Skomer 2015!

By / 25th May, 2015 / Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire / Off

Skomer 2015!

Puffin SkomerWe stayed for 24 hours on this magical island of Skomer in May 2015.

Breathtaking – can only describe the scenery and wildlife as some of the most beautiful in the whole of Wales.  To see bluebells not under trees is awesome. We loved every minute. Sleeping in the hostel is fine and more luxurious than anticipated. Taking all food and drink for the 24 hours was perfectly manageable too. We did have to book the accommodation last year as it is so popular and there is only room in the hostel for 14 overnighters.

Skomer is accessible from the little harbour at Martin’s Haven and for those wanting a day trip boats sail (weather permitting) just three times a day. Contact Dale-sailing for more details. You have to be prepared to queue in the popular weeks ie Whitsun half term.

Skomer 2015

Looking towards St Brides Bay and Solva from the island.  We also saw porpoises from the island and from the ferry crossing. And of course we saw the worlds largest population of Manx Shearwater returning around half eleven at night from their days feeding in the Irish Sea. What a fabulous noise they made!!

There are 3 breeds of rabbits on the island and they are quite tame. Watching their antics in their natural habitat was great fun!

Boat Skomer 2015The little boat arrived to pick us up the next morning and take us safely back to the mainland – the crossing to Skomer is quite short and only takes about 15 minutes. Experienced crewmen know the seas well and don’t take risks if forecasts are poor. so crossings can be cancelled at short notice.

We think you will love Skomer 2015 too! Come and stay at Old Oak Barn in June and have a look for yourselves. We currently have two short breaks available around June 6th and June 21st. Phone on 01994230716 for more details.

You can see more pics of puffins in our other blogs!

What to do in Carmarthenshire in May!

By / 22nd April, 2015 / Carmarthenshire / Off

What to do in Carmarthenshire in May

Click here for lots of ideas of what to do, where to go and what to see during the month of May.

Some of the planned activities include of course visiting bluebells in the many woods locally including Dinefwr at Castle Woods. There are literally hundreds of places to go to see bluebells in Carmarthenshire and they are of course adjacent to Old Oak Barn in our very own Cwmpalis Woods.

Or you could get up early on Saturday 9 May and hear and learn about birdsong at The Wetland Trust  near Lanelli – this is very appealing to many of our visitors at Old Oak Barn who take such pleasure in hearing the birds here during Spring and Summer especially.

Towards the end of the month there is the annual St Clears Agricultural Show which is such a popular event.

Great Tit

St Clears SHow in Carmarthenshire

Coasteering in Pembrokeshire

By / 3rd April, 2015 / Pembrokeshire / Off

Coasteering in PembrokeshireCoasteering in PembrokeshireJust look at the delight on the face of this young visitor to Pembrokeshire’s top adventure activity!

Celtic Quest Coasteering is a well established company which has built up a big fan base because of the awesome way it organises coasteering off the Pembrokeshire Coast. It is now recognised as THE best visitor experience in Wales and is run by  Cleopatra Browne who in the film below demonstrates what happens. Anyone can try Coasteering. The whole family can enjoy it at their own level and speed, as all aspects of the adventures are optional. That includes those who may feel nervous or are non-swimmers.  Go to the website for more details – if staying at Old Oak Barn we can contact Cleopatra and help you plan your week. Excellent attention is always given to keeping everyone safe and happy!

We think you will really love the day!

Celtic Quest Coasteering  Pembrokeshire

Blue Lagoon a favourite venue for Coasteering!

eltic quest Coasteering Pembrokeshire

Can do wild swimming and rock hopping too!

The reviews say it all!  “What an experience this is, like nothing I had ever done before but a massively enjoyable one that I would definitely do again. The team were friendly and informative as well as supportive to anyone having difficulty or trepidation about launching themselves of the side of the country into the sea. A great mix of elements carried out in a very professional but enjoyable manner. I would highly recommend this.” Ben gives it a massive 5 out of 5! 25.03.2015


See Bluebells in Wales!

By / 31st March, 2015 / Carmarthenshire / Off

See Bluebells in WalesSee Bluebells in Wales

Old Oak Barn near Carmarthen has 40 acres of woodlands to roam – with lots of tracks and paths which we maintain so that you can wander at leisure.

