Animal lovers can get up close with friendly alpacas, donkeys, a Shetland pony, pigs, chickens, ducks, and turkeys when they rent a delightful shepherd’s hut at Maybee Glamping in the magnificent Monmouthshire countryside.
The menagerie is all part of the welcome at the six acre smallholding, overlooking the Wye Valley, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Mostly rescue animals, they are happy to mix, take treats and indulge in a fuss as part of their service in making guests feel completely at peace in this secluded holiday hideaway.
The shepherd’s hut with its luxurious interior is ideal for couples, equipped with a deeply comfortable double bed, fully equipped kitchen, en suite shower room with eco-friendly but highly civilised composting toilet, a snug living area with a wood burner and outdoor seating, fire pit and barbecue.
Dogs are very welcome and horse stabling and bike storage is available. Nature lovers and green living owners Lee and Sharon Weaver add many lovely touches, including a welcome basket, eco-friendly toiletries and an optional DIY breakfast hamper. Guest reviews praise the peaceful setting and their hosts’ friendliness and eagerness to please.
The location is well away from noise and traffic congestion but within easy reach of the M4 and pleasant market towns Chepstow, Caldicot, Usk and Raglan, each with an ancient castle.
The Forest of Dean is only half an hour’s drive away, offering adventure activities including mountain biking, climbing, zip wiring and kayaking. Chepstow has a popular horse racing course and the National Diving & Activity Centre offering diving lessons and underwater sessions for everyone from novices to experienced divers. Additional attractions include a drive-in cinema allowing people to enjoy films from the comfort of their cars.
“It’s a beautiful, Idyllic spot,” says Sharon. “We really want people to relax, unwind surrounded by nature and enjoy it.”
The Half Moon Hotel
Nestling below the imposing Black Mountains, the Half Moon Inn radiates friendliness to all, including families, dogs, walkers, cyclists and holidaymakers. This traditional Welsh inn offers great food & drink and modestly priced bed & breakfast accommodation, providing the perfect rest and refuelling for the energetic who come to explore the Brecon Beacons, hike the Offa’s Dyke Path or cycle Route 42.
The Half Moon, in the village of Llanthony, retains all the character of its original ‘life’ as two workmen’s cottages in the 1700s, including flagstone floors and a roaring fire. The cosy atmosphere provides a convivial background for these cold winter nights, while in warmer weather many head for the garden.
All the food and drink served in this free house is sourced from quality local suppliers whenever possible.
The inn has 10 guest bedrooms and they are available at bargain rates at this time of year. Owners Karen and Simon fulfilled a dream when they took over in July.
“Karen’s been coming here for 42 years and always wanted to live here,” says Simon, “And I always wanted to run a pub with bed & breakfast. It’s mainly for people who like walking or cycling but there’s lots of history and plenty for everyone to enjoy, including the famous ‘book town’ of Hay on Wye.”
Tyr Pwll Holiday Cottages
Ty Pwll offers 4 Star self catering accommodation for two just two miles from Abergavenny, the ‘Gateway to Wales’ and within easy reach of the dramatic Brecon Beacons, the stunningly beautiful Wye Valley and famous book town Hay on Wye.
Swallows Nest Cottage has been imaginatively created from ancient farm buildings to provide an idyllic holiday base with bags of character all at ground floor level. Ideal for couples alone or with a young child, it is tastefully furnished and well equipped with quality appliances. Owner Steve Mear even provides a welcome pack so guests have the makings of a pleasant tea on arrival.
With oil fired central heating, this is comfy, cosy accommodation all year round. A large front yard provides a suntrap seating area with barbeque space, plus parking.
This Monmouthshire haven is ideal for people who enjoy nature watching, walking, cycling, fishing, golfing, riding and even hang gliding. There are lots of places to relax, including various restaurants and a gastropub, The Hardwick, owned by celebrity chef Steve Terry.
“Locally the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal provides a nice flat walk for people and has several marinas,” says Steve. “In Abergavenny town itself we have a theatre, a cinema, a leisure centre with a swimming pool, nice little shops and a market. Nearby Raglan Castle is lovely and often hosts special events.”
Contact details: Tyr Pwll Holiday Cottages, 2 Tyr Pwll, Hardwick, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire NP7 9AB; tel 01873 850457 or 07966 060691; email firstname.lastname@example.org website www.tyr-pwll-holidaycottages.co.uk
Tall John’s House
Guests can relax in exquisite elegance at Tall John’s House, a grand Georgian manor house in its own beautiful grounds in the Llangorse lake Valley in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park. They can luxuriate in upmarket bed & breakfast accommodation, hire a cosy self catering cottage or, from this summer, book a superb wedding venue created from an ancient barn with courtyards.
