The Old Barn stands on its own at the end of the yard of our 35 acre smallholding, surrounded by fields and National Trust woodland. We have lovingly restored the barn as a stylish and comfortable holiday home using traditional Welsh slate, oak, lime and eco-friendly materials. There is fabulous walking from the doorstep, and further afield in the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons, and outdoor activities such as cycling, riding, kayaking and wild swimming are available locally.
The Old Barn is an ideal base for events such as the Hay Festival (June) and Abergavenny Food Festival (September). The beaches of the Gower are just over an hour's drive, and the vibrant Welsh capital, Cardiff, is only 50 minutes away.
Inside the barn is a stylish mix of old and new, with contemporary designer furniture and lighting alongside traditional oak beams and antiques. The kitchen is superbly equipped, reflecting our own love of good food – a homemade cake and eggs from our free range hens are part of the package, and lamb from the farm is sometimes available. In the living room a woodburner gives a cosy feel on those chillier evenings, and there is wifi, a CD player with i-pod dock, a DVD player, board games and loads of books. The utility room has ample space for keeping all your outdoor gear.
All three bedrooms are spacious and comfortable. Upstairs the bright, sunny West Bedroom has a kingsize bed, and the cosy East Bedroom has two 3'6" singles. They share a family bathroom. The Bat Room, with ensuite wetroom, is on ground level and has its own entrance off the courtyard. Towels and linen are included, all 100% cotton (cot available on request). Each bedroom also boasts its own Sugar Loaf view.
Outside are two sunny seating areas for relaxing and drinking in the views. A barbecue is provided.
There are three houses on the smallholding: the sixteenth century farmhouse where we live, The Old Barn, and the "new" farmhouse, The White House, also available for holidays. Each property is entirely private, and they do not overlook each other. However, larger groups (up to 12) may like to book The Old Barn and The White House together.
|Size||Sleeps up to 6, 3 bedrooms|
|Access||Car advised, Wheelchair users|
|Nearest Amenities||2 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest railway: Abergavenny 3 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, CD player, Table tennis, Games room, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms and 1 En suites|
|Furniture||Double beds (2), Single beds (2), Cots (1), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 7|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ|
|Access||Parking, Wheelchair users|
South Wales is great castle country. Abergavenny's is just a ruin – it was destroyed during the Civil War - but there are impressive remains just down the road at Raglan and Whitecastle, and also at Chepstow, Caerphilly and Cardiff. For glorious ecclesiastical architecture, Hereford Cathedral is just over the border in England and houses the fascinating Mappa Mundi; the atmospheric ruins of Llanthony Priory nestle below the Hatterall Ridge in the Vale of Ewyas - stunning viewed from the Offa's Dyke footpath above; and tiny, hidden Patrishow Church is a little gem.
Then there are Roman remains at Caerleon near Newport, and St Fagan's Open Air Museum near Cardiff which recreates the lives of ordinary Welsh people through the ages. Our more recent industrial past can be relived at the World Heritage site of Blaenavon. The journey underground at The Big Pit is a must.
A day on the beach is within easy reach, with the beautiful Gower Peninsula just over an hour away along the A465 Heads of the Valleys road, or drive west through Brecon, Llandeilo and Lampeter to Cardigan Bay with its sheltered coves and miles of sand (about two hours).
If Abergavenny doesn't quite have the city buzz you want, Cardiff is easily reached in under an hour by car or train from Abergavenny Station. Cardiff is a wonderfully lively capital city with museums, theatres and historic buildings, great shopping and sport. Visit the Castle, the Millennium Stadium and the Victorian shopping arcades in the old city, then take a boat down the Taff to Cardiff Bay, home of the Welsh Assembly Government, the Millennium Centre and Doctor Who!
Our area hosts a number of hugely popular festivals to suit all tastes and ages. These include the internationally acclaimed literature and arts festival at Hay-on-Wye (May/June); Abergavenny Cycling Festival (July); Brecon Jazz Festival (August); The Green Man Festival at Crickhowell (August); Abergavenny Food Festival (September); Brecon Baroque festival (October); and Abergavenny Christmas Food Fair (early December).
Many of our visitors come here for the walking. The main footpath through the farm leads straight up to the summit of Sugar Loaf – a walk of about an hour. Paths branch off from this in all directions, and it is possible to explore the mountain and its foothills and valleys from a slightly different perspective every day. There is an OS map provided for guests' use, and we can suggest local walks – of any length to suit your energy levels – and pubs that might provide a welcome break and good food along your way! Being so close to the town it is easy to pick up all the main routes westwards into the Brecon Beacons, and north and east into the further reaches of the Black Mountains. Other outdoor activities available locally include wild swimming, cycling, horse riding, climbing, and para-gliding. And if you're lucky enough to coincide with winter snow, bring your sledge; you won't even need to leave the farm to get some fast and furious runs!
Abergavenny is a compact and pretty little town on the River Usk, overlooked by its three mountains – Sugar Loaf, Blorenge and Skirrid. It bustles with life, especially on market days and offers quirky independent shops alongside 21st century essentials such as Waitrose, Waterstones and Caffe Nero!
The settlement began life as a fort in Roman times, and went on to prosper thanks to local trades as diverse as wool, flannel making, wig-making and tanning. There is a small museum in the castle.
The Castle Meadows, which meander along the banks of the river, are a haven for wildlife – with a bit of luck you can spot heron, kingfishers and even otters. It is also an extremely popular sheep-free walking spot for local dogs and their owners! Just over the river you can link up with the Brecon and Monmouthshire canal – perfect flat low-level walking and cycling for those cloudier damper days.
Abergavenny is a foodie heaven, with great local produce in shops and the market, and excellent restaurants in town and a few minutes' drive away. Try The Angel Hotel for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or fantastic afternoon teas, Pizzorante for great home-made pasta and pizza and The Bayleaf for the best curry in town. Out of town are The Walnut Tree at Llandewi Skirrid, the Foxhunter at Nantyderry and The Hardwick. The Food Market is open on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and there is a Farmers' Market on the fourth Thursday of every month. This focus on food explodes in September when the town holds its annual Food Festival, and again for the Christmas Food Fair at the beginning of December.
Abergavenny has a cinema with two screens, a small theatre and a swimming pool and leisure centre. There are also theatres at Brecon and Hereford, and the nearest multiplex cinema is at Cwmbran (25 minutes), where there is also a large shopping centre.