"We feel so fortunate to have found this slice of heaven when looking for a vacation spot online. It was all we dreamed, and more. Entering the gates as the sun was setting felt like the start of the great adventure it was. The house was like stepping back into a simpler time. We felt caressed by the history, inspired by the beauty, and grateful for the personal touches throughout. The creaky wooden floors and crackling fires told us marvelous tales. It was like living in a welcoming museum with secrets to share. The tiny bouquets of fresh flowers thoughtfully positioned throughout the house (in February...no less) made us smile again and again. We were enchanted by the lazy stream and the wonderful trails through the towering beech forest. The impossibly green carpet of moss upon brick is right out of a Scottish fairytale. The feathered greeters on the Jamestown ferry complete the romance of the place. It was a beautiful getaway for lasting family memories. Thank you for your warm hospitality and especially for your vision when you lovingly created this unique space in the world. Truly a gift."
"This was our 9th year to stay here. We hope to return later this year."
"Christmas Eve. Our only consolation in leaving after only four days is to dream of returning as soon as possible. What a dream of a place--storybook perfection for kids and parents alike. Some of our favorite holiday memories this year will surely be the dinners we cooked and enjoyed at the dining able here with the fire glowing."
"Dear Cliff and Joy: Thank you so much for allowing us to stay at your beautiful estate-we had wonderful Christmas with our extended family. The home is magnificent--too special for words. We truly enjoyed every minute of our stay. It was absolutely perfect in every way. God Bless, have a very merry and healthy holiday, and best of luck with this beautiful home."
"Dear Cliff and Joy: Thank you so much for opening up your beautiful home and allowing us to visit. It was a magical weekend and we enjoyed everything so much. Our only regret is that we could not stay longer. We loved just being outside and enjoyed the woods and the grounds the most. The Fairy Trail was magical! Thank you for everything. We hope to return soon."
"Thank you for creating this one-of-a-kind experience. As a family that grew up living in older homes in the country, this felt a lot like coming home. And as someone who loves history, exploring the house and grounds was a real treat. I honestly could have spent the whole trip just relaxing here. I think I've convinced everyone we need to return again when everything is green and blooming. I'll never forget our arrival: turning into the driveway and driving in was like traveling back in time. I was extra excited to see the Christmas decorations. It was the first time we've all been together in a long while, and we had an absolute blast. We look forward to our next visit/adventure! Thank you so much again!"
"Cliff and Joy: Thank you for the enchanted visit. I can't think of a better place to enjoy Thanksgiving. We hope to return soon!"
"Thank you for having us! We had a magical time celebrating my mom's birthday. However, I think Harper Rose, our Mini-Schnauzer had the most fun! She loved going through the leaves and ivy while exploring the grounds. We will definitely be back; we had a wonderful time!"
"Cliff and Joy: Thank you for allowing us to enjoy Williamsburg by staying at such a wonderful estate. The house and grounds were beautiful. My children and I had a wonderful time. It certainly turned into a special 70th birthday celebration."
"Thank you for a wonderful long weekend! This was our first trip to Lightwood House and it won't be our last. We enjoyed many walks through the woods and left our wishes at the Fairy Tree. Cricket and Casey (our dogs) loved all of the exploring. We'll be back!"
"The C. family had another terrific weekend at our favorite retreat!! Argos, our dog, was especially happy to see his dear friend, Cliff. The barred owls sang for us--it was quite a show!"
"What a perfect setting for our daughter's wedding! May the Lord bless you with many more beautiful celebrations!"
"Lightwood is a beautiful home shared by generous caretakers who understand the need for quiet respite after a day full of "touristy" activities. This is a true piece of nature and history that are perfectly balanced to provide you with retreat, but still access the conveniences of modern life. It's the perfect way to bring together family from afar and have private space, but common places to congregate for fun and fellowship. The attention to detail in the furnishings and art make it a true tribute to the time in history that has been lovingly captured. Wish we were closer to return for another stay! Best wishes and peace to all who enter."
"Dear Clifford and Joy and the Fairies: Thank you for an amazing time! We loved the house. The fairy music added an extra touch of magic to the kids' treasure hunt. Sorry we didn't see the fairy playing the flute! Hope to return in the future!"
"God bless your home and your kind heart."
"It was such a gorgeously appointed home and your property is breathtaking."
"Cliff and Joy: You have a beautiful home. Your home was a dream come true to stay in. Everything was so cozy and comfortable. BEWARE OF SASQUATCH! "
"Thank you for your hospitality. What a magical place! We felt transported away from 2021 and into a quieter, simpler time."
