13 July – Good to Go!

By / 26th June, 2020 / Carmarthenshire / Off

Good to Go

We are opening again for visitors on Monday 13 July!

Next week we will complete our preparations including the Good to Go industry standard and consumer mark to provide reassurance to visitors as this sector gets back to business.

I have completed risk assessments and am finalising new procedures to ensure I do my very best to keep everyone who stays here at Old Oak Barn safe and well.

I am open to all suggestions if anyone of our visitors has thoughts or views on what else I can do to provide an environment that is clean and safe.

If you would like to see my checklist please ask and I shall email it to you!

I have made several changes in the barn itself including for example for the moment anyway a much more limited supply of kitchen supplies. For example …… Teabags, salt and pepper are the only food items now in the cupboard! A set of keys for the property will be alternated each week. The cushions I provide will have their cotton covers washed every week. leaflets have been removed and new laminated information displayed instead. These are just a few of the changes being made.

Check in and check out times have been changed to allow more time for cleaning. All the changes will be sent to you when you book or shortly before you arrive. But please ask about anything you would like to know about,

Next week the two NHS staff who have been staying here since March while working in A and E in Carmarthen hospital plan to leave. The barn will then be thoroughly deep cleaned, steam cleaned, sanitised, decluttered and sorted out! We look forward to welcoming our first visitors on 13 July!

Good to Go

Hopefully the chickens will still be laying well for everyone to enjoy some fresh eggs.

When will we reopen?

By / 10th May, 2020 / Carmarthenshire / Off

When will we reopen?

We do not yet know the answer to this question!

We are closed at the moment for visitors – but have permission from our local authority to allow 2 NHS Key Workers from A and E in Carmarthen to stay here while working.  It is likely they will remain here until early July. I wish we knew when we will reopen to the public!

When Lockdown ends we will reopen for visitors. If you would like us to hold a week for you we will do so without a deposit. Then when the government allows holiday cottages like ours to reopen, we will be back in business! If we cannot open before you choose to come then you have not lost a penny.

The weeks in question are:-

  • 10 – 17 July – for £625
  • 17 – 24 July – for £825 ….. RESERVED
  • 14 – 21 August for £825 …… RESERVED
  • Empty from 31st August for 5 nights – please enquire
When will you reopen?

We have wonderful beaches!

You can find out more about Wales’s rules and regulations with regard to Covid19 and Lockdown here!

We are of course hoping, if it is considered safe, that the tourism industry in Wales will reopen in time for those families with children, who have booked to stay at Old Oak Barn, can have a holiday before schools return in September.

Please email with any questions! info@oldoakbarn.co.uk

Pembrokeshire Gin Co

By / 29th April, 2020 / Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire / Off
Pembrokeshire Gin Company

The artisan Pembrokeshire Gin Co is now pretty famous for the wonderful tasting Organic “Tenby Dry Gin“. We love it too!

Pembrokeshire Gin Co
Tenby Dry Gin

With its pretty orange topped bottle and label it is becoming widely sought after by those who love gin.

Launched in 2018 by two locals, Charlotte and John, the company is passionate about sourcing locally wherever possible and of course the distillery although not in Tenby itself is not far away.

The shop in Tenby High Street is somewhere to visit when Lockdown finally ends but for now the Pembrokeshire Gin Co is selling online. Local deliveries are possible too. Phone Charlotte on 01834844861. We are closed too of course but hope to reopen as soon as we are legally allowed to do so! And when we do I am certain our visitors who always go to Tenby will pop in to The Cranny for a taste themselves.

This week the company has been awarded Best in Wales!! Have a read here! I’m told that the winners were all selected through a rigorous blind tasting process conducted by a large panel of distinguished gin experts, distillers, and retailers. Congratulations from us all here at Old Oak Barn.

As you can see the shelves in the shop are full of choice!

For those who may be confused ……. I am Charlotte who owns and manages Old Oak Barn …… whereas the other Charlotte, referred to above, runs the Gin Company!!

Latest on Covid 19

By / 20th March, 2020 / Carmarthenshire / Off

Covid 19

Corona Virus (Covid 19) is changing the way everyone lives.

Old Oak Barn has up until today been open for business. However while many businesses are technically still operating within the current government guidelines we feel the time has come to temporarily close the cottage. It is hard to practise social distancing and cut contact with others and avoid travel if it’s “non-essential” and remain open in these uncertain times.

We have reviewed our terms and conditions and made them even more favourable to visitors. From today 20 March all cancellations for those who have booked and just paid the £100 deposit will get a full refund. Our t and c which were sent out at time of booking mention just 50% refund but regardless in the current circumstances we have offered a full refund.

