- Thursday – Saturday – Brunch: 11am – 3pm / Dinner: 6pm – 9:30pm
- Sunday – Brunch: 11am – 3pm
- Dinefwr Castle10:00 – 16:00
- Billiard Room Restaurant10:00 – 18:00
- Boardwalk10:00 – 17:00
- Deer-park10:00 – 17:00
- Grounds10:00 – 18:00
- Newton House10:00 – 18:00
- Parkland10:00 – 18:00
- Shop10:00 – 18:00
- Skomer One of the best places to see bluebells in Wales – plus of course the puffins and other sea birds.
- Castle Woods at Dinefwr near Llandeilo.
- Aberglasney a very special place with some beautiful gardens.
- Dinas Nature reserve for those who love birds especially.
- Colby which is only half an hour away.
- Springwoods at The National Botanic Gardens of Wales near Carmarthen
A few days ago the wonderful display of Cardiff Poppies was unveiled in Cardiff Bay and this is on view until 24 September.
Why not stop off enroute to Old Oak Barn or on the way back if travelling up the M4. I am hoping to see them myself soon.
There has been some great coverage in the press
A cascade comprising several thousand handmade red ceramic poppies, Poppies: Weeping Window was originally seen pouring from a high window to the ground below at the Tower of London as part of the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red
image credit: Weeping Window at Y Senedd, the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff Photo credit: Geoff Caddick/PA Wire
We have space during the first weekend of the month but are full then until 29th of September. Those who have already booked their stay with us in September will have time to plan a visit to see them if interested.
Trip Advisor Cert Excellence 2017
Hooray! Old Oak Barn has been awarded the Trip Advisor Cert Excellence 2017. Thank you very much to the many visitors who have reviewed their stay here in the last 12 months. The world wide travel site works in mysterious ways – and requires, I believe owners like myself, to receive increasing numbers of positive reviews every year to be awarded the certificate. This is the third year in a row we have been recognised. Chuffed to bits!
We are open all year round and while during the summer months visitors normally stay for a week or a fortnight out of the main season we are flexible in offering short breaks of long weekends. Please visit the availability calendar to see what spaces we have left this year. Half Terms tend to get booked up weeks in advance as we do not specifically raise our prices for that week.
A warm welcome awaits you – and we are on hand to answer any questions you may have during your stay! One of the special things we are now known for are the displays of fresh flowers from our garden we always put in the barn for visitors.
Trip Advisor Cert Excellence 2017
There is so much to do in this part of Wales! If you would like to know more about summer activities available there is lots of information on this website. Explore the menu bar above for plenty of ideas and latest news.
have put together a great list of ideas mainly based in Pembrokeshire but some of these summer activities are very near Old Oak Barn.
is another good site to visit for ideas if you have children!
county itself is packed with things to do in the summer and all year round and we are very lucky here at Old Oak Barn to have so many attractions on the doorstep. The library at the top of King Street in the town is putting on lots of fun activities for little ones especially!
If looking for some more energetic action head off down for some coasteering fun in Pembrokeshire or an exhilarating boat ride around Ramsey Island.
Lane gets tarmacced
After nearly 30 years of repairing our bumpy lane at very regular intervals, in 2017 we took the big decision to get it tarmacced! The first week of July saw the arrival of my cousin from Berkshire Daniel Hazell to commence the work with his trusty crew! We were blessed with glorious weather that week and everything went smoothly. The pictures tell it all! We are chuffed our lane has finally got tarmacced! I think our many visitors will be surprised at how smooth the lane is. Now and no one will have to consider the welfare of their car anymore. I bet the postman is happy too!
The challenge has always been to keep the rainwater from damaging the lane. With the precision of the up to date machinery in applying the correct camber and slopes we are confident it will last for many years. Preparation was key and the initial digging out and getting smooth before the planings were laid down took over a day. Each section of the lane was rolled at least 4 times during the week with 2 different rollers each with different weight distribution.
