather has been kind so far with no snow fall, however the crisp frosty days provide for spectacular walks in the surrounding countryside. The guestbook in the cottage is full of recommended places to visit, which even us as owners find really useful, especially the hidden away pubs which we have not previously visited. This month we plan to make a few alterations to the cottage, painting the bathroom, changing the taps and upgrading the curtains and cushions in the cosy lounge.
Happy New Year to all our past and future guests at Roman Cottage. Both Lisa and myself had a quiet new year suffering from heavy colds. We took the opportunity to plan our 20 year wedding anniversary break in August by searching holiday cottages in the St Ives area of Cornwall. It was interesting to view other holiday cottage owners websites, which also provided us with ideas on how we can tweak our website and further improve the facilities which we offer. We have booked a lovely little cottage in the heart of St Ives for our break and we look forward to returning to this area where we spent our honeymoon back in 2000. Clearly we are not alone in securing accomodation for that special occasion, as we have been busy fielding potential guest messages who are also looking to book there stay at Roman cottage.
The Armistice day celebration in Colerne, where the local community come together to remember and say thank you was impeccably observed and organised.
During November Colerne received its first blast of winter with a slight dusting of snow which was a pleasant surprise to all, which thankfully didn't cause any disruption to the roads.
We now enter the Christmas period, which is a fantastic time to stay at Roman Cottage, with plenty of festive markets to visit, with the largest being in Bath and cosy nights in front of the log burner. We would to say thank you to all our guests who have stayed at Roman Cottage during 2019. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New year to you all. Rich & Lisa
It is always interesting to read the reviews written within our guest book. From places recommended to visit to suggestions on restaurants and pubs to frequent, what stands out most is how much our guests love the location and of course the character and charm which Roman cottage offers. The winter period allows our guests to have the best of both worlds. The lovely open countryside, close access to charming places to visit and those cosy evenings in front of the log burner.
Guest visiting Roman Cottage during October are encouraged to spend a few hours exploring the Wiltshire Market town of Corsham where peacocks roam freely and the high street was used as a backdrop for the BBC series Poldark. During October from the 5th - 13th in Corsham there is a peacock arts trail and a brochure will be held with in the cottage and details are held online https://peacockartstrail.co.uk The annual chimney sweep at the cottage has been completed, ready for guests to use the log burner from November.
Whether you book Roman Cottage for a birthday, anniversary, wedding accommodation or just for an escape, our guests continue to provide positive reviews, which we are extremely grateful to receive. The Wisteria that has been a feature on the outside of the cottage for many years is sadly in poor health, despite the best efforts of Erica and Peter (our lovely neighbours). We are considering alternative options to ensure that Roman Cottage retains its charm. Our attention now turns to the colder months ahead, the annual chimney sweep has booked for the middle of September and our log supply has already been delivered
Well the weather in the west country this summer has once again been absolutely fantastic, perfect for countryside walks, visiting the many local tourist attractions or attending weddings at the Lost Orangery or Lucknam Park.After an exceptionally busy July, we only have a few midweek dates available for August, so would advise booking early to secure your stay. A special mention to our housekeeper Nannette, who has been with us since the start and has worked tirelessly to ensure that Roman cottage is looking its best for each booking. As for both Lisa and myself, we take pride in owning Roman cottage and have a few exciting ideas on how we can further improve our guest experience in the future.
The filming for the sky one series Agatha Raisin continues in Colerne with the bollards situated outside some of the characterful country cottages in and around the market place, I have offered the use of Roman Cottage as a film location. Watch this space.I have been busy giving the patio furniture a fresh colour with 'willow' the chosen colour. A special mention to our neighbours 'Erica and Peter', who continue to look after the patio flowers pots and hanging basket for us.
We continue to review the facilities offered within Roman Cottage and have now enhanced the broadband connection to fiber. The signal covers the whole of the cottage and is powerful enough for you to use your Netflix account within the SMART TV wihout buffering. The Bath Christmas market dates for 2019 have been released. This popular event runs from 28th November to 15th December and if you have not previously experienced the magic of this event, then it is something which both Lisa and myself would highly recommend.
Roman Cottage has made the front cover of the local Colerne parish council magazine for May. The Wiseria this year has disappointingly not flowered, which has been repeated by the neighbouring properties. It has been suggested that the long hot summer of 2018 was the contributing factor, however the Wisteria plant remains in good health and we keep everything crossed for a full flowering bloom in 2020.
