The caravans were painted in brilliant colours, and looked spick and span from the outside. Little flowery curtains hung at the windows. At the front of each caravan sat a man or women who owned it, driving the horse that pulled it. Only the front caravan was pulled by an elephant.
Five Go Off In A Caravan: Enid Blyton
We headed west for what has become an annual pilgrimage to West Wales. We hadn't planned this trip, but when work commitments were cancelled we took the opportunity to get away for the weekend to Griff Rhys Jones' restored farm, near Strumble Head.
The journey was fraught with heavy rain and stop-start traffic, but our hearts were lifted when we arrived to this sight (below) at twilight (fairy lights make the world a better place - don't you think?). We were staying in Beudy Trehilyn, a converted cow barn with showman's wagon, that the boys were to stay in.
Inside, the cow barn had been beautifully restored using natural materials such as lime mortar for the walls and sheepswool insulation, it was also heated by recycled woodchip underfloor heating.
It was really homely, and felt more like a boutique hotel with its super comfy beds and duvets, huge slate wetroom and trendy corrugated cedar kitchen and room partition, with hidden storage.
The wool curtains and cushions were beautifully made from material from nearby Woollen Mill, Melin Tregwynt and highlighted the history of the area.
The walls resembled a rock climbing wall, with bits jutting out here and there which added to the buildings charm but I did have to remind the boys not to scale them!
The Showman's wagon was just beautiful, with restored cut glass mirrors, beautiful woodwork and doorknobs. It had a small double cabin bed and the table in the main room converted to another single bed too. It even had a fitted bathroom, woodburner and little kitchen.
A few minutes walk up the lane were amazing far reaching views from Garn Fawr, a rocky peak that rises above Strumble Head and the lighthouse. We explored the quiet lanes and footpaths, stopping to admire tiny remote cottages and pop yoghurt covered raisins into the little ones for motivation!
The lanes around Strumble Head were lined with beautiful flowers; foxglove, red campion, cow parsley, buttercup, gorse and thrift, and the views were amazing!
We ate Welsh cakes - although I did forget to add an egg to the mixture hence their rather crumbly appearance!
We discovered big red tractors to play on, that we didn't under any circumstance want to get off! This one was at the lovely harbour of Porthgain, that had a busy pub The Sloop and the most amazing harbour, a reminder of the industrial heritage of this remote part of Wales.
We met in the gorgeous Fforest general stores on the banks of the Teifi in Cardigan. Inside there is a cafe and shop that has gorgeous Welsh blankets and cushions, bags, falcon enamelware, opinel knives, gransfors axes, Tilly lamps and Kelly kettles, although my favourite was the utility blanket and nom nom chocolate.
After the boys had traumatised Arrow the Fforest dog, we booked a canoe trip down the Teifi for the older boys, whilst Stanley & I amused ourselves for a few hours. Being outside certainly calmed them down and it was lovely to spend time with my baby.
One of the highlights of this holiday was discovering how accessible Beudy Trehilyn was, at last a period property that has a bedroom on the ground floor. Over the years we have really struggled to find anywhere with character that we can take grandad with us, as after two hip replacements he finds stairs quite difficult, although won't admit it! Both here and Bwthyn Trehilyn offer level access, perfect for him and we've discovered two accessible beaches near here too with level access at Poppit Sands and a small ramp at Newport beach - we're definitely bringing him with us next time as it's somewhere we can all enjoy and not even have to worry!
I will be uploading more photo's to Flickr and the boys will be posting on here this week too, so do pop back for more Welsh adventures!