Splendid seclusion on the Welsh borders

IT'S CHOCOLATE-BOX PRETTY here, perched 1,000 feet up on Shropshire’s last hill, gazing westwards over a swathe of green towards the mountains of the Welsh borders.

This multiple award-winning hotel – a silver stone Georgian house with five acres of cultivated gardens and a little stream – exudes that far-from-the-madding-crowd tranquillity stressed townies crave. With no passing traffic, only wildlife breaks the silence. It’s enticingly decorated: antiques, log fires, big comfy chairs, fresh flowers and prettily decorated bedrooms, some with spa baths. Food, much of it locally sourced and organic, plays a key role.

There’s an extensive, modestly priced wine list, majoring on the New World and with many champagnes too. Cuisine is adventurous, and bursting with flavour. A terrace is laid for tea, or cocktails in clement weather. Owner Miles Hunter imbues this country hotel with a sense of hospitality and warmth.

Hit the Spot
Secluded spot on the scenic Welsh borders.

Take a Champagne room with a double jacuzzi, or a Master room with private patio.

Be Savvy
Do book well ahead at weekends – it's a sought-after spot.

Be Smitten
It's a hit with country lovers who can keep a secret.

Private coach house

Comfy bedrooms in this hilltop former rectory are designed for deepest slumbers. Each has enticing views and it's hard to choose between them. Many have a jacuzzi or spa bath, while those in the adjacent Coach House enjoy private patios and all-round vistas.

Locally sourced ingredients provide prize fare. Look forward to spiced parsnip and apple soup, rack of Welsh salt-marsh lamb, game, honeycomb ice cream or Welsh cheeses.

You're right on the borders here: turn one way for Wales, and the other for England. Not that Pen-y-Dyffryn is any half-way house. “A retreat so peaceful it’s a crime to publicise it,”  as one happy guest enthused. We're inclined to agree.

Pen-y-Dyffryn was reviewed by Room for Romance

Click on any picture to enlarge it and move through the gallery.



Dining in
Pen-y-Dyffryn's restaurant has huge south-facing windows and daily changing menus using local and organic ingredients wherever possible. Chef David Morris's signature dishes include plenty of local game (the hotel even boasts its own deerstalker) and mains such as rack of local Welsh lamb wrapped in filo pastry with a chicken mousse and served with a thyme butter sauce.

Dining out
Sebastian's in nearby Oswestry offers French style menus in a cosy atmosphere.

Pen-y-Dyffryn's restaurant

What's cooking?
Duck leg confit with crispy Chinese leaves, orange fillets and toasted sesame seed, honey and soy dressing, followed by roasted guinea fowl supreme.

Dress the part
Relax – it's informal

Top table?
Take a window seat for the best garden views

See & Do
Walking, hill riding and trout fishing are some of the big attractions here. Three major National Trust castles – medieval Powis, the 14th century fortress of Chirk and Erdigg at Wrexham – are within reach, as is Wales's highest waterfall at Pistyll Rhaedr, in the Berwyn mountain range. The medieval cities of Chester and Shrewsbury are stuffed with history.

Head for the Chester Rows – two floors of covered shopping in a historic, half-timbered setting.

After dark
For a really old fashioned local pub (like they used to be when you were too young to know), sink a beer by the log fire at Cross Keys in Selattyn.



Have a giggle at the cartoons and caricatures at the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival.

Rhydycroesau, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 7JD

There is free guest parking

Gobowen (near Oswestry) – 4 miles
GBP 6 from the station

Manchester – 55 miles

Rooms and suites
12 rooms

Special features
Some rooms have double jacuzzis, spa baths or private patios. All have wi-fi and great hillside views

Guests are offered free walking guides, so leave your car parked and head for the hills.


Rates guide
GBP 110 - 160

Open all year



Minimum night stay?

Breakfast is served until 9.30am

Room service
Available morning and evening

No children under three

Dogs welcome

Air conditioning


Wedding license?

Your contact
Miles Hunter



We'll be adding guest ratings of Pen-y-Dyffryn based on your feedback in the next few months.

Fawsley Hall

Plush Tudor manor in rolling Northamptonshire

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