- Paxton’s Tower is one of the top ten Carmarthen Tourist Attractions and has free entry.
- This Carmarthen landmark is a Neo Gothic Folly built to commemorate Lord Nelson.
- It has some magnificent views across the Towy Valley.
- Local legend says that this ‘folly’ was built out of spite. Paxton spent thousands of pounds trying to get elected to Parliament in 1802 only to be defeated by 45 votes. He built the tower instead of the bridge across the river Tywi that had been his election promise.
- A more likely explanation, though, is that the tower was built in the spirit of the times, as a place to wine and dine his guests and take in the panoramic views from this spot.
- It is now owned by The National Trust
- If visiting, a wonderful pub on the doorstep is The Golden Grove Arms and Wrights Independent Food Emporium in Llanarthne.
- Visitors staying at Old Oak Barn can take a wander if passing on their way back from Llandeilo or Aberglasney
Visitors who stay at Old Oak Barn nearly always venture west to the beautiful county of Pembrokeshire with Tenby being a must! However, I always recommend a visit east as well and where better to end up than at The Plough Rhosmaen just a few minutes from the centre of Llandeilo. The Plough is perfect for afternoon tea or lunch or an evening meal after a day at Aberglasney,The National Botanic Gardens of Wales or Carreg Cennan Castle.
With views looking across the Towy Valley, Llandeilo is a thriving centre and where better to relax and unwind than somewhere overlooking this pretty part of Carmarthenshire – such as The Plough Rhosmaen.
A popular four star boutique hotel, The Plough is also an award winning restaurant set in the beautiful countryside just at the edge of the Brecon Beacons in the county of Carmarthenshire. It’s location is perfect and I am reliably told that when large events such as The Royal Welsh Agricultural Show in July and Brecon Jazz are on then the restaurant is bound to be busy with passing travellers calling in for food.
We ourselves have always found the service to be outstanding at The Plough Rhosmaen. In addition the quality and range of food is excellent. Vegetarians are especially well catered for. On a summer’s day we love to sit on the terrace and in winter the inside is perfectly cosy and warm.
The Plough Rhosmaen take conservation and their responsibilities towards the environment seriously and have recently been awarded a Green Dragon Level 2 Award. For example they say they monitor their carbon footprint closely, and like many first class pubs and restaurants in the county are especially keen to source from local suppliers wherever possible, keeping food miles low.
Phone 01558823431 to book a table or find out anymore information about this highly recommended restaurant. Afternoon teas are out of this world too …. but be warned … arrive hungry allowing plenty of time to relax and unwind!
In recent years local towns and villages have got in the habit of organizing Christmas Markets – sometimes this is in the village school and sometimes in a castle and sometimes set up along the streets of a whole town as in Saudnersfoot during the first weekend of December.
Saundersfoot Christmas Market is an example of one which has grown from strength to strength and is held this year during the weekend of Fri 2nd Dec— Sun 4th Dec. During December Saundersfoot is at its most magical. Promising an array of seasonal treats, including Christmas lights and decorations, Santa’s grotto, lantern parade, seasonal food, festive demonstrations and late night shopping, visitors will be spoilt for choice.
Friday 2nd December
2.00pm Market Opens – Over 50 stalls
2.00pm – 5.30pm MUSIC BOX ENTERTAINMENT
5.30pm – 6.30pm LANTERN PARADE & CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTS SWITCH ON
(Market closes 7.00pm)
Saturday 3rd December
10.00am- Market Opens
Celebrity Chef Lisa Fearn
All day – MUSIC BOX ENTERTAINMENT
12.00pm till 6.00pm – SANTA’S GROTTO
(Market closes 7.00pm)
Sunday 4th December
10.00am – Market opens
Celebrity Chef Guy Morris
All day – MUSIC BOX ENTERTAINMENT
12.00pm till 3.00pm – SANTA’S GROTTO
4.00pm – GRAND PRIZE DRAW
(Market closes 5:00pm)
A traditional Christmas market will be situated in a large marquee on the harbour of the idyllic seaside village, where stalls will be laden with Pembrokeshire goods and gifts. Visitors can also explore Saundersfoot’s retailers for artisan jewellery, crafts, home wares and more. With entertainment and live music to keep the whole family entertained, Saundersfoot’s Christmas Market offers a great way to make the most of a winter’s day.
Food and drink stands will be celebrating all things Welsh; expect tastings, seasonal food, mulled wine and live cookery demonstrations. Sample the best of Pembrokeshire’s produce from the town’s local suppliers or enjoy a meal in one of Saundersfoot’s varied and popular restaurants, cafés and pubs – many of whom will be running special seasonal specials throughout the weekend.
With scenic Saundersfoot Bay views, carols around the Christmas tree and live music, visitors can soak up the merry atmosphere whilst escaping the hustle and bustle of city life.
Click here for a list of events over the festive period
Constable Oriel Parc Pembrokeshire
For a few months more and until September this year John Constable’s “Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows 1831” is on display at Oriel Parc in St David’s Pembrokeshire. Oriel y Parc will be the third of six venues across the UK to display this important ‘six footer’ which was recently purchased with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Manton Foundation, the Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation) and Tate Members.
Constable famously wrote “Painting is but another word for feeling” and standing in front of the huge work last week I was struck by the level of detail, mood and movement within the painting created by unusual application and flecking of paint. This painting had a huge impact at the time it was unveiled and came in for a lot of criticism too! Hard to imagine!
