Review: Well Furlong Cottage and a look at the unique new luxury Shepherd’s Retreat coming soon to the Cotswolds!

Well Furlong Cottage – a boutique Cotswolds retreat the whole family can enjoy, whatever the weather!

It’s no surprise that staycations continue to boom in Britain this year, especially with so much uncertainty around international travel at the moment. Having the freedom and flexibility to pack everything in the car and forgo any complicated COVID testing requirements is a total no brainer! What’s more, with remote working now becoming more of a reality for many of us, there’s never been a better time to try out a working holiday!

In fact, when Pollyanne, leading lady behind Boutique Luxury Retreats, got in touch about staying at Well Furlong Cottage, I had the perfect opportunity to try out a little ‘workation’ of my own. I couldn’t say no to the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Cotswolds around my usual working hours, or ignore the call of a pool and steam room to wind down in after work!

As well as being a great base for a working retreat, Well Furlong has plenty to offer for the whole family too, so read on to find out more about everything there is to enjoy about a stay at Well Furlong, as well as a very exciting new addition opening up for bookings this summer!

Disclaimer: Although I stayed at the property for a PR trip, all opinions expressed in this blog are 100% my own.

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Where in the Cotswolds is Well Furlong cottage?

You can find Well Furlong Cottage in the idyllic village of Little Comberton, which sits at the northern tip of the Cotswold Area of Natural Beauty (AONB).

Set in a remote and secluded countryside estate, Well Furlong Cottage has plenty of green space to explore right on the doorstep, or you could venture to nearby Bredon Hill or Elmley Castle to take in the stunning scenery. The market town of Pershore is also close by if you’re looking for a greater variety of shops and restaurants to explore.

A little more about Boutique Luxury Retreats

Boutique Luxury Retreats is a small collection of luxury cottages, lovingly curated and cared for by hosts Pollyanne, Giles (and occasionally their lovely children too!). The boutique cottage accommodation consists of Well Furlong, a luxury cottage that sleeps up to 6 people comfortably, and the soon to open Shepherd’s Retreat – which you’ll see some progress pictures of a little later on!

Pollyanne and Giles have put a huge focus on creating a holiday destination that they would want to stay in themselves with their family. They’ve focussed on creating a space that feels luxurious, comfortable and relaxing, but at the same time is totally functional for the whole family.

Fantastic hosts who make you feel right at home

One of my favourite things about staying with independent accommodation providers is that you get a much more personal and memorable experience. From the moment I arrived at the cottage (clearly looking slightly lost at the roadside – but thankfully Giles was there to direct me!) I was made to feel right at home.

One of the great things about staying at Well Furlong is that the hosts are just next door, should you need any help with anything. When I arrived, Giles gave me a full tour of the cottage as well as the pool and spa facilities, and explained how everything worked which was especially welcome beings as I was staying on my own for this trip.

Another lovely touch was the HUGE and very delicious cream tea that Pollyanne brought over once I’d settled in too. That bottle that’s also on the tray is homemade mulberry gin, made by the family from the mulberries growing on site – it’s delicious and will absolutely blow your socks off – enjoy with caution! 

Inside Well Furlong Cottage – the full luxury cottage tour!

Whilst I was staying at Well Furlong Cottage alone for a bit of a working holiday, the cottage is perfectly set up and equipped for 6 people to share comfortably. So, lets take a closer look at the facilities available at this boutique Costwold escape.

The kitchen and dining room

There’s something about the kitchen for me that always feels like the heart of a home. It’s where everyone comes together at the end of a long day to share stories, adventures, emotions and of course good food.

As homes-away-from-home go, the kitchen inside Well Furlong Cottage certainly felt like the perfect place to share a hearty home cooked meal (even if it was just me here on this occasion!). The kitchen is fully equipped with all the appliances, coookware and utensils you could possibly need to make those family favourites on a cosy night in. There was also an additional fridge-freezer in the hallway, along with clothes washing and drying facilities – perfect for cleaning up after those muddy walks in the less-than-perfect weather we’ve been having this year!

I often find myself getting restaurant-fatigue when I’m away for more than a couple of days, so having a fully functional kitchen is a huge bonus for me. It also came in really handy to be able to rustle up a quick lunch whilst I was working. Having a dishwasher means there’s no worrying about washing up after either!

The lounge area

True to their vision, Pollyanne and Giles have created a cosy space that combines comfort, style and function seamlessly in the lounge area of the cottage. There’s plenty of sofa space for everyone to gather around for a family movie or games night (perfect on a rainy evening), and the TV links up to all of the popular streaming services.

