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Cottage | 4 bedrooms | sleeps 8
Bristol House is a charming cottage in the village of Llansaint on the Carmarthenshire coast. It looks out over Carmarthen bay and the meeting of the three estuaries: Gwendraeth, Taff and Towy.
The Wales Coast Path runs along the back garden (literally!) and so Bristol House is ideal for walkers and ramblers – even if, like us, you only ramble as far as the King's Arms pub, all of 50yds away. The 12th Century Kidwelly Castle is just over a mile away and Ffos las Racecourse is only slightly further.
It is a few minutes' drive from the endless beaches, mountain biking, dry ski, toboggan and pony trekking of Pembrey Country Park which has a unique blend of coast and countryside and award-winning beaches. Parc y Scarlets is in nearby Llanelli and the bright lights of Carmarthen are a few miles north of the village. In Carmarthen the castle is not to be missed, nor is the fantastic Y Polyn restaurant. On the opposite side of the Towy the historic Laugharne with – you've guessed it – another castle is dripping in history both ancient and modern: it is home to all things Dylan Thomas and the Laugharne Weekend arts festival.
Despite its rural setting Bristol House is neither backward nor Spartan – the high specification includes WiFi, LED TVs and digital 5.1 sound in the large sitting room, high-quality furnishings, teak floors pretty much throughout and it's kept cosy by a wood burning stove and thick stone walls. It is the perfect rural getaway for all the family: close to beautiful beaches, unspoilt forests and many tourist attractions.
The downstairs accommodation comprises a full-length (20' x 11½'), double aspect living room with LED TV (with catch-up service), DVD and a 5.1 surround sound system that you can plug your iPod into, a small sitting room / 4th bedroom and a dining area which can seat 8. The well-equipped kitchen has a dishwasher (phew!) fridge, microwave and toaster. It also has what we consider to be kitchen essentials - a proper coffee grinder, a blender, microwave and slow cooker as well as the usual kitchen stuff. There is a washing machine and a small freezer under the stairs. There is also a high chair and other baby-wrangling impedimenta such as a travel cot and toys.
The secure, private, south-facing garden gets lots of sun, is kiddie-friendly, has a built-in brick barbecue and garden furniture. The garage / workshop houses the firewood and a tumble drier but still leaves plenty of space for bikes etc.
Bristol House has 3 upstairs double bedrooms and a small downstairs sitting room that can double as a 4th bedroom. This is in addition to the much larger downstairs living room and dining room. The dining room table extends to seat 8. Two of the upstairs bedrooms have double beds, and the 3rd can be configured as a double or a twin room as the beds zip together. Linen and towels available on request.
The downstairs small sitting room has a high-quality sofa bed – this room is in addition to the large living room and so can be used as a fourth bedroom without compromising living space.
|Size||Sleeps up to 8, 4 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Ferryside 1 km|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings, Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest Amenities||1.5 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Pembrey Airport 6 km, Nearest railway: Kidwelly 3 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player, Sea view|
|General||TV, CD player, Telephone, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||4 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||2 Sofa beds, Single beds (2), Double beds (2), Cots (1), Dining seats for 8, Lounge seats for 8|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Private garden, BBQ|
The West Wales/Pembrokeshire region
Nice beach; check the tide times at www.tidetimes.org.uk/ferryside-tide-times for when it's out. Great fish and chips at the Ferry Cabin
East: Kidwelly and Pembrey
Incredibly well-preserved Norman fortress with lots of rooms to explore and great views. Lots of information explaining what each part was used for.
Bird sanctuary, and area of outstanding natural beauty – with Kymer's Canal (the first canal to be built in Wales) and the Gwendraeth there is a range of habitats, freshwater and brackish lagoons and meadows which give rise to an incredible diversity of wildlife and birds, many of which are not only rare but incredibly tasty. There are excellent views of the upper Gwendraeth and the sewage treatment works.
Go towards Kidwelly station, cross the tracks at the level crossing, keep right at the fork and there is ample free parking. If you end up in the water you've gone too far.
Pembrey Country Park
A 500 acre park with 8 miles of Blue Flag beaches, walks, horse riding, toboggan run (brilliant and only £2), dry ski, mountain bike trails. There is a dry ski school for kids on Saturdays. Admission is free but car parking is only a few quid to get closer to the action. T
This coast has the largest golden sand beaches in the UK with Pendine Sands, the Gower Peninsula, and Mumbles are also easily accessible but they won't let you race on Pendine Sands like Top Gear.
National Wetland Centre
450 acres of wetlands with over 600 species of birds. It also has a cafe, various childrens' amusements, canoeing, biking etc. You can feed the birds.
