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From an animal skull to loved one’s ashes – what staycationers have been leaving behind this summer

WHAT do a badger’s skull, octopus, set of chef’s knives, wedding dress and tiara and memorial ring containing ashes all have in common?

They feature among the lost property items left behind by staycationers at one of the six Winchcombe Farm lodges this summer!

Jo Carroll, who runs the Upper Tysoe boutique glamping retreat with husband Steve Taylor, said: “People leave the strangest things behind when they go on holiday! We always have a bulging lost property box and spend hours trying to reunite items with their owners.

“A badger’s skull was probably one of the more unusual items we’ve found to be honest.”

Winchcombe Farm, lost property

“We would urge guests to check coat hooks on the back of doors as they vacate their holiday home  – that always seems a favourite place to leave things. We once found a wedding dress hanging on the front door of the tree house, which the newlyweds had put there and completely forgotten about when packing up. We managed to contact them and they turned their car around.”

Jo has compiled a list of the top ten things in their overflowing Lost Property box this year. . .

  1. Bikes – “Unbelievably, we’ve now had to reacquaint six bikes with their owners. Guests leave them on the outside decks and forget to load them into their car. We’ve had to ring several people now and ask them to turn round and come back to collect their bicycle!
  2. Children’s comforters. “These often get left in beds and we receive calls from frantic parents asking for them to be returned by next day delivery, fearing their child will never sleep again until they are reunited with their bedtime buddy.”
  3. Sun hats and sun glasses – “These are normally found in the hammocks in the garden after lazy afternoons basking in the sunshine.
  4. Slippers – “These are nearly always recovered from underneath beds, particularly in our geodesic stargazing domes which have circular beds in for watching the night sky in comfort.”
  5. Wellies – “All our lodges have outside boot racks for walking shoes and wellies, as many of their guests ramble around the surrounding Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”
  6. Gold rings or jewellery – “Lots of people remove jewellery when they get into their hot tub. We’ve returned wedding and engagement rings, as well as memorial lockets and a ring containing ashes.”
  7. Flip flops – Also usually found by hot tubs.
  8. Alcohol – Wine left in the wine fridges and vodka in the freezers are the most common. “Sadly these are difficult to post, so we ‘dispose’ of them ‘safely, Jo reassured.”
  9. Coats – “They are nearly always hung on the back of doors and forgotten about.”
  10. Phone chargers – “I can’t even begin to count the number of phone chargers I’ve posted back to guests.”

Jo and Steve have now introduced a departure checklist to help guests go home with everything they arrived with; “this includes ‘children’ just in case!” quipped Jo.

Winchcombe Farm, Bob's Lodge

More about Winchcombe Farm:

Winchcombe Farm Holidays is home to six bespoke luxury holidays homes nestling in an idyllic Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the rolling Warwickshire countryside on the North East tip of the Cotswolds. Surrounded by a working farm, Winchcombe Farm lies beneath the famous battlefield landmark of Edgehill and is just a few minutes’ drive from Stratford-upon-Avon and picturesque Cotswold villages including Broadway and Stow on the Wold.

Winchcombe Farm, Will's Treehouse, lost property

This oasis of tranquillity – with just sheep, chickens, moorhens, ducks, ponies and alpacas for company – is the epitome of luxury living. From private hot tubs, hanging chairs, hammocks and outside shower, to barbecue shed, pizza oven, BBQ hut, firepit for tasting marshmallows and even geodesic domes with king size circular bed plus personal telescopes for a spot of stargazing! Guests even receive a welcome hamper on arrival to start their holiday in style.

For further information about Winchcombe Farm Holidays, visit