A hive of activity in the village of Colerne, where episodes for Sky One's Agatha Raisin's series 3 were being filmed. If you have watched the previous series the recoding locations include Colerne, the surrounding villages and Bristol. The cottage is proving popular for guests attending the local wedding venues at The lost orangery (Euridge Manor) and Lucknam Par, so please book early to secure your stay over the weekend period.
As the warmer weather approaches we have brightened up the patio with the pots full of colourful pansies. The Wisteria buds are just starting to show which will bring colour and fragrance during May.
During February we decided to remove the old water tank from the loft area of the cottage and whilst carrying our this work we uncovered the old roof trusses which we made out of thick tree branches. With the tree branches in perfect condition we have kept them as this maintains the charm and character of Roman Cottage. We continue to receive guest bookings from across the world and during March we welcome a couple from Arizona in the USA.
The first snow of 2019 has arrived in Colerne dramatically changing the appearance of the surrounding Cotwolds countryside. The snow continued to fall for over 24 hours with a covering of more than 6 inches. A perfect time to book your stay. This month will see our annual pruning of the Wisteria which overhangs the frontage of the cottage. The wisteria will be in full bloom during May and at the time of writing this blog we still have availability for you to observe this fabulous sight.
Welcome 2019 and a very happy New Year to all. During 2018 we welcomed guests from Australia, Canada, France, South Africa, Scotland, Wales and the UK and we look forward to welcoming guests from other country's this year. We are proud to own Roman Cottage and are pleased to offer this accommodation to our guests to enjoy for their special occasion or break. Cottage life in Colerne during the winter months is the perfect place to relax, take yourself for a country walk enjoying the breathtaking views, day trips to Bath, Castle Combe and Lacock are a must, walk to one of the two village pubs (or visit both) and end your day relaxing in front of the wood burning stove. Happy New Year - Rich & Lisa
Firstly, we would like to wish all our past and future guests a very Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year. Roman Cottage has now been decorated for the festive period along with a good supply of logs for the wood burner to make those winter evenings extra cosy. By day there are so many local attractions to visit, the Bath Christmas markets are well worth a visit and are extremely popular, you have Lacock and we would recommend spending time exploring the festivities of Whitehall garden centre, the village of Castle Combe is just gorgeous or just take yourself off for a country walk around the surrounding villages of Colerne. What ever you decide, Roman Cottage is the perfect base to explore or relax.
With the clocks falling back an hour and the autumnal feeling well and truly here, the log burner at Roman Cottage comes into its own.We have already witnessed our first frost and there was even snow flakes in the air yesterday morning (30th October). The heat generated from the log burner can literally act as the main source of warmth for the cottage (cottage also has a modern full gas central heating system). We do supply a small supply of logs for all our guests from November - March, along with fire lighters and matches. Many of our guests have commented on how they settle down for the evening, sat in front of the log burner whilst having a glass of their favourite bottle of wine. Lovely! The Bath Christmas markets begin on the 22nd November and run through to the 9th December. If you don't mind large crowds, we recommend all our guests experience this event. Our new photos of the cottage have now been uploaded to the website and special thanks must go to Lyn and Pete for all their support with this.
The feedback we receive from our guests is most useful to understand why they selected Roman Cottage for their break, the places they visited and also the facilities which we offer. With two large wedding venues nearby (Lucknam Park and Euridge Manor) it is not surprising that Roman Cottage has been used as wedding accommodation. We have also welcomed guests who have been looking for a peaceful break in the countryside but close enough to Bath for sightseeing, shopping, theatre shows and for watching Bath Rugby. Guests have also commented that our existing photos do not show the character of the cottage to its full potential. We have acted on this feedback and have taken new, sharper images of the cottage and these will be uploaded to the website shortly.
Another busy busy month for Roman Cottage, both in terms of the number of guests which we have welcomed and the improvements which we have undertaken. The front patio area was totally renovated with a brand new bath stone base with smart slabs. During these works we discovered that the main drain for the cottage was buried under 6 inches of thick concrete beneath the old patio. Thankfully we have now reinstated the drain to a convenient level just in case we need future access.
Whilst many modern properties have become unbearably hot during this extended period of extreme temperatures, the thick cotswold stone walls of Roman cottage has provided a welcome relief for our guests, providing a pleasant cooler environment.
The cottage improvements continue this month with the upgrading of the front patio area. A new patio base will be installed along with new slabs.