Naval heroes have had a hand in shaping Tall John’s House. It was built in 1588 to celebrate the defeat of the Spanish Armada, then substantially renovated by Admiral Hamilton in the late 19th century and improved again in the 1950s by Vice Admiral Sir Dymock Watson. Now it has been brought to new levels of 21st century perfection by present owners Liza and Robin Watson.
As a holiday venue the manor house offers three spacious and finely appointed guest bedrooms with spectacular views to the Black Mountains. Either twin or double rooms, they are furnished and decorated in Georgian style but have the most comfortable beds and en suite facilities including power showers. Booking includes use of a cosy sitting room with Sky TV and the grounds, with their walled garden and lawns.
The romantic Coachman’s Cottage sleeps two while Honeysuckle has four double bedrooms, each with their own bathroom. Both properties are fully equipped.
Tall John’s House is licensed for wedding ceremonies in the house, barn and garden. The wedding venue seats up to 150 people and the wedding package includes hire of the barn and grounds from Friday evening to Sunday lunchtime, Honeysuckle Cottage for 2 nights and The Coachman’s for one night.
The manor house itself can be booked for exclusive use as a staffed venue for family get togethers or special celebrations. Breakfast is included in the rental and further meals can be provided if wished.
“This is a special place in an area renowned for its breathtaking beauty and dark skies,” says Liza. “It’s perfect for holidays, retreats and, of course, weddings.”
The Old Vicarage
Walkers, cyclists and many other holidaymakers head for Pembrokeshire’s coastal National Park when they get the chance. They know they will find stunning landscapes, fabulous wildlife and a wealth of things to do but they count themselves extra lucky if they alight on The Old Vicarage Bed & Breakfast in the pretty village of Moylegrove. Overlooking beautiful Ceibwr Bay it is only a short amble from the famous coastal path.
The Edwardian property provides 5 elegant, spacious, double en suite rooms with numerous attractive features. They come with luxurious super king sized beds, crisp cotton sheets and the heartiest of daily breakfasts made with locally sourced organic food. Two of the rooms are dog friendly and The Old Vicarage stands in an acre of grounds so exercising them is easy. The first of two shepherds’ huts is being added for rental this summer.
Expect a warm welcome from hosts Megan and Jaap Soest, their dog, cats, chickens and children.
“It’s rural but close to everything,” says Megan, “We are a stone’s throw from the coastal path and beach but have beautiful market towns within a short distance too.”
Little Hilton Farm
Extended families and groups love getting together for self catering holidays at Little Hilton Farm, a wonderful old Pembrokeshire farmhouse with panoramic views to the coast and across the Preseli Hills. With four double bedrooms and four bathrooms they can enjoy each other’s company and still have privacy in this quiet, idyllic corner of Wales.
Little Hilton Farm is a cosy comfortable, pet friendly place to stay in an exquisite location for enjoying south west Wales. It is only five minutes’ drive from the fantastic coast, including Newgale Sands, where the Atlantic serves up superb swells for adventure sports like surfing, sailing and kayaking.
Visitors love the atmosphere of nearby St Davids – the UK’s smallest city – and they relish walks along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, where the wildlife includes basking seals and rare birds. Family attractions like Oakwood Theme Park and Folly Farm are always popular.
Little Hilton is full of character with its oak beams, stone floors and open fireplaces and host Sue Jenkins and her partner, John ensure their guests have everything to make their stay enjoyable and relaxing. That includes their own garden and the chance to fish for rudd in a private lake.
“We try to make it welcoming,” says Sue, “A real home from home. We often have three generations come to stay.”
Nowhere does dark skies, fresh air and wild mountain landscapes quite like the Brecon Beacons National Park and nowhere is better placed to enjoy them than Trefecca Farm with its three cheery, spacious and immaculate self catering holiday cottages.
Families and groups staying in the properties find themselves looking out over the Black Mountains and grazing sheep as they enjoy every contemporary comfort in these delightfully converted farm buildings sleeping five to seven people. The last was completed very recently and is disabled friendly, with a ground floor double room with an en suite wetroom.
Offering the friendliest of welcomes from hosts Helen and Andrew Jones, Trefecca Farm now holds this magazine’s Award of Excellence as our Barn Conversion Accommodation of the Year in Talgarth. These cosy properties are thoroughly relaxing for when people get back from long, happy days adventuring and exploring.
