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Thistledown Glamping & Cottages
Llandysul, Wales
1 acre
Handcrafted shepherd's huts in a wild, unadulterated meadow with the option of a wood-fired hot tub
There’s something terrifically organic about Thistledown Glamping. Smuggled away down a single-track road in West Wales, the two, hand-built shepherd’s huts, with their natural, wooden fences and thistle-strewn surroundings seem to have grown out of the wilderness. The aesthetic is very much intentional. “Manicured lawns are not the style we’re aiming for”, Claire Hall explains. We’re led down a gravel pathway with southeasterly views to the first of the two huts. “In order for the pretty flowers to grow we have to let the weeds grow up a bit too. We’ve done some extensive planting but at the same time we encourage nature to take its course and find its own way.” The result is an exceptional harmony between man and meadow. At the first hut – Wren – a willow fence encircles the Scandinavian-style hot tub. Ready to fill and light, the wood-fired tub makes an enticing spot to spend an evening stargazing. There’s also a raised deck with a campfire pit and canopy, while, inside, the finish – all handcrafted wood and egg-shell paintwork – is exceptional. The compact kitchen has a fridge, sink, hobs and everything you need, while the raised bed is positioned so you have the best views from the window in the morning. In the same meadow, 30 (or so) metres away, there’s a second, larger hut. Although it lacks the luxury of its own hot tub, inside it matches the former for beauty and functionality, with extra space for families. The added room allows for a set of sturdy bunk beds, with the same, exceptional woodwork running throughout, and, just like the Wren hut, it has it’s own private bathroom a short stroll away. One of the main reasons the huts fit so sympathetically into their surroundings is because husband Tim, not only designed them, but also built the two huts himself. Indeed, the site was a real family vision. From scribbled designs to the finished product, Claire, Tim and their two children have committed to creating a place that fits with the surroundings. Materials are all reclaimed, up-cycled or local, while the natural spring in the meadow helps turn a water wheel that Tim has created; using the chains and cogs from an old bike, it will soon power lighting around the site. From the meadow there’s a pleasant country walk to the local pub (occasionally with Red Kites to be seen soaring overhead) that takes about 20 minutes. Log fires and real ales make it a good winter bolthole, while floor-to-ceiling windows let the greens of Wales pour in during summer. Like the glampsite, too, the pub is dog friendly, so if you’ve had a day running wild on the nearby beaches of Cardigan Bay, exploring the old castle ruins in Newcastle Emlyn or throwing sticks for your pooch down by the River Teifi, you’ll still all be welcome inside.
Natural features
Not currently accepting bookings on Hipcamp
Llandysul, Wales, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Claire H.Joined in November 2018
From the host
The Shepherd huts at Thistledown Glamping & Cottages have been entirely designed, created and built by Tim & Claire so you will never find another Shepherd Hut or site like ours. Nestled in a quiet corner of West Wales, the stunning Shepherd Huts at Thistledown Glamping are tucked away in a pretty thistle scattered meadow. With their unique touches & quirky style we aim to bring you a little bit of luxury in natural surroundings.Wren sleeps 2 adults, and Finch can sleep up to 2 adults and 2 children (aged 4 to 16).Both huts welcome up to 2 well behaved dogs, Finch is more suitable for larger breed dogs. Dogs go free when you book direct on the Thistledown website! The huts have electricity, WiFi, heating, quirky private bathrooms a short stroll away & indoor cooking facilities as well as everything you would expect from a glamping adventure such as a fire pit, wood fired hot tub, beautiful scenery & outdoor seating so you really can have it all! Across the lane we also have a quirky, 1 bedroom cottages that sleeps 2 adults. Each with their own unique style. Also dog friendly - Bramble Cottage welcomes 1 dog. Dogs go free when you book direct! See our website for further information about them, including our dog friendly policy. Our unique Huts & Cottage are waiting for you to enjoy; sit back in your own private outside area, breathe in the scents and sounds of our tranquil corner of West Wales and watch the Red Kites soaring overhead. Book Direct with Thistledown for best offers & to benefit fully from our Covid Booking Guarantee!
Nearby attractions
It's a 20-minute drive (11 miles) to Cardigan Bay. Famous for its bottlenose dolphins, you can join dolphin watching boat trips from New Quay's pretty harbour (also the place to go for fish and chips; see Food & Drink) or try visiting the shingle beach at Cwmtydu, which is also known as a regular place for spotting dolphins and seals (from mid September onwards you can often see seal pups on the beach). Owned by the National Trust, Mwnt (16 miles) is a particularly good beach – there is no avoiding the long, steep walk there but it makes it one of the most secluded spots along the coast – and Aberporth (12 miles) is also recommended – a blue flag beach with excellent water quality. The National Wool Museum (02920 573070) is a short drive from Thistledown Glamping, while Newcastle Emlyn is 12 minutes away and boasts the ruins of a 13th century castle, good restaurants, and a country market every Friday. The River Teifi offers trout fishing, walking trails and canoeing in most places. If you're here with the kids, a ride on the local steam train is a must. The Teifi Valley Railway (01559 371077) is a narrow-gauge tourist railway located at Henllan. Until recently it has been closed and disused but it has just re-opened for rides and is a real hidden treasure.
Food and drink
There's a guest information file in each hut with lists of local pubs and restaurants nearby. It's a 5-minute drive to The Daffodil (01559 370343) in Penrhiwllan, a very dog-friendly local pub with a delicious choice of food. It can also be reached by a scenic, 40-minute walk down an old country road directly from Thistledown Glamping. If you're heading to the coast, The Lime Crab (01545 561400) in New Quay offers the best fish and chips in the area (according to Tim and Claire at least) and also offer gluten free options. There's also a good ice cream parlour (01545 561307) in New Quay, along with a range of independent cafés, bars and restaurants. The local town of Llandysul also has a range of takeaways if you want a bite to take back to the shepherd's hut.
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