at CLIFTON MILL
Your break from the digital world.
A romantic watermill, Miller’s Cottage and the Cow-byre Flat, all overlooking the river and open North Oxfordshire countryside.
Discreet Retreats was conceived as private hideaways, for the ultimate in non-digital relaxation. So no modern communications or jangling newsfeeds; just a few acres of quiet countryside and private gardens to enjoy as well as fireside reading, writing and absorbing board games. Means and resources are provided for your contemplation, thinking, conversing and creating, and a large, eclectic and changing book collection is to hand. No broadband, “wi-fi”, TV or phones need intrude upon your peace, and you will be in quiet, deep comfort in a ‘home from home’ atmosphere all as comfortable and stylish as nearby Soho Farmhouse – 15-20 minutes away.
In general, we are offering minimum three-day weekend stays – arriving as early as you wish on Friday and leaving as late as you wish on Sunday, giving us time to prepare for the next guests as perfectly as possible. Longer stays to be negotiated within available time.
The Mill – Sleeps 7 to 9
The huge Mill Room is the centrepiece of this spectacular 5 bedroom 15th Century mill
Millers Cottage – Sleeps 2 to 3
Large bedroom with the dressing room suitable for 1 other. A cosy sitting room, log stove and kitchen-dining room
There are wonderful food shops in the nearby village of Deddington, and numerous excellent restaurants and pubs. Your stay will be even more effective if you bring a warmly welcomed dog or two to drag you out into fresh air. If you really must rush about, then Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, Woodstock and Blenheim, Stowe and Warwick, Silverstone, Daylesford Organics and Soho Farmhouse are all within easy reach.
Finally, as true believers in ‘natural is best’, and to eliminate toxins, allergens and plastic films, we try to completely exclude them from our environment, and we hope you will return to your everyday world refreshed and full of new ideas.
N.B. At first, letting will be limited to 40% occupancy, so this year we will focus on Spring and Summer, when everything is verdant and beautiful. But watch this space…
Millers Cottage is available now, and The Mill will be available from the end of May 2019. The Cow-byre should be available later in the year.
The main residence is a 15thCentury corn mill straddling the river Cherwell – the North Oxfordshire site of a watermill since Domesday. Historically it was owned by various Oxford Colleges, and Christchurch archives record it as having been “new built in 1460”. Most of the 18th-century machinery remains, and shows signs of various modernisations in the 18th and 19th centuries. Discovering the way such primitive but efficient machines once worked has been one of the joys of living here over the last fifteen years.
It is easy to reach, but far enough away from the day-to-day world. Each part – Mill, Miller’s Cottage and the Cow-byre Flat – has its own private garden and in addition there are an orchard, wild-meadow, young woodland and riverside walks that abound in wildlife. You might see deer, otters, rabbits, squirrels and foxes; also pheasant and partridge, coot, ducks, swans, heron, geese, red kites and buzzards – and many other birds and bees, and all around lie many miles of country and canal towpath walks.
The kitchen garden is developing for self-sufficiency in organic fruit and vegetables. Experiments in ‘ultimate sustainable construction’ will lead to further, eve-more-off-grid secret retreats, each with its own private half-acre of wild ground, a composting loo and wood-fired hot-tub
As far as possible, everything has been done in the conversion work here to create toxin and allergen-free homes. The natural paints used have no micro-plastics in them; carpets and fabrics are wool or cotton; rugs are thick luxurious Cotswold-breed sheepskins and hand-woven throws; mattresses are all natural fibre and pocket-sprung; pillows and duvets are cotton, filled with feather and down or natural lambswool or silk for those allergic to feathers.
Our first visitors will be pioneers… We have always striven for perfection in everything we do; so we will observe, listen and learn, and everything will develop and improve until we can provide a truly refreshing re-creation of mind and spirit. A warm welcome awaits all who feel this will enrich them.
The Tranquility of Rural Oxfordshire
Get in touch
We live and breathe the low tech philosophy. Telephone is the best way to check availability. However we do look at emails from time to time.