Kevin and Kathryn left high-flying jobs to cook, clean, polish and shine; extraordinarily, they couldn’t be happier. Their new home is this attractive 17th-century merchant’s house with the best view in town. Lawns run down to the river Wye, then views shoot up the other side to St Mary’s church. Inside, you find original elm floors and painted beamed ceilings, but the feel is contemporary, with cool colours, beautiful armchairs and antler chandeliers in the sitting room. Bedrooms have an easy elegance: comfy beds, crisp linen, pretty art, the odd timber frame. Five have the view, two have a claw-foot bath, others have power showers, a couple on high can be taken together. Breakfast is delicious, with doors in the sun room that fold back to drink in the view. Walk in the hills, kayak on the Wye, cycle in the Forest of Dean. Come home to an honesty bar in the sitting room and three terraces in the gorgeous garden, where colourful beds flourish. Wilton Castle, a 12th-century ruin, stands across the field; Hereford is close for the Mappa Mundi; good local restaurants wait. Dogs are welcome.