It does seem strange that whilst this hot weather continues we are already planning for the Autumn and Winter period for the cottage. The annual chimney sweep has been booked, the logs for the burner have been sourced and the thought process of how to decorate the cottage for the Christmas period has commenced.
The exceptional summer weather during June provided all our guests with the wonderful opportunity to explore the many local areas of interest and take in the many countryside walks directly from the Cottage. As we have recorded on our welcome page, we are community shareholders in our local village pub 'The Packhorse' in Southstoke in Bath. This was the largest community buy-back project ever recorded in the UK and the grade 2 listed building is now open from 9.30am daily after being sensitively restored and has an exceptional garden area. I would strongly recommend a visit to the Packhorse if you're in the area. For more details click on this link. https://packhorsebath.co.uk/our-story/save-packhorse-story/ .
We take great pride in offering all our guests with a memorable, relaxing and enjoyable stay at Roman Cottage. The feedback we have received has been extremely positive with regards both the appearance and facilities which we offer. The village of Colerne has also received positive reviews, the character of the stone built cottages, the historical church of St John the Baptist and the friendly villagers. There are two local village pubs, both within a few minutes walk of the cottage (Fox and Hounds and Six Bells) have been recommended for both food/drink and atmosphere. During this month we welcome guests from Australia looking to sample a quintessential english village.
Our Guests in May have timed their stay to perfection. The Wisteria which hangs from the frontage of Roman Cottage is now coming into full bloom. With the warmer weather, open the bedroom window to let the Wisteria fragrance flow through the cottage.
We continue to receive booking enquiries from all around the globe which is a testament to the fantastic places which you can visit during your stay. You have the georgian city of Bath, Castle Combe and Lacock just a short drive away. There are also many National Trust properties to visit, alternatively there are miles and miles of open countryside for you to explore.
The cottage received its annual MOT from British Gas with the annual combination boiler service and gas safety checks successfully being undertaken. As owners of Roman Cottage we take immense pride in providing the best holiday / short break experience for our guests. Certainly the feedback we have received from our guests recognises our efforts to not only maintain the original features but to improve upon the facilities that the cottage offers. We have replaced the existing kitchen pictures with new signs which promote our tea and coffee making facilities. We have also improved the safety on the staircase with the installation of a wooden handrail.
The wintry weather caused by a combination of the Beast from the East and storm Emma brought heavy snow to the West of England on Thursday 1st March. Colerne was transformed into a white picture perfect wintry scene and was cut off from the surrounding villages for 48 hours. There were drifts of snow of up to 5 feet. Fortunately the snow disappeared as quickly as it arrived. We look forward to welcoming our first overseas guests (Australia) this month, who booked directly through our website.
Its been a busy start to February, with a steady flow of bookings from guests wanting to have a relaxing winter break and to enjoy the warmth from the log burner. It is also an important month to prune back the Wisteria which overhangs the frontage of Roman Cottage. The Wisteria spreads across all three cottages and will be in full bloom from early May into June. This is a magnificent sight and well worth booking your stay during this time.
Through guest feedback we have added a small bedroom television which we have positioned on the wall opposite the king size bed, a DVD player and additional coat hooks just inside the front door.
Our first Christmas as the proud owners of Roman Cottage. We have selected decorations that match the unique character of the cottage. Locally sourced logs have been stacked into the Inglenook fireplace ready for our guess to enjoy. A wooden towel ladder, which we purchased from the local auction house in Bath, is now positioned in the bedroom.
We would like to wish all our existing and future guests a happy christmas and prosperous new year. Rich & Lisa
Important maintenance works have been undertaken during this month at the cottage. The cottage was suffering from rising damp in both the lounge and kitchen areas. We have acted quickly to undertake a full tanking programme to rectify this issue and to protect the cottage. The works involved the removal of the existing wall plaster, which as you would expect was both messy and very dusty. We also took the opportunity to add additional extractor fans to both the kitchen and bathroom. All works were successfully completed within 4 weeks and the cottage is now back open and available for you to book,
New windows have been installed throughout the cottage. We have selected window frames which allows the maximum amount of light into the cottage and have included monkey tail hinges to maintain the character.
We have taken the major decision to self manage the cottage instead of using a holiday agent. This will allow us to provide our guests with a more personal service. I have designed the website (so all feedback will be greatly appreciated) to promote the cottage which also includes the additional benefit of instant online bookings to make the payment process seamless and straightforward. We have purchased wooden furniture to the small patio area at the front of Roman Cottage for our guests to enjoy an early morning cuppa or early evening glass of wine.