Win a holiday at Bwthyn Creigiau!

There are less than 3 weeks to go, so don’t hang around! On Wednesday, 9 June, we will be announcing the lucky winner of a holiday in Bwthyn Creigiau!

A collage of photos of the inside and outside of the holiday cottage Bwthyn Creigiau

The prize will be a 3-night out-of-season stay for up to 6 people and a baby in this old barn and piggery dating back to 1710, renovated into a beautifully designed, easy access holiday cottage.

bwthyn-creigiau 600

This 3-bedroom converted barn at Llangain in South Carmarthenshire is just 10 minutes from the beach at Llansteffan on Carmarthen Bay and 5 minutes from the All Wales Coast Path which passes through Green Castle Woods. If you are a fan of castles, Llansteffan Castle will be sure to give you the wow factor!Llansteffan Castle

What did others have to say?

“We have spent a wonderful week here ! What a charming and comfortable cottage, with everything you could need. The surroundings are lovely and the Vickridges are clearly taking great pride in caring for them – we enjoyed watching and listening to the birds tempted by the gardens. The cottage was great for us and the location meant you felt tucked away in the evenings, but other places are easily accessible for trips out. Our particular favourites were, The National Botanical Gardens, Folly Farm (fab day for the children) and Tenby with its picturesque beaches (we went on the train from Carmarthen – which was well enjoyed by the girls). Thanks again for a truly lovely stay – we hope to be back again!” – Thomas, Laura, Emily, Martha & Helen, March 2016

To see full details of the cottage including live availability and prices, view Bwthyn Creigiau on our website.

If you haven’t yet entered the free prize draw, fill in the entry form now for your chance to win a holiday in Bwthyn Creigiau. The winner will be able to choose any 3-night stay from 1 October 2016 to 31 March 2017 outside school holidays, subject to the dates being available. Limited to one entry per person, closing date 9 June 2016. The winning entry will be drawn at random on Friday 10 June.

Good luck!

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Walking inspiration with outstanding views

May is National Walking Month so here is some inspiration for walks amid fantastic scenery in West Wales. Four walks that offer something for everyone, whether you’re a novice or not!

1. Ready, set, walk!: Ffynone Falls, Carmarthenshire

Around 30 minutesFfynone Falls

Walk from the Ffynone Falls car park through the woods to the waterfall. Have a paddle and take in the scenery before making your way back along the same route.

2. Go further: Bosherston Lily Ponds Adventure Walk, Pembrokeshire

Around 1 hourBosherston Lily Ponds in bloom

Walk along the eastern arm of the flourishing Bosherston Lily Ponds to a viewpoint over Broad Haven South Beach.

3. You’re getting ahead: Ragwen Point Walk, Carmarthenshire

Around 2 hoursPendine beach

A cliff-top walk to a secluded bay with breathtaking views from Pendine.  Along the walk you will pass Gilam Point where there is an Iron Age hill-fort.

4. Make a day of it: Cardigan to Mwnt circular walk, Ceredigion

Around 4.5 hoursThree images of Mwnt: the beach, the chapel and the hill, Mwnt itself

Explore the coastal path from Cardigan to the famous area of Mwnt, taking in the views of the Teifi Estuary and possibly spotting a dolphin or two.  Choose to rest half way at Mwnt, either on the beach, or if you’re feeling energetic, you might like to take advantage of the breathtaking views from the top of the hill.

Whatever you decide to do this May, don’t forget to walk! Walking is not only good for the body, but it is also good for the soul. Time to blow away the cobwebs and do something great! If you need help with accommodation, we can help you find your perfect self-catering resting spot in either Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire or Ceredigion… and some even have walks from the door!

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It’s Mother Earth Day! Earn rewards by glamping the ‘green’ way!

Today is Mother Earth Day and people across the globe are responsible for spreading the word and inspiring others to treat our spherical ball of wonder with extra care, not just for today, but for all 365 days in the year!

While some are planting trees and researching ways to shrink their ozone destroying footprints, we wanted to show you an opportunity to go green with a difference!

The Ceridwen Green Cauldron Scheme is aimed at holidaymakers staying at the Ceridwen Centre site, 5 miles from Newcastle Emlyn in Carmarthenshire. Recycling spaces, labelled bins and explanatory signs are all provided but you’ll have to impress the owners by following all the waste and recycling guidelines in return for a Ceridwen Green Cauldron sticker. If you return to Ceridwen this sticker can be exchanged for goods – like local beers, a pizza voucher for one of the pizza nights, an organic veggie box and more.

Discounted prices have been added to some accommodation for late availability to celebrate the occasion! A mix of earning rewards by caring for the environment and laying your head down in some of the funkiest glamping spots around, here are some accommodation options to consider during your ‘Mission Compostable’!

1. Go wild, choose yurting!

Choose from Damson Yurt, Wild Garlic Yurt or Afallon. All sleep 2 adults, 2 children, a baby and your dog is welcome too!Yurt in field plus image of interior and view through the roof

 2. Shake it up, pick the Hop Shack!

The Hop Shack is one of the quirkiest shacks we’ve seen, perfect for a couple or a family. With room for 4+ cot and two dogs, this is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of a stressful life!Cladded shack at the Ceridwen Centre

 3. Hilltop romance! Roll into the Gypsy Cwtch!

Quite possibly the most romantic spot in Carmarthenshire! Set at the top of a valley, Gypsy Cwtch sleeps 2 adults, 1 child and your dog!Gypsy Cwtch at the Ceridwen Centre

 4. Cwtch up at Caban Bach!

If you’re a couple looking to set yourselves in rural surroundings, this new eco pod is for you.  Caban Bach sleeps 2 and your dog!Caban Cwtch at the Ceridwen Centre

We hope we have inspired you this Mother Earth Day, good planets are hard to find, go green!

