Jane Reynard – enjoying life in her new retirement apartment at Beechcroft’s Cotswold Gate in Burford.
After losing her husband Clive to cancer during the Covid-19 pandemic, semi-retired, professional musician and teacher Jane Reynard took the decision to make the move to a retirement development and, after exploring a variety of options, was delighted to discover Beechcroft’s Cotswold Gate in Burford.
“After an extremely difficult time, I decided that I was not really up to the responsibility of the care and maintenance of our property, a beautiful, converted barn in a Cotswold village which had been our beloved family home since 1982” says Jane. “Clive and I had shared everything but all things maintenance were down to him and I quickly realised that I simply was not up to the job and neither did I want it”
“I looked at various retirement villages and properties and marvelled at the facilities on offer – spas, swimming pools, restaurants, 24-hour concierge services etc., right up to the moment I was told the monthly service charges, which were enormous. Most of them charged an exit fee as well. I knew that despite my good intentions I would not take advantage of many of the facilities on offer, that I would prefer to use some of that monthly sum as I chose, and that these options were simply not for me.
“After viewing a very nice development near Cirencester, but I suddenly thought of Burford which is only about 8 miles from where I was living. I looked on the internet and up came Beechcroft Developments, so I gave them a ring, spoke to Jo the Sales Consultant and visited the next day. Although my stated intention was just to look, I quickly saw that this ticked all the boxes for me and my gut feeling told me that I had found the place that I needed, wanted to live in and call home.
“I chose a very spacious, two-bedroom apartment at Cotswold Gate, nicely tucked away and overlooking open fields,” continues Jane. “It is very well designed with masses of storage space – a vital and massive plus, and a perfect spot to place my non-negotiable piano – which also has a silent function so as not to annoy others at inappropriate times.
It has everything I need, a heat pump for economical underfloor heating, filtered water, an air circulation system, burglar alarm and panic alarm. The kitchen/diner is wonderfully well equipped and has a separate laundry room, the bathrooms are gorgeous and the envy of my friends. My garden and all the communal garden spaces are tended and all external maintenance is taken care of. Our Estate Manager, Ian, is so kind and obliging and will do all sorts of things to help out. Bins and recycling are taken care of. and an allocated car parking space is included in the price which is not always the case on other developments. Pets are welcome on all Beechcroft developments and that was another non-negotiable as far as I was concerned. My black and white moggie, Professor Sir Humphrey, who answers to Humphrey when he feels like it, has moved in happily too, he has his own cat flap and just loves the underfloor heating. One of my lovely neighbours has a cat as well and we quickly established mutual cat-feeding arrangements for when we are away for short periods.
The Residents’ Lounge is a very nice centre for us all to meet, for coffee and social events and we have a minibus that can be used to take us on adventures. The guest suite is superb.
A broken shoulder left me unable to drive for a few weeks and I found the public transport was more than adequate for my needs. When you live in Burford you definitely do not necessarily need a car. Oxford and Cheltenham are well served, as are Witney and Carterton. Both my children live abroad so I need easy access to Heathrow airport, which is just a bus ride to Oxford followed by the wonderful Airline bus service to LHR and Gatwick.
The sense of community and friendship is palpable, and couples and single people alike will find a ready-made circle of friends to join in with which is a huge advantage either for those whose circumstances are altered, as mine were, or who have moved from another location and don’t know many people.
“Moving home is one of life’s most stressful events – and downsizing on top of that is a further challenge. There are a lot of things to organise so it’s better to do so whilst you are still relatively young – as I was. I was very fortunate in that my house sale went through virtually without a hitch but it was still a difficult and stressful process. I believe that it is important to make the move in your own time and in your own way, rather than being forced into doing so through illness or circumstance in to a place that you may not ultimately be happy with. You also need to be unsentimental when downsizing – I had to dispose of a huge amount of possessions but it was all worth it, and here I am, in my lovely, luxurious new warm and cosy apartment, very happy indeed.
For anyone thinking of downsizing to the Cotswolds, prices at Cotswold Gate in Burford start from £350,000 for a two-bedroom apartment. Further details are available on the website at www.beechcroft.co.uk or, to arrange an appointment to view, please call the sales team on 01993 688342. The marketing suite and show home are open Tuesday to Saturday inclusive from 10 am to 5 pm.