Pressures of modern life – work commitments, school timetables, living far from relatives. We all have to deal some of these if not more. Making us experts in the art of juggling. I don’t know about you but with such a hectic lifestyle I struggle to spend quality time with the wider family.
My kids are also at the age where they have their own busy extra curricular activities. Combine this with my own mental schedule of practically working two jobs and Mr S’s marathon program. I’m surprised sometimes we even have time for a loo break.
It means travelling back to Manchester where my parents still live has become increasingly harder and doesn’t happen as often as I’d like.
Cue: UK Staycation. Huge barn conversion. The Brecon Beacons. And fingers crossed no family bust-ups.
Kestral Barn in Middle Bettws became the big family home for three days. Situated in the Brecon Beacons, it boasts incredible mountain and rural views. The cute baa-ing of the lambs nearby a welcome antidote to London traffic.
Only three miles from Abergavenny, the city dwellers felt like they were in the deepest, darkest depths of South Wales. Although safe in the knowledge a matcha latte wasn’t too far away.
The barn sleeps 12, with six beautifully decorated bedrooms, three bathrooms and plenty of space for a four-legged family member too. For a big space, it felt so cosy too and I loved all the gorgeous touches around the house.
All our needs for a multigenerational group were met. A bright sun room for relaxing, a games room with pool table for entertaining and a garden big enough for the little ones to run wild.
When planning the outings for a mixed age group, I found it important not to pack too much into one day. Young kids tire easily and older members are not used to hectic schedules. So for happy campers it’s all about balance and trying to maintain a calm equilibrium.
The atmospheric ruins of Llanthony Priory, a short drive from the barn made for a perfect little trip. Situated in the picturesque Vale of Ewyas, close to the Black Mountains the beautiful and wild setting gives you a glimpse into medieval Wales.
It’s incredible walking around the haunting remains of a Priory built in 1100! There are hiking and pony trekking routes which lead from the 12th century Augustine priory for some breathtaking views. For those who fancy a bit of physical exertion.
If all that sounds too energetic you could stop for lunch or a drink at the hotel pub in the grounds or simply bring along your own picnic and admire the historical surroundings.
The Brecon Mountain Railway is a a great way to see some of the incredible sights in the Brecon Beacons without having to hike.
The sightseeing trip on the charming steam locomotive runs from Pant, three miles North of Merthyr Tydfil, to Torpantau.
The full return journey takes one hour and forty minutes. It includes a 35 minute stop at Pontsticill where you can enjoy refreshments at the Lakeside café, a walk around the Steam Museum. Plus a children’s play area for little ones to let off some steam of their own.
Nestled in the beautiful Usk Valley and lying to the south of the Black Mountains you’ll find the small market town of Crickhowell. Full of independent shops and ancient inns, there is plenty to keep you occupied.
The ruins of Crickhowell Castle is a small site with only two towers now remaining. Built in the 12th century you can enjoy great views of the Usk valley. Unfortunately it was pouring with rain when we visited. I tried to sell it to the kids that it all added to the atmosphere. Not sure they bought it.
Abergavenny also has a Michelin starred restaurant called The Walnut Tree, run by chef Shaun Hills. We were too late to make a reservation here, so undeterred I quickly booked their sister venue.
The Angel Hotel, housed in a former coaching inn and now an Abergavenny institution is home to the Oak Room. The elegantly decorated dining room is headed by Chef Wesley Hammond.
They serve a children’s menu too, which made it a wonderful way to end our family break in South Wales.
Multigenerational holidays have become a popular choice of break for families. Allowing the wider family to spend quality time together whilst exploring places in the UK or abroad. If that wasn’t enough sharing holiday costs can prove very cost-effective too and what’s not to like about babysitters on tap!
For further information on Kestral Barn and to book head to holidaycottages.co.uk
Have you been on a multigenerational family holiday? Did it work? Let me know in the comments box below.
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