Long before we moved to Wales we loved to travel around in our campervan, exploring some wonderful campsites and amazing hidden locations. We would often talk about settling down eventually in a rural community, building unique cabins that blended into the landscape. We wondered if we could make it work as a sustainable business. And here we are, a good lot of years later doing exactly that, so you could say it’s been a long-term dream come true! We took over the farm in 2012 and have continued the guardianship of the land whilst creating Under Starry Skies and it’s been quite the adventure.
We both do work that has allowed us the flexibility to develop the business and look after the land (Adam is a live sound engineer and Lou works in a local school). Luckily the barn was already converted to very high eco standards so we were able to start letting this out quite quickly. We also wanted to offer something more ‘close to nature’, completely off-grid, but with some more comfort than a tent. We also decided early on that each cabin should have its own meadow so that guests could really experience the tranquility of the land with perfect privacy!
We built the first cabin, Hafan, in 2014, shortly followed by Derwen in 2016. We’re lucky to both enjoy building stuff (with kind friends who enjoy it too!) and we love to share this special place with our guests. Our two children have grown up exploring the land and learning all about nature and conservation – we’ve had a lot of animal and insect rescues over the years… We also share our place with Blue, our happy rescue dog, the elusive cats Bob and Ninja and a small flock of chickens that provide fresh eggs for guests.
We are passionate about the land and looking after it for future generations and this is why we believe in sustainable tourism. Having both travelled extensively for work and leisure we realise how important it is to aim for a good balance. Tourism plays a really important part in supporting the Welsh economy but done without care it can take its toll on the environment and on local communities. There is always more to do, but we hope that year on year we’ve made progress, such as adding electric vehicle charging, planting plenty of native trees and hedgerows and our most recent venture, grazing with Exmoor ponies.
We are also both active in the local community, Lou as a school governor and community artist and Adam is responsible for all things technical at the monthly community cinema ‘Sinema Sadwrn’. We are fortunate that Llansadwrn is a vibrant little village with a pub, community ‘Reading Room’ and church as well as lots of creative folk working in tucked away places, many of whom form part of the wider Under Starry Skies ‘family’, from farmers, veg growers, beekeepers and builders to web designers, artists, walking guides and architects!
We have both really enjoyed welcoming guests for the last 8 years and it’s lovely when people return or send their friends to us.
We welcome feedback and will always do our best to accommodate requests if we can.