Easter Opening?

By / 19th February, 2021 / Carmarthenshire / Off

Easter Opening?

Today the First Minister has made more announcements at his regular briefing about the prospects for an Easter Opening. Many are wondering if Old Oak Barn will be able to reopen in time for Easter! The answer to this is we still do not know. It has been hinted that there is a chance but we do not know for sure. Self catering accommodation such as ours is probably first in line to be allowed to reopen …… but will it be in early April? Read about the latest news here

Easter Opening?
Easter Eggs!

At the moment we are booked from 12 April ….. but things change very fast and if for example travel remains restricted for some across the UK it is quite possible we may have cancellations! As things stand at the moment we have plenty of space in May although the summer is nearly full.

We look forward to opening when we can – but for now Old Oak Barn remains empty.

STOP PRESS ……..

Easter week is now available BUT we do not yet know if visitors from Wales may be able to stay ….. following the announcement on 22 Feb that travel will not be allowed from England before 12 April, Easter week was cancelled because the family was from Manchester. If you live in Wales and would like to reserve Easter week please get in touch.

Phone 07787148884 or email me for more details – info@oldoakbarn.co.uk

Easter Opening

Fig & Pickle

By / 16th February, 2021 / Carmarthenshire / Off

Fig & Pickle

A wonderful little company has recently established itself in Carmarthen which delivers scrummy “Grazing Boxes” packed full of locally sourced delicious food. It’s owner Jess provides a reliable service which is much appreciated. This is especially so during the last few months when Covid19 restrictions have been in place. We love the food delivered by Fig and Pickle and hope you give it a try too!

Fig & Pickle
Cheese, meats, relish, nuts, grapes, olives.

Jess can be reached on 07710559180 and her products can be ordered through her facebook page too. She also does event catering.

There are so many great restaurants, cafes and food outlets within Carmarthenshire. We wish them all the best of luck during 2021 as we begin to go out and about once again in the future. But in the meantime take aways and deliveries are still there for those who want to support local businesses.

Suppliers include the following!

  • Gwendough
  • Little Grandmas Kitchen
  • Caws Cenarth
  • Carmarthen Cake Shop
  • Carmarthen Ham
  • Gwenyn Gruffydd

The Woods

By / 19th January, 2021 / Carmarthenshire / Off

The Woods

May Bluebells

Behind Old Oak Barn is a classified Semi Natural Ancient Woodland known as Allt Cwmpalis! We have managed them for over 30 years now and can confidently say that they provide a wonderful diverse habitat for many different species. Today while going for an early January walk I heard many birds beginning their Springtime songs – a wren, goldfinch, robin, song thrush, blackbird, and some tree creepers as well as a bunch of long tailed tits to name but a few. I am very fortunate that during this 2021 Lockdown, when we are only allowed to do essential journeys by car, that I have so much space to walk in.

If you decide to book a holiday with us this year I am certain that there will be something for you and your family to enjoy in the 40 acres of woods here. Trackways are plentiful and well maintained so its definitely a wood for walking in! And there are plenty of swings and surprises for children!

Please email (info@oldoakbarn.co.uk} or phone (07787148884) for more details. During the Covid19 pandemic we have had to adapt and rewrite our policies and procedures – more than once! We offer full 100% refunds for any deposits or money received if your plans change for whatever reason. We are empty now, and have been since 18th December. However we are still taking bookings. Holidays will surely recommence one day.

A small part of the wood has been left untouched for many years and so it provides a wild habitat!

Wales Christmas Lockdown

By / 17th December, 2020 / Carmarthenshire / Off

Wales is now in a Christmas Lockdown which some say is likely to last for several weeks. On 16 December there were significant announcements from the First Minister which affect everyone here in Wales. Just three days later as the whole of Wales entered Alert Level 4 arrangements for Christmas were changed and just 2 households can meet for the day only. You can read the detail here. Essentially, the new restrictions are equivalent to a full lockdown.

Holiday accommodation now has to close unless it remains open for key workers or under other specific circumstances. Our Christmas and New Year visitors cancelled their planned trips in early December and so we closed on 18 December.

We would like to reassure visitors that our terms and conditions include a full refund if you cannot come and stay as planned. If you have paid a deposit for a holiday in 2021 and you cannot come and let us know you will be refunded. We hope to be able to share this beautiful valley with you – I feel fortunate that I will always be able to enjoy my garden that’s for sure!

wales christmas lockdown
Summer lupins

So while we adjust to the fact of a Wales Lockdown – I would like to thank everyone for their understanding and kindness shown to us in 2020. Cards and gifts left on departure have meant a lot! Its not been an easy time for anyone and all we can do is hope for a brighter 2021!

Nadolig Llawen i chi gyd!

Latest News

By / 4th November, 2020 / Carmarthenshire / Off
View today early November 2020

Latest News

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!

Latest news
Taken by my friend Chris Warren
The garden outside Old Oak Barn today.

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.

My Garden

By / 23rd October, 2020 / Carmarthenshire / Off

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!

My Garden
My Garden
My Garden

Poppies

come in

every

colour!

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

By / 18th August, 2020 / Carmarthenshire / Off

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!
Llawn Cariad
The space is light and airy – everything is beautifully presented!

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

By / 13th July, 2020 / Carmarthenshire / Off

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

By / 11th July, 2020 / Carmarthenshire / Off

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!

What to do if you feel unwell
Sheep doing a runner.

11 July – Good to Go!

By / 26th June, 2020 / Carmarthenshire / Off

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!

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!