We rocked up to Fforest not knowing entirely what to expect. After two nights camping further south in Pembrokeshire, we knew (hoped) it was going to be a fair bit comfier — warmer too, ideally — and were all set with supplies for self-catering, but we weren’t entirely sure what the set up was, how remote it would feel, nor what was actually available on-site. Fforest’s website reeled me in quickly — any talk of simpler living and switching off and I’m there in a heartbeat. Beyond that though, I couldn’t fully grasp the concept or what was where, so let me demystify things here. Fforest is made up of three separate locations in and around Cardigan in north Pembrokeshire. There’s Fforest town (five apartments in a gorgeous old granary mill building in Cardigan); Fforest Coast (a camp of cabins, domes, and a farmhouse in walking distance of the beach); then there’s Fforest Farm, where we stayed, which is six or so minutes out of Cardigan itself, with an array of accommodation options — from bell tents to geodesic domes, four-person Crog Lofts, and the farmhouse — spread out over 200 acres of land, complete with its own little pub called Y Bwthyn, a little shop with essential supplies like butter and gin, and a cedar barrel sauna. Are you sold yet?
As soon as you arrive, you feel instantly calmer. It’s gloriously leisurely. The four of us — our in-laws in tow — picked our beds in our Crag Loft (us up top in the double, them in the bunk bed), dumped our bags, and headed down to the ‘pub’ (it’s tiny and charming with a roaring fire) to order four G&Ts, which we sipped outside on reclined wooden chairs admiring the rolling views and the balmy late-summer evening. Later, we cooked outside and ate by candlelight, spending a long evening outside in extra layers working our way through wine and dessert, before retiring to the slouchy sofas, all toasty inside thanks to underfloor heating throughout. Everything about it feels wholesome and lovingly curated from the concept itself to the little touches — there’s a heartfelt Rob Ryan paper-cutting on the wall, cut wildflowers in a dinky vase on the table outside, local coffee left out for morning, and beautiful Welsh Wool blankets, handwoven nearby.
The next morning after breakfast outside —the Crog Lofts’ two gas hobs and a toaster meant beans and toast was the obvious choice — we headed into Cardigan to explore. We drove for ease but the walk into town is very manageable and something I’d definitely make time to do next time. Cardigan itself is lovely — don’t miss CRWST for brekkie, Bowen’s for fish and chips, and Pizzatipi, an excellent riverside pizza spot, set up by the team behind fforest. Cardigan Bay is beautiful but the best beach in the area in my opinion is Mwnt — a National Trust run site where you can walk up the hill, spot dolphins, and swim. We loved it.
Fforest was gorgeous late summer, but I’ve no doubt it would be an equally great spot to hunker down in the depths of winter too. It’s somewhere to go to switch off, live simpler and feel connected with nature, without having to sacrifice the comfort of a hot shower, comfy sofa, and the joy of great pizza five-minutes away when you can’t be arsed to cook.
FFOREST, from £160 night for a Crog Loft
*We were kindly hosted at Fforest on a complimentary basis