Perfect for new year breaks or gatherings, cosy up in a rural idyll off the beaten track in one of the many charming and character-filled cottages available to rent for a wonderful midwinter break in Herefordshire.
Mistletoe Cottage – Kinnersley
Stylishly welcoming and comfortable, set in the heart of the Herefordshire countryside, Mistletoe Cottage, is a gorgeous getaway, well appointed and equipped with everything guests could want.
Although the oak framed house was only built around five years ago, it possesses a timeless quality inside and out, which was very much the aesthetic owners William and Simon were after from the start of the project.
Spacious with unique flair
Their original vision for the house had been to create three bedrooms but they revised their plans to create two spacious en suite rooms on the first floor. One of these two king-size bedrooms has an en-suite bathroom and the other an en-suite shower room; two dogs are welcome downstairs (but not on the furniture!) in the house too.
In addition, there is a ground floor shower room, utility space, and very well equipped kitchen with everything you need, and some things you don’t!
The large dining table is the perfect spot for breakfast, but as darkness falls, it’s a great place to enjoy a cosy night in.
The cottage is full of William’s eclectic touches – touches that add to the sense that the house is older than its bones.
Additional shepherd’s hut
Beyond the cottage there are plenty of walks and places to visit, and if you just want to relax with a drink and a snack, the garden and front of the house catches the evening sunshine.
Two extra people can sleep comfortably in the Shepherd’s Hut as part of the whole booking. A stay in the Shepherd’s Hut is priced at an additional £20 per person per stay, but you will need to bring your own bedding. Facilities are in the house.
Where to go
Not far from the idyllic village of Weobley, which is a must-do and has its own Heritage Walk, Mistletoe Cottage is located in the centre of the triangle which joins Hereford, Hay-on-Wye and Leominster – making it a perfect base from which to explore the west of the county, with loads to do whatever your age, including Hay’s Thursday market and of course the beautiful Black and White Village Trail. The pretty market town of Leominster features regularly on the TV’s Flog It and is now famous for its abundance of antiques shops, making it fun to browse even if you’re not an expert. But if you don’t fancy going out for the day, the delightfully quiet garden is the perfect place to relax.
Lower House Barn – Staunton-on-Wye
Lower House Barn, has been lovingly restored by owners Di and Martin to provide a comfortable contemporary retreat with plenty of reminders of its origins, from exposed beams to vaulted ceilings, all cleverly incorporated to create a welcoming and spacious environment.
Sleeping up to six people, this charming holiday let has a wealth of modern facilities, including underfloor heating throughout, all guaranteed to make Lower House Barn the perfect spot, whether that’s for a short stay or a week-long break with family or friends.
On arrival, you’ll be welcome with a hamper packed with local Herefordshire produce, which the owners hope will make your stay even more enjoyable.
The ground floor living accommodation is open plan and patio doors lead from the lounge and dining area to the walled private patio area with garden furniture and BBQ.
There is also a full-size tennis court and table-tennis table available for use on-site throughout your stay.
Green and Accessible
The Hayloft, on the first floor, the Stable and the Bullpen on the ground floor, all have comfortable beds and en-suite bathrooms, all with disabled and wheelchair access.
The barn is powered throughout by PV panels and a biomass boiler making it energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
From its idyllic Wye Valley setting, Lower House Barn is perfect for exploring the scenic Herefordshire countryside by car, including the Wye and Golden Valleys, Offa’s Dyke, the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons National Park.
The barn is also within easy reach of Brobury House and Gardens, open all year round, and ‘the town of books’, Hay-on-Wye, famous for the annual Hay Festival. You’re also a hop and a skip from Oakchurch Farm Shop – ‘the Harrods of Herefordshire’ – where you’re guaranteed to find more than you’re expecting!
Bridge Farmhouse – Michaelchurch Escley
Whether you’re wanting to escape to the countryside for a week of exploring or relaxation or you want to get friends or family together, the 16th century Bridge Farmhouse is the perfect place to call home while you enjoy a rural getaway with extras.
