Indulge your inner child — and make your children’s dreams come true — with a treehouse staycation at this luxury destination in the Cotswolds
Goodness knows we could do with some magic at the moment — a little alchemy to shake off the pandemic-induced anxiety and stress we’ve all been feeling since last March. Sadly, there are no spells or tricks that will whisk us to a post-pandemic utopia, but we do know a place that can transport you to a more relaxed state. The Fish Hotel is a boutique hotel-cum-retreat set in 400 acres of outstanding natural beauty at the northern edge of the Cotswolds and a stone’s throw from Chipping Campden.
This glorious stretch of forest and field is home to Farncombe Estate, where you’ll find three hotels, Dormy House, Foxhill Manor and The Fish, separated by winding trails, cycle routes and swathes of woodland. Each property is distinct and boasts beautiful rooms and suites, but The Fish also offers a uniquely bewitching staycation — in a treehouse. Yes, that’s right — a house up a tree. You may not have set foot in one for years but a treehouse never loses its fairy-tale appeal, particularly when it’s reimagined as a luxury arboreal retreat. Think double bed, en-suite bathroom, underfloor heating and well-stocked minibar, all accompanied by the childhood thrill of being tucked up in the branches. Other grown-up perks include a coffee maker, comfy sofa and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the deck, an expanse of timber planks hugging a towering oak tree.
These canopy cabins are not just for adults: little ones under the age of 12 are welcome to stay up high with their grown-ups. At the back of the treehouse, a second bedroom with an L-shaped bunkbed allows both bunkmates to see out of the window overlooking the woodland below. It’s a perfect den-within-a-den and no detail has been overlooked, right down to the imagination-stoking Treetops bedding from children’s interiors brand Pea. This is truly the stuff of dreams – both childhood and grown-up.
On the decking, a pair of wooden bathtubs sit side-by-side, waiting to be filled with warm water and a generous glug of foaming Temple Spa bubble bath (also provided). Use the 20-minute fill time to change into the bathrobe and slippers provided, then curl up in the hanging wicker sofa until you’re ready to slide into the steaming water. Now lay back, soaking up the surrounding nature — the sound of birds in the trees, the sight of leaves dancing on branches and the sensation of a gentle breeze on your face.
While the treetop den of your formative years likely offered a vantage over neighbouring gardens, the treehouse at The Fish affords views that are nothing short of spectacular, taking in acres of exquisite woodland that provoke a profound sense of seclusion and peace. Stay sequestered in your treetop hideaway for as long as you like — a hearty Cotswold breakfast will set you up for the day and courteous Fish staff can deliver an extensive range of food, including pizzas and children’s options from the Tiddlers menu, to keep you all going — but you won’t want to miss the main attractions on the ground.
Coming down from these hidden hideaways (there are three — one is dog friendly) involves walking across a rope bridge — there are no conventional corridors here. Once on terra firma, wander past the the delightful shepherd’s huts to explore the magnificent grounds. Children will love playing in the woods — building dens, climbing trees and following nature trails — while adults will adore the tranquillity, open space and opportunity to enjoy an al fresco cocktail from the Lodge bar. It’s next to Hook, a laid-back restaurant serving fresh and sustainable fish and shellfish plus crowd-pleasing classics sourced from the land. Tuck in on one of the terraces to make the most of this most enchanting rural retreat.
Treehouses start from £370 a night for two people, including a Cotswold breakfast. There is an additional charge of £40 per night for each child between the ages of 3 and 12. For more information, visit thefishhotel.co.uk