Parc Y Scarlets
Sports stadium and retail park - home to the famous Scarlets rugby club.
Dinefwr Castle and Park
Stunning National Trust castle but the parking. Great views and walking. There is tourist information and shop in the car park and the house itself does have a cafe. Which is average.
Great fish and chips, the Dylan Thomas boat house; as the crow flies it's just over the estuary from Ferryside – but by car you need to go up to Carmarthen to get the other side. Laugharne is worth the trip and has many great spots to explore covered in all the guides. The chippy opposite the castle is excellent and very child-friendly.
The Tin Shed Experience
Montague House, Laugharne SA33 4QG
Every man needs a shed. And a shed is a state of mind, and does not necessarily need physical form. The Tin Shed Experience is an homage to sheds housing a collection of 30s, 40s and wartime sheds including some famous sheds used in films. It also has a victory garden complete with Anderson Shelter.
Big Pit: National Coal Museum
About an hour further east of the Dan yr Ogof Caves at the south of the Brecon Beacons. An award-winning national museum that still retains many of the features of the working coal mine it was. Not for the claustrophobic (or tall) this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-see for anyone interested in our industrial heritage.
Carmarthen and North
Carmarthen is pretty in places, has a castle BUT has a fantastic deli and Y Polyn – just outside Carmarthen is fantastic.
58 King Street, Carmarthen SA31 1BD 01267 233811
Capel Dewi, Carmarthen SA32 7LH 01267 290 000
THIS IS A MUST-VISIT RESTAURANT.
Check out www.ypolynrestaurant.co.uk – they often have specials such as their 'Credit Crunch Lunch'.
Bronwydd Arms Station, Carmarthen SA33 6HT 01267 238213
Standard gauge preserved steam railway running from Bronwydd (just north of Carmarthen) to Danycoed along a section of the former Carmarthen to Aberystwyth railway - one of the many casualties of Dr Beeching.
National Botanic Garden of Wales
Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire SA32 8HG
Award winning gardens with – well, plants. And trees. And flowers and stuff. They also run a variety of events some of which are about plants and some of which aren't.
Dan yr Ogof Caves
The National Showcaves Centre for Wales, Abercrave, SA9 1GJ 01639 730 284
The National Showcaves Centre for Wales is an 11 mile cave system in within the Brecon Beacons National Park. It's part of a show cave complex, apparently the largest in Europe but has dinosaurs, skeletons and has been voted the best attraction in Britain. It's just over an hour's drive away.
Wales Coast Path
The 870-mile path is easy to find – it runs along the back garden.
If you walk towards Kidwelly (look out the kitchen window – that way!) the path turns right by the community centre and down to Kidwelly. Look out for the hidden garden on the right a few hundred yards along the path.
Past Kidwelly and on to Llanelli it's a 'proper' car-free tarmac section with great views.
Going the other way (along Heol Gwermont – the road that runs past the back garden) it's all downhill to Ferryside. This follows the line of a Medieval route called the 'Ferry Way', which led from Kidwelly to the Llansteffan Ferry over the Towi estuary.
Apparently a Tsunami hit the original village on the sea shore in the early 1600s leaving the church of St Ishmael on its own on the seashore.
The stretch of beach from St Ishmael to Ferryside was the epicentre of the cockle trade a century ago – there are some fascinating pictures in the King's Arms.
Apparently the men would work on the land or in the coal mines and the women and children would harvest cockles. This led to a strongly matriarchal society where the women controlled much of the wealth and owned much of the property in the village.
To collect the cockles they would use nothing more than a rake and sieve; this carried on until the last of the Llansaint cockle ladies called it a day in 1973.
All Saints' Church dates back to the 12th century, the tower was added in the 14th and – like many along the coast – is painted white as an aid to ships' navigation, and two early Christian inscribed (Ogham) stones were found within the church's wall fabric during restoration in 1862, and were rebuilt into the south wall.
These commemorate two 6th century Irish priests named Cimestle Avicat and Vennestl.
A holy well, Ffynnon Saint ('Saint's Well') is located some 300m to the north east. The church is first mentioned in documents around 1115 at which time it belonged to Sherborne abbey, Dorset. In 1141 it is thought that it was granted to Gloucester cathedral.
Subsequently St Ishmael's and Llansaint was granted to the Bishop of St David's by John of Gaunt in 1368. After the dissolution they to the Crown.
In 1833 Llansaint was a discharged vicarage in the patronage of the King, and a formal chapel of ease to St Ishmael's.
