Tolstoy Cottage

Carswell Marsh, Oxfordshire
+44 (0)7701 093588
Visit owner's website

£350 - £500
per night
£1960 - £3500
per week

An 18th-century semi-detached farm worker's cottage in a small hamlet, surrounded by splendid countryside and near the river Thames


4 beds


3 bedrooms


Sleeps 5

Children welcome

£350 - £500 per night

£1960 - £3500 per week

The Experience

This little place is nicely beamed, the flagstones are original, the walls are lime plastered and the kitchen table is oak: a huge amount of care has been taken not to ruin the cottage by overdoing things. You’ll find a good utility room for muddy boots and then a big separate sitting room with a lovely fireplace, original art and a dresser stuffed with colourful antique china.

The kitchen is homely with a big table for chatting or even chopping, and a mishmash of benches and chairs. Everywhere your eye rests there’s something pretty to look at. Bedrooms upstairs are off a square hallway – the big double with endless views over the garden and a hidden TV, a children’s room with lots of books and a sweet single for nanny or granny. 

There are footpaths leading from the cottage gate across fields down to the Thames; wander down to the lock and watch the barges or head to Tadpole Bridge for a pint at the Trout.

Tolstoy Cottage - Gallery

We think you'll love

  • All the gorgeous walks through the fields around you and lots of excellent pubs
  • Stocking up in Faringdon then coming back for a family meal around the kitchen table
  • Slowing down and forgetting about city life
Tolstoy Cottage - Gallery

You should know

  • The bedrooms share a bathroom
  • You need to bring all the food you need
  • The cottage has featured several times in House and Gardens magazine, and also in a recent book 'At Home in the Cotswolds'


  • EV charger
  • Self check-in
  • Swimming pool
  • Hot tub
  • Garden
  • Open fire / woodburner
  • Breakfast included
  • Breakfast available
  • Meals available
  • Vegetarian meals
  • Oven
  • Parking on premises
  • Free parking nearby
  • Accessible by public transport
  • WiFi
  • Television
  • Central heating
  • Limited mobility
  • Wheelchair access
  • Mobile reception
  • Hob
  • Barbecue
  • Paid parking nearby
  • Air conditioning
  • Relaxation areas
  • Washing machine
  • Tennis court
  • Microwave oven
  • No smoking
  • Credit cards
  • Working farm
  • Owner has pets
  • Electricity included
  • Dishwasher
  • Pets welcome

Family friendly

  • Baby monitor
  • Books and toys
  • Children welcome
  • Babies welcome
  • Stair gates
  • High chair
  • Fire guard
  • Cot available


  • Pub/bar within 3 miles
  • Restaurant within 3 miles
  • Shop within 3 miles


  • Bikes available
  • Food courses
  • Kayaking
  • Other courses
  • Sailing
  • Surfing
  • Wild swimming


Nightly price
from £350
Weekly price
from £1960
1 Cottage for 5
From £3504 beds3 bedrooms


Booking information

Check in
Check out
Other details
Minimum stay: 2 nights. Additional small bed for child available.
No smoking
Smoking not permitted anywhere in the property.


Charming cottage in a beautiful location. The cottage was very clean and comfortable and Alexandra an easy-going host. The garden at this cottage was a real highlight.


Exquisitely and artfully furnished, full of beautifully curated antiques, art and textiles, and fabulously comfortable and welcoming, the cottage is an absolute delight. We loved eating outside in the beautiful garden and going for walks in the fields and gorgeous surrounding countryside. Alexandra shared lots of local recommendations and introduced us to some fabulous restaurants. The cottage is ideally located for exploring beautiful Oxfordshire, and further afield. We were sad to leave and hope to book again soon.


This cottage is clearly a cherished family home. It is the loveliest house rental I’ve ever stayed in. Both full of charming furnishings and antiques- and clean and accommodating. Anything you might need is easy to find. The garden was bursting with hundreds of tulips and we didn’t see or hear anyone else during our entire stay. It was idyllic. There was plenty of firewood and the walking paths are just a few steps away. One note- the ceilings (like many of the era) are quite low and my husband did hit his head a couple of times (he is 6’3”). All in all- heaven.

