TAKE a combination of unspoilt beaches and coastal scenery, traditional seaside delights, colourful towns and villages, beautiful countryside with a variety of attractions in the vicinity and you have all the ingredients for a superb holiday. Find a secluded, leafy valley location bordered by a twinkling mountain stream and you have found an ideal location for a luxury lodge. That is exactly what you will find at Woodlands, near New Quay, a delightful park that makes the most of its position in west Wales.
Despite its lovely rural location, Woodlands Park is less than an hour’s drive from the M4, a couple of hours from the Severn Bridge and a similar driving time from many parts of the West Midlands.
Once you get there you can relax in your lodge and take advantage of the park’s location and surroundings, put your walking boots on to explore the coast and countryside, or leave the driving to others and make the most of the public transport services on your doorstep.
Woodlands is undergoing a multi million pound development and has, in a relatively short time, established itself as an ideal setting for lodges, which is hardly surprising when you visit the park and appreciate the immediate surroundings and explore what the area has to offer.
Sympathetic landscaping has been carried out so that the park blends seamlessly with the surrounding countryside and by selecting the latest, most eco-friendly lodges, Woodlands is proving popular for lodge owners and holidaymakers alike.
Arriving on site, a warm welcome awaits at reception. Woodlands is committed to catering for walkers and cyclists. Facilities include a seasonal clubhouse, where food is available to be eaten in or taken out, and a launderette. There is a children’s play area and plenty of space throughout the park.
Each of the holiday rental lodges, built to the BS3632 residential spec, features a double bedroom with en suite plus a second equipped with two single beds, together with a family bathroom. There is a flat screen TV in each bedroom, while the lounge has a large flat screen TV, with integral DVD player, satellite and freeview channels above the fireplace as a focal point. Free Wi-Fi connection is available and there is also a radio complete with iPod dock.
The lounge, dining and kitchen areas are combined to form a spacious open plan living space with French doors and large picture windows providing plenty of light and views across the park and woodland. Energy efficient heating and insulation is used throughout. The lounge area is well fitted out with quality, modern furnishings and there is an integral dining area with family size table.
If you want to be creative in the kitchen there is plenty of room to do so with sufficient workspace and storage with fittings including a dishwasher and fridge/freezer.
There are number of companies who will deliver groceries and vegetables to you on the park – likewise some of the area’s takeaway food specialists. Outside each lodge is a raised, maintenance-free decking area with table, chairs and sun beds.
If you go down to Woodlands you will certainly get a pleasant surprise as it offers so many of the things lodge owners are looking for when it comes to location and lifestyle. That it is situated in a part of the country that has so much to offer when it comes to discovering fresh holiday delights is a real bonus.
A bus stop is situated literally just outside Woodlands’ entrance, so you can give your car a break too!
The park is situated just two miles from the seaside town of New Quay, with its fascinating mix of cottages grouped on the hillside overlooking the harbour and the blue waters of Cardigan Bay.
One of the big attractions is the prospect of seeing Bottlenose dolphins in the bay and this can be enjoyed on the various boat trip options offered in the town. You can even adopt a Cardigan Bay dolphin (see the website www.adoptadolphin.org.uk). And in addition to enjoying the antics of the dolphins, you can also see the various seabirds and grey seals.
It is not just out at sea you can spot abundant wildlife. The Ceredigion Coast Path is great for watching the Red Kites, sea birds and mammals from the look out at ‘Bird’s Rock’ while, for a mix of education and entertainment, you can visit New Quay Honey Farm, set in an old chapel on a farm near the town. You can study the bees in a number of natural habitats and in man-made hives, and the displays open up to reveal the life of the bees, which can be viewed safely from behind glass.
That most famous of Welsh poets Dylan Thomas lived at New Quay for a while and loved the area so much he used the position of ‘the cliff-perched toppling town’ in his epic Under Milk Wood. He also wrote a radio broadcast about New Quay entitled ‘Quite Early One Morning’.
Thomas had visited relatives in New Quay in the 1930s and returned to live at Majoda on the edge of the town with his beloved Caitlin and their children from September 1944 to July 1945. To mark this connection, there is a Dylan Thomas Trail of the places and people that inspired him in New Quay with a useful multi-lingual leaflet outlining the route.
In addition to the natural and literary attractions of New Quay there are all the traditional features that contribute to a family seaside holiday, such as a wide selection of shops, cafés, inns, fish and chip shop, fresh fish kiosk and a pasty shop (though we wouldn’t want you to confuse New Quay in Wales with Newquay in Cornwall, would we?).
