House on the Hill… that can only mean one thing – views, and oh boy, these take some beating! A panorama that stretches on and on and on across the beautiful countryside on the borders of Wiltshire and Dorset. Chalk grassland, heaths and river valleys interspersed with ancient woodland; no wonder it’s a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. At night, the only light you’ll see is the one atop the spire of Salisbury cathedral some 12 miles away; peace and quiet, open air…. and when split between a large group it works out at less than the price of a good hotel!
In the not so distant past, House on the Hill was a collection of old barns and milking sheds; tastefully and sympathetically remodelled, it now offers large group self-catering holiday accommodation that’s utterly stunning, seriously spacious, light and airy. The style is one-off; quirky yet exquisite throughout, with the most gorgeous decor and luxuriant furnishings.
House on the Hill sleeps up to 24 people so it’s perfect for any large group stay, whether it’s a big family get together, a cheery reunion of friends, or a motivated business gathering; an opportunity to re-connect and unwind, something different for corporate hospitality. You’ll have all the comforts and facilities you need; within a walled courtyard there’s a fabulous heated pool where big terracotta pots and statues give a distinctly Mediterranean feel. Off the courtyard is a games room where you can unwind and play pool or table tennis; this is where the kids love to hang out.
The 8 bedrooms are all individually styled, with flair and imagination; sumptuous big beds, vaulted ceilings, plenty of wardrobe space, and those views… oh, those views. The ensuites are terrific, generously sized and so smart! Snazzy palm tree wallpaper in the shower room for Bedroom 2, sophisticated florals for Bedroom 3, and the bathroom for Bedroom 1 has a rolltop bath right in front of the arched window; fill it with bubbles, lie back and gaze out over the fields; bliss.
The whole house is an eclectic mix of old and contemporary that comes together in a seamless blend of luxury modern living; warm Parquet floors, thick antique rugs, Farrow & Ball colours, original art works everywhere, and heaps of books and DVDs. Wait ‘til you see the opulent downstairs loo, and oh my, the conservatory! Light pours in from three sides of full height glass; sit round the hand-crafted table for morning coffee whilst you get a load of those views, step out onto the terrace for a breath of fresh country air.
The kitchen! What a room! Burly soaring beams, sofas to sit on, and plenty of space to create a scrummy celebration feast; if you don’t feel comfortable cooking on the 4 oven Aga, use the electric oven and induction hobs instead. The enormous dining table is a chunky rustic masterpiece hand-fashioned by a local gypsy; pile it high with food and wine, relax and enjoy.
The elegant drawing room is a delight for afternoon tea; plush sofas to perch on, and a huge picture window gives a vista of the landscape; on a warm day leave the doors open and let your chit-chat mingle with the constant twittering of the birds. Spend a quiet moment with a book on the minstrels gallery, or in the cosy sitting room, curled up in a big fat armchair; in the colder months light the fire and be mesmerised by the flickering flames. Gather together for a movie night in the TV Room; a big screen, sofas to sink into, bowls of popcorn to share.
A bonus of House on the Hill is that it has further living space that can be a quite separate, almost self-contained area for elderly grandparents, a family, or just for those who like to have their own space sometimes. It has an ample open plan kitchen/living room and three generous en-suite bedrooms, plus a sofa bed for additional snooze space (charged extra).
And there are 7.5 acres of grounds to wander in! Doors lead out from several rooms onto the terrace; get steaks sizzling on the barbecue, have fizz and canapes, stroll around the paths, sit by the ornamental pond or beneath the leafy arbour. Lawns slope gently down to a pond that’s a big pull for birds and other wildlife (no swimming and mind the little ones); in the summer mown paths meander through a meadow dotted with wild flowers.
If you can drag yourself away, there are footpaths on the doorstep, so go and explore. You might wander down to the Three Horseshoes, or pootle about the lanes in the car and explore the attractive villages with centuries old thatched cottages and tiny churches. Go for an amble or a spot of fishing along the River Avon or the Stour, spend the afternoon at one of the historic houses within easy reach - Stourhead, or Old Wardour Castle. Venture over to Salisbury to see the cathedral and the Magna Carta, or visit Mompesson House; climb the famous cobbled Gold Hill at Shaftesbury, or take a day trip to Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove on the Jurassic Coast.
There’s actually plenty to see and do around these parts, but do you know what? Once you’re here we don’t blame you if you want to stay put, relaxing with a great bunch of people at House on the Hill, recharging your batteries at this fabulous rural retreat. Happy days, peaceful nights.