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- Beautifully crafted little wooden house
- Superb view from the sheltered balcony
- Lovely beaten-copper roll-top bath
- Huge wood burner
- Great walks from the door
- Walking distance to a pub
- Sleeps 2, plus a babe-in-arms and 2 good dogs
From the beaten copper bath to the patterns sculpted in the clay walls, this heavenly little dwelling is a masterpiece of craftsmanship, ingenuity and generosity of design. It is impossible to pin down, being part-cabin, part-tent, and part tree-house. But whatever it is, it’s unique. Bee’s Bower’s position at the top of a copse, which descends over a stream into the valley, gives one the feeling of gliding bird-like over the treetops and into the magical view. Birdsong is everywhere, and as you sit on the balcony, the scent of the trees envelops you. Amazing in warm sunshine, but just as much fun in wild weather, with the rain pattering on the roof and the trees swished by the wind, Bee’s Bower makes a delightful escape from normal life. Sleeps a couple (plus a babe-in-arms and up to 2 well-behaved dogs).
The concept of living so closely with nature stems from the Longden family's (the owners) connection with Botswana. What they witnessed in safari camps in the African wilderness (and which they've already applied to their beautiful Turkomen yurts), Zane Dutton-Thompson was able to take as inspiration and create the beautiful Bower from design, through construction, to the finishing details, such as the sublime spiral stairway, winding around an oak tree. This, with a big dose of the family's quirkiness and a great team of craftsmen, has resulted in a highly individual building. Solar energy, and the use of local materials where possible, mean that it has a ‘footprint’ as light as a feather, and is as eco-friendly as it is possible to be.
Downstairs, the spacious living area comprises a kitchen and dining-area, a sitting area in front of the splendid wood burner, a space by the window for the copper bath, and a corner room for the shower, hand basin and composting loo (an eco-friendly alternative that is completely sanitary and smell-free). All this opens out onto the big balcony, revealed by a big canvas flap, and its view across the treetops. There are fascinating details everywhere – flourishes of craftsmanship and ingenious upcycling, such as the washing-machine windows in the shower room - that will make you smile.
Upstairs, via an astonishing spiral staircase, the bedroom nestles in the cosy eaves of the canvas roof. A double bed has luxuriously-soft bamboo bedlinen; and a flower-shaped solar pendant light, fashioned in Africa from recycled cans, hangs above.
Apart from admiring the view from the large balcony, there is a field around Bee's Bower, which, when free of sheep, is fantastic for dog-exercising, stretching your legs, or just lying back and watching the clouds scud by or the stars twinkle overhead.
Things to do around Bee's Bower
There are lots of walks straight from the doorstep. Offa’s Dyke path is approximately 2 miles away on top of Hatterall Hill, which is the gateway to walking in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Lovely churches and Norman castles are everywhere, and Hay-on-Wye is a must for book-lovers and antique-hunters. The Mappa Mundi in Hereford Cathedral is one of the most important historical relics in the world; and Cardiff with its museums, lovely Victorian shopping arcades and redeveloped Bay area is well worth a visit.
This area is a foodie’s dream, being well-populated with top class eateries, from the renowned Walnut Tree, and Stephen Terry’s restaurant, The Hardwick (of The Great British Menu fame), to great pubs of all kinds. The Angel Hotel in Abergavenny provides a prize-winning tea to remember. The local pub is the Carpenters Arms at Walterstone, just a short walk away, and provides good robust pub food and a wonderful old fashioned atmosphere in which to sample the local ales.
The nitty gritty
Live online booking
Changeovers are normally Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Weekends are set-priced from Friday 4pm to Monday 10.30am; so you can stay 1, 2 or 3 nights for the weekend price. Check availability and book online below, or check availability for all cottages.
|1||Select length of stay||2||Hover over dates for prices||3||Click to book|
From the visitors book at Bee's Bower
'A most enjoyable week in the arms of mother nature in the most idyllic accommodation. The sheer beauty of the Bower goes without saying. it was the perfect setting for a week of relaxation and romance. I loved preparing meals in the quaint open kitchen, then eating on the decking, reading till the sun went down, and then curling up by the fire. We managed to peel ourselves away from the Bower for a few excursions...' Robin and Poppy, Northamptonshire.
'A touch of magic, love the art and quirkiness. Location FAB. Perfect for the getaway weekend. Many thanks.' Jacque and Tim, Peterborough
‘A perfect place to spend our honeymoon. We don't want to leave. We will be back at the next available weekend. This is a place for you to be truly proud of. The Tree House was as lovely as we had had hoped. Our little dog loved mooching in the bracken and was happy to spend her evenings curled up by the fire.’ Daniel and Rhiannon, Cardiff
‘An enchanting place to discover solitude, peace and tranquility......sigh! A wonderful weekend getting away from the madness in this beautiful spot and amazing environment. Our beagles loved it too. We will definitely return - simplicity and comfort is charming. Thankyou.’ Paul and Nicky, Crawley
‘Wow!! We have had an absolutely wonderful stay here and so appreciate the skill required to construct this truly unique dwelling. Our congratulations to all involved... Until the next time.’ Cath and Chris, Cardiff
‘What a wonderful place! We had such a relaxing time here doing very little other than sit on the balcony and enjoy the beautiful views. Just the right amount of home comforts without obscuring the simplicity of life.’ Tom and Sian, Cardiff
‘Absolutely wonderful and idyllic.’ Rachel and John, Barnsley
‘What a beautiful building and a beautiful spot. Just what we needed to get away from our very hectic lives. We were very antisocial as we run a pub and it was just perfect with nobody else around.’ Caroline and Graham, Newton Abbot‘What an absolutely beautiful place! Really quirky and fantastic attention to detail. Bed is really comfy with luxurious sheets. We've had a fantastic few days lazing on the balcony in the sunshine. Lots of BBQs. Thanks Tim and Bryony - we hope to come back sometime xx.’ Liz and Stuart, Peterborough
'We had a fabulous time - what an amazing place and location. We are missing the bamboo sheets, cosy nights by the wood burner, and amazing views!' Jan, from Mitcham
'Amazing, not a lot more can be said. Fantastically designed and so luxurious- just what we needed after a long day's walk.' Nik, London
'Had such a wonderful time in this unique 'treehouse' (this is what it was for us). Great place to get away from our busy lives and back to nature. Lazy days in the hammock, sunshine, dinner from the BBQ, bird song, and plenty of bubbles in the bath. We had a fantastic time - thankyou!' Debbie and Julian, Swansea
'Tim and Bryony, thank you! This hit the spot. Stunningly beautiful, practical, and perfectly built. As an engineer, I couldn't stop admiring and constantly spotting new features - great job, and a thoroughly lovely weekend.' Dave and Stef, Caldicot