Just behind a coded door that connects Well Furlong Cottage to the main house, there is also a little library area filled with books, movies and games that guests are kindly allowed to borrow.

I set up camp in this room with my laptop for and afternoon whilst I was at work and found that the huge beanbag on the floor was the perfect work from home spot.

The bedrooms

I’m not overstating it when I say that the master bedroom inside Well Furlong Cottage is absolutely stunning! The gorgeous floor to ceiling window at the end of the room floods the room with sunshine, perfectly complementing the light, airy but still luxurious decor.

That huge window offers a breath-taking view over the grounds of Well Furlong too. I spotted pheasants, horses, rabbits and even a hedgehog whilst sitting at the desk during the day! I can’t fault the bed for comfort either – I had a great nights’ sleep and woke up feeling relaxed and refreshed!

The other bedrooms are also light and airy, comfy double rooms, and if you’d prefer a twin bed set up in one of the rooms this is something that can be arranged for you too, ahead of your stay. 

Each bedroom features an ensuite bathroom with a bath, so there are no arguments about people taking too long in the bathroom here!

The bathrooms

One of my favourite simple pleasures in life is a good hot bath! As a result I’m a bit of a critic when it comes to rating baths when I’m away haha! Although I didn’t try out all three baths in the cottage (there are only so many baths you can fit into two days after all) the bath in the master ensuite came out as a solid 10/10 for me!

There are heated floors throughout Well Furlong cottage, ensuring that guests are warm and toasty all year round. This is especially welcome when gracing the bathroom tiles first thing in the morning. The bath is larger than the average tub, which is a luxury for tall folk such as myself. The hot water flowed plentifully too, and combined with the sumptuous surroundings, I felt like I was able to enjoy a bit of an at-home spa experience.

The pool and spa area

One of the best unique features about staying at Well Furlong Cottage is that you have access to some fantastic leisure facilities during your stay.

The indoor pool, jacuzzi and steam room are shared with the owners of Well Furlong, Giles, Pollyanne and their children, but you are more than welcome to enjoy them at your leisure during your stay. When the weather took a turn for the worst it was great to be able to have some indoor leisure facilities to enjoy. My top tip would be to set the steam room to heat when you get to the pool, then you can enjoy a swim for half an hour or so whilst the steam room reaches the perfect temperature.

Using the pool facilities was fairly straightforward, but it was reassuring to know that Pollyanne and Giles were just a message away to help out if I needed it!

There is also a tennis court just outside the pool area that guests can use. This is a great place for kids to burn off some energy on a sunny day, or even to hone your own tennis skills!

The garden and the great outdoors!

Being an early-bird, I like to get up first thing and start my day with a morning walk. It’s a great way to clear your mind and prepare for the day ahead, and a nice mindful moment to enjoy your surroundings whilst everyone else is still in bed.

With that in mind, I was in my absolute element when I slipped into my trainers and ventured out for a walk around the grounds of Well Furlong Cottage and the nearby village of Little Comberton.

Pollyanne and Giles have created a beautiful landscape around their property, with gorgeous flowers, lawns and topiary. The gorgeous wisteria climbing up the side of their home is simply stunning too! If you’re visiting with little ones they’ll have plenty of space to run around and do a bit of nature spotting. I saw lots of wild rabbits and other woodland critters whilst I was wondering out and about, so you could definitely set up your own nature trail here to fill an afternoon!

Adjacent to the property there are some very friendly sheep too. You can follow a public footpath through the field (just remember to keep the gate closed behind you!) and you might find that they come and say hello.

The local Church is only a short walk away too and is very picturesque, as is the rest of Little Comberton. If like me, you enjoy nosing at cute cottages you’ll enjoy a walk through the village.

Clocking on: Working remotely from a luxury cottage

As much as I would have loved to spend my time at Well Furlong exploring the Cotswolds and making full use of the leisure facilities, I’m painfully short on annual leave from work at the moment. Thankfully though, I’m lucky enough to be able to work remotely, so this trip was the perfect opportunity to see just what it’s like to take a working holiday or ‘workation’.

Remote working facilities at Well Furlong Cottage

The facilities at the cottage were excellent for a remote working setup. The wifi is probaably faster than what I have at home, and as I’ve already mentioned, the huge glass desk comes with the most stunning view over the nearby countryside.

