Are Clydey Cottages the most child friendly holiday cottages in the UK?Back to latest posts
Are Clydey Cottages the most child friendly holiday cottages in the UK?
When all’s said and and done, it’s the little touches that make your stay somewhere memorable. The warm welcome you receive on your arrival. That hamper of goodies. The crisp white bed linen. And the desire to return as soon as you head for home.
And Clydey Cottages, ten sympathetically converted 18th century farm buildings set in 20 acres of woodland, near Boncath in Pembrokeshire, Wales have all those little touches nailed.
We stayed there over the New Year, as a family of two adults and two children, aged 3 and 6. And whilst our departure was delayed thanks to several inches of snow, our late arrival was met with the warmest of welcomes: the fairy lights on the outside of the cottage glowed alongside the wreath on the front door and inside, the heating was on and the Christmas tree twinkled. Underneath it lay presents clearly labelled for the kids. “But how did they know our names?” exclaimed our eldest in wonderment.
For the adults, there were Welsh cakes and mulled wine, a 7 day weather forecast plus a letter inviting us to book our children into the complimentary creche for 4 hours on a Monday and Thursday. We needed no second invitation…
The cosiest of cottages with baby equipment as standard
Our cottage, Heather Cottage, is a stone built, two bedroomed property complete with wooden beams, which, bar a thatched roof, from the outside looked every bit like the holiday home rented by Cameron Diaz in the festive favourite film ‘The Holiday’.
Overlooking the large lawned area, it commanded views right across the valley as well as of all the farm animals closer to home.
Inside, it contained everything we needed to thoroughly enjoy a week away from home, from a log burning fire, to underfloor heating in the bathroom to the most comfortable of superking beds upstairs. Even handmade soap, with a little bag to take it home in. Sadly no Jude Law.
The kitchen was well equipped (yes, the knives were sharp!) and the local supermarket delivered on time. Perfect.
And should you need it, to save bringing a second car filled with baby gear, they have a huge list of accessories you can borrow such as highchairs, cots (full size wooden cots with mattresses, not travel cots), stair gates, monitors, changing mats, potties, baby carriers, sterilisers etc. There’s even spare wellies and fishing nets!
A holiday cottage where you can feed the animals!
One of the more unusual attractions of these luxury Welsh cottages is the chance to feed the farm animals each day, alongside Farmer Malcolm. The man is a legend and his ability to engage with every child, even the most unconfident, was wonderful to behold. A veritable child whisperer and our kids adored him.
So 9.30hrs every morning saw our two race out of the front door and head over to the rendezvous point at the play area to talk to the Shetland ponies, followed by the Alpacas, the goats, Iggle the pig, the 3 little pigs (their names A, B and C suggesting they might not feature on our next visit) plus chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs.
Watching the kids feeding the animals fruit and vegetables from their plastic forks kept all the parents entertained whilst the mud reminded us that wellies and waterproofs were probably the most useful thing we’d packed.
A luxury holiday cottage with games room, play area and indoor swimming pool
A home from home, Heather Cottage really felt like somewhere you could relax in all day if needed. That said, there is more than enough on site to entertain children (and adults!) of all ages, including the aforementioned outdoor play area plus numerous ride on tractors.
And inside, there’s a soft play area with free coffee and tea for parents whilst they relax on the sofas, reading magazines (when was the last time we did that?!).
There’s also a games room, complete with air hockey, pool table, table football and table tennis as well as what looked like hundreds of DVDs to borrow for free. And lining the walls are an impressive number of signed professional cricket and rugby shirts from previous guests.
And of course, there’s the swimming pool. Never too busy, it felt like our own private space and like everything else, was so well equipped that we wondered why we had brought swim floats when it was all provided, along with float vests, dive sticks and googles. Complete with wide steps into a confidence inspiring shallow end, they even have a secure area fenced off to keep runaway toddlers safe whilst you get everyone dry!
And for the grown ups, we enjoyed the sauna and 2 hot tubs – one indoor and the other outdoors, overlooking the stunning views. Had we time, we could also have taken advantage of the onsite Decleor spa.
A holiday cottage with free childcare!
It’s the first time we’ve come across such a great offering of free childcare in a holiday cottage setting and to be honest, the kids relished the idea of four hours away from us, to play with new friends, under the watchful eye of fully trained nursery workers.
We in turn chose to hot foot it to a nearby town for lunch and wander round the shops, free from octopus hands tearing everything apart.
We returned to find the kids happy but tired, fed and watered and laden with handmade pictures of tractors and Ariel. Good times.
A holiday cottage with good restaurants and coffee shops nearby
Unusually for us, we didn’t feel obliged to conquer the local area by car every day, although we did make a few select trips, including the UK’s smallest city of St Davids, as well as nearby Tenby (that lifeboat station!) with its wonderful beaches and lastly Narberth, specifically to visit the much lauded ‘Plum Vanilla’ café, famed for its great coffee and fresh food.
We were not disappointed (which says a lot as we’re confirmed lovers of a good ‘Flat White’). So we went back visited it again the very next day too.
We also explored a number of local beaches with the kids – perfect for burning off loads of energy (and those Christmas calories). Favourites included Tresaith with its incredible waterfall, Newport and Whitesands Bay.
A holiday cottage in Wales that you could return to year after year
On the morning of our last day, Farmer Malcolm knocked the door with certificates for both children, to say that they had successfully qualified as a ‘Clydey Young Farmers’ during their stay, together with some sweets for the way home. They were over the moon. And once they’d fed the animals for the last time whilst we packed up the car, it was with a heavy heart that we drove away, already talking of our return.
Find our more information about these cottages in Clydey, Boncath, Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Choose from one bedroom cottages through to four bedroom cottages, with prices starting from £380 for a 7 night stay. Short breaks are also available.