Rowlestone Mill Barn
Features | Map | Visitor comments
- Secluded barn in beautiful hillside situation
- Wonderful view down valley to the Monmouthshire hills
- Spacious-but-cosy barn conversion
- Lots of woodland to explore and superb walking from the door
- Interesting 18th-century working watermill at the bottom of the valley
- Dog-friendly: one good dog welcome
- Discount for a couple outside the holiday periods
A long private track creates a sense of mystery, as it gently curves through woodland, gradually revealing a secluded barn in a beautiful position with heavenly views. Rowlestone Mill Barn is historically associated with the mill house at the bottom of the valley, where the old watermill is still in fascinating working order. Situated further up the hillside, the barn is a skilled conversion, with an open-plan, light-filled living-area on the first-floor, and sleeping accommodation below. Sleeps up to 4 people, plus an extra child and an infant. One well-behaved dog welcome.
A couple's discount of 20% is available outside the holiday periods for the use of one bedroom only
Big glazed windows and doors in the open-plan living-cum-dining-room, once the openings for the hay carts, create a wonderful feeling of inside-outside living in the summer, and provide much-needed light in the winter. Old cartwheels, one hanging picturesquely from a beam, allude to its past incarnation; and a big wood burner is the focal point on cooler evenings.
A mezzanine, with a hammock, a chair and a mattress, is a place to retreat to with a book from the library below it, as is the little snug sitting-room adjacent to the dining-area – but this time for TV or DVD-watching. An extra child can sleep here comfortably on the mattress (please bring your own sleeping-bag and pillow), but please be aware that it is on a different floor from the bedrooms.
The final room on this level, adjacent to the dining area, is the kitchen - neat, spacious and well-equipped. Keen cooks will be happy that there's a fridge with a good-sized freezer section, plenty of work surface, and a larder. Outside the front door, the owner has planted culinary herbs for summer picking.
Downstairs are the two comfortable bedrooms, either side of the well-appointed family bathroom (with big bath, shower, loo, hand-basin and towel-rail). One has a king-size bed; the other has twin beds. A wide hallway on this floor has coat-hooks and a place to leave wellies and walking-boots.
The garden has a south-facing sheltered terrace, with garden furniture, for enjoying the sunshine and the view across the beautiful Monmouthshire hills. A garden wraps around the barn, with lawn, terraced borders and some grassy space below. There is a private parking area, with space for two cars, and on the hillside above the barn there are eight acres of woodland to explore and enjoy.
The barn's secluded location is a field away from Rowlestone Mill, an 18th-century, overshot watermill in an ancient sylvanian setting. Woodland walks from the barn pass a 5-metre waterfall, where the Cwm Brook drops into a deep gorge. The mill's leat meanders from above the waterfall to the mill, where, by prior arrangement with the owner and with a suggested donation of £20 towards the mill's upkeep and restoration, the waterwheel can be brought to life and made to turn – a fascinating experience and well worth doing. A guided tour of the Mill and its dramatic surroundings will show the waterwheel working the sack hoist and a rare Victorian cider apple scratter. Click here for our video of the mill in action.
THINGS TO DO AROUND ROWLESTONE MILL BARN
Walks from within the grounds of the Barn and Mill link to a network of local footpaths including the Marches Way, The Three Castles Walk, the Herefordshire Trail and Offa's Dyke Path. Rowlestone Mill Barn is ideally located to explore the countryside, castles and historic churches of The Black Mountains to the west, the Golden Valley to the north and the Monmouthshire Hills to the south.
Rowlestone Court Farm, less than half a mile away, is a great place to visit in the summer months (mid-April to end September), when their café is open for lunches and snacks, and their delicious farmhouse ice-cream is for sale, both to eat in - do try their affogato - or to take away in tubs for enjoying later. Even when the café is closed in the winter months, you can still buy ice-cream (but call 01981 240322 first to make sure they are in). When the cafe is open, there is a play area, a woodland adventure trail, and a lovely circular woodland walk past a 19th-century lime kiln. Also within Rowlestone is Ty Gwyn Cider Shop and Bar, a multi-award-winning craft cider company, open on selected days thoughout the week.
Family butchers, village shops (both with post offices), an excellent fish-and-chip shop, and two pubs, can all be found in Ewyas Harold and Pontrilas, less than 10 minutes' drive away. The area is well-known for its good places to eat out - see list below. Good shopping can be had at Abergavenny, with its farmer's market, independent shops, and supermarkets. Giuseppe Lenza has a farm stall and pick-your-own fruit in season, located just off the A465 at Llanvihangel Crucorney. 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 beautiful and important cathedral with a 'Chained Library' housing the famous Mappa Mundi (a UNESCO World Heritage Site and medieval interpretation of the world). Rather oddly located 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, a good Thai restaurant in Broad Street and an excellent burger restaurant tucked into Aubrey Street behind.
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.
Good places to eat in the area:
The Temple Bar Inn at Ewyas Harold (8 mins)
The Dog Inn at Ewyas Harold (8 mins)
The Carpenter's Arms at Walterstone (8 mins)
The Bridge Inn at Kentchurch (9 mins)
The Old Pandy Inn (12 mins)
The Crown at Longtown (14 mins)
Toi et Moi in Bacton (15 mins)
The Crown at Pantygelli (20 mins)
The Walnut Tree Inn at Llanddewi Skirrid (22 mins)
The Bridge at Michaelchurch (22 mins)
The nitty gritty
Live online booking
Changeovers are Tuesdays and Saturdays (Thursday and Sunday start dates can also be arranged by contacting Caroline directly). Weekends are set-priced from Saturday 4pm to Tuesday 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.
There is a couple's discount in place for this property (the price will adjust automatically when you book for 2 adults).
|1||Select length of stay||2||Hover over dates for prices||3||Click to book|
From the visitors book at Rowlestone Mill Barn
'A perfect place to stay! Beautiful home and setting - ideal for any holiday. Thank you. P.S. The tour of the mill was brilliant - such a magical setting.' Farinaz and Jason from London
'Excellent - wonderful place to recharge the batteries! Very relaxing - brilliant paths - so pretty down by the waterfall. The cider and eggs - lovely welcome. Only trouble being having to go and get more cider to take home!! So nice. All being well, we will be back in the Autumn, after the harvest. Thank you.' Duncan and Cora, Banbury
'A beautiful space. Our lives have been enriched by staying here. Thank you, Paul (and family), for the tour around the mill. The cider and eggs were much appreciated, too. Great books. Do you need two lodgers?' Mark and Stacey, Bridgend