News at Cumnor Hill House in Oxfordshire


A sunny day out on the river
On a beautiful sunny afternoon last week, residents and staff piled into the Cumnor Hill House minibus and set off for Abingdon, where we all boarded one of Oxford’s well-known Salter’s Steamers; Salter’s Steamers is a family-run business providing a variety of water trips and cruises and have been putting on these special trips on the Thames for over 150 years.

With idyllic scenery, lovely refreshments and a healthy dose of chatter, everyone was having a lovely time, then as we headed under Abingdon Bridge, we were accompanied by a gaggle of geese swimming down the river. This was our first sight of many types of wildlife on our journey, which included grey heron, brown hare running along the river, dragonflies, butterflies, ducks and swans.

A guide announced places as we passed historical buildings and places of interest – a vintage boathouse brought much interest to the residents as well as the very quaint and pretty Iffley Lock, along with stories of the King’s Arms public house with a garden overlooking the river. People waved while observing the many boats that passed.

We all had a good giggle at one of the locks, when we saw a sign saying: ‘The cooking of roast dinners, bacon, egg or sausage sandwiches is prohibited whilst in the lock. Please pass all such items to lockstaff for safe disposal.’

John, our wonderful maintenance man, met us in Oxford in the minibus, and he took us back to Cumnor Hill House just in time for refreshments and home-made cake. It was a really great, relaxing afternoon, complimented by residents, staff and other passengers – if you’ve never been on a Salter’s Steamer, we’d highly recommend it!

August Events at Cumnor Hill House
August is set to be a jam-packed month here at Cumnor Hill House – we have five fantastic events to look forward to, with a great act coming to see us each Thursday evening! With singers, musicians and a magician in our midst this coming month, our residents really are in for a treat.

Our Thursday night events are always incredibly popular with residents, and in August, all five events will be starting at 6:45pm. You and your family are welcome to come and join us for as many events as you would like to and as always, a variety of freshly-prepared dishes are included – courtesy of our talented team of chefs – along with refreshing drinks all evening from our well-stocked bar.

You can read a bit more about our brilliant upcoming events for August by clicking on this article’s images, but please note that food options are subject to change. If you would like to attend one or more of our events this August, please RSVP to or 01865415185 and we’ll make sure there’s more than enough delicious dinner for everyone in attendance.

Thank you to our Events Managers, Cherie and Tracy, for making all of this happen! We look forward to seeing you soon at Cumnor Hill House next month, if not before. 

Family art class in the Bistro
Earlier this week, it was amazing to see three different generations of the same family enjoy an impromptu afternoon art session in the Bistro, put together by our lovely Events Manager, Cherie.

Joyce has been a permanent resident here at Cumnor Hill House since April 2017, and she loves being involved in all the activities we have going on. She especially likes anything artistic, as she always shines with her creative flair.

Joyce’s great-granddaughter, Sadie, and Sadie’s mother, Hannah, came in to visit Joyce one lunchtime and as the afternoon’s painting activity was being set up, Cherie asked Sadie if she would like to paint a picture. Her face lit up, so we collected all the equipment together and set out an activity for her to use finger paints to put dots on an outline of a dandelion, giving the effect of its seeds. To give the painting that finishing touch, Cherie then wrote ‘Make a wish!’ on the canvas too.

On a separate canvas, Joyce decided to used paint in an unconventional way, using cutlery to give an unusual effect of an animal’s fur! Joyce used a fork to press paint onto the canvas, a brilliant and really effective technique. It was great to see all three generations sitting down and having fun painting together while enjoying refreshments from the Bistro.

At the end of the activity, Cherie said how lovely it would be to take a photograph of Sadie’s work, but would be very happy for her to take the canvas home, which she did – she was one very proud little girl!

A trip to the Cotswold Wildlife Park
On Friday 1st June, we thought we’d pay our friends at the Cotswold Wildlife Park a visit, as it always makes for a fantastic day out. Residents love getting up close to the 260+ different species of animals, including birds, mammals, primates, reptiles and amphibians – and the park features lovely gardens too, making it an even nicer place to spend the day.

Just 20 miles from Cumnor Hill House, the Cotswold Wildlife Park is just two miles south of the beautiful village of Burford in Oxfordshire, so it’s not too far for us to travel. And there’s always so much to see and do at the park, these trips are always widely enjoyed, and putting smiles on residents’ faces is what it’s all about.

Daily activities at the park include watching the penguin and lemur feeding, along with the big cat feeding, petting farm animals in the children’s farmyard and taking a trip on the narrow-gauge railway. What was special this time around was seeing Belle, the Cotswold Wildlife Park’s first hand-reared Rhino calf, born earlier this year.

