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If you want complete peace and quiet and love to connect with nature, this is the place for you. This property is heaven for those who like a simple life; barbequing local produce on the terrace, going for long walks, enjoying the birds and butterflies.
The setting is breathtaking. We visited in early June when the wildflowers were at their best and the Guadarrama mountains still capped with snow. As you turn off the main road to Lozoya you enter a track flanked by wildflower meadows. You drive down to cross a tumbling river and there’s the Mill perched above it. The only visitors we had all week were a herd of friendly ponies from the neighbouring farm, and we fell asleep each night to the sound of rushing water. Only a stone’s throw from the back gate there is a Spanish ‘national trail’ – well signposted and easy to follow. Turn left to reach a mediaeval bridge, turn right to reach a Roman bridge – accompanied by the sound of cowbells and the rush of the river. All this less than an hour’s drive from Madrid!
Eagles, kites and vultures soar above you and the hills echo with cuckoos declaring their territory. Flocks of smaller birds (driven out of England by intensive agriculture) are still flourishing here. Watch out for the woodchat shrike perched on a branch waiting for a meal to fly by. If you’re lucky, you’ll see a flash of yellow in the garden as a Golden Oriole passes by, but more likely you will hear their flute-like song tantalisingly close.
Bedrooms are clean and comfortable, all with en-suite shower room (great shower pressure). If you prefer a bath, there’s one downstairs – don’t be put off by the tea-coloured water as washing in filtered river water is amazing and leaves your skin and hair super soft. The house has been tastefully renovated in keeping with its history, with many of the old mill workings retained as features. The two kitchens are simple and basic, but have all you need.
The owners are friendly and helpful and always at the end of a phone (no problem with mobile signal). They have helpful suggestions for trips – we recommend the palace at San Ildelfonso, go when the fountains are on (twice a week, usually). Rascafria is a charming town, great for a morning coffee and buying provisions and some interesting walks start just opposite the Monastery there. Segovia is also only an hour away over the mountain pass, and brim full of history.
We’re definitely coming back!