We have a lovely and varied range of cottages on our website, all with their own highlights and attractions as a holiday destination, and each with a different history. Each cottage has an enthusiastic owner with their own story to tell. Here we talk to Ann Davies about her Pembrokeshire cottage for two, The Coach House, and the unusual livestock on her small farm.
Ann and her llamas at Poppit Sands
Ann’s property is an 18th-century converted stone coach house, situated in quiet countryside near St Dogmaels on the Pembrokeshire coast. Comfortable and cosy, with a quirky upside-down plan and entry on the second floor, it is in a great location for relaxing and watching the local wildlife.
The Coach House can be found on a peaceful, picturesque spot, on the owner’s working sheep farm, where she also keeps llamas and horses. The area is great for walking and riding, located close to the Preseli Hills, and near to where the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and northern route of the Wales Coast Path meet.
Local attractions include outdoor pursuits such as dolphin-watching, kayaking, horse riding and golf, while you can also enjoy yourself at the many local historical sites such as St Dogmaels Abbey, the amenities to be found in the historic town of Cardigan, and the lovely beaches from only three miles away.
What is the story behind The Coach House?
The Coach House was converted into a holiday letting cottage in 1988, from an original coach house. It was so designed as to make the best of the surrounding countryside, as the open plan lounge/kitchen areas has varied views from the upstairs windows, with the bedroom being downstairs.
The property forms part of my small holding at Colwyn, St Dogmaels, which has a long history – a battle between the English and Welsh took place here in the 11th century. Colwyn is at least 500 years old and is surrounded by 33 acres of permanent grazing for breeding sheep. They share the farm with 2 horses, a pony and 4 llamas. Colwyn is also a former mill, and includes the remains of the mill leat and mill race, with the millstones and wheel scrapped in the 1960’s.
What do visitors like to do when they stay at The Coach House?
Most visitors come to enjoy the peace and quiet The Coach House has to offer. Walking the
Pembrokeshire Coast Path is a favourite and they are keen to see the Cardigan Bay dolphins and seals. Many enjoy a day on the beach at Poppit Sands and other picturesque bays within easy reach. Other guests are fascinated by the variety of wildlife, birds and bats, as well as stargazing. Most visitors like to meet the llamas, and are interested to learn about them, and possibly take them for walks in our quiet lanes tracks and to the village, where they attract a lot of attention.
Ann Davies’ llamas at home
Can you tell us a bit about owning llamas and how you came to share your life with them on the farm?
The suggestion to have some llamas came from my sister, who said they have lovely eyes and would look nice in the fields by the house. So I did some research, and hey ho, there were llamas for sale locally. They are great fun and never fail to make you smile; visitors have the opportunity to take them out walking. I have enjoyed showing them, successfully winning rosettes. They are great field managers in that they eat unwanted vegetation, and they are supposed to be guard animals at lambing time, but I think they are too used to seeing foxes, and badgers.
People ask me about the fibre (fleece but that is incorrect!) – I have a spinning wheel and I’m attempting to spin enough to knit a hat. Their fibre can also be woven into small rugs that are very hard wearing.
The Teifi below Cilgerran Castle
If you were a visitor to The Coach House, what would you do on an ideal day?
Personally I would explore the local area and take a walk on the coastal path, or in the Preseli Hills, seeking out historical sights of which there are many. There are some woodland walks nearby and the river gorge below Cilgerran Castle is well worth a visit. For the more adventurous, a trip to St Davids and the South Pembrokeshire coast is only an hour’s drive away, or north towards Aberystwyth makes a good day out.
What do you like best about letting The Coach House?
I have made many new friends of guests that have stayed in The Coach House. I enjoy meeting new people and sharing the wonderful environment of West Wales, and that they go home feeling relaxed and satisfied with what I have on offer here. I have a lot of local knowledge and can pass onto visitors the best places to visit. It’s very satisfying to know that most visitors to The Coach House appreciate the beauty of the area and express a desire to return.
Check availability and find out more about The Coach House.