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Charity | Luxury Self-Catering Mountain Retreat | Brecon Beacons

Charity

Black Mountains, Herefordshire, UK

Clever artistry and divine seclusion combine to make Charity a sublime retreat for families and friends wanting to escape it all. Set off the Olchon Valley's Mountain Road, this modern-rustic farmhouse commands soul-stirring views to the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains on one side, and rolling Hereford countryside to the other. Strike a match to the wood-fired hot tub, mix cocktails is the snooker room and make yourself truly at home.

Introduction

Dating back to the 15th century, Charity’s scattering of tumbledown farm buildings lay untouched for decades. It wasn’t until the swinging sixties that a man discovered the humble old cottage and barns hidden beneath a blanket of wild nettles and, with the help of his son, tenderly transformed Charity into the magnificent family home as it stands today. Groups can look forward to three open fires, bathtubs in bedrooms, a croquet lawn, wooden sauna, disco ball, home cinema and sheltered courtyard with fire pit and hot tub, all set under the starriest night sky imaginable.

Inside

However Charity speaks to you most, as a holistic country retreat, artists' studio or secret mountain hideaway, it won’t be long until it’s stone walls and stories nestle their way into your heart. Sowing contemporary flare into an authentic farmhouse frame, Charity offers something for every generation at every turn. From the Welsh blankets by the open fire to bookshelves stuffed with compelling reads and chef's kitchen overlooking the front lawn, children can play whilst grown-ups recline in peaceful solitude. Completing the picture, six unique bedrooms await at the end of the day, each with green views and French linens.

Outside

Charity’s ensemble of stone buildings, sat amidst 20 acres of its own land and woods, wrap around a central courtyard which is accessible from six doors throughout the house. The courtyard is the ultimate grown-up’s playground; comprising a hot tub, stone island barbecue station and fire pit. Tempting though it may be to stay at home, a whole host of activities await nearby. Take the party on an outdoor adventure to explore the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains. Some of the best views can be enjoyed from Sugar Loaf, Table Mountain and Pen y Fan. Using the hot tub as a spring water plunge pool is the perfect antidote after a run down the mountains.

The Facts

  • SleepsUp to 12 guests
    From £2,450 per week, £1,895 per short break
    Day hire options are available
  • Alternative group optionUp to 6 guests
  • Bedrooms and bathroomsOn the ground floor are three zip-and-link bedrooms (which can be set up as either super king-size doubles or twins), two with en suite shower rooms and one with an en suite wet room. On the first floor is the zip-and-link master bedroom (whose bed can be set up as either a super king-size double or a twin) with en suite bathroom and separate shower, and two double bedrooms each with a bath in the room
    View bedrooms
  • FeaturesHot tub, sauna, outdoor shower, table tennis, snooker room, cinema barn
  • PetsTwo well-behaved dogs are welcome
    Each pet is charged at £60 per week or part thereof
  • Arrivals and departuresArrival Day: Friday or MondayArrival Time: 4pmDeparture Time: 10am
  • FamilyBabes-in-arms and children are very welcome. One travel cot and one highchair are available. Please note there is a drop at the edge of the lawn so young children should be supervised
  • PracticalitiesThere is ample parking for eight cars. There is underfloor heating to keep you cosy, and WiFi internet (please note that mobile reception can be patchy due to the secluded location), the kitchen has a cooking range by Bertazzon including two electric ovens, a hob with electric Teppanyaki griddle, six gas burners and a dual-ring power burner. There is also an Artisan Stand mixer, Magimix, toaster, Le Creuset stove-top kettle, Tefal rice cooker, NutriBullet and fridge-freezer with wine cooler
  • Homestay includesSurround-sound cinema with 7-metre projector screen and Blu-ray DVD player, Sonos multi-room sound system, luxury welcome hamper, TV, two charcoal barbecue areas, linen, towels, logs and kindling to get you startedHouse book - your property and destination guideDiscover more little luxuries
  • RestrictionsParties considered on prior permission from the owner
  • Other informationProperty terms and conditionsFrequently asked questionsView floor planCheck mobile signalRecommend to a friend

Get in touch

Enquire Book

Ceremonies

An authentic farmhouse full of character and style, with enough rooms to cater for a close family gathering, Charity´s bohemian soul and awe-inspiring location create an elopement wedding venue like none before it.

