I closed the door of the woodburner and settled back down into the huge expanse of sofa, listening vaguely to the muffled murmurings of the teens in the hot tub outside. It was a damp and windy Welsh night out there, but happily ensconced in hot bubbles they didn’t seem to mind, and I certainly wasn’t complaining as I curled up with my book, glass of wine at my elbow. As always, the first day of the holiday had been a very long one, and it felt like it had been a long week running up to it too – I was absolutely ready for a little warmth and comfort in the total peace that was our home for the next few nights.
Tyn Y Coed is a small Welsh cottage (originally a pair of tiny cottages, actually) just outside Sennybridge right at the top of the Brecon Beacons, some 15 minutes from Brecon itself. Although it sits just a few minutes from the A40 the nearest neighbours are over a mile away, and only the birds and the sheep in the neighbouring fields disturb the silence. Definitely a cottage with plenty of breathing space – room to be still and relax.
It sleeps 6 in three comfortable bedrooms laid out along one long corridor upstairs – the master has an ensuite, and the other two bedrooms share a family bathroom with a fabulous waterfall shower which we frankly all fought over. The middle room has a large double (which can also be made up as two singles – the 15yr old was utterly thrilled to have a huge kingsize to himself though), and the smallest twin room just about fits the two beds with a bare gap between them to wiggle your feet down.
The stairs are an adventure in themselves – the original steep spiral stone steps are inside the massively thick wall of the cottage, and the rope hand rail is much appreciated for older legs to climb them at the end of the day!
Downstairs there’s a roomy dining kitchen which has anything you’ll need – I do love it when you’re cooking in a holiday cottage, think “oh, I wonder of there’s a…” and a quick rummage produces it. The pantry acts as a utility room, housing the washing machine and tumble dryer (we were only there for four nights, so didn’t need them), along with the plentiful coat hooks (brilliantly placed above a small radiator, so even if you’ve been out in the wettest of Welsh weather, the coats will be perfectly dry the following morning) plus the recycling bins, ironing board etc.
The main space for the house is the large sitting room with its huge comfy leather sofas and enormous woodburner. There were plenty of logs left for us and we took shameless advantage of the roaring fire at every opportunity. One of my favourite moments of the holiday was on our last full day – we’d had a busy couple of days hiking, and had been out horse riding all morning. We returned to the cottage to have lunch, having planned an afternoon of castle exploring before heading out for a caving experience – but instead we all voted for a few hours off. We lit the fire, the teens headed for the hot tub, and Mr LittleStuff and I simply stretched out with a mug off coffee and just… stopped. We chatted, we relaxed, he snoozed while I read… it was heavenly.
As you’d expect from one of Premier Cottages family-friendly properties, Tyn y Coed is brilliantly set up for family holidays. For rainy indoor kind of mornings there are bags of board games, a wii and a full Sky package. Outside there’s a trampoline and a tyre swing that would have kept the 10yr old happy for hours if we’d actually been at the cottage more. The (immaculately clean) hot tub is at its best on a chilly clear night – lying back in the dark warmth watching the clouds clear and stars come out overhead is an experience we’ll not forget in a hurry.
The cottage was warm and welcoming, beautifully presented and utterly spotless. The location is brilliant – right on the main access route across the Beacons. If you fancy a trip to the coast you can reach the Mumbles inside an hour (we recommend Mewslade Bay as a brilliant dog-friendly beach), and of course the whole of the National Park is yours to explore and adventure into. The easy path up to glorious Pen y Fan is just 15 minutes away, and the Ystradfellte waterfalls are a gorgeous 40 minute drive along one of the Beacons most scenic routes, encompassing Sarn Helen the Roman road, Devil’s Elbow and Maen Llia standing stone. If you’ve never been to the Brecon Beacons before – you’re missing out. If you’ve been before? Go back. There’s always something new to see and do. And if you’re now hunting for a gorgeous cottage for your next family holiday in the Brecon Beacons? I suggest you stop by Premier Cottages’ site and take a look at Tyn Y Coed. It’s a total gem.
The album of photos from our week’s adventures can be seen on Facebook here – do go and have a browse to see more of what we got up to, and shout if you have any questions!
Premier Cottages’ collection features almost 1,000 four and five-star self-catering cottages across the UK. Properties range from small, romantic boltholes to large family-friendly country estates. The collection includes pet-friendly accommodation. It also offers the widest range of accessible properties in the UK and many properties have onsite facilities like swimming pools, gyms, spas, indoor games rooms and children’s play areas.
A week’s stay in Tyn Y Coed in Powys, Wales for up to six guests starts from £850 and a three-night weekend from £520. (www.premiercottages.co.uk, 07738 103837).