Large Holiday Cottage near to the Bedfordshire Border
Alder Barn is a superb barn conversion full of character, and is located in the beautiful countryside village of Ashwell one mile from the Bedfordshire border. Central village setting, very conveniently situated, this is the perfect getaway location. For details see the slideshow below, FAQs and Things To Do
It is the perfect holiday getaway for both families and groups of friends, offering generous accommodation and sleeps for up to nine. We welcome children and have appropriate facilities which include black out blinds in the bedrooms, travel cot, and plenty of toys and games (which the adults can play with as well if they so wish!) More +
Being a barn conversion, Alder Barn has bags of character, with a double height lounge bathed in natural daylight as well as lots of exposed wooden beams.
When you turn up for your holiday we do not expect you to start making beds, or find an open shop to buy milk; this will be done for you. In fact everything listed on our website is included, absolutely no hidden extras.
Alder Barn is owned by the Monk family and run by Abi and Jon, who have two young children and have stayed in many self-catering holiday homes throughout the years. Their aim is to make Alder Barn just as they would expect to find a holiday cottage for their own family holidays.
Whether you are taking a short break or having a full holiday, Ashwell provides the perfect setting. It is a quiet and relaxing place with friendly locals, but is also very well connected with fast road and rail services into London. Plus, stretching into Bedfordshire, there is Whipsnade Zoo, Woburn Safar Park, Woburn Abbey and much more..
For our younger visitors, Ashwell has a large playing field in with a good play area. There is also the famous Ashwell spring which, with its stepping stones and shallow waters, is the perfect place to ‘splash around’ in for a few hours.
So, if you are looking for Holiday Cottages Bedfordshire; whether you are thinking of a short break or a full holiday, to book Alder Barn please call Jon or Abi on 01462 757 020.
TestimonialsSee below some of review guests have been kind enough to leave us on Trip Advisor, AirBnB, Google, Homeaway.co.uk, via email and in our guest book.
Lovely space for a family gathering. Thankyou for having us!Curls – Lachmans
Lovely place, great setting. Would benefit from full length mirrors as we were preparing for a wedding. The mattresses were a bit hard for our liking but overall nice space and recommended for a short break holiday. Good communication throughout and great little village. Plenty of parking too.Claire
Fab place to gather a large familyAndi Saunders
We are old friends of the Monks and were invited to stay at Alder Barn with them for a weekend. Such a wonderful place with so much space and great facilities. They made our visit extra special with Christmas lights ever where, and we shared a bottle of champagne for our wedding anniversary! Wo definitely recommend Alder Barn for families and groups look for a 5 star place to stay in Ashwell. Thin you – the Ellson FamilyEllson Family
We were visiting for a family wedding in Royston and it was a perfect location for our large group with two babies. Morning runs over to Atbury Bank and across Steaple Marden were delightful. I think we drank a beer in most of the village pubs and Days Bakery is a must for bread and cakes. Brilliant, thank you very much.Kevin & Jane Jackson
We had such a wonderful stay at Alder Barn. It was so beautiful and clean on arrival with lovely personal touches like a coffee machine and mini shower gels. Abigail was very responsive and everything went very smoothly. There was even a lovely little outdoor area which was perfect for the sun. I would definitely return!Alice
Six of us (three couples from USA, Holland, France South Africa and the UK) shared this rental for four days. It was wonderful, beautiful inside and with a lovely village setting. The interior design has all the hallmarks of thoughtful and creative design - adeptly turning what was once a barn into a multilevel home with a mixture of open space high ceilings, elegant kitchen and bathrooms and modern bathrooms. One can easily imagine it as a great place for a party. The owner Abi was very responsive, kind and helpful. Highly recommended.Colin M
A superb, stylish barn conversion in a gorgeous village with shops, a bakery and pubs a two minute walk away, and tons to do for the family in the local area. Compared to most self-catering properties we've booked in the past, Alder Barn has everything you need to be a brilliant home from home (if only my home had a wow-factor double-height living room complete with exposed beams!). My 10 year old's edited version of this review: "Amazingly excellent!"Mrs Gould
We stayed for 4 days using the Barn as a base for my daughter’s wedding on the 23/9. Suited us perfectly especially as the hairdresser is next door!! Lovely place on the day of wedding we had people coming + going in the morning I think about 11 at one point, all having hair done and getting dressed so the space was ideal. As some have already written, use the bakers in the village (excellent), Crumps butchers also (excellent). Thank you, will recommend you!!Morton & Jacqui Watson
We had a fabulous weekend at Alder Barn with friends. The barn is beautiful and spacious with lovely furnishings. The location was great as we were all coming from different parts of the country. It is within about 30 minutes drive of Luton airport & Stevenage rail station and the A1. Set within a lovely village, the barn is within walking distance of a great butchers/deli and three pubs. We ate in one of the pubs on our last visit and the food was great - would recommend booking though as we couldn't get a table this time- I think it may have been The Three Tuns but sorry I can't remember for certain. This time we made the 5 mile drive to Baldock and ate in the George and had another great meal. Will definitely return!GooseyB
Ashwell is a wonderfully evocative historical village, with well-preserved, informative medieval buildings and displays. Entering Alder Barn is quite breath-taking. The beautiful modern conversion kept the lovely wooden beams yet opened everything up to be light and airy. The bedrooms are so comfortable. The huge lounge is delightful. The kitchen is well-equipped and roomy. What a great treat to make our reunion a real success.Reg & Vera
We stayed at Alder barn myself, husband, sons,my mum and dad,we went down from Scotland for my bother in law funeral it was great we could all stay together. It is a great place to stay plenty of room for all very sad time because of what we were there for but would go back again for a break very nice parking is available but because of where it is you have a hairdresser, and other office s there sometimes parking was a little difficult other then that all very good would use it again.Allison W
Set on the site of a Cistercian monastery there surely couldn’t be a better location for a spa than Champneys Henlow. Standing in 150 acres of stunning parkland, it is the perfect escape for a pampering break amidst space and peace.
