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Cotteswere | Luxury Self-Catering Cottage | Barford St John, Cotswolds


Barford St John, Oxfordshire, The Cotswolds, UK

Holiday between rolling hills and ambrosial countryside at this listed luxury cottage tucked away in the pretty Oxfordshire village of Barford St John. Owned by artists whose contemporary works grace the walls, Cotteswere pairs traditional Cotswolds style with theatrical flourishes. Once believed to serve as stables to the nearby manor, this humble barn conversion and its serene location creates the perfect family hideaway.


The warm, treacle-toned Hornton stone exterior of this classic 18th century cottage makes an inviting sight whatever the weather. Idyllically set in the picturesque Oxfordshire village of Barford St John, flit between the opulent interiors and great outdoors as much or as little as you please. Meander along the banks of the River Swere on foot and explore the delights of chocolate-box Cotswolds villages nearby, all before returning to your luxurious bolthole for a home-cooked supper and snooze by the fire.


Inside Cotteswere, come-hither sofas and flamboyant fabrics provide a cosy setting from which to observe the captivating valley and sweeping meadows vistas outside. Find your favourite pew, whether it be the sitting room with luxury Damask sofas, the darling window seats or around the attractive kitchen’s dining table, and lose yourself to easy conversation. The mood at this luxury self-catering bolthole is rejuvenating; the perfect retreat in which to ease shoulders and broaden smiles. A king-size double and super king zip-and-link offer a place for up to four guests to sleep.


Cotteswere sits within private, verdant gardens flaunting magnificent views of the valley. Swing open the French-doors, throw down a blanket and indulge in the picturesque scenes out towards the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The grassy lawn is ideal for letting little ones and four-legged companions run around while the grown-ups relax with a bottle of wine and a crossword. Want to dive into the local culture? Try your hand at a pottery workshop in Whichford, taste award-winning gin at the Cotswolds Distillery and take a tour of moated manor Broughton Castle. 

The Facts

  • SleepsUp to 4 guests
    From £995 per week, £795 per short break
  • Alternative group optionUp to 2 guests
  • Bedrooms and bathroomsThe ground floor bedroom is accessed via four steps and has a king-size bed and en suite shower room, while the first floor bedroom features a zip-and-link bed which can be arranged as either a king-size double or a twin. On the ground floor is the family bathroom with clawfoot bath.
  • PetsTwo well-behaved dogs are welcome
    Each pet is charged at £60 per week or part thereof
  • Arrivals and departuresArrival Day: Monday or FridayArrival Time: 4pmDeparture Time: 10amTimes may vary due to Covid-19 requirements, please refer to your booking.
  • FamilyBabes-in-arms and children over the age of 12 are very welcome. One cot and one highchair are available
  • PracticalitiesCotteswere has a shared drive and gated parking for two cars. The kitchen has an electric Everhot range cooker, dishwasher, fridge-freezer, double Belfast sink, microwave, Nespresso coffee machine and washing machine. There is no tumble dryer. The gardener will visit on changeover day and will not disturb your stay.
  • Homestay includesLuxury welcome hamper with a bottle of sparkling wine, Smart TV, Bluetooth sound bar, Bluetooth radio, iPad, WiFi internet, charcoal barbecue, picnic box with crockery, linen, towels, logs and kindling to get you started with an honesty box system in place for moreHouse book - your property and destination guideDiscover more little luxuries
  • Other informationProperty terms and conditionsFrequently asked questionsCheck mobile signalRecommend to a friend

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Prices & Availability

Barford St John

One foot in Oxfordshire, one in the heavenly Cotswolds, this tiny village is well placed for those who love picking through picturesque hamlets, rambling through meadows, or simply sitting fireside in a posh local pub with a pint of ale.

View on maps

Barford St John

Getting there

  • On the Map Cotteswere is located in the village of Barford St. John, about five miles south of Banbury and two miles south of Bloxham in Oxford.
  • By Car Cotteswere is two hours from London by car.
  • By Train The nearest stations are Banbury, Kings Sutton and Heyford. All stations have regular train journeys of roughly one hour and forty minutes to London.
  • By Air Bristol airport is two hours by car, whilst Heathrow is an hour and fifteen minutes' away.

