If I had to sum up our summer in four words it would be…..

Weddings, kestrels, ducklings and drought!

The drought bit is pretty obvious – like everyone else we’ve been loving this summer (endless evenings sitting outside until dark, BBQ and not having to carry a coat “just in case”) and hating it (can’t sleep, too hot to work and no grass for our cows) at the same time.

Weddings – we’ve had three wedding parties staying here over the summer, two bridegrooms and one bride have left from The Stables for their Church services (two in St Katherine’s in the heart of Savernake Forest and one at beautiful Ramsbury Church) it’s been very exciting with flowered covered Land Rovers, vintage cars and hats galore! I hope all the families have really happy memories of their stay here and have now recovered from all the busy preparations and celebrations.

Kestrels – for about the 5th year in a row a pair have kestrels have taken over the owl nesting box in the barn opposite the cottages and have successfully fledged two chicks. Our guests have loved watching the chicks learning to fly and hunt attended by their attentive parents. They have started to venture a little further from the barn now and can be seen perching in the trees and on the fence posts in the surrounding fields and their distinctive call is a joy to hear – who needs TV when there’s real drama on the doorstep?

Ducklings – our little pond near the farm yard has been dry for several months but this small fact did not stop the wild duck population appear out of the undergrowth with their tiny chicks in tow. Three broods totalling 32 chicks appeared within a few days of each other. With no water in the pond James took action and set up a temporary, alternative pond (actually our cows footbath) in the farm house garden behind the cottages which the ducklings took to “like ducks to…” . We are delighted to report that all 32 survived and have been here at least twice a day to feast on the barley we put out and it was such a joy to see them finally take flight a couple of weeks ago. They can be seen circling above the farm every day before landing for a quick snack and then they are off again.

Now on to what’s coming up – there seems to be a lot going on in Marlborough in September …first there’s the fabulous Gifford’s Circus (think 1930s retro circus not lions and elephants) is visiting Marlborough Common from 31st August to 10th September. This is an absolute must for anyone who’s never been – www.giffordscircus.com – it is always brilliant fun.

From the 7th to 9th September there’s the new Marlborough Rising event – lots of bands playing in and around town including Scouting for Girls and Joe Stilgoe – check it out at www.marlboroughrising.com

And finally Marlborough Lit Festival takes place from 27th to 30th September with famous names such as David Walliams, Max Hastings, Alan Johnson and Rose Tremain (and many more) all appearing – tickets for events from www.marlboroughlitfest.org

So whatever your excuse for visiting please get in touch and book an early autumn break at one of our lovely, comfortable cottages – short (or long) breaks available from 1st September.

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