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- Karen Brown's Recommendation:
A Tudor manor house dating from 1650 set in a quiet, picturesque village above Bourton-on-the-Water, Clapton Manor is surrounded by its lovely gardens with only the birds to wake you in the morning and fabulous walking paths straight from the back gate. Inside the house, thick stone walls, exposed oak beams, and inglenook fireplaces set the scene. There are two tastefully decorated double rooms (one can be a twin or a super king) with very comfortable beds, enormous goose-down comforters and top-of-the-line bathrooms. A cozy sitting room with comfy sofas, a wood fire, and books and magazines is the perfect setting for tea on less than perfect days. Otherwise, food is served in the garden where chickens waddle preparing to lay eggs for your breakfast. Karin, James, their four children and various dogs have called Clapton Manor home for over 21 years while offering b&b for 20. The dogs remain but the baby daughter is in her second year of university and the three boys have all flown the coop. James runs his own garden tour company specializing in visits to private gardens in England and Europe. His and Karin’s own garden is surrounded by hedges and old stone walls highlighting roses over arches and a wild-flower meadow. Karin and James will point you in the right direction for visiting nearby gardens. The manor is perfect as a base for visiting all the major sites: Blenheim Palace, Stratford, Warwick, Hidcote, Kiftsgate and Bath is only an hour and a half away.