Fforest Lodge

Stunningwood clad modern house
IN BRIEF
  • Architect-designed contemporary house
  • Wonderful woodland setting, complete with stream, in secluded position above Tintern
  • Roof terrace with wood-fired hot tub
  • Family-friendly, but great for a couple, too
  • Games room
  • Wonderful walks and cycle-rides from the door
  • Four bedrooms: two doubles, a twin and a bunk bedroom, sleeping up to 8
  • 20% discount for a couple outside the school holidays (for the use of one bedroom only)

This wonderful contemporary timber-clad, timber-framed woodland house sits in a clearing in the forest above Tintern. Secluded but not isolated, it enjoys a completely private setting, but is only minutes by car to the village. The owners project-managed the build themselves, a process which was featured in Channel 4’s Grand Designs. The result of their immense hard work is a warm, spacious, beautifully designed home, incorporating lots of glass to let in plenty of light and to create interaction with the trees around it.

There is a 20% discount available for a couple outside the school holidays based on the use of one bedroom only (when you book for 2 adults, the price will adjust down automatically)

Light, bright interiors
Amazing luxury house for family holidays Spacious open plan living room and kitchen

Fforest lodge opens up to reveal an elegantly detailed Japanese-inspired home filled with unique features. Hand-carved frames support delicate paper screens; tatami, wood and slate floor-coverings give an organic textured feel; wooden carvings and brightly-coloured artworks adorn the interior. The building itself, criss-crossed with locally-grown Japanese Larch cladding and punctuated by big glass windows and doors, creates a lively interaction with the tree-fringed garden outside. The piece de resistance, the roof terrace, takes you soaring up into the tree canopy with a view across tree tops - a truly invigorating feeling.

Superb open kitchen and diner
Self-catering kitchen Dining table with woodland views

Downstairs, the living-space – kitchen, dining-area and sitting-area – is a spacious and airy L-shape around the lovely Japanese tatami room. The tatami room is multifunctional: take tea in here, sit and think in here, practise yoga in here, work on a huge jigsaw in here, or lie on futons and watch the bamboo through the long low rectangular window, or the sun diffused through the beech-and-paper screens.

Feature carving Japanese screen

Upstairs, the first floor bedrooms are light and airy: two double bedrooms, a twin bedroom and a bunk bedroom all have lovely views over the garden and into the trees. The bunk bedroom gives onto a first-floor balcony with a table and two chairs. A stunning family bathroom on this floor comprises a bath (with an ingenious bamboo ‘tap’), a loo and hand basin, and a wet room shower.

Japanese room!
Port window Japanese style contemplation room

Another flight of stairs takes you up to the second floor, with games room and shower-room. This shower room is the first stage in spending time in the wood-fired hot tub (once filled and heated), just outside on the L-shaped roof terrace. In line with Japanese bath house tradition, you take a shower in here, washing and rinsing well, before slipping into the hot tub – a lovely all-weather experience.

The garden is a spacious clearing in the woods, with stone flags, a grassy area, and some sensuously shaped sedum-covered mounds. But it reaches out into the trees, too, either side of a shallow stream, which eventually finds it way down to the Wye river. The other side of the house, the garden extends to forest owned by the Forestry Commission, which is wonderful for children's games of hide-and-seek and other adventures. Deer venture out of the forest and into the garden, a wonderful sight early in the morning.

Japanese architecture with modern self-catering holiday home
Living room artworks French windows and outdoor bench

Things to do around Fforest Lodge near Tintern in the Wye Valley

Shopping

Meadow Farm, on the outskirts of Tintern heading out on the Wye Valley road towards Monmouth, is an organic farm that sells fresh bread, organic vegetables and delicatessen fare. It also has its own microbrewery with a superb selection of bottled ales and beers. At the Tintern Parva vineyard, you can also buy local wine, along with honey, mead and other sweet paraphernalia.

In Brockweir, there is the award-winning Eco Village Shop selling a variety of local, national and international foods, as well as alcoholic beverages, dairy produce, fruit and vegetables. It also boasts a lovely café serving soups, sandwiches and hot and cold drinks, with seating both indoors and outdoors. Outside, there is also a small adventure playground, complete with a zip slide and a large sandpit.

Chepstow, about 5 miles from Tintern, has an eclectic mix of quirky, antique shops, while Monmouth, about 10 miles from Fforest Lodge, has a handsome high street with a Waitrose, an M&S Food, a couple of butchers, an excellent greengrocer and a deli. It also holds a small market on Saturdays. Further afield, about half an hour from Tintern, is Abergavenny, arguably the food centre of Wales with a plethora of delicatessens and an excellent food market held on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Amazing modern holiday let
Bamboo! A touch of Japan - wood panelling and bamboo