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Will you #FindYourEpic in West Wales this weekend?

The weekend has arrived, and if ever you’ve needed an excuse to dust off your adventure hat or just pretend you’re Indiana Jones for the day, this is it!

This is no ordinary weekend in Wales, no, this is the official Weekend of Adventure.

April 2-3 sees Wales take on ordinary life, encouraging people to step outside of their ‘norm’ and try something new!

You don’t have to be an adrenaline fuelled junkie to join in (although we will want to see what you lot get up to), there’s something for everyone. Need some food for thought? Ideas are now being served by us at West Wales Holiday Cottages, Buon ‘Appadventure’!

10 New Adventures to Experience in West Wales

Try a new sport! Test your limits! Venture into the wild! Sit back and relax to new live music. Become an Iron Age villager for the day! Meet sealife, take a train ride into the past, or spend a night outside and wave at Tim Peake and the ISS. There are a host of new things you could try whilst visiting West Wales and this region offers some of the best locations for these activities.

1. Cycle the Celtic TrailA couple cycling the Celtic Trail in the sunshine

This 245 mile long road cycling challenge stretches from Chepstow to Fishguard. Not for the novice cyclist, it is a perfect way to take in the variety of scenes that is West and South Wales.

The Challenge has coastal and inland options and is split into eastern and western legs, stopping at Carmarthen on the latter. The coastal section is recommended for spectacular views and is suitable for hybrid or road bikes.

The alternative high-level inland route is more suited to a mountain bike, especially in places. Much of either route is away from traffic, with a lot of hill climbs to take in. There is so much to see along the way, and so many pubs to refresh yourself!

Website: http://cycle.travel/route/celtic_trail

2. Have a Taste of Wild Food ForagingHandful of mushrooms

The trend for foraging for your own food has been growing for a while now! Whether it be blackberrying or collecting samphire, there is a cornucopia out there waiting for you all year round. Wales also has some great sites for wild mushrooms, but only eat those that have been expertly identified.

Trehale Farm (01348 831037) takes you coastal foraging at Abermawr Beach. The Wild Bass Guide (07515 380169) specialises in bass lure angling and runs foraging and food days from May to October on the Pembrokeshire coast path. Wild About Pembrokeshire (01437 721035) is an informative website on the rules of wild foraging and offers courses for beginners, hedgerow foraging, seashore foraging and wild cooking. Wild Pickings, Ceredigion (01239 654021 provides courses and workshops with special events throughout the year. The next event, in April, focuses on wild spring greens whilst others include autumn collecting, coastal foraging and hedgerows.

3. Go Dolphin WatchingBottlenose Dolphin leaping in Cardigan Bay

Either take a lovely coastal walk and be lucky enough to spot a dolphin – or a whole pod of dolphins! – or take a boat trip out into the bay, where the dolphins are likely to come and find you! June to September is the best time to see them.

The biggest pod of dolphins in the UK can be found in Cardigan Bay. You are most likely to see dolphins between Cardigan Island and Aberporth, with key siting points at Mwnt, the promontory of Ynys Lochtyn, Newquay, Aberaeron and Poppit Sands. You may also see porpoise, seals, whales, orcas and basking sharks.

There are a range of tours available, departing from Gwbert, Poppit Sands, St Dogmaels, Cardigan, Newquay, St Justinians and Milford Haven. More information is available at the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre
(01545 560032). Tour guides include A Bay To Remember (01239 623558),
Newquay Boat Trips (01545 560800) and Blue Ocean Adventures (07432 262711).

4. Jump into CoasteeringA man jumping off a rock on the Pembrokeshire Coast

Experience the beautiful Welsh coastline in a whole new way with this adrenalin-filled sport. A combination of sea swimming, cliff walking, rock scrambling and cliff jumping allows you to explore secret beaches, caves, sea stacks and reefs which would otherwise be inaccessible.

Experiences range in length and are tailored to your needs and experience. Trained professionals ensure your safety and provide you with the necessary equipment to ensure you enjoy your day. Fun for all (over the age of 8), whether water-confident adrenalin junkies or complete beginners!

Some reputable firms include the award-winning Celtic Quest Coasteering (01348 881530), Preseli Venture (01348 837709), licensed to use National Trust coastlines, Cardigan Bay Active (01239 612133) and The Big Blue Adventure (07816 169359), running boat-based adventures from Haverfordwest.

5. Visit a Music FestivalYoung people at a music festival in the sunshine

For a weekend of great live music, why not visit one of the many local music festivals in West Wales? There are a variety of different festivals, ranging in genre and scale.

The Fire In The Mountain Festival (3-5 June) is in Aberystwyth. Perfect for lovers of bluegrass, country and folk music, with a huge number of bands from the US, Scotland and Wales. With well-known performers alongside local talent, Fishguard Folk Festival (27-30 May) consists of concerts and ceilidhs as well as workshops and family events.

