Access statement for The Firs

This access statement does not contain personal opinions as to our suitability for those with access needs, but aims to accurately describe the facilities that we offer visitors.

The Firs is an old listed cottage dating back to the 17th century, it is built of stone and located by itself in 20 acres of farmland. It is 16 miles to Abergavenny, the nearest big town, 13 miles to Hay on Wye and 4 miles from Longtown the nearest village with a well stocked shop and a pub. The cottage is situated off a quiet single track road and it has a short (75metre) steep drive down into it. There is a metal gate at the top of the lane to keep out livestock. There is a hard parking area with room for three vehicles. The road to The Firs is a council maintained road; however potholes are a potential hazard, particularly in winter.

The nearest public telephone box is opposite the church in Llanveynoe, 2 miles away.

The Firs has 4 bedrooms all of which are upstairs. There is a downstairs bathroom and the property sleeps seven.

All guests are provided with written directions to The Firs and information about key collection before their arrival.

The nearest bus stop is in Longtown and there is a weekly bus to Hereford on a Wednesday and a weekly bus to Abergavenny on a Tuesday. The nearest railway station is at Abergavenny about 16 miles away or Hereford which is about 22 miles from The Firs. There are taxis available at the station at Abergavenny and we have been advised that they would bring visitors to The Firs but we would suggest that you confirm this before arrival.

There are taxis available to pre-book in Hay-on-Wye. Mike at Booktown Taxis can be contacted on 07881 726547 and you would need to pre-book. There is no public transport to the cottage.

The access statement is available on our website, to download as a pdf or a printed copy is in the visitor information file at The Firs.

The age of the cottage means that there is restricted height in many of the rooms. The room height can also vary within rooms and there are exposed timbers that are lower than the ceiling. Some of the doorways are low and most of the ground floor has flagstones which can be uneven in places. The windows are set low in the property.

Car parking and entrance

There is no step free access to the property.

The car parking area at The Firs is gravel and then there is either a slight slope up or down to the two wooden gates to enter the enclosed garden. The bottom gate which is 900mm wide has a ‘crazy paving’ path round to the front of the house and this has a gentle incline and a shallow step of 100mm. If you use the top gate, which is 900mms wide, there is the same paving round to the front door and in addition there are three stone steps ranging from 120mm to 190mm down to reach the front door. The paths to the front door can be slippery when wet.

There are two motion sensor lights on the bottom end of the house. There is a key safe at The Firs and the access code is provided before arrival. The motion sensor light will be triggered on approach to the key safe.


There is a reasonably sized enclosed garden at The Firs. The garden has two grassed areas, one of which has bird feeders. There is also a paved patio area with a table, chairs and barbeque in summer. There is also a stone bench that is sited on the paved area throughout the year. The paved area and some of the lawn is up three steps from the front door, although it is possible to avoid this by going out through the bottom gate and back in the top gate and you would then have a gentle slope down with a shallow step (100mm) and a rise back up to get to these areas.


The front and only door into The Firs has a 100mm wooden threshold into the porch area. The door opens to more than 90 degrees and is 1120 mm wide. The porch has flagstones on the floor. The porch leads into the kitchen; through a wooden door which is 960mm wide. There is a 110mm stone step up into the first part of the kitchen. This first part is a passage, bounded by a low stone wall, which is 1120mm wide. The floor in the kitchen is flagstones with one mat. There is a further 100mm step down into the main body of the kitchen and this is through an opening 800mm wide.

The electric oven has a drop down door for the grill and the oven door is side opening. It has four rings and these are at normal work surface height of 900mm. There are two sets of spot lights and two additional spots by the entrance to the kitchen from the porch. There are also four in ceiling spots and a pendant over the kitchen table.

There are floor standing units and a built in cupboard, There is a fridge with a small freezer section in the top of the fridge. The work surfaces are 900mm high and there is a table with four chairs which has 580mm of leg room and the top of the table is 760mm high.

