Maybe you’ll stay at Beacon Hall because it has a kitchen the size of a cruise ship. Perhaps you’ll fall for the outdoor terrace dining for a couple of dozen, the baronial dining room, the cosy private adjoining cottage, or the beamed beauty of the reception rooms. Or maybe you’ll be wooed by the in-house entertainment.
You’ll love all of those things, but not as much as the chance to bring the generations together, here in the shadow of the Black Mountains among the green ridges, the ancient hillforts, the crags, birds and bracken of rural Herefordshire. Beacon Hall and cottage sleep 25 in 12 glorious bedrooms amid the generous whiff of true opulence.
Cook on the four-door Aga, electric oven and four-hob induction. Eat around the dining table with the logs roaring, the 24-seat kitchen diner, or out among the big skies and red kites. Stock up at Green Bean deli. Bring your dog for the one-acre lawns, gaze at the stars around the evening firepit, try not to imagine going home.
There’s a full acre here for you and up to two dogs to explore in a garden blessed with spectacular views of the Herefordshire countryside. Wander back to the stone terrace with the outdoor seating for a couple of dozen, fire up the barbie and eat al-fresco with a view of the woody knoll beyond the garden and the odd red kite wheeling above.
You’ll enjoy family flexibility at Beacon Hall, with space for 21 in the main house and another four, be they a young family or granny and grandad, in the adjoining cottage. Wherever you stay, you’ll revel in the sense of homely luxury created by original features, generous sofas, picture windows and burning logs.
There’s also entertainment aplenty, with a 65” telly in the media room for those family film nights. Don’t forget your Netflix and Amazon Prime Video passwords. When the credits have rolled, there’s just time for another game of table tennis. Or maybe you’d prefer pool in the games room with a civilised tipple waiting on the bar table.
Elsewhere, kids can raid the toy cupboard in the media room, a haven of train sets, building blocks and toy trucks. Need some me time? Grab a book from the shelf and find your own space on the window seat with views of the hills. Don’t forget that pot of tea, or coffee from the cafetiere.
Catering for the masses is made easy here, with space for 25 in the dining room, up to 24 in the kitchen, and just as many out on the stone terrace beneath the big skies. Fire up the coal barbecue and feed it with cuts from Mark Hurd’s butchers that you’ve kept in the freezer and three fridges. Wine comes care of Tanners Wine Merchants.
Seasoned chef that you are, you’ll love the kitchen that surely needs its own postcode, complete with dual-hob Aga, electric oven, combi/microwave and four-burner induction hob. Not a seasoned chef? Apologies. May we suggest Dineindulge, a unique and special private-dining experience available as a one-off or a fully catered break?
Leave your apron hanging up and book that takeaway. Call up New Jasmine House for crispy aromatic duck or barbecued chicken wings. And Lal Bagh’s your top choice for Indian.
Within walking distance or a short drive away lies The Causeway Bar & Restaurant, eat out on pan-fried seabass or a super-foods salad on the spectacular terrace. Enjoy seared duck breast at The Bell Inn or baked sole with polenta chips at The Cider Barn. Or tuck in to simple, seasonal, beautifully presented dishes at Penson’s.
You’ve 12 bedrooms to choose from across the main house and cottage, but they all come with layers of luxury and the restful, heavy silence that hangs over the Herefordshire hills.
Bartlett is a superking on the first floor with private bathroom, while Baldwin provides a superking four-poster and bedroom basin. It shares a bathroom with Conference, a superking or twin with a basin. Seckel is another twin, while Taylor’s Gold offers a superking or twin and a bathroom shared with Hood.
Hood gives you a choice of king or children’s twin beds (5′) and Concorde is a twin with its own en-suite. Comice sleeps three in a superking and day bed with an en-suite, while Anjou and Forelle offer the choice of superking or twin with basins and a shared bathroom.
In the cottage, Braeburn gives you a kingsize bed, while Bramley provides twin beds. The rooms share a bathroom.
Beacon Hall is big but, to kids, it’s ginormous. Big enough to spend a whole week discovering new nooks and crannies, new corners of the garden with their four-legged furries, and for just about every member of the family to come along. Where are the kids? They’ve snuck out for afternoon tea in the cottage with grandma and grandad.
They’ve a fair few reception rooms to explore here, but one of the favourites will be the media room, with its 65-inch telly. Bring your passwords for Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. Break off for impromptu games of table tennis. The games room, with its pool table and bar stools for mum and dad, should also see plenty of action.
Toddlers will raid the toy cupboard for train sets and trucks, and everyone will love the one-acre garden. Eat your barbecued burgers out there on the stone terrace and stay out past bedtime chewing the fat around the firepit on the Adirondack loungers accompanied by the odd curious bat or two.