For all those who wish to stay at another time the full amount will be held for you to replan further dates. We will in other words be happy for you to reschedule your holiday. If you choose a cheaper week we will refund the difference.

If you have travel insurance which covers you please let us know.

With regret we have decided to close until we are told we can open. This is in order for us to ensure your safety. It may be that we have to close for longer than we would like.

However, the local Council has given us permission to remain open however for the two NHS staff from north of the county to stay while they themselves continue to work in the A and E department of the local hospital.

We hope visitors will not be too disappointed but will understand that even though the government allows free travel within the UK for those who deem it necessary it is debatable how a holiday here at Old Oak Barn is 100% necessary.

However, should any key worker require accommodation in the short term please enquire.

Coronavirus

By / 15th March, 2020 / Carmarthenshire / Off

In response to growing concerns I felt I should tell our visitors what I am doing to keep Old Oak Barn as safe as I can.

Image result for coronavirus image

Our visitors constantly tell us that the barn is kept spotless and I have always paid a lot of attention to ensuring every corner is clean. However I have now introduced even more stringent cleaning between visitors. The list below includes the measures I am now following.

  • Under sheets and pillow slips are washed between every visitor.
  • All cutlery is washed between visitors on an intensive 3 hour wash and we ask our visitors to do the same during the week.
  • All bedlinen is washed on 60 degrees – I have no tumble drier and dry on the line in fresh air.
  • All surfaces likely to be touched are washed twice, once with soapy water and once with disinfectant.
  • Fridge is thoroughly cleaned with sanitising wipes.
  • Children’s toys have been put away for now.
  • The mud kitchen in the woods remains available for play.
  • I have ditched eco cleaning products and gone back to anti bacterial fluids.
  • Check in time has been put back to 4.30pm to ensure enough time to clean between guests.
  • I have recruited another adult to help with Friday changeovers!
  • I have created my own deep cleaning checklist.

Read some of the latest information from Wales here

It may be that your travel insurance covers you for a full refund – if not and you need to discuss your planned holiday please get in touch. Our T and C have already been sent to every visitor but if there is any way we can be even more helpful we will do so. We would always wish to be fair to everyone who has booked with us.

Thank you to visitors who have already been in touch saying they wish to continue with their planned holiday – that they are relieved they have not booked a foreign break – that they are reassured by my actions – and that they feel as safe here as anywhere. Infact the isolation we potentially offer here may be seen by some as a big bonus.

Keeping Faith

By / 26th January, 2020 / Carmarthenshire / Off

It has been announced that the third series of Keeping Faith will begin filming in this locality in 2020!

Read all about it here!

If you are keen to see some of the used locations we can point you in the right direction. Many who stay here at Old Oak Barn pop down to Laugharne of course where some of the filming of bth series so far was filmed. Two years ago I happened to be in the village one evening when filming was taking place. The photos below I took that evening and was politely advised by one of the crew not to use the two with Faith in before the 2nd series was aired!

Filming starts next week I am reliably told! I think it will be aired in 2020 in October most likely first on S4C where it is called Un Bore Mercher. For both series so far each has been filmed twice once in English and once in Welsh. Its amazing to think Eve Myles learnt such fluent Welsh for the filming as it was thought dubbing would detract from the quality of the show! I wish I was as talented as that when it comes to learning the language!

Year of Outdoors

By / 13th January, 2020 / Carmarthenshire / Off

2020 is the Welsh Year of Outdoors!

Year of Outdoors
Rolling countryside awaits!

Visit Wales is promoting 2020 as The Year of Outdoors which is of course just what our visitors love about coming to stay at Old Oak Barn! Everyone is being encouraged to Discover Wales through unique outdoor experiences, adventures, events, nature and attractions whatever the season. Have a peep at the images here for some great ideas of where to go when you visit Wales.

Our visitors have always wanted to get out into the fresh air and enjoy whats on offer both here in our beautiful valley at Old Oak Barn and out and about in the counties of Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. From walking to cycling to water activities or leisurely nature trails there is a huge variety here in West Wales. The Visit Wales website is full of ideas!

Please check out our availability calendar to see when we have space – some of the school holidays is already booked but we still have a couple of summer weeks left.