Now a beautiful and luxurious Georgian manor the spa is decorated in style with hand-painted walls and Venetian-style mirrors. The opulence does not stop there but carries into the finest Champneys facilities including spa and state of the art Thalassotherapy pool.
There are more than 80 luxury therapies available including signature treatment; Paraffin Wax Bath, Physiotherm and Chinese body therapy. The spa caters for a range of desires from pampering and detox to extreme sport and boot camp; perfect solutions for all your needs.
Located at Sutton Park in Sandy, Bedfordshire, John O’Gaunt Golf Club is the county’s premier club and offers two superb and challenging 18 hole golf courses.
The club was established in 1948 and has hosted the English Golf Union ‘Seniors Championship’ on two occasions. Visitors are very welcome to come and play and enjoy a warm and friendly atmosphere at the clubhouse.
For more information about fees and dress code please see the website.
The Shuttleworth Old Warden Aerodrome contains a collection of historic aircraft and vehicles dating from the early 20th century. This is still very much a working aerodrome and you can explore the hangers and even see the engineers at work. On event days you can see the aircraft in flight as they take off from the traditional grass runway.
The pride of the collection is a Blériot XI which dates from 1909 and is the world’s oldest airworthy aircraft. There is also a Supermarine Spitfire currently under restoration. The team of engineers working in the workshops are all trying to keep important skills alive so most of the work of the aircraft is carried out onsite by a specialist team.
The vehicle collection dates back to a Benz International Dogcart built in 1898 and includes many other examples dating from the 1890s and early 1900s.
Run by the National Trust, Willington is an outstanding example of a 16th century stone dovecote and stables. The dovecote is home to 1,500 pigeons as well as a nesting place for barn owls and kestrels. It is the perfect spot for keen bird-watchers.
There are displays and archives of the local community inside the dovecote which are maintained by the Willington Local History Group and there are regular events to enjoy throughout the year so it is well worth checking the What’s On section of the website.
However, please be aware that the dovecote is only open between April to September on the last Sunday of every month.
Wrest Park is managed by English Heritage and showcases three centuries of landscape design with English, Italian, Dutch and French styles side by side over 90 acres of beautiful gardens. Whether you are an enthusiastic gardener or simply looking for a nice picnic spot you won’t be disappointed.
The gardens include dazzling parterres and fragrant borders as well as woodland walks and over 40 statues. It’s not just gardens though, why not discover the Bath house with its thatched roof and a cobbled floor inlaid with a pattern of deer bones or perhaps the ornate marble fountain or Chinese Temple and Bridge.
Moving indoors you can explore the grand Countess’ Sitting Room and conservatory as well as interactive exhibitions. Activity backpacks and audio trails are available for children and if they have any energy left there is a children’s play area.
Facilities include a café with local refreshments and a shop stocked with jams and chutneys, wines, beers, books, garden gifts and more.
The National Trust maintained Sharpenhoe group of hills comprises four adjacent areas of countryside; Sundon Hills, Moleskin and Markham Hills, Sharpenhoe Clappers and Smithcombe Hills.
Each of these ancient woodlands has something different to offer. If you are looking for the perfect picnic location you can find one at Sundon Hills with benches located immediately adjacent to the car park or why not bring a blanket to relax on the grass?
Braver visitors might want to try the allegedly haunted Sharpenhoe Clappers which is a chalk escarpment and part of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are still traces of an Iron Age hill-fort and an impressive beech wood.
The hill ridges offer incredible views and the old chalk quarry attracts a variety of flowers and butterflies during the summer months.
The Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, Bedford Museum and Bedford Gallery were merged in 2005 to form the Higgins Bedford. The Art gallery now focuses mainly on twentieth century art and includes a print collection of over 400 works from artists including Picasso, Dürer and Liechtenstein as well as many British artists. The gallery also includes the William Burgess Collection and the Edward Bawden Gallery.