Find out more

Prices & Availability

The Black Mountains

Well placed on the border of England and Wales, this stunning hilly region attracts hikers, mountain bikers and horse riders. There are pretty towns and villages to explore too, if you can take your eyes off the amazing views.

View on maps

Getting there

  • On the Map Charity occupies a secluded mountain position in the Olchon Valley near the Brecon Beacons National Park, on the England-Wales border.
  • By Car Charity is three hours drive from London.
  • By Train Abergavenny train station is around half an hour's drive away, with regular routes to London via Cardiff .
  • By Air Cardiff and Bristol airports are both one and a half hour's away by car.

From the owner

“The 1960’s saw my father Ben John start coming to the Olchon Valley, the last valley in the Breacon Beacons on the border of Wales. In 1967 he discovered Charity Farm, then approached by a dirt track, and thus began my dad´s love affair with this house and the remoteness of the valley.”

From the owner

Slowly transforming from a dilapidated cottage, for many years Charity was basic, draughty and cold. On family holidays as children, we huddled around a roaring fire waiting as our bath water heated up, refilled from a metal bucket that hung over the grate. In 1989, after early retirement from the design world, Dad then bought the surrounding buildings and began what he called 'The Grand Design'.

A radical scheme connecting medieval architecture through modernist design, he created an annex between the barn and the cottage. Oak joinery, stone walls and flagstone floors continued to be the defining features of Charity. When my father died the prospect of losing the house was unbearable. My siblings decided to sell but I moved heaven and earth to be able to buy Charity.

The changes my Dad made over the years inspired me to make more. I now had the opportunity of looking at the house as a whole with a view to resolving the tensions between the old and new.

With the help of brilliant teams, this new Charity has taken me over three years and many new skills along the way. It has been a challenging process trying to maintain the soul whilst delivering ergonomic functionality. Of course, this has been very exciting too and immensely rewarding. I hope you find Charity and this valley as inspiring as we do.

Henry John

Owner recommendations

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

The Walnut Tree, Abergavenny
To Eat

The Walnut Tree, Abergavenny

Attracting foodies from all over the world, this Michelin-starred restaurant is a must-visit. Offering a superb dining experience, booking in advance at the Walnut Tree is definitely recommended to avoid disappointment.

Wye Valley Canoes
To Do

Wye Valley Canoes

This beautiful stretch of river is the perfect haven for a day´s adventure; quietly cut through the water in your canoe and enjoy a novel way to spend time with friends and family as beautiful scenes unfold and peace and tranquility reign.

Llama Trekking
To Do

Llama Trekking

What could be better than trekking through gorgeous countryside with a herd of llamas? With Golden Valley Llamas, you can enjoy half day treks, including haltering, grooming and walking your llamas through verdant fields.

The Black Mountains
To See

The Black Mountains

The north-east part of the Brecon Beacons National Park is dominated by the Black Mountains, a group of old red sandstone hills, the highest of which is Waun Fach. They´re cloaked in grass and heather and laced with rivers.

Guest Testimonials

When I booked Charity, it was the artistic connection that drew me in. What a joy expressing our creativity was! We watched ´Ewetube´ through the window, danced, meditated and painted with such happiness. The scenery and weather was wild, windy and wonderful. Thank you, your house is perfect and we loved seeing the photos and reading your family´s story. We did tai chi first thing every morning on the lawn, giving gratitude and thanks for sharing time in your home.

We celebrated coming together here in Wales and were welcomed by the embrace of your wonderfully cosy home. You have paid such attention to detail in both the design, the inclusion of nature into each room, and incorporating all the elements here that celebrate the seasonal changes. It went from freezing cold to mild rainy days. We hiked the ridge, following the trail, made fabulous meals, played snooker, watched movies, enjoyed the sauna, and everything else to bring enormous smiles and deep sleeps every day and night!

We stayed at Charity for a 40th birthday celebration. We were all very excited about it for some time beforehand. Sometimes when you build something up in your mind for so long, it ends up not meeting your expectations. Charity, on the other hand, exceeded our expectations and we all had a beautiful time together building memories that will stay with us for a lifetime.

Charity was a magical place to spend a family Christmas and exceeded all expectations. This house has soul and we leave rested and inspired. Thank you to the owner for sharing your beautiful home.