Fishguard International Music Festival runs from 21 July to 2 August, showcasing classical recitals and concerts. Llandeilo Music Festival (9-17 July) has predominantly classical music. AberJazz Festival in Fishguard is on 25-29 August. These are just a sample of what is available!

Finally, The Big Cwtch (10 September) is an award-winning, fun-packed, and excitingly different charity music and food festival, set in Crugybar, Carmarthenshire. It has a great Welsh line-up, a variety of places to eat and drink and activities for adults and children alike!

6. Saddle up for some Mountain BikingCycling in the Cambrian Mountains

High in the Cambrian Mountains and in sight of Cardigan Bay, Bwlch Nant yr Arian is the perfect place for mountain biking in the beautiful Welsh countryside. Whether a beginner, or an experienced biker keen to try your mettle, this is one of the best mountain biking locations in West Wales.

There are a variety of grades of trail, including three of the best in Wales. They range from 5 to 35km in length, for different levels of experience, all of them signposted. Disabled access includes the vicinity of the Centre and one trail winding around the beautiful lake.

The site has an award-winning Visitor Centre, two play areas, Shop and Cafe with great food, located nine miles east of Aberystwyth. The Visitor Centre is open all week 10am – 5pm. No bike hire available on site. Check out their website for details on safety guidelines, necessary equipment and trail info.

Telephone number: 01970 890453

Website: https://naturalresources.wales/out-and-about/places-to-go/mid-wales/bwlch-nant-yr-arian-forest-visitor-centre

7. Become an Iron Age VillagerChildren dressed in ironage villager clothing at Castell Henllys

Castell Henllys near Cardigan is great fun for families and as close to time travel as you can get, set in beautiful Welsh countryside. Reconstructed roundhouses, Iron Age livestock and a host of things to do, set high up in 30 acres of woodland and pasture, take you back into prehistory.

Once part of the Demetae tribe, with a community of up to 100 people, this village is set EXACTLY where it once stood over 2000 years ago. Practice being an Iron Age warrior and learn the art of warfare, meet a villager and hear about her daily life, and hear stories of the past around the campfire.

Facilities include a picnic site, childrens’ play area, maze, and a Visitor Centre with shop, cafe and exhibitions. The hillfort is accessed up a steep track from the Centre. Disabled parking closer to the site and a site vehicle also aids access. Open Monday to Friday, see website for details on special events.

Telephone number: 01239 891319

Website: http://www.pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk/default.asp?PID=261

8. Go StargazingA sky of stars above a mountian

West Wales offers some of the best unpolluted night skies in the UK. If you can access a telescope or even pair of binoculars then even better! Jupiter’s moons and the Orion nebula are both visible through a large pair of binoculars but there is plenty to spot without one. Or, if lucky, spot the International Space Station pass overhead, best seen at dusk.

Some of the best stargazing sites (identified by the UK Dark Sky Discovery Partnership) include the National Botanical Gardens of Wales and Broadhaven South car park (which host events), Kete and Martins Haven National Trust car parks, and Newgale, Penbryn and Poppit Sands beaches.

Exciting astronomical events include Jupiter at Opposition (8 March), with its four moons, cloud bands and red spot. A highlight on 9 May is the very rare transition of Mercury – watch this tiny planet cross the face of the sun (a daytime event!), but always use special solar filters, or make a pinhole camera. The Perseids Meteor Shower is on 12-13 August with up to 60 an hour, Jupiter and Venus are in conjunction on 27 August at sunset, while 13-14 December hosts the Geminids Meteor Shower – the biggest and brightest of the year!

9. Travel by Steam Railway at GwiliA steam train on the Geili Railway

Take a ride into the past on this atmospheric railway, once part of the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth line, up through pretty steep-sided valleys, past historical features showing the industrial history of rural Wales. Industrial and wartime rolling stock paint a picture of life when the trains ran passengers and goods regularly up and down the track.

With a new stretch only opened in 2015 allowing passengers to see the Gwili Falls once more, the railway now twists and turns over and alongside the bubbling River Gwili for 4 miles, from Bronwydd up towards Danycoed. Enjoy riverside picnic spots, woodland walks, and wildlife along the way.

At Llywfan Cerrig there is a Miniature Railway, a weir and a platform where quarried stone was once loaded onto the train. The final halt at Bronwydd Arms has a Museum, Shop, the Gwili Tea Rooms and Signal Box. Special events and train times are listed on their website.

Telephone number: 01267 238213

Website: http://www.gwili-railway.co.uk/

10. Experience a Food FestivalThree women eating at a Food Festival

There is a wealth of delicious food out there for you to sample! As well as the traditional Barabrith and Welsh cakes, West Wales has so much more to offer from quality farm and local business produce. Specialities include Salt-Marsh lamb with its beautiful salty-sweet flavour, organic fruit and veg and Cambrian Mountain Lamb.

West Wales’ long coastline makes it a haven for seafood lovers. Pembrokeshire Fish Week celebrates all things fish from 25 June to 3 July. Milford Haven Fish Festival (25 June) is the main event, with chef demonstrations and chowder trail. The harbourside Cardigan Bay Seafood Festival in Aberaeron (3 July) celebrates local lobster, crab and mullet.

Cardigan River and Food Festival (6 August) has been a growing attraction. It concentrates on the quality and diversity of local food producers, with award-winning cheese and rare breeds, and family fun. Lampeter Food Festival (23 July) has many stalls, cookery demonstrations and other entertainment for all the family while Narberth Food Festival is on 24-25 September.

