Robust holiday accommodation for large groups
Wales is a popular holiday destination for groups of friends and extended families. Both for a short break together at any time of year or a longer holiday. A unique version of group accommodation called a bunkhouse has evolved to meet the needs of both types 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 into this luxury bunkhouse. Gilfach Wen Barn opened its doors to the first customers in August 2007.
Information for tourists
I initially just marketed the property to activity based tourists visiting Brechfa Forest and Llanllwni Mountain as Brechfa Bunkhouse. However, I have set up this website as many bookings come from large groups who book the property as a base for exploring South West Wales.
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.
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. However, covering information for both local activity based breaks, and social gatherings on one website was making my initial website cluttered. I have created this website focusing on the needs of people booking the property for a social gathering, while the Brechfa-Bunkhouse website will focus on the needs of local activity based breaks.
Other residents on the farm.
Gilfach Wen Barn is a barn conversion on a working farm with a strong emphasis placed on working with nature. The farm is managed under an Countryside Council for Wales scheme called “Glastir”. 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.
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.