"The legend of Lightwood House grows! Back visiting the area for the second time in three years, we are so grateful that our kids have the opportunity to etch this place into their childhood memories. Thank you, Cliff and Joy for opening your home to travelers and for all the ways, both big and small, that make this place truly unique. We look forward to our future return."
"The amount of love that has been poured into this home is preserved at every turn. The home and the land it sits on are truly gems and we are so grateful you decided to share this with the world. This stay has been a wonderful respite from the demands of normal life and we both hope to come back for a longer stay."
"We love to come to Surry! As always, we are sad to leave Lightwood. Your home is so lovely. Enjoyed seeing all the acquisitions and admiring your taste. Hopefully, we will return for our 9th Christmas stay!"
"We thoroughly enjoyed our covid Thanksgiving at Lightwood House!! Not only is it a lovely property filled with beautiful antiques, but it is a cozy gathering place for our family. Thank you for your lovely attention to detail and for allowing us to spend a peaceful Thanksgiving during these turbulent times."
"Dear Cliff and Joy: Thank you for an exquisite visit to Lightwood House. After a long drive from Massachusetts, coming through your gates was suddenly magical and restful. Your attention to detail in your decor, the welcoming gifts on the table, and your modern amenities in this historic setting, were just remarkable. We had six people from three states and being together at Lightwood was truly enchanting. Such a rich elegance, yet so welcoming and comfortable, charming, yet whimsical!"
"When we planned our stay at Lightwood we had a full week-long itinerary planned. Who could have guessed our trip would be altered by the covid-19 outbreak. We are grateful for how this turned out because it allowed us the extra time to enjoy the enchantment of Lightwood! The history and beauty of the house and property have drawn us in and we are already planning another visit. The rest and relaxation we enjoyed were medicine for our souls! Thank you! Thank you for opening up this labor of love for guests. Thank you for anticipating our every need. Thank you for taking the time to talk with us. Thank you for all the extra touches that made my son feel extra special...the books, the toys, the 'secret hideouts' and the treasure hunt! Child and adults thoroughly enjoyed our stay and it will be a lasting memory of my son's childhood. We wish you both the best and anxiously await our next visit!"
"'Safe Harbor in a Storm.' Our family planned a trip to Williamsburg, March 14-20, 2020. We did not expect to be caught up in the coronavirus storm. Fear not, we had a safe harbor in the storm. It's name is Lightwood. Surrounded by a beech forest, this charming c. 1760s restored home has something interesting in every nook and cranny. There are quiet porches in which to sit and garden benches where you can meditate and relax. We went on a fairy treasure hunt. We truly reconnected with nature."
"Dear Cliff and Joy, This has been a wonderful time of relaxation and connecting with nature. We came with the anticipation of visiting the historic areas of Williamsburg, but found so much more at Lightwood House and Forest. You both have given us a memory of a lifetime. The house gave us all the comforts of home plus a history lesson. The forest gave us connection with nature and the faeries' treasure hunt and the faerie tree. My grandson loved the hidden staircase, a closet of toys and books and the great playground."
"this is Scarlett July 2722 and Jude we like to thank you for let ing us stay at this house we liked it a lot we even toke a video of the house and we found the treasure from the faeries we even want to stay at this house a gen and we plade Dres uq. from Jude now I mis you M.r Cliff we hope we see you agen"
"We had such a lovely, magical time at Lightwood, despite the rain and everything. The highlight was the wonderful diversity of mushrooms around the property in so many colors, shapes, and sizes. Thank you for your stewardship of such a wonderful place."
"Dear Cliff and Joy, We had an absolutely wonderful time at your home. Thank you for all you do to make it a special place. It was the ideal home base for our travels through the area, matching and often exceeding the sense of charm and adventure we found in this historic region. And the Fairy Hunt...wow! This will be a lifelong memory of wonder and joy for our kids. Thank you!"
Dear Cliff and Joy, Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for letting us stay in your beautiful home. This home, and the grounds, were the perfect place to spend quality family time with our son stationed in Norfolk. I felt almost like I travelled in time or to a magical place for a week. This was our first time being in the beautiful state of Virginia. Seeing the deer on our walks was amazing. We made friends with a cute little toad, whom we named Thaddeus. Love your book selection, especially the James Herriot books. Again, thank you for this amazing, beautiful, and peaceful time. Best wishes always."
