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.
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. There are OS maps 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 cycling, horse riding, climbing, and para-gliding. The Usk, Wye and Monnow rivers offer some fantastic spots for wild swimming fans – we can share some of our favourites with you. 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!
The Brecon Beacons National Park has recently become an International Dark Sky Reserve, with Sugar Loaf Mountain listed in its top 10 stargazing sites. If you don’t fancy the hike up the hill in the dark, the barn patio is a pretty amazing viewing spot too!
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 market days and offers quirky independent shops alongside 21st century essentials such as Waitrose, Waterstones and Caffe Nero!
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 also has a cinema with two screens, a small theatre and a swimming pool and leisure centre.
Hay-on-Wye is a beautiful little town, famous for its second-hand bookshops. The drive to Hay through the Vale of Ewyas and over Gospel Pass is a must! Or visit at May half term, when Hay International Literary Festival is in full swing.
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. 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!