The Old Schoolhouse
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Situated in a peaceful little hamlet near Hay-on-Wye, The Old School House is a recently restored, really comfortable holiday cottage. This former Victorian village schoolhouse has a sunny enclosed garden, and is just minutes from the river Wye for wild swimming or just playing on the river beach. Ten minutes’ drive will take you to the wonderful, eccentric town of Hay-on-Wye, with its bookshops, boutiques, galleries, cafes, pubs, canoeing centre and theatre – not to mention the famous Hay Literary Festival in June. The cottage sleeps 2 to 4 (plus a child on a spare bed and an infant in a cot) and welcomes up to 2 good dogs.
There is a 10% discount available for a couple outside the school holidays, based on the use of one double bed only (when you book for 2 adults, you can select this option).
The interior of The Old Schoolhouse has been thoughtfully decorated: some lovely colours – soft white with accents of taupe and rich red – set off interesting prints and maps, and some good pictures. Pretty furnishings include antique Hungarian linens, vintage bedspreads, and locally woven blankets. There is plenty of really well-researched local information, games and children’s books, and a wide selection of DVDs. Downstairs, there is a recently installed kitchen with a small eating area, a good-sized sitting-room with a wood burner, a big family bathroom and a small quiet room/play room/spare bedroom with a day bed (suitable for day-time lounging or for sleeping an extra child).
Upstairs, the lovely spacious master bedroom – once the old school room – has old beams, a great bed, a comfortable armchair for reading, and a peaceful bucolic view across fields towards the river. The bedroom next door can be a single, a twin or a super-king double – whatever suits your party. Outside, there is a pretty, confined garden with a sunny patio, and a lovely summerhouse tucked into one corner - the perfect little retreat for a quiet read or doze.
This is a beautiful part of the countryside, with wonderful walks of all kinds – from meandering riverside strolls to steep climbs up big hills for breathtaking views and great picnic spots. On the hill behind the cottage, there is a nature reserve for peaceful local walks and for good wild fauna-and-flora-spotting. For those who prefer a drive or a cycle, the Black and White Trail is a fascinating tour linking picturesque local villages with their vernacular timber-framed houses. This is ‘Kilvert Country’, the stamping ground of the nineteenth-century curate who became famous for his colourful diary (there is a copy in the cottage) of his experiences in this area, where his position as a man of the church meant that he had access to all walks of life, from gentry to gipsy girls. He was curate at the local church, whose churchyard is a heart-stopping mass of snowdrops in February.
Local produce is varied and of high quality, and can be enjoyed in good local pubs and restaurants, or, for self-catering, an enormous selection can be found at the nearby Oakchurch Country Store (described by locals and the ‘Harrods of Herefordshire’). Bookies will be delighted by the cottage’s proximity to Hay-on-Wye, as will those who treasure independent local shops, boutiques, galleries and antique emporia. Visitors will be strengthened by the best coffee, the most delicious ice-cream, and some good bistros and pubs. For rainy days, the owner recommends a trip to the old-fashioned town of Kington, where there is a good and really well-priced spa at The Burton Hotel (tel: 01544 231995 for details). For the many other things to do in the area, from visiting interesting historical sites to more energetic exploits such as gliding and paragliding at Hay Bluff, please view our local information.
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.
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From the visitors book at The OLD SCHOOLHOUSE Holiday Cottage
'A hidden gem, never to be forgotten. Matched all our wants and wishes.' T + T, Sussex
'Had a perfect break. Cottage is beautiful. The garden is a complete sun-trap, the beds are really comfy. Really enjoyed canoeing on the Wye and wild swimming. Our daughter especially enjoyed toasting marshmallows on the fire pit.' Laura, Billy & Daisy
'Lovely stay. Very child friendly with some special little touches. The playroom and summerhouse have been great. The firepit entertained us every night once the little one had gone to bed. We had some great days out at the river side in Glasbury and Bredwardine, and would highly recommend the Small Breeds Park and Owl Centre. Many thanks for a great stay.' Phil, Cat and William
'A wonderful four days – walks up on Hay Bluff, browsing in Hay on Wye, riding, reading, good food. Fabulous family break and very warm and comfortable.' The Strover family
'Lovely cottage, super spot! Recommendations in the cottage info file are very useful and helped us in deciding how best to spend our time here. Walks from the cottage very enjoyable. Oakchurch Farm was our saviour - some fabulous cuts of meat. The picnic table on the patio was super for a suntrap and for eating meals outside. Thank you.' Kate, Malcom and Chloe, Essex.
'A thoroughly relaxing break. Had a wonderful time, just a shame to have to go home tomorrow.' Gill, John and Oliver Southam
'It is a lovely cottage! Extremely well equipped and wonderful for our daughter. The drive to and walk around Llanthony was spectacular, and who would have thought that the rope swing would provide such enjoyment to a three year old.' Sophie Leo and Tilly, London
'Thank you so much! The house has provided us with everything we required to enjoy a relaxed, warm and peaceful Christmas. One that will live long in the memory.' Richard and Tony, Swansea.
'We have had a simply wonderful family holiday in this delightful house. I am so rested after 3 nights of deep sleeping in one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in! Can we come again?' The Lyell family, Kent
One from a child: 'Well, we really love the area and there's lots of fun places to visit like the bike centre where we rode 10 miles for fun, not exercise, fun. Llangorse held the best bit of the holiday which was pony trekking. This was my first horse ride and I do hope it's not my last! Love the rope swing! One last word to sum up the holiday - Cool!' Joe, Ness and Rob and Charlie (woof)
'Hugely enjoyable stay at the lovely and well provided Old School House. The Black Mountains are superb and Bredwardine was spectacular in autumnal colours. Did canoeing from Glasbury to Hay. Very restful and most certainly a place we would like to return.' Claire, Nigel and family , Surrey.