From the owner

“I love the fact that Cotteswere is so hidden and tucked away in the Swere Valley. Our favourite moments are gazing over the ha-ha at the end of the garden and watching the playful horses in the fields.”

From the owner

We chanced upon this beautiful Grade-II listed barn conversion purely by accident. It is so hidden and tucked away, not even some of the locals know of its existence!

Cotteswere was first built in 1700 for the manor farm, which is still running as a working farm and livery stable. The warm Hornton stone is divided by regular windows, hinting at the property's previous life as a stable. We aimed to keep the facade as traditional as possible and the exterior of this bucolic hideaway contrasts with the generous rich interior, featuring exposed vaulted truss ceilings.

The magnificent views of the Swere Valley over the ha-ha at the end of the garden are particularly striking and are one of the reasons we were so taken with the house. The area has a wealth of activities on the doorstep and the house is a welcoming retreat to enjoy, whatever the weather. We hope you cherish it as much as we do.

The Ryder Family

Owner recommendations

Live like a local, discovering the best hidden gem restaurants, walks and attractions during your holiday in Barford St John with an insider’s perspective.

The Yurt (at Nicholsons), North Aston
To Eat

The Yurt (at Nicholsons), North Aston

The Yurt at Nicholsons serves simple yet surprising delights under canvas. Sourcing fresh, local and organic ingredients, diners can tuck into high quality breakfasts and light lunches bursting with flavour.

Broughton Castle
To See

Broughton Castle

Broughton Castle is a privately owned moated and fortified manor house. The house and gardens were selected by Simon Jenkins as one of only twenty to be awarded five stars in his book England’s Thousand Best Houses.

Cotswolds Distillery
To Do

Cotswolds Distillery

The Cotswolds Distillery´s Dry Gin was voted ´the best London dry gin´ in the world - reason alone to pay them a visit! Book yourself a tour or pop along to their shop and pick up a tipple or two to enjoy at your home from home.

Tour of Whichford Pottery
To Do

Tour of Whichford Pottery

Founded in 1976 by Jim and Dominique Keeling, Whichford Pottery is a family-run business with a world-wide reputation for quality and design. Meet the pot makers in the workshops and round off your day with coffee in their cafe.

Guest Testimonials

Thank you for such a wonderful stay in your beautiful cottage. Everything, from the tasteful and interesting decor, to the doggie treats for our black lab, was so appreciated. It really was perfect, and we had a wonderful time exploring the area during the day, and enjoying cosy relaxed evenings in the cottage - we both agree that Cotteswere is definitely one of our favourite places! The sunrises and sunsets are spectacular on clear days, and so peaceful. We really hope to return again one day!

A beautiful cottage which far exceeded our expectations. Many thanks for the various Christmas decorations and treats - we had a lovely relaxing week and even managed breakfast on the terrace on a couple of sunny days!

We cannot thank you enough for making our stay so comfortable and special. We are absolutely in love with this place and it has felt like home. We have appreciated every detail from the flowers, essentials and luxury touches to the setting and endless supply of logs. Thank you.

Cotteswere is in a perfect location from which to explore the Cotswolds. Very well presented property, in a beautiful location within easy reach of beautiful Cotswold villages!

We have had a wonderful time in this gorgeous cottage. The Cotswolds are so beautiful and we have loved exploring from such a fabulous base. We have very much enjoyed the fire on the cold days. Thank you to Unique Homestays. We have used your properties five times now over the years and they have always been amazing. Happy new year!

We had a wonderful stay at this cottage, it could not have been better. We thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, especially the lovely walks and the beauty of the landscape. Thank you very much for everything.

A stunning cottage with beautiful decor, artwork and interesting objects. The cosy furnishings and the log burner were perfect for evenings in. The cottage is very well equipped. We would love to return next year.

