Set within seven acres of countryside, the three luxe-lodges and four luxe-pods that make up Cynefin Retreats offer an inviting indoor-outdoor experience for families, couples and friends.
Having lusted over the two-person luxe-pods for a couple of years but with no volunteers to babysit, I thought my Cynefin staycation dreams would never be realised. However, the launch of the new two-bed luxury lodges in summer 2022 meant that I could finally sample the Cynefin magic with my family in tow – that’s myself, my husband Paul, our two boys aged 9 and 11, and our feisty but friendly Beagle, Lyra. Yes, Cynefin Retreats welcomes four-legged friends too.
If you’d like to book a stay, use the code NEWLODGE20 for 20% off stays between 10th August 2022 and 14th October 2022.
Cynefin Retreats Luxe-Lodges
If a family-friendly Herefordshire holiday is on your to-do list, here’s what you need to know about the brand new Luxe-Lodges at Cynefin Retreats.
Cynefin Retreats is super easy to find. Your car’s sat nav or Google Maps will take you straight to the entrance. With a parking spot right outside, unloading luggage, children and a dog is a breeze. Check in is from 4.30pm.
Upon arrival, you’ll find tea, coffee, hot chocolate, marshmallows and some lovely local goodies waiting for you, as well as a little jar of treats for your four-legged friend. Little ones will love squeezing themselves in to the little den under the stairs while you unpack. With books and games and a cosy rug to curl up on, you might not see them for a while.
Around the lodge, the Scandi-inspired interiors are a dream – practical and functional but also warm and welcoming. Downstairs, there’s plenty of room for everyone to move around, spend time together or find a cosy corner to read or sit and enjoy the peace and quiet.
While there’s no TV, the Marshall sound system means you can connect your phone and play your favourite songs or podcast. But if you do want to watch a film or catch up on your favourite show, bring your laptop. The WiFi is strong.
Two bedrooms with the best views
Upstairs, the two bedrooms are huge – no tripping over bags or cases, a personal bugbear of mine. The master bedroom has an incredibly comfy super king size bed and you’ll most definitely leave coveting one of the stunning Melin Tregwynt wool blankets. I did!
The second bedroom can be made up as a super king or as a twin, but be prepared for little ones to battle over who gets to sleep next to the window. A travel cot can be supplied if needed, or a blow-up mattress if you have three children.
If you’re a busy parent, quick showers are usually the norm, but you’ll want to make time for a dip as the bath is huge and has views over the meadow. Grab your favourite book and a glass of wine and shut yourself away for half an hour. I insist!
Spend time outdoors at Cynefin Retreats
Even the most indoor-loving human will find themselves lured outdoors by the landscape at Cynefin. Come rain or come shine, you’ll want to spend your evenings grilling over the fire pit. It’s up to you whether you claim the heavenly hot tub as a child-free zone.
During our stay, we spent an afternoon exploring the wider seven acres which both Lyra and the boys loved. With woodland pathways, a perfect picnic area and a beautiful willow arch to discover, scenic dog walks and tired-out children are guaranteed.
Family-friendly activities near Hay-on-Wye
Hay-on-Wye is a ten-minute drive away and is perfect for a family day out. It’s also very dog friendly. Head to the newly renovated cultural hub, Hay Castle. Dogs are welcome on the lawns and on the ground floor of the building and in the café. Take it in turns to head to the viewing platform on the third floor. Entry is free.
For the book worms, Richard Booth’s Bookshop is a must. Not only is it a haven of new releases, it’s said to be Europe’s largest second-hand bookshop. Top tip: if you have a story-obsessed child, set both a budget and time limit.
When it comes to food and drink, The Granary is a popular pitstop and I’d also suggest The Old Black Lion. There’s a little indoor area where dogs are welcome to dine with you or you can sit outside in the garden. My boys recommend the burgers!
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a short but sweet walk from Cynefin Retreats, take the ten-minute stroll to Whitney Toll Bridge. Enjoy the views over the River Wye while sipping on something chilled in the newly-opened café.