Meg, London

This is one of THE most special cottages, and all because of the brilliant creativity, vision and strong sense of style in every detail. We admired Alexandra’s beautiful collections, perfectly chosen fabrics, quilts, jugs, lamps. Every second of the cottage is inspiring and perfect. It is also super comfortable and low key. The fire is so cosy, and the warm aga greets you when you arrive.. Leaving on Sunday was sad. We wanted to stay and read books, look at the hanging boats, play cards and eat cake! At the cottage we felt extremely happy. It is like a perfect drawing or poem.

Annie, London

Alexandra’s home is one-of-a-kind and transports you to another time and place. We greatly appreciated our stay.

Bradley, London

The house was incredibly cosy and warm. Every little detail considered and just exactly what we needed for a nice weekend away from London. Set in a beautiful area surrounded by farmland, we took walks, we cooked and spent our time enjoying the peace and quiet of this special place. We'll definitely be back.

Dan, London

Wonderful cottage in a rural location. Cosy and warm, lovely decor and a very relaxing break.

Martina, London

The house is furnished with taste and caracter. We loved it and felt like home. The garden and the countryside all around are both an invitation to relax and enjoy the nature… We also swam in the Thames ! Unforgettable memories for the children and the parents !

Benjamin, Deal

We had a very relaxing stay in this idyllic cottage - it has an incredibly homely feel with so many fascinating bits and pieces to look at and a very pretty garden. The beds are extremely comfortable and the linens luxurious. There are lots of lovely walks right from the doorstep and our three little boys loved exploring the countryside. Alexandra was very quick to respond to any queries, it was a true joy to stay in her beautiful home. Thank you!

Laura, London

Staying in Alexandra’s cottage was an absolute dream, It’s so rare to find a cosy, comfortable and beautifully decorated cottage like this. It goes down as my favourite UK holiday find. We enjoyed log fires, cooking on the Aga and going for long country walks in the surrounding fields. The cottage is so private and such a considered a space that we didn’t want to leave. It was magical in winter and I can’t wait to hopefully stay again and experience it in the summer months. A retreat to return to!


A wonderful slice of English countryside and a very stylish cottage with beautiful interiors and heavenly walks down to the Thames.

Nicola, Sawday's inspector

My family and I rented Alexandra’s beautiful cottage repeatedly in 2015/2016. We used the cottage as a get away from London for many weekends, which was ideal given its close proximity to the city. The cottage is beautifully done with all lovely antiques but everything is supremely comfortable at the same time. Some of my best nights sleep have been at the cottage, in the most wonderful Russian bed linen. Everything has been considered and as this is Alexandra’s home, every piece has been chosen, in great taste, this is not a normal ‘rental’. The children loved their time there.

Alexandra, London

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The neighbourhood

The nearest village is Buckland - two and a half miles by road but only one and a half over fields - where you'll find a good pub, The Lamb. Faringdon, a super market town, is four miles and has food shops including a traditional butcher - Pat Thomas. Not far from the cottage is the funky Mollie's Diner - a Soho House place. Kelmscott, William Morris's house is nearby and very beautiful.

Local points of interest from Alexandra Tolstoy

  • Blenheim Palace, a magnificent country house in Woodstock
  • Kelmscott - William Morris’s home
  • Lechlade and Burford - charming Cotswold towns with plenty of antiques shops and great delicatessens/butchers etc
  • The Ridgeway and the White Horse, Wayland’s Smithy - wonderful historic and beautiful sites for walking
  • The Trout at Tadpole Bridge - a pub within walking distance
  • Buscot Park - a beautiful garden open to the public and lovely for walking


Alexandra Tolstoy

Alexandra lives in London with her three children. Many of their beloved memories are from the cottage and its unspoilt surroundings. You let yourselves in with a key.