The Really Wild Food Festival at St David’s (28-29 May) is Winner of the Best Pembrokeshire Day Out Award. With the sea as a backdrop, this fun festival is all about the countryside, what you can forage and how to cook it. The Big Cwtch 10 September) is a great festival showcasing local music and local food. Finally, Aberystwyth Christmas Food and Craft Fair in November celebrates Welsh produce and give you a chance to find a few Christmas presents!

We can help you find the perfect place to stay in West Wales, whether it be a cottage in Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire or Pembrokeshire, and if your four legged friend fancies an adventure too, we have tons of dog friendly cottages to choose from!

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Don’t miss it! Pembrokeshire wildlife stars in tonight’s BBC Springwatch!

Charting the fortune of Pembrokeshire’s beautiful wildlife, Springwatch at Easter at 9pm on BBC2 tonight promises an enthralling hour-long episode based on the world-famous plants and animals around our coast. The programme will be coming from Stackpole and will feature some of our favourite Pembrokeshire spots such as Broad Haven Beach, Skomer Island and Freshwater East.

Spring has come about in a strange way in West Wales this year, following an exceptionally mild winter. Snowdrops shot up as early as the beginning of February in some regions and it didn’t stop there: daffodils, magnolia, fuchsias and even bluebells made an early appearance too. Tonight’s show will explain the full impact the mild weather had on our wildlife.

Spring flowers daffodils and snowdrops in bloomThe episode will also launch the BBC’s big volunteering campaign ‘Springwatch: Do Something Great!’, encouraging viewers to get involved in voluntary activities aimed at providing UK wildlife with a helping hand.

Presenters Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan will launch the campaign by joining in on a beach clean-up at Freshwater West, a popular beach in Pembrokeshire. They will take a look at how plastics are damaging the environment and what people can do to help.

Meanwhile, following the closure of Skomer Island for the winter, Martin Hughes-James will be taking part in an island ‘spring clean’ and discovering the effects the winter has had on the island’s wildlife.

Sit back, relax, turn on your televisions tonight and let this Easter special from the BBC inspire you to get out and Do Something Great! Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast or you just like pretty birds, there’s plenty you can do to join in!Red kite in flight over West WalesIf you find yourself enchanted by what you see and you’re itching to pack your binoculars and head to the area yourself, then don’t forget that we can help you find the perfect spot to unwind after a full day of exploring.  Whether you choose to search for cottages in Pembrokeshire, escape to a cottage in Ceredigion or if you’d prefer to relax at a cottage in Carmarthenshire you will not be disappointed with the wildlife on offer in the area.  If you can’t leave the dog behind, there are tons of dog friendly cottages in all those areas too.

A pair of Puffins on a cliff-top at Skomer Isalnd

To find out more about the best times and places to see the beautiful birds of West Wales, take a look at our Birdwatching guide.

Will you head to Skomer Island between April and July to spot the puffins that take ownership of the cliff-tops? Will you follow the trails through the Welsh Wildlife Centre to see kingfishers? Will you choose to hand-feed the rarest goose in the world at Llanelli Wetland Centre?

Whatever you decide, we wish you all the very best with your wildlife adventures this spring!

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Big Adventures for Small People in Pembrokeshire

For a big day out and lots of fun, why not let your children take you to one of these 6 famous Pembrokeshire attractions? From natural wildlife to exotic animals, prehistoric ‘monsters’ to the thrill of the roller-coaster, there are so many places offering a perfect adventurous day out for children – and you’ll probably have a fantastic time too!

If you would like to visit these places but haven’t booked your holiday yet, why not take a look at our holiday cottages in Pembrokeshire to find the one that’s just perfect for you and your little adventurers?

Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo, Tenby, Pembrokeshire

Oooh Argghh! Be a pirate in Folly Farm's Pirate Play Area

Winners of the 2015 Best Day Out in Wales and Pembrokeshire award, Folly Farm is great for a family day out, and for those who enjoy meeting exotic animals. Whatever the weather there is always something to see and do.

Meet endangered animals and learn about its captive breeding programme. Including over 50 species of animal, highlights include the Giraffe House and the rare Bongo and Fossa breeds. The Jolly Barn and Farm hosts a variety of farmyard birds and animals such as pigs and sheep while Cwtch Corner gives a more hands-on experience with Chick Incubators and Goat Milking.

Indoor and Outdoor Adventure Playgrounds ensure your children have fun whatever the weather, there is a Vintage indoor fairground, and Follies Theatre has showings including the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra. Alternatively, ride around the outdoor enclosures, deer park and nature trails on the Land Train.

Opportunities for refreshments are found in the Funfair Restaurant, Carousel Café or Burger Bar, the Coffee Shop, and the Dog and Duck Bar.

Entry free for children under 2! Half price entry if you return within the week. Buy online tickets for a discount.

For opening times and ticket prices, visit the Folly Farm website or phone 01834 812731.

Oakwood Theme Park, Pembrokeshire

Children on the Croc Coaster ride in Oakwood's Neverland

This gigantic park is packed with rides of all shapes and sizes. There are over 20 different rides to try, including the Treetops Coaster, Snake River Falls, Journey to Neverland and the terrifying Megafobia.

The park has different rides for different groups. Family activities include a boating lake, gold-panning and mini-golf. Special night-time events every Wednesday and Saturday in August with fireworks, live bands and access to the rides in the dark!

