Have a close encounter of the glamping kind at this singular Pembrokeshire experience which also features a stunning treehouse and antique gypsy caravan.
Can it really be that an intergalactic visitor has crash-landed in the heart of the West Wales countryside? Struck by this gleaming white landing module pod with its three spider-like legs, visitors to these parts could be forgiven for thinking they’ve stumbled upon Pembrokeshire’s very own Roswell. Well, the little green men could do a lot worse than Spodnic – the extraterrestrial-themed glamping pod at Melin Mabes.
The brainchild of master craftsman Martian… sorry, Martin Johnson, space-age Spodnic is truly out of this world. This ingenious creation has illustrious origins – not only did it start life as prop from the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, its staggering transformation into a cosmic glamping pod was documented on the small screen by Channel 4’s George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces. And it’s easy to see why. Spodnic is brimming with amazing astro-themed features, like a Star Trek-style automatic sliding door, ‘gravity-defying’ rotating double bed, space-blanket-lined walls and steps up to a Perspex ‘cockpit’ in the roof, purpose-built for stargazing. Interplanetary paraphernalia abounds, with colour-changing alien lights, ray guns and the obligatory lightsaber. There are even astronaut’s helmets for your budding Buzz Aldrins and nipper Neil Armstrongs. Needless to say, kids will love it.
While the UFO understandably steals the headlines, the site itself is an incredible spot in its own right. Melin Mabes lies within four stunning acres on the site of a 16th century mill that Martin and wife Carol-Anne acquired from nearby Picton Castle. This tranquil stream-side setting is open to a handful of tent campers, with a trio of hard-standings for caravans. And if you’re more period romance than science-fiction, there’s a gorgeous antique (150 years old!) gypsy caravan (named Mabel) for couples, complete with ornate décor and an authentic Queenie wood burning stove.
The newest addition to Martin's glamping wonderland is the Templar Treehouse. This incredible sylvan shack rivals Spodnic in the ingenuity stakes. Set in a private pocket of the mill garden overlooking the river, the treehouse strikes a pleasing balance of rustic luxury with underfloor heating, hot tub, fully equipped antique kitchen and a modern bathroom to boot. There's even a slide to get back down to ground level (or a handcrafted staircase for the less adventurous). When not admiring the sunrise from the spacious veranda, spend your evenings swinging in the suspended loungers while stargazing beside the stone circle firepit.
Glampers are each given their own kitchens for exclusive use (Mabel’s boasts a fabulous newly-built pizza oven), while for campers, the rustic kitchen shack (complete with attendant Dalek, of course) serves as a well-equipped central hub. Thoroughly outdoorsy perks, like picking veg from the patch and feeding the chickens, offer a pleasingly surreal start to the day after emerging from your very own spaceship. And when the eminently reachable footpaths beckon, the idyllic harbour village of Saundersfoot is just five miles away – or you could always warp speed it there in Spodnic.
Spodnic sleeps 2 adults , a double bed and sofa bed that transforms into bunks (with curtains for privacy). heating , merino wool mattress, wool duvet, , and towels included. and adjacent hot tub. The covered kitchen areas outside features fridge, electric cooker, hot and cold running water, utensils, dining table and wicker chairs
Gypsy caravan sleeps 2 in a raised small double bed ,merino wool bedding and features a wood-burning stove and adjacent hot tub. The covered kitchen areas outside features fridge Gas hob ,wood fired Pizza oven (bring your own charcoal), hot and cold running water, utensils, table and chairs. Washing facilities include outside shower, portable toilet (must be emptied if used), Hand sink
Communal shower block Washing facilities include 1 showers, 1 toilet and sink , plus a disabled-friendly family room with 2 showers, 1 toilet and 1 sink. Fridge freezer Washing machine available.
Templar Treehouse sleeps 2 adults in a double bed with merino wool bedding. There's a mezzanine bedroom for 2 small kids (mattresses and sleeping bags provided for children). Private bathroom with underfloor heating, antique kitchenette, BBQ, hot tub and toiletries and towels provided.
