My life is by no means as stressful as it once was, but it is still a wonderful feeling to visit somewhere that forces you into that serene sense of relaxation that is absent in our day to day lives. Wern Fawr Manor Farm in Llanbedrog is such a place.
Set in 60 acres of beautiful North Welsh countryside, this holiday accommodation ticked all my boxes; gorgeous surroundings, fascinating history, warm family atmosphere, peace, quiet and amazing food! It comprises of two bed and breakfast rooms and a series of self catering cottages all with excellent amenities.
Mum and I (and Jess; dogs are very welcome!) were happily housed in the Love Parry Suite, one of the B&B rooms. It is named after a previous owner, Love Parry II (1696-1759) who was once the High Sheriff of Caernarfonshire. Even though the house is thought to have been built in 1570, it was the family connection of Love Parry that had me interested. Love Parry II was the grandson of Geoffrey Parry, who served under Cromwell and it is thought that Cromwell himself visited and stayed at Wern Fawr. You can imagine my (contained) excitement considering my current project and my fascination with all things Civil War! Mum and I spent quite some time discussing where the original fixtures would have been and cooing over the exposed beams in our room! (Apologies for the dark photo below)
The whole house is filled with stunning furniture of varied ages and styles – if only I knew more about antique furniture, I could write a whole post dedicated to just this! The current owners, Alan and Helen Harper-Smith have done an incredible job at renovating; even though the rooms are really comfortable and filed with all the conveniences you could wish in any modern B&B, you really get the essence of its place in history. Easily imagined are the Tudor ladies sweeping down the staircase in their heavy dresses; and the images of Royalists and Parliamentarians fighting in the open fields beyond was one which was hard to shake. I was truly in my element!
Mum and Jess were too as 54 of the acres are rich woodland. The family are gradually carving out nature trails through the dense undergrowth, but you could adventure there for hours on end as it is! Images of fairy woodlands come to mind, with sun spots dotting the ground as it pours through the thick tree canopy. It was a little unsettling in the dark due to hoots and hollers from unseen wildlife, but then again I am a bit of a wimp in the dark!
But if were not enough, a slow ramble through the fields takes you to one of the beaches on which you can waste away a day – it took us about half an hour. However, we were forced to take a longer route due to the Council’s waterworks, so on a normal day I understand there is an even quicker route to the shore. There are limited eating establishments in Llanbedrog itself, but enough for a lazy few days away. We did find the Ship Inn, despite all the local encouragement, something of a disappointment – the food was clearly microwaved (we had to send our chicken back twice as it was cold but the sauce hot, didn’t fancy food poisoning!) and the service was incredibly rude. But, locals speak very highly of the pub so I would be happy to assume that this service was not as normal – but personally, I may not be trying it again. The Glyn y Weddw, close to the beach, however supplied excellent home cooked food but was obviously very busy due to the school holidays.
But, if I could, I would stay at Wern Fawr Manor Farm in winter, because then they also provide an evening menu (for a minimum of 4 people with an additional cost). If the amazing breakfasts are anything to go by, then their evening meals would be something to behold. There is an aim for the family to provide as much produce from their own grounds as possible and beyond that as local as can be, and my word it was good! Pork and leek sausages, free range eggs from their own back yard, but the best, I have to say were the Welsh devilled kidneys! I have never eaten such a thing before and they were truly wonderful! Not to everyone’s taste I know, but should certainly be tried when staying here. I am not sure which of the owner’s was chief cook during our stay, but I would love for them to cook for me everyday forever more!
So if you are fancying a few days or more in Wales, I would highly recommend the Harper-Smith establishment. It not only provides you with an idyllic hideaway but is a good base for visiting other towns on the Lleyn Peninsular. I could quite happily spend my days wandering around this small corner of the world, and I can think of no where better to do it from than Wern Fawr Manor Farm. Happy days!