There are a variety of places to eat including the Oak Tree Bar and Grill, the Little Darlings Café with a range of sandwiches and cakes, and Pit Stop, selling hot dogs.

Free entry for children under 3! Group rates available. Book online and save on your entry fee. There is a kennel outside the park for those with dogs.

For opening times and ticket prices, visit the Oakwood Theme Park website or phone 01834 815170.

Dinosaur Park Tenby, Pembrokeshire

Perfect day out, Pembrokeshire Dinosaur Park

For an exciting and informative day out, travel back in time at the Dinosaur Park and get up close and personal with a T Rex! Go on the Dinosaur Trail and learn about the Stegosaurus, Brachiosaurus and Triceratops.

The Dinosaur Park is fun for all ages and offers a variety of activities, including Bubble Rides, Slides, and Motorised Tractors. Try the Outdoor Playground, Games Garden, Frisbee and Adventure Golf, and life-size Snakes and Ladders. In wet weather, there is still lots to do in the Indoor Playground with Fossil Hunts, Ball Pits and soft play slides.

The Ribcage Café serves tempting hot and cold refreshments, while the Information Centre will answer any questions you might have on how dinosaurs lived ‘in the wild’. Visit the Gift Shop for your souvenir from the day. Parties can book the Playden for a fun-filled birthday.

Free entry for hildren under 3! Reduced price for returns within the week. Disabled access. No dogs allowed.

For opening times and ticket prices, visit the Dinosaur Park website or phone 01834 845272.

Heatherton World of Activities Tenby, Pembrokeshire

Bumper Boat fun in Pembrokeshire

Looking for somewhere for children to let off steam? For an action-packed adventure, with a huge choice of activities, this is the place for you! Highlights include GoKarts, Bowling, a free Climbing Wall, Zip Lines, Archery, Adventure Playgrounds, a Maze and so much more. 

Refreshments are available at the Triangle Restaurant, Sizzler BBQ for fast food, the Craft Shack Cafe and Coffee Shop. There is also a free outdoor playground, the Tree Tops Trail where you can have an adrenalin-packed adventure, and a Shop. School groups are also welcome.

Heatherton World of Activities operates a free admission, pay-when-you-play policy. Disabled and First Aid facilities available. Children’s birthday parties and Stag and Hen parties catered for. Dogs are permitted if on the lead, but not in the restaurants.

For opening times and ticket prices, visit the Heatherton World of Activities website or phone 01646 652000.

Manor House Wildlife Park, Tenby, Pembrokeshire

Anna_and_Jimmy-with-logo

Also known as Anna’s Welsh Zoo, this is a really lovely day out for all the family! Set in 52 acres, the zoo offers a chance to meet animals in an environment as close to their natural habitat as possible. Look out for the baby Meerkats and Lemurs!

Highlights include the Southern White Rhinos; the ancient horse breed, the Przewalski; and the endangered Sumatran Tiger. You can also walk through the Wallaby and Lemur enclosures and visit the traditional African village surrounded by chickens and goats.

Attractions include daily animal talks and feeding sessions, an educational wildlife trail and several outdoor play areas. On rainy days visit the indoor Hay-Play, Face-Painting and Climbing Wall.

Owned by Anna Ryder-Richardson and her husband since 2008, the focus is on conservation, education and animal welfare. The zoo also protects the local Welsh wildlife and habitat, and is part of an international breeding programme.

Amenities include a picnic area, “Snack Shack”, café and shop. Baby-changing facilities. Disabled facilities and the entire park is accessible by wheelchair. No dogs permitted.

For opening times and ticket prices, visit the Manor House Wildlife Park website or phone 01646 651201.

Clerkenhill Adventure Farm, Pembrokeshire

Wooden play castle at Clerkenhill Adventure Farm

A day out with a difference, Clerkenhill has a wide choice of activities for you to try. Play Frizbee Golf and Crazy Golf, explore the timber adventure castle, or enjoy a peaceful picnic, all in the lovely Welsh countryside, 5 miles east of Haverfordwest.

There are nature trails with a range of habitats, through woods and across fields. Meet pigs, ponies, sheep and reptiles, visit the undercover play area with small tractor track, ride on GoKarts and pet the small animals.

Room hire is available for children’s parties and school groups, with information packs available. Stag and Hen parties and YHC groups can also be catered for in the evenings. There is a café with refreshments, including lunch and cream teas, and a shop.

Free entry for children under 2! Dogs welcome if kept on the lead.

For opening times and ticket prices, visit the Clerkenhill Adventure Farm website or phone 01437 751227.

Happy adventuring!

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Look at this family’s development – disabled access just got better!

It’s Disabled Access Day today so we thought we’d share something a little special! If you’re looking to try something new in the spirit of this national awareness celebration, then this is for you!

Although disabled access probably shouldn’t even be an issue, so many businesses and venues across the UK and even Europe are really making the effort to conquer the problem – which is really great news!

Here it is…

Presenting Bwthyn Creigiau, and old barn and piggery dating back to 1710, renovated into a beautifully designed, easy access cottage with a sensory garden and facilities especially designed for those who are less able.

Bwthyn Creigiau

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to know more? Here is the owners’ story and after that, get ready to set your eyes on the transformation from old barn to accessible, contemporary comfort.

