Review: Spring Barn, Aberciger in Powys, North Wales
Before this January, I’d never heard of Aberciger, a tiny little hamlet in Powys, North Wales, but, after a recent idyllic trip there, I’m sure I won’t forget it. Not only did I find stunning views of the Welsh valleys, but a gorgeous 3 bedroom converted barn, which four members of my family and I were lucky enough to stay in for a few nights.
Spring Barn is a home away from home. It took precisely half an hour and two cups of tea for me to feel like I’d been there for weeks. The furnishings are tasteful and in keeping with the surroundings. Every basic amenity has been well-thought-out but, in addition, there are luxuries too – there’s a coffee machine, two iPod docks and almost a hundred cook books. On top of that, the owners, Wendy and Graham, kindly left us a few essentials, including milk, bread, eggs, wine, some creamy camembert cheese and a selection of artisan crackers – yes, wine and cheese are very much essentials.
Despite visiting in mid-January, when the wind was at its coldest, the barn stayed warm and toasty – thanks to the underfloor heating and the log fire. The Barn really is the exact thing that comes to mind when you think of a country getaway.
I can’t stress how remote the location is; if you like to be in the hustle and bustle of a city, avoid Abercigir at all costs. If, however, you’re seeking a few days off grid, it is the place for you. There’s minimal phone signal and no satellite TV, however there’s a big pile of books and plenty of DVDs to plough through!
Five of us stayed in the barn but, due to its spacious feel and two bathrooms, we never felt on top of each other. In addition to a large open-plan kitchen/dining area, there’s also a cosy lounge and small attic space kitted out with beanbags.
All three bedrooms are doubles; although one room is perhaps suited more to children, thanks to the rocking horse and dolls house, but my 36-year-old cousin didn’t seem to mind!
The hamlet of Aberciger doesn’t have much to offer in terms of hospitality, although what it lacks in cafes/restaurants, it makes up for in stunning surroundings! The good news is that Spring Barn is only a 10-minute drive from Machnyllneth, a small boutique town boasting several delis, gastropubs and a Michelin Star restaurant. We particularly liked the Quarry Cafe and the Riverside restaurant in Pennal (about 15 minutes’ drive away) – be sure to order the seafood platter!
Machnyllneth is also home to a weekly market proudly selling local goods – like squirrels gathering nuts, we stocked up and swiftly headed back to base. As you can probably tell, my family used the trip as an excuse to nest up, playing board games and drinking lovely wine, but, if adventure is more up your street, I’m told the surrounding areas are great for hiking, kayaking and mountain biking.
Spring Barn was the perfect winter getaway: warm, cosy and totally relaxing, all in a stunning, countryside environment. Having said that, I can’t think of many better places to spend a warm summer’s week; I can picture it now: picnics in the garden and strolls in the infamous Welsh hills.
Just before we left, I flicked through the guest book, which displayed pages and pages of glowing reviews, most families ending their entries with ‘I can’t wait to return’. As someone who thinks a digital detox is important from time to time, I echo this sentiment and can’t wait to book my next stay!
To book Spring Barn:
holidaycottages.co.uk / 01237 479146