As part of my series about our weekend in Aberystwyth I thought I’d provide you with a short review of the holiday cottage we used.
Ash found and booked the cottage through this advert and all I had to do was get us there. The satnav took us pretty close, only a couple hundred metres from the actual address and when Ash had spoken to the owners on the phone they’d given some extra directions. There was no need though because there were clear signs from the main road, however it would have helped if we’d actually know what the company name was.
“Paith holiday cottages? Is that what we want?” I asked Ash.
“Erm, I dunno, that name wasn’t on the advert.”
Turns out it was on the booking confirmation, but that was buried in the bottom of a bag which was in the boot of my car. D’oh. We figured as we were in the middle of nowhere there couldn’t be that many different holiday cottage outlets! Then as the roads got narrower and grass sprouted from the middle of the tarmac we decided it must be the one we were after.
We pulled into the courtyard and there on the end was our little cottage! Just like on the advert. The key was in the door and we quickly unloaded and set about exploring.
On the plot there are five holiday cottages that have been recently converted from farm buildings. Ours used to be the pigsty and there are lovely little reminders of this throughout, starting with the name Y Twlc which translates to “The Sty”.
Straight into the cottage there is a double and single bedroom off the hallway then you progress through the cottage into an open plan kitchen and living room/diner and finally the wetroom bathroom is by the back door. Waiting for us in the kitchen was a welcome note with a bottle of red wine and some Welsh cakes. A lovely gift which instantly put a smile on your face.
The cottage was very quaint, perfect for the three of us. The floor throughout was laminate with carpets in the bedroom and a rug in the living room. Guinness slipped a little at first but quickly found his footing. If I ever ran a dog-friendly holiday cottage I’d definitely have hard flooring down as it’s so much easier to clean. Plus from a dog owners point of view I feel a little better about Guinness coming in wet and muddy onto hard floor.
There was a small garden out the back with a private side dividing us from the cottage next door and a metal fence at the back with a gate that opened onto the larger communal garden. The views were lovely, looking across fields of sheep and to the mountains in the distance.
My first thought was that my friends spaniel would be able to jump the back fence and therefore anything bigger than a spaniel could also make an escape if they wanted to. Luckily Guinness doesn’t try to escape for no reason and we only used the garden for toilet trips, but it would potentially be an issue for people visiting with a slightly more springy dog.
The garden was north facing and the grass was rather soggy and muddy. Although this is to be expected for autumn I think with the amount of sunshine we’d had that week it could have been a lot drier with some sun on the grass. But as I said the garden was only for toilet trips and it was pleasant enough.
The communal garden wasn’t used by anyone while we were there, but I imagine in summer it might get quite busy if there were lots of families staying, which may remove some peace and quiet from your back garden. But I’m making assumptions, we had no issues with privacy while we were staying.
In terms of living amenities everything was satisfactory. There were enough plates, bowls, utensils, cooking equipment and other boring stuff that are kind of essential. The only thing I will say is we didn’t think to take our own hand soap and washing up liquid/dishwasher tablets. As these weren’t provided we had to go for a shopping trip on Saturday.
The dining table was plenty big enough for the two of us and the sofa was comfy, although it did smell a little funny. There was a comment in the guest book from the beginning of October mentioning that it smelt and the owners had left a note saying a new sofa had been ordered. I’m not sure if we were sitting on the new sofa or not, but I get the feeling the new one had not arrived yet as I agreed with the comment, it did smell like every dog in the world had slept on it.
Personally I think it’s polite to keep your dogs off the furniture in holiday cottages. I’m not a fan of dogs on sofas anyway and while I do let Guinness on my bed at home I didn’t while on holiday as the sheets were white. Even if you do have your dogs on your sofa at home, if everyone that uses the holiday cottage allows their dogs on then the result is that is smells of all the different dogs, as it seems had happened in this one.
I loved the little dressing table in the bedroom and there was plenty of draw and wardrobe space. I woke up with a slightly sore back each morning but that might just be me, I don’t think you can ever buy a bed that’s going to be to everyone’s comfort taste and it didn’t stop me from getting a long lie in each morning.
An added feature that I always find useful is a welcome pack. There’s was well equipped with information about the farm, the owners and the work that is still ongoing on the farm. Plus lots of different handouts and guides about the surrounding area. We took the Aberystwyth town guide with us for the day and found it very helpful. I especially loved that the owners had added some useful phrases in Welsh with the English translations alongside. Ash and I had a lot of fun trying to pronounce and remember them.
We met one of the resident farm jack russells on the Saturday who ran over barking and then quickly rolled onto her back for a tummy rub. Then it wasn’t until Sunday morning as we were packing to leave that we met and spoke to the owner of the cottages. He spotted Guinness in the garden and came over to say hi with his two terriers at his heel. The three dogs exchanged pleasantries through the fence while I chatted to the owner, a very pleasant gentleman. For me there’s nothing worse that getting away for a weekend to then be mithered by frequent contact from owners or other holiday go-ers. Everyone has their preferences of course and I was pleased to find that we were allowed the quiet weekend break we were looking for.
All in all it was a lovely weekend in a comfortable cottage! Abersytwyth town and beaches were a short drive away and Devils Bridge and the various walks we went on were even closer, so a perfect location for us.
The limit is 2 dogs (as is quite common with most holiday cottages) and the cost for the dog was £20, a little pricey but I do understand considering the extra cleaning required.
I’d happily recommend staying here if it meets your needs. Of course if you’ve got four dogs and one of them is an overly curious spaniel who wouldn’t be able to resist hopping the fence. then maybe it’s not quite for you. But for a couple with one or two dogs looking for a quiet break with easy access to lots of walks and the town, it’s a good choice.
Of course if you’re looking for a bigger property there are larger ones on the same plot, The Sty is only one of five on the farm remember!