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The location and setting of ghe property is beautiful. The cottage is cosy and has everything you need. We chose to eat out most nights and the local pubs offer great food and reasonable prices (we liked the Wye Knot). Brilliant location for dog walking too. Hope to go back again.
We arrived at The Shippen, after a very long drive, to lovely scones, jam and clotted cream that had been left for us by the owners Janice and Jon! The accommodation was first class, clean and well-kept with everything you needed for your holiday but it was its surrounding reserve that we were really looking forward to, the woodland, meadows, river and pond.
As the weather was very hot everything looked a bit dry but having an interest in all fauna and flora that didn’t deter us walking through the meadows in the mornings to see which butterflies, moths and other insects were around. We were lucky enough to spot the first 2018 silver-washed fritillary on our second day there – not in the meadow however - it nearly flew in through our French doors!
The woodland is lovely and it has many accessible pathways, some running along the edge of the river that runs through the reserve. We managed to see the kingfisher as it darted past and an amazing number of demoiselles, damselflies and dragonflies but unfortunately were not able to see the elusive otter that frequents the area. On the other edge of the woodland is an old disused railway line which you can walk along, with a couple of stone bridges still arching over it.
The highlights of our holiday was my husband’s first encounter with a glow-worm, kindly found by Jon’s sister and the opportunity to experience seeing the bats emerging from The Shippen and Jon’s property - that was fantastic.
The variety and number of birds that came to the feeders in the garden was brilliant and they didn’t seem to mind if you were sat outside.
The Shippen is such a comfy cottage and the reserve is an oasis for everyone to enjoy, whether it’s the wildlife you’re looking for or just a place to rest, relax and recuperate. Jon and Janice will make you welcome and are happy to help you enjoy the best the reserve can offer with their enthusiasm for everything ‘wild and wonderful’.