Wye Valley Canoes Bunkhouse
Have a quick look at the accompanying picture to this ‘natter’. Soak in the light. I wonder if it was taken in ‘the magic hour’, that time before sunset beloved of photographers. It only goes to remind me what a wonderful location Wye Valley Canoes Bunkhouse enjoys.
Walkers, motorists, horseriders and now canoeists gush about the scenery here. There is something about the human scale of the Wye Valley that appeals. The hills are eminently climbable; the river broad but not intimidating; the towns have a historic foot-friendly layout. No wonder people rate is as a most-English landscape.
It is true, though, that Wye Valley Canoes Bunkhouse pleases the eye on a multitude of levels. Housed in a converted red-brick chapel, with the austere but shapely features intact, the bunkhouse is designed with an eye for style. I’ve written elsewhere that the interior deco wouldn’t be out of place featured as a showcase on one of those television shows. (You know, the ones that you don’t admit to enjoying!) The shiny steel tube slide from floor to the next makes me chuckle like a toddler when I see it.
That isn’t all, because after you’ve luxuriated in the designer kitchen you might want to pop next door to the River Cafe. Featuring a simple elegant menu of recognisable favourites – chicken breast, butternut squash risotto for example – spun in a gastro style, I would be tempted to eat there all the time.
If my teenage daughter were there, she’d be lapping it all up and posting endlessly on a certain photo-sharing social media. Between the landscape, the decoration and the food, it is an aesthetic treat whichever way you’re looking.
Style, as they say, is always in style!
Considering that the Independent Hostels Network gives you the opportunity to sleep in converted railway carriages, river boats and canal barges,I was worried that Wye Valley Canoes might be offering a very basic, probably cramped and potentially damp sleeping experience. Imagine my relief when I discovered that their converted Welsh Chapel Bunkhouse was almost the exact opposite!
Check out the pictures on their website because my description just won’t do it justice. They describe their bunkhouse as, “a warm modern space”. Using ‘space’ the way that hip building and interiors TV shows do. And that is just the sort of vernacular that fits. With its oversized sofas, sharp lines, exposed iron work, simple yet striking colours and ultra modern details, this bunkhouse could easily fit on one of those aspirational programmes. Even the bunks are designed and built with a charming flair. But…wait for it…what’s that? A shiny, chrome coloured slide? Indoors? So adults and children alike can access the lower floors? Oooooh!
I haven’t even begun to talk about the activities available from the door. Obviously, we’re in the Wye Valley here, and you know already that the river is gorgeous and winds through a series of perfect little towns so hire a canoe or kayak and paddle on down. You also know that the walking up on the hills is stunning with views over England and Wales. But, here’s another cute surprise…they will also hire you a trendy Vespa Scooter to explore the lanes and byways. Style, as they say, is always in style!
Mid week breaks from £35 per person
Find a group of 14 water loving friends who fancy a mid week break on the River Wye and you could book Wye Valley Canoes state of the art bunkhouse from just £35 per person per night. There’s not just a slide to play on, you can also hire canoes with expert advice on the river. Wye Valley Canoes also put together inclusive packages for groups… with a three course meal in the The River Café, a days canoeing or biking and breakfasts.