Few would ever believe that London could be less than an hour away from these smart, new barn conversions, surrounded by rolling Hertfordshire countryside. The three Lordship’s Barns are set in 600 acres of ‘home counties’ countryside, with cows grazing in green pastures, swathes of vivid yellow rapeseed, fields of swaying crops and even a working English vineyard. Individually, each barn makes a stunning bolthole to escape to the country and when all three are booked together they are perfect for special occasions and get-togethers of up to 14 family and friends.
Completed in 2014, the lapboard barns have been transformed with lashings of contemporary style and sophistication, without abandoning their original character but rather enhancing their assets. High raftered ceilings make the barns spacious and airy, whilst under-floor heating and wood burning stoves keep little toes nice and cosy. Hand-crafted kitchens are equipped with German appliances and Nespresso machines, the super comfy beds are made up with Egyptian cotton linen and there are Neal’s Yard toiletries in the gleaming, tiled bathrooms. Two of the barns also boast a wall of sliding glass doors in the main living area, which open onto a central quadrangle of perfect striped lawn where little ones can play, under the watchful eyes of parents. The barns also have their own private patio area, with a barbecue for meals outdoors and maybe even under a few stars, away from the London light pollution.
Lordship’s Barns has certainly been designed to provide an oasis of calm and luxury for adults but, as Grandparents to 4 grandchildren, the owners ’s ‘’’s are also keen to give youngsters a great experience here too. Toys, games, books and DVD’s are provided but the outdoors is the highlight here for children, providing acres of space to play, explore and let imaginations run wild., and close to the barns, there’s a climbing frame with a swing and a slide.
The Granary is the largest barn conversion which sleeps up to 6 people plus 2 babies in a cot, with one wooden cot and one travel cot available. The ground floor living area benefits from a high raftered ceiling and is flooded with light from a wall of slider glass doors which open onto the central lawn quadrangle. The living area is furnished and finished with comfy L-shaped sofas, a Freeview TV with Blu-Ray DVD player, a wood burning stove and smooth wood floors with underfloor heating. A few steps down from the living area is the spacious, hand-crafted kitchen and dining room, featuring granite worktops and German appliances, including a double eye-level oven and grill, induction hob and a large fridge freezer, plus a table which seats 6, with a high chair available. Plastic cutlery and crockery etc is provided, a bottle steriliser is available and other kitchen gadgets include a Nespresso machine. A washing machine and tumble dryer are free for guests to use in a separate shared laundry. One of the three bedrooms is on the ground floor, with a superking bed that can be split into two single beds and an ensuite bathroom. Two other bedrooms are on the first floor, comprising one with twin single beds and one with a superking bed that can be split into twin single beds and both these bedrooms have ensuite shower-rooms. At the rear of The Granary, guests have a private, sheltered patio area overlooking the fields, with outdoor dining table and a Weber barbecue.
Lordship’s Barns are the perfect country retreat from the Capital, being as little as an hour’s drive and even less by the fast intercity trains from King’s Cross to Stevenage, 9 miles away. The village of Dane End is walking distance, less than a mile away, (with a buggy provided at the Barns), where there is a village shop, pub and children’s playground.
The nearby village of Watton-at-Stone (5 miles) has a gem of a country coaching inn, The Bull, which dates back to the 15th century and serves a delicious mix of gastro British classics and tapas-style deli dishes. Also 5 miles away, Pearce’s Farm Shop sells a tantalizing array of goodies including locally sourced meats and fresh fish delivered daily, fruit and veg, pies and pastries, cheeses, chutneys and deli delectables. There’s also an excellent cafe as well as PYO strawberries and raspberries when they’re in season.
The historic market town of Hertford is 10 minutes drive (7-8 miles), with all the shops, amenities, pubs and restaurants families could need, including a TESCO, Sainsburys and Ocado that will deliver to Lordship Barns……. Parents can take kids for a swim at the leisure centre and there’s a fenced children’s playground next door. The beautiful university city of Cambridge is 30 minutes drive, with its ornate colleges and chapels, excellent museums and galleries, punts gliding down the river, a historic market place and quaint passageways crammed with interesting shops, cafes and bistros.
Such lovely countryside, so close to the Capital, means there are numerous fabulous country estates to visit, with magnificently landscaped gardens and period interiors. Audley End is especially recommended for families with horses to meet in the Victorian stable yard and a play area that has springy wooden horses, a ‘play-mansion’ and adjacent cafe, plus a miniature railway around the grounds. Knebworth House is also great for kids thanks to a fab Dino Trail, with 70 life sized dinosaurs to see as well as an adventure playground with a bouncy castle, giant slide and splash water features. Hatfield House also a play area and Farm Park where children can feed the animals, play in sand pits and bounce around on tractor tyres. When the weather isn’t great, other options to keep children entertained include Woody’s Play Barn in Ware and a Hollywood Bowl and Cineworld in Stevenage.
Nearest medical services: medical centre / A&E at Lister Hospital, Stevenage (7 miles)