Features | Map | Visitor comments
- Beautiful private situation with lovely garden
- Historic, Grade 2-listed timber-framed cottage
- Child, infant and dog-friendly (2 very well-behaved dogs welcome)
- Located in the lovely unspoilt countryside of the Golden Valley
- Near Hay-on-Wye
- Short drive to excellent pubs and restaurants
- Sleeps 2 to 5 in a double room, a twin room and a single
- 10% discount for couples outside the school holidays
From a happy visitor to Paradise: 'The cottage is almost beyond my ability to describe, but I'll start with "stunning": it has clearly been restored with tremendous care and creativity and is just a joy to walk into. It's extraordinary to be somewhere that is full of the seemingly undisturbed atmosphere and beauty of a few hundred years ago and yet still have state-of-the-art internet, top-flight tv and radio systems and a kitchen equipped to ridiculously high standards...' Read more
A feeling of enchantment envelops you as you wind through the trees to this gorgeous timber-framed cottage. Set in a private clearing in the woods with a beautiful garden, Paradise is a charming, authentically-restored, seventeenth-century farmhouse. Paradise has always been its name - a fitting one, certainly, as the atmosphere and location in this ancient deciduous woodland can, without exaggeration, be described as heavenly. A friendly tawny owl often swoops among arriving guests – a signal of welcome from this talisman. Sleeps up to 5 people (plus an infant and up to 2 good dogs) in a double, a twin and a single. There is a 10% discount for couples outside the school holidays based on the use of one double bed only (when you book for 2 adults, the price will reduce automatically).
The owners, who farm the land around Paradise, restored this cottage with their own hands, only bringing in occasional help from other quarters. 'Upcycling', the use of traditional and local materials, clever sourcing and judicious repairs, makes this one of the most environment-friendly places to stay. It is extremely well-kitted-out, with all the kitchen equipment and items you could possibly ever need; and is as comfortable, warm, and as peaceful as can be.
Downstairs, there is a useful, pretty hallway for hanging coats and storing boots. Next-door, the wonderful kitchen has a fabulous double-oven electric range stove with 5-burner gas hob, lots of work surface and storage space, a large fridge-freezer, and a big oak door for throwing open on fine days. The bathroom has a bath, a shower over, a hand basin and a loo. (There is also another loo in a separate room.) The living-room comprises a really cosy sitting-room with two sofas, an armchair and a wood burner, and a dining-area with rectangular dining-table.
Upstairs, there is a double bedroom with a king-size bed, a twin room and a little single room. The bedlinen is charmingly mixed with antique linens, bedspreads, and opulent silk cushions. Pictures, antiques and decorative objects give the cottage a wonderfully generous, homely feel.
The garden is sheltered and south-facing, so the wide stone terrace is the perfect place to sit and relax. There are beautiful perennial flower borders, a lawn, and grassy areas around the house; and there are lovely walks from the door on the many public footpaths encircling Paradise, and beyond. The owners farm sheep in the fields round about, so it is crucial that if you bring a dog, it is completely reliable around stock.
Things to do around Paradise
Although Paradise is very privately located in the middle of beautiful unspoilt countryside, it isn’t far from civilisation either. Great pubs and a superb little French restaurant are close by; and an award-winning local shop at Longtown sells really good basic supplies. Hay-on-Wye is close for more sophisticated shopping – boutiques, art galleries, antique emporia and, of course, its famous second-hand bookshops. Worth a visit is nearby Dore Abbey, a Cistercian abbey in the village of Abbey Dore in the Golden Valley. It was founded by a crusading lord in 1147 and, during the 13th century, increased its land acquisitions (some of the best local Welsh and English farmland) until it had become very wealthy through the sale of wool. By 1260, it was described as a ‘sumptuous church’. After its dissolution, it was restored in the 1630s by a local landowner and has been used as a church ever since. Good concerts are held here in the summer months.
The Golden Valley, a wide, fertile and picturesque valley in the lee of the wilder Black Mountains, is a wonderful part of the world for walking. The diaries of Francis Kilvert extol the beauties of this sheltered landscape. He was rector at St. Andrews Church, Bredwardine, where the snowdrops in February are a beautiful sight, and where there is a great river beach for summer dips in the Wye. Up above Bredwardine, on Dorstone Hill, is Arthur’s Stone, a fascinating chamber tomb from the Neolithic period. Views from up here are magnificent: as you walk the ridge, you can look out at the Wye Valley on the one side and the Golden Valley on the other.
