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Lindors Hotel, near St. Briavels, Wye Valley

A last minute decision - we spend a night away this weekend. Now - where will you find a room for just a Saturday night, in the busiest part of the holiday season? Web sites were coming up with no availability, and when we phoned one place, they said they would look and just cut the phone off.

Then we chanced upon Lindors Country House Hotel. Putting in the Wye Valley Set in the woods above the River Wye near Tintern, with a postal address of St. Briavels, it's just 40 miles from us in Melksham. To our surprise and delight, yes, they did have a double and a single available for the Saturday night, and at a very reasonable Dinner Bed and Breakfast rate too. We went for it - after all, St Briavels has fond memories for Lisa and I as we first met when Lisa was on a trip to the UK to stay at the Castle / Youth hostel there, oraganised by the alt.good.morning newsgroup. But that's a story for another day.

I don't know where to start to tell you more about Lindors. It's a Victorian building, but there's little history of the building quoted prior to 1942, when it was bought by a Christian group, and it remains a Christian hotel to this day. Just as English history doesn't seem to exist before 1066, Lindors didn't before 1942.

Gardens at LindorsThe views of the surrounding countryside from the gardens are spectacular. Wooded slopes with a maze of narrow roads and footpaths run from Tinter, Llandogo and Brockweir in the valley bottom up to St Briavels and Bream on the top. The gardens at Lindors include a putting green, a bowling green, tennis courts, a swimming pool and a bible garden.

Inside Lindors Country hotelA stream runs through the gardens, which are magnificent - my photographs cannot do justice to the mature trees, the system of ponds, and the flowers and other plants, and even though the ground was sodden we took a walk, and pictures. The house, hiding up amongst the trees, probably dates from between 1860 and 1870 and has been much extended and changed since, we're pretty sure. Gables fly out at odd angles, some windows match and other don't, and inside is a warren!

St Briavels HotelInside, the floral wallpapers and wood panelling make some aspects of the hotel feel like it's a place that time left behind. But some aspect have been updated - our rooms were ensuite (according to the literature, that was very recently done and, alas, not very sympathetically to the history of the building). And there were tea and coffee making facilities too. But some other apsects of the hotel were a little less conventional.

We knew ... something ... of what to expect when we were told as we booked that the evening meal is at 6:30. Yes, that's it - a single sitting, and with long tables, New York Deli style where everyone groups together rather than being separated. I don't actually object to that - in fact I'm somewhat in favour as we intentionally share a breakfast table at Well House Manor - though we don't insist on everyone eating at the same time. And I'll admit to being taken aback when the last family to arrive - Mum, Dad, babe in arms and two girls of about five, were split up among the remaining seats - I felt that was really harsh, but no-one else apart form the parents seemed bothered, and there was no way that I could see that if we had moved we would have solved anything. Perhaps I was too concerned, though - the young ladies sat at our table, spoke politely with Lisa, Dad and myself and perhaps were quite used to it.

Most of the guests were there for the week, as were our other table companions. It seems they go to the Sidmouth hotel in the same group every year for two weeks, but they were a bit upset that this year they couldn't as another group had blockbooked Sidmouth for a week ... so they had to do a week at Lindors then a week at Sidmouth.

The hosts for the week introduced themselves to the room, and told us all of some of the events to come, and of the availability of morning and evening prayers, grace was said, but no other 'push' on the religion. But it was friendly, old fashioned, polite - you didn't walk past people but rather you greeted them.

I suppose we should have guessed - but as a "retreat" hotel, there were no TVs in the bedrooms, and the nearest shop for books and newspapers was a mile and a half away (and hundred of feet below and across the border into Wales!) ... and the only books and magazines around were distinctly on the Christian theme. There was wireless internet access - and we knew this ahead of time; Lisa marvels at what BBC iPlayer can bring you on a remote Welsh hillside, for we hadn't had the foresight to bring our own reading material, and after dusk were somewhat too tired to go into the lounge and start chatting to the other guests, and not inclined to join them for prayer.

Would we stay there again? It's a definite "yes", and for more that just the one night, I suspect. We would take some of our own reading material. We would each take a laptop to avoid that fight of "I want to Blog" and "I want to watch the TV". And I'm pretty certain that we could come away grateful for meeting some very sincere and lovely people, admiring their committment, but certainly not sharing their views.

