Tried and Tested: Will's Tree House at Winchcombe Farm, Warwickshire
It's no secret that here at Host Unusual we have a special place in our hearts for treehouses. Our treehouse section was one of our very first categories and remains one of our most popular too.
The opportunity to fulfil a childhood dream definitely plays a part in this enduring popularity, but even your wildest treehouse dreams could not compare to the truly lovely architect-designed Will's Tree House at Winchcombe Farm in Warwickshire. We were excited to be spending a couple of nights there in May - especially lucky as it was my birthday, and I can't think of a nicer place to have spent it!
When we arrived at Winchcombe Farm it was a gloriously sunny day, which made the surrounding countryside look like a picture postcard with its gently rolling hills, green fields complete with friendly ponies, a pretty duck pond and whispering trees. The perfect setting for a family treehouse.
And what a treehouse! The long wooden ramp lead up to the most epic full wraparound split-level decked area which was so spacious that it managed to boast various types of incredibly stylish seating, loungers, a patio table and chairs, a hammock, a BBQ, pizza oven, an outdoor shower AND an enormous hot tub and sun shade - without seeming cluttered.
The sycamore and ash trees which the treehouse was built around had been cleverly incorporated into the design, growing up through the decking here and there - a charming feature which allowed the treehouse to feel totally authentic and in tune with its natural environment.
Up in the tree canopy the views were really lovely - lush green fields to one side, a wooded glade to the other, and a pretty fenced duck pond too. Immediately below the treehouse, dotted around the woodland we discovered a cute little play area with climbing frame and mud kitchen, a pirate ship play area and a large trampoline set into the ground; a total wonderland for kids AND big kids!
Having explored outside, it was time to head into Will's Tree House and see whether the inside was as impressive as the exterior. We were certainly not disappointed.
We entered into the kitchen and found the décor was light and cheery, luxurious and stylish with lots of Orla Kiely pieces - even the toast rack was beautiful! The kitchen had everything we'd need and more, and it was all excellent quality. There was a welcome basket full of delicious treats, and even a birthday cake and some bubbly - a really thoughtful touch.
A quirky feature had been made of one of the trees growing through the deck outside in rather an ingenious way, via a full-length glass window behind which the trunk reached up to the sky and could be lit up at night for a magical vibe.
Everything was immaculate, from the smart bathroom with rainfall shower to the lounge/bedroom area with its large bed, chic table and chairs, comfy sofa, fold down bunk beds and the most enormous TV (complete with Wii, my partner was pleased to discover). No expense had been spared to create the most welcoming home-from-home up in the treetops.
As we were unloading our luggage, lovely owner Jo popped over to say hello. We were excited to hear about the plans for some brand new accommodation in addition to Will's Tree House and the two lodges, the Chicken Shed and Bob's Lodge too (both of which come complete with fantastic stargazing geodomes!) We can't wait to see how the new plans take shape, and will keep you all informed as it's bound to be a spectacular addition to Winchmore Farm's wonderful, quirky collection.
Later on, after cooking up a rather lazy dinner (we were on holiday, after all) and getting the baby off soundly to sleep, - hurrah! - it was hot tub time! Robes had been thoughtfully supplied (saving precious packing room in the suitcase) and the double doors from the main living/bedroom area led straight out onto the split-level deck where the bubbling hot tub beckoned. Now, I love a hot tub anywhere, anytime - but up in the treetops at sunset is a special kind of wonderful, and the most idyllic way to end the day. Evening birdsong, leaves rustling in the gentle breeze, and blazing red, pink and orange tones on the horizon promising another sunny day to come. And r-e-l-a-x!
After a deep and utterly peaceful night's sleep in the blissfully comfy bed, it would have been rude not to start the day with yet another hot tub session. Making use of the outside shower nestled in a nook on the deck first was invigorating, and relaxing in the tub to the sound of an occasional bleating sheep or two in the distance and then enjoying a lovely al fresco breakfast (and trying out all the different chairs and loungers!) was a perfect start to the day.
We were visited by a friendly, brave little Blue Tit, and then a couple of feisty squirrels who scrambled up the trunk of one of the trees growing through the decking. We spent some time trying to identify the calls of different birds (not easy when you can hear so many!) and could easily have stayed there on the deck all day just soaking up the dappled sunlight, but we decided to take a trip out - so after enjoying the lovely rainfall shower in the bathroom and stopping to feed the friendly ponies opposite the treehouse with some apples, we headed off.
Our destination was the Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens, which was a pleasant 40 minute drive away. We found ourselves spending a full day there, as there was so much to see - from rhinos and camels to bats and wolverines, an amazing reptile collection and fascinating Madagascan Walkthrough where we came face to face with a cheeky lemur. The gardens were so beautifully designed and maintained, and we loved catching the cute little train for a ride around the park where you could see everything from a different aspect. We felt it was a great family day out and very good value for money.
After a busy day, we headed back to Will's Tree House for dinner and took advantage of the enormous television to watch some favourite shows. Once the baby had gone to sleep, we sat out on that glorious deck lit up with twinkly fairy lights, cosy under our woollen blankets listening to the distant bleats of sheep, sipping Prosecco and eating cake - whilst appreciating how very lucky we were to be experiencing such a place and wishing we didn't have to go home the next day.
Photos can really only tell part of the story, so if you'd like to see for yourself exactly why we're so in love with Will's Tree House, why not book up a stay and live the high life up in the treetops!