Late last year we were invited to stay at Clydey Cottages in Pembrokeshire. I've been meaning to write about our wonderful stay at this award winning resort ever since but first Christmas came up, followed by New Years and then we were at hospital with Mum. Now life is getting back to normal (of sorts!), I am slowly catching up. Looking back at our photos (there are so many!) I realise I'm going to need to write more than one post to include everything, so this is Post 1, an overview of our winter weekend at this luxury, 5* holiday cottage. I hope it helps you plan your future visit:
Before our arrival we had been sent a very detailed welcome pack to help us plan for our stay. The owners Dewi and Jacqui had really thought of everything and gave a personlised touch to the holiday from the start. In addition to the standard information such as directions, activities and what to pack, there was also a list of the Spa Treatments available (book in advance), a list of the frozen meals available to buy on site and also instructions to have our supermarket shop delivered directly to Clydey.
We arrived on a Friday evening and found Clydey even looked welcoming in the dark. We parked the car, made our way to our cottage and went straight in. If we had arrived earlier, Jacqui would have been there to meet us but I knew we'd be late as we had to wait until after school and work to travel.
Handy tip: Ignore the Sat Nav and follow Clydey's directions!
Our Stay at Clydey Cottages
Our accommodation was Bramble Cottage, a cosy three bedroom home for the weekend. We walked into a large entrance hall way (perfect for storing all our pairs of wellies!), we kicked off our shoes and made our way into the inviting lounge and dining room.
My next Clydey post will focus on the accommodation in more detail but I will say for now that every room was wonderful with the perfect blend of traditional cottage decor and modern style and features. It was simply stunning!
As well as being sparkling clean, our cottage was fragranced beautifully with a Branche d'Olive reed diffuser (in Bamboo Lotus I think). The whole cottage smelt delightful and I've promised myself I'll buy myself this diffuser to remind us of our stay.
We were greeted by fresh flowers and a personal note card in the living room.
In the kitchen, we found a welcome pack with local produce. As we looked around our cottage there were were lots of "Wow!" and "Ooh!" moments going on!
Yes, I even got excited to see Ecover washing up liquid in the kitchen! I know! But it's our favourite to use at home and I love it when we can continue to use eco friendly products on holiday.
The sitting room was designed for relaxation with two large comfy sofas and a large bean bag that the kids loved to lay on.
We all had a quick explore around the cottage seeing all the different rooms. We just loved the whole cottage and felt at home straight away. Rebecca and Danny chose this bunk bed bedroom.
Meanwhile the kids relaxed, played and chilled watching TV.
We tucked into pizza for tea and us adults cracked opened the wine.
After tea and pudding it was time for baths and showers before bed. The younger kids loved the large bath and the older kids enjoyed the powerful shower. There was a nice touch with a personalised guest soap from New Dawn Organic too- definitely another local company that I will be checking out in future.
After bath time, it was time for stories in bed. Isabelle and Caitlyn looked very cosy in their shared double. Dave and I could have slept in this double and had our King Room made up as two singles, but we decided to keep the Master Bedroom (with TV and alarm) for us as the girls are happy to share anyway.
Rebecca made use of the desk and light to write her diary about the time she had spent at Clydey so far.
We woke to a beautiful frosty morning. We had a quick breakfast as we wanted to get outdoors as soon as we could to enjoy the surroundings and take part in the daily animal feeding.
This was the gorgeous view we were treated to each time we opened our cottage door.
I love fresh crispy frost!
We took in our outdoor setting for the weekend (the first time seeing it in daylight) as we walked over to the playground to meet the farmer. Either Farmer Malcolm or Farmer Rachel run the animal feed each morning.
We passed the Clydey Reception and Shop which we found very handy for bits and bobs over the weekend. They even came and delivered fresh eggs (for Dave) to the cottage.
The Leisure Facilities that we were to later enjoy.
The park! There is plenty of space at Clydey and yet everyone is close together so it's a great place for children to develop their independence. They really can be free range here!
As we waited for the farmer, we got to know some of the animals. The ponies were so friendly and loving.
Farmer Rachel arrived and introduced herself. She was so lovely and really put us all at ease. Off we went excitedly read to feed the animals (there will also be a whole post about the animal feeding).