All Saints is a Grade II listed building. constructed of limestone, Old Red Sandstone and rubble stone, with yellow oolite (egg stone) dressings. It consists of a two-bayed chancel, three-bayed nave, single-bayed north transept, west tower, vestry (south of the chancel's west bay) and generator house (between the west vestry wall and nave).
The nave and chancel are thought to be medieval as are the square recess in the east wall and a similar one beneath the south window. The west tower dates from the late fifteenth century. It has three storeys and connects to the belfry via a stair set into the south wall, entered from the churchyard. Two blocked windows, in the sanctuary north wall and the south wall, are thought to be seventeenth century.
The building was restored in 1862 - the north transept and vestry date to this time. The west doors and chancel arch were rebuilt, and new windows were added. The church was also re-roofed, re-floored and re-seated. The oolite font is also thought to date to this restoration, as do the external oolite dressings.
The oak sanctuary dressings date from the 1950s and the plastered vestry ceiling is also thought to be twentieth century.
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21 Jul 2014
"Thoroughly enjoyed our stay"
The cottage was very clean, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. Atmosphere peaceful, so good for r&r.Convenient for beaches, though these are not on the doorstep. We brought our own food, and the kitchen was well equipped, except for a slightly dodgy tin opener! All in all we returned relaxed and refreshed from our stay.
The shower/bath could do with a non-slip mat and a hand rail.
5 Apr 2014
"Lovely relaxing holiday"
We stayed here in the October half term - 4 adults and 3 young children. It was lovely. Everything you could ask for was provided and there was plenty of space even with 3 under 5s running round the… More
10 Feb 2014
"Lovely house, great location. Perfect weekend away!"
We stayed here for a long weekend in January - 6 adults and one child and had a lovely weekend. The house is more than big enough and you could easily fit 2 more adults. The house itself has been finished to a very high standard and looks brand new.
The house was spotlessly clean, the beds were comfortable and every room is nicely decorated. We opted in for towels and bedding so we didn't have to take our own and what was provided was great quality.
Parking wasn't a problem there were space for both our cars at the front of the house.
The log fire in the living room certainly adds to the cosy feeling of this house. The kitchen has every utensil you could need. The pub near by (30 second walk!) is great and the staff are very friendly. We visited both Llansaint Castle and the National Park and would highly recommended to everyone.
We will definitely be returning to this house soon. Thank you so much for our stay :)
7 Jan 2014
"Relaxing retreat in a cute village with fun experiences within walking distance."
Thanks to Alison for setting us up for a lovely new year's break. We were 8 30-somethings (4 couples) and the house worked well, despite just the one bathroom. The house was in excellent condition and the house instructions were informative and fun! We loved the old nature of the place - very comfy with exposed beams, different levels and lots of nooks and crannies that gave the house great character. We made good use of the fire, which once going got the house toasty. The kitchen, while small, is very well appointed and we had no trouble cooking large meals for all of us. Navigating about the small village and surrounds by foot was a breeze and very fun, as was the local old pub. Highly recommended for a break with good friends.
28 Dec 2013
"More than we expected"
The photos definitely do not do the cottage justice, it was bigger than we expected and had a warm and homely feel.We spent Christmas here in a group of 8 aged between 22 and 90 and everybody was comf… More
Tracy - thank you so much for your kind words we are delighted you had a lovely Christmas holiday at Bristol House and we do hope to welcome you back again soon. Alison
2 Jul 2013
"Bristol House, Llansaint"
Bristol House in Llansaint is situated just a few minutes from Kidwelly Castle in beautiful Welsh countryside with breathtaking views of the sea and coast. Booking this accommodation for a weekend was… More
6 Jun 2013
"Fantastic comfortable house in a great location"
I recently stayed at Bristol House as part of a group of two families with young children. I found the accommodation excellent: spotlessly clean, everything you need for a comfortable stay already at … More
7 May 2013
A great let and good value. Very well appointed rooms for a family visiting the area, everything you could want for for a short stay of holiday. location allows you plenty of options for days out beyo… More
5 May 2013
"Great Cottage, Great Location"
About 10mins drive from Pembrey, 5mins from Kidwelly Castle so lots for the kids to do. The pub is 50yds away and v friendly (and kiddie friendly, even in the evening). Cottage is very nicely done - a… More
18 Apr 2013
"Beautiful cottage in a beautiful part of Wales."
Set in the lovely village of Llansaint, Bristol House was really easy to get to. And once you get there, there's loads to do. Pembrey Coastal Park is perfect for a day out - beautiful white sandy beach and great walks through the forest. On the other hand, if you don't want to do much, the cottage is fully kitted out with a charming wood fire, lots of books and even a dolby stereo home theatre system.
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