Hergest Lee, Powys, Wales

With glowing-green eco credentials and interiors to delight mid-century devotees, this self-catering cabin makes for a cosy weekend break with friends or family. Switch off in the free-standing tub with floor-to-ceiling views over the craggy Welsh mountains.

A labour of love from nonchalantly cool couple Rachael and Paul Gent, this gorgeous cedar-clad cabin is a lesson in both design and sustainability.

Perched among the beautifully sombre hills of deepest, darkest Wales, the structure was built entirely from scratch by carpenter Paul (who mind-bogglingly never wrote down the plans, instead keeping all the blueprints in his head).

The clever curvature of the walls and lofty ceilings create a sense of space far bigger than the cabin's pint size, while a floating staircase leading to a half-height second bedroom means it sleeps five if you don't mind being snug - far more than you'd guess from outside.

Mid-century devotees will go gaga over the interiors. Think Ercol chairs and a brown-leather Stouby sofa. We were so enchanted by the Morris of Glasgow teak display cabinet that we immediately hopped onto eBay to source one for ourselves.


The master bedroom is spacious and comfortable, complete with a free-standing tub in front of an almost floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the mountains. Nifty box units provide storage, while a moody, black-hued rainfall shower joins muted tones to create a sophisticated feel.

A second "bedroom" upstairs sleeps three, though it's more like a cubbyhole hideout - you can't stand up. Children will be obsessed with it, adults possibly less so.

Food and drink

It's a self-catering stay so stock up before you arrive, though Rachael and Paul kindly left some local provisions - cider, cheese, crackers and eggs, as well as a still-hot loaf Rachael had just baked. We're still thinking about it.


WiFi, free-standing bathtub, stove, small fridge, rainfall shower, loo.

Things I should know

It's not as isolated as the pictures might suggest - you do have houses on either side of you. When it comes to cooking, unsurprisingly, there's no oven, so plan your meals accordingly.

What about its green credentials?

It was designed with the environment at the fore, so everything from insulation to the paints and varnishes are eco-friendly. We were particularly impressed with infrared heating panels on the ceiling, which we'd never experienced before but give off a gently comforting warmth.

Within a short walk I can find…

Not a lot. This is a place for those who want to switch off; a place where you're secretly thrilled when the rain gives you an excuse to stay inside. Go for a walk in the hills if you must, then return, open a bottle of red and clamber into that free-standing bath. Remain there until you've finished the bottle and / or your fingers are like prunes.

If you're keen for an excursion, the wonderfully detailed welcome pack provides recommendations for everything from markets to wild swimming spots, walks, pubs, galleries and shops. Pretty Hay-on-Wye, famed for the literary festival and a 25-minute drive away, is the place to scour for antiques so you can bring some Hergest style home.

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