The Firs has a front loading washing machine and a slimline dishwasher. The nearest local shop is in Longtown and then there are larger shops and supermarkets in Hay-on-Wye and Abergavenny.


The hall is accessed from the kitchen through a wooden door of 730mm. It has a flagstone floor and gives access to the downstairs bathroom, the living and dining area and also the stairs. The hall has got a single down lighter and the two fire extinguishers.


There is a downstairs bathroom, this is accessed off the hall through a wooden door of 640mm. The door opens at least 90 degrees and there is vinyl on the floor. There is a toilet, bath and hand basin. There are two handles on the sides of the bath and there is restricted headroom above the bath.

Living room/dining room

The open plan living/dining room area is accessed from the hall through a wooden door, 720mm wide. There are 3 stone steps of 100mm, 50mm and 100mm up into the living room and there are flagstones on the floor with a rug in front of the wood burner. The living area has two sofas and easy chairs, which can be moved around. There is also a TV/DVD and BluRay player. There is also a stereo with iPod docking station and a wood burner. The TV has subtitles and a remote control. There is no landline telephone and the mobile signal at The Firs is limited.

There are then two stone steps of 180mm and 100mm up into the dining area which again has flagstones. There is restricted head height up these steps. There is a dining table and seven upright chairs without arms, a small chair and a bookcase containing books, games and tourist and visitor information. The exposed timber frame divides the living and dining room areas. The head height within the dining room area is also slightly restricted. The dining table has 630mm of legroom and a surface height of 750mm.

There are two overhead central pendant lights and a number of lamps in the living/dining area and the room has a lot of natural light.


The original timber staircase is straight apart from a left turn when you reach the top. The staircase is uncarpeted, narrow (680mm) and there are walls on both sides and a rope hand rail on the right as you ascend. The steps are uneven in height and depth and there is restricted headroom. There are 10 steps, these vary in height from 130mm to 250mm (1 step) and are quite steep. There is a light at the top and bottom of the stairs.

There is a carpeted landing at the top of the stairs; this contains the airing cupboard and the switch for the shower. There is a copy of the emergency evacuation procedure on the airing cupboard door and there is an emergency torch on the landing windowsill which you shake to charge.

Shower room

This is accessed off the landing and has a wooden door that opens outwards. There is a toilet, small hand basin and shower in there. There is vinyl on the floor and there is a 270mm step up into the shower. The door is 730mm wide and opens more than 90 degrees.


There are four bedrooms upstairs and one of these is accessed through one of the other bedrooms. These are all carpeted with a short pile carpet and they all have either steps up into them or down into them. Two of the bedrooms have very low doorways into them and the single bedroom which is over the porch has a sloped ceiling and so you are only able to stand upright in a very limited area. There are also sloping ceilings in the twin room.

There are two double bedrooms, one twin room and a single bedroom. They are all made up with duvets and pillowcases. The heights of the beds to the top of the mattress are 550mm. The bedrooms all have central overhead lights and lamps. The bed frames are wooden and there are chest of drawers/cupboards in all of the rooms.


Throughout The Firs the walls are painted a pale neutral colour, the original beams are stained and there are wooden window frames. Generally the doors and door frames are darker wood.

The electric power points, except for those on the kitchen work surface are at approx 440mm height and light switches are at 1360mm.

The bedroom door widths vary between 720mm and 870mm. Door handles are at approx 1275mm.

Assistance dogs are welcome. Mobile phone reception is poor- with some providers it is possible to get a signal by walking towards the top of the drive.

The Firs has two heat detectors downstairs and two smoke detectors upstairs all linked together and mains powered. There is also a battery operated CO monitor on the upstairs landing. In the kitchen there is an emergency box containing first aid kit, emergency mobile phone (which does not have any credit), torch and candles.

OS Grid Reference: SO 27370 33504

Lat 51.995216

Lon -3.0592445

If you have any enquiries, please contact Helen on 01588 620 730 or email us

Firs Access Statement.pdf