This place is absolutely gorgeous! We wish we could take it back home with us. The cottage is exceptionally clean and well equipped, it has everything you could need for a relaxing weekend in the Cotswolds. Cotteswere has been the perfect accompaniment to the beautiful backdrop that is the English countryside. We will most certainly be returning.

Wow, when can we move in permanently? We always book via Unique Homestays and this certainly sets the standard for the others to beat, and the others were great. The attention to detail at Cotteswere is exceptional. We are already planning to return next year. Thank you for an amazing stay.

Thanks for a wonderful stay at Cotteswere. The goodies and flowers were a lovely touch. We have explored the area, which the cottage has been a great base for. Lilly and Mabel have enjoyed watching the horses every evening while we have enjoyed the lovely weather, eating al fresco! We have visited lots of National Trust sites in the area and have the picturesque village of Bourton-on-the-Water, quintessentially Cotswold. Lovells Vineyard is not too far away and offers a fantastic tour. All in all, a wonderful, relaxing week. Thank you so much.

We have had a glorious week here. The cottage is a haven of luxurious peace and tranquillity. Our dog has appreciated going for walks around the remains of the old castle in Deddington. Thanks for a super week!

Such a beautifully appointed cottage. Thank you for all of your special touches. Very generous goodies awaited us in the fridge and lovely flowers and candles. We had such a busy time of sightseeing National Trust properties, Cotswold towns, and open gardens. A great few evenings were spent at the local pub! What a fabulous week with beautiful memories made. Thank you

Absolute bliss. Cotteswere was perfect and beyond what we imagined it would be. Thank you so much for having us to stay in your beautiful cottage, we can´t wait to return.

What a fantastic, tasteful cottage. It has been so relaxing and is surrounded with wonderful scenery. Thanks so much for all the goodies! Many trips out to lovely pubs, visits to Burford didn’t disappoint and the sun shone for a while! We have already booked for a return visit in September, can’t wait!

The cottage was very comfortable and spacious, decorated and equipped to a very high standard. The owner´s personal touches such as the welcome pack, art work were some of the best we´ve ever experienced.

Thank you so much for creating such a fantastic place to stay. It was a perfectly relaxing babymoon for us. A mix of walks, village visits and cosy nights in, all the better for having our Dachshund ´Gatsby´ with us, his first holiday! Special thanks for my mummy-to-be gift, how very thoughtful and kind. There is no doubt we will be back.

A beautiful cottage made so welcoming by the owner, with beatiful walks on the doorstep. The hard work and finishing touches are much appreciated, they have made our week all the more relaxing and a real escape! What a glorious part of the country. We loved Deddington (Eagles Deli), Chipping Norton (Jaffe Meale Bookshop), Hook Norton Brewery and Cotswolds Distillery, Stow on the Wold which are all definitely worth a visit. We´ll definitely be back!

We´ve had a fabulous time spending our wedding anniversary at Cotteswere. The views and cottage are fantastic. A great escape from London. Thank you for the warm welcome and goodies, Hudson thoroughly enjoyed his biscuits. Great recommendation as well for Christmas at Blenheim, well worth the visit. Many thanks one again.

Thank you for a beautiful stay at Cotteswere. Everything in the house was wonderful and it was so delightful to wake up to horses roaming outside. We would thoroughly recommend a visit to Daylesford Organic Farm Shop for some delicious treats to cook on the Aga. We will be back.

Unique extras

Enhance your stay with a unique experience from one of our preferred suppliers. From professional in-house chefs to luxury at-home spa therapists and wine delivered to the door, see what’s on offer for your bespoke escape.


Below are a selection of features in which Unique Homestays has appeared. If you would like to feature the property in an editorial capacity, please contact the marketing team on +44 (0)1637 882014.

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Disclaimer: These particulars, whilst believed to be accurate, are set as a guideline so should not be relied upon as a statement of fact. The photographs show aspects of the property at the time they were taken and it should not be assumed that the property remains precisely as displayed. If there are points of particular importance that need clarifying before you book, please contact us.

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