Well-behaved dogs are welcome at an extra charge.
There are several pretty walking routes to enjoy, easily accessible from the site, including the disused airfield at Templeton, Landsker Borderlands Trail and the Knights Way. The latter runs to the cathedral at Britain’s smallest city, St Davids (28 miles away), home to medieval wonders like the bishops palace and close to the Preseli Hills and some stunning, surf-friendly beaches such as Whitesands Bay. Pembrokeshire’s best beaches are within easy reach including Amroth, Freshwater West and Barafundle Bay. It’s also Wales’ coasteering-capital – seek out TYF Adventures(01437 721611) for your adrenaline fix, or take a boat excursion out to Grassholm, Ramsey and Skomer Islands courtesy of Thousand Islands Expeditions (01437 721721). For the kids, Folly Farm petting zoo (01834 812731) is pretty much next door, while the ever-popular Oakwood Theme Park(01834 815170) features rollercoasters and amusement rides for all ages. Heatherton World of Activities (01646 652000), Treetops Adventure Trail (01646 652000), Dinosaur Park Tenby (01834 845272), Manor Wildlife Park (0164 665 1201) are all worth a family away-day from camp.
Food & Drink
For those arriving late, Carol-Anne is more than happy to cook up a traditional Welsh cawl (vegetarian option available) or to pre-order and collect your choice of food locally. Hampers can also be arranged and delivered for your arrival from Bethesda Farm Shop (01437 563124), Caws Cenarth Cheese (01239 710432), and either of the butchers Andrew Rees (01834 861892) or Heywoods of Saundersfoot (01834 811168). Tesco also deliver groceries direct. Narberth has a fabulous assortment of eclectic places to eat – Plum Vanilla (01834 862762) comes highly recommended, offering superb healthy options for vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters. Ultracomida (01834 861491) delicatessen offers the finest Andalucian food outside of Spain. Fast becoming a new favourite is Tooj (07410 148900) an atmospheric Middle Eastern café serving delicious Kurdish cuisine – with traditional music, dancing, décor and a small outdoor courtyard for summer BBQs. The nearest local pub is within walking distance (uphill to get there but an easy downhill back) – The Boar's Head (01834 860286) has a great ambience, friendly staff and hearty pub fayre (bookings recommended for Sunday lunch). For your hidden culinary treasure, the renowned surf beach at Freshwater West (site of the famous shell house from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) plays host to Cafe Môr (01646 278101) a street-food beach hut resident for summer selling the most sumptuous seafood (the lobster rolls are phenomenal!)
All year round
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Rated ★★★★★ over 19 reviews
Incredible stay in the Templar Treehouse
The most amazing Treehouse with even more amazing hosts! We loved every minute of staying here, (myself, boyfriend and dog) The Treehouse is surrounded by a wooded area that is so calming and peaceful. Martin and Carol Anne have literally thought of everything! The detailing and effort that has gone into this Treehouse is incredible. For those who love walking, with or without a dog, there are walks literally on your doorstep where you don’t see a soul for miles! Great to burn off energy and then back to the Treehouse to relax in the hot tub. Don’t let the weather put you off, we had rain and it did not spoil it for us! The hot tub is well undercover too! The beach is a 10 minute drive, and there is a pub maybe 5 minutes in the car from your stay, with a local shop which is again, within a minutes drive. Overall, we had a fantastic stay and will definitely be returning!
Magical and relaxing Experience
The tree house is full of lovely details and fantastic surroundings with ample space to enjoy with the family. Within 15 minutes of charming towns and beautiful beaches. Carol Anne and Martin are the perfect hosts.
