- 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
Joe Short Photographer
This year we have had some wonderful visitors who have enjoyed exploring not only this beautiful valley here at Old Oak Barn but also the local area. One family stands out because of the lovely photos he took while here. Joe Short Wedding Photographer from Bath is someone I think would come up with some extraordinary photos if you are planning your special day.
This photo was taken on the bottom track of our woods in early September when we had had an unusually wet spell and there were even a few puddles! The one below shows the Fairy House almost hidden among trees.
Joe has travelled the world for clients and I get the feeling he would go that extra mile to ensure you could plan together for some memorable and very unique pictures. He was very personable and always had a smile on his face. I think their 5 year old daughter adored our chickens – I don’t think I have met a child who was so focussed on them and it was a struggle to get her out of the run after collecting the eggs. She was completely fearless. We often check the sheep with visitors and if they want to get involved when we have to move them then of course all help is welcome!
Thank you to Joe Short Photographer for sending some photos for me to use in this short blog!
Severn Toll Scrapped 2018
Big news today – the Severn Toll is to be scrapped next year in 2018. It was never meant to last for more than 25 years after a deal was struck to build a second crossing in 1992. It has now been announced that promises are to be kept and charging will cease soon.
Read about it in today’s paper The Guardian
We think our visitors will approve! Old Oak Barn is always open all year round for business! I am not sure how scrapping the charge is meant to boost the Welsh economy by the quoted 100 million but we are not complaining. As from next year both the old and new Severn Bridges will be operated by Highways England when they return to public ownership.
The Old Severn Bridge was opened in September 1966 and I remember well the day my father took us for a day trip into Wales that month. It cost a total of £8 million then to build and took over three years to complete!
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.
Parc Y Bocs
Parc Y Bocs is a farm shop, a great new children’s play area and lots more too! The fresh veggies are renowned in the area for being tasty and are available all year round. Situated not far from Kidwelly and only about 15 minutes from Carmarthen they are well worth a visit if staying at Old Oak Barn. The cafe serves up simple food every day and you can also buy as takeaway too. There are some wonderful original gifts in the shop some of which are made locally! For many years Burns have been leaders locally in healthy pet food supplies also known as Burns Real Food for Dogs, Cats and Rabbits. The mixes were developed by John Burns himself in 1993 after as a vet he noticed how crucial food was to the recovery and of course the health and well being of pets. He developed simple foods which are intended to allow the body to function naturally. So all the pet foods are made from the highest quality ingredients and without any pharmacologically active supplements. I like the sound of that!
Parc Y Bocs play area is really well designed and is ideal for small children. They even have smaller sized picnic tables. Adjacent is the pond and further down the slope are some wonderful gardens where all sorts of things are grown. I was struck by how neat and tidy everything was and its clear a lot of pride is taken into running the gardens well. The chicken on the right here I bought in the shop – it now stands proud and tall in Old Oak Barn by the french windows! I couldn’t resist it! There are some beautiful chickens at Parc Y Bocs which run towards visitors who want to feed them – just like our chickens here! They too are in a fantastic run with all mod cons! Below you see the old grey fergie which gives lots of children hours of fun. We used to have one 40 years ago when we first moved to Wales and lived in the north of Carmarthenshire near Brechfa Forest! Do go and visit Parc Y Bocs when in the area – the service is always excellent and I think you will love it!