Glamping at Top of The Woods, Boncath, Wales


Top of the Woods

So nice we did it twice! I have to say it's not often that I rebook a place, simply because I love to try new places but Top of the Woods, in Boncath West Wales is worth a revisit, in fact, I can see it becoming somewhat of an annual tradition especially as it offers family and dog-friendly accommodation. Perhaps because you really can switch off here, phone reception doesn't exist and only the thinnest slither of wifi can be found near the main farmhouse and it's patchy at best but that's not why you come somewhere like Top of the Woods, you come to make real connections, with nature, your family with new friends, in a gorgeous rural location completely off-grid.

Top of the woods

Top of The Woods offers 3 glamping options - Pioneer Camps, Nature Domes and Safari lodges, all of which are comfortable and high-end with private & undercover cooking areas but some offer more facilities. 

On our first visit, we stayed in a Nature Dome and our second in a Pioneer Camp, so I will focus on these for this review as I can offer my first-hand experience of them. There is also meadow camping for those who want to bring their own tent, with lovely views and large wild meadow for children to run and play.

Nature Dome

Nature Domes - these are great even for the slightly off-peak months, we stayed in one in September and the dome remained cool during the day and nice and toasty in the evening with the use of the wood burning stove, honestly we didn't feel chilly once. The domes all come with awesome views across the welsh countryside where you can enjoy a cafetiere coffee in the morning which you can find in your own undercover camping kitchen, which really does have everything you need to cook up a feast. The dome also has solar lighting throughout and blackout curtains to help keep out that very early summer sun. The interior itself is also stylish with wood flooring, welsh wool blankets and rugs and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.

Pioneer Camps

Pioneer Camps - our stay this year was during a heatwave and I'm so glad we opted for a Pioneer Camp tent which in the extreme heat offered more ventilation than the Domes (don't be put off the Domes, it was extreme heat) and while they are slightly more back to basics than the Domes, we loved it. The camps are surrounded by a wildflower meadow and woodlands and come with their own firepit & wagon-style covered kitchen. There is raised wood flooring inside as well as a log burner which we didn't need to use on this occasion and soft crisp bedding which meant we got a good night's sleep.

Regardless of whether you decide to camp or glamp everyone has access to an array of facilities on site which not only ensures you stay comfortable but also encourages a connection with nature and community. The Dutch barn is a focus point of the site and offers a large all-weather covered picnic area, freezers and charging points should you need them (but as I said there is zero phone reception here). Right next to the dutch barn is the hammock garden, which both myself and my kids loved as well as the communal fire pit which hosts campfire stories during the summer holidays.


While refreshingly there isn't a "play park" as the whole site is there for children to explore, there is a willow garden, a games room with plenty of board games, a waterfall trail and lots of space to run free. The site is also completely car-free with wheelbarrows on hand (again very popular with my kids) with parking only being a short distance away but knowing there are no cars driving around brings an extra peace of mind to parents with kids who will naturally enjoy running across the meadows. If you wake up early you can also join Jon to meet their three resident Kunekune pigs which are adorable.

Wild swimming
Wild Swimming in the River Teifi


Things to do close by

I would highly recommend the Waterfall walk which takes you through the stunning Fynnone woods to Fynnone waterfall which really is somewhat of a hidden gem and makes for a great adventure-filled day out that costs nothing except a packed lunch (and spare clothes if you plan to take a dip in the waterfall pool). 

We also really enjoyed a visit to both Newcastle Emlyn Castle and Cligerran castle, both of which are free to enter and explore and for those who love Wild swimming then there is a great spot suitable for young and old on the river Teifi just behind Cilgerran castle. 

If you like partial to ancient neolithic history then I also encourage a visit to Pentre Ifan, a neolithic chambered Dolmen thought to date from 3,500 BC as well as the surrounding Ty Canol Ancient woods.

There is also plenty of coastline to explore and we really enjoyed hiring Kayaks in Cardigan and then enjoying a short walk over to Pizza Tipi for some of the best Pizza you will taste in Wales. 

You can of course opt to take it really slow and just enjoy the peaceful surroundings of Top of the Woods, which is what a lot of people come to do. 

Top of the Woods Eco camping and Glamping is found in Boncath, Pembrokeshire and is open from the end of March 2023 to October 2023, so if you looking for a springtime adventure next year keep this place in mind. 

Glamping Wales

Read More

6 Unique Outdoor Experiences in Southern Wales


Cardiff Castle

*This post contains affiliate links

South Wales is the perfect base for getting outdoors and reconnecting with nature and it's packed with hidden gems, waterfalls and mountain trails suitable for all ages and skills. It's well known for the Brecon Beacons, the Wales Coastal path and lots of Castles but there is even more that awaits you in this part of Wales and I thought I would share 5 truly unique experiences to try in South Wales that will get your outdoors, in the fresh air in a really positive and fun way and all of these suggestions are perfect for the whole family, if you want to get the kids invovled as well. 

