A Luxury Cottage Weekend in Wales
I was worried that our last-minute planning for a bank holiday weekend would leave us squatting in a mountain-man hut in the middle of nowhere. The Mister wanted a quiet, stress-free place to relax that didn’t involve spending most of the weekend sitting in traffic. I wanted a rural area with easy access to hiking trails, restaurants, shops and towns. We found our solution…a weekend at a cottage near the Brecon Beacons, Wales.
I searched page after page of available listings before booking Black Hill Barn through SugarandLoaf, a company specializing in luxury cottage rentals in the Welsh hills. The cottage itself was large for just the two of us, but it met all other requirements. Hours after I confirmed our booking, the company sent detailed information about the cottage, surrounding area and contact information for our host, Adriaan.
I started highlighting the pubs, restaurants and bookstores on the map. The Mister researched scenic hiking trails in the Black Hills and Brecon Beacons. The only thing between us and bank holiday bliss was 2.5 hours on the motorway. Can’t have everything.
photo via SugarandLoaf
After battling surprisingly little London traffic, we arrived in Craswall, a little village on the England/Wales border. Black Hill Barn sits at the almost-end of a farm track, surrounded by a pastoral landscape of fields, hills and other working farms. The minute we parked the car, opened the door and stood in the drive, we knew we found the perfect place.
Adriaan, the owner of Upper House Farm and the cottage, met us at the door and led us to the cottage across from the main house. Black Hill Barn, also known as Long Hill Barn (so confusing, I know) is one of two restored mountain barns turned luxury cottages on the property. I was a bit worried about privacy, being so close to another cottage, but I needn’t have been. We only saw “our neighbours” once when they were out walking their dogs and never heard a sound.
The cottage was beautiful, well-designed and modern. It was bright with hints of Scandinavian design and loads of good taste.
photo via HayLuxuryCottages
The Interior of Black Hill Barn
The front door opened into the great room (combination kitchen and sitting area) from a lovely stone patio, perfect for barbecuing or enjoying a morning cup of coffee. The back doors opened onto another grassy patio area, perfect for kids or dogs or lounging about in the sun.
I was really happy and pleasantly surprised by the modern, well-equipped kitchen and the level of tech in the cottage (good wifi, flat screens, music system), but my favorite cottage feature was the wood-burning stove in the sitting room…a perfect place to sit with a glass of wine and a book.
photo via HayLuxuryCottages
The cottage has 2 bedrooms, one king and one super-king or 2 twins, according to preference. We only tried one of the beds, but it was supremely comfortable.
Both bathrooms are well-fitted and supplied with fluffy towels, robes and toiletries.
The loft, accessible by ladder, had a sofa bed and flat screen tv, perfect for hanging out, watching tv or staring out through the skylight to the star-filled night sky.
We fell asleep that night and every night to the faint sound of sheep bleating in the distance and a cool breeze blowing across the fields.
Things I loved about the cottage:
The cottage had all the benefits of a rural location, with everything you could possible want within easy reach. Two of the local restaurants were within walking distance. The Bull’s Head was our particular favorite…loads of atmosphere, but reservations are required and the hours a bit odd. Call ahead! 01981 510616
Hay on Wye and Abergavenny are 20 minutes by car. Hiking trails start right behind the cottage. Canoeing, castles, biking and culture nearby.
The cottage design, style and up-to-date amenities.
Surprising number of good food choices in the immediate area, by foot or car.
Frenchie, the French bulldog.
Adriaan provided an amazing level of pre and post check-in service. The information package he provided should be considered the gold standard for cottage rentals.
Black Hill Barn/Long Barn cottage is a perfect place to relax, unwind and recharge.
Things to consider before booking:
The drive from London to the cottage took us 2 hours and 45 minutes (no traffic!).
The property setting is very rural.
Daily maid service is by request only, but is offered.
The cottage itself does not have a washing machine, but one is available within the main house. If you have a wet weekend, small children or a large family, a washing machine is critical.
The loft area is accessible by a wide ladder and securely gated at the top. Small people (or the elderly) should take care.
Two families could book both cottages together for a lovely family retreat.
Long Barn Cottage sleeps 4 (+2) and prices range from £490 for a 3 night weekend. The adjacent Hay Loft cottage sleeps 2 (+2) for £390+ for a 3 night weekend. Prices vary with the season and there is a discount for booking both properties together. If you book through Sugar and Loaf (cottage is called Black Hill Barn), prices may vary.
Well-behaved dogs are welcome with an additional security deposit.
The cottage is called by different names, depending on how you book. If you book through SugarandLoaf, the cottage is called Black Hill Barn. If you book directly, it is called Long Barn Cottage through Upper House Farm.
photo via HayLuxuryCottages
Is this cottage just adorable?! And who could resist the oh-so-handsome Frenchie!