12 months sat staring at the same four beige walls would be enough to drive anyone mad, but alas due to Covid-19 this has been accepted as a continued reality for many of us across the globe. While travelling has been banned for the majority of the year, I never gave up hope that one day I would break free of my confined space and escape out into nature and the wider world once more for adventures at home and in due time further afield. So imagine my delight as restrictions eased and I was afforded a chance to getaway and escape to wild and whimsical region elsewhere.
In truth I have been erring on the side of caution throughout the pandemic and have seen family suffer long-term with the effects of having caught this horrific disease. Though I am evidently buoyant by the lifting of borders, I am still very wary in many respects and intend to travel safely. Thanks to The Guardian I was afforded a luxurious glamping stay with Canopy and Stars in the wonderful Welsh countryside, which proved just the right prescription after turbulent times.
Thanks to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and a natural hampering for the outdoors I have been an avid camper for many years now, but sadly had yet to experience glamping in all its rated glory. However, last week my fortune changed as I set off on a road-trip across borders to the luscious country of Pembrokeshire in mid-Wales, where I stayed with my partner just a short drive from the coast, in the lovingly restored Shepherd’s Hut, Damselfly, at the foot of the Preseli Hills.
Set back from the owners’ cottage on their idyllic 6-acres of farmland, the rustic accommodation is located within its own cottage garden with pond and neighbouring chickens. The beautiful arrangement of flowering plants and shrubs proves a natural haven for wildlife and I quite happily wiled away the early hours bird-spotting from the kitchen-window with a warming brew to hand. When the sun was out, we made the most of the outdoor patio area complete with seating area, pizza oven and firepit, making it an ideal location for stargazing under the remarkably clear skies at night.
Inside the vintage interior with its welcoming pastel palette greeted us like a warm embrace and whilst the confides are naturally compact, I was surprised at how much had been fitted into the space; it felt airy, cosy and homely simultaneously, just the right size for two. The hut was split into a sleeping come living space on one side, with a kitchen and bathroom in the other half, adjoined by a quaint porch space to rest your boots after a day spent outdoors.
It would have been lovely to stay longer and I was surprised how quickly our hut had come to feel like a home from home. The owners are very friendly and were happy to recommend local sites or places of interest. They also have a gorgeous rescue cat named Harry, alongside a menagerie of other animals, but then I may be slightly biased. Honestly, I was really rather sad to leave this beautiful smallholding and the lush pocket of Welsh countryside that surrounds it.
As long as you’re happy to drive there are a wealth of walking routes and charming coastal towns within easy reach, see Visit Wales or Visit Pembrokeshire for further inspiration, but equally I would have been just as content to spend our whole stay reading and lounging in the garden given the glorious weather that greeted us. The stay has certainly given me a hunger for further glamping experiences, with a few more adventures closer to home already on the cards!