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A warm welcome to Carmarthenshire, known as the “Garden of Wales”,
the perfect place to relax or get busy as you explore the host of nearby activities
We are a small hotel located within Calon y Fferi Community Centre in the small village of Ferryside. Our staff aim to offer you a home from home, welcoming you into the heart of our community.
The hotel is situated entirely on the ground floor. Our entrance foyer is shared with the delightful café run by Pryd o Fwyd (‘A bite to eat’), who also offer fine dining in their restaurant in the evenings. The café is the perfect place to relax over a cup of tea or coffee, while reading or simply watching the world go by.
Social distancing and other measures to keep everyone safe from Covid-19 are in place throughout.
If you are coming as part of a group, we have a meeting room with smart TV that you can book for your exclusive use for talks or as a lounge. Simply let us know on booking.
There is a delightful public garden furnished with tables and benches, where you can relax and watch the birds at the feeding station. Three of our suites offer private patios opening directly from the bedrooms.
There is a vast array of nearby places to visit. Although some are temporarily closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, many have new ways of visiting to comply with current rules and ensure safety. Please see our Activities and Ferryside and Beyond pages for full details.
Our rooms are all on the ground floor, just along the corridor from the café and garden. Ferryside has many artists resident in the community, and each of our rooms is named after a different local artist, being themed around their original artwork.
All the rooms have en-suite facilities. Three of our rooms are dog friendly, with fully fenced patios opening directly from the bedroom.
Calon y Fferi utilises a former council site. The story of the Ferryside Residential Education Centre starts at the outbreak of World War Two, when an RAF Air/Sea Rescue base was set up in Ferryside. High-speed motor boats were deployed to rescue airmen brought down at sea. They were housed in a very large Nissen Hut where the River Towy Yacht Club compound now stands and were launched down a purpose-built slipway. The site was also used for various training purposes. However, the high tidal range and shifting sandbanks of the estuary were problematic for rapid deployment, and so, in 1942, rescue operations were moved to Aberystwyth.
Nevertheless, Ferryside was retained as a maintenance base and continued to be important to the war effort. As many as 120 RAF men were stationed here, and they were billeted on the site now occupied by Calon y Fferi… the site is still referred to as ‘The Billets’ by some.
After the war, the site was acquired by the County Council. Its catering facilities were used to provide school dinners for the local primary school, whose pupils were escorted down the road by their teachers. This continued until 1990, when the school set up its own catering facilities. The site was developed as a Further Education Centre and was officially opened in 1969 by Charles Nevill, then Lord Lieutenant of Carmarthenshire. (Incidentally, he lived in Brondeg, on The Cliff in Ferryside.) Facilities included a new dining room and kitchen, classrooms and a residential block with 60 bedrooms and two bath/shower rooms. The bedrooms were upgraded in 1977 to include washbasins.
For many years, the County Council used the site for training courses and conferences. There are few teachers, fire fighters, or police officers of a certain age across South Wales who don’t remember residential training courses here! The County Youth Services and Music Services were also housed here, and many local people will remember attending their music grade exams on the site. The facilities were hired by many organisations for residential events, such as The National Youth Orchestra, the Workers Education Association, and the Church in Wales. The popular Welsh learners’ summer school ‘Cwrs y FFeri’ was also held here for over 10 years.
In 2015, a group of ten trustees signed a 99-year lease for the old Residential Education Centre. This redundant county council asset had been empty for at least 6 years, and plans to bring it back to life for the benefit of the local community were commenced.
The business model of the Ferryside Social Enterprise Group aims to balance social and welfare benefits to meet the needs of a diverse local population while providing affordable business spaces and holiday accommodation. In this way, we will address the issues of rural poverty, social exclusion and economic and environmental sustainability.
At present, Calon y Fferi Community Centre houses a Post Office, thriving Men’s Shed, the Ferryside Village Forum, numerous small businesses and social enterprises, and an art studio and gallery. It also includes a high-end restaurant and conference/event facilities. In 2020, we completed installation of 20kw Solar panels on a portion of our roof. Finally, and most recently added, there are five highly accessible holiday suites.
All of the development to date has been funded by grants from Welsh and European Funding and Coastal Communities. Our next priorities will be to improve the proportion of renewable energy used and generated on site, to employ further staff, and to find further sustainable income.