Eating out in Tintern

For its size, Tintern boasts a ridiculously large number of eateries, and this is just a selection: The Anchor Inn, opposite Tintern Abbey, is the nearest Tintern gets to a gastro-pub. In addition to an excellent range of delicious and well-presented dishes (the ‘Specials’ board is often well worth a second look), it also enjoys the longest stretch of evening sunshine, with a playground and a large field to boot for the kids to run amok in.
The Moon & Sixpence is a quirky place with a gregarious landlord. The menu is extensive though and well priced. The fish dishes are especially good value.
Fountain Inn, at the end of the Angiddy trail, is a traditional pub with a varied and interesting menu – all well-priced - certainly a worthwhile reward at the end of the Andgiddy ascent. They occasionally also have live music in the evenings.
Meadow Farm is on the outskirts of the village, just past the Old Station on your left. In addition to the organic shop and microbrewery mentioned above, they also do very nice pizzas once a month (typically on Saturdays) cooked in their own self-built pizza oven and often accompanied by live music.
The Old Station is exactly what it says on the tin. Inside, you will find a nice café that still invokes the old Victorian heyday of the steam train. Serving a selection of soup and sandwiches, cakes and beverages, it is a totally unpretentious place and makes for a nice afternoon out with the kids with treasure trails, a playground and, in the milder months, a miniature steam train of its own, to entertain them.

Master bedroom Map and artwork in main bedroom of Grand Design cottage for holidays

Eating out beyond Tintern

The Crown at Whitebrook is one of Wales’ only two Michelin starred restaurants (the other is The Walnut Tree Inn at the foot of the Skirrid – see below) and well worth visiting if you have something to celebrate. Expect a genuine dining experience: the cheese board is an education in itself!
The Brockweir Country Inn, at the foot of Brockweir bridge, is a nice port-of-call about 25-30 minutes’ walk from Fforest Lodge. In addition to the usual pub fare, they also do tapas on selected evenings.
The Lion Inn in Trellech, about 3 miles from Fforest Lodge, has arguably the most eclectic menu in the region, serving such local delicacies as kangaroo and crocodile!  It also has an extensive fish menu and a good sense of humour.
The Inn at Penallt, a little further on the alternative road to Monmouth, is an excellent eaterie with a classy restaurant. It also has a bar menu, and offers good deals on Wednesday evenings.
The Walnut Tree, as mentioned above, is the second Michelin starred restaurant in the area and the food, cooked by Shaun Hill, is indeed exceptional.

Double bedroom Kids bunk beds
Spacious bunk beds and terrace Terrace seating

Places to see

Tintern Abbey is one of the most iconic buildings in Wales and although you can see the entire ruin from the road, it is still well worth paying the entrance fee just to get a sense of the scale of its construction. It is breathtaking.
Raglan Castle, located about halfway between Monmouth and Abergavenny on the A40, is a very impressive edifice with more turrets that you can shoot an arrow at.
Chepstow Castle is perhaps the largest castle in the area with a spectacular setting perched on a cliff overlooking the Wye. What it lacks in aesthetic comparison to Raglan castle, it makes up for in sheer magnitude.
Skenfrith Castle, as mentioned above, is an interesting castle with the thickest walls you’re ever likely to come across! It is well worth combining with a trip to the Bell at Skenfrith, but perhaps doesn’t warrant a trip on its own, unless you aim to go the whole hog and complete the 20-mile Three Castles Walk (Skenfrith, Grosmont and White Castles).
Big Pit is a disused coal mine that has been lovingly preserved as a testament to the Welsh coal-mining industry and the character of the ‘Valleys’ people. It forms part of a World Heritage Site in Blaenavon, just outside of Abergavenny and is a fascinating day out for adults and children alike. You get to go deep underground and explore the working conditions of those who fuelled the Industrial Revolution and the expansion of the Victorian Empire.

Bright, beautiful bedroom - property sleeps up to 8 guests in style Toy cupboard - spot the Cat Bus!
Sink and bathroom Bathroom and wetroom

Things to do with children

Fforest Lodge is a great base for the large amount of family-friendly activities in the area, or for visits further afield. For families with children, there is the wonderful GoApe! near Lydney (a network of high wires and zip wires through the tree tops), the dedicated cycling track at Pedalabikeaway, the steam train through the Forest of Dean or, for older ones, the caves at Clearwell.

A great day out can be had up river, at Symonds Yat, where the cliffs rise up to Yat Rock, site of one of the most iconic views in the Wye Valley, and where, Peregrine Falcons breed between May and July. You can watch them swooping down from their eyries to hunt for food. Here, there is the Wyedean Canoe and Adventure Centre where you can learn to abseil, and The Butterfly Zoo (with mini golf and a ‘hedge puzzle’, aka maze, next-door). Refresh yourself at the Saracen’s Head pub, a great food pub right on the river where you can watch the river cruisers – river birds, canoeists and sight-seeing boats – pass by, and the famous hand-ferry take passengers from one riverbank to the other.

