Ty Hedfan

Powys, Wales, United Kingdom Book from Book from £157 per night

A stunning modern design house cantilevered over a babbling brook in the Brecon Beacons (sleeps 2-6, self catering)
As you approach this remote hideaway, winding your way through a tiny hamlet on the edge of the Brecon Beacons, Ty Hedfan plays its cards close to its chest. It doesn’t even give the game away on the gravel drive — although the large black-slate structure and protruding Welsh-stone wall are clues that this is no ordinary holiday cottage. It's not until you open the front door that you finally realise why the place is named 'hovering house'. You're met by green light streaming through a wall of glass (your first sight of the lush garden, complete with a river and bank of trees), and as you step inside, the ground magnificently falls away beneath you.

Turn right into an open-plan kitchen/diner, then walk through huge sliding glass doors onto the BBQ terrace, where you float at tree-canopy height above the garden. At the end of the cantilevered arm is one of the most gorgeous light-filled rooms we've ever seen, an outside-inside living room surrounded by glass and trees on all sides, with 2 rivers converging and flowing underneath. Finally, in the 'lower wing', a living roof covers 2 of the 4 bedrooms, a bathroom and a playroom, all with sliding doors to the garden. Built by award-winning architects Featherstone Young, the house won a RIBA prize and is a design lover's dream.

Highs

  • This is a dream rental for family or groups of 2-6, and utterly private
  • Impeccable architectural principles marry wonderfully with the liveability and warmth of a family home
  • Glorious in fine weather, and cosy when it's cold thanks to underfloor heating and a wrought-iron log burner suspended from the high ceiling
  • Impressively eco: solar panels, green roofs, heat pumps and water recycling
  • The Brecon Beacons is some of the finest hill country in the UK; go walking, biking and kayak nearby; wild swim from the garden

Lows

  • You'll need a car; the nearest train station is an hour’s drive away in Abergavenny
  • We loved the remote setting but there are no pubs/restaurants within walking distance. Order a supermarket delivery and just hole up here during your stay
  • Bedrooms are comfortable rather than luxurious; and our ensuite wetroom was small
  • Not ideal for toddlers: high drops and slippery staircases
  • The owners prefer stays of 3 nights (Fri-Mon), 4 nights (Mon-Fri) or 7 nights (Fri-Fri)

Best time to go

Any time: Powys is stunning in every season and the countryside never gets crowded. Book well in advance around festival season, especially Hay (May-June) and Green Man (August).

Our top tips

  • Pen y Fan is the highest peak in South Wales and the 'roof' of the Brecon Beacons. On a clear day you can see Snowdonia from its summit. The peak draws year-round crowds who approach from the gentlest route (known by regulars as ‘The Motorway’). For a more challenging climb with less traffic, approach from the north side, closest to Ty Hedfan.
  • The Black Mountain Smokery in Crickhowell supplies all the local restaurants - its smoked chicken, duck, and cheeses make a wonderful picnic.
  • Great for...

    Eco
    Family
    Great Outdoors
    • Boutique House
    • 4 bedrooms
    • Self catering; restaurants a drive away
    • All ages welcome
    • Open all year
    • Pool
    • Spa Treatments
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Daily Maid Service
    • Towels & Bedlinen
    Room:

    Rooms

    There are 4 bedrooms. The master bedroom is on the upper floor above the kitchen, with a hot-pink carpet, kingsize bed, clever corner bath and separate WC. Next door is a single room, plus space for a travel cot, and an ensuite shower bathroom. Ideal for a small family, these rooms join through a secret door hidden in the wardrobe.

    Downstairs, the 2 river bedrooms each have sliding doors to the garden, and skylights so you can stargaze from bed (eye masks are provided for slumber as there are no blinds). One is a double with an ensuite shower bathroom; one can be set up as a double or twin. There's also a bathroom with a tub on this floor.

    Living areas include the gorgeous kitchen-diner, the cantilevered living room and a playroom in the lower wing.

