About Gilfach Wen Barn – Robust holiday accommodation for large groups

Wales is a popular holiday destination for groups of friends,  extended families and team building events,  either for a short break together at any time of year or a longer holiday.    A unique version of group accommodation  has evolved in Wales to meet the needs of a wide range of groups .   A Welsh bunkhouse is a comfortable, cost effective, robust, large self catering holiday let.   With plenty of social space, a drying room for wet weather gear, space for storing bikes, canoes, walking boots or other outdoor equipment.    Some of the bedrooms contain bunk beds to maximise use of the space.


I had 16 years experience of running a similar style of accommodation for a charity,  as well as staying with friends in hostels and bunkhouses for more than 20 years.  When I dropped out of the rat race and moved to Wales to made sense to me to draw on both experiences.   I designed Gilfach Wen Barn to meet the 5 star criteria set by Visit Wales at that time for a bunkhouse.

A team of local builders took over a year to turn the tumbled down barn on my farm into this luxury bunkhouse.   Gilfach Wen Barn opened its doors to the first customers in August 2007.   Initially I focused on providing accommodation for visitors to Brechfa Forest and Llanllwni Mountain.  –   People who wanted to walk,  run,  cycle or ride through the large area of open access land of forest and common land.     Gradually as the reputation of Gilfach Wen Barn as a special place for social gatherings spread I found that I was also getting bookings from extended families and groups of friends wanting to explore South West Wales.


Information for tourists.

As  the reviews show,   I work hard to provide guests with information and assistance to make their stay enjoyable. I am a tourism ambassador for both Carmarthenshire and the Brecon Beacons National Park, and have been a tourism representative on behalf of the local community to the Cambrian Mountain Initiative for the last 12 years.    I am the chairman of the local tourism cluster group and have been one of a team of volunteers working on projects to help tourists make the most of Brechfa Forest and Llanllwni Mountain since 2008.

I can provide guests with information on local tourist attractions and provide contact details of local businesses from pubs and shops to mini bus companies.  Other residents on the farm.

The location

Gilfach Wen Barn is a barn conversion on a working farm with a strong emphasis placed on working with nature.   The focus is placed on farming in an environmentally friendly way, managing the land for bio diversity and the benefit of wildlife.

The animals have as natural a lifestyle as possible out grazing throughout the year.  Sometimes they are in the fields near the barn.  They are not kept in pens as they would be on a petting farm.

The flock of Soay sheep are a rare breed, They are the closest to the type of sheep farmed in the Iron Age, 6000 BC. They produce very lean meat similar to venison and are horned.   They have fleeces ranging between fawn and black. Both meat and sheepskins are available to order. The sheep have been managed to organic principles for the last 17 years. I do offer meat for sale, or can provide prepared meals using meat from the the Soay flock when booked in advance.

I am steadily increasing the range of poultry on the farm.   A mixture of rescue hens from intensive egg production units and other breeds of chickens.   Sometimes there will be eggs available for guests.

The two cats on the farm  are supposed to live in the hay barn,  they are not house trained. They can be timid so its best to let them decide if they want to acknowledge you.  Meanwhile,  the rescue dogs on the farm will ask for a fuss.

In addition to my own horses,  I do from time to time take in lame horses being returned to soundness by being kept barefoot,  (without horseshoes) . Separate paddocks are reserved for visiting horses.

View down Cothi Valley .
View down Cothi Valley from the field adjacent to the barn.