Brooks Vintage Horsebox Glamping
Brooks County House Pengethley Park, Nr Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, HR9 6LL.
One of the first things Carla and Andrew Brook did, when they took over the Pengethley Estate in 2016, was drop the word ‘hotel’ from the title. They wanted to give the handsome, Georgian manor a more homely feel and, while today they still offer up-market accommodation and exceptional restaurant food, it’s all done with an air of informality. It’s an atmosphere that lends itself to the quirky style of the vintage horsebox glamping outside. If you want hotel-style facilities but all the fun of a glamping holiday, this Herefordshire haunt is just the place to come.
Set in a walled courtyard a hundred yards from the main, white-painted house, the trio of 1970s Bedford horseboxes mirror the dynamics of the hotel. Inside, the warm wood panelling of the bedsteads and the textures of the soft furnishings and heavy wooden side-tables echo the colour scheme and décor in the hotel rooms, while the functionality of the fold-away bunk beds allow for extra space. Small touches like the equestrian-themed paintings on the wall and luxury toiletries all show a real eye for detail. The finish is outstanding.
The horseboxes, of course, are only one part of what makes this place so special, for it’s the wider setting of the estate that really make Brooks Country House – as it is now called – stand out. The National Trust owns much of the land, but 15 acres still belong to the hotel, including not only a heated outdoor pool in a walled garden but also their very own two-acre vineyard, with pretty, regimented rows of vines lining out behind the house. The very drinkable Pengethley Estate White is best enjoyed in the setting of the hotel dining room, where glampers are served breakfast and dinner each day as they gaze through the floor-to-ceiling bay window to the gorgeous view beyond.
When not enjoying the range of facilities (there’s a grand snooker room and a smart new sauna – this is a hotel after all) you can explore the rural locale. Romp a mile and a half along the meadows to the ancient and ineffably quaint Lough Pool Inn, where you can sip a post-walk pint beneath the beams, or link to the other footpaths that spread across the countryside. The land is all a part of the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the river itself is less than a mile further. So the great outdoors are very much on your doorstep, even if your glamping accommodation is shielded away by all the luxuries of room service and a swimming pool!