The kitchen is the heart of the house, with room for up to 12 guests to gather round the table and socialise. And the snuggly lounge with its original features, comfy sofas and wood-burning stove is a perfect place to put your feet up and enjoy a cup of Black Mountain Roast Coffee or a Black Mountains Botanicals G&T – the brace of award-winning businesses founded by Bridge Farmhouse’s owner Glyn Bufton with Lloyd Reed.
And if you want a little quiet me-time the adjoining snug is the ideal spot to chill for a moment.
There’s another seating area on the large landing which enjoys views of the back garden, and the four bedrooms and spacious and beautifully designed, with Roberts digital radios, satellite TVs, plenty of storage and gorgeous bedding. There is a family bathroom with walk-in shower and a separate bath.
Gin School and more
Michaelchurch Escley is a tiny rural village, located in the shadows of the famous Cat’s Back, ideal for the enthusiastic walker.
Visit Black Mountain Botanicals, located directly next door, to book yourself a fascinating distillery tour and of course comparisons in their tasting room. Or even a gin making experience to make your own personalised gin.
You’ll also be treated to a tour of the coffee roasting barn, home to sister company, Black Mountain Roast where the aromas of Glyn and Lloyd’s hand-selected beans and blends will give you a new appreciation of this daily beverage.
Granton Coach House – Goodrich
Granton Coach House is a beautiful stone-built 18th century coach house that sits within the grounds of the owner’s property in Goodrich, a village that is home to one of Herefordshire’s most impressive castles, and within easy reach of Symonds Yat, Ross-on-Wye and Hereford.
With endless walks right on the doorstep, there’s no need to drive anywhere to enjoy the dramatic scenery of the Wye Valley – walk to Yat Rock from the front door and enjoy the sight of the peregrine falcons which nest on the cliffs above the river (there’s usually someone with a telescope to watch them from a safe distance). Exploring this Area of Outstanding Natural beauty is almost the purpose of a stay at Granton Coach House, which is designed with rustic-chic charm and no worries about walking boots.
The accommodation in the Coach House is all on the first floor, which is reached via the external stone steps. Sorry, no babies, children or pets. No smoking. The spacious open plan living area has a high beamed ceiling, a fabulous original wooden floor and contemporary furnishings, while the romantic super-king-sized bedroom has the added benefit of a luxurious en-suite shower room.
The woodland garden with patio features garden furniture and a BBQ and guests are welcome to use the sunny garden to the side of the coach house.
A romantic, intimate space for two, bookings are taken for a minimum of three nights up to seven, but longer stays will be considered.
There is LPG central heating throughout, as well as a wood-burner. Electric oven & hob, microwave, slow crock pot, fridge with ice box freezer, washing machine, dishwasher, in an extremely well-equipped kitchen. There is a TV with Freeview, DVD, stereo/CD, and good WiFi access.
Fuel, power, cleaning and starter pack for wood-burner is included in the rent. Fine Egyptian bed linen and fluffy white towels included. Off road parking for one car and secure storage for bikes.
Where to visit
If you fancy a bit of winter retail therapy alongside your r&r, head to Labels Shopping in Ross-on-Wye for over 200 brands for you and your home, and along the High Street discover the plethora of organic treats and staples at Field Fayre. The Shop @Coo Corner, a short drive away in Fownhope, has a treasure trove of the unusual, the sustainable and the upcycled for your home garden and gifts.
Don’t fancy cooking? The Hostelrie pub and restaurant, is short stroll up the road in Goodrich and an excellent holiday treat for lunch or supper, or just a pint or glass of well-researched wine after your walk.
Stone Cottage – Much Marcle
The refurbished and modernised Stone Cottage is one of two beautiful properties in one stunning location set in the rolling Herefordshire countryside, with both enjoying amazing views of the surrounding landscape.