Most of the machinery came down on lorries from Berkshire but an excavator was hired locally. The tarmac planings – 9 lorry loads of them were delivered in June from GD Harries – were infact from the A40 when it was resurfaced earlier this year. The granite chippings were delivered that week. It was a busy few days but we are well chuffed with the outcome and want to thank Dan for his great organisation and skillful workmanship. How lucky we were that on the Wednesday when the tarmac was being spread over the chippings temperatures reached 30 degrees here at Old Oak Barn. It was not only the flowers that were wilting in the heat!
Oriel Myrddin Art Gallery – Carmarthen
The Oriel Myrddin Art Gallery in Carmarthen has a fascinating exhibition on at the moment which runs until 8 July. I would recommend a visit whatever your age or interest and I am sure our visitors here at Old Oak Barn will call in. The gallery is easy to find being at the top of King Street in the older part of the town and parking couldn’t be easier either free at Lidl for an hour or so or at St Peter’s Car Park.
As part of the Ephemeral Coast series of exhibitions and events, Oceans: Surface/Below presents the work of United States-based artists Pam Longobardi and Diana Heise. Both artists use environmental mapping to consider the effects of plastic contamination, industrial fishing and habitat degradation within the world’s oceans. I visited on Saturday and left feeling very sad to see more evidence of the damage we are doing to the planet and in particular to imagine the mountains of plastic which contaminates the sea. We read a lot about the impact of plastic which ends up in the oceans of the world and the displays highlight this quite remarkably. While I was there a group of children were learning about this too – it cannot but fail to leave a lasting impression on their young minds.
Pam Longobardi, who herself nearly stayed with us here in the barn, collected materials from Llansteffan beach earlier in May and they are displayed in a glass cabinet – but for me the beauty of the central “nautical” display from plastics from Kefalonia overwhelmingly stole the show. I don’t think you could visit and not be unaffected.
In addition the scale of the pile of “life jackets” in the photos displayed as seen below which are mounting on a beach in Lesvos is shocking. The large flag display which is made from materials found on this famous island off the Turkish Coast must have taken hours to create and for me is also one of the highlights.
Oriel Myrddin Art Gallery Carmarthen
The exhibition runs until 8 July and the Oriel Myrddin Art Gallery which is supported by the Arts Council Wales is open between 10am and 5pm – Mon – Sat. Free admission.
In the past we have had visitors staying who have kindly undertaken bird counts and also identified flowers, plants and grasses for a plant count here at Old Oak Barn – This week it is the turn of Carmarthenshire Moths to come under the spotlight!
Check out more information here.
Our visitors this week from near Cardiff look to me to be experts in their field and asked prior to arrival if they could set up their moth recording equipment which includes a state of the art trap. By contributing moth sightings to the National Moth Recording Scheme (via Carmarthenshire County Moth Recorder), a picture of the distribution of each macro-moth species across the UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands is being built up.
Of course I said yes!
Such maps when plotted play a vital role in assessing the conservation status of species. By considering the rarity of each moth and, more importantly, whether the distribution of a species is increasing or declining over time, conservation priorities can be determined and action directed to the species at greatest risk. This aim sits very comfortably with our general values and ethos here on the farm and woodlands. It would be wonderful if they came back in 10 years time to do more recordings and by then they may even have the help of their little boy currently age only 17 months! Below is the initial record which I will add to in the future. By Wednesday 24 May a total of 60 species have been identified.
Thanks to Stephen for the photos he took this week which I have used here – please ask if you would like to use them.
