Upper House is a highly picturesque small Tudor Manor House that nestles above the tree-clad valley of the River Lugg bordering a courtyard of stone and oak barns and, beyond them, the tiny church of St Michael’s.
With an inglenook fireplace, flagstone floors and furnished with period furniture, this special house provides the opportunity to stay in a truly historic environment, but with the benefit of modern conveniences such as hot water, central heating and squishy sofas.
Summer drinks and barbeques can be enjoyed by the raised lily pond with its koi and golden carp and views beyond the rose-clad pergola and herbaceous border to farmland and the foothills of the Cambrian mountains.
Note: St Michael’s Church, recently restored, is also available for hire and provides a wonderful resource for weddings, or rehearsing, performing and recording chamber music. There is a monthly service and you may be lucky enough to catch an excellent concert or art exhibition there.
The property in detail:
The three main bedrooms sleep 6 - in two king-sized beds and two twins that can be enjoined on request. There is a fourth single bedroom suitable for a child that needs to be within earshot.
Egyptian cotton bedding is provided. Some beds have down pillows and duvets, others have micro-fibre.
There are two bathrooms - one with a shower cubicle - both with toilets.
The upstairs accommodation is very flexible, so that an ensuite bathroom can be arranged if required.
The main sitting room has a huge inglenook fireplace (all logs provided).
The snug has a wood-burner, television, wifi and an extensive library.
The house is entered via the dining hall with an oak refectory table, oak settle and leather farthingale chairs for fine dining.
The 'unfitted' kitchen has an oil-fired Rayburn and dual-fuel cooker, a dishwasher and a refrigerator. It is furnished with hand-made and antique furniture - including a gate-legged table, curved settle and traditional dresser and is well provided with cooking utensils, basic ingredients, herbs etc. and plenty of crockery and cutlery.
Off the kitchen is a large porch / boot room with cold storage (antique meat safe), freezer, micro-wave oven, washing machine and second sink. It opens on to the flag-stoned area outside and leads round the house to the
Outside dining area. Here there is a lean-to (where the logs and portable barbeque are housed) and a large, raised ornamental pond stocked with fish and lilies. Meals can be enjoyed at the large table under the chestnut tree or out on the large terraced area.
Children are welcome to enjoy the large garden.
One dog is welcome, but must be kept under control at all times as the property is surrounded by open countryside with sheep and sometimes cattle.
For walkers - the Offa's Dyke (and its long-distance footpath) is three minutes away. This is a particularly impressive section of this 7th century earthwork which still indicates a boundary between West Mercia (now part of England) and Wales. The Offa's Dyke Centre in nearby Knighton is a good source of maps and local tourist information as is the excellent museum / tourist information centre in Presteigne - 'The Judges Lodging'.
The nearest supermarket is 'Harry Tuffin's' at Knighton (a tourist attraction in itself!) and has a petrol station.
The best owner-run food shops are in Presteigne where there is an excellent Spanish deli., the Salty Dog - fresh fish and veg. - and a couple of 'corner shop' supermarkets. Artisan baker Alex Gooch's bread is available on a Saturday and an organic market-gardener brings her produce for sale outside the library on a Friday. The butcher sells meat from local farms. For the armchair shopper, Tesco's in Ludlow will deliver!
There is a wealth of activities available from the local Leisure Centre to mountain-bike riding (cycles available for hire in Presteigne), horse-riding, clay-pigeon shooting, fishing, bog-snorkelling (yes! though not every day ...) rally driving - the list is endless!
There is plenty of live music, both popular and classical, and professional theatre productions and cinemas within an easy drive. The local listings publication, Broad Sheep, is available online and a very useful resource.
There are several excellent places to eat including the Stagg at Titley (10 minutes away), The Riverside Inn at Aymestry (15 minutes) and Mr Underhills in Ludlow (30 minutes) and many traditional pubs that serve food. A visit should be made to the 'Workhouse' gallery and café in Presteigne.
Other interesting visits might include 'The Rodd' - home of Australian painter, Sidney Nolan where there are often exhibitions of his work - and furniture-maker, John Nethercott's showroom at Discoed and the many other craft galleries and studios that abound.