Open plan living
Stone Cottage offers a perfect escape for couples, a beautiful romantic retreat with a single open-plan mezzanine bedroom and a large ensuite bathroom. The accommodation downstairs is also an open plan space incorporating kitchen, living and dining areas.
Stone Cottage sits next to Hill View House but each of the properties has its own private garden, and the two houses can be rented together or separately.
Things to do
The neighbouring market town of Ledbury is bursting with postcard charm, great eateries, hidden mews and an abundance of independent shops. You’ll love the handmade delights of Choccotastic, the fantastic lunches and cakes at The Malthouse and the town’s historic landmarks and buildings. There are plenty of activities and places to visit nearby including Westons Cider less than two miles way, where you can take a tour, buy delicious cider or eat at The Scrumpy House restaurant. For some deli delights and seasonal events head to The Nest at Little Verzon Farm on the road towards Hereford, before looping back at the crossroads to your Much Marcle base.
Stone Cottage offers flexible cancellation, so that you can book with confidence! Guests can cancel up to and including two days prior to check-in and receive a full refund.
Also see Hill View House
Hop Kiln at Wall End Farm – Monkland
The Hop Kiln is a fabulous two-bedroom, two-bathroom former working kiln which sleeps four. Set on a farm on the North Herefordshire/South Shropshire border, not far from Leominster, it has fantastic views over the cider apple orchard.
The original exposed beams and brickwork have been retained, while the addition of carefully chosen modern amenities throughout and underfloor heating on the ground floor ensures a wonderful atmosphere in which to enjoy a lovely relaxing break.
With careful design considerations, The Hop Kiln has been decorated using Edward Bulmer natural non-toxic paints, Tinsmiths of Ledbury lighting and fabrics, and is finished to a high standard.
On the first floor, the fabulous circular master bedroom features a super-king bed and a separate bathroom, while the bed in the spacious second bedroom is a 5’ zip-and-link bed which can be turned into a pair of 2’6” twin beds. This bedroom has an en-suite shower room with original exposed brickwork and timbered beams.
“The transformation of this project,” says owner Camilla Bengough, “was the large, long window on the staircase which has let the light flood in to the entire building.”
The Kiln is set in its own large garden fully fenced or surrounded by stone walls with an attractive terrace to the front of the building, where an external fireplace also doubles as a barbecue, has outdoor lighting and enjoys lots of afternoon sunshine. Not only an ideal entertainment area, it’s the perfect place to wrap up, sit and sit infront of the roaring flames toast mallows, stargazing into the low light-polluted skies, and follow the farm’s resident brown owl flying around the orchard in front of the Kiln
A tennis court is also available and Fishing at an extra cost.
All properties have a 22kw 3 phase Type 2 car charging point for guests with electric vehicles.
Eastnor Castle Cottages – Eastnor
Nestled in the Eastnor Deer Park, these two beautifully restored holiday cottages are a walkers’ paradise.
Peacock Villa and Golden Gates Lodge are in the Eastnor Castle Estate within the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and both offer stunning views, door-step walks, cycle routes and the highest level of comfort. Above all else though, these holiday cottages promise peace and tranquility!
Both properties were completely renovated in 2010 from previously derelict estate buildings. They have been tastefully and thoughtfully restored throughout and offer the highest level of comfort.
Ideally suited to people who want a relaxing break in a quiet area or want a convenient base from which to explore the surrounding area of Malvern and Ledbury, these properties are a great base for a holiday or short break and are regularly used by guests attending a wedding or party at Eastnor Castle.
Dogs are very welcome in both properties and they will be in waggy heaven with the incredible walks from the doorstep.
There are four cottages currently available to rent within historic Eastnor Castle’s grounds, but you’ll have to be quick if you fancy a stay in Peacock Villa as it will not be available to rent after March 31 this year.
Flexible space for smaller parties
Golden Gates Lodge can be booked as a one bed or a two-bed property. The two single storey gate lodges have been superbly refurbished and decorated to provide high quality self catering holiday accommodation in a unique setting.