Further weekend pictures:
St Briavels
Forest of Dean Railway
(written 2008-08-18, updated 2008-08-17)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter for individual articles
M401 - Well House Manor - Seeing how others do it
  [4443] Seventh stay away this year - and it's still only February! - (2015-02-25)
  [4373] A long and disappointing evening - (2014-12-30)
  [4348] Taking my life in my hands in Swansea - (2014-12-11)
  [4321] Are administration / review charges on hotel guests acceptable? - (2014-11-20)
  [4255] Making a personal gain from a more expensive business hotel stay - (2014-04-02)
  [4245] It always happens to me when I'm in Borehamwood! - (2014-03-06)
  [4177] Setting and publishing your hours to suit your customer base - (2013-09-18)
  [4109] What might you find at a tiny bed and breakfast? - (2013-06-03)
  [4093] More things to make sure that we do NOT do ... - (2013-05-18)
  [4091] A reminder of why we opened Well House Manor for our customers - (2013-05-17)
  [4081] Pushing down the advertised price, pushing up the total price charged. - (2013-05-08)
  [4058] The highs and lows of customer service - Cheltenham - (2013-04-03)
  [3975] Being an amateur hotel inspector helps me run a professional hotel - (2013-01-14)
  [3970] Comparing four VERY different places to stay - (2013-01-11)
  [3963] National TV - Melksham - 9th January 2013, Pre-alert. - (2012-12-27)
  [3900] The Xxxxx Guest House in Xxxxxxxxxxx - my stay reviewed - (2012-10-20)
  [3794] Should hotel staff sit on the toilet in the customer bedrooms? - (2012-07-02)
  [3776] Some traps it's so easy to fall into in designing your web site - (2012-06-23)
  [3754] Eyes Wide Open - (2012-06-06)
  [3368] Well House Manor hotel, Melksham - recommended to you by our customers - (2011-07-23)
  [3333] Honesty and a friendly welcome goes a long way - (2011-06-25)
  [3054] Longhope Hotel - (2010-11-16)
  [2911] Feeding the Grockles - (2010-08-09)
  [2885] Twenty Questions - (2010-07-24)
  [2502] Monday night, Tuesday night - (2009-11-13)
  [2441] Not your cup of tea? - (2009-10-08)
  [2413] Sanity checking the price, and selling up to increase income - (2009-09-21)
  [2311] Floor to ceiling - (2009-07-30)
  [2308] A new place in pictures - (2009-07-28)
  [2127] Call in the professionals! - (2009-04-12)
  [2105] Hire Car, from Atlanta Airport - (2009-03-27)
  [2007] Launch of Melksham Food and Drink Festival - (2009-01-24)
  [1915] Quietly putting prices up - (2008-12-02)
  [1672] The Composting Cone Challenge - (2008-06-10)
  [1597] Comparing hotels - as a guest and from the proprietors view - (2008-04-01)
  [1547] New bathing idea for hotels from Hotelympia - (2008-02-20)
  [1525] Just one thing let the service down - but that is my memory - (2008-01-31)
  [1458] The wrong way to put up prices - (2007-12-05)
  [1454] From Sunday to Monday, from Melksham to the Balkans - (2007-12-03)
  [1413] The little gestures that can really count - (2007-10-27)
  [1406] Away or home - which do I prefer? - (2007-10-25)
  [1374] Maidenhead Coffee Challenge - (2007-10-02)
  [1356] Crystal Ball - How long do I need to be online? - (2007-09-18)
  [1354] Match the Bedroom to the Hotel - (2007-09-17)
  [1347] Wireless Internet Access at hotels - an update and some pitfalls - (2007-09-12)
  [1333] Kasteel Elsloo - Michelin rated hotel. - (2007-09-05)
  [1301] Plastic or China - (2007-08-12)
  [1287] Work and play at Well House Manor - Football and Shell Shortcuts - (2007-08-02)
  [1205] Arrival and Departure experiences - another hotel - (2007-05-26)
  [1091] The Psyche is all wrong. - (2007-02-24)
  [1026] The Wheatsheaf 2, The Bell 0 - (2007-01-09)
  [1011] Well House Manor and Beechfield House, Hotels, Melksham - (2006-12-29)
  [966] CSL, KISS and RTFM - (2006-12-05)
  [736] New Tape Librarian - (2006-05-28)
  [714] Room for Octopuses - (2006-05-08)
  [699] Extremes costs of getting on line - (2006-04-25)
  [693] The on line booking experience - (2006-04-21)
  [619] If its Sunday, it must be the Norland - (2006-02-23)
  [514] Crazy Day-sies - (2005-12-02)
  [17] Differing tastes - (2004-08-17)

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Some other Articles
WEB-INF (Tomcat) and .htaccess (httpd)
Logging Cookies with the Apache httpd web server
An opportunity for something new
While the world sleeps ...
Lindors Hotel, near St. Briavels, Wye Valley
Preserved railways - struggling to the future?
Ever had One of THOSE mornings?
Upgrade from PHP 4 to PHP 5 - the TRY issue
Perl v PHP, choosing the right language
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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