Carmarthenshire Moths at Old Oak Barn in May
Species List for Moths Recorded at Old Oak Barn, May 2017
291 moths of 61 species recorded over three nights using a Skinner trap fitted with 2 x 15 W actinic light tubes.
|–||Cnephasia sp.||Cnephasia species micro moth|
|–||Eudonia sp.||Eudonia species micro moth|
|15.009||Caloptilia robustella||New Oak Slender|
|28.009||Endrosis sarcitrella||White-shouldered House-moth|
|28.010||Hofmannophila pseudospretella||Brown House-moth|
|40.013||Mompha locupletella||Red Cosmet|
|49.090||Eulia ministrana||Brassy Twist|
|63.052||Nomophila noctuella||Rush Veneer|
|65.002||Watsonalla binaria||Oak Hook-tip|
|65.005||Drepana falcataria||Pebble Hook-tip|
|65.007||Cilix glaucata||Chinese Character|
|65.013||Ochropacha duplaris||Common Lutestring|
|69.002||Smerinthus ocellata||Eyed Hawk-moth|
|69.003||Laothoe populi||Poplar Hawk-moth|
|70.009||Idaea subsericeata||Satin Wave|
|70.053||Xanthorhoe designata||Flame Carpet|
|70.075||Hydriomena impluviata||May Highflier|
|70.079||Thera britannica||Spruce Carpet|
|70.086||Electrophaes corylata||Broken-barred Carpet|
|70.094||Ecliptopera silaceata||Small Phoenix|
|70.100||Colostygia pectinataria||Green Carpet|
|70.151||Eupithecia pulchellata||Foxglove Pug|
|70.200||Acasis viretata||Yellow-barred Brindle|
|70.207||Lomaspilis marginata||Clouded Border|
|70.212||Macaria alternata||Sharp-angled Peacock|
|70.222||Petrophora chlorosata||Brown Silver-line|
|70.224||Plagodis dolabraria||Scorched Wing|
|70.226||Opisthograptis luteolata||Brimstone Moth|
|70.240||Odontopera bidentata||Scalloped Hazel|
|70.252||Biston betularia||Peppered Moth|
|70.278||Cabera exanthemata||Common Wave|
|70.280||Lomographa temerata||Clouded Silver|
|71.006||Furcula bicuspis||Alder Kitten|
|71.009||Stauropus fagi||Lobster Moth|
|71.010||Drymonia dodonaea||Marbled Brown|
|71.012||Notodonta dromedarius||Iron Prominent|
|71.013||Notodonta ziczac||Pebble Prominent|
|71.020||Pterostoma palpina||Pale Prominent|
|72.015||Calliteara pudibunda||Pale Tussock|
|72.019||Spilosoma lutea||Buff Ermine|
|72.020||Spilosoma lubricipeda||White Ermine|
|73.022||Plusia festucae||Gold Spot|
|73.024||Deltote pygarga||Marbled White Spot|
|73.032||Colocasia coryli||Nut-tree Tussock|
|73.036||Acronicta alni||Alder Moth|
|73.087||Spodoptera exigua||Small Mottled Willow|
|73.101||Charanyca trigrammica||Treble Lines|
|73.114||Euplexia lucipara||Small Angle Shades|
|73.244||Orthosia cerasi||Common Quaker|
|73.249||Orthosia gothica||Hebrew Character|
|73.264||Lacanobia thalassina||Pale-shouldered Brocade|
|73.317||Agrotis exclamationis||Heart and Dart|
|73.329||Ochropleura plecta||Flame Shoulder|
|73.333||Diarsia mendica||Ingrailed Clay|
|73.334||Diarsia rubi||Small Square-spot|
|73.352||Anaplectoides prasina||Green Arches|
|73.359||Xestia c-nigrum||Setaceous Hebrew Character|
|74.004||Nola confusalis||Least Black Arches|
A clear out of tattered board games this Spring has encouraged me to buy some new games which are everyone’s favourites. I decided to ask visitors what they would suggest and their responses gave me lots of food for thought. So this summer its out with the old and in with the new at Old Oak Barn! Thank you to everyone who gave me their ideas.
Below you can see some pictures of the latest purchases!