Wild foraging

1. Try Wild Foraging 

Wales is a haven for foragers as we have an abundance of woodland, meadows and coastline to explore but of course you need to go with someone who is knowledgable about the local area and knows what is safe to pick and safe to eat. There are a variety of foraging workshops across South Wales that will teach you about wild food life, how to identify wild edibles and their nutritional and medicinal benefits. Gourmet Gatherings, based in Monmouth offers a guided tour along the Severen Estuary, with it's hedgerows and meadows, it's a great way to explore the local area while learning something new. 


2. Go Stargazing with an Astronomy Adventure

Have you heard of Dark Skies Wales and Astro tourism? Well it's a thing and Wales is the perfect base for an astronomy adventure. While much of the UK is affected by light pollution, here in Wales we have an abundance of places that are perfect due to their rural location and allow you. to expierence the natural wonders under dark skies. If you decide to try out an evening with Dark Skies Wales you can expect to be guided by experts to learn the basics of astronomy, spot different constellations and comfortable find your way around the night sky.


3. Have a go at Carp Fishing

Have you ever thought about giving fishing a go? Well South Wales has a variety of natural and well stocked locations such as Cefn Mably lakes, which is perfect for carp fishing in a safe environment. Places like Dyffryn Springs offer tuition for all ages, from complete novices to those who just want to improve a certain skill. This is a great way to spend a few hours outdoors, even if you don't catch anything it's relaxing to be by the water and is a great family activity.  

food truck

4.  Go on a tasty foodie tour of Cardiff

Cardiff is a melting pot of influences when it comes to the local foodie scene and if your looking for a tasty way to explore the city then why not go on a Cardiff tasting tour which not only takes you to local cafes, street food vendors and Cardiff market but you also pass key landmarks in the city such as Cardiff Castle, Principaliy Stadium and the beautiful Bute Park. This tour combines exploring the city, the outdoors as well as some of the best foodie spots in the city. 


5. Get wild with a bushcraft course

Many of us have heard of forest schools for children but what about doing a bushcraft course for adults? The Brecon Beacons and a variety of locations in South Wales are perfect for reconneting with nature and learning key survival skills such as shelter building, fire lighting and wilderness cooking. You can also make it a family affair with family bushcraft camp workshops, I've done something similar with my kids in Wales and they loved it. 

mountain biking

6. Have a go at Mountain Biking

Wales is actually world renowned when it comes to their Moutnain Bike trails and while there are many advanced runs there are also a lot of beginner locations for those just dipping their toe into the adrenaline sport. I recently took my eldest son for an action packed day at Dare Valley Gravity Bike Park in Dare Valley Park which has a free to use pump track and two fantastic beginner blue runs which are also free to use although you can opt to pay for the Uplift and they also offer bike hire on site. You don't need any particular skills except that you fell confident riding a bike. 

So if you are looking for something a little different or want to try out a new skill then South Wale is a great base

Read More

The Green Gathering Festival, Chepstow


The Green Gathering

The Green Gathering festival has been on my bucket list for a long time although with the pandemic cancelling most festivals for 2yrs we haven't been able to attend until now. I had considered staying for the whole weekend as we love to camp and love a long festival weekend, although as we are planning a big trip to Europe soon, I decided as the festival is in Chepstow which is less than an hour away from our house, that the most budget-friendly option was to get a day pass, especially as under 11's go free, which meant I only had to pay for myself and for £40 for a whole day at a festival that felt like a really good deal. 

Solar power

We made sure to get there early so we could enjoy the whole day and really get a feel for what the festival is all about. Unlike other festivals, the Green Gathering is the original off-grid low impact festival, powered by sun, wind and people and is non-profit without any mainstream commercial sponsorships. This however doesn't impact the amazing performances and facilities they put on over the weekend. 

The Green gathering

There is also a real focus on change and activism that goes beyond weekend hedonism to bring about real positive environmentally earth-friendly change. That focus is seen right from the start where instead of bringing loads of cars onto the site, the car-park is set away from the festival and you take a community-style bus shuttle onto the site. I was also very impressed with the accessibility side of things, while the boys and I don't have any mobility issues it was great to see they had put in place accessible toilets, showers, camping area and crew on hand to facilitate everyone's access to entertainment and services.

The green gathering

There was an abundance of activities for all ages including special areas for children and teens. My boys really like the archery and "street" performers as well as the large kid's play area, community library and swap shop. While we didn't do any craft workshops there were things like willow weaving, yoga, circus skills and face painting. We also popped into quite a few different tents to listen to some amazing live music as well as making sure to visit the resistance photography exhibition. 

The green gathering

There was plenty of food and drink available, and I had the chance to try out some locally brewed cider while the kids enjoyed some fresh crepes. Despite it being hot and sunny there was also plenty of shade and it was lovely and cool in the forest area which also had a fairy trail. 

Overall the atmosphere was such a positive one and while the festival is for all ages I found it particularly family-friendly and we have decided that next year we will be returning but for the whole weekend. Did you go to any festivals this year? 

The Green Gathering takes place yearly, usually during August, in a beautiful green space in Chepstow, Wales. 

The green gathering festival

Read More
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...