I loved the llamas! Isabelle was quite nervous at first feeding the animals. Initially she was just going to watch. Then she decided to try and feed some with a fork with help from Dave.
Then it was time to feed the chickens.
There were also guinea pigs and rabbits to help feed and pet.
They were so cute!
Caitlyn was enamoured with the beautiful bunnies! Isabelle was really taken with the pigs and had grown so much in confidence by the end of the first animal feed, it was really wonderful to see.
After the animal feed we popped home for a cooked brunch. As she hadn't welcomed us the night before Jacqui and her daughter came to meet us while we were "home" which was another lovely touch.
Then we explored some more.
We decided to pop to the play room before taking the kids swimming. This room impressed both the children of all ages and the adults- lots of good quality toys to play with, a soft play area and even computer consoles. For the adults there were comfy sofas, magazines and a coffee machine. This was a great area to have to ourselves and even if all the other kids staying at Clydey had come in to play at the same time, it would still be a great space and just mean more friends to play with and adults to chat to! After the animal feed, the other guests had gone offsite for the day.
As we watched the kids and sipped our coffee we read previous guest reviews. Previous guests include Tess and Vernon Kay and Sara Cox (in fact one of my school friends recommended Pembrokeshire to her after Sara put out a campaign tweet. I remember retweeting it at the time!).
As we'd predicted the kids didn't want to leave the playroom but luckily we had a plan- the pool! As soon as they knew we were off to the pool they tidied their toys away, put their shoes on and we headed downstairs to the pool area.
We were so lucky and had the pool to ourselves on both days. It really made it the most relaxing and enjoyable time that we've had in a pool ever! The changing rooms were lovely and then we entered the swimming pool that has been so well planned for families.
I am really guilty of not taking the kids swimming often enough and feel especially bad for Izzy as she's the only one to not have had any lessons. We were so pleased to see her gain in confidence in the pool just from her first play.
There are also hot tubs, a sauna and lounge beds to help you relax too.
For families with younger children there is a travel cot and also this baby area with bouncers to keep little ones amused. When my kids were babies they liked a short session of water play, then an immediate feed followed by a long snooze. I can see this area would have been a blessing during this time.
We had brought our own swimming jacket and noodle (or woddle) with us but we needn't have as Clydey had everything you could think of needed for swimming, spare costumes, floats, toys, goggles all there for guests to use.
Next we went to the games room and played air hockey, table tennis, table football and other games. It was great to have this time just to enjoy easy playing with the kids. There was so much laughter as we all competed with each other. It really felt like we could reconnect as a family with no distractions from the real world. Talking of which, our phones had no signal during the stay. However, there was a phone in the cottage and a free strong WiFi signal all through the site should you want to reconnect (we did occasionally to check in with family and share an Instagram photo or two) but on the whole being cut off added to the stress free feel of this weekend.
Then it was back to the cottage for pasta for tea (and more wine for the grown ups!).
Dave lit the fire and we played a few games then relaxed and watched TV. I honestly felt the most chilled I have felt in ages. We had stayed on site all day and had such a lovely time- the park, the feed run, the indoor play area, the pool and the games room. We asked the kids what they wanted to do the next day and they asked could we do all the same things again and I eagerly agreed. Of course there is also lots to do in the surrounding area, Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthen too. However, if you just want to unwind with the kids then it's great to make the most of the wonderful facilities at Clydey while you're there. If we'd stayed for longer than a weekend I'd have taken turns with Dave for the animal feed on at least one occasion so we could each have a lay in! We would also have left site, but for a weekend where you truly feel replenished, it felt so good to stay at this resort.
So the next day we did everything again and also explored the herb garden. It was so pretty like a secret garden.
Hot chocolate before bed!
This photo just sums up how I felt during our stay- happy, cosy and relaxed. We really can't wait to come back.
As well as being a perfect break for families, it would make a lovely romantic break, a fun break with friends and the perfect base for a big family get together if a few cottages were booked at once (this would be an amazing holiday).
In future posts I'll tell you more about the accommodation, animal feed, the activities and what to do in the surrounding area. I also have a film to share.
For more information and to book: Clydey Cottages
There are 10 cottages to choose from from 1 bedroom to 4 bedrooms.
Check dates and accommodation for prices.
We were guest of Clydey Cottages for purposes of this review but all opinions are our own. Thank you very much for inviting us on this perfect break.