Vacation rentals in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland (holiday rentals, cottages)
Review 2412: St. Brides Bay Cottages, Treflodan House
3bed/1bath house near St. David's, Wales
August 2006, 1 week
Treflodan House is in the small hamlet of Whitchurch, about three miles from St. David's in in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. It is about one mile from Solva harbour, a very pretty sailing harbour. It is a beautiful area, like Cornwall but less crowded.
We found a car to be essential, although we did notice that there were plenty of local buses and it is a popular area for walkers (being near to the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path) We did a quick morning dash for papers/milk/bread to the petrol station on the main road, maybe one mile away. Other shopping was available in St David's, though the parking near the small supermarket was very limited. We stocked up on the way at the large Tesco in Haverfordwest (14 miles away). Some of the local roads are very narrow (and I learnt to drive on Devon roads) and a bit unnerving; it was harvest time so it was a case of praying that a tractor was not coming your way!
A lovely old two-storey large cottage, with an extension at the back which blends in very well. We went for a walk around the churchyard in the hamlet and saw some very old gravestones saying 'of Treflodan House', which made it feel rooted in the local history. There are a few houses near (some rental, some residential), but it was utterly peaceful. There is a country lane to the side, with a little local traffic and the occasional tractor. It backs onto a disused World War II airfield, which gave my husband hours of fun trying to work out where the runways were. The front door leads into a large dining area, with a living area to the side, large squashy sofas, a bookshelf and impressive fireplace. A double bedroom was next to the living area, with a very large bathroom nearby. Upstairs there were two double rooms.
There was an pretty enclosed garden to front and rear, with fruit trees, a patio with table and benches and a slightly bumpy lawn but we still managed to play badminton over the washing line! The garden was a bit neglected.
It was generally in good order and attractively furnished in a 'cottage' style . The dining table was very large. We had plenty of room and felt very much at home.
Two of the bedrooms had double beds (the upstairs double bed seeming very large, but that may have been because it contained a small and delighted girl who felt like a princess). The twin bedroom upstairs was strangely decorated in a slightly different style to the rest of the house, wooden and slightly Scandinavian, but it pleased the occupant. The bath was quite encrusted with limescale, which was a bit off-putting. I battle this at home, so I know it could have been better. The freestanding shower was very good, however.
The equipment was excellent, good plain white crockery, new seeming and plenty of it. There was a four-ring gas hob (aka stove), a microwave, fridge, dishwasher and washing machine, and I hadn't really taken this in when I booked it, a Rayburn range. I only tried to cook in it once (after phoning a Rayburn owning friend) and wasn't very successful. It would be wonderfully cosy in the colder weather, but must have been uncomfortable in the preceding weeks to us when there was a heatwave as it has to be left on all the time (provides hot water) and any excess goes to the bathroom radiator (we had to leave the bathroom window open because of the subsequent heat build up.)
Problems or Bonuses
I don't know why I was quite so surprised at how friendly everyone was. I'm of Welsh descent myself and I am also very prone to chat away to strangers (it was good for my family to see it wasn't just me). Despite the number of visitors, it never felt crowded and there didn't seem to be 'tourist' fatigue from the locals.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Very friendly owner of small family run agency. Responses weren't always immediate if she wasn't there, but the booking went smoothly, Very good value in high season (compared to to others I looked at in same area) for £595.
Note from SlowTrav: This property is no longer represented by St Brides Bay Cottages but instead represented by West Wales Holiday Cottages. You can view the property on its new site: Treflodan House.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would stay here again; it would be lovely as a winter/spring break. I would recommend it to anyone.
Things to do in this area
We went to Pembrokeshire as an alternative to overcrowded Cornwall (where we go a lot to visit family). There are some great beaches nearby with good facilities and surf shops etc., unfortunately the surf was a bit flat the week we were there, but Newgale beach is so big I can't imagine it ever getting crowded. St. David's is interesting, especially the Cathedral, but very busy in high season with very little parking. (The Park and Ride car park on the outskirts is the best, only a stroll into town). As an alternative activity to surfing, we found an excellent riding stables just north of Haverfordwest at very reasonable price. It is an expensive area (check out the property prices in the local paper/estate agents windows) and we thought the restaurants surprising expensive and nothing I would particularly recommend.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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