A private safari tent with a hot tub high above the Tywi Valley on the western side of the Brecon Beacons National Park

“If you take a handful of the soil at Dinefwr and squeeze it in your hand,” said Welsh journalist Wynford Vaughan Thomas, “The juice that will flow from your hands is the essence of Wales.” Certainly, this estate within the Brecon Beacons National Park is in an area that’s rich in the things the country is famous for: castles, valleys and, of course, mountains. And it’s on top of one of them that you’ll find Gelli Glamping’s single safari tent. But you won’t need to dig your hands in to the earth here to find the essence of Wales as the hard work has been done for you; just sit back on the veranda and drink in views of the Tywi Valley.

Rhodri and Carys, the couple behind Gelli Glamping, left Cardiff for this Carmarthenshire smallholding so their children could enjoy the freedom of the countryside. Their new glamping venture means your family can too. And with just one luxurious tent here, you’ll have the place to yourself… except for the on-site chickens. And the sheep, cattle and deer who graze in neighbouring fields. Aside from the feathered and furry, you don’t have to see a soul unless you want to. The safari tent is self-contained with its own driveway and space for two cars. If you’re coming with the family, you’ll be needing those as it’s seriously hilly. But the ups and downs mean this place is just as good for hikers and bikers – just ask Rhodri for his favourite routes.

Families and small groups, of up to seven, can happily share the safari tent as it’s got two bedrooms and a mezzanine sleeping platform. It also has an en suite bathroom, equipped kitchen, wood-burning stove and an electricity supply. Outside, Rhodri and Carys have put in a hot tub and dug a fire pit (that’s what we mean about not having to get your hands dirty). They’ll even provide the logs you’ll need to get a campfire going and they know a cracking local butcher for dinner supplies too. In fact, the pretty local town of Llandeilo has a few, in addition to a weekly farmers’ market and a surprising number of good places to eat out.

You can use footpaths to walk the three miles to town (remembering that a Beacons’ mile feels longer than the average) or head in the other direction to arrive at Carreg Cennen Castle. Even the lofty position of your tent at Gelli Glamping can’t rival the spectacular, cliff-top location of this 12th-century fortress, built by the ruler of an ancient Welsh kingdom. When it comes to castles, the area’s not lacking. The Dinefwr estate, also within hiking distance, has one and there’s another at Dryslwyn, seven miles away. Historic houses, gardens and a Roman gold mine are within 20 miles and Gelli’s location on the western edge of the national park means Carmarthen, the south coast and Pembrokeshire are not too far for day trips either.

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The Owner Says

Gelli Glamping seeks to share with you the very best of Wales. You will be greeted by your Welsh speaking hosts Carys and Rhodri, who may teach you a little of the oldest British language if you're interested! A locally sourced hamper of Welsh goods will be waiting for you in the tent, and our hens will be happy to provide eggs for you every day if you wish! But what makes this site extremely special is the view over the Tywi Valley, and the huge variety of experiences you can enjoy.

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