Slow Cotswolds

  • In fine voice - Birdsong Weekend

    A glorious weekend of walks, concerts and the opportunity to sing like a bird (yes, really) in the grounds of the beautiful Asthall Manor (page 176) - you can really get to know your skylarks from your song thrushes, just by the sound of their voice at the Birdsong Weekend, held from 14th to 16th June.

    Birdsong Walks

    Take a tour around the wonderful gardens of Asthall Manor with Peter Cowdray. Peter is a composer who is inspired by birdsong. He will be your guide as you walk around the garden and woodland, differentiating the songs and calls of a few common species.

    Birdsong Concerts

    Held in the garden, there weill be two concerts by The Conference of Birds, with birdsong-inspired music interspersed with wild gypsy fiddling as the real birds of Adthall sing around the natural pool.

    Sing like a bird studio visit

    Throughout the weekend, film-maker Sunny Moodie will turn you into a bird of your choice, by filming you reproducing a slowed-down birdsong, speeding it up to the speed of the original birdsong and playing it back. There are bookable 10-minute slots.

    All events must be pre-booked, with not access to the garden without a booking except on Sunday afternoon 2-6pm, when the garden is open for the National Garden Scheme.

    The Potting Shed Cafe

    A visit to Asthall Manor is not complete without a bite to eat at The Potting Shed Cafe, which will be open for the Birdsong Weekend on 15th and 16th June.

    15th June - 12 noon to 7.30pm open for lunch, tea, cake and early evening pre-concert drinks (including Pimms and our house rosé) and antipasti

    16th June - 12 noon to 6pm open for lunch, tea and cake

    Summer Suppers: Celebrate summer evenings at The Potting Shed. The wood oven will be lit every Wednesday evening during June, July and August for al fresco suppers. These will be casual evenings with canapes on arrival followed by various mezze style sharing dishes highlighting the best seasonal produce and a delicious pudding. Tickets will be £30 person; bring your own drinks.

    Asthall Manor, once owned and lived in by the renowned Mitford family, is a glorious Jacobean manor house in the tiny tucked-away Oxfordshire Cotswolds' village of Asthall, four miles from Burford. To book any of the walks, concerts or studio time, visit

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