We had the opportunity to stay at Arden House in August 2016 as guest bloggers for Silver Travel Advisor. We were very fortunate with the weather and arrived somewhat tired after a long drive from Scotland at about 5pm.
The exterior of the house was just gorgeous and we looked forward to seeing the interior. The owners had clearly invested in restoring all the stained glass, stonework etc to its former glory and the panelled living room (just for checking in, not for common use) was delightful.
The owners, Ian and Julie, were also very welcoming and obliging and able to provide information and advice on place to go and eat/drink/visit. The interior was very modern in style and furnishings with some original features such as the wonderful stained glass windows with fabulous views and the painted fireplaces. Julie told me that the majority of their customers were walkers, hikers and gliders or those that wanted to explore the area who wanted comfort and a great location both of which were very available.
Church Stretton is on a train line, so the house is ideal for those who don’t drive. It means that places like Ludlow and Bridgnorth, both not too far away, are available to visit without the stress of driving. I would note that there were very steep steps to our apartment (MacIntosh – and Darwin had the same access) so not really suitable for anyone with mobility problems (my husband is disabled but not wheelchair bound and he struggled somewhat).
We found the kitchen was well set out and well equipped and the living room was very large and roomy with comfortable furniture and a good TV. Similarly the bedroom was comfortable, with good linen and had plenty of storage and the ensuite bathroom was very smart. Both the rooms and all the equipment was absolutely spotless.
Julie also took me to show me the upstairs Turret apartment which has three bedrooms so perfect for a group of friends (and all have their own bathroom so no queuing for the loo!); this apartment comes complete with access to a lovely roof terrace with amazing views over Long Mynd and the Cardingmill Valley hills and has parking above the house and an entrance via its own little bridge. I have to say the WiFi was also excellent, I have often struggled with this and it made a pleasant change to get good reception.
The location was also excellent – as well as being on a train line, the house was only a short walk from Church Stretton centre with its pleasant pubs and eating places (and antique centre, a must for me!) and a short walk from the gorgeous Cardingmill Valley (National Trust) so plenty of opportunities for pleasant walks. We found Cardingmill was lovely early morning or in the evening when the tourists had gone home and it was literally only a few minutes’ walk from Arden House. Similarly it was only a short walk into town with a few good eating places so no need for the car at all and a pleasure to walk around such a lovely town.