Staycation – Warwickshire
Earlier in the year when my brother in law, Dipen , asked Neha and me to help him organise a surprise weekend for my cousin sister Dhanisha we jumped at the chance! We started straight away excitedly discussing options. My dad’s side of the family is VERY large and even getting the middle set of cousins together can be a task. We ruled out going abroad and started planning a staycation for 20 people. This is where the challenge began, we needed accommodation large enough for all of us and in the first weekend of the school holidays. Most cottages we found were not big enough or way out of budget. Neha came across the tiny homes by chance and it turned out to be the best option.
Tiny Wood Homes
The Tiny Wood Homes in Warwickshire is a glamping site on beautiful farm land. They offer tiny wooden homes with all the facilities you could need. They have also this year launched the Copper Pot Barn- A stunning 3 bed (8 people) luxury barn on site. We spoke to the owner about the size of our group and needing a few of the properties to accommodate us all and he said it wouldn’t be a problem as we were enquiring quite early. We booked the Copper Pot Barn, Tinywood 1 and Tinywood 2 for all of us 😊
For weeks now, we have been having fabulous weather, anyone would think we are one of the Spanish Islands with the amount of sun and heat we have been receiving. I was desperately crossing my fingers that he weather would hold out, and after almost 6 weeks of beaufitl hot days I was sure the weather would not be an issue. Here is where ei was wrong. Just our luck that the Friday to Sunday we are away thunderstorms and showers were forecasted for most of our stay. We set off on a cloudy but warm Friday afternoon to meet the others who had left in the morning. Dipen and Dhanisha would be setting out later to go to the ‘Spa’ as she thought.
Neha was one of the first to arrive at the barn and was greeted by the friendly farmer Aiden, who showed her all the important things- how to turn on the hot tubs and the location of the tiny homes etc. We had organised for a food shop to be also delivered to the site as food for 20 people was going to be a lot to carry otherwise.
The Copper Pot barn is AMAZING! The effort put into the place by the owners is evident and the barn is quirky yet homely. The main bedroom with a large copper bath is beautiful. The Copper Pot Barn has its own fenced off garden which made the barn feel safe and secure. The children could play without us worrying they were going too far, there was enough space for them to run around and play a little football. The garden area also has a covered area with a large outdoor dining table- perfect in this weather and an electric powered jacuzzi/hot tub.
The tiny homes were quaint and rustic feeling. They are, as described, tiny! But what they lack in space they more than make up for in views and outdoor space. They both had large BBQ’s, woodfired hot tubs and outdoor eating areas overlooking the forever stretching fields.
The Big Surprise
We had been planning this for months and couldn’t hide our excitement, Dhanisha was going to be so surprised! On the day just before they reached the site, Dipen had blindfolded her and led her through the barn to where everyone was waiting. Can you believe my family actually managed to stay quiet! She was greeted with a loud cheer, the sound of confetti bombs going off and hugs and kisses from everyone. Unfortunately, I missed this by 5 minutes ☹ but she was still in shock when I got there and super happy to be spending the weekend with the family.
Me and Nelly had been planning for so long we had everything thought out- mainly the food! If you know me, you’d know I’m a big foodie – and a natural feeder, we had planned the meals for the next few days and we would be feasting like kings. Tonight’s meal was Jerk Chicken, Rice & Peas, Mac and Cheese and salad. I got to work! 20 pieces of leg quarters weren’t going to cook themselves! Everyone helped with the cooking and cleaning and Bilal became our BBQ man. We danced and sang into the evening and the guys and children enjoyed a dip in the main jacuzzi. The weather had stayed mostly dry but luckily it was still warm. We moved the party indoors and played cards and trivia games and called it a night. As my family and Mani’s family were sharing a Tinyhome we made our way to our cabin. It was pitch black and dead silent. Our phones lit our short journey and we were asleep before we knew it.
I woke to howling winds and rain hammering the windows, I felt like I was caught in a terrible storm. Because the homes are set on masses of open land the wind was really picking up speed and sound worse than it was. In my sleepy state I almost thought I would open the doors in Oz- but without my red shoes to take me back! Dylan and my nephew were excited to be staying together and were chatting away over cereal whilst my mind slowly came to life with a strong coffee. I got dressed and took the boys over to the main barn – let’s see if anyone else was awake yet! No surprises only a few people were up and about and we got to making a full fry up. It was just what was needed! The barn has a beautiful 12 people dining table with 2 turn plates on it making the food easy to reach. Our spread for both days included a full fry up and a continental breakfast of fruits meats and cheeses – we weren’t here to do things by half 😉
With our bellies full and feeling happy we all got ready to start the day! Today we were going to go exploring! (by that it was a walk into the closest village) We met Aiden and had a chat, he said we could all take a picture on his big beast of a tractor, this would be great for a group photo! We all scrambled on and he took snaps for us on a million different phones. He even let Dhanisha drive it! as we saw her driving towards us in it we quick footed out of her way- the girls never driven a tractor before, what if she didn’t find the breaks lol. Aiden gave us directions, which seemed pretty simple and we set out on our 20-30 minute walk to the village. Clouds were building in the distance but not near us so we braved it in our dresses and tee’s.
