Review: Clydey Cottages, Pembrokeshire, Wales
A relaxing holiday with young kids sometimes seems like a contradiction in terms. It’s not, of course, but the kind of place which takes away the stresses of small people and leaves the fun is like gold dust.
Tucked away in the Pembrokeshire countryside, Clydey Cottages promises to be just that. Our base for the second part of our holiday in Wales, following Welsh legends across the south and west, it’s got a reputation for being hugely family-friendly with plenty of facilities, animals on site and enough to keep adults feeling happily relaxed too.
As with the first Ivy Cottage of our stay in Margam, we had chilly February weather and only a couple of nights to appreciate it. So did it live up to that reputation? This is what we found…
There are 10 cottages on site, ranging from three one-bedroom options to the four-bedroom Farmhouse. Ours, Ivy Cottage, had one bed and was ideal for myself and Minnie, or perhaps for a couple with a baby/toddler in a cot.
Prices vary, but you could get two nights in March there for £350, three nights in May for £540. During holidays, check-in for all cottages is on Fridays for a week (or two weeks), outside those times, there’s more flexibility in terms of arrival and length of stay. Although we visited in February and outside Welsh half-term, there were quite a few families staying and you can book up to two years in advance; needless to say, sooner is better for school holidays!
The site stretches over 20 acres, but the cottages themselves and main facilities are all relatively close together while still staying private.
The cottage – it’s a fine line for cottages to tread: I want a bit of luxury and some lovely touches, but I still want that country feel rather than looking like an escaped boutique hotel. This nailed that without any problems. Comfy squashy sofas to relax on and a huge bed to snuggle down in, all in lovely tactile neutrals under the wood beams. There’s a big rolltop bath in the bathroom, but a bath mat for practicality and a great shower as well.
The same with the kitchen: dishwasher, all the paraphernalia I might need to cook with, kids’ crockery, a huge fridge-freezer, but also a fun patterned wipe clean cloth on the table, a little bread bin and some proper wine glasses, plus a welcome pack including Welsh cakes. I may have a minor Welsh cake addiction now.
The wood burner – I love the idea of curling up next to a flickering log fire, especially during a chilly February half-term. Realistically, when it’s just me and Minnie, I know deep down that I’ll probably never get around to lighting it and clearing up afterwards, but it’s wonderful to have.
The animals – with our slightly packed itinerary, we only had chance to join in with the animal feeding once, but it was huge fun even in the drizzle. The kids are all instantly known by name, which makes it so welcoming, and they all get to join in… even if Minnie preferred to enthusiastically watch the ‘huge ginormous great big pig’ from a distance. With ponies, two alpacas, cheeky goats, plus smaller furry bunnies and guinea pigs to spot and feed, there’s normally egg collecting too although bird flu restrictions meant that was temporarily unavailable.
The facilities – as well as the farm, there’s a small play area and an indoor heated pool. I knew we wouldn’t get chance to go in, and I also knew Minnie would be very unhappy at that fact, so I had to avoid taking a peek (or mentioning its existence. Meanie). The same went for the indoor soft play and the year-round supervised kids’ club, the games room and library where you can borrow board games, the hot tubs and the spa. Really, you need more than a couple of days here!
With my practical hat on, there’s also a communal laundry and little shop, including frozen ready meals, plus a really helpful list online of everything that’s included in the cottage and what you might want to bring, buy or reserve (eg stairgates and steriliser). There’s even details on how to arrange a supermarket delivery plus an information folder in the cottage.
The not so good
The location – in terms of being able to explore, it’s fine as you’re never too far from anywhere in Pembrokeshire. Castell Henllys is nearby, you’re not far from the beach, coast and national park, and we had days out in and around St Davids and Tenby too – check out my three family days out in Pembrokeshire for more. The fact that you’re right in the countryside is also a big plus point if you want a relaxed escape.
But if you’re a nervous driver or navigating solo, it’s worth knowing there are a lot of little country lanes here with space for one car. It was quiet enough that I only had to reverse once or twice, so we had no real problems (even if my heart was in my mouth a few times). I’d definitely recommend arriving in daylight though, and having proper old-fashioned printed maps in case your phone/Satnav loses the GPS especially as it’s a big postcode area.
Phone signal – you’re warned in advance that phone signal is minimal here, although there is good wifi (strong enough for a video call, though not for streaming). It wasn’t a problem for us and there is a landline which can accept incoming calls when Reception is open (or a phone box in the car park in an emergency) too.
The verdict: Clydey Cottages Pembrokeshire
If you can’t relax here (narrow roads notwithstanding), I’m not sure you can relax anywhere – we slowed down the second we opened the door to our lovely cosy retreat, and I’d have loved a bit longer to enjoy the facilities too. Ideal for younger kids in particular who’ll love the play area and animals.
PIN FOR LATER
Disclosure: My stay was courtesy of Clydey Cottages and Pembrokeshire Tourism. All opinions, big pig fans and driving nerves are my own.
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