If big skies and a sense of freedom are what you are looking for in a family getaway, then perhaps you've forgotten how good a camping holiday can be? Did I really just write that? Don't be ridiculous, all too often camping with small kids equates to disaster - but GLamping on the other hand...
Life As It Is was invited to One Cat Farm in West Wales over Easter, and my goodness, what a surprisingly rejuvenating break it was. I fell in love with the great outdoors all over again. Of course it helped that the weather was good and the family that run One Cat Farm are super lovely, but who on earth could fail to embrace the fresh air and starry skies that this quiet valley setting offers?
Situated four miles inland from the beautifully preserved Georgian harbour town of Aberaeron, Cardigan bay, One Cat Farm is a glamping site which offers the chance to reconnect with a basic love of life far from the madness otherwise known as reality.
It's three years since owners Jessie and Lyndon moved their young family back home to Wales with a plan to create something special. The site opened 12 months ago, and not surprisingly, it has gone from strength to strength.
For a start, numbers are limited so overcrowding is never a problem. The four grass-roofed wood style dens cleverly adapt to sleep up to four people. The beds are wonderfully comfortable - I have to add here that I always take my pillow with me - but in this case it simply was not needed. That's a first.
We played Monopoly in the evenings with the girls, and by day, they loved the simple freedom they found. None of us were ever bored. Indeed, there's a whole host of things to do in the area, including Llanerchaeron National Trust site literally five minutes away, where the girls enjoyed feeding newborn lambs.
There are flush loos and hot showers in the 'pig shed' (converted barn), tea and coffee on tap, and there are so many other lovely additions; such as the pantry with its tasty wares or the herb garden and hammocks. The communal area includes a dining table, wood stove and great cooking facilities. After all, glamping is all about making the camping experience easy, although if you want to cook out, you can; each den has a camp fire.
At night time you can sit around on the log stools provided and keep warm, mesmerised by the night skies - which due to no light pollution - are remarkable. It seems forever since the stars were within reach. I'm now trying to imagine what it will be like this summer when the outdoor wood fire heated bath tubs are installed and you can lay back and soak beneath the dancing skies.
If you hadn't already guessed, you won't need help relaxing here. However, if you want to kick start your sense of wellbeing, why not put your name down for a massage? A Shiatsu masseur can be booked to come to your den for individual sessions. Failing that, lay back in your hammock and watch the world go by. It does so without you even realising.
LIFE AS IT IS VERDICT
As well as what Wales has to offer, this simple spot is all about the tranquility which is often missing from everyday life; about discovering the great outdoors and spending a peaceful week together in a charming situation. One Cat Farm proved to be the perfect place to unplug and reconnect.