Wales and autumn breaks aren’t always words that go together but when we were invited to try one of Premier Cottages’ award-winning luxury pet-friendly accommodation we decided to pack a bag full of waterproof clothes and brave the notoriously wet and wild Welsh October weather. We have to admit the location was a bit of a deal clincher too, the cottage we were invited to was located very close to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park – one of the most scenic and unspoilt stretches of coastline in the United Kingdom. A joy for dog-walkers and nature lovers, Pembrokeshire is filled with varied coastline, beautiful sandy bays, glacial valleys, volcanic headlands and picturesque towns.
Although we weren’t exactly there to storm chase, Atlantic gales make this an exhilarating time to visit the West Wales coast and there was no better place to embrace the full force of the elements then our first stop of the weekend – St David’s Head, the dramatic headland northwest of St David’s and its neighbour, White Sands beach.
During the summer, visitors pack this wide expanse of fine white sand but as winter encroaches the seasonal crowds are replaced with lone walkers, a handful of fearless surfers, and a couple of playful dogs chasing a sudden flurry of seafoam. The coastline looked deliciously dramatic on this wild and windy day and the crashing waves and low sun gave the coastline an atmospheric – almost surreal – beauty. We wandered with my dog Rosa along the jagged rocky coastline braving the odd strong gust of wind and tried to spot the seals that were rumoured to be swimming around the craggy shoreline.
The next day was spent exploring the rest of the national park. We all stopped off at small traditional fishing towns where time stood still and collections of colourful painted houses hugged the harbour bays.
Wales is known for its vast stretches of lush unspoilt landscapes and it’s also noticeably quiet. In this part of Wales the pace of life is very slow here the locals actually stop to talk to you – which we had to admit was quite a novel experience for a couple of city dwellers.
Spectacular viewpoints aside, another stand out attraction is St Davids Cathedral – a finely preserved historic building built from local stone and a beautiful view, which was only slightly marred by the scaffolding which partially surrounded the main tower.
Our evenings were spent huddled on a large squashy sofa at the gorgeous pet-friendly Ty Hen – a genuinely cosy renovated farmhouse nestled in an idyllic location surrounded by acres of green fields. The standards at Premier cottages are obviously high. Ty Hen is a spacious four-bedroom property which comes with an impressive beamed dining room with a log burning stove, two modern bathrooms and a kitchen you could get lost in – all finished off with an excellent standard of decor. Little details always count too and personal touches like leaving out a hamper of jam, Eccles cakes and dog treats (and even leaving the key in the door on arrival) added to our wonderful Welsh autumn weekend.
About Premier’s Dog-friendly Cottages
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 Ty Hen at the pet-friendly Fron Fawr Cottages for up to six people (and a pet) starts from £500 and a short break from £360. To book, go to www.premiercottages.co.uk or call the owner on 01239 698619.