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Taking a break at Old Dairy Cottage


Norman Wright and cameraman Clive Nicholls visit Pembrokeshire

When the SatNav suggested we parked in the little village and walked the three miles to our holiday cottage we decided to switch off and follow the directions given with our welcome pack.

It was a good decision, they were spot on and within a few minutes we were unlocking the door to Old Dairy Cottage…without the trek.

At first when it foxed the computer, we wondered just how far off the beaten track it was. There was no need to worry. Set in glorious Pembrokeshire countryside between Haverfordwest and Fishguard

The cottage was in a lovely rural setting giving the impression of being off the beaten track but actually with good access to all of the places a traveller might want to visit in Wales’ far west.

So, it works for those who want to explore the county and equally if the objective is a quiet restful holiday with a few countryside walks while the car has a rest as well.

It’s always a nervous time when you take a cottage out of season. Will it be warm and comfortable if the weather keeps you inside? Has it got that touch of luxury that makes your break feel special.

Old Dairy Cottage removed those worries from the moment the door was unlocked, in fact before that. The parking spot right outside the door featured a car charging point. It was a tethered version so if you have an electric vehicle it would be worth checking that the fitting is correct for your car.

Inside the cottage is luxurious and charming in equal measures. Entrance is through a utility room with coat space, washing machine and tumble dryer and microwave.

Then into the spacious kitchen with feature Aga and electric double oven cooker with utensils, pots and pans, crockery and glassware to give full rein to culinary creations. 


As Clive’s photographs show there are some carefully chosen ornaments and decorative touches around the cottage including a collection of gin bottles (empty) on a high shelf that all adds to the homely feel to the rooms.

DafoldillsRed_and_Blue_patterned_crockeryJug and rose

You can see Clive’s video of his walk round when we first arrived on our facebook page.

Bedroom_luxurious_and_full_of_character_Old_Dairy_CottageWith four bedrooms the cottage is kitted out for eight people and the dining room is perfect for a family breakfast or a leisurely dinner.

The sitting room has satellite TV and comfortable settees. There’s also Wi fi although you may need to go outside to get a mobile signal, depending on your provider.






Off the sitting room is a downstairs twin bedroom with ensuite shower room. A set of stairs at either end lead up to the other three bedrooms.


Outside the garden has seating, a barbecue and a wood fired pizza oven as well as a fine population of songbirds.

We booked our break through Coastal Cottages of Pembrokeshire, a holiday cottage agency that features around 500 properties in West Wales sleeping from two to 30 guests. Run by a small local team with first-hand experience of both the area and every cottage, the collection ranges from the 12th Century castle to a sailor’s tap house just steps from the sea. Forty per cent of the collection is dog-friendly and the in-house Concierge team can also arrange a selection of hand-crafted holiday extras and treats including welcome packages and exclusive outdoor and in-cottage experiences from chefs to yoga sessions. They will even tailor-make itineraries!

Coastal Cottages’ The Old Dairy near Mathry sleeps eight across four bedrooms and a seven night stay starts from £746 and a three night weekend break from £560. (, Tel: 01437 765765). One dog welcome.

The_Welsh_breakfast_hamper_plus_cake_and_other_items_from_the_Old_Dairy_cottage_welcome_pack_.JPGWe chose the Welsh breakfast hamper which was waiting for us when we arrived. Local butcher’s sausages, thick cut bacon, black pudding, mushrooms, eggs, tomatoes and a tin of baked beans provided the two of us with a cooked breakfast for two days. The cottage also had a welcome pack of eggs, bread, a cake and a local whole milk in a glass litre bottle. You don’t see many of those these days.


The cottage has games, videos and books if you want to stay put.

But if you want to explore the breadth of this beautiful part of Wales you couldn’t be much better situated. The whole county is within reach of an hour’s drive and much of it even nearer.

Fishguard is probably closest and the Lower Town and Harbour gave us a bracing stroll by the fishermens’ cottages and boats. On the way into the town we also called at St Mary’s Church to see the gravestone of Jemima Nicholas the Welsh Heroine who aged 47 led the resistance to an invasion by 1400 French in 1797. The battle of Fishguard was the last invasion of Britain. Jemima captured some of the drunken French soldiers and it is said organised scant resources including getting the women of the town to dress in Welsh costume which, from a distance, the French mistook for British troops. She took a surrender at the Royal Oak pub and the plans to attack Bristol and then London were foiled. Jemima was given a pension and lived on to the age of 82. A re-enaction of the triumph is held every year in Fishguard.

The_gravestone_of_Jemima_Nicholas_at_St Marys_Church_FishguardSt_Marys_churchyard_in_FishguardFishguards_Lower_Town_harbour.

The whole of the Pembrokeshire coast is majestically beautiful and northwards from Fishguard is the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park with the Celtic Sea to the west and the Preseli Hills inland.

