Cleifiog Uchaf House, Valley, Isle of Anglesey

This stunning family home is also a business opportunity, with three holiday cottages included

Cleifiog Uchaf House, in the village of Valley, near Holyhead, dates to the 16th century but offers contemporary calm and comfort to both residents and guests.

Current owner, Ursula Ayscough, moved to Cleifiog Uchaf House eight years ago, seeing a slower pace of life than that afforded by her work in merchant banking in the City, and fell in love with the property the moment she saw it.

‘My grandmother lived in Macclesfield and when we were children we would come to Anglesey for holidays,’ Ursula explains. ‘When I was looking for a new kind of life outside London, I remembered how much we had enjoyed it there and came to see what might be possible. We looked at a few houses, but none really worked for me, until this one. From the moment we drove up the land to the house, I knew it was the one for me.’

Great British Life: The library (c) Gary William SmithThe library (c) Gary William Smith

Cleifiog Uchaf House had been fully renovated, from almost no more than a shell, by its previous owners, who created a hotel and restaurant in the building, with two holiday cottages.

‘They had done a really beautiful job,’ Ursula says. ‘I knew, however, that running a hotel and restaurant wasn’t for me, but it would make a wonderful family home with holiday cottages for rent. We added a third cottage and converted the main house from hotel to family home.

‘Moving here from London and making such a change to my working life, really was going from one extreme to another. It’s been just wonderful, though. When I first drove through Valley, I just thought, “this looks fine, it’ll do”, but I had no idea how lovely the community here is.

Great British Life: A second reception room (c) Gary William SmithA second reception room (c) Gary William Smith Great British Life: The family kitchen sits alongside the dining room (c) Gary William SmithThe family kitchen sits alongside the dining room (c) Gary William Smith

‘The village has everything you need in terms of amenities – shops and a really great local pub, and some excellent dining. Living here and getting involved in the community has been possibly the very best thing about the move to Anglesey.’

The house is beautifully presented, from the moment you step under the sheltered verandah entrance, draped with an elegant wisteria. Welsh slate floors throughout most of the ground floor, and wide sash windows give a traditional feel to the home, overlayed with modern comforts.

The main house offers spacious living arrangements, with three large reception rooms – a drawing room, a library and a reception space that can be used as an extension to the dining room, plus a chef’s kitchen with separate laundry and utility rooms. On the first floor there are five bedrooms, each en suite, and an additional storeroom. There is a sixth bedroom, with en suite shower room, accessible via an external staircase, which can be used as an additional guest suite or home office.

Great British Life: Expansive views from The Hen House holiday cottage (c) Gary William SmithExpansive views from The Hen House holiday cottage (c) Gary William Smith

‘When we bought the house, there were two holiday cottages here already,’ Ursula says, ‘and we added a third. These have been rented by Sykes Holiday Cottages and it’s been so easy. They have been fully booked always, and as many of the guests have returned again and again over the years – many for multiple visits each year – we have made some lovely friends.’

The cottages offer opportunity for a restful break in one of the UK’s most beautiful locations, each with its own private garden area. Ty Beti, a spacious one-bedroom cottage, is attached to the main house, while one-bedroom The Hen House and two-bedroom The Laundry sit in separate plots. There is also a large barn, which could be converted into a fourth holiday cottage.

The whole property sits in 3.44 acres, with a private walled garden with sweeping lawns, a tree-planted garden with a tranquil fishing lake and a paddock, suitable for grazing. The ever-changing views stretch across farmland to the sea, offering a truly rural retreat, yet with every amenity close at hand.

Great British Life: Find peace by the fishing lake (c) Gary William SmithFind peace by the fishing lake (c) Gary William Smith

‘Anglesey is, of course, incredibly popular for short breaks and longer holidays,’ Ursula says. ‘Valley might be slightly off the beaten track, but you’re never far from anywhere in Anglesey. We’re five miles from Holyhead and 10 from Rhosneigr, and Bangor is just 21 miles away.

‘I shall miss living here very much; it’s hard to say what I shall miss the most: the people in the village who welcomed us with open arms, the incredible views, the wonderful dog walks... There’s always something to do; I haven’t had a boring day in eight years.

‘It’s time to move on, however. The house is too big now just for us and I am looking for my next adventure. I think it will look very similar, but on a smaller scale.

‘It’s been an absolute privilege to live here and I shall miss it, but I am looking forward to whatever I do next.’

Cleifiog Uchaf House is for sale for £1.25m, with Fisher German, Chester.

Great British Life: Beautiful rooms for family or guests (c) Gary William SmithBeautiful rooms for family or guests (c) Gary William Smith Great British Life: The 16th century building makes for quirky ceilings (c) Gary William SmithThe 16th century building makes for quirky ceilings (c) Gary William Smith Great British Life: Contemporary elegance ensuite (c) Gary William SmithContemporary elegance ensuite (c) Gary William Smith