Our good friend Zoe, with her partner and puppy, went to stay for the weekend at The Ceridwen Centre in West Wales. Here she will tell her tale about it and hopefully inspire you to go there too....
The idea of the weekend was to escape, to have a couple of days away from the drama that everyday life can bring. Time to reflect, to read, to enjoy the peace of the countryside.
On arrival to the Ceridwen Centre the green moss snaking down the centre of the access road confirmed the isolation I was craving. While the puppy yawned and stretched we arrived to welcoming smiles form our hosts and a quick tour of the facilities. The centre is a family run eco sensitive organic farm that has expanded over the years and is now home to a number of different accommodation facilities including yurts, an eco pad, traditional and modern B&B, a Romany caravan and my sanctuary from the weekend, a beautifully converted traditional 1960’s double decker Layland bus. It is nestled into the rear of the centre, with private decking overlooking the valley below with a bar-b-que and fairy lights that in the warmer months would make for a magical evening star gazing.
Tonight however, the light is fading and its time to explore the interior. The bus has been beautifully restored with natural woods, welsh blankets and the original signs and features preserved and utilised. It’s immediately cosy with mod cons that you possible would not expect: Heating, wi-fi and welcoming coffee, biscuits and even milk in the fridge. The downstairs is complete with kitchen, seating area, table, games and even a thermostat if the snow were to set in. I settle for a cuppa, listening to the silence outside, occasional interrupted by the ee-ooring of the family donkeys. When it’s time for bed I climb the original spiral stairs to the top deck where once again the conversion utilises every bit of space to create a perfect place of calm that is flanked by the bus windows either side. I leave the blinds open and look forward to be woken by the natural sunlight rising in the valley.
The early morning does not disappoint, as I lie in bed all I can see and hear is nature, the bird’s sing, the colours outside change from brown to green as the sun rises before it’s occluded by the heavy clouds that set in for the day. Time to explore the site before heading out for the day. We greet our donkey neighbours first and follow the path up toward two of the yurt areas. They are currently down until spring but their homes are perfectly nestled between trees to create privacy and once again, great views. There are fields to play in, chickens to feed, a hot tub that can be booked in advance, a well stocked ‘Bar Bach’ (small bar) and another larger barn that can be used for events. There’s a calmness and serenity on the site that nurtures your soul, maybe it’s all the natural wood structures, the detail to the environment, the welcoming hosts, maybe a combination of all of the above.
We head out for the day into Camarthenshire, there is always plenty to do in this area regardless of weather and the ages of your group, from beaches, forests, historic centres, leisure centres and many dog friendly pubs and eateries along the way. Its worth reading some of the literature in the Bus before you go out if you like to plan your day.
When we return the weather has taken a turn for the worse which somehow makes the bus even more inviting, I love the sound of the rain on the roof, the hum of the central heating is also a welcoming sound!
There is a toilet upstairs and the shower just outside in ‘The Bus stop’ but these winter months prove hazardous for the pipes so we are using the showers in the main farm house . There is also another double bedroom accessed by a hatch and ladder at the back of bus which takes the potential sleeping possibilities comfortably to up to six people.
For us it’s time to cwtch up (a good welsh word meaning cuddle) with our steaming tea and books, enjoying the uniqueness of the accommodation with its quirky ‘push once’ light switches and signs. It has been a pleasure to have the chance to stay here and I would love to return and experience the different seasons and the magic that I am sure that they would also bring.