All the other home comforts are there too, such as ready access to your own kitchen (complete with coffee machine – very important!), bluetooth speakers so you can listen to your favourite music whilst you work, and plenty of power outlets for any tech you might need.

Usually, on the days that I work from home, I also share the house with my husband who also works from home currently, so it was nice to have a bit of solitude and my own little retreat where I could focus on work and get through some tasks. I found that I was actually really productive, despite being on a ‘staycation’, and having a relaxing atmosphere and surroundings made my couple of days working from Well Furlong Cottage rather enjoyable!

Clocking off: Things to see and do at Well Furlong cottage and nearby

As soon as I finished work for the day on the day I arrived at Well Furlong Cottage, I knew 100% that I wanted to head straight for the pool and steam room for some relaxation and wind-down time. The experience left me feeling so refreshed that it’s now my goal in life to have my own spa so that I can end every day at work with this level of relaxation!

A walk around the gorgeous gardens at lunchtime or at the end of the day is definitely soothing for the soul too. The more I think about it, the more perfect the word ‘retreat’ becomes to describe Well Furlong Cottage.

Pilates by the pool

During my stay, Pollyanne was kind enough to invite me to join her Pilates class which I joined in on my lunch break. It was a great way to spend lunchtime, trying something new (for me anyway – I’m a total Pilates newbie) and doing something active and social.

I felt so welcomed and thoroughly enjoyed the class. Pollyanne was even kind enough to get some photos of me looking vaguely coordinated!

Broadway Tower in the Costwolds

Cotswolds attractions nearby

If you’re lucky enough to be visiting for longer than a couple of days around work, there are plenty of stunning places to visit just a short walk, bike ride or drive away in the Cotswolds AONB.

Nearby towns and villages

Local attractions

Find more day trip ideas for the Cotswolds in my recent blog post.

Opening in summer 2021 – The brand new luxury Shephard’s Retreat

Now for the exciting news! From July 2021 you’ll be able to stay in the brand new Shepherd’s Retreat at Well Furlong.

Meticulously thought out to ensure the same fantastic standard or luxury, comfort and practicality, the brand new Shephard’s Retreat will join Boutique Luxury Retreat’s collection of unique staycation properties.

Whilst glamping in a Shephard’s Hut may not be a totally new concept, the Shephard’s Retreat at Well Furlong will be fairly unique in it’s design, bringing together two large shepherd’s huts to form an ‘L’ shaped space that will soon be one of the largest and most luxurious shepherd’s huts in the UK.

How many people can stay at the Shephard’s Retreat?

The Shepherd’s Retreat will sleep up to four, making it perfect for a romantic getaway to the Costwolds, or the ideal base for small families or groups.

As the Shepherd’s Retreat is located onsite at Well Furlong you could also book the cottage to accommodate a larger group!

What facilities will be inside the Shephard’s Hut?

Don’t be fooled by your traditional idea of a Shepherd’s Hut – the Shepherd’s Retreat is going to be anything but basic!

Facilities at the Shepherd’s Retreat will include:

  • A large open plan kitchen and dining area
  • A large bedroom and bathroom with a walk in shower
  • A double bunk room
  • Jaccuzi
  • Firepit
  • BBQ
  • Outdoor seating and furniture

And you can also make use of the existing pool, tennis court and spa facilities at Well Furlong, as well as the acres of stunning countryside surrounding it all!

How can I book a staycation at the Shephard’s Retreat?

2022 UPDATE: The Shepherd’s Retreat is now fully completed and open for bookings!

The best way to book the Shepherd’s Retreat is directly through Boutique Luxury Retreats. You can check availability, pricing an book online here.

Boutique Luxury Retreats – final thoughts

Relaxing at Well Furlong Cottage

It’s going to come as no surprise to you all that I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Well Furlong Cottage.

I was blown away by the standard of the accommodation, and actually felt a little bad that I wasn’t able to share it with anyone whilst I was there (how dare people have jobs and appointments to go to haha!). My stay was everything I’d hoped it would be; welcoming, relaxing and memorable, and I would go back in a heartbeat!

This trip has also proven to me that it’s totally possible to combine work and travel, having great surroundings for work time and plenty to see and do in free time. I would absolutely recommend a workation to anyone who can do so!

Be sure to visit Boutique Luxury Retreats’ website for full details of all of their luxury cottage accommodation options, and to book your stay.

You can follow them on social media to see all the exciting updates on the build of the brand new Shepherd’s Retreat too!

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