A bed for the night in Herefordshire

The location

The location

Just outside Ross-on-Wye, near the Welsh border, this vast semi-detached barn conversion sits in a quiet spot a quarter of a mile from the nearest main road. A new addition to the Rural Retreats portfolio, the 18th-century barn completed its renovation only a year ago. The result is a handsome property sleeping nine, built from the local stone, with vaulted ceilings, original beams, and a glass-fronted gable.


Take in the gorgeous views through the picture windows on the first floor. An annexe of rooms beyond the kitchen makes it perfect for groups including teenagers or grandparents.

The comfort factor

Spacious is an understatement. The large flagstoned hall leads to an even larger sitting room and a kitchen big enough to house every appliance, plus a table seating 10. Beyond the kitchen lies a warren of rooms with independent outside access, including a TV room, playroom, double bedroom, and utility/shower room. Off the galleried landing you'll find two more doubles, a twin, a single, two bathrooms and a sitting area. The furnishings are high quality. There are two TVs, DVD, CD player and video plus toys. Outside spaces include a terrace, enclosed garden and two paddocks.

The bathroom

No need to queue in the morning thanks to all those bathrooms (and a loo off the hall). Rather compact, though sparkling clean with towels and toiletries.

The food and drink

This is the best-equipped kitchen I've seen in a self-catering property - it's likely to rival the one at your home. There are supermarkets nearby, though independent producers offer more interesting fare. Gourmet dining options are scarce. We had a decent dinner at Glewstone Court (01989 770367). Or try The Pheasant at Ross (01989 565751).

The people

You may meet your neighbours, from next door and the adjacent farm, or see the occasional walker.

The area

Wander around Ross-on-Wye and Monmouth. Visit Symonds Yat and the Forest of Dean. Go walking in the Black Mountains.

The access

Children are welcome. No dogs.

The damage

A week costs from £644 until 18 March, rising to £1,124 in high season. Short breaks are also bookable.

The address

Grove View Barn, Upper Pengethley, nr Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire. Book through Rural Retreats (01386 701177; www.ruralretreats.co.uk).

Kate Simon travelled courtesy of National Car Rental (0870 400 4560; www.nationalcar.co.uk) which offers a week's car hire from £78.50