Living in the big city had worn us down. While we love London we were eager to get away. So eager in fact, we made the 6-hour drive in one trip, departing the hustle and bustle of London and arriving in the far west of Wales - the heart of Pembrokeshire.
The sun had descended over the horizon well before we reached the twisting, narrow lanes, driving at a snail’s pace. We sailed past cute little Welsh hamlets until we reached our destination, Asheston Eco Barns. The bright full moon lit up the property more than any street lamp could. We were quite literally in the middle of nowhere.
Which is precisely where we wanted to be.
The Cart House
The Asheston Eco Barns blend the perfect mix of tradition and modern. And The Cart House was to be our home for the next two nights, although I wish it had been longer.
Owners Jeff & Karen made us feel so welcome that night. Sitting on our coffee table was a yummy welcome basket with a lovely arrangement of delicious Welsh snacks. There was complimentary chopped wood for the log burner, but that wasn’t needed as the barn was beautifully warm thanks to the always-on geothermal underfloor heating.
The Cart House was, as it sounds, the original cart house for the farm and was transformed with great attention to detail into an eco-friendly barn filled with charm and luxury. Calling it a “barn” may be confusing; it really was a 2-storey cottage. It offered 2 double bedrooms plus 1 twin room and huge bathrooms on each floor.
The next morning the kids were overexcited. The Barns are well-equipped for families. We had toys and games inside, bikes outside and a large outdoor playground. Since the Asheston is located ¼ mile down a private driveway there was no fear of passing traffic and the kids could play at their leisure on the spacious grassy areas and on the playground. It was clear kids weren’t just an afterthought, they were well catered for and felt just as welcomed as we did.
The weather was wet and dreary during our stay, which was perfect for cosy snuggles on the couch, playing the board games provided and working on our laptops using the free Wi-Fi.
Located only 9 miles from our eco barn was the city of St Davids. An ancient centre of Celtic Christianity boasting an imposing Norman cathedral.
We’ve seen a lot of churches, but this was especially gorgeous and I highly recommend a visit. What made this location extra special was a unique experience when we were leaving. The low, grey clouds swirled slowly in the sky and for just a few moments parted, opening a hole just large enough to let through a sliver of lonely light. This beam fell on the Cathedral transforming it into a golden sanctuary blessed by the heavens. It was remarkable.
St Davids is the smallest city in Britain and while during it draws hoards of visitors from all over the UK during the summer peak period, making it very congested, now it was winter and we nearly had the city was nearly to ourselves.
Although it wasn’t the right season for a visit to the beach we were not going to let that stop us. Especially since the National Park coastline was only 3 miles from our Cart House.
Pembrokeshire boasts 186 miles of gorgeous coastline. We took a short drive to visit Whitesands Beach near St Davids. It’s a large, flat sandy beach that made for the most stunning sunset.
The whipping wind chilled to the bone so we retreated to a nearby café for a few cups of steaming hot chocolate. The best part about winter!
It didn’t take long to fall in deeply love with Pembrokeshire. Any time of the year it is a stunning wedge of Wales. I can’t count the number of times Josh had me pull over the car to capture another stunning vista, but I’m sure you’ll agree it was worthwhile. Our only complaint? We just didn’t allow enough time to explore all of it!