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- Completely secluded old farmhouse with lots of space inside and out for family holidays
- Romantically situated for a couple to enjoy a private, peaceful break
- Lovely views
- A short drive from shops, pubs, local award-winning farm-produced ice-cream, and cider bar
- Sleeps 2 to 4 adults, plus up to 6 children and an infant
- Dog-friendly: up to 2 well-behaved dogs welcome
- Discount for a couple available outside the school holidays
This old farmhouse in the Welsh borders has an ancient, but timeless, atmosphere – you feel as if you’ve jumped back into the arms of history, and all thought of external humdrum life disappears in the most relaxing way. Mod cons are in place – good wifi, Blutooth dock, mobile signal, if you need them; but you’re more likely to find yourself curled up with a book on a rainy day, tramping the hills on a fine one, or sampling some local prize-winning ice-cream or cider in nearby farms.
A couple’s discount of 25% is available outside the holiday periods for the use of one bedroom only.
Hill Farm has been sympathetically restored by the owners and brought up to date with a light touch. Authentic details abound: old screen walls, pegged beams, lime plaster, ancient oak doors, and the original ‘fire stair’, wrapping itself around the chimney breast. It is modest and unassuming, with no pretensions to luxury or urban refinement. For that reason, it is a truly relaxing place to be, where adults can revel in the fact that their children can escape screens and organised entertainment and run wild in deep countryside, making up their own outside games. Or it is the most private place for a couple to escape to and enjoy each other’s undiluted company.
There is a wonderfully rustic entrance through the old barn and up some stairs into the useful utility room (with bathroom adjacent). Here is room for boots and coats and a place to stow gear. A few steps up, and you enter the spacious living room, comprising sitting and dining areas. A country kitchen is at the end, with a beautiful old door opening out onto the terrace. A bunk bedroom for children is on this floor, too.
Upstairs are two double bedrooms, each with a king-size bed. And beyond the master bedroom is a children’s room, via a low opening with a door masquerading as a bookshelf – a pretence which children love. This room has a double bed and two singles, and a big glazed window looking out over fields. There is also an upstairs lavatory.
The garden is huge and grassy, with plenty of space for children to run around and play endless outdoor games. There is a big south-facing terrace with garden furniture and a fire-pit, perfect for making the most of any available sunshine, and for watching sunsets on the horizon. Footpaths go straight from the door for some spectacular walks, and the owner’s info file gives details of some personal favourites.
THINGS TO DO AROUND HILL FARM
Walks from Hill Farm link up to a network of local footpaths including the Marches Way, The Three Castles Walk, the Herefordshire Trail and Offa's Dyke Path. Hill Farm is perfectly located to explore The Black Mountains to the West, the Golden Valley to the North and the Monmouthshire Hills to the south.
Rowlestone Court Farm, about half a mile away in Rowlestone village is a good place to go between mid-April and the end of September, when their café (with play area) is open for lunches and snacks, and their wonderful farmhouse ice-cream is for sale, both to eat in or take away. You can still go there to buy ice-cream in the winter, but call 01981 240322 first to make sure they are in. Battlelands in Ewyas Harold is a good option for energetic children, where they can paintball to their hearts’ content.
The nearby village of Ewyas Harold has good pubs, a village shop with post office, a butcher, and a really good fish-and-chip shop. The area is renowned for its good places to eat out, including The Walnut Tree (an easy drive for an excellent meal in a renowned Michelin-starred restaurant), Toi et Moi in Bacton, The Crown at Pantygelli and The Bridge at Michaelchurch. Good shopping can be had in Abergavenny, where there is a farmers market, some independent shops and a couple of supermarkets, including a very large Waitrose. Locks Garage on the way to Hereford is good for emergency supplies, as it sells everything (including some surprisingly exotic fruit and veg), and is open every day.
The city of Hereford has a handsome cathedral with a ‘Chained Library’ housing the famous Mappa Mundi (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), a medieval interpretation of the world. Inside All Saints Church, not far from the cathedral, there is a wonderful café, with lots of good vegetarian options. There is also a Pizza Express with windows overlooking the cathedral green.
The pretty town of Hay-on-Wye is a must, particularly for book lovers, as it is considered to be the centre in Europe for second hand books. It also has some good antique shops, a deli, boutiques, a cinema, and coffee shops. And every May/June, Hay-on-Wye hosts the now world-famous literary festival, attracting some big names in the literary world.
