The Long Barn near RuthinPublished on 21 Sep 2023 by Amy Greenwood
In need of an idyllic escape? Let the wild beauty of the Clwydian Hills AONB relax and restore you at this superlative luxury barn conversion in north east Wales.
You’ll find The Long Barn – a fabulous Grade II listed dairy barn conversion – on a historic farm estate about a mile from the medieval market town of Ruthin. Just over the border from Cheshire, it is a very easy drive from Chester, the Wirral, Liverpool, and Manchester.
Frankly speaking, this is a hands-down stunner of a holiday cottage which could sell itself on its location alone: the attractive (and pet-friendly) stone barn is set in 70 acres of private farm estate, with far reaching views across rolling countryside.
However, with its magazine-photoshoot-ready interior, we’re happy to report that ‘laissez-faire’ is certainly not the approach the owners have decided to opt for when it comes to interior design. No small comfort, luxury, or detail has been overlooked. Everything is top-drawer gorgeous, with a chic rustic edge. The barn sleeps up to six guests.
Head to the Clwydian Hills
It’s worth pointing out that this rural corner of Wales – the Vale of Clwyd – is a bit of a hidden gem, and usually bypassed by the majority of visitors heading to better known Eryri (Snowdonia), Ynys Môn (Anglesey) and Pen Llŷn (the Llŷn Peninsula). It is wonderfully peaceful and serene, even in the busier months of the year.
Despite being less well known than other areas of North Wales, the local landscapes are certainly no less beautiful, and have captivated generations of painters, writers and poets. It is these hills – ‘The true Arcadia of wild beauty’ – which inspired the great Victorian poet Gerard Manley Hopkins to write some of his best-loved poetry. To this day, there is a proud creative tradition and a thriving local arts scene, some of which is on display at the excellent Ruthin Craft Centre.
The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB covers 390 square kilometres of some of the UK’s most beautiful landscapes. Picture heather-clad peaks crowned with Iron Age hillforts, rolling moors, and spectacular limestone cliffs.
This is a historically important region of Wales and the area is etched with reminders of a medieval landscape: picturesque ruins of Castell Dinas Bran castle overlooking Llangollen with nearby Valle Crucis Abbey, and the mighty Chirk Castle which guards the entrance to the Ceiriog Valley. The majestic Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal near Llangollen, now a World Heritage Site, is a monument to the AONB’s more recent industrial past.
Outdoor activities and walking near Ruthin
If you’re looking for activities to enjoy during your stay, you won’t struggle to find them. This is first and foremost fantastic walking country, with a great variety of quiet waymarked trails to explore in the Clwydian Hills. A great place to start exploring is from the Loggerheads Country Park, where you can follow the Alyn River through a delightful wooded gorge to the village of Cilcain (don’t miss the opportunity to stop at the fantastic White Horse pub in the village). Or climb Moel Famau (Mother Mountain) to take in glorious views of Offa’s Dyke and the Vale of Clwyd, extending to Eryri (Snowdonia) in the west and as far as Liverpool and the Cheshire Plains in the east.
You’ll find mountain bike trails at One Planet Adventure in Llandegla, rafting, kayaking, body rafting and abseiling at TNR Outdoors near Llangollen, and more sedate boating – by paddle or row boat, or even a cruise on a larger boat – along the River Dee at Chester. A ride on one of the heritage locomotives at the Llangollen Steam Railway is always a wonderful treat.
5-star accommodation at The Long Barn
But let’s get back to The Long Barn itself. This is 5-star holiday cottage luxe as it should be, deftly combining stylish and indulgent luxury with a genuine relaxed warmth which will make you feel looked after and immediately ‘at home’.
There are three beautiful king size ensuite bedrooms, one of which is a garden bedroom on the ground floor with its own doors onto a pretty patio. The two first-floor bedrooms are quiet and private, located at opposite ends of the barn, each with their own staircase.
The accommodation is bright and airy, with generously proportioned rooms and a double height vaulted ceiling in the main living space. The barn is heated by a ground source system which feeds underfloor heating below oak floorboards throughout the property. A log burner adds to the cosy feel.
The Long Barn is furnished to an exceptionally high standard using a blend of Welsh antiques, custom-made oak pieces, luxury beds and sofas, and locally-designed fabrics and furnishings. The handmade kitchen is equipped with everything you’ll need to prepare and serve a delicious meal, including a large Rangemaster cooker.
On the ground floor you’ll also find a well-equipped boot room with washing machine, tumble drier and a ground floor cloakroom. The secluded enclosed garden, which faces south west and enjoys sunshine for most of the day, looks out over farmland and fields towards the Hiraethog mountains.
Guests have the option to dine al fresco in the oak loggia on the south side of the barn. This is a large covered outdoor room with one side open to the garden, allowing you to enjoy the big landscape views and the often spectacular sunsets.
The barn is around a mile from the centre of Ruthin – a manageable walk or short drive to some excellent restaurants, pubs, and traditional tea rooms. Sound like a place you’d like to visit? Take a look at the full description and check availability for The Long Barn on our cottage page, and start planning your getaway to the idyllically peaceful Clwydian Hills today.