Owners’ story

“Our first visit to South Wales with our 2 young boys was the summer of 1997 where we stayed on a caravan site in Bury Port. Our youngest son had been diagnosed with leukaemia the year before aged 17 months. Leukaemia Care, an organisation offering support to families of children with cancer had caravans on various sites throughout the UK. We wanted some quiet time away so chose the small caravan site in Bury Port for our holiday.

“On our days out exploring we discovered the beautiful village, beach and treasures of Llansteffan and fell in love with the area instantly, so much that we returned for the next 9 years, 3 times a year, always disappointed when we had to leave and excited on our return. We explored different avenues of how we could spend more time here – buying a caravan, joint purchase of a house with family, none of which were viable. However we could move down lock, stock and barrel, and that is what we did.

“On our property search we had decided that we wanted to buy a house with potential of renovating or converting existing buildings into accessible holiday flat/cottage, providing comfort and space. We knew from our own experience how the whole family needed to be nurtured/spoilt through their periods of tremendous stress and exhaustion.

“It took us 3 years to move so South West Wales, never giving up, it was a very deep rooted feeling that this was meant to be. We finally found our house and moved in Dec 2006. After much hard work we completed the cottage in 2014, our first year has been very successful and immensely enjoyable. We have had many wonderful compliments from our guests. This has inspired us to consider whether to further develop our business especially with the lack of facilities for the less able customer.”

The transformation

When the ‘before’ images landed in our inbox, we could hardly believe our eyes.  We clicked through and through, comparing what used to house pigs with what is now a beautifully presented facility for 6, accessible to everyone.  See for yourself!

From this:

Before images of Bwthyn Creigiau before renovation

To this:

Bwthyn Creigiau after the renovation

Tell me more?

If, like us, you have fallen in love with with this cottage on the Carmarthenshire coast and want to take a closer look, watch the video tour.

Previous guests have really enjoyed staying at Bwthyn Creigiau, find out what they thought in the guestbook.

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5 Top Heritage Sites To Visit In Pembrokeshire

Whether you’re in West Wales for a winter break or a summer holiday, visits to our historic sites are a real highlight – a wonderful day out whatever the weather. Here are our top 5 of the must-see heritage sites in Pembrokeshire, each with different attractions to inspire your imagination and fill your day with fun. 

Castell Henllys

Castell Henllys Iron Age huts set amongst trees

Come and visit a real live Iron Age village! Set high up on a hilltop and surrounded by woodland and lovely countryside, Castell Henllys is an example of living history and particularly fun for families, as well as amateur and not-so-amateur archaeologists! These huge roundhouses with their central hearths and thatch roofs reaching almost to the ground are archaeology brought to life, with the excavated structures recreated exactly where they once stood thousands of years ago.

Once part of the Demetae tribe, the village would have originally been a community of up to 100 people. It consists of four roundhouses and a Granary. Now set among 30 acres of woodland and river meadows, the site includes a children’s play area, maze and riverside picnic site. There is prehistoric livestock grazing around the site, including Iron Age pigs, and local wildlife includes otters, bats and swallows.

Activities include baking bread Iron Age-style, learning how to wattle and daub, spear-throwing, storytelling, costumed guided tours and experimental archaeology. The Visitor’s Centre features some interactive exhibitions, a shop and a café. The hillfort is accessed up a steep track from the Centre but there is disabled parking closer to the site and a site vehicle also aids access. Open Monday to Friday, Young Archaeologist Club members go free!

For more details: phone 01239 891319 or visit Castell Henllys website.

St Davids Cathedral

Exterior of St Davids Cathedral

Perfect for rainy days and with much to explore, this site is steeped in Welsh Christian history. A church has been here since the 6th century when St David founded a monastery. Work started on the present cathedral in 1181, with the Bishop’s Palace built 1328-47. In its history it has been attacked by Vikings, visited by William the Conqueror and Henry II, and suffered during the Restoration under the reign of Henry VIII.

Notable features include Edmund Tudor’s tomb near the high altar and the West Front, rebuilt by Nash. The Cathedral once held the relics of St David and St Justinian, but these were confiscated along with the jewels from St David’s shrine in order to prevent any “superstitions” from forming.

The Treasury displays artefacts associated with worship in the cathedral, including Bishops’ rings and croziers, many dating to the 13th and 14th centuries. The Library contains a leaf from a 12th-century manuscript and its oldest book dates to AD1505.

The Cathedral and its recreated Cloisters are set within the Cathedral Close, itself surrounded by 14th-century walls that once included four Gatehouses. The Tower Gatehouse is the only one to remain and now houses the collection of archaeological stonework related to the site, with the Bishop’s Dungeons below it.

Other interesting structures to explore are the 13th-century Bell Tower and its ten bells, and the striking remains of the Bishop’s Palace, adjacent to the Cathedral. This extensive building includes a beautiful oriel window, decorative stonework, plasterwork, staircases and medieval tiles still visible amid the ruins.

Open from 9.00-5.30, depending on winter services. Regular guided tours in the summer, further tours available on request. The Cathedral Refectory serves home-made refreshments. Disabled access and facilities, with a wheelchair for hire at Reception.

For more details: phone 01437 720202 or visit the St Davids Cathedral website.

Pembroke Castle

View of Pembroke Castle across the river

One of the most spectacular castles in West Wales, this is an exciting day out for all the family. Set on a promontory half-surrounded by the waters of the Pembroke Estuary, this site provides a glimpse into medieval castle life. Once the birthplace of Harri Tewdwr in 1457, later Henry VII of England, there are lots of features to discover, with several stories still standing and many roofed sections still intact.