John Constable was born and brought up in what is now known as “Constable Country” in East Bergholt in Suffolk. His father was a prosperous corn merchant but it is said that John Constable wanted to be an artist from a very young age. He sounds an extraordinary man, a unique artist and there are many famous quotes we know and love today – “We see nothing truly until we understand it” and “There is nothing ugly; I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object be what it may, – light, shade, and perpective will always make it beautiful” spring to mind.
The various themes within the painting include “Weather” “Politics” “Religion” “Emotional Landscape”
Oriel Parc is easily found on the left as you enter St Davids from Solva.
March to October
Visitor Centre: 9.30am – 5pm daily
Gallery: 10am – 4pm daily
Natalia Spencer lost her beautiful little girl Elizabeth in December of 2016 after a very sudden and unexpected illness. She spent just 18 days in Bristol Childrens Hospital for whom she is now raising money through Elizabeth’s Footprint. Elizabeth and her mum lived in Cheltenham and my great niece had gone to the same primary school which is why my niece Anna gave me a ring to see if I could help accommodate Natalia while she was on her marathon epic walk around the entire UK coastline. Of course I said yes and I was fortunate enough to spend some time with her both walking the Wales Coast Path and while she stayed here overnight for two nights end of April 2016. She loved Old Oak Barn although she slept in the farmhouse here and appreciated the birdsong and peace of our valley.
Please have a peep at her website and you will find a great little tracking map where you can see exactly where she is at any given time. It is a heartbreaking story .. and Natalia told me that it is the only thing she can do at the moment while clearly feeling so sad at losing Elizabeth who loved the seaside too. Her motivation is strong but we cannot underestimate the physical challenge especially with the entire Scottish coastline to come probably late summer early Autumn. She is hoping to raise £100,000 for the Wallace and Gromit Appeal and I am certain she will achieve that and more. She has a justgiving page where you can donate.
I walked from Llansteffan to St Clears on 28 April and again I joined her from Little Haven to Newgale on 9 May. I rallied a few friends to join us and we had some simply stunning views, warm conversations, plenty of exercise and of course lovely company. Thank you to all my friends who supported Natalia.
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!
Wales Coast Path
The Wales Coast Path is proving to be a great asset to the Welsh tourist industry and visitors to Wales have increased in numbers since it opened.
Both Old Oak Barn and Puffin House are well situated for those who want to walk the path. A few years ago we had visitors from England who stayed in each property while they undertook their mammoth walk around the entire coastline of the UK. Each day their planned route took them between 10 and 20 miles on the path before a bus ride back to base! This required some imagination and creative planning and of course oodles of patience.
Stay at Old Oak Barn or Puffin House to walk the coast path in 2014!
If you are wanting to holiday in Wales next year and are looking for a base from which to walk the Wales Coast Path then come and stay in one of our self catering holiday lets. We are open for short breaks now until Easter. Please phone 01994230716 for more information. If we don’t know the answer to your query we shall point you in the direction of someone who does!
Click on the above to see what’s on in the new series which visitors to Puffin House in Broad Haven will be interested in no doubt!
The Wales Coast Path
Why is it so special? Watch the programme to find out!
With its dazzling beaches and secret coves, the Pembrokeshire coastline is the programme reveals a recognised gem within the Welsh tourism industry and is rated as one of the top two coastal destinations in the world. Last year when the Wales Coast Path was officially opened a fresh wave of praise and appreciation came its way!
But for the many different people who live and work along the stunning coastline of Britain’s only coastal national park, life here is more than just about beach holidays and weekend breaks as this new BBC Wales series is about to reveal.
Puffin House holiday let in Broad Haven is ready to welcome visitors to Pembrokeshire!
We spent time last week cleaning and dusting and lots of paintwork was tidied up too. Can promise that the apartment is now squeaky clean and ready for the new season. The wifi connection in the main room is strong enough to be used anywhere in the apartment and we think it provides a speedy and reliable access to the internet for holidaying in Wales. Already visitors tell us it is working well!
A pair of handmade roman blinds with Laura Ashley linen in the kitchen and the living room. They are very easy to operate and are safer than the old roller blinds we had before.
Curtains in the bay window at Puffin House above in stripey material. The curtains are in heavy cotton and the pink in the stripe matches the blinds perfectly.
Twin bedroom and the main bedroom both have new curtains with blackout lining to help you have a good night’s sleep. Bedlinen has been upgraded too and some new duvet covers bought from John Lewis and Ikea.
We welcome any suggestions from visitors as to how we can improve the quality of everything at Puffin House. For example it was suggested we buy new duvets every other year and this we now do recyling old ones regularly. The next item we will replace will be the much loved comfy white sofa in the main room. Still deciding what to get and where to buy it from!
The kitchen is neat and tidy and the existing fridge freezer, cooker, washing machine and dishwasher checked over too. The kitchen is well equipped for your self catering holiday in Pembrokeshire but please suggest anything else you may think useful and we will do our best to supply it.
Snow at Old Oak Barn
Heavy snowfall in January 2013 meant a pretty landscape for visitors and plenty of tobogganing possible too. Today January 24th there is beautiful sunshine which is melting some of the 4 inches we had yesterday. For visitors wanting peace and quiet with woodland walks Old Oak Barn has been a good choice this winter despite some heavy rainfall late 2012. Hoping for a dry Spring so the saturated land can dry up a bit ready for the lambs.
Come and stay at Old Oak Barn in Carmarthenshire this winter and enjoy some amazing walks in the woods – we have lots of birds to spot and you are welcome to feed the chickens too!