Just inside the door of the Peacock at Rowsley is a bowl of water for your dog. This is a sportsman’s hotel, though an aesthete would be just as happy here; the pictures are outstandingly good. The River Wye – the only water in the country where wild rainbow trout breed naturally – is what the sportsmen come for. It is said to be the finest dry fly fishing in the land and the Head River Keeper from Haddon Hall is on hand to help you enjoy it. The Hall (Thornfield in BBC Tv’s Jane Eyre) is a nearby outing for days when the fish won’t bite.
The Peacock, built in the 17th century, was once Haddon’s dower house. Now it has all the comforts and convenience (wi-fi, DVD’s, even Apple TVs) that modern visitors expect. Furnished with a mixture of old pieces and comfortable modern upholstery, there is an aura of antique furniture wax and wood smoke. Your dog will surely be allowed to snooze in front of the fire. In the bedrooms, fresh flowers, mahogony dressing tables and top-notch beds will make you feel at home. Uniformed staff are attentive and friendly – occasionally a little too much so for old-fashioned tastes. A great ledger in the hall records the fishermen’s daily successes and disappointments. Whatever their luck on the river bank, they will not be disappointed in this handsome well-run hotel.