Soak up the views that once inspired poet Dylan Thomas in Wales
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A place to slow down, switch off and soak up the scenery in luxury surroundings, Dylan Coastal Resort in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, is already working its magic on me. Part of the Luxury Lodges collection founded in 2015 by mum and entrepreneur Sharon Hurley, it was created to offer the thing that most people crave in a holiday – quality time with loved ones away from the stresses of everyday life.
Settling in for the weekend in Ferry Hills Lodge, one of 58 luxury cliffside abodes, I am thrilled I can see the waters from almost every corner.
The open plan kitchen/diner/living room allows you to flop on the sofa, eat lunch at the table or make a cup of tea – all while admiring the view.
See it when you wake up in either the master bedroom or twin room, or when you’re chilling in the egg-shaped bath in the ensuite.
Step out on to the balcony and drink it in while sipping something cold, or as you loosen up in a private hot tub.
This view will have you daydreaming, drifting off, planning a new life, possibly even penning poetry.
It was an inspiration for writer Dylan Thomas, resident of Laugharne, whom the resort takes its name from.
The Boathouse, where he arrived by ferry across the estuary with a friend in 1934, aged 19, and lived with his family for the last four years of his life, is just a few minutes’ walk down the coast. The Writing Shed, where he worked, is just above it.
When you’re so busy relaxing here, you may not feel like cooking, so book a table at the beautiful Milk Wood Kitchen & Bar – named after Thomas’ famous novel Under Milk Wood.
If it’s a windy night, or you don’t want to walk in your heels, call the concierge and a staff member will pick you up in the on-site BMW all-electric iX3 car – luxury lifts are all part of the service here.
With three terraces and enormous windows, you can gaze at that view again as you sip cocktails, indulge in wood-fired pizzas straight from the oven, or dishes made with produce sourced from local farms and fishermen.
You may have found your happy place on the banks of the Taf, but for anyone looking for an even deeper state of zen, there’s Milk Wood Spa.
Choose from a list of ways to restore and revitalise – there are seaweed-based ishga spa treatments, manicure and pedicure stations and a herbal steam room.
The infinity pools, however, are simply dazzling. Glass walls, two storeys high, mean you can enjoy the same panorama as the lodges, but being closer to sea level gives the impression you are swimming in it.
Or enjoy the setting from the hydrotherapy pool, which is in the open-air, but undercover, with a slate finish to reflect the surrounding cliffs.
Should you be feeling brave, jump in the ice shower, then enjoy the afterglow. There are tennis courts too and a superbly equipped Technogym.
Children are allowed in the pool for most of the day, with adult-only times early in the morning. There’s also a large playground.
If you love a stroll surrounded by epic scenery, take any of the walking trails that cross the ancient forest here, or walk to Laugharne Castle, the “brown as owls” castle beloved of Thomas.
Two giant medieval stone towers stand guard over the remains of a Tudor mansion, set in 19th century ornamental gardens.
From the castle summerhouse, overlooking the estuary, he wrote Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog.
Venture inland to tackle the walking routes around the 520 square miles of the Brecon Beacons. Lose your head in the clouds as you climb Pen Y Fan or Corn Du, the two highest peaks in southern Britain, or discover Henrhyd Falls, the spectacular waterfall that plunges 90ft.
If you have kids to amuse, the rollercoasters of Oakwood Theme Park are half an hour’s drive away, plus there are the animals and funfair at Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo.
Tour the coast and enjoy the sand between your toes at the fabulous family-friendly beaches of Pendine, Saundersfoot and Tenby.
But you don’t have to go anywhere to enjoy this nook of the Welsh coast. Just sit back and enjoy the view.
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