We all walked and laughed through the fields, it was a nice walk with the breeze turning slightly colder, about half way through we felt the rain drops… it was still light and we were nearly there so carried on walking. We came to a field with Cows at the top and we started walking through it. It sounded like we were on the right track as Aiden had told us if we encountered cows just to walk past them slowly and they would not be bothered. My brother who was at the front of the group started cutting across the field diagonally, funny I though as this would take us closer to the cows- maybe he had seen a gate that we needed to go through.
I was in the middle on the walking party so I hurried ahead to get to the front group and hold Dylan as we were getting awfully close and the cows had peaked an interest in us. Mayur and Jana were at the front and suddenly she started running back! No! we were not supposed to run! The cows noticed and a few started trotting, which started others to follow – I was near the middle of the field with a few of the others and we had to make it to the side but running wasn’t an option but fast walking wasn’t helping either. We got to the wood fence and realised we were trapped. On the other side was stinging nettles and a drop down a ditch into a river! We still jumped over! The back half of the group had seen the cows approaching and had gone back to the path at the bottom. Here we were 6 of us with Dylan stuck behind a small wood fence. We tried to start walking back down towards the others but we would take a step and the cows would get closer. In minutes they had as hemmed in.20-30 cows I was petrified! These are big animals and we were on their turf.
Mayur was the closest to the end of the field jumped over and started leading the cows away slowly. He walked and then ran and walked again taking the majority of the cow with him around 10 were left still watching me Natalie and Dylan. Dylan was telling the cows to go away and when I looked over at Nat she was on her phone! I said ‘what the heck are you doing!’ To which she replied, ‘googling how to scare cows!’ I couldn’t help but laugh. Google had told her to try loud noises – so she had tried the Nokia ringtone! I was laughing even more – ‘Nat I don’t think they are scared of ringtones’ then she flapped her jumper which seemed to work as the jumped back and then started following the other cows which were half way down the field now. As soon as they were out of the way and looking in the other direction we jumped over the fenced and quickly made our way to the top of the field. We were stopped by another fence, why had Mayur brought us this way! I was getting angry and was still scared. Over in the distance there were men playing football (in their cricket kits- I kid you not) We signalled over and asked if we could jump over. The said it was ok and we sheepishly made our way over to the sports club. They were very kind and asked if we were ok, they were chuckling and said the cows would have been ok and we just needed to pass them slowly (slow being the operative word!) we told them about the others and if they did come the same way if they could direct them to the pub that they had told us about. They had said that if we could reach them on the phones they were better off following the path at the bottom of the field and taking the right and following the path to the main road- there was a proper path!!
We said our goodbyes and carried on. The light rain turned into a heavy down pour. we arrived at the pub drenched with our legs stinging from the nettles and scratches from trees and barb. We felt like crap but at the same time relieved. We ordered a few drinks and the other half of the group stumbled in shortly after. We heard how they saw a stampede of cows coming towards us and decided to leg it and watch us from the bushes being circled by the cows. They did know what to do and then had found the path which led them to the pub. We asked Mayur what had made him walk towards the cows and it was because he had seen the carpark of the sports ground that he thought that was the exit we needed. We couldn’t believe our luck. Our leisurely stroll had turned into a full on adventure- one that none of us would be doing again. We headed to the next pub for a bite to eat and then made our way home.
We were tired from all the excitement so had a more chilled evening. Us girls got in the hot tub to soak whilst the guys prepared our dinner of kebabs, tandoori wings and paneer tikka. We were given fruits and had our drinks made for us whilst laughed and chatted away in the jacuzzi, this was bliss!
Our weekend was drawing to a close, it had been a great getaway in a beautiful spot. We woke early as it was Dylan’s birthday. We hadn’t made a deal out of it as we were here for Dhanisha’s birthday but the cousins were super happy to be celebrating it with him too! He was getting spoilt with hugs and kisses and chocolates – all his favourites things! We sang him happy birthday and let him blow out some candles, he was beaming from ear to ear. Our daily guests came to say hi-Aiden’s friendly dogs had became a favourite for my son who would wait for them in the mornings, so he could pet them. We were still laughing about cow gate and were packing up slowly. We played a few games of heads up and were ready to leave. The weekend had been amazing! We said our goodbyes to Aiden and his dogs and team and made our way back home. We had a wonderful stay and I recommend a visit.