High in Welsh border country, where the song of the skylark is just about all that pierces the air, sits Valley House. It’s a magnificent Arts and Crafts creation presiding over fir, pine, hills and moorland – and acres of unforgettable family fun.
Get far-flung family and friends together in a beautifully central location. Battle over the seven bedrooms, dine on the terrace under the shadow of the Powys hills, enjoy the spectacular opulence of the beamed living room, the oak staircase and the walk-in safe, commissioned long ago by the High Sheriff of Radnorshire.
Valley House is the place to renew and reaffirm friendships, to natter with those who matter, to come together in shared activities. Fire up the barbie, tell tales round the woodfires, send the kids out to explore. As the TV ad said, this is the Big Country, and family holidays and celebrations don’t get much bigger than this.
Somewhere out there, beyond the ten acres of firs and pines and weeping willows, and past the two paddocks, Valley House ends and Shropshire begins. Have fun finding out where. Or just chill among the greens, the russets and the golds and listen to the birdsong.
Fire up the barbie and sizzle the steaks al fresco. Try your hand at croquet, turn your thoughts to badminton, recover with a tipple on the terrace. In the evening, the covered veranda out front begs for a starlit nightcap.
Walk the grounds, kick back on the stone terrace, watch the kids race on the lawn, pack a picnic. The wooded dingle with the babbling stream is all bluebells in spring and wild flowers in summer. Chillax in a powerful slice of Shropshire.
Valley House has all the trimmings and trinkets you’d expect of a Grade II-listed Arts and Crafts masterpiece. Settle back amid the deep-moulded cornices, the ornate fireplace, the Jacobean staircase and leaded windows. Feel the oak floors beneath your bare feet and the warmth of the living-room Rayburn on your face.
Behind the glazed and shuttered double front doors, the entrance hall is all oak floors and beams. A side hall comes with mosaic floor and there’s a study off the library so you can bury your nose in a book.
After you’ve walked the woodlands, there’s no shortage of real fires to warm you up again. Choose from open fires in the living room and dining room or the woodburner in the second living room. Light the logs, settle back with a Shiraz and enjoy the satellite TV.
The stamp of the high sheriff of Radnorshire, James Thomas Jackson, who installed the oak staircase, fire surround and walk-in safe, can be seen on the copper canopy in the dining room, where he added his initials. The living spaces at Valley House will leave a similar indelible impression on you.
DIY, or let us do it all. If you fancy some country cooking and want to serve up broths and roasts in winter and salads in summer, you’ll feel right at home on the range in the large kitchen.
Or maybe you’d prefer to call up our chef and take the weight off your shoulders and the cork from the bottle. Sit back, as he rustles up roasts and desserts with consummate ease. We’ll even wade into the washing-up, too. Alternatively, you shop and we’ll drop, with delicious drop-off meals delivered right to your double doors.
Gather in the dining room beneath the stag’s head, break the bread and crack open the wine. This is the place to talk over today and plan for tomorrow in front of the roaring fire, to laugh and chat, and remember how good it is to be together.
Down the road in Knighton, real ales and real food await in the George and Dragon or the Horse and Jockey. For fine dining, hop over the border to the Stagg Inn at Titley, the first pub in Britain to receive a Michelin star.
With seven bedrooms choose from, and all as wonderfully welcoming as the last, there’ll be no squabbling over the sleeping arrangements. In the deep still of the borders hills and dales, you’ll quickly learn the true meaning of deep sleep. Open your window and drift off to the hoot of the owl and the wind in the willows.
On the ground floor, you’ll find a twin bedroom and a double, plus beautiful bathroom complete with bath and shower cubicle. There are five more bedrooms on the first floor, two with a day bed.
Freestanding baths abound in the bathrooms, and bedrooms are packed with period drama and authentic atmosphere: ancient beams and ornate fireplaces, sash windows and chaises longues. Relax and don’t rush downstairs: burrow down in the soft cotton and the pocket-sprung perfection. Breakfast can wait.