Just by stepping out of the door, guests can enjoy wild walks or cycle rides in the rugged beauty of the Brecon Beacons and the quiet village of Trefecca. Lots of visitors like kayaking and white water rafting on the River Wye. Pony trekking is popular and for anyone who enjoys mountaineering or caving, this is definitely the place to be.
Enjoy, too, the nearby market town of Talgarth, Brecon itself, Abergavenny and Crickhowell, all unique and charming.
Jordanston Holiday Cottages
Great memories will be forged in the four luxurious Jordanston Holiday Cottages near the popular harbour town of Tenby. The two oldest were the local blacksmith’s house and workshops from the 18th century while the others are a family friendly modern bungalow and quaint cottage, all with inspiring outlooks across Pembrokeshire’s glorious countryside.
Based in the pretty village of St Florence, the Jordanston properties have been renovated to the highest standards by farmer Richard Hughes and his wife, Debra. Three are rated five star and one four Star by Visit Wales, so holidaymakers will want for nothing when they arrive, from the cosy warmth of their log burning stoves to the well equipped kitchens. One even has its own hot tub and another is disabled friendly.
Each cottage has been thoughtfully prepared to keep as many character features as possible with many added personal touches.
Debra says: “I look after the cottages personally and do my very best to ensure they are high quality comfortable and clean accommodation, plus I am always around!”
Tenby itself is one of the top tourist spots in the UK, a popular harbour town with intriguing independent shops and fabulous beaches, and within easy reach of the UK’s smallest city, St Davids, Saundersfoot village and family attractions like Folly Farm and Great Wedlock Dinosaur Park are only a stone’s throw away.
Jordanstan Holiday Cottages, Jordanston Farm, St Florence, Tenby, Pembrokeshire Wales SA70 8NQ
Tel 01834 871583
Guests enjoy a great getaway at great value when they book into Cilwendeg House, bed & breakfast accommodation with a dog friendly self-catering cottage for 4 in the heart of scenic West Wales.
Set in 5 acres of its own idyllic grounds with private woodland, riverside walks and a summerhouse overlooking a lake, this is the ultimate setting for people who want to spend quality time together, yet they can enjoy 7 nights for the price of 5 all year round.
Cilwendeg House was built for a wealthy mill owner in 1903. It has been tastefully renovated and modernised by present owners Steve and Penny Bishop and now provides an exceptional holiday base within 30 minutes’ drive of fabulous beaches and popular destinations like New Quay.
The property is near the village amenities of Drefach Felindre, home to the National Wool Museum of Wales. Within a short drive you can visit the ancient town of Cardigan and stride out on the Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire Coastal Paths. Or, you can head Carmarthen with its excellent shopping, eating and entertainment facilities. There are many visitor attractions within reach.
The Cilwendeg bed & breakfast rooms are all double en suite, individually designed, tastefully decorated and furnished for comfort. With a little notice, your hosts will cater for any diet, including vegan, paleo or gluten free.
Waungilwen, Drefach Felindre SA44 5YH
Tel 01559 370685
Perfect views of the beautiful Preseli Mountains help make Golygfa Preseli an exceptional place to spend a self catering holiday. Along with the excellent standard of accommodation and its fabulous location, Golygfa Preseli is ideal for exploring the whole of South West Wales.
Golygfa Preseli is a spacious barn conversion on a working farm in glorious countryside. Rated 4 Star by Visit Wales, it retains original character features including wooden beams, pointed stone and lime plastered walls and floors of slate or wood. Eco-friendly underfloor heating and a log burner add up to date features.
The cottage is in a restful spot with the farm cattle grazing and local wildlife nearby, including red kites, buzzards, bats and rabbits. It sleeps 6 people in 3 rooms, or 7 with an air bed. Well behaved pets are welcome.
The main bedroom has en suite facilities and there is also a family bathroom with a walk-in shower which makes life easier for people with limited mobility. There is a ramp for wheelchair access into the cottage.
Owner Jan Griffiths says: “We are in the centre of South West Wales, within easy driving distance of numerous places including Tenby, Cardigan, Folly Farm, Heatherton and the Wales Coast Path with its secluded beaches. And, of course, there are walks on the mountains!”
Lan Farm, Llanboidy, Whitland, Carmarthenshire SA34 0EYt
Tel 01994 448438 or 07770 946209
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