We have a great selection too of books for children and adults with an especially good collection of books of local interest for example “A Shilling for Carmarthen”, Natural History books about Skomer Island, a selection on the nearby Gardens eg Aberglasney – plus some books about life in St Clears earlier last century written by local residents.
In addition we replace old Dvds with new ones – eg “I Daniel Blake” and “La La Land” were bought in May 2017. The new Sony DVD player is capable of accepting a USB memory stick and nowadays visitors often arrive with their own supply of films in their pocket!!
If you have any good suggestions for new games please let me know and I shall put them on the list for the next upgrade!
The old Caban Y Dderwen has been transformed these past few months and has become, in a very short space of time, one of the best places to eat in Carmarthen! The Warren in Mansel Street which is just off Lammas Street caters especially for those who like freshly prepared wholesome food at great prices. It is owned, managed and run by an enthusiastic and committed team and we think that our visitors staying at Old Oak Barn, just 10 minutes from the county town of Carmarthen, will love it. So visit The Warren in the centre of town if you want to enjoy some really tasty fresh food – we often pop in ourselves for brunch on Sundays and think you will enjoy not only the food but the friendly atmosphere. Their coffee is delicious too. And for those who want to sample a local craft beer there is plenty of choice. The Warren is run by people who clearly have a big passion for getting things right! A lot of what they serve is organic, grown locally and sourced wherever possible very locally too. Some is even grown on the roof of the newly refurbished premises right in the middle of Mansel Street.
Limited opening hours currently but just recently they have announced Wednesday openings too. I bet by the end of the summer it will be open even more! Please visit their website or facebook page for some great photos and more information on their ongoing events.
Opening times at The Warren
Thursday evenings you will find the place full of students and locals enjoying board games night! Either bring your own or borrow whats on site! It is an informal and sociable way to spend an evening whatever the weather while on holiday in this part of Wales.
Its best to phone 01267236079 to reserve a table.
In April I visited the wonderful National Trust property of Dinewfr Park in the Towy Valley about 35 minutes from Old Oak Barn. Dinewfr in the Spring is now an annual walk for me because there is such a variety of beautiful Spring sights and sounds there. But it is such a beautiful estate with so much going on whatever time of year you visit. In April of course the trees are beginning to come into leaf and the bluebells too make an appearance. You wont be disappointed if you visit.
Opening Times are as below:-
This hollow tree is begging to be made into a Fairy House!
Dinefwr is the only parkland National Nature Reserve in Wales and is bursting with colourful flowering plants. It is well known for the Bluebell display on Rookery Ridge which is on the Cattle trail. When I was there the wild garlic was also out.
It will cost you just £8 for adult entry and £4 for children.
It is famous of course for its herd of White Park cattle and the deer – which I was lucky enough to capture crossing my path in the woods in mid April.
Best places to see Bluebells in Wales
People often wonder where are the best places to see bluebells in Wales – well here at Old Oak Barn we have our own 40 acre Allt Cwmpalis which visitors can roam freely. It is a semi natural ancient woodland we have been managing for 30 years and provides a haven for birds, wildlife, flora and fauna. These are all typical scenes I took myself with my iphone in early May in our bluebell woods here at Old Oak Barn in 2016.
This particular shot below was taken in a small patch of clearfell which has been replanted with cherry, which if you look carefully you can see are growing well.
We are so fortunate to be able to see this beautiful sight every year and for those planning a visit in early May the photos below show other scenes taken in the woods in 2016. The swing which hangs off the old oak is much loved by children and adults!
But if while staying here you would like to visit other locations which have bluebells then we can suggest a visit to the following :-
Sometimes there are guided walks for those who love a Bluebell Walk which if you were staying at Old Oak Barn in the first week of May would be ideal. The link will take you to the day planned for Skomer on 8 May which is probably the best week in the whole year to visit the island. Currently we still have some availability early May! From 1 May for a 4 night break. There are lots of videos on youtube which can prepare you for the amazing scenery in May – Yvonne Stanley posted this one of the Skomer Bluebells for example.