Looks like he could have pulled out of the pages of a Harry Potter story – but this wizarding cottage is the one you can book for an unusual vacation near Manchester.
Wizards Thatch is over 400 years old, with the timber-framed building almost hidden by romantic roses, vines and apple trees adorning its setting.
Yet even though it looks like it could be from a movie or a fairy tale, it’s actually just a minute’s walk from the center of the bustling village of millionaire’s Alderley Edge playground in Cheshire. .
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The thatched-roof cottage has been touted as ‘one of England’s most romantic places’ and features three magically named suites, the Wizardry, Camelot and Merlin, drawing inspiration from local legend about a wizard from Alderley Edge from which the cottage itself has been named for hundreds of years.
The fairytale property is owned by Ian Lambert, who runs the holiday business with his partner Ali, with the aim of creating “an atmosphere of pure nostalgia where you can relax and let the age-old aura take you over.”
Ian, 63, said: “Many guests say Wizards Thatch is the best thing after Harry Potter.
“Customers always book because their partner is a huge Harry Potter fan and that ticks all the boxes.
“We have grandparents who bring their grandchildren on a Harry Potter-style vacation.
“In fact, last year we had a parent who booked The Wizardry for their 5 year old whose birthday wish was to stay in the Harry Potter house.”
Ian says the unique look of the 5-star luxury cottage also makes it a top destination for romantic getaways and wedding proposals.
He says, “Honeymoons and romantic getaways make up most of our bookings.
“Clients often phone me to tell me that they are going to propose to their loved one here, so we make sure their stay becomes an experience of a lifetime.”
Ian says he has hosted hundreds of famous guests over the years, including international rock stars, famous actors and actresses, renowned writers, prominent footballers and even a government minister, although ‘he keeps names a closely guarded secret.
Interiors are filled with antique furniture, old books, and original artifacts, with old beams and fireplaces a key feature, while suites have four-poster beds.
The guesthouse has a five-star rating on TripAdvisor, with recent travelers hailing their stay “magical” and comparing it to Hogwarts.
One reviewer wrote: “My boyfriend and I love everything mystical and Harry Potter, so I didn’t doubt for a single minute that he would love it.”
Another said: “We are huge Harry Potter fans and it was really like entering Hogwarts which was amazing. I highly recommend it!”
A third wrote: “It was like stepping back in time.”
A few years ago, Ian and Ali appeared on Channel 4’s Four in A Bed series – alongside Dom and Steph of the Salutation in Sandwich, who became big stars in their own right on Channel 4’s Gogglebox.
Ian recalls filming the show: “We had the time of our lives doing the show – we always keep in touch with the other contestants and will soon be spending another vacation with Nick and Andrea, although they only give us four out of ten for our breakfast!
“They must have enjoyed Thatch on their honeymoon here,” adds Ian.
The property has been Ian’s home for 40 years and was converted into a guesthouse ten years ago.
While the lockdown forced Wizards Thatch to close for months, Ian and Ali spent time renovating the property, adding French chandeliers to the bedrooms and all new curtains and rugs.
The roof was also thatched in the original Cheshire style.
“It was a real labor of love,” says Ian.
Wizards Thatch takes its name from a local legend, involving a wizard named Merlin and a farmer.
On the very road where the encounter is said to have taken place is the Thatch – an ancient dwelling when history was first recorded in 1753.
Legend has it that a Mobberley farmer was on his way to Macclesfield Market when he met an old man in Alderley Edge, who then showed his magical abilities by opening a stone at the caves that now form the National Trust monument at the top . from the hill.
Also on top of Wizards Thatch hill is the equally quirky Wizard Inn pub, whose origins date back to the 13th century.
The Wizard Inn was the childhood home of Ian, who remembers his garden as the magical woods of Alderley Edge when he was young.
Ian says, “My mother Joyce Newbrook was only 20 when she bought The Wizard Inn – giving it back its former glory. She was too young to hold the license, so her mother Dorothy took it over.
“Dorothy was a leading figure in the community and was President of the Alderley Edge Ladies Luncheon Club until her death in 1972. We have been in the area for generations.
He adds, “Believe it or not, I was born on Halloween – maybe that makes me a real Alderley wizard.”
Single room rates start from £ 129 per night, for more information see www.wizardsthatch.co.uk or call 07951 602969
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