Carmarthenshire was once known as “The milkbowl of Wales”. It is a county of rich grassland intersected by lush hedges, watered by winding streams and overlooked by surrounding mountains. Cwmcochied is one of the many small farms clustered around the hamlet of Cwmdu which now produce grassfed beef and lamb from the herb-rich pastures which once sustained a small herd of dairy cattle. Two nineteenth century stone barns no longer suitable for agricultural purposes have been converted to form three holiday cottages.
Cwmcochied (The valley of the red grouse) is a 64 acre working farm. Our family have been organic farmers for twentyfive years and we graze cattle and sheep here. Our aim is to maintain a diverse habitat and we have a mosaic of productive grassland, marsh and woodland running from 600 feet to 800 feet above sea-level. Visitors are welcome to walk around the farm and to enjoy the bluebell wood, the lake and the spectacular views. We have a huge variety of wildlife: cinnabar moths, meadow brown butterflies, orchids, badgers, redstarts, snipe and red kites. We take great pleasure in sharing this environment with our visitors. There are wonderful walks from the farm to the village of Talley with its ruined abbey, lakes and community forest. Jemima is a practising potter and qualified teacher who offers courses by arrangement.
Cwmdu is a tiny village supported by the National Trust which owns the chapel and vestry, a row of cottages, a pub and post office and the village shop. The community runs these facilities through its community council and we have a lively social and spiritual life.
On Saturday nights food is available in the pub which is approximately one mile by footpath from the farm. On other nights the tranquil atmosphere of the tiny bar is stirred by the various clubs which meet there. A monthly folk music session packs the place to the rafters.
Llandeilo, the nearby town, is of immense historic importance being the ancestral home of the Rhys family who were for centuries one of the most powerful families in Wales. The National Trust conserves the ancient Dinefwr Castle and the later Newton House with its large grounds and parkland. In the town there are art galleries, book and antique shops and a wide choice of fine food. A copy of the famous Teilo Gospels is on display in St Teilo's church from which the town derives its name.
Sir Gar (Carmarthenshire) is full of little known delights: Dolaucothi gold mines worked from Roman times to the 20th century and now open to the public, Carreg Cennen Castle - surely the most dramatically sited castle in Wales, Aberglasney's sensitively restored gardens and, of course, The National Botanic Garden of Wales. Fishing, riding and walking are all popular and well-catered for here. If rural delights pall then the sea is all around at the Gower peninsula, Pembrokeshire National Park or the Ceredigion coastline. If you're tired of Sir Gar then you're tired of life!