Amazing place to stay. It is completely beautiful and peaceful, loved every second of our stay. Everything you could possibly need is there for you including the biggest eggs ever produced by chickens!!, loved the chickens wondering around. Would tell everyone to go x. Our Hosts were great, friendly and told us the best spots to visit
I stayed in ‘Mabel’, the gypsy caravan for three nights. Martin and Carol Anne were fantastic hosts and made me feel very welcome. Martin was great and made some delicious pizza dough to use in the pizza oven- a first time experience for me! The caravan was very cosy and facilities (especially the hot tub) are perfect. Location is great and close to beautiful beaches and local towns. I took my dog with me and there are lovely local walks along the coastline. I will definitely be back!
Couldn’t have been more perfect
My partner and I stayed at Melin Mabes for two nights near the beginning of January and already want to go back. The owners were exceptionally welcoming and did everything they could to help us settle in. They even came down to help us with the bbq when we couldn’t work it, as well as telling us about bad weather predictions for our stay. The overall beautiful, cosy and romantic nature of Melin Mabes made our stay the best time away we’ve had. The lovely small details like the board games, homemade honey (which was beautiful in my tea), cosy blankets/pillows were so thoughtful and contributed towards the overall beauty of the place. Thank you for letting us stay in your beautiful Treehouse. Hopefully we’ll see you next year!!
So after our stay at the treehouse, the owner had messaged me stating she was taking £30 out of my deposit due to having to spend 4hours cleaning it after my departure. ( I have no problem with this, but the photos that were sent were of things that needed washing, I had no access to washing machine) So out of curiosity I just messaged and asked what cleaning we had left as I had spent all morning cleaning it all before we left. I washed all the windows, toilet, shower, washing up, clearing the toys, made all beds, sweeping, and even wiped over the floor with floor wipes. Not only was my reply sarcastic rude and unprofessional but I also got blocked? For literally asking what cleaning I had missed that had given her 4hours work? Part of the message I received.. 'please understand that it’s heartbreaking when you put your soul into something and see it spoilt. Every game had been opened and it takes precious time to put things back! Every book has been moved, pencil shavings everywhere... I leave the toys and dressing up bags in the hope that they will distract children from peeling the wallpaper. And even though they opened every game and book, pieces under your bed, their mattresses, etc, they sharpened every pencil provided in tin And they peeled two pieces of irreplaceable wallpaper... REALLY?! I don’t want to upset you, which is why I let you stay but you have totally smashed it" 1. Id of thought when you provide things, such as games, you'd be pleased to see they have been enjoyed and used. They were not stacked tidy when I left, but they were all put back where I found them, on top of the cupboard. 2. 'Every' book had not been moved, my partner & I did not read or touch any of the books downstairs provided. My children however LOVE to read so probably did use them. I did not know the books were there for show and to not be moved. 3. I was completely unaware of any tin of pencils and sharpner as it was up the ladder in with the kids, that YOU left, they had no bin up there to sharpen it in anyway & If you don't want a 5year old and 7 year old making a mess by sharpening pencils leave it in a draw only an adult can access. 4. That wallpaper was hung OVER 2 years ago, general wear & tear is going to happen! Especially when the wallpaper is on a table back which is in regular use!! If your wallpaper is irreplaceable I would definitely reconsider offering your accommodation to children! & lastly you did not 'let' me stay there, I paid over £500 to stay there!! I paid a cleaning fee whilst booking (stated in an email) when I messaged asking about the EXTRA £30 I wasn't being rude, it wasn't a massive issue, I was just asking a simple question! I did not expect a rude reply & to be blocked! You have handled the situation awfully.
Response from Melin Mabes
We were very disappointed to read Kirsty‘s review; These guests arrived with an extra child who was not booked, exceeding our maximum occupancy, we reluctantly accepted the family as we didn't wish to spoil their stay. The £30 fee was charged for damages and not a cleaning fee; the property however was left extremely dirty
We like to provide lots of extras for our guests including games, books, etc and we do expect them to be used, enjoyed but respected
We pride ourselves on making guests happy @ Melin Mabes
We will only make a charge to somebody for damages in extreme circumstances which this unfortunately was and a small fee of £30 it did not actually cover the cost of damages
Very special way of spending our holidays
Thanks Carol Anne and Martin for having us in your lovely tree house! We had a wonderful week with our family, enjoying the view into the bush around (this reminds me of New Zealand) and a cool dring in the Hot Tub. Thanks for encouraging my saxophone-practices. We loved to be at this very special place an we will surely visit Wales again! Christoph, Mareike, Jakob and Aaron from Cologne, Germany
A welcoming and extremely comfortable stay!
