Wersha Bharadwa journeys to Lakes Edge at Pudletson Court for a luxury country staycation inside the grounds of a neo-gothic mansion.
More than a just five-star bolthole, with ultra-private pads boasting hot tubs and private pools, Lakes Edge at Pudleston in Herefordshire offers hens, honeymooners and families the most idyllic British getaway imaginable.
After a 30-minute drive down remote winding lanes, we’re instantly smitten as we pass Pudleston Court’s grade II listed sandstone Gatehouse Lodges. Then it’s a left corner, past a 12th century church with an oak-shingled spire before we’re inside the grounds. Location wise, it takes some beating. Part of the magic comes from the scarcely populated village of Pudleston and the rest from the estate’s 50 acres of private parkland.
Built by a former coal baron over 150 years ago, the current owners (who live in the fairytale house) have transformed the former staff quarters and Gatehouse into luxury holiday lets. They’ve also recently built and opened two spacious, high-tech barns perfect for hens, families and stylish honeymooners.
The Cottages at Lakes Edge at Pudleston Court
Choose from two secluded and absurdly romantic lodges inside the former gatehouse (Adam & Eve); two 18th century cottages sleeping eight and six respectively (Butlers and The Gaggles) or two barn conversions with underfloor heating and their own private heated pools. The Barn accommodates up to 12 in six bedrooms and Poachers Barn can host six. For a substantial yet homely feel, Butlers is your go-to with a high-spec kitchen, up-to-date gadgets and chocolate box cosiness.
A gravel front drive rolls down to a large, immaculately-maintained lawn and lake. Every morning, sunbeams pour through the conservatory dining room next to the open plan kitchen and living room. On top of the acres of nature, every property comes with its own spacious sun-trap private garden for unforgettable barbecues, cocktails and lazy lunches.
Most importantly, you have your own bubbling hot tub with eight massage jet combinations, snazzy mood lighting and a barrel sauna. Naturally, you’ll spend all your early evenings here. All this and more makes staying put and enjoying the cottage mostly a cinch. The main problem with this, however, is how much else there is to do on the estate.
Armed with maps we’re given on arrival, we lose entire afternoons deep in the tranquil woods. We’re met with nooks and precious serenity everywhere; wildflower-filled hidden meadows, dreamy secret lakes with cute duck houses, a fairy swing for two, endless hidden paths and swoon-worthy waterfalls.
By night, the grounds are awash with cinematic idyll. Fairy lights glitter in trees flanking the half-mile long drive and zero light pollution in the area means starlit skies. At Christmas, Pudleston Court is bathed in a kaleidoscope of colours from tasteful illuminations making a festive visit extra special. When the day’s excitement gets too much, hunker down for boardgames before popcorn and Netflix (you’ll find a basketful of logs for the open fire too).
Four bedrooms – two of which are master suites and three with en-suite bathrooms with overhead rain showers – have soft carpeting, Smart TV’s, oversized headboards and king-sized beds which easily convert into twins. All come in calming colour schemes with thick towels and quality crisp Egyptian cotton bedding.
Things You’ll Love
Every property guarantees weather-proof fun with either its own bath-temperature swimming pool or hot tub and wooden barrel sauna combo tacked on. Hot tubs are enclosed in wooden cabanas for year-round use and indoor pools have heated floors, relaxing daybeds, and private changing rooms. It’s the jackpot in terms of an upmarket hen, family holiday or luxury staycation honeymoon. Though most cottages were booked during our visit, we rarely came across other guests and seemed to exist solely in our own blissful bubble. Utterly relaxed and having created so many beautiful memories (we’re still craving those ancient woods), we’ll be back in no time.
The hotel-like service truly elevates our stay. We’re spoilt with a bounty of fruit, local produce and champagne in the fridge, alongside thoughtful chocolates and artisanal biscuits. A few hours after check-in, the lovely estate manager comes bearing gifts of extra wine and a gorgeous spa pamper kit of indulgent creams, candles, essential oils and bath scrubs. On-site cooking lessons, archery and picnics can be easily arranged including tours of local cideries. Families will adore the mini adventure playground featuring swings, slides and secret climbing walls.
Getting Married at Lakes Edge at Pudleston
The cottages and grounds can be hired as accommodation for wedding guests and there are plans to get the grounds licensed so you can hold your wedding and reception on the gorgeous estate. Make to keep checking in with the estate manager to see when this will be going ahead.
Book your stay from £290 per night for cottages sleeping two to 12 people. Visit Lakes Edge at Puddleston Court, or contact the team via email and phone: 01568 760537. Find out more on Instagram and Facebook. Check out Eat Sleep Live Herefordshire on Instagram for more information about the region.
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