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Apifera | Luxury Self-Catering Cottage | Wye Valley, Herefordshire


Fownhope, Hereford, Herefordshire, UK

Covered in clematis and encircled by wildflower meadow gardens, this luxury home in Hereford is not lacking in fairy-tale charm. Apifera is nestled deep in the green Wye Valley, straddling the border between England and Wales. An enchanting country cottage far from city crowds, its tangled orchards, twisting vines and handmade touches combine to make a dreamy, easy self-catering escape and offer guests a hearty slice of 'The Good Life'.


Sitting pretty in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty overlooking Herefordshire's River Wye, Apifera was built way back in 1600 by lime workers quarrying nearby. Restored to its former glory with the helping hand of traditional building methods and a whole load of love, this secluded self-catering home has an air of whimsy in every nook and cranny. Spend afternoons with hiking boots, wandering the woodlands of the Wye and Forest of Dean, before returning to roost. At dusk, watch the sun sink over the valleys below before retreating inside the cottage to relax by the open fire, glass of cider made from the orchard in hand.


With simple, calming interiors and only a small television to steal attention, nothing else in the world seems to exist when holidaying at Apifera. Sleeping up to four guests, it is the perfect self-catering family retreat and offers somewhere cosy for everyone to rest their head. On the ground floor is Apifera’s master bedroom with a queen-size ornate wooden bed, and access to the wild cottage gardens. A dusty pink double bedroom, boasting a four-poster double bed, resides up the wooden stairs on the first floor along with the small but sweet single bedroom, available for a cot or toddler.


Beautiful and secluded, outside space is in nothing but abundance at Apifera. Lay back and cloud watch among the wild orchids in the cider orchard, bask in sunbeams on the south-facing terrace or wander the vineyard. Surrounding the cottage are six acres of SSSI designated woodland overflowing with vibrant butterflies, perfect for sneaking off for a romantic picnic in dappled sunlight. When the day draws to a close and an empyreal night covers the land. Turn eyes to the ground as well as the sky; glow worms are well known in these parts, mirroring the especially twinkly skies.

The Facts

  • SleepsUp to 4 guests
    From £995 per week, £795 per short break
  • Alternative group optionUp to 2 guests
  • Bedrooms and bathroomsTwo double bedrooms, one with a four-poster bed and one with a queen-size bed, one single bedroom suitable for children six years of age and over, plus a bathroom with handheld shower attachment.
  • PetsSorry, no pets
  • Arrivals and departuresArrival Day: Friday and MondayArrival Time: 4.30pmDeparture Time: 10amTimes may vary due to Covid-19 requirements, please refer to your booking.
  • FamilyBabes-in-arms and children over six years of age are very welcome. One cot and one highchair are available.
  • PracticalitiesThere is ample parking for two cars. Parents will need to be aware of the drop from the terrace to the garden. The house is not ideal for those with limited mobility. The country cottage-style kitchen features a larder fridge, tabletop freezer, dishwasher, washing machine, wood stove, oven and underfloor heating. Please note, the gardener visits Apifera to cut the grass on Tuesday afternoons however will be discreet. Please be aware that there are beehives in a separate, fenced-off area of the garden, secured by a locked gate. The beekeeper may occasionally visit to check on the hives during guest´s stays.
  • Homestay includesLinen, towels, logs for the fire to get you started, Freeview TV with Chromecast, Blu-Ray DVD player, iPad, radio, underfloor heating, WiFi internet and a charcoal barbecue.House book - your property and destination guideDiscover more little luxuries
  • Other informationProperty terms and conditionsFrequently asked questionsCheck mobile signalRecommend to a friend

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A market town, a choir town, a river town and a rural centre: busy Hereford draws visitors from far and wide with its independent shops, boutique cafés and gorgeous green surroundings steeped in olde-world charm.

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Getting there

  • On the Map Apifera is located in the pretty Hereford village of Fownhope, 55 miles from Bristol and 65 from Birmingham.
  • By Car The cottage is less than 90 minutes from Bristol and Birmingham and three hours from central London.
  • By Train The nearest train stations are Hereford and Ledbury, just a short drive away.
  • By Air Bristol and Birmingham airports are around 70 miles and 90 minutes away from Apifera respectively.

From the owner

“Apifera is our little bit of Heaven. A place to retreat, unwind and be still for just a moment. The cottage position, sitting on the side of a hill, has the most glorious views across the rolling hills of Herefordshire, the Wye Valley and rumbling River Wye.”

From the owner

My husband Simon and I came to Herefordshire in 1993. We both left London and our jobs as location managers for new lives here and never looked back. When we first saw Apifera in early June 2016 it took our breath away and it has been fondly nicknamed 'Heaven' by friends and family.

The cottage sits in the middle of six acres of common land and has been here on the hill since the 1600s. Its spectacular position took us all by surprise - it is surrounded on one side by woodland and stunning views over the Wye valley on the other. Counting the different types of bees all over the lavender outside the kitchen on a sunny day is truly amazing. When the deer come down to graze everything goes motionless. The butterflies, moths and wildlife are abundant, as are the wildflowers, orchids and grasses.

