The Hideaway

Looking back at my AirBnB accomodation from a long weekend in Pembrokeshire – November 2017.

Thursday 16th – Sunday 19th November 2017

When I intended to join Brunel Walking Group for a long weekend in Pembrokeshire last month, I could’ve bear the thought of sharing a Youth Hostel – let alone any space – with anywhere between fifty and sixty people. I’d seen images of the YHA; it looked both modern and full of facilities. Maybe one day I’ll feel more comfortable in approaching such a situation.

I didn’t want to miss out on this weekend, as I have done for each of the previous four years. This left me with the decision to find my own accomodation, for which I eventually turned to the AirBnB website.

My initial reaction was to try the Premier Inn at Tenby… It wasn’t cheap but I’d have my own room to sleep in. I’d have to buy breakfast each morning but at least it would be more appetising than porridge… I’d also be paying for my evening meals but then, I knew that people sometimes eat out at pubs anyway…

So, in the weeks running up to this trip, I’d told a number of people that I’d be staying at the Premier Inn at Tenby (with pay and display parking, might I add)… But, I hadn’t booked anything and, when I looked to make my reservation about two weeks in advance, I found that they were already fully booked.

On to Google. I didn’t fancy the typical B&B idea (which I’ve never actually done) and the thought of having to interact with people each day. So, I found my way to AirBnB; a site I’d heard others speak of. A few of us have even talked about using it to find accomodation in Iceland next year.

‘The Hideaway’

I didn’t want to spend my weekend too close to Tenby (apparently the ‘Stag Capital of the UK’) or too far from the YHA at Manorbier and the bulk of my group (only a couple of other, older members, were staying in B&Bs, from what I could gather).

I reduced my shortlist down to three possibilities; each one would cost between £45-50 per night, at this time of year. Two were close to Saundersfoot, which another seaside town just north of Tenby. Ultimately, these self-contained offerings sat beside isolated roads, a ten-minute drive from the nearest of facilities.

A TV! I stopped watching TV a few year’s ago when I scrapped my License. But this was a nice treat on a quiet evening in.

After a few brief messages with the owner/host, Tanya, I would settle upon ‘The Hideaway’ in St. Florence. A quite lovely village, regarded as being one of the best kept in Pembrokeshire.

It is a detached and entirely self-contained property, set back from all roads and at the end of the driveway beyond the owner’s/host’s own home. There was enough room inside for a couple and plenty of room to park a car.

Outdoor seating area… Certainly much nicer in summer.

I still ended up paying £50 per night to stay hear and I had to prepare my own meals but, I could’ve spent the same money elsewhere and had a lot less to live and work with, in the way of facilities.

Using AirBnB, you also have to pay a service charge on top and this is calculated by the duration of your stay. In my example, I had to pay an additional £22 for my three-night stay (it would’ve been slightly less, had I opted for only two nights), which bought my total up to £172 (plus any food expenses).

Great facilities for cooking; just add food. I did go out for a pub meal in Tenby one evening; surviving on pasta and porridge the rest of the time.

It’s possibly I could’ve avoided the AirBnB service charge by finding the host online and making a booking directly. This option hadn’t even occured to me at the time.

I was very happy with my time in this detached chalet and, to be honest, I was quite reluctant to leave! It’s smaller than the one bedroom flat I currently live in but it’s a very liveable space in the long term, I think, for a single person at least. Everything looked new, fresh and well maintained.

If I go down this route again next Christmas, I’d ideally be looking to share with someone so that we could share the costs (November is an expensive month for me even without going away).

I find it odd though that, as a society, we don’t appear to be looking honestly at our housing situation and the spaces that people really ‘need’… There’s a huge nationwide emphasis to build thousands of houses over the next twenty-years; devouring green land without improving the road infrastructure or allowing for private parking… Too many of these homes will have mutliple bedrooms, perhaps even a second floor…

But what about the single people?
Couples who don’t want kids?
People who want to live a simpler and less complicated life?

This chalet isn’t quite a Tiny House but, hopefully, you get my point.

My only regret from this weekend is that I didn’t check my camera settings before taking the indoor photos… With my camera still set up for daylight photography, hence the Tango-effect! A couple of photos are a bit gloomy but that’s just part of life in south-west Wales, I reckon.

Oh, I also forgot my sandwiches… Having made a stack of four sets the night before I left home, I forget to free them from the fridge before loading my car! Luckily, there was a Premier store just around the corner.

St. Florence is a very nice village in itself. There’s an old clapper bridge in one corner with a stream or river flowing beneath. One of the group walks I attended passed through here and you’ll get to read about that soon.

Thanks for reading and I wish you well for 2018.

Author: Olly Parry-Jones

I live in Weston-super-Mare, close to the Mendip Hills in Somerset and I enjoy time spent outdoors, whether that's walking, camping or backpacking. My day job involved making furniture from recycled wood (I'm a furniture maker and carpenter by trade). I have two blogs: Olly Writes (woodworking, DIY, baking) Walks With Olly (walking, camping and kit) You can also find me on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. My second YouTube channel is titled 'Walks with Olly'.

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