Every year, instead of buying each other presents we’re bound not to use, my family and I put all of our birthday money into one pool, and go away for a long weekend for a UK based staycation. To say there’s a few of us is er, an understatement. We’re a little band of approximately (usually) 9 adults, 8 children from 2-10 years and one BIG dog (sorry Max, but you are the size of a shetland pony).
Our housing requirements for a weekend usually go:
SPACE, SPACE and MORE SPACE!
A pool for the kids
Lots of outdoor space for playing, dog roaming
A significant lack of neighbours given that, 8 kids are surprisingly … not that quiet!
Come and have a little tour of this beautiful country pile with me…
The kids are always mega excited to see one another and are at that great age whereby they just want to chill, stay up late and watch a movie.
We need a bit of space away [as enjoyable as hearing Frozen in the background on repeat for the 150th time may be to some people…] but where we won’t have to run up loads of stairs when the inevitable “MUMMY!” “DADDY!” “AUNTY KAAAATE” cries come down when they need an urgent popcorn refill…
The Freeth has the perfect solution to this – a beautifully conjoining tv room and lounge.
We made real use of the lounge; my particular favourite day was a blind wine tasting my mum organised. Pick a price bracket. pick a wine (crapper the better), silly questions including ‘colour’ etc. Then in teams, you compete!
Perfect way to while away some time, have some laughs and listen as the rain hammers on the window outside!
Luxury velvet sofas, a roaring fire place, and beautiful views, all with the kids tucked happily next door. Perfection!
The bedrooms in The Freeth are so well organised – plenty of space without feeling like you’re all on top of one another, including cosy attic conversions with single beds – the perfect place for a sleepover amongst cousins!
Meanwhile, on the other side of the house, you’ll find a cosy couple of bedrooms on top of one another, with the perfect cosy spot in the eaves, and the comfiest beds you’ve ever encountered…
Not to mention the prettiest of views out into the gardens
The perfect place to head up to, hunker down, listen to the storm rattle through the eaves and cosy up with a good book and a large red once everyone else has gone to bed.
The outdoor space is great for the kids – they’ll run and happily play, but we’ve learned over the years that its always advisable to have a back up plan on site, particularly in the event that one of the worst storms in decades rolls in. That’s where The Freeth’s pool REALLY helped us wear the kids out. I was mega impressed with all the thoughtful safety touches – including digital-pad locked door on the pool to ensure tiny people couldn’t get in. It was a great space to while away the hours until movie time!
There was also a huge dining area just off the kitchen with a cosy wood burner and [finally!] a table that accommodate all of us for birthday cake, brunches and any other feed-gathering, without the constant apologising for elbowing your neighbour whilst you attempt to butter your toast. It was lovely to be able to sit around a table all together, even if the noise was deafening when the kids joined us!
Herefordshire is simply stunning. I’ve been on a staycation here before – you can read about that getaway to Hereford here, but that was a very different type of trip!
L and I got up early the day before the storm to squeeze in a small run; it was beautiful. The sun hung low in the sky casting light on all the flooded fields we’d driven through in the dark with the satnav merely telling us we were ‘off road’ the night before. It was beautiful to see it in day light and to take in some completely unspoilt views of Hereford. The only sound to be heard was the chatter of birds and the whistle of the breeze.
The next day Ciara rolled in and we were house bound, so thank God we got out and about whilst we did!
The Freeth is very tucked away – I imagine it’d be challenging if you didn’t have a car to get there, so worth bearing in mind should you pay a visit.
The Little Touches…
There were so many fab little touches – we were given a hamper of local produce, explaining where it all came from – amazing cheeses, chilli jam, local brewed cider… Did I mention the cheese? The cheese was probably the best cheese ever – not something I say lightly.
Also – this sounds ridiculous but there were TWO dishwashers – you never really think about the volume of washing up for a party our size but it is CUMBERSOME! So this was a huge help.
Another little thoughtful touch around just how many people will stay at the property and ensuring you can spend as much time enjoying it as possible!
Firewood was readily available [we’ve been to a few places now where you have to pay extra for this]
And if you’re a complete idiot like me and forget your toothbrush, they have some hotel-style basics in the bathrooms which was amazing as co-op was a 20 min drive away.
Ultimately, The Freeth is the perfect little hideaway – its got great facilities, super child-friendly, stunning scenery surrounding it, and is beautifully and tastefully restored. I honestly just want to buy it and live in it forever!
What’s your favourite place for a UK staycation?
We used Kate & Tom’s to book our stay at The Freeth – highly recommend.