Offering magnificent views across the rugged hills of Wales, The Cabin is a cozy getaway along Offa’s Dyke Path. Eclectically decorated, it features a uniquely curved design and an indulgent bath.
The Black Cabin is really intimate. It feels extravagant and luxurious. There’s a sense of not having to worry about anything.
Stunning scenery, unique interiors, relaxing, sunken bath, escapism, countryside.
The owners live on-site and have small children so you may hear them sometimes. They also have a dog and a cat. But the cabins are totally self-contained and private.
What is the story behind the Black Cabin, what was your inspiration to create it?
I’d lived in the area for around 10 years when I met Rachel and we were on a bike ride up to a lovely, local pub. As we were sitting there taking in the view, we thought, wouldn’t it be amazing to have this as our local pub. We didn’t give it much more thought until we happened to look on a real estate site and saw this barn for sale.
I had just sold a house and had some money in the bank, so we bought the barn with the intention of converting it into our home. To fund the conversion, we built The Cabin in 2019 and it was completed just as lockdown started in March 2020. At the time, we were living on-site in a caravan, so we moved into the cabin during lockdown and opened it up to guests when restrictions were lifted.
Next, we created the Black Cabin, which is attached to the barn that we are converting. We have had that open to visitors for around a year now and it has been going well. We’ve had a lot of exposure from journalists and magazines - we even had Channel 4 here filming recently for a travel program.
How would you describe the atmosphere and interior design of the Black Cabin?
While I like white, minimalist buildings, I think they work better on a larger scale. When you have a smaller, more intimate space, white can make it feel cold and as though you are trying to make it larger than it is. I think darker colours and textures create more interest in a small space.
I tried to create a feeling of height because it is quite a small space. Even though it has an area with a low ceiling, it doesn’t feel oppressive because, just a few steps away, you can see the double height.
We also wanted to make the space feel like a “home”. Each and every thing that is in the Black Cabin has a story and means something to us. People can tell if things have been created organically and I think there’s something of the English eccentricity in what we have created. There are Persian silk tapestries, 1960s furnishings and disheveled taxidermies. It’s a collection, a curation. There is a theme in our minds and we know what works, even if we can’t pinpoint what the exact “style” is.
To you personally, what is so special about the Black Cabin?
The Black Cabin is really intimate. It feels extravagant and luxurious - the perfect place to relax after a long walk. When staying here, there’s a sense of not having to worry about anything.
The Black Cabin features an open-plan, ground-floor kitchen, living and dining space, with a 4x1-metre bathroom (toilet and shower) at one end. Above is a bath and the master bedroom. From the living space, there is a ladder that leads up to the bunk area where there are two full-size single mattresses that can comfortably accommodate up to 2 children.
The Black Cabin is completely self-catering, with an induction burner, a built-in oven and a dishwasher. We also provide our guests with a welcome package featuring a bottle of wine and chocolates.
From the minute you walk outside the door, you can be immersed in nature. In summer, we love wild swimming in the nearby rivers and waterfall pools and there are great walking trails that can be explored year-round. Also nearby is the Red Kite Feeding Centre where you can watch these once-endangered birds swoop down to feed.
Ludlow is a beautiful market town that is worth visiting and there are wonderful farmers’ markets to discover. I’d recommend browsing the bookshops in Hay-on-Wye and visiting Brunswick Castle, which hosts interesting art exhibitions.
Some of our favourite activities:
If you love gardens then you really are spoiled for choice around here, there are some stunning places to visit.
We love wild swimming and know plenty of local secret spots.
Things to do with children
We are located on the border between England and Wales in an area that lies between Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons National Park. Offa's Dyke Path hugs the border from south to north and we are roughly halfway along it.
Around five minutes drive from the property is Kington where you’ll find a small supermarket, delis, greengrocers and a pharmacy. Presteigne is 10 minutes away and features more stores.
The nearest large city is Birmingham, which is around 1.5 hours drive. Less than half an hour away is Hay-on-Wye, which is a famous book town that hosts a literary festival each year.
A 15-minute walk will take you to The Harp, which recently won Pub of the Year. You can also walk over the ridge to Kington in around an hour. A little further away is The Stagg Inn in Titley, which used to have a Michelin star and does very good food.
Summer is the best time to visit for wild swimming while winter is about cozying up and pottering around the market towns. You can go walking in any season. In autumn, the changing colours in the forests are lovely and the mushroom foraging is great. Spring is always beautiful as the forests are in bloom.
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