Often overshadowed by needy North Wales, Mid-Wales is the world’s best-kept secret. Severn Valley Cottages sit right at its heart, sleeping 14 family, friends and hens in six lovely bedrooms. Two identical properties come with an interconnecting door, for fabulously flexible family accommodation.
Life is upside-down here. And why not? The Severn Valley stretches out before you like an endless promise and your log-warmed, first-floor living spaces sit closer to the red kites that wheel and swoop above you. This is the Great Outdoors, Montgomery-style. But the indoors here is pretty special, too.
Walk, cycle, climb, run, fish, paddle, quad-bike, sail, swim, dig deep into a battle-rich history. Mid-Wales has everything Snowdonia has, except the crowds. Come home to Bluetooth music, books from the library, board games, smart TVs, and one more dip in the hot tub. Why ever not?
Things are pretty tranquil here. The odd swish and swoop of a red kite above the six-acre grounds is about as stressful as life gets. Stay chilled with a daily dip in the heated indoor pool (with changing rooms) and spend your evenings marinating in the hot tub beneath sparkling skies.
Eat out on the terrace by the orangery with barbecue meat from the market at Machynlleth. Recover with a nap on the sun chairs on the south-facing terrace with a view over the hills.
Living spaces here are family-friendly, with two identical properties separated by an interconnecting door. They’re also upside-down. And why not? With a view down the hills that flank the Severn Valley, you’ll want to see every piece of blue sky, every fluffy cloud and every soaring red kite.
You’ve a sizeable living space in each cottage, warmed by wood-burners and illuminated by smart TVs. So bring your passwords for movies streamed over the fibre broadband. Play pool, table footie and air hockey in the games room. Escape to the orangery with a book from the library or a blast of Bluetooth to replenish your social battery.
Two double electric ovens, two hobs and two fridge-freezers that you can fill from the market at Machynlleth or Alan Davies’ butchers should satisfy the MasterChefs among you. If not, hang up your apron and call Dineindulge for an on-site personal-chef service or Côte at Home for bistro-quality food delivered to the door.
Still feeling lazy? You’re on holiday – it’s your prerogative. So call out for takeaways from Caersws Fish Bar, Newtown Fortune Court for Chinese, Enzo’s for kebabs, or Newtown Gulshan for Asian. Eat in the kitchen dining areas or out in the sunshine on the pretty south-facing patio with bangers and burgers on the coal barbie.
Pubs are at the heart of Welsh life and the Bull and Heifer comes with oodles of charm and a fine line in Sunday roasts and duck-leg salad. Try the Nag’s Head for grilled sea bass or roasted aubergine. Or the Kerry Lamb, listed in the Good Beer Guide, for delicious meals made from locally sourced ingredients.
There’s an eclectic fusion of modern, seasonal European and French dishes on offer at the Upper Rectory Restaurant, and intense world flavours on the menu at Ynyshire Restaurant. Pick La Terrazza for Italian, The Checkers for modern British and The Unicorn for pub classics with elements of French and Mediterranean cuisine.
Where the skies are big, the valley stretches forever and the red kites swoop high above Severn Valley Cottages’ six acres, you’ll sleep like a fallen log in the nearby Gregynog Estate. Choose from six bedrooms, two of which are en-suites with French doors out to the terrace.
All bedrooms are on the ground-floor and come with TV. Pick from two kingsize doubles with en-suite shower, basin and WC, two doubles and two twins, one of which can be zip-and-linked into a kingsize. Two ground-floor bathrooms offer bath, shower over, basin and WC. A sofa bed in the upstairs lounge adds further flexibility.