Towards the middle end of April the bluebells will begin to flower and depending on the weather they will put on an amazing show for up to a month.

In recent year small patches have been clearfelled in the woods as part of our woodland management programme – all felling is undertaken under license. Replanting over the past few years has been very successful and now the woods provide a great variety of habitats for wildlife and birds. We have two small areas which are left undisturbed completely. The small log cabin which has been in the woods for over 25 years is much loved and nearby we have two swings and a good picnic area where you can have BBQs and a real camp fire. We look forward to the holiday season of 2015 when visitors will be able once again to enjoy this semi natural ancient woodland as it is classified. We are confident the bluebells will put on another glorious show!

Click here – Bluebell Woods to see where else you can visit woods throughout the UK which have bluebells.

Bluebells in woods at Old Oak Barn in Wales

Folly Farm wins Best Day Out in Wales!

By / 26th March, 2015 / Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire / Off

Folly Farm wins Best Day Out in Wales!

Congratulations to Folly Farm who last night scooped Gold Award in the National Tourism Awards 2015 for the whole of Wales in the category “Best Day Out!”  We are not surprised!  Visitors to Old Oak Barn almost without exception spend at least one day at the popular Farm Park and Zoo as it is now called. There is just so much to do in a single day. Many locals including our family have a season ticket and enjoy popping in for an afternoon on a regular basis to play with the John Deere tractors and see all the animals! Photo courtesy of and copyright Jeff Gendall who stayed at Old Oak Barn.

Giraffes at Folly Farm near Old Oak Barn. Best Day Out in wales winner 2015. We are sure that if you too choose to spend time at this wonderful tourist attraction which is less than half an hour from Old Oak Barn you will not be disappointed! Open all year round although restricted times in the winter months.

Easter at The Gardens of Wales Carmarthen

By / 16th March, 2015 / Carmarthenshire / Off

Easter at The Gardens of Wales Carmarthen

David Hardy who heads up events at The Garden of Wales said: “It’s a pretty mouth-watering line-up over the bank holiday weekend and throughout the Easter holiday. We also have our ‘Garden Explorers’ offer where young visitors can grab a back-pack, select from a range of activities and then head off into the Garden and enjoy themselves.”

There is a fantastic line up this year and the season gets off to a good start with a wedding, wood-turning demonstrations a fabulous new show in the Gallery entitled New Sylva – celebrating a fascinating book about trees and forestry for the 21st century and the Gardens first Woodland Walk Weekend on 26 – 27 April. There will also be an opportunity to learn about wild flowers as well as other family friendly activities.

Visitors to Old Oak Barn are offered one free adult ticket this year for every adult who pays on entry so it really is very good value to spend a whole day at the Gardens if you can!

Hellebores may still be out at The Gardens of Wales this Easter

Do you think the hellebores will still be out?

Free entry to Gardens of Wales

Easter Holidays in Wales

By / 21st January, 2015 / Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire / Off

Easter Holidays in Wales

Old Oak Barn is at the moment available from Friday 10 April in Wales in 2015. Please ask for the latest price! We are very child friendly!

There is lots to do this Easter in this part of Wales. Apart from exploring the wonderful countryside and coastline Folly Farm is open every day during the holiday season.  Have you met the lions yet? Did you know that Folly Farm is rated the fourth best zoo in the country.  What started off as a small farm playground 25 years ago has grown and grown and is now one of Wales’s best attractions and it is only 25 minutes from Old Oak Barn!  Quite often they have Peppa Pig or some other children’s favourites attending during half terms and holidays  –  so keep an eye out for more details!

Please get in touch if you would like more details of a break at Old Oak Barn this Easter. We often have glorious weather in April and in the past visitors have even been known to go for an early dip in the sea. It is often fine enough for a camp fire in the woods here or a BBQ on the patio in the late afternoon.

Birdsong is at its best too with over 50 species spotted at this time of year!