It has been a labour of love by all the family for over a year to get Apifera where it is today. We have worked every weekend sanding, shifting materials, lime mortaring, rendering, painting, digging and more. We have all had our share in the hard graft but, as a family, have also had the greatest satisfaction in seeing Apifera become a warm and habitable space again. We still all love coming up here, to unwind and relax.

The Foster Family

Owner recommendations

Live like a local, discovering the best hidden gem restaurants, walks and attractions during your holiday in Hereford with an insider’s perspective.

The Burger Shop - Rule of Tum, Hereford
To Eat

The Burger Shop - Rule of Tum, Hereford

Run by three farmers´ sons who are passionate about sourcing food locally, The Burger Shop also plays host to a pop up restaurant called the Book Shop on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday lunchtime. Book ahead as they are very popular!

Walking, Wye Valley
To Do

Walking, Wye Valley

Apifera is situated on the Wye Valley walk, a 136-mile walk of striking contrasts, from gorge to woodland to remote uplands and everything in between. Pack some trusted walking shoes, a picnic full of treats and trundle off into the wild.

Canwood Sculpture Park
To See

Canwood Sculpture Park

Opened by a farmer who one day decided to start a sculpture barn, this unique attraction has grown from strength to strength. Enjoy the work of local artists and a pit stop in the tea room, knowing that proceeds go to St Bart´s Hospital.

Hay Festival
To Do

Hay Festival

Hay-on-Wye´s world-renowned annual literary festival in late May is definitely worth the trip for its staggering line-up of events and talks. Dubbed the "town of books" Hay-on-Wye has over 20 bookshops for you to peruse before you head home too!

Guest Testimonials

We have had the most wonderful few weeks in this captivating little cottage. Time here has been restorative, rich, and rewarding. Your beautiful cottage has completely beguiled us and we´ve fallen in love with it. The owners have been amazing hosts, and we´ve been charmed by all the thoughtful touches as well as the serenity and music of Apifera. What a place! Our little son has had the most amazing time and doesn´t want to leave any more than we do! We can´t wait to return.

We enjoyed a magical week here. Our children loved exploring, foraging, watching bees, picking fruit and the freedom of space. It’s been a restorative time for us, a quietening of the mind which is a beautiful thing! Thank you for the magic you´ve created here, we felt the care and the love that has obviously put into this haven. Everything has been thought of, from interesting books, a well-equipped kitchen, artist materials, a delicious welcome hamper and heavenly comfortable beds. Some kind of magical enchantment has been created here.

It was clear that Apifera would be a cosy, charming and stylish retreat from city life. The owner describes the cottage as her "little slice of heaven". It´s a magical place and provides stunning views. The care with which the cottage has been furnished and styled using recycled and refurbished materials is outstanding. We met the owner who is incredibly warm and welcoming. She had gone to tremendous trouble to ensure that everything was perfect for our stay. The hamper of goodies was hugely appreciated, especially the local produce. We left rested and inspired.

The cottage was everything we had hoped for and more! Such a wonderful little home to stay in. We were touched by the lovely welcome gifts we found on arrival, and the owner was so friendly and helpful. It was perfect and we adored it!

Thank you for the opportunity to stay in this gloriously inspirational cottage. We shall return to our own renovation project full of new ideas. Such a peaceful place and a delightful garden, we enjoyed the views across the valley in the spring sunshine. We would have loved to have stayed longer!

We´ve had a wonderful stay at Apifera. The cottage is in an amazing location, has everything we needed and is so atmospheric! The bird life in the garden is great and we saw a tawny owl for the first time in 20 years, hearing them in the woods around every evening. The weather was unseasonably kind as well! Thanks very much, we will definitely come back!

What a property! So pleasing to the eye both inside and out. Your wonderful creative style was very much appreciated and your attention to detail will be a hit with guests. Great cycling, walking, and we loved Hereford Cathedral. Thanks again and hope to come again!

Your beautiful cottage was everything we hoped for and more! So wonderfully decorated and styled, we felt we were living in a Richard Curtis movie. A wonderful escape from the madness of life. We absolutely love your recommendations, and can´t wait to come back!

We have spent this week totally relaxing, this beautiful cottage is a gem and we have enjoyed ourselves immensely. Our daughter and her boyfriend joined us at the start and we explored Ledbury with its unique shops hidden down lanes. The walks straight from the cottage are so scenic and lovely, it´s great not to have to get in the car! Thank you so much for everything here, we loved the hamper and all of the extra touches. We hope to return one day and we leave much relaxed and happy.

We are thankful to have spent a few days in this lovely and relaxing cottage. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and being far from the madding crowd. It is absolutely fabulous for relaxation and connecting with each other. Thank you!

Unique extras

Enhance your stay with a unique experience from one of our preferred suppliers. From professional in-house chefs to luxury at-home spa therapists and wine delivered to the door, see what’s on offer for your bespoke escape.


Below are a selection of features in which Unique Homestays has appeared. If you would like to feature the property in an editorial capacity, please contact the marketing team on +44 (0)1637 882014.

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Disclaimer: These particulars, whilst believed to be accurate, are set as a guideline so should not be relied upon as a statement of fact. The photographs show aspects of the property at the time they were taken and it should not be assumed that the property remains precisely as displayed. If there are points of particular importance that need clarifying before you book, please contact us.

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