Dear Cliff and Joy, What a delightful house! I've sent many photos back to my family and friends in England and to one in particular who is enamored of faeries. We loved the house and family story, so eloquently written. Our dogs loved the grounds and we enjoyed the space tremendously. Truly an idyllic retreat from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. We will definitely be recommending this cosy home to friends and hope to be back again soon. With thanks for your hospitality."
"What an amazing experience! We all thoroughly enjoyed our stay in this beautiful and historic home. In addition to our outdoor and driving explorations, we enjoyed exploring the antiques and the house! My seven-year-old daughter was especially impressed with all the work people had to do to live back then. She thought about it while holding one of the irons--so heavy! Our family really needed a break and this trip to stay in your home was just the perfect one."
"The week certainly went by too quickly to thoroughly enjoy your home and estate. What a wonderful and unique property. We enjoyed the ambiance that allowed us to come and go from the colonial period on a daily basis. We were especially entertained one night as we traded hoots with an owl out back."
"You certainly have a beautiful home! We enjoyed a peaceful and cozy several days here. The autumn light, birdsong, and ample walking trails do the soul good. And our collie loved exploring the property. Thanks!
"Thank you so much for welcoming us into your home this weekend. As always, Lightwood is absolutely beautiful. I loved seeing it as the seasons changed. Thank you for your wonderful hospitality and generosity; truly you made the weekend absolutely perfect. We hope to be back soon."
"Dear Cliff and Joy, Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home with us. We were all able to appreciate the significance of what you all have accomplished. You preserved a gem to share with others. To be able to go into Williamsburg so easily and then return to the peacefulness of Lightwood is an amazing combination. And, as another figure in more recent history said: 'We shall return.'"
"We thoroughly enjoyed our Covid Thanksgiving at Lightwood!! Not only is it a lovely property filled with beautiful antiques, but it is a cozy gathering place for our family. Thank you for your lovely attention to detail and for allowing us to spend a peaceful Thanksgiving during these turbulent times."
"We love to come to Surry! As always, we are sad to leave Lightwood. Your home is so lovely. Enjoyed seeing all the acquisitions and and admiring your taste. Hopefully, we will return for our 9th Christmas stay in December 2021."
"It was a pleasure to return to Lightwood to celebrate our first anniversary. My husband and I were married here on October 12, 2019. Thank you for the lovely stay and all of the special little touches around the house. Cliff and Joy had kept the top of our wedding cake frozen this whole year, and I can't think of any other venue owners who would be so thoughtful. Best wishes for the rest of 2020--we will see you again!"
“Lightwood House was a wonderful getaway for our family and will be remembered by our kids for a long, long time. They were in awe of the stories of Faeries in the woods and the opportunity to visit the Grandfather Tree to tie on wishes. The house was a great space for our family to enjoy and feel taken back in time. Thoughtful touches were present throughout and the hosts made sure we had everything we needed. I was worried before going that there might be fragile items or breakable antiques in the house, but we found everything to be sturdy enough for the exploring hands of kids, ages 6 and 4. We loved having ample outdoor space to explore and a great yard for the kids to play. Highly recommend a stay at Lightwood.”
"This was the best vacation in the history of the whole entire world!!!"
"Who needs Colonial Williamsburg when one can stay at Lightwood House?! Our stay in your fabulous home was utter perfection....We've already made plans to return."
"I loved this house and [forest] path....This place made me feel like I was a child in the 18th century."
"I loved this house and trail. I loved how you prepared this house for us. I loved the trail and the Fairy Tree."
"I can't even begin to explain how wonderful our stay here was."
"We so enjoyed the beauty and peace of being away from city life. Being in a Colonial-era home made Williamsburg come alive for our boys."
"Had a wonderful stay in such an unforgettable place! The toys and books were an unexpected surprise and the kids had a blast."
"Wow! What an awesome time we've had at Lightwood House. This place is just amazing. We loved exploring the house and grounds. We used the backyard and firepit. The kids enjoyed finding all the toys and games. Loved all the little touches, like the fresh flowers everywhere!"
"Your beautiful Lightwood home has enlivened our imaginations and our conversations about those who have crossed its threshold for over 200 years. The beauty of the architecture, the nostalgic touches in each room, the loveliness of the grounds, all combined to capture a place in our memories that will live on in our family when we gather and reminisce about our season here."
"We have enjoyed our stay in this very special historic home. It has very special features to each room of the house. We have enjoyed the antiques. We loved visiting and reading the fairy book called 'The Faeries of Lightwood and Doon Hill.' We loved the hike in the woods for the beautiful fairy tree. We took lots of pictures that we will enjoy for the rest of our lives. Thank you for this historic beauty you gave us."