The unique lodge provides single level accommodation for up to four guests and is made up of two listed buildings separated by a back and gold wrought iron gate.
The larger of the two lodges has a delightful sitting room, with Freeview TV/DVD & WI-FI, and is equipped with a wood burning stove, with a free supply of wood from the fully stocked log store by the rear entrance. The kitchen, with dining table for four people, is fully equipped with electric oven, ceramic hob, dishwasher, fridge freezer, washing machine and microwave. A kitchen door provides a side entrance. The double bedroom has a super king ‘zip n link’ with an adjoining bathroom with separate shower cubicle.
The smaller lodge on the other side of the gates, has been converted into a very cosy double bedroom, with separate lavatory, and shower room with wash basin. Close to the smaller lodge, but at a lower level and accessed down some stone steps, is the terrace with tables and chairs with magnificent views of the lakes and parkland.
Peacock Villa is a delightful, detached Edwardian cottage on the edge of the Eastnor Castle Estate, a remote but accessible rural setting with glorious views, and sleeps up to 6 guests.
On the ground floor is an entrance hall with boot rack, fully equipped kitchen with electric oven, ceramic hob, dishwasher, fridge freezer, washing machine, microwave and a Nespresso machine. There is also a dining room with seating for 6 guests and wood burner, a sitting room with wood burner, LCD TV & DVD, a double bedroom with super king ‘zip n link’ bed and a shower room with WC.
Upstairs is a double bedroom with king size bed, a further double bedroom with super king ‘zip n link’ bed which can convert into 2 single beds on request, bathroom with bath and WC.
All of Eastnor’s cottages offer an unrivalled location for exploring just a little of what Herefordshire has to offer, from nearby Eastnor Castle (Complimentary entry to Eastnor Castle during public opening times is available to all property guests) to Hellens Manor (open from April 1 but with winter pop-up events) or why not try your creative hand at Eastnor Pottery with a wonderful clay day making your own objet d’art … or abstract snack bowl!
Peacock Villa will not be available to rent after 31 March 2023.
Gardener’s Cottage – Lyonshall
Occupying a prime and private position on the Whittern Estate, one of the country’s major blackcurrant farmers and home to White Heron Drinks and creators of the award-winning British Cassis, Gardener’s Cottage is a gem in the White Heron Properties portfolio.
A four-star holiday cottage, sleeping up to six, the beautifully restored Gardener’s Cottage was once home to the estate’s head gardener and was built around 1850.
Backing onto a lovely and well-protected courtyard, it is historic, stylishly decorated and well proportioned for either a family or a couple’s hideaway .
The property has large open gardens of its own, next to the kitchen garden with its original eighteenth-century red brick walls. The accommodation at Gardeners Cottage is very well laid out and all the decor and furniture is designer orientated. The rear entrance leads to an eclectic courtyard, entering straight into a fully fitted kitchen which also includes a utility room and a large shower and toilet. The dining room is adjacent to the kitchen and will seat up to 10 around a large vintage table. The sitting room is the other side of the front entrance and porch area and has comfortable sofas, armchairs and a delightful wood-burner.
Upstairs the main bedroom has a king-size bed; another has a double French style bed and sink, and another bedroom has twin beds. The main family sized bathroom has a large enamel bath, basin and toilet.
And there’s more…
The family-owned Whittern Estate is home to seven luxurious self-catered holiday cottages, ensuring that, whether it’s for business or pleasure, a family reunion or a romantic break, they will have a cottage to suit you.
Set in the north of the county, Lyonshall is a great base from which to explore the quaint border town of Kington. Kington Markets, which run weekly on Friday, with the monthly arts, craft and vintage market on the third Saturday of the month. And, of course, a stay on the Whittern Estate wouldn’t be complete without a British Cassis tour, on which you’ll learn how founder Jo Hilditch did battle with the Dragons on BBC2!
For more rural winter retreats or for any time of year, check out our brilliant Herefordshire Accommodation guide here
Main photo: Stone Cottage in Much Marcle