For those more interested in antiques the old Higgins House contains displays of the Higgins’ collection comprising objects ranging from an elaborate Georgian tea service to jewellery and costume. The history of the area is recorded in the Settlement Gallery with examples and artefacts of the history of Bedford spanning thousands of years.
Check the ‘what’s on’ section of the website to find details of special events for the whole family.
Formerly the Luton Museum and Art Gallery the museum is housed in a Victorian mansion in Wardown Park on the outskirts of the town. There is a local focus to the collection with traditional Bedfordshire crafts including lace-making and hat-making featured prominently.
The Women’s Hat Industry collection contains over 600 hats although these are not all on permanent public display. There are also examples of 17th century lace and displays of decorative art including Saxon jewellery.
There are many interactive displays exploring life in Luton and the surrounding area over the past 150 years. There are also costume and room displays to explore.
The military history of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment is presented by the Imperial War Museum in a dedicated gallery and there are three or four temporary exhibitions each year.
Luton Hoo is one of the Home Counties finest 5 star hotels, boasting a fantastic building with luxurious interior and wonderful gardens and grounds.
It also boasts a championship 18 hole golf course, plus sumptuous spa facilities.
For those who like the finer things in life this is certainly the place to spend some time.
For more details have a look at their website: http://www.lutonhoo.co.uk/
Woburn Safari Park was first opened in 1970 by the 13th Duke of Bedford on the grounds of his Woburn Abbey estate. The animals roam freely through their enclosures while visitors drive through the park. It is home to many different animals including lions, tigers, rhinos, zebras, bears, giraffes and elephants to name a few.
Other attractions include animal talks, petting areas and a high wire adventure course. Smaller animals are housed in the adventure park and include goats, wallabies, ponies, lemurs and reptiles.
For younger visitors there is a soft play centre. The site also includes a family restaurant and gift shop.
Woburn Safari Park is just off junction 13 of the M1, near Milton Keynes.
This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty comprises extensive chalk and grassland maintained and protected by the National Trust. The Dunstable Downs are blessed with some of the most incredible views in England and there are two Scheduled Ancient Monuments, Five Knolls and Medieval Rabbit Warrens, to explore as well as many other historical sites and features.
The chalk grasslands of the area have been categorized as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to their outstanding quality.
The downs have miles of footpaths as well as several circular walks so whether you would like to enjoy a long hike or a gentle stroll there is an option for everyone. As Dunstable Downs is within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) you will certainly not be disappointed.
Whipsnade is now, along with London Zoo, owned by the Zoological Society of London and is a Zoo and Safari Park near Dunstable in Bedfordshire. ZSL is a charity dedicated to the protection of animals and their natural habitat. The Zoo is home to a huge range of animals from the largest including elephants, rhinos and giraffes to the smallest insects and reptiles. As well as visiting the animals there are a variety of experiences available suitable for a range of ages as well as the ultimate overnight experiences!
There are daily animal shows to enjoy and for younger visitors there are both outdoor and indoor adventure playgrounds. Onsite facilities include a choice of cafés and gift shop. The Zoo is open all year (apart from Christmas Day) and there is a wealth of information on their website.
Ashridge Golf Club was established in 1932 and regularly features in the top 100 UK golf courses. Between 2003 and 2008 the club hosted an ‘Open Championship’ Regional Qualifying Competition. The Club has also regularly hosted PGA events as well as County and Regional Championships for both Men & Ladies. The course measures 6,678 yards and with a par of 72, it is suitable for both average and good players.
Visitors are welcome and there are a number of different packages available if you wish to include a meal in your time at the club. For details of fees and the dress code please see the website.
Xscape in Milton Keynes is best known for its Snowzone for indoor skiing, and that’s with real snow!
The slope is big enough for those who already know how to ski, but who are looking for a little practice or just a bit of fun. There is also a smaller slope for beginners, plus lessons are also available.
Xcape also has its own indoor skydiving, plus much more.
For full details check out the Xcape website: http://www.xscape.co.uk/milton-keynes
It cannot be understated how important Bletchley Park was to the Allie’s WWII effort; some say it reduced the length of the war by up to two years!
Bletchley Park is a living memorial to those who worked tirelessly breaking codes and intercepting the enemy’s communications.
See the ‘first computers’ – the punch card machines that carried out the fast analysis which helped the code breakers.
The park has undergone a great deal of restoration and in 2014 saw new exhibitions facilities opening once again.
A very interesting visit for adults and children alike.
For more information see http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk
Prefer to Book on a Holiday Lettings Website?
If you would prefer to book on your favourite holiday let platform, click on one of the logos on the right-hand side. Hello Guest will still be managing your booking, though you'll have the added peace of mind of going through a platform you already know.
Why do we use Hello Guest?
Hello Guest are a highly experienced holiday letting management company based in North London. Since we started using them we have only had positive feedback from our guests.
We managed Alder Barn ourselves for 4 years, and whilst we did our very best to provide an excellent service and respond promptly, it became a challenge along with family and other commitments.
Hello Guest are able to offer a very high level of service and response to ensure your booking goes smoothly from first enquiry to check out and deposit return.