As we ventured to our destination, the weather increasingly became worse, and fog descended on us as we drove up to the Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons National Park and the farm that would be our home for three days.
We were greeted by Mark the farmer and this lovely pony
When we got there the farmer Mark greeted us with a warm welcome. As he told us about the farm and showed us up to our tent, you could tell he had a real passion for farming and this new venture. This was only the second week that Cwmberach Uchaf had been part of Featherdown Farms so everything was new and he explained that he welcomed any feedback from us on how things could be improved.
The farm covers 80 acres and has sheep and chickens mainly and some lovely ponies. It had been in Sarah's - Mark's wife's family, for generations.
The tent was on the top of a hill and to get the true experience we were recommended to use a wheelbarrow to transport our clothes and provisions. Mark however took pity on us and helped us with his quad bike, thanks Mark, Mr W is posing just for the photo!
As you can see the inside of the tent was truly exceptional. Gorgeous wooden floors, wooden partitions separating the bedrooms, a sink with cold running water, a wood burning stove and a flushing toilet made this a very comfortable experience.
A cool chest kept our items like milk and butter at a suitable temperature, with ice packs being available from the farm.
The bed had a double in a master bedroom, bunk beds and a cupboard bed. We thought children would love the bunk beds especially. A sofa and table and chairs big enough for 6 were also in the tent.
Little touches make this an unique experience
Lighting was by lamp and candlelight. We were given matches, candles and oil for the lamps. A selection of wood and firelighters were made available and Mr W was soon set to work and was in his element, doing a 'real man thing' building a fire in the wood burning stove.
Although there was a flushing toilet we didn't have a shower in the tent, although some tents do, and a few in the Featherdown Farms portfolio even have a hot tub.
The washing facilities were situated in a separate converted barn near the farm itself. This building housed a honesty shop as well as shower room with a toilet, another room with a bath, shower and toilet and a third room with just a toilet in. Considering there are only four tents here I felt these facilities were more than adequate. The bathrooms itself were of a high standard as you can see above.
The honesty shop had a selection of items you could need for your stay
The honesty shop had a selection of food, from fresh bread and eggs to pasta, condiments, soft drinks and alcohol as well as toiletries. You can order a hamper for your arrival as well as a fruit or veg box which will be left in the shop for you.
We were looking forward to the Saturday night where they have a pizza night, where pizzas are made fresh on an outdoor oven but unfortunately we didn't get to experience this due to the weather which was wet and foggy.
What we liked about our stay
We couldn't fault farmer Mike and his enthusiasm for his new venture with Featherdown Farms, he was warm, welcoming, enthusiastic and very helpful. A phone call to him helped replenish our wood for the stove in no time.
Mark and his family
The facilities are great. It was lovely to have a wood floor, and proper beds, which were extremely comfortable. The wood stove heated up the tent and made it feel really homely, and the lanterns and candles were efficient at giving light, although not enough for reading.
The shower and bathing area although communal were very good and the honesty shop a lovely touch. Just to know we could get essentials like bread, (and wine!) and simple toiletries such as toothpaste if we had forgotten them was very useful, and it was brilliant that it was an honesty shop and you left payment for anything at the end of your stay.
Things to do in the area
Llandeilo a pretty market town is a short drive away, Carreg Cenen Castle is about 5 miles away and Dan-Yr-Ogof showcaves is 16 miles away and is highly recommended.
We ventured out to Ammanford to an Indian restaurant called Maheen's and another night to a pub called The Red Knight both which had good food.
What could be improved
As there was no electricity in the tent it would be lovely to have an area in the converted barn where you could dry your hair. There were plugs available but it would be great if there was a little dressing room with a mirror too. To be fair to Mark he did say they were going to make an area like this.
The stove did heat up but it took a long time to heat. In the morning if the stove was out this took about an hour to heat up and then boil enough water for a cup of tea. We didn't cook any meals on the stove, a simple one pot meal could be made but I wouldn't say with any stretch of the imagination anything more complicated. We ate out each day.
The weather did put a dampner on our stay which was a real shame. Mark put us in the top tent so we could have a great view over the Black Mountains, but as it was so foggy we never got to see this. I think the weather was exceptionally bad for our stay in July, and no one could have foreseen this. We had visions of sitting outside with a barbecue and a glass of wine and taking in the beautiful scenery. Such a shame that we could not do this.
We would definitely stay in a Featherdown Farm again for sure, the tents are fabulous, and if all owners are like farmer Mike then you will be in for a brilliant experience, next time I hope the sun comes out!
Have you ever been glamping? Would you stay in a tent like ours in the Brecon Beacons?