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Ael y Bryn, Eglwyswrw, Pembrokeshire
Ael y Bryn started life as a hostel housing Italian and German prisoners of war in World War Two. Completely rebuilt many years later by the current owners, it is now a rural guesthouse offering nothing short of outstanding hospitality. While the bungalow won't win any interior design awards, the four bedrooms and spacious public areas are very comfortably and thoughtfully furnished, and personalised with the owners' artwork and ornaments. They also benefit from panoramic views across the large and well-tended garden to the Preseli Hills beyond. The lovingly-prepared meals, eaten with a sense of occasion around one large table with other guests, are a big highlight: the breakfast buffet covers everything you could possibly imagine, and the blow-out dinners are well worth booking ahead.
We love the panoramic views that reach across to the stark outlines of the Preseli Hills in the distance (where Stonehenge's bluestones originated).
Ael y Bryn is in the sleepy Pembrokeshire village of Eglwyswrw, around 10 minutes' drive from Cardigan's shops and pubs, and 15 minutes from the beach at Newport.
By car: the hotel is 2 hours 30 mins from Bristol, 3 hours 45 mins from Birmingham and 4 hours 40 mins from London. Free parking is available on-site.
By train: London Paddington to Clunderwen takes just over 4 hours. Ael y Bryn is a 25-minute taxi ride from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
It suits sociable types - meals are eaten communally with other guests and the owners like to chat - and, being a bungalow, anyone with limited mobility. Sitting in the conservatory, lapping up the distant views along with all the birdlife in the well-maintained garden, is lovely.
Service & Facilities
The information folders in the bedrooms are superbly detailed, and include the owners' photos and reviews of nearby beaches and attractions, as well as OS maps.
- Dining room
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
Our favourite room is the Carn Menyn Suite, which has a door giving direct access to the garden and a private patio with table and chairs. We love all the extras too, such as robes, digital radio, books on Pembrokeshire and a tea tray with a choice of things to drink, shortbread, chocolate and sweets.
Pengelli Room, Carn Ingli Room, Preseli Room, Carn Menyn Suite
Facilities include: ensuite with bath and/or shower, bathrobes, hairdryer, free Wi-Fi, Smart TV, DAB radio, mini-fridge, tea and coffee facilities, fan
Food & Drink
When you want attending to, you can summon Robert or Arwel from the kitchen by ringing a bell on the table. For dinner we feast memorably on roast pork with home-made apple sauce and a host of side veg dishes, followed by cheesecake on a ginger biscuit base.
Breakfast: selection of cereals, yoghurts, fresh fruit, preserves, toast and juices. Hot dishes cooked to order.
Dinner: Two or three-course set meal with tea and coffee. Arrange in advance. Bring your own alcohol, no corkage. Two courses £26 per person, three courses £30 per person.