Natural beauty is being given a new, accessible dimension in the Wye Valley.

Thatch Close Cottages, a cluster of converted barns dating back to the 17th century in the scenic Wye Valley, has achieved Visit England ratings of 4* and 5*, and National Accessibility Gradings of V2, H2, M1 and M3. As a result, people with disabilities and their carers, family, friends, and pets, can enjoy a break in one of the most beautiful settings in the country.

Owners Edward and Marian Drzymalski have gone above and beyond the key requirements of accessibility standards to blend contemporary style, traditional architecture and an enabled environment. Each of the three cottages has a level access wetroom, with a Closomat shower toilet.

“Toilet facilities for disabled people are so often overlooked,” says Edward. “Sadly, it’s often only if you’ve experienced how any limitation can impact on your ability to use the toilet, do you realise how important properly accessible toilets are!

“The Closomats, with their integrated washing & drying, are so much more hygienic than wiping with a bit of paper. And the built-in features mean that our guests can use the toilet without assistance. I think the Closomat is a wonderful piece of kit. Many of our guests comment on it, and how good it is at delivering cleanliness and dignity, whether or not they are used to the concept of a loo that washes you with warm water, then dries you by wafting warm air!”

Adds Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager, “Increasingly, people are appreciating the benefits of a shower toilet, that washes & dries you- if you choose those functions. As Edward says, how unhygienic traditional methods are, rather than wash yourself, after going to the toilet? With the Closomat, it looks like a typical WC, and you can choose to use it as a conventional loo, or trigger the douching and drying processes. It suits everyone- whether or not they are disabled.”