The Old Barn stands on its own at the end of the yard of our 35 acre organic smallholding on the slopes of Sugar Loaf Mountain in the Brecon Beacons National Park. It is 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 into the Black Mountains and on into the Brecon Beacons, and outdoor activities such as cycling, riding, kayaking and wild swimming are available locally.
Inside the barn is a stylish mix of old and new, with contemporary 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 ducks and hens are part of the package, and organic lamb from the farm is available. In the living room a woodburner gives a cosy feel on chillier days, 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, and an old byre houses table tennis and table football.
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.
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|
|Rooms||3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 1 family bathroom and 1 en suite|
|Nearest Amenities||2 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest railway: Abergavenny 5 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Fireplace, 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|
|Furniture||Double Beds (2), Single Beds (2), Cots available (1), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 7|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair available|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ|
|Access||Parking, Wheelchair users|
Porth-y-Parc (meaning Gateway to the Park) is a 35 acre smallholding. We are at the entrance to a medieval deer park once owned by the monks of St Mary’s Priory. Our Black Welsh Mountain sheep thrive here in their natural habitat - they graze away happily however wild and wacky the weather - even lambing in the snow if needs be! Spring guests often help with bottle feeding any orphan lambs. As well as the sheep, we keep a few hens and ducks for eggs – always a big hit with our holiday guests. We are dedicated to creating a habitat that is home to a wide diversity of wildlife, and we are now in-conversion to organic status - an exciting next step for Porth-y-Parc. Our guests are welcome to wander freely through the fields and woodland.
Abergavenny is a compact and pretty little town on the River Usk, overlooked by its three mountains – Sugar Loaf, The Blorenge and Skirrid. It bustles with life, especially on markey 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. 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 theatres at Brecon and Hereford, and the nearest multiplex cinema is at Cwmbran (25 minutes), where there is also a large shopping centre. South Wales is great castle country. Abergavenny 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 of course Cardiff.
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; and Kilpeck Church on the way to Hereford is an extravaganza of incredible Norman carving, some decidedly pagan in origin!
The Roman presence is on show at Caerleon near Newport, and St Fagan's Open Air Museum near Cardiff 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.
If Abergavenny doesn't quite have the city buzz you want, Cardiff and Newport are easily reached in under an hour by car or train from Abergavenny Station. Cardiff is a wonderfully vibrant 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).