The Bridgettine Convent Guesthouse, Iver Heath
Updated: Sep 25, 2018
I first heard of the convent through the accommodation suggestions on the Creative Media Skills website and chose to stay here, quite frankly because it was £5 cheaper per night than the Uxbridge Travel Lodge (and this included breakfast). It’s also conveniently located within walking distance of Pinewood Studios.
On the first day of the Bleeding and Blood FX Course, my class mates and I were having the usual getting to know each other chitchat, which of course included sharing where we were staying or how we were getting to and from the studios every day. When I disclosed I would later be checking into The Bridgettine Convent Guesthouse, one fellow student recoiled in horror and began to recount the tale of an eventful night she had once spent at the convent. Come morning, a mysterious set of child sized footprints were imprinted on the sofa cushion, accompanied by flickering lights and creaking floorboards, non the less. Now, since I am pretty tough and a diehard horror enthusiast (in attendance of a bleeding and blood FX course, hello?) I didn’t let this bother me, too much.
My delightful teacher for the week, Stuart Bray, was kind enough (or possibly sensed my feeling of impending doom) to give me a lift the short 0.9 mile walk to the convent after the first day, which helped me get my bearings. After checking in with minimal fuss (and taking a photo of the all-important WIFI deets) I was directed to the first floor to my room. My first impressions of the reception area were pleasant surprise – it’s clean, modern and actually pretty stylish. It’s just very dark, and very, very quiet. In a tranquil kind of way.
My room (I think it was number 8) was lovely, well there were actually two of them. The main bedroom was a decent size and had a TV (win), a sofa (dread), a desk and a single bed. There was another, much smaller bedroom off this one and a bathroom off that. The bathroom was exquisite; very recent with a great shower. I switched the TV on and waited until dinner at 7.30.
Considering dinner was only an additional £5, it was great. Three(ish) courses; soup, a roast and fruit. On the second night, there was even Angel Delight. Angel Delight! Breakfast was a personal highlight; trio of either bacon, mushrooms, eggs, beans and tomatoes (no bacon on Fridays, of course).
The morning walk to Pinewood was acceptable, in the sense that I didn’t die. Although there is a reasonably sized grass verge almost all of the way there, essentially you are walking alongside a national speed limit road which is somewhat unnerving (especially when there is snow and ice on the ground. Which there was.). For about half of the walk, it is possible to amble through the woods (I believe they’re pine) which is obviously safer and more enjoyable.
On a couple of occasions, I forewent dinner at the convent and took the bus into Uxbridge in search of sounds above a whisper and a pint of Guinness. For this, Whelans on Uxbridge High Street ticked all boxes. At the end of the week, to save being sat in the inevitable Friday traffic, my husband and I stopped off in The Black Horse. The food here was good and fairly priced, with a surprisingly pleasant atmosphere (considering it's only a stones throw from the M25).
All in all, I loved the convent. I had some enjoyable conversations with the resident Father over breakfast and, of course, the nuns who were all so charming and friendly. It’s in an (almost) perfect location, and ideal for anyone who yearns for peace and quiet. I’ll definitely be going back whenever I’m in the area again (sooner rather than later I hope!). Most importantly, I’m glad and relieved (albeit faintly disappointed) to report there were no ghostly goings on… yet.