Wales is due to come out of lockdown (Firebreak Lockdown) on Monday 9th of November and England is due to enter a national lockdown this week on Thursday. Confusion for many. Its very hard to plan anything far ahead. This is a challenging time for tourism as well as every other business and family.
With this in mind I wanted to remind everyone that while permitted to do so we will reopen next week for visitors but only from within Wales. If any areas go into further lockdown within Wales then clearly their travel will be restricted including for non essential travel. My information sheet urges anyone who is unwell NOT to travel.
For many weeks now I have decided to offer FULL refunds whatever the circumstances. If anyone who has had to cancel their holiday here wants to rebook that’s fine too but the offer is available for all your money back – no questions asked, provided you cancel at least 7 days before your planned date of arrival. I am a firm believer that we all need to be considerate of others and put the varied needs of customers first. I have no long pages of small print in my terms and conditions.
Autumn colours here are wonderful at the moment – for those that cannot travel here is a picture or two!
Please phone or email for more information and keep checking our facebook page for more news. Visit Wales coronavirus for more up to date news on the virus. Thank you.
The highlight of my garden this summer has to be the poppies! I have grown almost 10 different varieties. Many self seed every year but this year I have had a few new ones too. What’s not to love about this one!
The wonderful thing about growing poppies is that once established in your garden they self seed very easily! In addition they have a very long flowering season – March to November in many cases. Collecting seeds and swapping with friends and family brings a lot of pleasure. They are delicate flowers, the bees love them, they blow in the wind creating dainty shadows …. I could wax lyrical about poppies for a long time.
2020 has been a challenging year for many. But something that has benefitted is likely to be people’s gardens including flower gardens. If you come and stay here it is very likely you will return with either some seeds, a cutting or a root to bring you lasting memories when you go home. Today as we close again for lockdown number 2 in Wales – the so called Firebreak – my visitors left with some white phlox, some pale blue campanula plus a small rockery saxifrage as I call it!
Llawn Cariad has opened its first shop in St Clears! The small family business is run by good friends Jane and Alyson and I would like to wish them all the luck in the world as they begin on their new adventure! I am sure our visitors will call in to see the wonderful stock of locally made Welsh goodies. Llawn Cariad is on the High Street near the local butcher Deri Page and just down from Pethau Olyv, two of our favourite shops in St Clears.
- They sell a wide selection of gifts, cards, bags, children’s clothes, accessories, prints, mugs, tealight houses, socks, scarves, candles, cushions, jugs, plaques, wall hangings ……… the list is endless!
I bought Gwen – made in the Swansea valleys by a couple – one making the wooden legs and face and the other crafting the ears and coat. Doesn’t Gwen look happy here at Old Oak Barn in her new home!
What does Llawn Cariad mean? Simply put …. it means FULL OF LOVE!
Phone 07528945287 to speak to Jane or Alyson.
The shop is open generally between 10 and 4pm – Tuesday to Saturday.
Old Oak Barn is fully booked now until 31st October – but you can email or phone us anytime to ask about winter breaks or holidays in 2021.
Take Away and Deliveries to order:-
There are lots of local food outlets, cafes, restaurants, homecooked food businesses and pubs which are now doing Take Away and Deliveries to order.
For your convenience while staying here I am listing the ones I know of locally who will be pleased to chat through what is on offer. Some are not open every day and some are changing their hours while the laws change in Wales regarding eating inside. Please keep up to speed by going to the Welsh Government site for all the latest information regarding the easing of Lockdown in Wales.
The list below is in no particular order! If as a local business you would like to be added then please ask away! I am not leaving leaflets in Old Oak Barn at the moment so having this information to hand on a phone is going to be handy for visitors I imagine.
Dexters Carmarthen – 01267223000
Georges Fish and Chips – 01994231482
Corvus St Clears – 01994230601
Deri Page – Butcher St Clears BBQ Packs – 01994230062
Pizza Point – St Clears 01994231300
No 8 Fish and Chips – Whitland – 07432595471
Florentino’s – Carmarthen – 01267232828
The Warren – Carmarthen – 01267236079
Poon’s in Laugharne – 07967334657
Becws Bets – Whitland – 07772449595
Ferryman Deli in Laugharne – 01994427398
What to do if you feel unwell.
I have given this a lot of thought and have sought advice too. Government guidelines are however quite clear.
Below is a list of things which must happen if anyone staying at Old Oak Barn begin to feel unwell and especially if anyone shows a high temperature, develops a cough or dry throat or begins to lose their sense of smell or taste.
Firstly – you must tell me.
Secondly – you must self isolate and request a test. Luckily we are very near the testing centre near Carmarthen. This can be done online or by phoning 191. At this point you should also consider returning home. IF you are confirmed to have Covid19 it is a requirement to return home immediately provided you can drive safely or someone else can drive. The local hospital will of course see all emergencies but the services in Wales are not in themselves built nor designed to cope with a big influx of temporary holidaymakers.
There is more guidance regarding what needs to be done – guests will be not be eligible for a refund if their stay is cut short because they return home.
Our visitors who have already booked are being kept informed about the policies and changes we have had to make here but by posting this short blog today we hope the question of what is expected if you feel unwell is clear.
As part of recent preparations here we want to reassure you that we are doing all we can this end to ensure safety of everyone is paramount. This last week final risk assessments have been written and new cleaning arrangements put in place. However, in addition the boiler has been serviced, all electrical appliances PAT tested, outside patio pressure washed, carpets shampooed, curtains washed, non essential items removed and new laminated information sheets rewritten. Please ask if there are any questions. Diolch!
Good to Go
We are opening again for visitors on Saturday 11 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!
Hopefully the chickens will still be laying well for everyone to enjoy some fresh eggs.
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
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! firstname.lastname@example.org
The artisan Pembrokeshire Gin Co is now pretty famous for the wonderful tasting Organic “Tenby Dry Gin“. We love it too!
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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!
2020 is the Welsh Year of Outdoors!
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
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.
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 email@example.com
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
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.
All the photos here are copyright Chris Warren but can be bought from him at very reasonable rates.
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!
Phone 01267223000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org 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!