    Features include:

    • Barbecue
    • Central heating
    • Dishwasher
    • DVD player
    • Fireplace
    • Food blender
    • Fridge
    • Full kitchen
    • Hairdryer
    • Hob or stove
    • Ipod dock
    • Oven
    • Phone
    • Satellite TV
    • Terrace
    • Toaster
    • Toiletries
    • Tumble dryer
    • Washing machine
    • WiFi

    Eating

    The kitchen-diner with its wooden island, long table and full-length glass doors is a delightful space to cook and hang out. Opening the doors extends the area onto a terrace, with a barbecue and outdoor table.

    The kitchen is perfectly set-up for group catering, with a range cooker, 2 sinks and tons of space and equipment. Chefs can be booked in advance for special occasions and celebrations. The town of Brecon (15 minutes’ drive) has everything you need for shopping and supplies; we'd suggest stocking up on your way here. The Kitchen Garden at Ty Mawr has excellent fruit and veg for sale.

    For a meal out, we'd highly recommend The Felin Fach Griffin (20 minutes’ drive), a cosy country pub; St John's Place in Hay-on-Wye is a superb little bistro, while River Cafe in Glasbury is a decent riverside cafe. The Booths Books Cafe in Hay does stunning brunches.

    Features include:

    • Barbecue
    • Dishwasher
    • Food blender
    • Fridge
    • Full kitchen
    • Hob or stove
    • Oven
    • Toaster
    • Basic ingredients
    Eating:
    Activity:

    Activities

    • The Brecon Beacons’ peaks, ridges, open countryside and wooded valleys are fabulous for walking; Pen y Fan, the tallest mountain in the national park, is the most popular
    • There are also great walks from your doorstep, with superb views of the Beacons; you'll find useful maps in the living room
    • This is a world-class spot for mountain biking. Biped Cycles in Brecon is a good local shop that also does rentals and kit
    • Spend a day canoeing down the River Wye or, in high waters, set off from the house onto the river Ysgir, which joins the Usk
    • Go fly fishing on the Usk or Wye rivers, or try angling from the garden
    • Visit Llanthony Priory ruins: especially atmospheric in the evenings after the crowds have departed. There's a characterful bar attached for local ales
    • Hay-on-Wye (35 mins' drive away) is a pretty small town beneath the Black Mountains, that's well known for its second-hand bookshops and world-famous annual literary festival
    • On a fine day, Lavender Farm is idyllic. Walk through the fields, wild swim in the pond and shop for Welsh blankets and delicious lavender-infused chocolate
    • In August, Brecon plays host to a well-renowned jazz festival

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Birdwatching
    • Fishing
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Horse riding
    • Kayaking
    • Mountain biking
    • Plantlife / flora
    • Shopping / markets
    • Swimming

    Kids

    The house is great for kids. There is a carrier backpacks for walks with babies; the playroom is filled with toys and games for older kids. It's not ideal for toddlers as there are unprotected drops and slippery stairs.

    Best for:

    Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

    Family friendly accommodation:

    The 2 bedrooms on the upper floor connect through a secret door in the wardrobe! The master bedroom has a kingsize bed; the next-door room has a single bed. Downstairs, there are 2 bedrooms: a double, and a double/twin.

    Kids Activities on site:

    Books, toys, and the river for natural swimming

    Families Should Know:

    There are a few hazards that parents of young children should be aware of. The garden slopes steeply down to the river, the living roof (which can be walked on) has no barrier, and the suspended log burner has no guard around it. Note, if you're coming with a baby you'll need to bring a travel cot/high chair.

    Distances:

    • Airport: Cardiff (a 1-hour drive)
    • Shops: Brecon (15 mins' drive)
    • Health Centre: Brecon (15 mins' drive)
    Kid Friendly:

    Our guests' ratings...

    Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

    10/10
    Room
    8/10
    Service
    10/10
    Value
    9/10
    Overall

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