Easter Holidays in Wales

Top things to do on holiday in Carmarthen

By / 11th January, 2015 / Carmarthenshire / Off

Top things to do in Carmarthen

Besides the lovely beaches dotted around the coastline from Pembrey to Amroth including the famous sands of Pendine we can recommend some great places to visit while staying at Old Oak BarnTop things to do in Carmarthen while staying at Old Oak BarnCarmarthen

Check out this Trip Advisor link which lists the following as being worth a visit!

Kidwelly Castle

Carmarthen Museum

Gwili Railway

Laugharne Castle

Paxtons Tower

Xcel Bowl

Dynevor

National Gardens of Wales

Aberglasney

And we are only a few miles from Pembrokeshire which has so many beautiful beaches, spectacular scenery over the Preseli Hills and lots of popular visitor attractions for children of all ages many of which are open all year round. We know the area well and are on hand to help you plan the most of your holiday in Wales.

CarmarthenBeach of Broad Haven

Llandeilo!

By / 12th December, 2014 / Carmarthenshire / Off

Llandeilo!

Christmas shopping in Llandeilo is not to be missed!  But this pretty market town is worth a visit all year round and has lots of great little independent shops to browse. There is also the Antiques Centre at the far end of town and Dynevor is only 5 minutes from the main street too. There are lots of lovely cafes and restaurants with The Cawdor and The Angel being worthy of a visit for a special treat!

We visited last week and were struck by the beautiful window displays.

Llandeilo shopsHeavenly chocolateLlandeiloLlandeilo shops this ChristmasIf staying at Old Oak barn you can drive to this popular market town in about 30 minutes.

Derllys Court Golf Club

By / 20th November, 2014 / Carmarthenshire / Off

Derllys Court Golf Club

Derllys Court Golf Club is only 3 miles from Old Oak Barn towards the A40 near Carmarthen and is a great place to go for a round of golf.  I dropped by today and took a couple of photos and met Rhian who showed me around.  I was very impressed with the views as well as the course itself.

Derllys Court Golf Club

The fully licensed clubhouse plays host to a large number of facilities, whether you are just in for a quiet round or a member of one of the local clubs. Corporate Golf Day packages are available too but if you are on holiday in this lovely part of Carmarthenshire there is no better place to drop by for a game!

Phone 01267 211575 for more details.

Derllys Court Golf Club,
Llysonnen Road, Bancyfelin,
Carmarthen. SA33 5DT.Derllys Court Golf Club

Laugharne!

By / 19th November, 2014 / Carmarthenshire / Off

Laugharne – Watch this video to see beautiful Carmarthenshire landscape – only 5 miles from Old Oak Barn.

The short walk of 4.5 miles will take you around all the historical and unique points in and around Laugharne which has been developed recently to celebrate the birthday of Dylan Thomas. It is surely one of our favourite places nearby and if you watch the film you will get a real sense of what to expect. It takes in part of the Wales Coast Path too as well of course as the churchyard of St Martin’s church where Dylan Thomas is buried. The walk was created by Bob Stevens who obviously has a love of the area.

If you walk the route on your birthday you can pop into local shops and pubs for some freebies including a tasty bag of chips. It ends at the iconic Browns Hotel which is a great place to drop by for a pint!

Laugharne

Bluebells out now at Old Oak Barn – 2 weeks early!

By / 26th April, 2014 / Carmarthenshire / Off

Are bluebells early this year? Is it due to climate change?

BLuebells

Bluebells at Old Oak Barn in the 40 acre Cwmpalis Woods are almost in full bloom as I write this at the end of April. The warm and sunny weather we have had in April has made them grow faster than usual and we can expect them to peak almost 2 weeks earlier than normal. The small blocks of clearfelling in the woods have opened them up and let in lots of light which has made the beautiful bluebells bloom where normally the bulbs would remain hidden and dormant underground.Woodlands

Did you know half the worlds bluebells are in Britain?

It must be one of the most lovely of all woodland flowers and the scent is overpowering when walking in the woods especially at dusk. Many of our visitors this year have spent hours in the woods exploring and several children have written eloquently in the visitors book of the wonderful adventures they have had outside in the “forest” as some call it!  Toasting marshmallows on the little camp fire and playing on the swings is a big favourite pastime in 2014!  And playing on the big swings in the woods comes a close second!Swings in the woods