We can’t wait to let you know about a lovely holiday cottage we stayed in last week.
Obviously, we hope that if ever you want a holiday in the Peak District you will look no further than our Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns. However, we do understand that the time may arise when you feel like going Welsh, and with our holiday cottages being firmly rooted in the Peak National Park we can’t help you with that.
Only, actually, and this is our secret…we can! Our soon to be revealed secret is only 50 yards or so into Wales but 50 yards is all it takes… Corisande and Angus, two of our daughter Ruthie’s greatest friends, have been converting an old mill cottage overlooking the Wye (near Hay-on-Wye). Both of them know and love our two cottages and we have been only too glad to share all that we have learned over the years.
They have given everything a great deal of careful thought and have bounced many ideas back and forth with us. Our final privilege was to stay in their cottage last weekend, to sample it and feed back our thoughts. And what a pleasure it was to do that; because they have done everything so beautifully we found ourselves coming away with a few tips ourselves. It is always good to find oneself on the receiving end because it can feel very different. As owners one can feel sure one knows what will be nice for guests but only a guest can truly know.
There is still a lot to be finalised: the name, for example. Just as we used to fondly but unimaginatively refer to Tom’s Barn as ‘the barn’ until we were told that there were at that stage already 17 cottages called ‘the Barn’ in the Peak District, so they realistically call their cottage ‘mill cottage’. When we looked up Mill Cottage in Wales there were dozens so they are wondering now whether to change the name before it is too late, making it more identifiable.
Because they really do have a unique property, and one they don’t want get muddled up with scores of run of the mill (sorry – couldn’t resist that!) cottages. They are still awaiting a grading inspection so have not started advertising yet and of course there is masses of behind the scenes paper work one has to provide – access policies, risk assessments, Terms & Conditions – horribly tedious but essential.
When they do we will be sure to let you know. Meanwhile, you will be needing to have the basic facts. It sleeps two, in what is a very spacious cottage. Everything is brand new and excellent quality, and we were extremely comfortable. The 6′ bed was very superb, and the bedlinen crisp white 400 thread count cotton. All the curtains and cushion covers have been specially made, from beautiful Welsh tweed. The kitchen was very well equipped; the sitting room – with log burner – very welcoming. There was no mobile signal, so like us they have provided a landline and wi-fi.
There’s fishing (by arrangement), walking – including Offa’s Dyke, Hay on Wye with its famous bookshops and other lovely shops as well and of course the famous Hay Festival.
The big lack at the moment is a website but that is in progress. We’ll be sure to let you know the minute they go live and meanwhile, will be delighted to direct any enquiries to Angus and Corisande. And my big lack is not having at the moment any photos of the interior; these are all mine and I was so taken with the breathtaking views. John has some of the interior which i shall ask him for, meanwhile as well as the river here is Corisande showing John how to get down to the water.
Douglas’s Barn is available to book for short breaks 3 or 4 nights between 2 and 20 May 2016. Bookings usually start on a Monday or a Friday but if you want a break that starts on a different day get in touch. We are very flexible with bookings.
There are some new attractions added to the list of treats available with the Premier Cottages special privileges card. Amongst them are Renishaw Hall, Thornbridge Hall Gardens (new discounts), Hassop Station Cafe, Village Green Cafe Eyam, Carsington Water Sports and Leisure, Hartington Cheese Shop.
There are still a few free dates at the end of March/April in both Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns. Short breaks, 3 or 4 nights, which are not normally available are on offer. Please look at availability and give me a call or book on line.