Seaside-chic rules the day at charming Beach Hill Cottage, which, as its name suggests, is just a couple of minutes stroll from the seafront in the pretty village of Mumbles - a Gower coast village so crammed full of bistros and boutiques that the local press have started calling it 'The Monaco of Wales'.
The 2-bedroom former fisherman's cottage nestles on a hill from where it benefits from lovely views over the coastline, best viewed from a deckchair in the safely enclosed patio garden with a chilled glass of wine in one hand, and a BBQ fork in the other, whilst junior plays happily in the toddler playhouse and kiddie car provided.
Inside, the cottage has recently been given a stylish yet family-friendly revamp. Muted Farrow and Ball shades coat the walls, whilst designer fabric blinds (blackout-lined in bedrooms) dress the windows and luxury touches in the form of a Bose iPod dock, Roberts DAB radio, flat screen TV, Wii, CD/DVD Player, indulgent toiletries, 600-thread count Egyptian cotton bed linens and tasteful furnishings, plus a welcome basket from the local deli (eggs, bread, butter, jam, welsh cakes and wine)* complete the boutique hotel feel. Junior guests are just as well catered for as, along with the aforementioned play house, there are several baskets of toys, a selection of books, a dressing up box and top quality nursery gear (see grey box for full list) all on hand.
The house is approached via a short flight of stone steps. Guests enter into an open plan lounge-diner with 3-seater sofa, two armchairs, 28" flat screen TV, DVD player and Bose iPod dock. This leads onto the kitchen which is equipped with 4-ring gas hob, full-size electric oven, washing machine with combined dryer, fridge-freezer, microwave, Dualit kettle, counter top dishwasher and toaster. A stove-top espresso-maker and large cafetiere should satisfy coffee-junkies.
Up a short flight of (safely gated) stairs there's a newly refurbished bathroom with romantic claw foot bath, sparkling white tiles, an over bath shower, WC, sink and airing cupboard which houses the large Mamas & Papas baby bath (could fit two!), potties, toddler toilet seat, baby bath support etc. Luxury toiletries are provided for babies and grown-ups giving it a boutique hotel feel. The smaller of the two bedrooms comes with a single 'captain' bed, which has a pull out trundle (sits alongside the single with a few centimetres gap, so almost a double), and a lovely Stokke cot. The master bedroom comes with king-sized contemporary four-poster bed and space for a second cot, as well as a retro DAB Roberts radio and views over the coastline from the window.
Outside there is a patio garden with sea views. It is furnished with dining table, BBQ and kids play house. Please note, it is accessed via steps up from the house but these are safely gated top and bottom.
A permit is provided so that guests may use the residents parking area approx. 30m from the cottage door. Please provide car registration number on booking form.
* full welcome pack only with min. 7nt bookings Oct-Easter & all bookings - Easter-Sept.
The steep approach to the cottage aside, this area is absolutely perfect for young families. There are beaches, boutiques, bistros, cafes and coffee shops within a few minutes stroll of the house, plus a fabulous little land train that departs from the seafront a few minutes walk away and travels along several miles of flat promenade to a newly refurbished lido dedicated to little ones, along with a playground and a funky wine-bar - perfect for lazy Sundays!
A 15-minute walk reaches pretty Langland Bay a wide stretch of glorious sand backed by a row of pretty beach huts and yet another great little wine-bar bistro with handy kids menu. Just up the hill from there, back towards the cottage, is a well regarded Italian cafe bar and restaurant with a newly refurbished kids play area and a lovely view over the sea.
Wet weather needn't hold guests back either as the new 'LC2' swimming pool, about 25-minutes walk or 5-10 minutes by car from the cottage has a large indoor splash area with slides and fountains for little ones, and huge flumes for older kids or a soft play area complete with ball pit and for the little dare devils a climbing wall! There's also bowling on the pier about 10-minutes walk from the cottage and, within 1 hours drive, some of Wales' best family attractions including Folly Farm with its petting farm, zoo and indoor funfair, and Anna Ryder Richardson's highly acclaimed Manor House Wildlife Park, which manages to combine great design with well planned conservation.
Literary enthusiasts can hop on the Dylan Thomas trail here with the a museum dedicated to his life being a short drive away in Swansea, and his former home, The Boathouse, being about 20 minutes away in Laugharne.
Of course the sand and surf is this region's biggest attraction, the Gower coast was the first region in Britain to be listed as an official 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' back in the fifties and its stunning coastline has been protected ever since with very little development, just mile upon mile of golden sands backed by green fields and hills.
In fact, there are several beaches for every day of the week all within 5-20 minutes drive of Beach Hill Cottage. Surfing and kite surfing lessons can be arranged and are an ideal way to keep older siblings occupied whilst mini guests are enchanted by sand castle building and shell collecting.
Nearest medical centre/A&E: Singleton hospital (3 miles)