We stayed here for 2 weeks in August 2021. What we appreciated most about this property was the character and features such as the fireplaces, exposed stone walls, quarry tiles, wooden beams and the very stylish lighting feature in the back passageway. The kids loved the fact that you could do unbroken laps of the downstairs! The large dining table, cooker, American style fridge freezer, washing machine and separate tumble dryer were all great.
The bedrooms were spacious, although sparsely furnished. The TV was a good size with all the FreeSat channels. The garden is lovely and we enjoyed the outdoor seating. The view at the front of the house is lovely and you can see horses grazing in the field across the road. Behind the house are stables which are busy with people from early morning.
The first impression we had was that there was no welcome to the house - not a tea bag in sight! No coffee or sugar either, and no milk in the fridge. No-one came to say hello either. The house also constantly smells strongly of paraffin from the boiler and we often needed to open windows to reduce the smell.
The other main issue we had here was with the plumbing... Apart from the low water pressure, the new electric shower in the upstairs ensuite was always changing temperature and often running cold for long periods. It also leaked water down through the floor into the utility room below. We contacted the owner about this and he applied sealant to the shower cubicle on the last day of our stay. We also had problems with the downstairs toilet leaking.
Note that the main bathroom in this house is downstairs with a hand-held shower on a mixer tap over the bath. The only bathroom upstairs is in the second bedroom (a reconfiguration for 2021 since the Sykes description was written), which meant for us that the adults slept in the smaller double room! The shower cubicle is very small. The only room with a wardrobe is the smaller double (with airing cupboard behind). The other rooms only contain chests of drawers for storing clothes.
The house is tastefully decorated with lovely lighting, good wifi, great central heating and was very clean. However, it feels tired and needs some TLC:
- The bed mattresses appear to be old and you can feel the springs when you lie on them. After an uncomfortable first night I found a spare duvet in the airing cupboard which I put on the double bed in the second bedroom under the mattress protector, which improved things. All the beds really need decent mattress toppers, or replacing.
- The slimline dishwasher was appreciated, however it didn't release the tablet on any of the cycles we tried and we had to open it mid-wash and release the tablet ourselves.
- There is no outdoor space to dry clothes, but the boiler room was always warm and a good place to dry clothes and shoes (even though the paraffin smell was strongest in there).
- Although this house sleeps 6, there is really only enough seating in the living room for 4 people. Sykes website states that there is another chair, but it wasn't there during our stay. Also the table in the kitchen only has 4 chairs.
- There is no DVD player, however there is an Apple TV plugin which we managed to sync with our iPad for about half an hour before it stopped working due to poor internet connection.
- There is no mobile signal at the house.
- There was no non-slip bath mat.
- Only 1 of the 2 ovens was working.
- We were not offered any clean towels or bedding at the end of our first week's stay and had to ask for them, together with a bin bag!
We liked the location of the house, which is right on the Offa's Dyke. It is quiet and peaceful and only a short drive from Oswestry, which is a lovely town, with lots of facilities. We enjoyed some lovely days out including The Countryside Experience at Park Hall, Hawkstone Follies, Chirk Castle (nearby tunnel and viaduct also worth a look), Ellesmere Lake, BeWilder Wood, Powis Castle and Erddig. We also had a great day at Barmouth Beach, and can recommend the waterfall at Pistyll Rheadr for those who like it a little wilder!