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COUNTRY RETREAT

We made a leap of faith 18 years ago, when we moved to THH.  We decided we needed more space – space outside to give our young family the opportunity of playing outdoors, and space for us to expand our business.  So we left Tetbury, and moved a few miles up the road, leaving behind neighbours, a garden we could mow in an hour and the ability to walk to playgroup and all the shops.  Our new home was more remote; it takes a whole day to mow the entire site, and although when the children were little, Kemble shop was a whole afternoon’s walk away to get an ice cream, it’s now close enough for a pint of milk and the paper and the kids seem to find the pubs even closer!! 

Thames Head House, unsurprisingly, is named because the source of The River Thames is close by.  Originally the source had a statue of Old Father Thames from Crystal Palace in London, but sadly it became badly vandalised and was moved to St John’s Lock at Lechlade and was replaced by a rather uninspiring stone plaque.  ​

The site also has another point of  historical interest due to the site being part of the Thames & Severn Canal and housed a pumping station. We can still see the many remains, including the bridge under the road to the Wharf cottages; a turning circle, the tow path along the right side of our driveway and most significantly, the 64ft well which was used as a supply of water to the canal.  At first a windmill pump was used, followed by a Boulton and Watt engine in 1792, followed in 1854 by a Cornish mining engine until the canal’s final days in 1912.  The engine and pump were finally scraped in 1941 as part of the war effort and finally in 1969 the engineman’s house was rebuilt into a family home.

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On our arrival, we requisitioned the Stables into offices but in 2016 we transformed it into an open plan studio with Super King bed, sofa bed, kitchen and shower room and haven’t looked back!  We love giving guests the opportunity to totally relax and the Japanese Wood Fired Hot Tub has been a popular addition.   With plenty of space, and our own children leaving home, we decided to add two Lotus Belle Tents in the paddock.  Situated on hard bases, and with a wooden compost loo and shower and a Mess Tent, we were able to extend our welcome to those who wanted to do some comfortable camping.  We are tinkering with the camping side of things every year and have now replaced one of the tents with the most gorgeous, bijoux Shepherds Hut, lovingly built over the years by our friend Bob – hence we have named it ‘Bob’!!  Bob also has a Japanese Wood Fired Hot Tub and is great for star gazing from!  

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Although our long ‘canal’ drive takes us off the main road by some distance, and ensure our privacy, we do have easy access to explore the Cotswolds, or go further afield too – taking about an hour to Oxford, Bath, Bristol, Worcester, Malvern.  We have also become popular with London guests who discover us due to our proximity to Kemble Station, where they can stop for a pint on their arrival at The Tavern Pub, and then either walk across the fields to us, or take a 5 minute taxi ride. And our local is The Thames Head Inn which is a 20 minute walk, across the fields!!
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