We thoroughly enjoyed our family Christmas at Charity which is quite a magical place. The standard of accommodation is superb and there is plenty to keep everyone happy, both inside and out. Our dealings with Unique Homestays were always friendly, courteous and efficient. Many thanks.

We had a fabulous week at Charity. The farmhouse with its peaceful, hidden location and setting was just lovely. The layout of the house meant we all had our own space and privacy. We enjoyed the fantastic views and some of the best walking we´ve had - it was brilliant to be able to take our dog too. There was a great choice of indoor and outdoor dining spaces and well-equipped kitchen, sociable layout and we appreciated the unique and imaginative design and build. The beds were so comfortable. Thank you.

A beautifully presented property in a knockout location. Plenty of space to accommodate a group with a baby, dog, keen walkers, pool players, hot tub dippers, film critics and foodies! It was really good to learn a bit of the history of the place and the owners renovation. Thank you for a wonderful stay.

We fell in love with Charity when we first visited about six months ago, when we stayed it exceeded all of our expectations! It was the perfect place to host our closest friends and family on our wedding day!

A wonderful weekend of sunshine, walking, wine, and the novelty of hills for a group of girls from the flat lands of Suffolk and Cambridge. A gorgeous house in a magical location for the celebration of an impending marriage! We can´t wait to come back.

We had a fabulous stay at Charity. The location and views are spectacular and we all loved the way the property has been lovingly restored. Everything was well organised and set up for our stay. We enjoyed all the extra facilities from the home cinema to the sauna and snooker room. We would definitely recommend it and I will use Unique Homestays again.

We have just spent an amazing few days at Charity. The views are stunning, the house is beautiful with lots of little touches such as some lovely Welsh Cakes when we arrived. The cinema room was perfect for a lazy Saturday afternoon. We played cricket on the lawn and we had cosy nights in front of a roaring fire. Everything about our stay was perfect, we have lots of lovely memories of a wonderful weekend spent in a truly special place. Thank you for making our stay so special.

Brilliant time. Well looked after. The chef was amazing and the wives loved the spa treatments. Couldn´t fault the property at all, it was perfect. Brilliant weekend. Only problem was we had to leave.

Fabulous location to meander through a very relaxing fortnight. Sauna, pool table, excellent books, hot tub. Watching and taking in the unparalled views from the garden. A husband who actually slept and slowed down! Wonderful! The stone table in the courtyard - genius. An outdoor shower, brilliant idea. Thank you.

Love this house and had to read three at a time, to get through as least some of the wonderful books, thrilled by the real linen. Loved the imaginative cinema screen and choice of movies. The whole house designed imaginatively.

We had a wonderful visit to celebrate our 40 years of marriage with the family. It was a great location and super relaxing with the fire and the hot tub. Great views! We had a fantastic family time!

A wonderful place to stay. The hot tub was super relaxing as was the log fire in the living room. Lovely views, great kitchen and we wished we were there for longer - we would return in a flash. See you again Charity!

A perfect weekend for my 30th birthday. Breathtaking views and a wonderful cosy house. Our murder mystery evening was absolutely perfect in ´The Great Hall´. Thank you for such an unforgettable break, we will be returning.

Thank you so much for an incredible weekend. Charity farm is perfect in every way, so much work and love has been put in to make it such a beautiful place to stay. We´ll definitely be back to stay.

An absolutely stunning house, made special memories for a lovely birthday. Thank you for all your hard work in putting the place together for generations to come!

We had a wonderful weekend at Charity, what a lovely home and spectacular destination. We would love to come back in the summer months this year and will definitely be revisiting soon! Thank you for a lovely stay and pass on our thanks to the owner!

Wow! Smitten by day 2 and fell more deeply every day that passed. What an amazing house. You have done a wonderful job! We spent a wonderful week here celebrating mums 70th - it was very hard to leave. Thanks from all of us for sharing it.

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home with us! We have had the best week of walking up to Offa´s Dyke and running back down to the hot tub. Do we have to go back to London? Thanks again.

We have had such a wonderful week at Charity. You have such a a beautiful house, full of character and charm. Thank you for letting us stay. Archie loved running around in the garden and waving to the sheep and we loved the spectacular views.

We had a lovely couple of days at Charity and Henry was so welcoming. It is such a great house and the location is really remote but in a good way. The mountain road is totally breath taking. The peace and space is so mesmerizing.

Press

Below are a selection of features in which Charity and 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 ask our team.

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