The site dates from the 11th century, with the inner bailey the first feature to be constructed by Arnulf de Montgomery in 1093. The Castle was reconstructed entirely in the 12th and 13th centuries in stone by William Marshall, who later became Earl of Pembroke in 1189.

It has withstood sieges by the Welsh in the late-11th century and later by Roundheads and Royalists in turn, and is the only castle in Britain to be built over a cave, the natural stone Wogan Cavern. Other features include the Gatehouse with its barbican and three portcullises, and the Great Keep, as well as many corridors and staircases to explore.

Entertainment at Pembroke includes Living History days, Falconry, Brass-rubbing, Circus Days with juggling and stilt-walking, and opportunities to meet Baby Dragons from the Welsh Marches! Another striking feature is the Great Map of Wales, set out in the castle interior, and is great fun to run across. There are also Pythonesque plays, a Knight’s School, and Concert weekends that include ABBA Tributes and Jools Holland.

Facilities include a café for lunch – or bring your own picnic – and Castle Shop and Exhibition Rooms. Open all year round apart from 24-26 December and 1 January, see website for details. Group discounts available and well-behaved dogs allowed in on the lead (apart from shop and cafe). Children under 3 go free!

For more details: phone 01646 684585 or visit the Pembroke Castle website.

Caldey Island

Caldey Abbey on Caldey Island

A short boat ride from Tenby Harbour off the Pembrokeshire coast, this site is perfect for those wanting a quiet and relaxing day out in a beautiful setting. Visit this modern working Cistercian monastery and learn about monastic life now and as it was in the past.

The island has been inhabited since the Stone Age and a monastery has been here for the last thousand years. You can visit the Old Priory and two medieval churches, St David’s and St Illtud’s, and there are regular monastic services each day, held in the Abbey Church. A Video Centre and free guided walks provide information on life on the island and its history.

Other attractions include the chocolate factory, where you can watch the monks at work and buy their chocolate, shortbread and fudge, and the Perfume Shop where hand-made perfumes can be tried and purchased. Alternatively you can enjoy a peaceful picnic on the sandy beach at Priory Bay, perfect for children, and take a walk through the pretty village or up to the Lighthouse for views across the Gower peninsula and towards Lundy Island.

Other amenities include the Post Office, with a museum detailing the history of the island and its inhabitants. The Tea Gardens provide refreshments all day and there are also baby changing and disabled facilities.

Opening dates and times are on their website. Tickets can be obtained from a kiosk in Tenby Harbour. There are frequent sailings each day with seasonal sailing times.

For more details: phone 01834 844453 or visit the Caldey Island website.

Carew Castle and Tidal Mill

 

Carew Castle viewed from across the Carew River

The impressive Elizabethan facade of this former Norman castle stands out on the banks of Carew River estuary, viewed across the millpond by the Tidal Mill. Set in the peaceful countryside surrounded by pasture, resident bats have caused it to become a designated SSSI. This is a great opportunity to explore a medieval castle, take a walk, watch for wildlife and learn about the only restored Welsh tidal mill.

Carew Castle was first built in the Norman period in earth and timber, when Gerald de Windsor, the Constable of Pembroke Castle for Henry I, decided to build his own fortification. It was rebuilt in stone and later added to in the late-fifteenth century by Sir Rhys ap Thomas, with a large number of sixteenth-century additions transforming the castle into an Elizabethan manor. It was abandoned in 1686.

Surviving features include kitchens, chapel, towers and gatehouses, the Lesser Hall and the solar. The Lesser Hall was for entertaining, whilst the bedchamber above has a fireplace depicting Henry VII’s coat of arms. Elsewhere you will find the coat of arms of Prince Arthur and his wife Catherine of Aragon. The Elizabethan extension features large windows and the remains of the Long Gallery and there is an Elizabethan Walled Garden to explore outside. The site is also said to be haunted – by the beautiful Princess Nest, daughter of Rhys ap Tewder the King of Deheubarth, and by the ghost of a barbary ape!

Amenities include several beautiful picnic spots, Visitor Centre, The Castle Shop, The Mill Shop selling locally-milled flour, local honey and the equipment for crab-catching in the Mill Pond. This is also a good place to spot birds in the estuary, including kingfishers and sandpipers. Both shops sell refreshments. Nearby is an early Christian cross dedicated to Maredudd ap Edwin, an 11th-century Welsh prince.

Please see website for seasonal opening times. Disabled facilities and access to shops and Castle grounds, wheelchair available for hire. Free daily guided tours. Dogs allowed on a short lead.

For more details: phone 01646 651782 or visit the Carew Castle website.

Find your perfect holiday cottage in Pembrokeshire and start exploring!

We’d love to hear about your visit to these (or any other) Pembrokeshire heritage sites. Let us know how you got on by adding your comments below.

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Croeso – from all at Gelliddu!

