Boat House Laugharne
When staying with us here at Old Oak Barn it is very likely you will pop down to Laugharne and visit the Boat House where Dylan Thomas once lived with his young family. The writing shed is on the footpath going to the Boathouse and you will enjoy peering through the window to see where Dylan Thomas penned some of his works for example “Over Sir John’s Hill”
The tea room is open all year round and when the sun shines it is a treat to sit on the terrace overlooking the estuary and enjoy some freshly prepared soup or even a cream tea. Almost everything is prepared and cooked on site in the tiny kitchen. You will probably see or hear lapwings, egrets, ducks, redshanks, herons, oystercatchers and even barn owls. The terrace has breathtaking views of the Taf estuary and the Gower beyond. On a clear day you can see for miles.
As well as the tearoom, there is a furnished front parlour, an upstairs exhibition area showing a 24 minute film, a shop and toilet facilities. The Boat House Laugharne is closely associated with Dylan Thomas and it is where he enjoyed some relative stability with his family and he was of course very creative in his writing. There are people sill in the village today who remember him even though he died many years ago in 1953.
The Boat House is open every day of the year except Christmas – please check for exact opening hours which although daily are reduced in the winter months. Note – the walkway from the free car park is very accessible including for those with pushchairs BUT it ends in a steep flight of steps or a scramble over rocks so do take care if visiting especially wehen it is wet.
Pethau Olyv – A new fashion accessories shop has recently opened in St Clears! The owners come from Ystradgynlais and Trelech being OLive and YVonne hence the name Olyv. I popped in this week looking for a gift and was really impressed with the range of things on display. Both Olive and Yvonne used to work as psychiatric nurses in Carmarthen when they met many years ago and have now it seems taken a career change! I hope the business is a success!
When staying at Old Oak Barn we often have visitors who like this sort of shop and I can imagine that after a visit to our lovely local charity shop known locally as The Cat Shop they will find themselves next door in Pethau Olyv too.
What does pethau mean? You can find out here!
Yvonne was there the day I called and told me their opening hours are Monday to Friday 10 – 5pm and Saturdays 10 – 1pm.
Visit Pethau Olyv for more information!
Mermaid Buildings, Pentre Road, San Cler, SA33 4LR
We wish Yvonne and Olive good luck with their new shop!
Towy Valley Cycle Path
Who wouldn’t want to walk or cycle along the River Towy as in the picture below!
The views in this part of Wales are out of this world and it is no surprise that at last a proper walkway/cycle route is being developed in the Towy Valley. Plans are now well underway for the Carmarthenshire cycle route/footpath which will link Carmarthen with Llandeilo. It follows an almost adjacent route to that of the River Tywi also spelt Towy.
A fantastic aerial shoot has been released – click here
The 16 mile Towy Valley Cycle Path path will cost between £5 and £8 million, and a strong set of partners and stakeholders are being formed with funding in place from Welsh Government and the council. It will also give people a sustainable and healthy travel option, connecting with villages between the two main towns. It is anticipated that this will bring in thousands more visitors into the county and we think some of our visitors here at Old Oak Barn will want to enjoy the walk too. The project will inevitably create a number of jobs which will also be a boost to the local economy.
The path is being developed in phases. Initial works have already taken place between Fronun and Bwlch Bach, near the concrete works in Abergwili. Talks with landowners are ongoing, and various grant applications are still being prepared and submitted. The timeline for opening has not yet been released but lets hope it is not too far in the future!
Walkers Are Welcome took the photo above which shows Llandeilo looking west down the valley with Paxtons Tower in the distance.
A clear out of tattered board games this Spring has encouraged me to buy some new games which are everyone’s favourites. I decided to ask visitors what they would suggest and their responses gave me lots of food for thought. So this summer its out with the old and in with the new at Old Oak Barn! Thank you to everyone who gave me their ideas.
Below you can see some pictures of the latest purchases!
