11 DECEMBER 2018 09:00
Throughout the years here my parents, Fran and Tony, have created many little quirky paths and short walks for our guests to enjoy. The paths stretch all around the land which can be divided into three ‘areas’.
The Bottom Woods
This is the woodland where you will find our Tipi, Lavvu and Yurts, log cabin, toilet and shower facilities - in all around 2 acres. The paths here are plentiful and many of them are illuminated with fairy lights at night, creating a really magical and exciting atmosphere.
The ‘Laburnum Avenue’ path leads into a Labyrinth circle, (created in 2005 when Tony wanted to put something a bit different and interesting in an open space) and this then leads into the woodland walk. Ten meters into the woodland there is a huge Totem Pole! 18ft tall to be precise! A new sculpture created here this year by guest (and now good friend) Ian Manley. I could write about this all day (but I should probably save it for another blog post!). Throughout this whole bottom woodland walk there are many wooden sculptures, carvings and statues to enjoy, as well as many benches to just sit and enjoy the woods - maybe bring a book?
Walking through the woods you will spot many different species of trees including oak, ash, field maple, different pines, beech, sycamore, rowan, hazel, holly, etc. We quite often see squirrels climbing the trees, and lots of birds - the most common being robins, finches, tits, nuthatches, siskins…. and quite often we see and hear the woodpecker.
All of the woodland space is enclosed so it’s a safe place for children to run around and explore, with lots of little nooks and crannies to inspire their little imaginations! Obviously it can get a little wet and a wee bit muddy when it rains, so if you are coming with the kids make sure you pack their wellies!
The Top Woods
The bottom and top woods are separated by what we call “the ride”. In our younger years my sister and I had many a long day setting up pony jumps along here - so much fun! It’s lined with beautiful chestnut trees which have provided my children (Fran and Tony’s grandchildren) with hundreds… and I mean hundreds… of conkers these last few weeks (I keep finding them everywhere in the house!)
The top woods is where the children’s play area is and again has many sculptures carved from trees - including my personal favourite which has very aptly been named ‘Tree Beard’. Walking through the paths in this woodland you will also notice many dens and little hideaways. I think on my last walk through this part of the woodland I counted 10 separate dens, most of which have been created by children staying with us and also by a group of primary school children, exploring the idea of survival shelters, who came for a visit in the summer.
The ‘Leg of Land’
So named because from an aerial perspective it is in the shape of a leg with a foot (think the shape of Italy). This land has been directly set aside for helping nature and the environment. We were involved with a Habitat Scheme for ten years but now work with “Glastir” - a Government run scheme - with the aim of encouraging native wildlife and plants. In the summer it’s covered in orchids, as well as having huge mosses, cotton grass and heathers. We encourage you to have a walk around this land when you come to stay with us and I would definitely recommend it as the sun is going down - the light that bounces off the beautiful reedgrass and natural heathers, combined with the stunning panoramic views of the West Wales countryside, is simply breathtaking. On a misty day you really feel like you are a million miles away from civilisation. There is a path going straight through this land or alternatively you could follow the trails that our Boreray sheep have made through the grass! Larkhill actually gets its name from this land… the habitat here is perfect for a species in decline in Great Britain - the Skylark. You are sure to see the larks (and meadow pippits) as your make your up and down our track.
We hope to have your feet walking along these paths soon and that you've enjoyed reading.
If you have visited us please share your favourite parts of our walks or things you have found along the way below in the comments section.