Last weekend we had a wonderful four days away with family celebrating my parents ruby wedding anniversary. A full weekend with some of my favourite people in a beautiful place and with no work. It was bliss! It was also around 4 hours away in mid-Wales.
As we always do, we try and break up any long journeys with a day trip. With two little people in the car, we find getting out and really stretching our legs and exploring works far better than just simple stop at a service station. So, on Friday we found ourselves at Llanerchaeron.
WHERE IS LLANERCHAERON?!
Yes, I thought that too when I first saw it on the map! Based just outside Aberaeron, Llanerchaeron is a Georgian villa set in the stunning surrounding of the Aeron valley. Full address: Llanerchaeron, Ciliau Aeron, near Aberaeron, Ceredigion, SA48 8DG.
Owned by the National Trust, in addition to the villa Llanerchaeron is a self-sufficient estate. This includes a farm, walled gardens and lake located beside some stunning parkland complete with river.
A LITTLE ABOUT THE HOUSE
Now, I won’t go in to too much detail here as to be brutally honest history just isn’t my thing. However, you can’t help but be impressed by Llanerchaeron. Commissioned in 1783, an architect by the name of John Nash designed Llanerchaeron in the 1790’s. For anyone (like me) who doesn’t know who John Nash is, he went on to design a few little places here and there in the UK such as the Royal pavilion in Brighton and Buckingham palace. So yeah, a pretty impressive chap.
What I liked about Llanerchaeron though is there is a real feel of the family and servants. That duality of life which goes on above stairs and below stairs.
You enter Llanerchaeron via a grand entrance and the main house contains a variety of beautiful rooms. From there, you slowly explore and revel the layers that Llanerchaeron has. The solid square of the main house gives way to the guest area and then in turn to the servant’s quarters all the way through to the kitchen and out into its own service courtyard.
With a 2-year-old and 4-year-old in tow, it tends to be a quick look through the properties for us. However, the kids really love exploring and looking at all the different rooms. Llanerchaeron made this a little more fun for them by having a small trail on within the house where we had to find 10 mice hidden throughout the house. A simple idea but effective as the Bear loved seeking them out.
We were short on time for our visit, so we headed straight down into the farm and met a number of beautiful animals. Without needing to look far at all, we met a horse, a calf born that very morning, some geese enjoying the sun, some chickens enjoying a drink and some fabulous looking pigs who were enjoying the feast they had just been given.
It was wonderful to see the farm still in use. It was a beautiful maze of outbuildings to navigate and you can see that they look to keep their self-sufficiency traditions alive by continuing to grow and rear their own produce.
IN THE PARKLAND
Across the road from the main house and farm, there is a lovely cafe and shop that you come to expect from a National Trust property. More than that though, they are set beside a stunning woodland that our two were desperate to explore. Sadly, we were running out of time so we couldn’t indulge, so we had to satisfy ourselves with a quick paddle in the river.
I think my kids must be ducks as they genuinely love nothing more than getting their feet wet.