Bibury Farm Barns, Cirencester, Cotswolds

Bibury Farm Barns, Cirencester, Cotswolds

Chocolate-box villages, cookie-cutter cottages and bang-average Airbnbs are as common in the Cotswolds as DFLs (down from Londoners) are queuing outside Daylesford. Until Bibury Farm Barns flung open its doors and shook up the UK’s self-catering scene, that is.

George Phillips’ family farm modernised, the disused barns
that once housed bulls, hay and wooden carts risked falling into
dilapidation. Calling upon local design hero Pippa Paton – whose
style mixes the Stockholm-Scandi aesthetic with a splash of Soho
Farmhouse and the centre pages of Architectural Digest – together
they pulled the derelict 19th-century barns back from the brink,
transforming then into five plush, countryside crash pads.

Unlike other self-catering properties in the Cotswolds with paisley-print wallpaper and
gimmicky photographs of sheep, Bibury’s nos to the farm are subtle.
A milk float is filled with fresh flowers; a studded barn door
upcycled into a coffee table; sheepskin rugs are draped
nonchalantly over dining-room chairs. It’s as modern as it is
rustic and as homely as it is immaculate. Turning the key to one of
Bibury’s barns is like scooping up Mayfair and Park Lane in a
heated game of Monopoly – you’ll feel equally as smug when the DM’s
come flooding in requesting to know where you’re staying. Pat on
the back for having such good taste.

In addition to the modern-rustic interiors that’ll make you want
to take a sledgehammer to your flat-pack furniture at home,
Bibury Farm
offers a concierge service, pillow menus and
from-the-farm breakfast hampers bursting with produce – the eggs
were so fresh I could practically hear the hens clucking. Forget
home-away-from-home, this is like occupying your own boutique
hotel. Except it’s sans stuffy staff and, more importantly, sans
other guests.

On our stay, we opted for the Cart Shed, which sleeps six,
although I would have been happy with any of them – they’re all as
spectacular as each other and really the decision comes down to how
many beds you’ll need. If I’d been going the whole hog and hosting
the next multigenerational getaway, then I’d have booked out the
whole estate to accompany up to 38 guests across the five


No, not rooms. Downstairs in the Cart Shed contains a whole
master suite, a dressing room decorated in custard-cream-coloured
Cotswold stone, a patio leading out to the walled gardens and a
bathroom with a freestanding for-two bathtub and rainforest

The attention to detail is remarkable throughout. Dressing gowns
and matching slippers are hung in the wardrobes; a Roberts radio
tuned in on the bedside table; the bedding has been custom-made by
a local husband-and-wife team using high-grade Egyptian cotton and
silk blended especially for Bibury. And, as a tribute to what once
stood on the patch of land, photographs of the site pre-Pippa Paton
are hung on the walls.

Don’t panic if you weren’t fast enough to call shotgun; upstairs
you’ll find two en-suite rooms – one with a bath – the same 40-wink
inducing bedsheets, lavender-laced 100 Acres toiletries and views
across the gardens and countryside. There’s really not a dud room
in the whole estate.


We pressed pause on aimlessly scrolling Netflix and made a
beeline for the board games stacked up in the corner. Scrabble,
Monopoly and a pack of cards to (cheat) your way through “go fish”
can be found in every barn – as can kindling, matches and enough
chopped wood to last you a week.

Hosting? There’s a Sonos sound system for the soundtrack, a
dining room that comfortably seats eight plus guests and the
largest of the barns, Grain Store (which sleeps 10) comes with a
hot tub.

If your stay coincides with the rare bit of British sunshine
then you’ll want to head to the gardens and fire up the barbecue.
It’s an Outback, by the way, which pretty much ensures that the
sausages won’t be burnt – even after you’ve polished off a bottle
of Pimms.

Where should we go for a food shop?

After you’ve demolished the breakfast hamper – stocked with
farm-fresh eggs, bacon, milk, and orange juice – you’ll want to
head to Upton Smokery for supplies. It’s stacked with juicy slabs
of venison, straight-out-of-Italy tagliatelle and jars of fresh
pesto, so rummaging here is like hitting the jackpot in the Ready
Steady Cook Kitchen. Anything you can’t find can be hunted down in
a neighbouring farm shop and delivered to you on the back of a

Don’t forget to nip into its on-site bottle’o where shelves are
lined with local Cotswolds gins, always-a-safe-bet Hendrick’s and
special brews from the likes of George Clooney, David Beckham and
The Rock.

What about if we want to eat out?

Take your pick from the best gastro grub in the Cotswolds.
You’ve got The New Inn practically on your doorstep and two pubs,
The Bell Inn and The Stump, competing for the best pizza in the
countryside. Italy can keep Cinque Terre, we have the

Who should we bring?

Friends, family, neighbours, your hairdresser’s dogs – Bibury
Farm Barns is at best when the fires roaring and the sounds of
laughter are richocheting off the old oak beams.

On our visit, I played third wheel to my partner and my mum who
bonded over their love of Scrabble and stoking fires – the one in
the wood-burning stove, not my own after I lost my seventh game in
a row.

Any essentials we need to pack?

Not a single thing. Trust us when we say that Bibury Farm Barns
is stocked better than a department store. Open the top cupboards
of bedrooms to find a selection of pillows ranging in weight and
size, peer in bathroom cabinets to find stashes of 100 Acres
toiletries – ideal for filling the freestanding bathtub with – raid
the kitchen draws to find NutriBullets, garlic crushers and
chef-approved knives and reach into the freezer to be met with
ready-filled ice trays. Oh, and there are also instructions on how
to make bread in the welcome notes, should you be feeling like
Martha Stewart after being inspired by your homely

Things you should know

That’ll leave you thinking one (or both) of these things: how
can we permanently move in or, if that’s not financially feasible
(alas, it wasn’t for us either), how quickly can Pippa Paton start
renovating our own home…

Failing both of those options, you’ll should press “click &
collect” on the whole range of Farrow & Ball greys before your
weekend bag has made it past your threshold. These barns are really
bloody gorgeous.

Within a short walk, you can find…

A butcher, baker and an old-fashioned sweet shop in the
much-loved Bibury town. Plus, some of the Cotswolds’ best
countryside walks can be seen from your bedroom window. Whack on
your wellies and stroll pass landscapes straight out of a Laurie
Lee novel. Finish off with a roast at The New Inn – the walk is

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