If Cath Kidston, the queen of colourful countryside living, imagined herself a yurt camp, it would definitely look something like this. Mill Haven Place is all floral bunting, spotty tablecloths, and tin ceramics, and – oh my – is it pretty. Don’t, however, be deceived by the charming appearance – owners Josie Coggins and Matt Oliver are ruthless… well, ruthlessly devoted, to making this site absolutely unforgettable.
Having only opened in 2009 after more than 6 years of building and renovating their own home and barn, Josie and Matt have already established a beautiful, welcoming community of four picture-perfect yurts. They’ve also planted a swathe of 1,500 new trees, which, when mature, will transform the site into a miniature woodland.
It’s worth noting that there are three generations of Josie’s family living on the site, and the place definitely has a warm aura of ‘family’ about it. Unlike other yurt sites, where individual units are secluded or set among woodland, here at Mill Haven Place they are clustered around the young copse and are close enough to really create a camping community. It’s a fantastic place to bring children, who have a whale of a time rushing about within the safe environment.
The yurts sit atop their very own deck, which, aside from being a lovely place to sit and consume your sundowner, helps enormously with the general cosiness of the yurts. The structures themselves can sleep four in a double and two singles. The doubles being beautiful cast-iron beds complete with snuggly Welsh blankets. And yes, more bunting. One of the best things about the yurts is how they smell – a delicate tinge of woodsmoke from the tiny stoves that sit inside each one. Logs are provided for your first night, and then they are £4 for a healthy plastic trugful. Each yurt has its own camp kitchen with gas hob, cool box, and all the cooking paraphernalia you could ever want – tin-enamel dinner set anyone? There are some truly charming touches, like solar-powered fairy lights, paper lanterns, wooden-bench seating, brightly coloured table cloths, and yes, you’ve guessed it – bunting. Meanwhile, two compost loos and a salubrious decked shower/wet-room comprise the site’s ablutions, and Mill Haven has fantastic recycling facilities.
You get the impression that Matt could more or less turn his hand to anything… and would happily show you if you gave him the chance. From bushcraft sessions at the site, where he’ll show you how to light the perfect campfire, to preparing and cooking the mackerel you’ve caught that very day, while out sea kayaking with TYF Adventures (Josie and Matt have set up a mutually beneficial relationship here).
Mill Haven really does seem like the happiest, most welcoming yurt site you can imagine… and we think you and Cath would agree, it takes a lot more than just bunting to achieve that.
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Mill Haven Beach is 1 mile away down a quiet farm track. The marine reserve of Skomer Island can be seen from the site – there are puffins to be spotted and seals in mid July. TYF Adventure (01437 721611) in St David’s offers kayaking, coasteering, rock-climbing, surfing, and fishing.
Try the nearby Swan Inn (01437 781880) for the best Welsh cuisine – supplied by Pembrokeshire Produce Direct (01437 563035) who also deliver for fresh, local produce to the site. There are farmers’ markets every other Friday in Haverfordwest (01437 776168; ). The Londis in Broad Haven also sells seasonal veg boxes.