Wales New Year Break

By / 7th December, 2019 / Carmarthenshire / Off

Wales New Year Break

We are now full until Friday 3rd January 2020

Are you looking for a Wales New Year Break? Come and stay at Old Oak Barn arriving 31st December for 2, 3, or 4 nights or even longer to welcome in 2020! Enjoy a break in Wales in a brilliant outdoorsy location in West Wales. Even if it snows we promise to tow you out! But the slopes here are great for tobogganing if you wanted an outdoor activity! Infact we rarely get snowed in being less than 5 miles from the coast at Laugharne as the crow flies.

Wales New Year Break
Snow a few years ago.

There is plenty to do at this time of year with most visitors keen to enjoy the many seaside towns and coastal walks within easy reach. Carmarthen itself is now full of good places to eat and we can recommend many newly opened independent shops and restaurants in the local area.

Please phone or email me – 07787148884 or info@oldoakbarn.co.uk

You can expect a warm welcome and a spacious very comfortable holiday space suitable for up to 4 with a travel cot if needed. The woods on the doorstep provide a wonderful escape right on the doorstep. Our Trip Advisor reviews speak for themselves – please check them out for even more tips!

Local Beauty Spots

By / 17th November, 2019 / Carmarthenshire / Off

Local Beauty Spots

Chris Warren is a well known photographer who happens to be one of my badminton buddies!

Over many years he has been recording the beauty of this part of the world in some wonderful photos. His work is much loved and very well known and I appreciate too the way his photos capture the amazing variation we get in the local landscapes. His work has taken in landscapes throughout Wales, France and Fuerteventura. While his website is being refreshed you can contact Chris on 07866 458281

Laugharne which is just a few miles away rarely gets snow! It is definitely a Local Beauty Spot! Visitors come from far and wide to see Laugharne, its Castle and of course the Dylan Thomas Boat House. This is one of the places nearly all visitors staying here at Old Oak Barn visit and is such a tranquil place for a wander.

Laugharne Castle Carmarthenshire Wales in winter

More Local Beauty Spots below, all within half an hour of Old Oak Barn
Local Beauty Spots
Paxtons Tower Llanarthne near Llandeilo Carmarthenshire Wales
Local Beauty Spots
Coppet Hall Saundersfoot Pembrokeshire Wales at Sunrise
New Years Day Swim Saundersfoot Pembrokeshire Wales. Not a local beauty spot but a brilliant photo of a popular annual event.

All the photos here are copyright Chris Warren but can be bought from him at very reasonable rates.

local beauty spot
Autumn in rural countryside Tywi Valley Carmarthenshire Wales

Dexters Carmarthen

By / 4th October, 2019 / Carmarthenshire / Off

Dexters Carmarthen

Dexters reopened recently in the former Diablos on the Quay building after extensive renovations needed after the dreadful floods – Storm Callum – in Carmarthen in 2018. Dexters is a hit with meat lovers especially and everything is prepared and cooked freshly in the modern kitchens. It is the ONLY Steakhouse in Carmarthen. Dexters does of course serve fish and vegetarian options too. We ate there very recently and were blown away by the absolutely delicious food including the desserts which were truly amazing. I am sure our visitors here at Old Oak Barn will love it as much as us! Sunday Lunches should be booked in advance!

You can read a little more detail from the local press here! You will discover how hard the team have worked to reopen in less than a year!

Watch this short Youtube film to get the feel of the place!

Dexters – for wonderful tasting locally sourced meat!

Phone 01267223000 or email dexters@diablos.co.uk or find them on facebook too. Our visitors staying this Autumn can email or message me and I can prebook your table directly with the manager. Christmas bookings are also being taken. Parking is adjacent in the small car park by the river. Dexters now do a set menu for lunchtime visitors wanting great value options!

Laugharne Food!

By / 8th September, 2019 / Carmarthenshire / Off

Laugharne Food – When staying at Old Oak Barn nearly everyone pops down to Laugharne for a wander as it is one of the most scenic places around. The light is constantly changing and the view across the estuary is magnificent.

Laugharne estuary

If you want to eat we highly recommend The Ferryman Deli. Below are a few pictures taken this month when we last enjoyed a delicious lunch ourselves. The FerryMan Deli has recently had a switch around with the shop now at the back and tables at the front. Many who have visited will recognise the wonderful cat picture which hangs on the wall.

Laugharne Food!

Tom who runs this delightful deli, cafe, restaurant, shop …. is a great cook. Everything is cooked fresh so sometimes there is a little wait. Time to enjoy one of the locally brewed beers or a glass of vino!