We have a great selection too of books for children and adults with an especially good collection of books of local interest for example “A Shilling for Carmarthen”, Natural History books about Skomer Island, a selection on the nearby Gardens eg Aberglasney – plus some books about life in St Clears earlier last century written by local residents.
In addition we replace old Dvds with new ones – eg “I Daniel Blake” and “La La Land” were bought in May 2017. The new Sony DVD player is capable of accepting a USB memory stick and nowadays visitors often arrive with their own supply of films in their pocket!!
If you have any good suggestions for new games please let me know and I shall put them on the list for the next upgrade!
Caldey Island is easily reached by the little ferry from Tenby which travels the short stretch of sea every half an hour after April if the weather permits. Caldey Islands has been inhabited since Stone Age. Different orders of monks have been there since Celtic Times. These days it is owned by Cistercian Monks who have a wonderful old monastery and gardens parts of which are open for visitors.
At its closest point, Caldey lies only 1 km south of the mainland Pembrokeshire with Tenby being some 4km to the north. The crossing does not take long and costs about £12 for adults and £6 for children 14 and under £6. This includes a return trip on any boat. Please phone 01834844453 to double check before planning your trip.
Visitors to Old Oak Barn have visited the island this year and were also charmed by the wild life, flora and fauna, charming chocolate shop and general pace of life! Read more about this lovely island at Wikipedia
Read all the latest reviews on Trip Adviser who this year presented Caldey Island with a Certificate of Excellence. This is the latest review in July 2016 which seems typical of the many hundreds who have written a review.
“This is the first time we have ever visited Caldey Island – and what a real treat it was. The boat trip off of Tenby South Beach takes appx 20 minutes and delivers you safely onto the jetty at Caldey. There is an appx 15 min walk to the Monastery which is beautiful. There is a lovely grassed area, with a teashop serving cold food, teas coffee and icecream. There is a lovely walk to the top of the island where the lighthouse is – on the particular day we visited there was no wind, and the skies were so clear you could see across to Ilfracombe! The views are spectacular and there was a quaint chapel, chocolate factory and gift shop to visit. A really beautiful place to visit, leaving you with a feeling of tranquil calmness…”
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.
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 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!
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.
If staying at Old Oak barn you can drive to this popular market town in about 30 minutes.
Narberth Food Festival 2014
27 – 28 September
The annual Food Festival is being held this coming weekend in the nearby town of Narberth.
There will be lots going on!
Saturday 10am – 6pm £3.50
Sunday 10am – 4pm £2.50
Weekend Ticket £5.00
Under 18s FREE
Food stalls – Live music – Street Theatre
Talks & Tastes – Chef Demonstrations
Free children’s activities
Old Oak Barn is booked up but there are plenty of other places you could stay – why not go to Tenby for the weekend or choose a stylish B and B in one of the many local towns or villages. The coastline is superb at this time of year.
We had a fantastic day out at Skomer last week and certainly for many visitors this is the highlight of their week in Wales.
The bluebells were amazing!
If you stay at Old Oak Barn it will mean an early start to catch the ferry at Martins Haven but that is all part of the adventure. The crossing to Skomer only takes about 10 – 15 minutes. The booking system has changed now and is much better in that as soon as you arrive you go to the award winning visitor centre Lockley Lodge and get your tickets for the boarding which will be from 10 O’clock onwards. There is a fee of approx £11 for the crossing and £10 for the landing so for £21 per adult it is not cheap but well worth it! SO if you catch the 12 noon ferry you can go for a walk to Deer’s Park for example and then just queue for the boat 10 minutes before departure.
We can provide maps and directions for visitors wanting to explore this beautiful little island. Approx 1.5 miles across and 2 miles wide it is fairly tiring but where else can you see porpoises, puffins, short eared owls, guillemots, razorbills and of course big Skomer rabbits all in the same place! Visit Skomer and we don’t think you will be disappointed at all!