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St. Twynnell's Cottage at Lower Lamphey Park

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by Sarah (subscribe)
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Published April 17th 2017
Welcoming accommodation on the stunning Pembrokeshire coast

If you desire to explore the West Welsh coast with homely lodgings, or if you have a passion for gardens or distinctive flower varieties, you have an excellent chance of finding your bliss at Lower Lamphey Park this summer!

Having found their Air B&B advert last year, I enjoyed two restorative stays at Simon and Tina's charming, rustic home: reflective of their world travel and pastimes, family, nature, birds, the ocean, Tina's dance background and homemade everything - a real country kitchen is the hub of this home.

They also have very comfortable self-catering options at the rural site on the edge of the Pembrokeshire National Park: with historic towns of Tenby and Pembroke, sandy beaches, castles and other attractions conveniently nearby.

June 2016

During my first stay, I was able to spend a few days exploring the stunning coastline and two relaxing nights in my cosy, peaceful room. I awoke to a lovely healthful breakfast Tina had thoughtfully laid out for me, refreshed and ready to explore beautiful beaches and lily ponds.

Edible herbs & flowers
Tina and Simon make great conversation and I felt totally at home in their company. Simon at times had me in stitches with his funny anecdotes. Ask him about his ground-breaking (literally!) discovery about snails, the joys of eating peasant-style or gardening for the elite faux pas!

The great thing about these hosts is they're genuinely interested in you, without being at all intrusive - as well as very interesting.

I gratefully sampled the amazing variety of leafy greens and herbs from their impressive garden. Eating green and breathing clear seaside air was so energising and purifying for me.

lower lamphey park, pembrokeshire, b&b
Bedroom window view
There's something really magical about this corruption-free "hobbit land" as Simon calls it, where you quickly forget all your troubles and cares. I felt absolutely euphoric as I drove along the winding, undulating coastal road, approaching rapturous views.

My first stop was Freshwater East: a sweeping sandy beach, perfectly soft underfoot, the deep blue ocean shimmering in the sun and a few families with children playing happily in the sand.

Freshwater East
Freshwater East

Freshwater East, beach
Freshwater East
Later that day, after venturing by Manorbier Castle, I climbed down a very steep flight of metal steps descending the vertical cliff at Skrinkle Haven. As there wasn't another soul to be seen or heard, I skinny-dipped under the dramatic limestone ridge, feeling just like a mermaid in my own little-secluded cove with its tiny pebble beach.

I also visited the gorgeous Stackpole Walled Gardens and took a stroll in the sun through Bosherston Lily Ponds, then down to Barafundle Bay (named one of the UK's best beaches). The whole of this area was dreamlike with what could be described as a celestial atmosphere.


~ ~ ~


Salvia flower
Salvia elegans scarlet pineapple
It was on my second visit to Lower Lamphey Park, that I learned of Simon's love of growing rare Mexican flowers: namely, Salvias. Flower lovers out there ought to be excited by this rare breed of distinctive beauties. Simon has a small nursery, where he is currently growing 18 of the most exciting and interesting Salvia varieties, that all flower their heads off from June until the frosts in November/December. His website now provides mail order for the first time, as strong young plants are ready for planting out from May!

I cannot wait to smell them in full bloom the next time I visit, particularly the Salvia elegans scarlet pineapple with foliage that smells of ripe pineapple.


~ ~

My second visit in February

Ever since that first stay, I had longed to return. And so, in February this year, I finally took my chance for another weekend escape.

Though obviously not swimming weather, the winter experience was just as beneficial. The wholesome charm of Lower Lamphey Park is to be all the more relished and appreciated after a long, gusty ramble through miles and miles of yellow gorse along the clifftops, to blow away the winter cobwebs.

Tina and I took a long walk starting from Stackpole, through Bosherston lily ponds where we spotted a variety of birds including swans, goosanders and the standing, spectral figures of cormorants on faraway branches, watching over us as we passed: to Broadhaven Beach with its craggy rock face, then to Barafundle Bay.

From there, we decided to carry on to Freshwater East, up over the cliff tops to Swanlake Beach where hundreds of 'mermaid's purses' and curious relics of the ocean lay in wait amongst the seaweed on the shiny, smooth, multi-coloured pebbles. Tina collected a bucket of grit for her garden while I collected seaweed, as we marvelled at the remains of the unidentified creatures.

Bosherston Lily Ponds, Swanlake Bay
Bosherston Lily Ponds & Swanlake Bay

Finding our way back down towards Freshwater East at dusk, where a few local fishermen stood, the coconut fragrance of the gorse together with wood smoke from over hills filling our nostrils - we fell silent as the sun sank into the ocean. A velvet sky with fluffy blue clouds hugging the golden horizon at the edge of infinity. It was almost mythical, in the gibbous moonlight.

Smiles go on for miles . . . .

marmalade making homemade
Homemade marmalade!
Back at the house, it was wonderful to be reacquainted with wholesome living at that time of year and really nurturing myself with homemade goodies. Tina had some yummy, immunity-boosting homemade Rosehip syrup, which I was able to sample. I also learned how she makes marmalade, which they sell at Narbeth Market along with their home-grown produce.

Perfecting the art of market trading, they even hand weave their own willow baskets for customers to put their produce in!

So to top off my experience, I had a go at willow weaving while we listened to the music of Norah Jones and Sarah McLachlan over a cuppa and conversation. These were all entirely optional activities, of course! But it really did make me yearn to live a simple, down-to-earth life.

Willow Weaving
Willow Weaving

It's worth noting: staying at Lower Lamphey Park can be as involved or as autonomous as you'd like. But these people are worth getting to know.


garden, gardening, flowers, herbs, b&b, lamphey park, pembrokeshire
Tina & Simon's garden

It was a significant honour to prepare and share a meal with my dear new friends on my last night.

A perfectly decadent evening to end to a perfect weekend: with Moroccan pilav rice and squash followed by apricot and chocolate tart and lively conversation.

lower lamphey park, pembrokeshire
Food with friends

Seriously, two of the loveliest people you'll ever meet - meet them!

Back on the open road to Cardiff the next morning, I felt grateful to have shared this quality time with good people relishing the bounty of the earth - it was truly a soul nourishing and grounding experience to have joined in their daily rhythm.


  • Tina and Simon's Air B&B page

  • Self-catering accommodation

  • Check out Simon's SUNNY SALVIAS website
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    Where: Pembrokeshire
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