A trip over to the lower Wye Valley opens up a huge choice of great things to do with families, from off-road bike trails for all ages and abilities at Pedalabikeaway to a mysterious woodland landscape at Puzzlewood, the location for many a film. The Steam Train through the forest is a popular option, as are the limestone caves at Clearwell. Canoeing from Symonds Yat is fun, and you can climb up to the Yat Rock to see a view in a million, and watch the Peregrine Falcons nesting on the cliffs. Two gentler activities include a visit to the Butterfly Zoo and the maze next-door.
The nitty gritty
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.
|1||Select length of stay||2||Hover over dates for prices||3||Click to book|
From the visitors book at Hill Farm
'Wonderful weather to match a wonderful place. Great place to just relax and watch the world go by!' Roy & Sue, Northamptonshire
'Such a peaceful place - so quiet apart from birds, cows and sheep! We loved the wonky floors, hidden bedroom and ancient staircase alongside plenty of hot water and a fab kitchen. It's lovely to eat out for breakfast and again to have tea watching the sunset, and to wake up with the beautiful views across the valley. Some great days out in close reach - Hereford, Hay-on-Wye, Llanthony, Rowlestone (the ice-cream is as good as they say), the Weir Garden and Puzzlewood. A fantastic week of rest and quiet, thank you for sharing this gorgeous place with us.' Emily, Mark, Sarah & Eleanor, Cambridge
'A delightful cottage in a beautiful setting, hidden from the world, yet overlooking it. Lots of space and quirky features. The secret room was perfect for 3 girls. Fantastic countryside for walking and adventures and getting away from it all.' Kerry, Tracey, Georgia, Annabel, Olivia, Harris & Jo, Nottingham
'It's like entering a magical kingdom - the house, the drive to the house and quirky surrounding area/towns/villages. Great for the kids to run wild and BBQs on the patio.' A. Rigby & Family, Lancs
'We had a lovely, relaxing time, the peace and solitude were greatly appreciated. Completed the walk to Ewyas Harrold several times. Many thanks for a lovely holiday.' The Birkin Family, Basingstoke
'Absolutely amazing week! Apart from Monday night when we were able to sit out with the firepit and watch the sunset - the weather wasn't really on our side, but we still had amazing walks up Black Hill and then up Craig y Fan Ddu and across the ridgeway to Fan y Big - the log fire was certainly a comfort on return. Thank you for the groceries and the beautiful flowers - the cottage is wonderful - well stocked, cosy and quirky. Could anyone wish for more?' Chris, Naomi & Niko the dog, Templecombe
'The peace and solitude of this cottage is absolutely amazing and just what we needed. The cottage is lovely and the endless supply of logs for the woodburner and the fire pit is a real bonus. Everything is clean and well-equipped. Thank you for the flowers and groceries, so welcoming, and thanks to Blaentrothy Cottages and Nicki the housekeeper for sorting my daughter coming for a night. Our little haven was interrupted by our 2 year old grandson but he really enjoyed the outside space.' Dave, Penny & Bella the Boxer dog, Bristol
'Thank you so much. We have really enjoyed our long weekend in such a quiet home. Nicola was most helpful bringing in extra towels and a tea pot! Lovely walk to Abbey Dore and up on to Harrerall Hill.' The Smiths, Worcestershire
'A restful week in an idyllic setting, with a very comfortable and well-equipped house. Children ran wild around the garden and enjoyed toasting marshmallows over the fire pit. Made the most of the mainly dry weather to undertake a number of walks, visit castles, priories and abbeys, and even managed to go kayaking on the Wye. Enjoyed the pub meals at the Temple Bar in Ewyas Harrold, and browsing the bookshops of Hay, experiencing the local cider and ice-cream and managed to successfully make it down rabbit lane. A great week.' The Edmondsons, Scotland
'Lovely cottage - everything we wanted. This place is in striking distance from The Walnut Tree restaurant near Abergavenny. We might come back just for the lobster omelette.' Dawson family, Hemel Hempstead
'A wonderful, quirky place off the beaten track - just what we wanted. The rabbit lane track down to the village is challenging but do-able and the pubs and shops there make it a worthwhile trek. Walked over to the Dore Abbey to the tearoom too - a nice spot to stop and recharge. Nearly all footpaths - very little tarmac walking. We've had glorious weather every day and plenty of time outdoors - but the cottage itself is great and full of character and odd places to investigate, had the weather kept us confined. A great find for us. The fire makes for cozy evenings and the kitchen is big and well laid out, loads of equipment, all you could need. Many thanks.' The Fowers, Wantage
'We're honoured to be the first. Beautiful place, very quirky. An exciting place to stay. Enjoyed a special lunch at The Walnut Tree - superb. The local cider and ice-cream lived up to expectations. We loved the modern touches, especially the lampshades. Thank you for the flowers and groceries. I'm sure we will be back asap.' The Edwards, Warwick