Strumble_Head_lighthouse_beams_out_its_warningWe investigated south from Fishguard and after a winding drive along the peninsula we came to the wild and rugged Strumble Head and its famous white painted lighthouse which was flashing out its warning beam. It’s a fine spot to park and walk or picnic but very blustery in a wind.






We followed the coast road south to St Davids the route is dotted with little coves and rocky cliffs. St Davids is Britain’s smallest city thanks to the magnificent cathedral built almost unbelievably far from any major centre of population.


 After St Davids is the long sweep of St Bride’s Bay with the deep beach at Broad Haven and the stunning rocky backdrop to Marloes Sands - well worth a walk down from the National Trust car park. There are toilets and a café close to the car park.


Our tour of the coast ended up in Milford Haven. Don’t think of it as an oil terminal because the harbour is full of leisure craft at one end with a fishing dock at the other. Little shops, cafés and restaurants line the harbour walls it could be Brittany.

Old Dairy Cottage

We headed back to Old Dairy Cottage via Haverfordwest stocking up at the supermarket.

Our second day trip headed to the south coast via Narberth noted for its art and crafts community.

One of the jewels of Pembrokeshire is the seaside town of Tenby and its near neighbour Saundersfoot. The beach at Tenby is glorious especially when you look down from the higher parts of town and see the harbour and old houses leading down. The main street is bustling and interesting and everywhere is so clean and tidy. This is no run-down coast.


Coastal Cottages of Pembrokeshire have some 500 places to choose from here’s a selection:

A right royal stay at Roch Castle near Newgale beach
means living like a king or queen for the weekend. Grade I listed Roch Castle, might be the perfect regal residence for a special stay with an entourage of friends and family.

Dating back to the 12th century, the six-bedroom castle has been magnificently restored to offer a luxurious holiday home. Just a couple of miles from the long sandy Newgale Beach, famous for its surfing and water sports, its elevated position provides stunning rural and sea views.   A seven-night stay for 12 starts from £12,348 (£1,029pp)   

For the ultimate gang getaway, set in ten acres of secluded woodland Waterwynch House is a luxurious holiday home with its own beach on tap.

Welcoming up to 30 across 12 bedrooms, this grand house is filled with glamourous touches including glittering chandeliers, sweeping staircases and a Great Hall that runs the width of the house. Plus, to make the most of Pembrokeshire’s glorious dark skies, the Sky Lounge with its glass roof is a cosy stargazing heaven.

A seven-night stay for 30 costs from £6995. Dogs are welcome here too.

Making the most of its tall arched windows, former Victorian Chapel, Capel Swn Y Mor offers fabulous sea views of Amroth Beach. Sun streams through the open plan living area and a wonderful over-the-beach balcony (which doubles as an alfresco dining space) add to the charm of this tastefully styled three-bedroom property. In the heart of the village and dog- friendly it is also well placed to explore the south Pembrokeshire coastline.  A favourite jaunt is to take the Coast Path just opposite the house and enjoy a walk beside the sea and through a short network of tunnels to Wiseman’s Bridge – where a great sunny pub garden awaits at the Wiseman Bridge Inn. Tenby, Saundersfoot and Stackpole are also short drive away.

A seven-night stay for six people from £689.

Hidden away within 1.5 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds complete with lawn and play paddock and with a sweeping driveway bordered by cherry blossoms, is Glebe House in Nolton. The renovated Grade II listed rectory sleeps 14 and is packed with original features including wooden floors, ornate fireplaces and A-frame beams. There’s even a Medieval vaulted ceiling and a glass-covered well in the conservatory floor.

A seven-night stay for 14 people is from £1700.

On the raised headland between the seaside villages of Broad Haven and Little Haven, Atlantic Sunset offers a 14ft swim spa and outside dining terrace looking out over St Brides Bay, as do many of the rooms inside including the dining room. A short downhill walk in either direction leads to beaches and pubs meaning the property is perfectly placed for those keen to get on the water or walk the Coast Path. A seven night stay for 12 people is from £1324.  

With steps straight from the door into the sea, it’s no surprise that Doves Cottage was once a sailors’ tap house. In an unbeatable position on the cliff banks overlooking Pembrokeshire’s Abercastle, every window in this cosy cottage for two has a sea view – making it perfect for spotting the abundance of bird and wildlife. What makes it even more special is that access is via the Coastal Path, which is why couples that are keen walkers as well as dog owners love it. The tiny and romantic city of St Davids with its majestic Cathedral, Bishop’s Palace, shops, pubs, restaurants and galleries is also within easy reach.  A week’s stay is from £642.   

Penrhyn in Strumble Head is the epitome of sanctuary and seclusion - and the ideal choice for those who yearn to go off-grid in a traditional cottage with spectacular sea views.

Cosy Welsh bedspreads and blankets, open fires and a traditional Rayburn in the kitchen provide the warmth. Oil lamps and candles provide the light whilst old-school pastimes like books, board games and a tinkle on the piano keys provide the entertainment. A seven-night stay for six people from £646.  

Details on these and other cottages at (, Tel: 01437 765765)

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