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Guest Comments

Enjoyed our stay in your lovely Cottage in a beautiful location. Thank you for all of the extras! Ideal surroundings for "Tango" - she'll miss the peacocks! Look forward to seeing you again

Sue and David

Come with me on a brief tour of Blaenfforest..

 

Blaenfforest

We turn off the public road beneath a mature Laburnum tree into the narrow, private lane that leads to Blaenfforest.  Before beginning the gradual descent into the valley look up and admire the far reaching views over open countryside. The River Arad which flows through the valley rises just across the fields to our left. To our right are the farm buildings of our nearest neighbours who milk cows there twice a day.

Continue down the lane with it’s wealth of wildflowers, ferns and mosses - pausing now and then to let a rabbit cross. Yes, there’s time to wait - this is the beginning of your holiday! Around the bend in the lane with its hedge on top of ancient stone walls, it is more sheltered. Foxgloves, violets, wild strawberries, honeysuckle, and wild roses ramble amongst the ferns. Look carefully, and you will see the bilberry too.

 

At the corner, on the left, there is a narrow entrance to an old fold sheltered by Ash trees, where we are creating a sheltered, peaceful sitting area. In the spring it is a picture, with tiny Welsh daffodils and snowdrops. Later on, there are bluebells and orchids on the banks here.

As the wall on your left curves around the fold, orchids grow under the ash tree at the top of a grassy slope which allows a first glimpse of the long lawn, with its romantic gazebo, and the woodland falling away to the stream. Pass the Dutch barn where we store barley straw, this is a haven for our cats in cold weather and for the peahens to make secret nests. Unfortunately, this leaves them at risk from the foxes and we try to discourage them if we can.

Next is the old Granary, now a two bedroomed holiday cottage, more about this later ..

P7010011.jpgThe Granary and the cowshed, with its lovely double doors flank the entrance to our farmyard, standing on a small plateau with the house and cottage directly in front of you.  Walk around the cowshed to the right under an ash and sycamore tree and as the ground rises, you find you are nearly level with the roof. Alongside this, there is a tiny sheltered area of grass surrounded by spring bulbs and old fashioned roses which smell delicious on a still day.

 

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To the right is the gate we use to the stable field whose other gateway you passed on the lane. Next to this is where the chickens live and was once a cattleshed. Open the small wooden gate under the laurels and walk up into the old orchard. This is almost completely carpeted in snowdrops and daffodils early in the year. Our bees live here and you will see the hives towards the hedge at the top. There are two conifers which the owls seem to like, and we have added some new fruit trees and bushes including a Medlar, which has very peculiar fruit and a Mulberry.

Although not an ideal site, it has been used as an orchard for over 60 years so we thought we would restore it a little. Perhaps this is just an excuse for preserving the peace and tranquility in this small corner of Blaenfforest, where no one needs to go to get anywhere else, and you can sit undisturbed for hours.

Back in the yard, walk towards the old pigsties, with tiny ferns growing in the old walls and swallows nesting in the rafters. Turn right and you will see the end of, or the start if you like, of the Woodland Walk, and right again into the garden. Here you can sit and watch the wild birds or look over the fields into the distance and dream. There are likely to be buzzards or even a kite overhead or in the huge old beech tree in the field.

A green wicket gate in the garden fence takes you to the pond garden. We have made a pond for wildlife, crossed by a walkway, to replace an old rainwater pond in the field. This is well used by newts and frogs and beautiful dragonflies which are fascinating to watch. A place to dawdle and have a glass of wine.
Back past the pigsties and this time carry straight on, to the right of the ruined stable. In front of us is the long lawn which runs parallel to the lane. To our right is the start of the ancient forest, from which Blaenfforest gets its name. The beginning of the Woodland Walk is on the right, under the beech trees, which leads down to the stream.

Blaenfforest-Bluebells.jpgIn March 2011 we realised a long held ambition to clear a path, meandering alongside the stream, through the woods to our boundary, a quarter of a mile away, climbing to meet the top path which ends by the cottage. This was a huge undertaking, as this whole area had been undisturbed for many years. One can sense that it is a kind of sanctuary and we needed to proceed slowly to avoid damaging the habitats that exist here. The way is still steep in places and can be muddy but we are gently maintaining the path and planting new trees for the future. It is easier now to admire the bluebells, wood anemones, marsh marigolds and massive ancient oak trees. However, take care not to trip in rabbit holes or over fallen branches; look out for signs of the otter and admire the fungi and litchens. It's early days yet but the bluebells are lovely around Easter time! Check out the Woodland Walk page.

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This has been just a brief trip around Blaenfforest, a glimpse of the beautiful countryside in which the house and buildings have stood for hundreds of years, which we would like to share with you when you come to stay with us at Blaenfforest Holiday Cottages.


 

 

Contact Us

Blaenfforest Cottage Holidays
Newcastle Emlyn
Carmarthenshire
Wales SA38 9JD 

Telephone 01559 371264
Mobile 07411 656633
enquiries@blaenfforest.co.uk

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