Our review of Clydey Cottages, Pembrokeshire
In March 2015 Mr and Mrs PFS and our three children were invited to spend a long weekend at the award-winning Clydey Cottages near Cardigan in Pembrokeshire.
Here’s our full review of our stay. Don’t forget you can also check out our Parent Friendly Stays listing for family friendly holidays at Clydey Cottages, or you might wish to visit the Clydey Cottages website directly to book your own stay!
Our accommodation at Clydey Cottages
There are a total of ten self catering holiday cottages at Clydey, all charmingly converted from eighteenth century farm buildings and nestled around shared gardens with easy access to the complex’s luxury facilities, extensive grounds, farm animals, woodlands and parking areas.
We stayed in three bedroom Honeysuckle Cottage, a gorgeous corner-plot property swathed in ivy with a spacious open plan downstairs living area. In common with the other properties at Clydey our accommodation offered an attractive mix of the traditional – oak beams, a large brick fireplace with log burner, obligatory creaky floorboards! – and quality modern conveniences: a luxury kitchen including dishwasher, WiFi, superbly comfortable beds and sofas, underfloor heating in the bathroom. The bedrooms were configured as two doubles (one super king size) and a twin room with bunks, but it’s also possible to split one of the double beds into further twin beds if needed. A quick exploration of our cottage on arrival was enough to confirm our suspicions that Clydey Cottages is the kind of place where the needs of families with young children are at the forefront of the owners’ minds. The house was full of everything we could possibly require during our brief stay and not just the obvious things like a high chair or cot (though we did like that it was a proper wooden one, not a travel cot) – children’s cutlery, a bottle steriliser, fitted stair gates, blackout blinds, a baby monitor, a blender, a baby backpack, a quilt for the cot, a changing mat. Clydey Cottages don’t just think about practicalities either; we also appreciated their friendly, personal approach to our holiday too. Before we even arrived we received an email requesting our preferences for the bedroom layout, and as soon as we parked up at the resort we were given an individual tour of all the facilities by owner Jacqui. The cottage came with loads of instructional leaflets and information including a personalised printed weather forecast for the week ahead. Much to our delight there was also a wonderful welcome tray on the kitchen table with handmade jams, Welsh cakes, a variety of teas and coffees and a bottle of Prosecco – and there was even milk in the fridge! The valley-side location of the Clydey Cottages complex results in incredible views over the surrounding Pembrokeshire countryside and our cottage was no exception, providing us with a breathtaking sunrise vista each morning. Our family wouldn’t normally venture into the garden in our pyjamas at 7.30am but at Clydey it was just irresistible! And rising early also meant we had as much time as possible to make use of all the family friendly facilities on our doorstep…
“our cottage offered an attractive mix of traditional features and modern conveniences”
Child friendly holidays at Clydey CottagesOn our first morning at Clydey we made sure to be waiting outside the cottage at the allotted time in order to take part in the resort’s popular animal feeding routine. We’ve done similar things previously but Clydey surpassed our expectations with the interactivity of the experience and the level of attention which Farmer Malcolm gave the children: remembering their names impressively quickly, gently encouraging shyer participants to get involved at their own pace, making sure everyone got a turn with each of the animals. There was loads to do – feeding pigs and horses from a plastic fork, holding cups of grain for the chickens, collecting eggs in a basket, throwing segments of carrot at the guinea pigs (or at least that’s how our son approached it..!). A stimulating and wholesome experience for all the family.
Most families followed the animal feeding with some time in Clydey’s outdoor play area where there are swings, a climbing frame, trampoline, Wendy house and sandpit. A couple of traditional rope swings hang from the majestic oak tree nearby which proved a little too tempting for some of the grown ups – us included! There’s a safe enclosed patio area full of ride on tractors and cars, and for football or cricket Clydey has a huge open green lawn area offering more of those wonderful Pembrokeshire views. We also enjoyed exploring the muddy woodland path down to the river in Clydey’s very own hidden valley. The Parent Friendly Stays children are currently learning to swim and, as a result, a major highlight of their holiday was our daily visits to Clydey’s indoor swimming pool. The pool complex is right next door to the cottages – perfect for walking home in a dripping towel afterwards though there are on-site changing rooms too – and we found it to be light and airy, exceptionally clean and very well equipped. A handy cot in the corner was perfect for baby’s nap times and the older children loved the selection of pool toys. Equally popular with the children were the indoor play facilities at Clydey. Above the pool is a large soft play room with an incredible variety of toys and games: a large fast slide, a ball pool, ride-on cars, play tents, Lego, a play house and kitchen to name just a few. There was also a TV with Sky Movies and a games console, though there was so much other entertainment on offer we never saw anyone using those! While the kids are playing parents have access to a free hot drinks machine and magazines to read, so the soft play room really did offer a relaxing environment for all of us. Also well equipped and maintained was a separate games room with table tennis, pool, air hockey and table football, plus a huge free DVD and book library.
“Clydey surpassed our expectations with the interactivity of the animal feeding experience”
Parent friendly holidays at Clydey Cottages
Here at Parent Friendly Stays we’d always put high quality and safe facilities for the children at the top of our holiday wishlist, but we also like it when we see that the parents have been thought of too. That was certainly the case at Clydey.
We’ve already touched on some of the thoughtful parent friendly touches we encountered during our stay: the superbly equipped cottage, the milk waiting for us in the fridge, the luxury soaps and shampoos in the bathroom, the free hot drinks in the games area. Small touches individually, but which collectively created a real sense at Clydey of being welcomed and looked after. When you spend the majority of your time looking after little people it’s a nice feeling to know someone is doing the same for you! The facilities at Clydey Cottages also offered something specific for older visitors too. There were two fantastic hot tubs – one inside the main swimming pool area and the other outside to benefit from those views – and additionally a free-to-use sauna. Perfect for unwinding after a long day of exploring and sightseeing! (And equally popular with our children too.) There’s also a spa room where you can book in for a relaxing massage therapy or treatment. To make meal times easier there’s a small shop on the Clydey resort which is staffed every day and offers a range of essential items, and we also made heavy use of a separate area where you can help yourself to tasty frozen Cook meals – to the point where we didn’t once need to leave the Clydey resort during our stay! We also found it really useful having a laundry room on site to help clean up after a few muddy walks.
“when you spend the majority of your time looking after little people it’s a nice feeling to know someone is doing the same for you”
In summary…As a holiday reviewer you don’t always want everything to be perfect. It’s nice to be able to offer some well-considered feedback to help a venue improve and develop. So we’ve got a bit of a problem…
“the place is idyllic”
Jacqui and Dewi, the owners of Clydey Cottages, have clearly invested a tremendous amount of thought and energy into ensuring that the holidays they offer are perfectly suited to visiting families. Gorgeous well-equipped cottages, luxury facilities for children and grown-ups, tranquil grounds with incredible views: the place is idyllic.
We can’t recommend Clydey strongly enough.
The Parent Friendly Stays team
If you’ve been inspired to plan your own holiday at Clydey Cottages, visit our full listing for more information or visit the Clydey Cottages website directly. Don’t forget to mention that we sent you!