The town is also still very much a working fishing port and you could test your skills fishing off the pier. Alternatively there are several coarse fisheries in the area. The New Quay Regatta is an annual calendar event featuring three days of sailing races and associated activities. Scuba diving and other water sports such as dinghy sailing, windsurfing, kayaking and power boating can also be enjoyed.
Just ten minutes drive north from Woodlands is the attractive harbourside town of Aberaeron while Aberwystwyth is just 20 miles north. In addition to the main line railway station serving the area, Aberystwyth is the terminus of the Vale of Rheidol Railway, a narrow gauge line that climbs the hills to Devil’s Bridge, where there are spectacular waterfalls. It is now privately owned but once had the distinction of being the last bastion of British Rail’s steam locomotive fleet. For the youngsters there is the Fantasy Farm Park at Llanrhystud, Aberystwyth, while thrill seekers might prefer Oakwood Theme Park further south near Narbeth.
There are many interesting places to visit along the Ceredigion Coast Path such as Llangranog, further south along the coast towards Cardigan, with its lovely sandy beach situated at the mouth of two rivulets – the Hawen and the Nant Eisteddfa – that run quite dramatically into the sea here. You can’t get much closer to the sea than at The Pentre Arms Hotel with its panoramic views of the coastline.
Try before you buy
Lodges on site at Woodlands currently include Oak Grove Beech 40 x 22, Prestige Hazel Special 40 x 20, Prestige Acorn Special 40 x 14 and Prestige Maple 36 x 20. Following its launch at the NEC show in February, Prestige’s new Ardingly lodge will make its debut at Woodlands.
The park has been awarded a four star grading by Wales Tourist Board and offers cost-effective holiday lodges with a full week’s rental available from £385 (low season) to £795 (high season), with three to four night breaks available from £295.
Potential lodge owners are welcome to ‘try before they buy’ and various options are available for this, including the chance to stay at a lodge at different times of the year before making a decision. Sales manager Kerry Crofts is the person to speak to for further information on lodges at Woodlands.
Available at the time of writing were a 40x22 Oak Grove Beech
, £139,950; a 40x20 Prestige Hazel Special
, £109,950; a 40x14 Prestige Acorn Special
, £84,950; and a 36x20 Prestige Maple Lodge
• Local amenities:
Wide variety of shops, a post office and a bank in New Quay (2 miles), and there is also a local mobile fruit, veg and grocery service. Supermarkets are available at Aberystwyth and Cardigan.
There is a GP in New Quay and hospitals at Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, Cardigan and Tregaron.
• Public Transport:
The nearest main line railway station is at Aberystwyth (20 miles). A bus stop outside the entrance to the park has services to and from Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Carmarthen and Cardiff.
• Eating & drinking:
Recommended is the Hotel Penwig (2 miles), with a good choice of meals and Welsh real ales. There are plenty of pubs and eating places in New Quay and the surrounding area with various takeaway options including fish & chips, Asian, pasties and ice cream; deliveries are available from some takeaways to the park.
New Quay’s music festival is in July and August, with jazz and rock at a number of venues. The town offers various water sports opportunities, while there is a coarse fishery at Llanarth (2 miles). The 9-hole Cwmrhydneuadd Golf Club is near Llangranog. Aberaeron has a swimming pool, leisure centre and puts on a number of concerts and plays at its Memorial Hall. Aberystwyth (20 miles) being a larger, University town, offers more entertainment and arts events.
WHAT CAN I DO AROUND HERE?
Dolphins at play
– The top attraction in the area is the opportunity to see Bottlenose dolphins at close hand in their natural habitat. One or two hour or longer boat trips are available from the harbour. Rare birds to be seen include the Red Kite and Chough.
In Dylan’s footsteps
– Poet Dylan Thomas loved the town and used some of its locations and characters as an inspiration for Under Milk Wood – in which he dubbed it ‘Llareggub’ (read the name backwards!). There is an official trail taking in some of the places he used and visited.
Coast and country walks
– The Ceredigion Coast Path is one of the splendid options for walkers in the region, revealing many safe, sandy beaches along the way, such as here at Llangranog, where two rivulets meet the sea in deep gorge-like valleys.
– This colourful town has attractive buildings grouped around a working harbour. The circular Town Trail takes in many of the points of interest. A Festival of Welsh Ponies & Cobs takes place in August and a Seafood Festival each July.
Woodlands Park, Gilfachreda, New Quay, Ceredigion, Wales SA45 9ST. Tel: 01545 580239. Email: email@example.com
. Website: www.woodlandsnewquay.co.uk
• Prices start at £84,950
• Open all year
• Ground rent: £2,250 per annum plus VAT
• 50 year licence agreement
• Water and electricity are individually metered
This park review was published in the March 2011 issue of Park & Holiday Homes. To order a copy of Park & Holiday Homes please click here