The Cumnor Hill House residents really enjoyed getting close to the wildlife at the park, with fun and laughter had by all observing the fantastic variety of animals. Next time you fancy taking a walk on the wild side, we highly recommend the Cotswold Wildlife Park!

Keep fit with Cumnor Hill House in our brand-new gym!
We’re delighted to announce that as of today, the Cumnor Hill House Gym is now open for action, and it’s one of just a handful of care homes in the country with an in-house gym. The only difference is that here at Cumnor Hill House, we’re unique as our gym is open to the public – and it’s completely free of charge!

A completely free facility for the whole community

Local residents are invited to come along and use our specialist equipment at their leisure; there’s no membership required, although we do ask for each visitor to participate in a short fitness assessment before getting started to ensure their safety.

A healthy, happy care home

At Cumnor Hill house, we describe ourselves as being an all-inclusive care home, and our brand-new, state-of-the-art, specialist gym is part and parcel of that too. This fantastic facility opened on 1st June 2018 and has been specially-designed to suit those aged 65 and over, featuring low-impact equipment that poses a much lower risk of injury than standard gym apparatus.

With a rowing machine, two upward weight machines and a walking machine, our residents have all the equipment they need to stay fit and healthy in our home. And better yet, if anyone would prefer to exercise in private, the walking machine is collapsible so can be moved into residents’ bedrooms if required.

Why have a gym in a care home?

Well, research shows that if you are fitter and more energetic in your twilight years, you are less likely to suffer from a fall, and an active lifestyle also staves off dementia and Alzheimer’s – we want the very best for our residents here at Cumnor Hill House and investing in this facility is just one of the many ways we have shown this since we opened in 2016.

Come and see the Cumnor Hill House Gym in action – and don’t forget to bring your sports kit! We hope to see you very soon.

The sights, sounds and smells of Hook Norton Brewery
We’re always trying to think of fun, stimulating activities and excursions for our residents at Cumnor Hill House, so when a resident makes a suggestion for a trip out of the home, we always try and make it happen. That’s exactly what happened here, when one of our residents asked if we could pay a visit to the Hook Norton Brewery – and we, of course, obliged!

Nestled in a small Oxfordshire village looking out onto the Cotswold Hills, Hook Norton Brewery produces a fantastic selection of award-winning beers and also has a shop, Malthouse Kitchen Café and free museum onsite. The Hook Norton Brewery empire stretches further than this though, as they also have 36 pubs dotted around the area serving their great beers and good food to the region, including The Sun Inn and Pear Tree Inn in Hook Norton village!

The brewery was established in 1849, is one of only 32 family-owned breweries and is the finest example of a Victorian Tower brewery in the country. The trip to Hook Norton offers much more than beer tasting (although that was no doubt the reason for the initial suggestion…) and our residents enjoyed experiencing the sights, sounds and smells of the brewery last week. It’s well worth a visit whether you like beer or not – although it will most definitely enhance the trip if you do enjoy sampling the award-winning ales including Old Hooky, Hooky and Hooky Gold.

The Royal Windsor Horse Show
The Royal Windsor Horse Show was established in 1943 with the aim of raising funds for the war effort, and it has taken place every single year since! In fact, it’s the only show in the UK that hosts international competitions not only in Showjumping and Dressage but Driving and Endurance too.

The Cumnor Hill House residents enjoyed an exciting day out for the first day of the five-day show last Wednesday, watching many of the events and taking a look at the various shopping stalls too, with a horse and rider zone, country lifestyle and living, jewellery and fashion quarter, food court, boutique shops and much-loved brands there to explore. There was also The Musical Ride of the Cavalry Mounted Regiment, the King’s Troop and Royal Horse Artillery – it really was a fantastic show.

We took a lovely picnic with us, which was savoured by all and gave us a much-needed rest from all the action midway through the day. Tickets for next year go on sale this autumn – will we be going in 2019 too? Watch this space…

An afternoon with The Beatles
We always like to put on a show here at Cumnor Hill House, finding new entertainers that can put smiles on faces, and when we found this tribute act to The Beatles, we knew it would be a huge hit with our residents. Perfectly paired with a selection of canapés, we knew we had a recipe for a great event yesterday.

The pair completely looked the part, resembling the musical icons that are John Lennon and Paul McCartney. They were both smartly dressed in sharp suits, and they also donned the typical Beatles hairstyles and glasses.

The duo performed classics including I Want to Hold Your Hand, Penny Lane and Hey Jude among others, and everyone sang along to their favourite songs – some people even got up and danced! It really was well-loved by everyone. What better way to brighten up a Thursday afternoon than with a tribute act to the foremost and most influential band in history?

As you can see, the Bistro was packed, so maybe we’ll have to invite these thoroughly entertaining chaps back again sometime!

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