We also like The Owl and the Pussycat which welcomes dogs, Laugharne Fish and Chips (Closed Mondays), Poons Street Food open 9am to 4pm, Browns Hotel for pie and mash and Arthurs too as well as The Cross Inn. We can always book a table for you if you are staying here – just let us know in advance. You can check availability for Old Oak Barn here. Of course now what Laugharne is increasingly known for is the popular TV series Keeping Faith much of which was filmed locally including in Laugharne.

National Gardens of Wales

By / 29th August, 2019 / Carmarthenshire / Off

National Gardens of Wales

Below are some recent photos I took in the National Botanic Gardens of Wales. Recently it has been announced that a very exciting £1.3 million project that promises to boost the well-being of Welsh people, plants and pollinators has been given the green light. Read more on their website!

Gardens
Gardens

Not far from Old Oak Barn the very popular Welsh attraction is celebrating another successful summer with a wonderful Antiques Fair. The next one is organised for 5th – 6th October and gates open at 10.00a.m.

Our visitors love going to the Gardens either for a special event or for a full day of wandering the imaginative space full of colour both in the walled gardens, the open parkland, the Great Glasshouse or the area around Principality House. Children are well catered for with lots of variety for even the smallest toddlers. I was lucky enough this summer to see the Green Woodpeckers which have successfully bred, not far from the handsome bull beyond the Glasshouse!

Gardens

My Garden 2019

By / 22nd August, 2019 / Carmarthenshire / Off
My Garden

This summer my garden here is doing really well with nearly everything growing in abundance. Strengths seem to be the peas, beans, tomatoes, leeks and all brassicas. The flowers have also exceeded my expectations with wonderful lupins, roses, lychnis, cosmos and cornflowers. My onions pretty much failed and some of the potatoes in the top garden got wireworm. I am very fortunate in that slugs are very rarely a problem here. This is because if they do appear I go on slug patrol late evening and catch the blighters and rehome them far away! This means there are always plenty of fresh cut flowers to welcome visitors on arrival.

My Garden

If you would like to come and stay at Old Oak Barn please visit our availability page. Link at the top of this page.

Bird Survey!

By / 1st June, 2019 / Carmarthenshire / Off

Bird Survey May 2019

During the middle of May we were fortunate enough to have a very knowledgeable bird expert staying who very enthusiastically agreed to record all the different birds here at Old Oak Barn.

This is what she saw and heard!

Carrion Crow, Rook, Raven, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Blackbird, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Lag Goose, Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Spotted Flycatcher, Bluetit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Longtailed Tit, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Feral Pigeon, Stock Dove, Red Kite, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Skylark, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Tawny Owl, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Garden Warbler.  Total 46

Bird Survey

We were thrilled to know she spotted 3 pairs of Spotted Flycatchers one of which was very close to the barn. Lots of Longtailed tits recorded in particular. Also the Garden warblers and Chiff Chaffs were very vocal. The swallows and house martins have been rather late arriving this year but now as I write are settling down to nest. House sparrows are very plentiful this year. The mixed corn in the chicken run must be attracting them! Several of the bird boxes have blue tits nesting. So far this season we have seen good numbers of fledgling Greater Spotted Woodpeckers, Pied Wagtails, Robins, Blackbirds and Goldfinches in particular. Two pigeons in the top shed have also been reared successfully.

Bird Survey

This compares well with the Bird Survey we had done in 2015 which was slightly earlier in the year at the beginning of April. On that occasion 45 different species were recorded.

Green Scoop

By / 13th May, 2019 / Carmarthenshire / Off

Jessica Park opened her long planned for shop in Carmarthen – Green Scoop – in early May 2019. Read about it and why she cares so strongly about the environment and reducing her carbon footprint on her blog.

I have already popped in several times and have been pleased to fill my own containers with what I need. The fruit and veg is great value and although not everything is organic because of supply difficulties it is the aim to supply as much organic goodies as possible.

Green Scoop
Beautifully made display containers for the fruit and veg

Jessica has had support from Big Ideas Wales and currently has her sights set on expanding The Green Scoop. She is currently crowdfunding to set up a café and community space in the shop. She has said: “I want it to be a place for the community to come and learn about how they can make changes to cut down their plastic waste as well as other creative classes. In the café I also want to have a ‘pay it forward’ scheme where people can pay for a drink or lunch for someone in the community who may not be able to afford it.”

Green Scoop
Jessica Park

Our visitors here at Old Oak Barn often want to be pointed in a certain direction when choosing how and where to buy their food for their holiday and we can always recommend local independent shops of which there are many around here. You do not have to go to the well known supermarkets in Carmarthen to stock up for your stay! St Clears itself has 2 very fine butchers for example. We wish Jessica all the very best for her new venture.