If you’re looking for a peaceful and remote cottage for a family holiday filled with good old-fashioned fun, then this might be just the place for you. Just finding Llwyn-y-neuadd on a map is an adventure in itself, and when you see the track and think you’re nearly there – well, the adventure’s really just getting going.
Because you need to navigate up the hill on an unmade ancient drover’s road (don’t worry, it’s in great shape and completely passable in a family car), driving through woodlands and crossing a pretty ford before you finally appear out of the shade of the trees… and the house is there before you, nestled into the top of the hillside and enjoying amazing panoramic views across the valley beneath it.
When the engine stops and you fall out of the car and pause… there’s nothing quite like that warm bustling silence. The birds, the sheep, the odd passing bee… and absolutely nothing else. We hadn’t even stepped into the house, and we were all grinning at each other, aware this was going to be a GREAT week.
But of course we did unpack and head inside – and ooh-ed happily at what we found.
There are two reception rooms and a great kitchen – all the space the six of us could possibly need. The sitting room is filled with comfy sofas, a lovely woodburner, the TV has a basic sky package, and the broadband though not the speediest was perfectly serviceable for us all to be connected to.
The large dining room has a huge table that is perfect for family eating – we found we loitered over every evening meal as we sat and chatted together about what we’d done, and our plans for the following day.
The kitchen has recently been refitted, and has everything you need. It’s not overstocked with crockery and cutlery (breakfast bowls will need to be washed if you want to use them as dessert bowls at dinner), but there’s enough of everything, and a little juggling and creative use of the pans meant I was never at a loss for anything I wanted to cook. The utility room houses all the white goods, and provides valuable extra storage space too. Do remember to stock up – you’re a long way from any shops!
Upstairs (across the beautiful flagstone hallway – I LOVED the way the light fell on the hall through the open front door every morning) there are three bedrooms – two double and a twin – a huge bathroom with a huge shower, and an extra toilet too.
In short, the house sleeps six people with ease. Actually, it does more than that. Llwyn-y-neuadd welcomes you in and wraps itself around you and just folds you up in Good Times. It’s a Happy place to be.
Every morning I’d fling wide the front door (we never used the back garden, the view was far too special from the front!) while the kettle was boiling. Then I’d sit on the step with my coffee and watch the valley wake up as the dog pottered about the garden and the children slowly drifted out of bed to join me. It was a delicious spell of sheer peace to start off each day, and the thing I missed most when we had to leave.
I can’t recommend a stay at Llwyn-y-neuadd enough. It IS remote – but the roads are good (and certainly pretty enough not to mind very much if they’re not that fast), and everywhere in the National Park is reachable. It was really nice to be away from the busy eastern side of the Brecon Beacons – we visited everywhere we wanted to, but noticed a distinct lack of cars on the road as we edged further westwards towards ‘home’. And going further west still, the coast is only 40 minutes away – we didn’t make it this time, but I know the fabulous Pendine Sands is only a 50 minute drive, and the Museum of Speed is definitely on our to do list for our return visit. Because I am quite sure we will return again.
Next time we’ll probably just barricade ourselves in and refuse to leave…
A week in Llwyn-y-neuadd costs from £516 – check the details on the Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages site for availability and exact pricing (also, have a browse while you’re there. The Beacons are simply a perfect spot for a family holiday filled with castles, mines, exploring, river playing and ice creams…)