fforest

UK Wales Mid Wales Ceredigion Cardigan

  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
There’s nothing not to like here… it’s luxurious, relaxed ‘camping’ insplendid scenery, with lovely staff

A step, a leap and an icy plunge into the blue lagoon at an old slate quarry make the splashing finale to coasteering, at its Pembrokeshire birthplace. An alternative way of exploring the coastline, ‘coasteering’ involves using bare hands and trainered toes to scrabble along rocky cliffs, interspersed with jumps into the waves from varying heights. Not for the fainthearted!

Coasteering is one of many endorphin-inducing activities offered by the fforest outdoor team, as part of their ‘active relaxation’ philosophy; a clever concept that helps clear the mind through learning new skills and the physical demands of a tough day’s play.

fforest outdoor is the brainchild of James and Sîan, who own fforest at Cilgerran, a slice of tastiest rural pie, which they thankfully saw fit to share. Sitting in a peaceful pocket of the Ceredigion countryside, this family-run former farm is only a couple of miles’ trundle upriver from colourful Cardigan (Aberteifi), where the activities team is based.

Fascinated by what makes a dwelling ‘home’ rather than simply a place to sleep in, James toyed with the idea of installing eco-lodges, before settling on stylish canvas accommodation in the shape of nomad tunnel tents, bell tents, kåtas (tipis) and grand domes. An old barn has even been converted into four croglofts – maisonette lodges with beds, sofas and bathroom.

At night, muted tangerine glows from lanterns lead down to the lodge, which is the communal hub of the place, before folk head to the fire pits to watch hypnotic flames over a tasty local beverage from the onsite ‘pub’. Adjoining the pub is a makeshift cinema, with straw-stacks providing rural pews for guests to enjoy weekly film nights.

This is not just camping; this is fforest camping – a relaxed and comforting tonic to everyday life that easily slips into your being. Every possible need has been considered here: each nomad, tipi and dome has its own ‘kitchen’ and sits on sturdy wooden decking, from which you can admire postcard views of fields of green and gold sprinkled with languid deer. There’s wi-fi for those that can’t go without and a sauna (flatpacked from Sweden, where else?) is tucked among the trees. Oh yes – camping in style.

In terms of sanctuary, celeb ‘rehab’ haunt the Priory has got nothing on fforest. The trowel-loads of care and pride that James and Sîan have put into the place will transform your breathing into long, contented sighs as soon as you arrive. Visiting fforest is one Welsh plunge that’s definitely worth taking.

Details

Facilities

Immaculate. A large wooden block in the tipi and belle tent field with 4 hot showers (and sinks in the cubicle), 4 loos, 4 sinks with Ecover soap and 2 washing-up sinks. Recycling and rubbish bins are near by, as well as at the lodge. All dwellings have their own kitchen on the decking, with cool boxes, water cooler, crockery, gas hobs and kettle, as well as large bean-bags and comfy chairs. The belle tents, kåtas (tipis) and domes are all equipped with indoor stoves and wood, kindling and matches to help keep you snug at night. Traditional Welsh rugs (many designed by Sîan), made from thick wool and hides add to the homeliness of the dwellings. The communal lodge serves breakfast daily and is open in the evenings. On Friday and Monday evenings delicious dinners are served up for those who fancy it, which is a nice way to meet some of your fellow fforest visitors. Sauna and wi-fi, too. Immaculate. A large wooden block in the tipi and belle tent field with 4 hot showers (and sinks in the cubicle), 4 loos, 4 sinks with Ecover soap and 2 washing-up sinks. Recycling and rubbish bins are near by, as well as at the lodge. All dwellings have their own kitchen on the decking, with cool boxes, water cooler, crockery, gas hobs and kettle, as well as large bean-bags and comfy chairs. The belle tents, k?tas (tipis) and domes are all equipped with indoor stoves and wood, kindling and matches to help keep you snug at night. Traditional Welsh rugs (many designed by S?an), made from thick wool and hides add to the homeliness of the dwellings. The communal lodge serves breakfast daily and is open in the evenings. On Friday and Monday evenings delicious dinners are served up for those who fancy it, which is a nice way to meet some of your fellow fforest visitors. Sauna and wi-fi, too.

Suitable For

Glampers and anyone looking to chill out in a lovely rural setting – yes.  Caravans, big groups, young groups – no.

Nearby

Take your pick from wet activities like coasteering or kayaking with the fforest outdoor team, or head into Cardigan for a mosey around the shops. Otherwise stay onsite and head for the sauna tucked away amid the woods. A rota for its use can be found in the lodge.

Food & Drink

Look no further than the wonderful onsite ‘pub’ in a rustic old stone farm building next to the cabin. It has a toasty log fire and is lit by candle ‘chandeliers’, which give the place an ethereal, romantic glow. The slightly smoky atmosphere and hotch potch of seating (ranging from old church pews to benches and wooden stools) help create a really cosy feel. Organic wines and local bottles of beer and cider are sold (added to your dwelling tab).

Opening Times

April–Oct (but the croglofts are available in the winter months and for Christmas bookings).

Location

fforest, Cwnplysgog, Cilgerran, Cardigan, SA43 2TB

Show Map

Getting There

Take the A478 towards Cardigan and at Pen-y-Bryn take a right (signposted ‘Cilgerran’) next to a church. Just before you enter Cilgerran village take a left onto Church St, then another immediate left signed to the Welsh Wildlife Centre. fforest is on the right just before the centre.

Train to Carmarthen or Aberystwyth, buses 460 and X50 leave the respective stations for Finch Square in Cardigan. From here, bus 430 goes to Cilgerran, then it’s just under a mile’s walk.

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