If you’re due a romantic weekend and craving privacy, quiet and stunning views – this is the trip for you.
Nestled in a wooded corner of a remote Welsh farm, cross a small bridge and you’ll find yourself on the deck of an idyllic treehouse.
Ok, so it’s not strictly a treehouse – in the classic sense.
Yes, it’s surrounded by trees, and it is raised slightly on sturdy beams – but you’re not up in the canopy, swaying in the breeze, and you don’t have to climb a ladder to get in.
However, that shouldn’t put you off. This exquisite wooden structure is every bit as magical as name suggests, full of character and cosy, functional features that provide the perfect solace from the wild Welsh winter on your doorstep.
It almost feels as though you’re living inside a tree – Enid Blyton style.
Designed, built and furnished entirely by owners Lowry and Alun, Cuckoo’s Hideaway, in Nantcoy, is a beautiful space that blends luxury with rustic, and brings the outdoors inside.
My partner and I arrived late after a long drive from east London. We hired a car after figuring that public transport would be far too complicated and expensive. But the journey – most of which winds you through Welsh valleys and quaint villages – was more than worth it.
Warned to bring torches, we fired up our flashlights on our phones and walked the short distance from the car park area to the wooden deck. We couldn’t see more than an inch beyond the soft glow of the deck lighting because the darkness was so dense, but we could feel that it was cold. Really cold.
Thankfully, inside was a snug haven and we began to thaw out immediately thanks to the many electric radiators situation throughout. The entire place – lights, heating, appliances – is powered with solar, so we didn’t feel too guilty cranking the radiators up for the first hour.
Inside, we stepped into an open plan kitchen and living area, with a cosy loveseat and a rocking armchair. The kitchen space was fully functional, with an oven and two rings, which was ideal as we had plans to make steak the following night.
There was also a pizza oven stashed in the boiler room on the deck, which would be perfect in the summer, or for those braver than us willing to take on outdoor cooking regardless of the wind-chill factor.
A stylish, modern bathroom features a walk-in rainfall shower (big enough for two), and the double bedroom is dominated by a seriously comfortable bed – think luxury hotel sheets, squishy pillows, homely blankets.
In the corner of the living room you will find a staircase – which is more like a ladder, and not hugely accessible if you have any mobility issues – that leads you up to a reading nook, which is essentially a room strewn with cushions and blankets, books, playing cards and board games, with a view that cuts right across the endless fields to give you a tantalising glimpse of the ocean.
Connecting with nature
For two city-dwellers who spend most of their lives surrounded by concrete, the wide open spaces, clean fresh air and infinite sky, were a welcome shock to the system.
It didn’t matter that that sky was dark grey and throwing down freezing rain.
In the morning, we pressed a button to open the automatic blinds and were greeted with panoramic views of a wet and wild landscape. Beyond the trees were fields populated with sheep, and beyond those fields were more fields, broken up only by the odd wind turbine, all the way to the horizon.
That’s when we spotted the hot tub.
The upper deck outside the living room leads down to a lower level taken up almost entirely by a covered hot tub, which we had been assured was set to the right temperature and ready for us to use whenever we wanted. So, we popped a bottle of champagne in the fridge so it would be ready for us later.
After a leisurely breakfast of eggs and avocado, we decided to layer up and throw ourselves out into the day.
Just a ten-minute drive down the road we found Cors Caron Tregaron – a stunning nature reserve – and thanks to the weather, we had it entirely to ourselves.
The were options of different walking trails, and we chose one that would take around an hour, because we didn’t want to completely lose the use of our extremities.
The route we chose was fully accessible with an all-weather surface, so we didn’t get too muddy, and we got to take in the beautiful marshes with its distinctive orange reeds, and keep our eyes peeled for wildlife.
Exploring the local area
For the afternoon, we jumped back in the car and drove 20-minutes to Aberaeron on the coast – a Georgian harbour town described in the handbook as ‘one of the prettiest places in wales.’ They’re not wrong.
The pastel-painted houses and shopfronts make for a quaint and distinctive picture, and you’ll find cute cafes, adorable tearooms, and delis selling Welsh cheeses and cider.
We warmed ourselves up with homemade tomato soup and welsh rarebit, before taking a bracing walk along the beach front.
We didn’t have the time, and the weather was against us, but New Quay and Aberystwyth are also a short drive away from the treehouse, and their are many coastal walks and national beauty spots if you’re up for some more exploring.
The perfect spot for romance
Whether you’re looking for somewhere special for your anniversary, planning a minimoon after your wedding, or simply after a weekend of pure you-time, this treehouse is probably the perfect setting for it.
We spent our evening drinking champagne in the hot tub as the light slowly died around us, then we retreated inside to get warm and made a steak dinner, drinking red wine and playing our favourite music.
Before bed, we watched a movie on the loveseat, and retreated to the reading nook for games (and more wine) and ended up chatting into the early hours of the morning.
It was the perfect tonic for two people with busy lives who sometimes feel like ships in the night. Here, among the rustle of the trees and a blanket of darkness, there was nothing to distract us from each other.
You can book a stay at the Cuckoo’s Hideaway via the Wanderlist website. It costs £255 per night, with a minimum of two nights, check-in days are Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
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