About This Place…

A cosy little bolthole in the South Wales valleys. The Vestry is a self contained apartment, part of a bunkhouse housed in a converted chapel. We found this place via Airbnb and built a weekend away around it.

The Afan Bunkhouse Chapel

First Impressions…

Cute and cosy. Functional, thoughtfully designed. A Scandi feel with lots of rustic wood and a sleek log burner. An immaculately clean, welcoming space. Simple self check in via a lock box and clear instructions from our host. The entrance is up a lane that runs alongside the old chapel and accessed via a set of steps and a small patio. A real secret escape.

Location, Location, Location

The Chapel is located in Glyncorrwg in the Afan Valley in South Wales. We drove in from the Brecon Beacons National Park having climbed Pen-Y-Fan that day, and the drive in across moorland and then through the hills and valleys was beautiful.

Hills and cottages in Wales, a country scene
Glyncorrwg Views, Afan Valley

Glencorrwg itself is a former mining town that, post- mining industry, has reinvented itself to take advantage of the local landscape in a different fashion. Thanks to the rugged landscape, the area is now popular with hill walkers, mountain bikers and outdoor enthusiasts from across the UK.

What About the Room?

Open plan and rustic, welcoming. Light and airy thanks to high ceilings and long windows. Low key and laid back in feeling, but well equipped in practical terms.

The door opens onto a kitchen-sitting area combined. A table and chairs in front of a full length window gives a view up the lane and across to the hills. We were up early to get out walking before heading back to Wiltshire and it was a lovely place to sit with a coffee and watch the morning lighten up the hill tops.

Things Helen Loves view from the Vestry, Glyncorrwg to Afan Valley Hills

A full kitchen, fully equipped. Slimline storage and high end appliances including a microwave and a Miele dishwasher. I could have easily cooked a full meal here, it had everything from crockery and cutlery to colour coded chopping boards. Honestly, this kitchen was probably better equipped than my own. After years in army housing, I had a bit of kitchen envy.

A small but mighty wood burner that warmed up the whole place and made me feel all cosy inside. Plenty of logs and kindling provided. That left us a bit all-the-gear-no-idea but we got a nice blaze going…eventually.

Sleeping quarters are adjacent, but not an entirely separate room. There’s no door, and walls not quite the height of the room. Open plan, like I said. One bedroom, five bunks. Stacked three high to one side and two on the other. Sturdy fixed ladders for access and cheerful, comfortable bedding provided. Beds made up for us on arrival. Each bed has its own reading light and shelf space. The bunks were custom designed and built with larch wood from the Longleat Estate, which is just up the way from where we live.

You can smell the wood when you walk in and it’s lovely. Such a warm, welcoming scent. If Hygge had a smell, this would be it.

And the Rest?

The Vestry is part of a larger bunkhouse arrangement that is housed in the adjacent chapel. I actually didn’t go through to the main building for a peek and I regretted it after we left. Maybe we’ll get back and I will. However, if you want a virtual peek or are interested in the story behind the conversion there’s an article all about it here.

Best Thing About This Place?

The blend of low key comfort with a high end finish. This is the place you can come in to and relax after a long day out doors , knowing you’ll have everything you need. Rustic, but not at all roughing it.

Anything Else to Note?

The Vestry is dog friendly; we took The Wolf and he thoroughly enjoyed himself.

If you need basic groceries there is a small convenience shop in the town. If you are planning to do a bit of self catering, you’ll need to head to nearby Maesteg where you’ll find an Asda, Aldi and Iceland. Maesteg is only about five miles away, but we are talking Welsh Valley miles rather than as the crow flies. Lovely views as you go though!

Any Negatives?

Not a negative as such but the open plan design means it’s a bit ‘one up, all up’. If your a party on the same schedule, or just on a short break as we were then that’s not a big deal. But I think for us, with two teenagers and a boy-child who doesn’t know quiet , if we’d been staying for longer it would have caused a bit of friction.

My Stay in Three Words?

comfortable, hygge, happy.

Want to Know More?

We booked The Vestry via Airbnb.

You’ll also find both the main Chapel and the Vestry on Instagram as @afanforestbunkhouse

Helen x

5 thoughts

  1. Glad you enjoyed your stay but ……… I don’t think it’s for me. Don;t like the sound of the open plan and I certainly balk at the thought of having to set a blaze going. My immediate thought is “But what if I can’t light it, what will I do for heat”. OK, I’m a wuzz and I need my home comforts wherever I go, I admit to that. I enjoyed reading about your experience though and loved your pictures. Wolf looked a bit put out, I thought. Does he not like change and being out of his own home?

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Ah, I should have mentioned, there was central heating as a back up! Have to say as much as I love a good blaze, I wouldnโ€™t like to depend on a wood burner. Keeping it going and clearing it is a lot of work! Think The Wolf had just been told to calm down and lie down. Heโ€™s an anxious dog and travel with him can be an experience ๐Ÿ˜† but we keep going with him.

  2. What a lovely place – it’s so fun now that we can look up and book all manner of different places for short, easy adventures away… makes discovering our own wonderful country SO much easier! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. This looks very cosy but I have to agree with Mari, it’s not for me – I prefer a proper bed and a separate bedroom! But I can absolutely see that for the right guests this would be a real find ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Looks a fab base for a staycation. I do love a wood burner on holiday, but a bit of a hastle in everyday life. There’s nothing more welcoming than a roaring fire.x

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