Martin and Carol-Ann were such welcoming guests from ensuring we were equipped with everything we needed to bringing us fresh eggs on our arrival. The gypsy caravan was cosy and comfortable. The hot tub was fantastic and we had everything we needed in th kitchen area, shower and toilet block. Everything was cleaned to a high standard. Martin and Carol-Ann checked in with us each day and it was an absolute pleasure to meet them. During our time, we visited St Davids, Newgale Beach (which has a great cafe about half a mile down from the car park, Amroth and Little Haven where I would recommend the Castle. We were also very close to Colby Parkrun which meant we could visit the woodland gardens too. We will definitely be returning!
A fantastic holiday & amazing treehouse! Martin built the treehouse himself & has thought of everything, the kids loved it & it was like a big adventure for them all week! Location perfect too for Tenby, saundersfoot & all the fab local attractions such as dinosaur park & folly farm. The treehouse is well equipped & you literally don’t need to take anything apart from food & drink. Key highlights... the pond & boat, kids slide, bbq, hot tub, the kids hide away bedroom, ample toys, book & games, the rope swing & of course ‘Buck’ the ever so slightly annoying singing reindeer head! Thanks again for the stay & being so accommodating
Exceptional, Inspirational and FUN
We enjoyed a highly memorable and magical weekend in the Templar Treehouse. The attention to detail and the warmth and passion of the hosts is apparent in every new delightful surprise as you explore the space. It’s very private and lovingly presented. The hot tub with its views to the rowing lake is such a wonderful place to unwind. The large gas barbecue easily made a feast for us all in no time. It is all spotlessly clean and everything you could possibly need is provided. We don’t want to spoil all the surprises for you, so if you are reading this we can only say GO and experience it all for yourself. The children laughed and played so much and didn’t want to go to the nearby animal park. None of us wanted to leave and we will certainly return. Highly recommended and would award extra stars if it were possible.
The best Nature holiday
We booked Spodnic and Treehouse with friends for the Easter holidays. Highly impressed with the novelty of the Spodnic one. Treehouse is brilliant with its elements of originality and comfort. Very welcoming hosts. The hot tubs were a great luxury for our kids and for the adults. BBQ, boating, nature walk....the list of things to do is endless, regardless of the Welsh weather. Excellent holiday !! Would highly recommend and would love to come again. Thank you Martin and CarolAnne. We can't fault your service.
What a wonderful time
The tree house is beautifully built and has some great finishing touches. The fine details really matter when making you feel comfortable. You will not be disappointed if you choose to visit.
Amazing! Totally relaxing stay!
Stayed in the wonderful tree house for a night last weekend. It was truly amazing. Such a magical relaxing place to stay. The weather was awful but it didn't affect our stay in the slightest! In fact it made it even more cozy! The tree house itself is perfect for bit of luxury, done out so well, so cozy, with a log burner, comfy bed, underfloor heating, big windows, fairy lights and loads of little secret touches that made it feel so special and fun. Under the tree house is a lovely outdoor space with BBQ, swing with cusions and rugs and a fab hot tub. Spent a good few hours chilling and de-stressing. Candles and fairy lights make it feel so special. There's a lovely fire pit and seating area that we didn't get to use but we will definitely be booking again to take full advantage of that. Carol Ann and Martin were fantastic and we totally recommend this wonderful place and will definitely be booking again. Found a gem!!
Friendly, welcoming, relaxed place with great facilities.