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 Paradise
'We loved our mid-February weekend at this perfect retreat from the world. The cottage is one of the cosiest, toastiest and comfiest places (and probably the oldest!) we have ever stayed in and the peace and tranquillity of the location are second to none. Kharon and Robert (the owners) are truly delightful people and their restoration of this wonderful old building is quite something. All the old features have been retained, but there is a significant nod to the 21st century in terms of technology and equipment. Do stay there – you won’t be disappointed.' Cathie, Huddersfield
'When we came round the bend and saw the cottage, it simply took our breath away! What an absolutely beautiful place! We had a lovely week, the weather was kind, and the cottage amazing. Many thanks for all the little details - we'll come back some day.' Wendy, Bill, Timothy, Kimberly and Woody (chocolate Lab), London
'Idyllic cottage in a magical setting - amazingly well equipped (thanks). Dominic very happy with his cot and high chair. Seeing the resident tawny owl, a badger in the garden, nesting redstarts, a fly-catcher, and nesting wrens in all the nooks in the timber frame was all just wonderful. Thank you.' Bradley, Kate and Dominic, London
'We stayed during the Hay Festival. A perfect escape from the hustle & bustle of 'real' life. The house is amazing! From nails, stones, knockers, to lamps and pottery, are to be commended! Your love of the area and passion for the home is contagious - we are very reluctantly packing to go, with promises to our daughters that we will return, and soon! Many, many thanks.' Tom, Christine, Ella and Violet, Surrey
'I was moved to write my first ever poem:
Feel the peace of this ancient place,
Remote amongst centuries old trees,
Feel the essence of lives long gone,
A moment in time to freeze.
How many winters - how many summers
Have dawned upon this place?
How many spring times have brought new life to add to its charm and grace?
The only sounds are those of the wild,
As they punctuate the silence -
Soothing sounds which harmonise well with the trees and shrubs so dense.
At nightfall it turns to a magical place
Where the mind can almost see
Fairies and elves dancing around flying from tree to tree
A week in October at Paradise gave us so much pleasure - solace, enchantment, atone with the earth.
Paradise will be a memory to treasure. Thank you!'
Sheila and Roger and Yip the dog
'We had an absolutely magical Christmas here in Paradise, made particularly special by the magnificent decorations you arranged in welcome! Exactly the kind of place we would choose to live, given half the chance. Thank you so much!!' Murray, Issy, Lisa and Caroline, London, Totnes, Cannes.
'An idyllic haven of tranquility in a happy, cared-for, comfortable and welcoming space. Highly recommended.' Fiona and Ana, TotnesVia email: Dear Caroline,
I was just writing to let you know that we had a truly excellent time at Paradise. The owners were incredibly hospitable, the cottage is beautiful, and it is just the type of getaway we were looking for. Our children (aged 2 and 4) also had a great time, with plenty of space to run around in and adventures to get up to. We will wholeheartedly recommend Paradise to our friends, and hope to be back in the future.
With best regards,
Imran and Oriana, London
'The cottage is almost beyond my ability to describe, but
I'll start with "stunning": it has clearly been restored with
tremendous care and creativity and is just a joy to walk
into. It's extraordinary to be somewhere that is full of the
seemingly undisturbed atmosphere and beauty of a few hundred years ago
and yet still have state-of-the-art internet, top-flight tv and
radio systems and a kitchen equipped to ridiculously high standards.
The location is perfect. Sheep abound in all directions. The garden is
full of all varieties of gorgeous flowers and plants that overflow
onto the walls of the cottage (and into lovely arrangements that Kharon
makes inside). The cottage manages to feel delightfully miles from
anywhere - up a long, twisty and mysteriously beautiful
drive, beside a valley that is silent and star-filled at
night and full of birdsong, rabbits and butterflies by day. But at
the same time it's actually very close to two good-sized towns
(Hereford and Abergavenny) not to mention a top class French restaurant
(and how many of those do you find in the middle of the Black
Mountains?) and some other great restaurants and pubs,
some beautiful villages and gem-like tiny churches. What a find!'
Emma and Michael, Birmingham