Disillusioned with the gentrification of their formerly bohemian neighborhood, London creatives and entrepreneurs Sian Tucker and James Lynch decided it was time for a change. After some soul-searching in New Zealand, the couple found what they were looking for back home, or, more accurately, in Sian’s childhood home, the small village of Cwmplysgog in West Wales. There, the two bought a 200-hundred acre farm, FForest, which they transformed (along with their four boys) into a country retreat for other “city defectors” (if only for the weekend)—a place to stay, gather, eat, relax, and adventure in the great outdoors. Opened in 2007, today the FForest complex includes 500 acres on three sites, which include three different types of accommodations: tents, cabins, and restored historic homes. One of our favorites is the restored Georgian farmhouse.
Photography by James Gardiner, unless otherwise noted.
Left derelict for 20 years, the 1800s farmhouse suffered from both decay and unfortunate modernizations. James and Sian, who spearheaded the design of all FForest accommodations, first gutted the interiors to reveal the original bones of the structure.
When James and Sian finished gutting the original structure, they were left with “a cave.” They “liked the feeling of the cave, the atmosphere, but we had to figure out how to keep that feeling and add warmth, comfort, privacy, and the mechanisms of modern living.” Now, finished with textured materials such as wood, wool, and skins, the renovated interiors capture both the rusticity of a Welsh farmhouse and the adventurous feel of a Nordic ski lodge.
Planning a trip? Here are more places to eat/shop/stay in Wales: