A couple of weeks ago, I spent a couple of days chilling out in the most idyllic location; holed up in an old, crooked (but exceptionally gorgeous) riverside cottage in a tiny village in South West Wales.
My stay was arranged and gifted by the team at Discover Carmarthenshire.
Glan-yr-afon (meaning Riverside Cottage in Welsh) is a converted, 18th Century Woollen Factory based in Cilycwm – a small village and parish located in Carmarthenshire. So small in fact, that the community population of Cilycwm, taken at the 2011 census, was just 489.
The cottage is also the perfect location for walkers and wildlife-lovers alike; whether exploring the 70-acre Penstacan estate (on which the cottage resides), or strolling into the Cambrian Mountains via paths which lead straight from its back garden.
Inside the cottage
When we checked into Glan-yr-afon, we felt like three little kids on Christmas morning; we ran around, ooh-ing and aaah-ing, and dragging each other from room to room to look at all of the luxurious little touches on offer.
We loved the open-plan ground floor; it’s the perfect communal space for gathering friends and family, whether cwtched up in front of the log burner, sat around the dining table, admiring the views over the garden, or sipping wine in the kitchen.
Speaking of the kitchen, it was well equipped with all amenities and equipment we needed, with a large fridge-freezer and under floor heating to boot.
The ground floor also houses a brand new bathroom with a large, modern rain shower, positioned under a double-glazed skylight. There’s also a cosy garden bedroom with under floor heating, and its own outside access. The super king bed in here can be made up as a twin or a double, depending on your needs.
The first floor of the cottage is where things get really swanky. The triple aspect space has been converted into a large suite, with double height ceilings and beautiful exposed beams. An elegant king sized bed dominates the room, whilst an old, solid-wood school desk offers views over the garden and mountains beyond. This was definitely my favourite room in the house – I am totally in love with those cute, wonky windows!
Next-door to this beautiful bedroom, was the large en-suite bathroom boasting an amazing roll-top, claw footed bathtub (also, note the handy bath-side wine shelf). This is a bathroom fit for the most romantic of getaways; I’m thinking of coming back here for a mini-moon after my wedding in August. Who needs another city-break, anyway!?
In the garden
Finally we explored the garden – with a wide, sloping lawn which leads down to the banks of the clear, babbling Gwenlais brook. At the top, on the decking, we found our favourite feature; a small spring water hot-tub heated by its own log burner.
Safe to say, our little party of three thought this particular addition to the cottage was pretty awesome! This was the first time I had ever used a ‘natural’ hot tub, as opposed to a chemically-cleaned one. I much preferred it; it was easy to heat and keep warm, far more in-keeping with the natural surroundings, and didn’t leave my skin dry and itchy afterwards.
Tanya and Duncan are the lovely couple behind Glan-yr-afon’s beautiful restoration, and boy, did they do a great job. The little touches we found throughout our stay have meant that we haven’t stopped raving about it since we arrived home; from the warm welcome and homemade Welsh cakes on arrival, to the thoughtful scrabble set provided next to the fireplace. And, I just loved cosying up in the thick, Welsh blankets left on the couch; a fitting tribute to the cottage’s wool-making past.
We loved our stay here so much that one of our party *immediately* booked a return visit to the following weekend. My advice? Book your stay at Glan-yr-afon double quick, before everyone else catches on, too.
Glan-yr-afon cottage sleeps up to four adults – three-night stays at start at £333, with linen, towels and wood for the log burners provided. For more information and to book, visit: https://www.cambrianescapes.co.uk/stay.
For things to do in Carmarthen, check out my blog post: 48 hours in Carmarthenshire: A food lover’s itinerary.