At the foot of a valley, down a winding road, by a river, miles from anywhere, sits Woodland Mill. This is a hidden Shropshire gem with tranquility at its heart and water tickling its toes. Sleeping ten guests in five bedrooms, this is where you’ll reconnect with nature, spot otters, fish from the bank and chew the fat around homely fires.
Home for the duration is an exquisitely converted 1800s riverside mill with wraparound rural views. Expect exposed-stone walls, a contemporary kitchen and bathrooms, two spaces for gathering or getting away from it all, and a bubbling, boiling, tubload of fun on the terrace. Soak up the dreamy views beneath the sparkling stars.
Potter the cottage garden and listen for the snuffle of deer and the splash of kingfishers and otters. Head out and about to walk the ‘blue-remembered hills’, discover breweries and vineyards and the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Travel to a less-complicated time and return to deep sleep in the heavy silence of the border valleys.
Rather beguilingly, a river runs right through it. This is a prim and proper English garden, croquet-ready, that sits in the heart of a Shropshire valley, cosseted by towering trees. Fish from the garden edge, gaze dreamily at the water from the feature footbridge, play croquet on the lawn.
Make a long day of it, sitting under the stars on the terrace simmering in the hot tub. Listen out for deer, kingfishers and otters. Or gather around the firepit that doubles as a barbecue grill. As the moon emerges, break out the marshmallows.
Inside Woodland Mill, everything is dreamy and beamy. With a TV room and sitting room, it’s a place where you can slide into sociable groups or slip away for booky introspection as the mood takes. Whatever you do here, you’ll be super-comfortable on squishy sofas, in front of the historic inglenook fireplace with its roaring logs.
That TV room offers smart viewing on its 70” TV. Bring your passwords and binge away on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Wi-Fi comes care of BT, but this is a place that’s decidedly off-grid. Speeds average around 3Mbps. So take the rare chance to disconnect from the buzz and the fuzz of modern living.
Slide into a world of exposed stone walls, low beams, cushions, bean bags, and one giant U-shaped sofa. Just add Cava and nibbles, and chill. This is the holiday let that lets you be you in the company of the people who matter the most.
In the huge dining room, every meal feels like an occasion. So stock up on meats from Rikki Lloyd’s and wine from Kerry Vale Vineyard or Tanner’s Wines, fire up the double electric oven, pass the butter and tuck in. This is a rare chance for ten friends and family to get together and talk over good food without bad influences.
Prefer to be pampered? Marinate yourself in the hot tub and let our professional chefs such as Charlie Everall, Penny Cudmore or Davina Daly sort out a one-off celebration or a fully catered break. We’ll call you in when it’s ready. Stay out on the terrace if you like, to eat al-fresco beneath the towering trees and the odd red kite.
Tuck into takeaways from Montgomery's Fish Bar or the Golden Fish Chinese. Eat out in the glass-sided dining room in The Three Tuns in Bishops Castle, or choose from classic British and international dishes including enormous pies, at The Lowfield Inn in Marton. Or try The Nag’s Head in Garthmyl, holder of an AA Rosette.
Check in for some fine dining at The Checkers in Montgomery: steamed sea bream or herb risotto, maybe? Try venison, beef or grouse at Mortimer’s in Ludlow. Choose from Goosnargh duck, king oyster mushroom or turbot at The Walrus in Shrewsbury, or tickle your tastebuds on the six-course tasting menu.
Sleep, and let nothing disturb you except the rolling waters of the Camlad, the owls in the boughs and the snuffling of badgers and foxes. Woodland Mill sleeps ten in five beamed and beautiful bedrooms complete with Kingham and Harrison mattresses.
Bedroom one, Sweetpea, sleeps two in a kingsize bed with an en-suite bathroom, while bedroom two, Daisy, also offers a kingsize bed, TV and en-suite shower room. And
bedroom three (Lupin), also with a TV, is a kingsize that converts to singles through zip- and-link.
Bedroom four, Foxglove, offers twin beds, while bedroom five, Poppy, has a single buddy bed. Woodland Mill also offers one shared family bathroom.