Games room with pool table

The nitty gritty

  • Wood burner (one generous basket of logs supplied)
  • Underfloor heating throughout ground floor
  • TV with Freeview and DVD (plus some DVDs)
  • CD-player/radio
  • Wifi
  • Nintendo Wii in the living-room
  • Limited mobile reception (some possible in the garden)
  • Well-equipped kitchen
  • Two ovens
  • 4-burner electric induction hob
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge/freezer, plus separate under-counter larder fridge
  • Hall cupboard for storing coats, boots and shoes (please bring slippers – the interior of Fforest Lodge is a shoe-free zone)
  • Utility room with washer/dryer and Belfast sink
  • Electricity, hot water and heating included
  • The single beds and the bunk beds are full-size. They were bought for children, but adults are welcome to use them
  • Bedding, towels and all basics included (soap, loo paper, cleaning materials etc)
  • Downstairs loo
  • Family bathroom on first floor has bath, wet-room-style shower, loo and hand basin
  • Shower room (with two showers) on top floor
  • Separate loo on top floor
  • Store cupboard essentials included (tea, coffee, sugar, salt & pepper, cooking oil)
  • Games room with pool table, a small 'table-football', a desk with a comfortable chair, and a TV with video recorder (plus some videos)
  • Board games, books, guide books, maps,plus an information file
  • Baby-friendly: travel cot and high chair available in the house for one baby
  • Sorry – no pets. Excellent kennel and cattery nearby if you would like to bring your pet on holiday with you. For dogs: Green Lawns Boarding Kennels (01600 740111) and for cats: Wyes Cats (01291 621280)
  • Dedicated off-lane parking for three cars
  • Storage for 3 bikes
  • Secluded garden (parents be aware that there is a shallow stream in the garden)
  • Small sand pit
  • Fantastic roof terrace with wood-fired hot tub (one generous basket of logs supplied)
  • The village of Tintern is just a 3-minute drive down the hill
  • Chepstow is a 10-minute drive away for food-shopping
  • Plenty of excellent places to eat out in the area
  • Easy access from the M48 Severn Bridge
  • No stag or hen parties, nor any gathering which may damage the delicate features of the house
  • There is a 20% discount available for a couple outside the school holidays based on the use of one bedroom only (when you book for 2 adults, the price will adjust down automatically)

Curtains to shower and terrace Double showers
Terrace with hot tub and seating
Beautiful rooftop seating among the trees! Amazing luxury house for family holidays

Live online booking

Changeovers are normally Mondays 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.

1Select length of stay 2Hover over dates for prices 3Click to book
Modern exterior
Stunning holiday let in the Wye Valley Trampouline and spacious garden

Location map



Woodland stream Bridge over stream in garden View of Fforest Lodge through the trees

From the visitors book at Fforest Lodge, Tintern, Wye Valley

'Thanks for a great stay at your wonderful forest home. We love the house - so light and airy. The walks in the surrounding woods were great and we were visited by deer close to the house grazing on the sedum mounds! The hot tub was a big hit and we were even able to view the Perseid meteors whilst soaking in the warmth.' The Leylands, Brisbane

'Had a lovely week in a stunning house. Photos online were a very good representation of the real thing - this house does not disappoint! We have had great fun exploring the house and garden and getting lost on the way here was fun (!). We would definitely return.' Rachel and Andrew from Pontypridd

'This was a special weekend for us. Our baby daughter's first little holiday. We loved the peace of the house and the wonderful walks on the doorstep. Having the tatami room for sleep, yoga, stretching and rolling (!) was a particular treat. We look forward to seeing the house and the landscape at another time of the year.' Lucy, Rory and Charlotte from Warwick

'Had a perfect weekend celebrating Alan's 60th birthday. Love the house and its setting. The boys had seen it on Grand Designs - their high expectations were fully met! We loved the space, the design and layout - especially a kitchen we could enjoy cooking in. It was a delight to drink 'bubbles' in the hot tub, lovely and toasty on a chilly and star-lit evening.' Mr and Mrs Davies from Wigan

'A wonderful retreat and the hot tub is perfect! Plenty of space and great for children. Nice being so close to Tintern and to Brockweir. We can now say we have stayed at a Grand Designs featured house!' The Spiteri family, Berkshire

'Thank you for wonderful holiday home with its interesting fusion of Japanese and Western culture. We had a great family reunion (with Australia fusing with Britain) and the setting was perfect.' The Freemans, Australia

'We had a lovely stay here. A lovely house in a beautiful setting. Enjoyed stargazing in the hot tub and listening to the owls. The pool table was also well used!' The Bailey family, Somerset

'Had a wonderfully relaxing break. Star gazing in the hot tub was amazing. Feeling totally relaxed and not looking forward to going back to the rat race. Thanks for the experience.' Mr & Mrs Evans, Bridgend

'We had a lovely time at Fforest Lodge and will always remember it because we got engaged here!' Anonymous but happy couple, London

‘Thank you for a wonderful stay. Such a beautiful house. Our 2-year old loved spotting fairies in the forest – it really does feel enchanted! We loved the hot tub – such a magical experience listening to the owls!' The Valentine family