What do you want from a holiday cottage when you book a break away? Do you want to find every level of comfort within a minimal interior, with nothing to tax your overworked brain? Or do you hope to find character, inspiration, and innovative recycling ideas every which way you turn? Something to challenge your perceptions, and intrique you into investigating each nook and cranny to see what else you can find. This old cart store on Filly Island does just that. But it also has a level of comfort that you would find in a 5* hotel.
The Story Of An Old Cart Store
The cottage was originally built around 1750 as a cart store for the Old Mill. Filly Island (that’s it’s name btw) lies between the River Churn and the original mill stream, close to Cirencester in the pretty Cotswolds. Its history had remained unchanged for many years, but in the early 1900s the mill became an orchard and the cart house became an apple store.
In the 1970s it was converted into a usable dwelling and in May 2014 went on the market. That was on a Friday morning, and by the same Friday afternoon, the current owner had put a note through her neighbours’ door saying she would like to buy the cottage. Her offer was accepted, and she then had to wait for planning permission and the environmental agency to accept her proposals. The wait was worth it. And work started in September and finished in February 2015.
The owner says “For me, the most important thing was to keep Filly Island ensconced in history, so everything in it (where possible) has been hand-crafted, hand-made, up-cycled and recycled: from the wonderful old ball footed bath that was found in a bush (it now sits resplendent in the luxurious bathroom), to the re-enamelled sinks which came from the dump, and more!”
The Old Cart Store Today
The owner’s passion for upcycling and discovering a use for old objects is what makes this holiday cottage so special. Pre-loved finds are repurposed to great effect, from the fire bucket light shades to the curtains made from old Hungarian grain sacks, to the vintage mangle and cartwheel.
From your morning cup of tea to the moment you slip between the sheets, every aspect of Filly Island has been carefully and lovingly considered so your whole day is as comfortable as possible. Look forward to home-cooked meals crafted in the rustically stylish kitchen before taking a seat by the window to dine.
In winter the woodburner merrily crackles away to create a warm, romantic ambience. While you sink into the sofa and unwind as the dogs snooze at your feet (yes it’s dog friendly!). And at the end of the day there can be few things better than a soak in the fire-engine red roll-top bath before heading to the double bedroom. Also sprinkled with luxury touches.
Filly Island sits on a tiny triangular island between a millstream and the river. You can stand on the tip of the ‘island’ to enjoy views upriver to the village beyond, and on summer afternoons you can sit underneath the big sycamore tree. Once the day is done, unwind in the cottage garden of your own tiny island with a welcome G&T.
When you can tear yourself away from this luxury cottage in Cirencester, the pretty Cotswolds scenes outside tempt exploration. Spend afternoons sauntering around picture-postcard villages following honey-coloured streets, before peeling out to uncover the rolling hills which comprise this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Filly Island is available to rent via Unique Home Stays.