Croeso (welcome) to Bwthyn Gelliddu!  Meet the award winning pedigree Holstein cows and see them being milked, help bottle feed a calf, say hello to the chocolate Labradors or collect eggs for breakfast; all part of a stay at  Bwthyn Gelliddu in South Carmarthenshire

Cow at Bwthyn Gelliddu

Relax in the hot tub after a day exploring the farm or surrounding area.  Guests at Bwthyn Gelliddu said:

“This cottage was absolutely stunning. It had a beautiful view which we enjoyed whilst sat in the lovely hot tub”

Hot tub at Gelliddu

The cottage sleeps 4 plus a baby in one double bedroom with a cot and one twin bedroom (super king if preferred).  One well-behaved pet is welcome.

Bedroom

Explore the beautiful South Carmarthenshire coast, visit Llansteffan Castle (photo below) or discover the magic of Laugharne with its famous attractions, all associated with the great Welsh poet and writer Dylan Thomas.

Llansteffan Castle

Bwthyn Gelliddu is a great base for trips into Pembrokeshire and the surrounding area. Visit historic Tenby, only 30 minutes away, Folly Farm, Oakwood Theme Park and The National Botanic Garden of Wales.

Tenby

Find more Carmarthenshire Coast Holiday Cottages 

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10 romantic cottages with a real fire

romantic fire in woodburner

On 25 January in West Wales, we celebrate St Dwynwen’s Day – the Welsh patron saint of lovers. It’s a day for romance, a day to show the one you love how much you care, perhaps by giving them a St Dwynwen’s Day card or a gift, traditionally a Welsh love spoon.

If you would love to spend some special time together, why not escape the winter blues with a getaway to magical West Wales? Imagine a romantic break with beach walks and pub lunches, enjoying time to talk without the interruptions of daily life and creating memories to share.

Here are 10 of our best cosy cottages for two, each with a log burner or fire so you can snuggle up together, toasty warm and hide from the wintry weather outside.

Leet Cottage, Little Haven, Pembrokeshire

King size bed in Leet Cottage

Enjoy romantic walks on the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast, stroll into Little Haven village with its pubs, cafes and pretty beach then retreat to the comfort and luxury of Leet Cottage.

Thyme Lodge, Cryngae Farm, Carmarthenshire

A beautifully converted barn, Thyme Lodge is a cosy retreat with everything you need for a romantic break.  Walk for miles in the surrounding countryside,  explore the beaches and coves along Cardigan Bay or just relax in front of the fire.

Danclawdd Cottage, Danclawdd, Pembrokeshire

Danclaudd Cottage

Guests at Danclawdd Cottage said: “Tucked away up a leafy lane, a comfy cottage perfectly situated to enjoy all that the North Pembrokeshire coast and countryside has to offer.” Walk to Foel Cwmcerwyn, the highest point of the Preseli Hills,  stroll to the pub or visit nearby Narberth for delicious food to enjoy back at your romantic hideaway.

Maes yr Afon, St Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire

Maes yr Afon

Full of character, Maes yr Afon is perfect for a romantic break with its traditional curtained box bed and cosy woodburner.   Find fresh bread, fish and chips and a choice of pubs in St Dogmaels.  Bringing your dog too? Dog-friendly Poppit Sands beach is nearby, your dog will love it!

Rectory Cottage, Cilrhedyn, Pembrokeshire

Rectory Cottage

Tranquil and secluded, Rectory Cottage is a luxurious country cottage for two in North Pembrokeshire.  Find sandy coves and fishing villages along Cardigan Bay to the north, the Preseli Hills and the delights of Pembrokeshire to the South.

Y Caban, Wig Farm, Llangrannog, Ceredigion

Y Caban

Leave the world behind on your romantic break at Y Caban.  A cosy log cabin with direct access to the woodland path to the beach and coastal path you can walk for miles or just relax and watch from the balcony as the Woodpecker, squirrels and Jays take turns at the feeders.

Glascoed Coach House, Whitland, Carmarthenshire

Glascoed Coach House

A romantic, king-size four poster bed, woodburner and use of the sauna and hot tub – you will just want to ‘stay in’ at Glascoed Coach House.   If you need to go out, the nearby Georgian town of Narberth offers delicious foods, individual shops, contemporary arts and crafts, and plenty of places to eat.

Ysgubor-y-Tanybryn, Tregaron, Ceredigion

Ysgubor-y-Tanybryn

Half a mile up a track with 2.5 acres of wild flower meadow, garden and woodland, Ysgubor-y-Tanybryn is the perfect place for a romantic break or a honeymoon.  Visit the ancient market town of Tregaron or explore the peaceful, unspoilt landscape of the Cambrian Mountains.

Gardener’s Cottage, Cardigan Castle, Ceredigion

Gardener's Cottage

What could be more romantic than staying in a castle? Gardener’s Cottage is a luxurious cottage for two in the grounds of Cardigan Castle, a unique, historic setting for a special holiday.  Roam around the castle grounds and restored gardens, explore the beauty of Cardigan Bay or enjoy the views from the castle walls.

Number 19, Cardigan, Ceredigion

Fire in woodburner at Number 19

Set in the heart of Cardigan, a small market town on the Teifi Estuary, this petite town house with honeyed oak floors, deep pile carpets and cool calm decor is perfect for a truly relaxing break for two – and their dog. Number 19 is perfect for returning home to after walks on Poppit Sands, the Coast Path and the Preseli Hills. With pubs, cafés and restaurants on your doorstep there’s no need to even cook dinner!

Wherever you choose to stay in West Wales, the beauty of the landscape will form the perfect backdrop to your romantic break and the warmth of the welcome will cheer you. Fall under the spell of magical West Wales and you will soon be planning your return.

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