Nestled in the small rural village of Catbrook, just a mile above Tintern in the Wye Valley, Foxes Reach is a beautifully quaint holiday cottage, perfect for family getaways in the area.
We previously stayed in one of Fiona’s other properties, Tintern Abbey Cottage, which overlooks Tintern Abbey, last June. Both are picturesque stone cottages, exactly how you would imagine a rural holiday let to look. Where Tintern Abbey Cottage feels a lot more modern, Foxes Reach is homely, traditional and cosy with its low ceilings, stone walls and dark wooden and leather furniture.
The warm glow of the wood burner in the living area greeted us when we arrived. It was so inviting, and the perfect welcome for us after driving in the rain an hour from Cardiff straight after school on a Friday evening. Thankfully it was surrounded by a huge fire guard to prevent little hands from getting burned.
The kitchen area is an extension to the original cottage. It has all the modern conveniences such as a fitted kitchen, dishwasher, coffee maker and so on, but the stone walls give it such a traditional charm.
We ate most of our meals in the house, and were pleased to see the kitchen is really well equipped, with more than enough crockery and cutlery for the five of us, including plastic equipment for the children, and all the pots and pans you could need.
The oven gloves and tea towels have the Welsh flag on them, while all around the house are vintage style white milk jugs of fresh daffodils, which I imagine foreign tourists especially would love.
There’s also a whole range of plastic cups, plates and so on for use in the garden and the hot tub.
Yes, the hot tub! That was definitely one of the highlights for us! Fiona says that although Tintern Abbey Cottage is within walking distance of the family-friendly The Anchor Inn pub (which we can confirm is great, having visited during this stay and our previous one), Foxes Reach is really popular with families, with parents liking to make use of the hot tub when the kids are in bed.
We spent so much time in the hot tub as a family, that by evening time we were happy to “Netflix and chill” in the true sense of the word. The TV comes with Netflix inbuilt, so if you are already subscribed you can log in and continue watching as you would at home. We’re currently watching Homeland, so caught up on a few episodes of that. accompanied by some bottled beers and ciders kindly left for us to sample by local breweries Apple County Cider co. and Kingstone Brewery.
At the back of the house, there’s a good-sized garden space, with a sloped lawn which my children enjoyed playing on. The weather meant we didn’t make much use of the garden furniture, but I imagine it would be lovely in the warmer weather.
Upstairs, the cottage sleeps up to six, plus one baby. The four bedrooms are all of a good size, with two doubles and two singles. All the beds are covered with fluffy white pillows and duvets, and topped with bed spreads and plenty of soft furnishings, with a different theme in each room.
Little Miss E, my seven-year-old daughter, loved all the cushions on her bed and set about arranging them settee-style. Little Man O, my five-and-a-half-year-old middle child, had a typical man’s view and hated them, relegating his excess cushions to the floor! All three of my children thought the televisions in every bedroom were brilliant. We don’t have them in our bedrooms at home, so watching the kids’ channels in bed was a real treat for them.
The house is really well-equipped for families. As well as the aforementioned plastic cutlery and crockery and the fire guard around the wood burner, there are stair gates at the top and bottom of the stairs, a travel cot, a baby changing mat, and high chairs available if required. There are even potties and plastic stools in the bathrooms. Children might be little but they certainly don’t travel lightly, so little things like this make life so much easier.
Foxes Reach is a great base for exploring the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean. Last time we stayed in the area, we visited Tintern Abbey, Perrygrove Railway, Puzzlewood, and the International Centre for Birds of Prey. But there’s so much choice for families that this time we had a completely different trip…. You’ll be able to read more about our adventures later in the week.
Have you ever visited the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean? Do please share any recommendations for family friendly attractions and days out in the area, in the comments below, on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page or by tweeting me on @cardiffmummy
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