"We are so grateful you have made this home and property available for others to enjoy and come to love. The solitude was ever so precious to our family as we slowed our pace of life and enjoyed the time we had with one another. Most of us are too busy and Lightwood was our way to reconnect, slow down, and breathe. We loved our time here!"
"Lightwood has been a haven and a refuge to us this past week! We love your home so very much that we spent the last day of our vacation enjoying just Lightwood. There is a serenity to this place that immediately refreshes mind, body, soul, spirit, and heart! Everyone, including our young grandchildren, was captivated by the beauty of your home, the surrounding forest filled with special treasures and wonderment, and the richness of history that permeates every piece of your home and property. This has been the best vacation we have ever had!"
"Another terrific break at Lightwood! We brought my mother this time, and her dog, who is usually very tense, but at Lightwood she is relaxed and quiet. Our other dog was his majestic self and enjoyed walking in the woods. Two happy dogs! My son and daughter played chess, blocks, and had great fun on the playground. Two happy kids! My mother loved the grounds and the house as we knew she would. 'Williamsburg' is her favorite aesthetic and she lives in a home that is about 230 years old, so she felt at home immediately."
"The most peaceful place on the Earth! So serene and calming. Loved listening to all the sounds in the surrounding woods. Absolutely loved this place with its immense history. The kids loved playing with all the period toys and hiding in all the nooks and crannies. This house gave them a peek at living in another time period. Thanks Cliff and Joy for providing us this chance to relive the past and for your gracious hospitality."
"Lightwood House is the most serene, peaceful place on Earth."
"Lightwood House is the most magical, peaceful place."
"It felt like a privilege to occupy for a short time this place that has such a long history. The historical details-such as the nail-studded doors, the latches and locks, captured my imagination and curiosity. I walked the trail in the woods both days, and that too was an experience of pleasure and discovery. Our party of five found your home to be relaxing, a sensual feast, and a step back in time."
"This plantation will forever stand out as a sublime destination."
"There was talk among our guests that our wedding was the BEST WEDDING EVER! Lightwood House will forever be a magical, special place for us."
“Lightwood House is a true treasure.”
"...THE TREASURE HUNT WAS SIMPLY AMAZING!"
“The beauty of the house and grounds is breathtaking.”
“Lightwood is a total enchantment.”
“The house is welcoming and the grounds are gorgeous.”
“Beautifully set in its own hundred acre wood.”
“From the moment we passed through the entrance gate, we knew this place was special.”
“Your house is magical.”
“Everything about this exquisite home is unique and elegant.”
“Lightwood is quietly beautiful and mystically peaceful.”
“It was such a treat to come ‘home’ to Lightwood’s treasured history and architectural splendor.”
“We were in awe from the moment we drove up to the house.”
“Pleasant times soon become cherished memories.”
“Lightwood was a dream come true.”
“Lightwood is as close to heaven on earth as you can get.”
“We have enjoyed the serenity and beauty of the Lord’s handiwork displayed in his creation all around us.”
“There is a serenity to this place that immediately refreshes mind, body, soul, spirit, and heart! ”
“We were captivated by the beauty of your home filled with special treasures and abundant in the richness of the history that permeates every piece of your home and property.”
“There is a gentle, humane, and beautiful spirit that reigns here.”
"Our children's imaginations were sparked the moment we entered the property."
"The kids loved exploring all the nooks and crannies and pretending to live in another time period! They loved finding the secret staircase and the hidden door in the attic."
"This was our 6th family vacation here and we enjoyed it more than ever. We love hiking to the fairy tree with the kids every year!"
"The house is so beautiful and charming, you just want to stay here forever!"
"We had a wonderful stay at this great retreat into history and faeries. You have created a great aesthetic here and a singular experience."
"The Treasure Hunt...was the highlight of the trip for our six-year-old son."
"We went on a fairy treasure hunt on one of the many beautiful trails. I believe the adults enjoyed this as much as the four year old!"
We hope you enjoyed reading these reviews and comments. For more, please visit:
Tie your wish on the majestic old Faerie Tree
Mossy Path through the Woods
Great-Grandfather William keeping time by the Hour
A Spring Visitor
Welsh Dresser made from Lightwood Forest Oak
Across the Fields and through the Woods
Frost and Snow
Look for the White Gates...
And then for the Wagon Wheel...
Down Lightwood Lane you go. Don't stop, you're nearly there.
Drive around to the front gates
Welcome to Lightwood
Having lots of fun
It's Teatime at Lightwood.Theodora and Rabert waiting for their friends to arrive.