We had a great relaxing stay at Melin Mabes in our trailer tent for the week. We even extended our stay when we were there The facilities were just what was needed and always spotlessly clean. The kettle, fridge and microwave that we could use made camping that little bit easier!! The accessible shower room also made a great family shower room, with parent and child being able to have their own shower in the same large space. CarolAnne and Martin were always happy to go the extra mile to make campers happy. We all enjoyed our tour of the Mabel, Spodnic and the amazing Tree House. They even looked after our dog for the afternoon while we went to Folly Farm and also set up an agility course for her! The campsite was peaceful but within easy reach of lots of beaches and activities. We saw a beautiful Owl just by the campite and enjoyed stargazing due to th clear night skys. Overall it was a welcoming, friendly and relaxed place to stay with great facilities,that allowed us to play and explore beautiful Pembrookshire.
Lovely, quiet campsite for families
Everything was great - nice, clean shower blocks and washing facilities. The site had a lovely family feel and was very well situated for loads of great Pembrokeshire sightseeing. We will likely be back!
Response from Melin Mabes
Many thanks Andrew for your kind review, we look forward very much to welcoming you back soon!
Brilliant place for camping
Lovely and peacfull. The shower and toilets are lovely and clean. Host are lovely and welcoming. Will defenately be back.
Response from Melin Mabes
Many thanks Llinos for your kind review. We look forward very much to welcoming back soon!
THE place to take a partner who won’t camp!
Just had a lovely stay on the camp site...we’d sort of forgotten how to camp and had left behind the usual essentials, gas camping stove, ice box, loo roll etc. No problemo, there was a HEATED shower and toilet block with not only a gorgeous warm shower, but a kettle, small fridge, and a hairdryer too! Very quiet. Peaceful, easy going and comfortable, in sheltered beautiful surrounds. I want to come back and stay in the treehouse. Thank you Carol Anne and Martin, for thinking of all the little things to make camping a piece of cake. It really would be possible to turn up with the minimum (bed + tent).
Response from Melin Mabes
Many thanks Ellie and Plum for your kind review, you are more than very welcome back anytime!!
Quiet and Peaceful site - fantastic hosts
We booked a electric pitch for our tent in the fully fenced and gated paddock. We only had to share the paddock with 2 other campers one in a motor home and another in a caravan. There was plenty of space for the children to play our pitch was called under the oaks, we put a rope around the oak tree behind our pitch for a swing for the children and the owners came around with a swing seat and a kit of bats and balls for the children to play. There were lots of attention to detail from the owners- freshly baked home made cakes on arrival and a tour around the impressive tree house!! The family room shower was also stocked with complementary shower gel, shampoo and conditioner. The showers were just at the end of the paddock and were kept spotlessly clean with a shoe rack for outdoor shoes to be left outside the building. We have been to many sites over the years but this one is now our favourite no noise in the evenings and early morning just bird song. We also had directions from the owners for a walk through the lanes to the boars head pub which is well worth a visit. Narberth town is only a short drive away and there are lots of quaint shops and a good butchers, fish and chip shop etc..
Idyllic bank holiday with kids
We phoned from the car 40 minutes before arrival to see if there was space and were assured a warm welcome. And we were! Two tired kids (2 and 4) played in the field while we put up our tent in this beautiful spot. After a delicious meal in the Boar’s Head, we all slept soundly waking revived for a day at Folly Farm. A spotless, warm bathroom, hot showers, gorgeous shampoos, shower gels and hairdryer all within a minute from the tent were an added bonus. Our kids loved everything about this campsite- from the wildflowers, butterflies and birds to the proximity to Folly Farm (1 mile). It’s quiet and feels secluded yet only minutes in the car to activities and my morning coffee (lots of choice in Narbeth. Numerous sunny spots to read a book, and lots of woodland walks. I relished both the peace and the little luxuries. We are seasoned campers and found Melin Mabes perfect for a bank holiday with kids. Highly recommend.