Woodside Bolthole, Wales

6
2

Boho-chic gem with huge views on a south-facing hillside above the River Wye (sleeps 6 + 2 kids)

3 Bedrooms

3 Bathrooms

Child friendly

Dog friendly

Eco conscious

Parking

Private garden

Walk to a pub

WiFi

Woodburner

Space & setting.

At the end of a lane between Hay-on-Wye and Offas’s Dyke, this beautiful 3-bed hideaway is perfect for friends, families and anyone who loves a bit of rural immersion. Up until 2014, the tiny cottage had been owned by the same family for almost a century, before its current owners added a glass-fronted extension to take advantage of the killer view onto the Black Mountains and Hay Bluff. On a clear day you can see as far as Pen y Fan and in winter, when the mist rolls in, the garden is visited by woodpeckers, rabbits and wild deer.

Boho interiors reflect the travels and interests of the owners. In the kitchen, the tiles are reclaimed and Spanish, the work surfaces repurposed lab tops, the crockery vintage and the pans top quality (he’s a chef). In the sitting room decor includes vintage lamps, a batik-blind made by the creative owner, and armchairs covered with local sheepskin and Gujarati blankets. Ancient beams and exposed stonework celebrate the history of the cottage, while the bedrooms in the modern extension have hand-built beds and fabrics by Molly Mahon, Liberty and Linwood (2 kingsize, 1 with 4 single beds or a double and 2 bunks). Come for great walks from the house, world-class hiking on Offa’s Dyke, wild swimming in the River Wye and mooching around Hay’s wonderful independents.

Getting here: best to drive

 

“We were looking for a rural bolthole for years. We wanted it pared back and simple, to reconnect us with nature after lots of urban living. Before we even stepped into the cottage we fell in love with the surroundings. There aren’t many places that offer views of the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons, where you can pop down the hill for a dip in the Wye, and be a few miles from the buzz of Hay Literary Festival. We bought it with Rob’s mum so it has been a 3-generational affair, and our aim was for the cottage to feel relaxed for dogs, kids, muddy wellies. Not too precious!” Owners, Claire and Rob

My Kip favourites

They love
“The mist in the valley in the autumn, the snow on the hills in the winter, the explosion of green in spring as the woodland next to us awakes and the sublime sunset colours with the backdrop of Pen Y Fan in the Brecon Beacons.”

We love
Because the owners spend lots of time here, it really does feel like a home — shelves are laden with books, maps and board games, and the kitchen is brilliantly well equipped. It’s awesome for kids too, with a bunk room and a mud kitchen, treehouse and rope swing in the garden.

You may not love
Absolutely not a party house. Min 3 nights. No central heating; warmed by woodburners and radiators so may be cold on arrival. No TV or dishwasher. Best for kids aged 3+ as stone floors and steep stairs.

 

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  • “We came with our kids and dog and enjoyed ice creams, river adventures and bookshops in Hay but I would love to come back for a quiet stay without the brood for slow breakfasts and papers in the sunny kitchen or patio and a walk to the local pub. Such a welcoming place to spend a few days if you like slow and simple rural pleasures on the Welsh borders.”

    Carol and Simon, August 2021

Sustainability.

Wood for the woodburners is sourced from their land; high-spec insulation in the extention; full recycling; untamed land and wild meadow in the adjacent field.

 

Surrounds.

  • Black Mountains
    Black Mountains
  • Bredwardine-Bridge-over-the-Wye
    Bredwardine Bridge over the Wye
  • Kington
    Kington
  • Queenswood Country Park
  • Offa's Dyke Escape by Emily Bowden Photography (3)
    Offa's Dyke Escape
  • There are glorious local walks from the house, through Whitney Woods to a lovely local pub, along the Herefordshire Trail or into Brilley Green Dingle’s wooded reserve.
  • More serious hikes a short drive away include Offa’s Dyke and up onto Hergest Ridge or along the epic ridges of The Black Mountains. Hay Bluff or the Cat’s Black are our favourites.
  • You’re spoilt with amazing local food and drink here – from nearby Artistraw Cider and Black Mountain Gin to pubs like The Bull’s Head at Craswall, serving meat from its regenerative farm.
  • Hay-on-Wye is 3 miles away, with fabulous independent shops and cafes like relative newbie The Flaming Lady of Hay and the much-loved Booth’s Bookshop. If you’re here on Thursday, don’t miss the market; Alex Gooch’s bread and pastries are the absolute best. If you can, book the house for the annual Literary Festival in late May.
  • Kington is a cute under-the-radar alternative to Hay, with a Friday market, great local makers scene and an independent deli.
  • Younger kids will love the mud kitchen and treehouse in the garden, plus the brilliant nearby farm park and owl centre.
    Older kids can canoe down the River Wye and hire bikes in Hay for an epic mountain biking scene. Afterwards, feed them some of the best pizza in the west at Origin in Hay or Daphne’s in Presteigne.

Specifics.

  • Cottage and contemporary extension
  • 3 bedrooms: 2 x kingsize + 1 x 4 single beds (or a double and 2 bunks on request)
  • Note, this is not a party house & young groups are not permitted
  • 3 bathrooms: one with shower/bath, 2 shower rooms
  • Brilliantly equipped kitchen warmed by a woodburner: basic supplies
  • Living room warmed by a woodburner
  • Electric radiators throughout
  • No TV but WiFi
  • Books, board games, torch, candles and outdoor cooking kit
  • Toy chest and kids’ books
  • Garden with treehouse, playground, rope swing and mud kitchen
  • Dog friendly – max 2 dogs who live together
  • Parking for 2/3 cars
  • Drive to shops, foodie pubs and restaurants (3 miles to Hay); walk to a lovely pub (1.2 miles)
  • Booking conditions: 2/3-night min stay
  • Remember to pack: wellies, slippers / thick socks for cold floors (no underfloor heating), binoculars

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30% deposit, with the balance due 8 weeks prior to stay.

Cancellations
8+ weeks prior to stay: deposit refunded, minus a £30 processing fee.
6-8 weeks prior to stay: deposit retained, 70% balance refunded, minus a £30 processing fee.
4-6 weeks prior to stay: 50% of the total booking fee retained, 50% refunded, minus a £30 processing fee.
No refunds if booking cancelled within 4 weeks of stay.

To see our full terms and conditions relating to booking our hideaways please click here.

FAQs.

It depends. If they are small and live together then we generally say yes. No more than that though.

We’re at the bottom of a private lane and there is space for two cars. You can fit three at a push (one will then have to reverse up a steep lane to get out).

Yes but it’s pretty ‘rural’ so not always the fastest. If you want to watch some films, best to download them before you leave home.

No dishwasher but gloves and local Splash eco washing up liquid (all household cleaning materials have to be eco as we have a septic tank). Yes there’s a washing machine, but no dryer. Drying frame in the airing cupboard.

No high chair I’m afraid as there’s not the space to store one (NB clip on baby seats don’t work with the dining table). There is an infant travel cot (up to 2 yrs) and a toy chest plus games, jigsaw puzzles etc. Outside you’ll find natural adventures galore and a rope swing in the field.

For drinks and dinner we’d suggest Chapters in Hay on Wye. For a Sunday roast – The Open Arms community pub in Kington or The Blue Boar in Hay

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