In the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and just over two hours drive from the Severn Bridge, lies Tregynon with it’s award-winning Country Cottages and 14th Century Farmhouse Restaurant, the home of your hosts Peter & Jane Heard. Overlooked by Carn Ingli (Mountain of Angels) in the foothills of the Preseli Mountains, yet only 15 minutes from the mile-long sweep of Newport sands, and perched high on the edge of the spectacular Gwaun Valley with its banks carpeted with ancient oaken forests, Tregynon is a nature lover’s paradise.
Approached by a half-mile drive, Tregynon consists of an exclusive, remote cluster of three stone cottages set in grounds extending to some 10 acres including naturalised ponds, a 200ft waterfall, an iron-age fort and ancient forest. Guests staying in one of the cottages are therefore able to enjoy the natural peace and beauty of the surrounding unspoiled countryside with its abundance of wildlife and flowers.
So rich in wildlife is this largely forgotten valley, where time seems to have stood still, that it has been earmarked as a special European area of conservation. Indeed, we have ‘resident’ badgers, buzzards, merlin and ravens whilst red kites, goshawks, harriers, peregrine falcons, polecats and otters are also seen from time to time. Even the majestic osprey occasionally considers it worthwhile ‘stopping over’ on its migratory trips to and from Scotland.
For walking enthusiasts, apart from the forest walks which lead down from Tregynon to the valley floor some 200ft below, there are spectacular walks from the head of our drive over moorland to the peaks of the Preseli range where, on a clear day, Ireland can be seen to the West and Snowdon to the North. Also, there are 180 miles of the National Park Coast Path to explore, nearly all of which is easily reached by car in under the hour.
The ancient borough of Newport with its Norman castle, town crier, golf course, boat club and wonderful beach ideal for bathing, sailing and wind-surfing is just 15 minutes away. Excellent sea and river fishing for salmon, trout and sewin can be enjoyed here whilst fly fishing enthusiasts can also benefit from the richly stocked reservoir of Llys-y-Fran. Alternatively, conquering Carn Ingli on horseback offers breathtaking views over Cardigan Bay renowned for its bottlenose dolphins. There are also numerous boat trips to see the caves, puffins and seals which frequent the many island bird sanctuaries that lie off this coast.
For botanists and garden lovers the area has many worthwhile attractions, not least Aberglasney and the National Botanical Gardens of Wales, both of which are about an hour’s drive. The shopping centres of Cardigan with its wildlife park, Haverfordwest with its castle, Fishguard with its extraordinary Tapestry depicting the events of the Last Invasion of Great Britain in 1797 and St. David’s with its magnificent cathedral and surfing beaches are but a short car trip away. The area abounds with potters, wood-turners, weavers, candle makers and the like producing quality hand-made products.
For historians, this is the land of Celtic mystery and legend where the remains of Stone, Bronze and Iron Age settlements can be seen dotted over the peaks. Only a few miles from us is the Neolithic burial Chamber of Pentre Ifan with its huge pillars and cap stone. This is ‘Bluestone Country’, the land from which came the famous Bluestones which form part of Stonehenge. Indeed parts of Tregynon and its cottages have been built with this stone and although local archives now date Tregynon back to 1305, surrounding evidence points to there being a small community on the site since the Iron-Age (c. 700 B.C.) well before the Roman invasion. Even the derivation of the name Tregynon (cluster of dwellings) reinforces this.
Since Tregynon is our home and has been personally run by us for over twenty years, you may be assured of a warm and friendly welcome and we pride ourselves on the excellent reputation that has been gained. Each of our three cottages is equipped to the highest of standards and whilst guests may clearly share the overall benefits of the surrounding grounds, each cottage has its own separate garden furniture and barbecue.
Experience has taught us that many people are allergic to animals and we therefore vary much regret that pets are not allowed in any of the cottages.
Our aim is to ensure that your visit is happy and memorable and that you will want to return with your friends year after year. We have no doubts that the natural beauty of the surroundings will play its part. For our part, we have received the National Park’s top award for sympathetic renovation of the buildings, the landscaping of two naturalised ponds and the construction of a footpath network through our forest.
We have also been extremely fortunate in gaining international acclaim from food and travel writers alike for our Farmhouse Restaurant and winning several awards for our ‘delicious and imaginative cuisine’. We are possibly best renowned for the variety of menus, combining ever changing traditional, wholefood, modern and vegetarian delicacies. Whenever possible we use the very best of local produce and at certain times of the year some of the beef and lamb may well have been reared on our own land. We also have our own smokehouse where we traditionally ‘oak-smoke’ gammon and bacon using age-old methods. We make every effort to avoid the use of artificial additives and virtually everything on the menu is home-made. Many of the recipes used also feature in ‘Dining with Angels’, an anthology of food and verse of which Jane is co-author. Subject to prior booking and availability, guests staying in our cottages and wishing to dine in the restaurant can take advantage of a preferential ‘residential’ rate.
Alternatively, on the nights where the restaurant is not open it is usually possible to select a dish from our ‘ready to cook’ menu for you to pop in the oven. For breakfast, subject to availability, it is usually possible to buy our own ‘oak-smoked’ bacon, free-range eggs, home-made marmalade, bread, etc. We can even order most standard household goods for delivery to your cottage prior to arrival, to take the hassle out of shopping. We are also fully licensed, carrying a very good selection of wines in our cellar.
To us Tregynon is a little patch of heaven. Each season has its own attraction, the beautiful carpets of bluebells, snowdrops and pink campions in Spring, the stunning blaze of foxglove and flag iris with a glimpse of wild orchids in the Summer or the colourful tints of the heathers, wild gorse and changing leaves in the Autumn. Even in the depth of Winter nature has a beauty all of its own. Whether it be the frost covered peaks, crystal clear skies, crisp air or the exhilaration of bleak, blustery winds, the whole scene is enhanced knowing that you will be returning to the snug warmth of Tregynon’s cottages with 2ft thick stone walls. Whatever the season, if you are looking for peace, good food and want to escape to a world of its own, we believe Tregynon is the place for you.