Mr Clarke thinks :
This pretty, white cottage, with its fascinating history and original features, makes the perfect cosy nest.
Ty Hir is a quintessential chocolate box cottage, situated in a rural idyll near Pontypool, and surrounded by endless views. Built in the late 1700s, it began life as not one, but two miners’ cottages, and was subsequently turned into one larger home, hence the name, Ty Hir, meaning ‘Long House’. Although modernised over the years, it still has a nod to yesteryear with original features peppered throughout. Ty Hir embraces you with a warm cwtch from the moment you step inside the porch.
The country cottage kitchen is handmade with eclectic features. A beautiful shade of cream, it has contrasting beech worktops and a ceramic sink, a cooker with gas hob and electric ovens, and space for a refrigerator and dishwasher. There’s also a butcher's block-style unit and vintage wooden larder for additional storage of cool items. You’re guaranteed an unspoiled backdrop whilst cooking dinner as the kitchen’s large double window overlooks the stunning valley. Meanwhile, white goods are tucked away in the adjoining utility room.
The cottage is kept warm and toasty with the log burner in the lounge. Set into a brick fireplace, it’s a lovely focal point of the room and perfect for toasting crumpets while you enjoy a cup of tea! There’s also a cast-iron period radiator and a useful storage cupboard. The oak parquet floor finishes everything off beautifully. Here you can sit and enjoy the resplendent views of the wrap-around garden, or access the upstairs bedrooms via the staircase. We love the exposed beams and can imagine hunkering down to spend a cosy evening in here. Especially if it’s snowing outside!
The dining room is equally well proportioned, with an original Monmouth, curved, stone staircase leading upstairs. Again, original features abound. There’s even a cast-iron range with a bread oven in one corner of the room. The bathroom to the rear of the cottage is beautifully traditional in style, with WC, shower and large basin. Upstairs, the two bedrooms are as well proportioned as the rooms below. One extends into the roof space where a skylight and Farrow & Ball palette keep everything light and airy, and the wooden floors are in keeping with the cottage. You can access the second bedroom from here, or do so via its own staircase.
Mrs Clarke loves :
The incredible wrap-around views and slow pace of life. This rural idyll is something very special indeed.
They say location is everything, and Ty Hir has it all. One word comes to mind when describing the views. Sublime. Outside, the walled garden faces south-easterly to soak in the sunshine and has a breathtaking outlook over the adjoining countryside, with ample parking and a country cottage garden at the front, including a weeping cherry tree. But, as warm and cosy as Ty Hir is in winter, it is also wonderfully cool in summer. A more perfect spot for a barbecue, we could hardly find. Drinks on the lawn, anyone? Or perhaps a little outdoor yoga in your very own zen zone? But a hammock and a good book are really all you need here.
This is tranquility at its best. No noise to speak of (just a cheery wave from local farmers on their tractors and the occasional clip-clopping of horse riders). And no light pollution either. Could there be any better place to gaze at the wonders of the starry night sky with a mug of warm cocoa?
It’s a real nature lovers’ paradise. Sheep and cows graze in the adjoining field and there’s an abundance of wildlife. The current owners have some super stories about all the animals and birds that they have been lucky enough to see - including a family of owls! They also retell a fascinating and detailed insight into the history of Ty Hir itself. Despite the tranquility, everything you need is close by. The Hafodyrynys Inn, dating back to the 1870s, is the perfect spot for Sunday lunch (or its famous steak and chips!), just at the bottom of the hill in the village. It serves a good selection of fine ales, as well as having a lovely family beer garden.
- Three words : Relaxed. Rural. Living.
Our favourite part
The endless views over the breathtaking countryside
Around Ty Hir Cottage
Quite breathtaking is the walk to the Blue Lagoon, close by in Pantygasseg, Abertillery. A beautiful, natural stone quarry pool with amazing views. Move over, Iceland! Hallets Real Cider Company is also close by and was highly commended in the Great British Food Awards. You’ll find ciders ageing in ancient oak barrels in their mill, juxtaposed against large wine fermenters made from stainless steel. It would be rude not to sample some in their onsite shop at Blaengawney Farm.
There are some superb walks on your doorstep where you can amble along for miles. Perfect for dog walks and outdoor adventures. The Tirpentwys nature reserve and woodland mountain bike trails are just a five-minute drive from the cottage.
You’ll find a Tesco Superstore in nearby Pontypool, and Pontypool Park too. Known as the People’s Park, it boasts historical features, including Italian Gardens and Ice Houses, has a good range of facilities for old and young alike, and even footpath links to the Brecon Beacons National Park. There is a good selection of schools nearby with Crumlin Integrated Primary School and Tynewydd Primary School, and the highly regarded Newbridge Comprehensive. Trains from Newbridge whisk you directly to Cardiff and Newport, and there's access to an efficient road network.
The rural dream
- Closest village/town: Pontypool
- Supermarket: Tesco Superstore in nearby Pontypool
- Walks: The Tirpentwys nature reserve and woodland mountain bike trails are just a five-minute drive from the cottage