Hiraul Cottage – Not The Best Holiday We’ve Ever Been On!

View from Hiraul cottage

At the start of the month, we took Ant’s dad, my 88-year-old father-in-law for what was very likely his last ever holiday to Hiraul cottage in Wales.

He suffers from Alzheimer’s and various physical issues that give him lots of pain. Moving around is difficult for him and getting in and out of a car is especially hard.

He’s been in his little flat with one of his grandchildren as his carer, both isolated for the majority of the last year or so due to covid and we thought they could both do with having a break from each other.

Hiraul Cottage In Wales Is Gorgeous!

We found a gorgeous cottage in Wales with sea views, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, one of which was downstairs and was a good size to accommodate Granddad’s various walking and toilet aids. It also had an excellent sized kitchen which Ant was looking forward to using.

Nightmare New trailer

We bought a trailer from a man on Facebook. Granddad has lots of equipment that he relies on to do everyday activities so a trailer was needed.
We were going to rent one but it was around the same price to buy one so we bought it.
The man on Facebook said it had been fully refurbished.

I don’t think the man was telling the truth because after setting off on our 260-mile drive to Wales, we ended up at a McDonald’s near Nottingham and found ourselves stuck there for around 6 hours.

Another car driver got our attention by sounding his horn and pointing to the trailer.
Ant got out and saw the tyre on one side was bulging out.

Joe From RAC – Our Saviour!

We’d taken out RAC breakdown cover which covered trailers as well so Ant arranged a call out.
Joe arrived not long after and as soon as he looked at the trailer tyres he said the problem was the wrong type of tyres. They weren’t road tyres, they were farm tyres.

To cut a very long story short, Joe from the RAC did everything in his power to get us back on the road again and we were so very grateful to him.

Having to spend more money on the tyres meant it wasn’t the bargain we thought it was and Joe told us there were a couple of things that needed attention so we were going to have to spend more money on it.

It was getting late by the time it was fixed so we decided to go back home and try again the next day using a borrowed trailer which was kindly delivered to us from Derbyshire by a family member.

Saturday – Not An Easy Day

Ant’s dad wasn’t very well on Saturday which meant it was a very long and tiring car ride. It took us over 8 hours to get to the cottage and Ant spent most of that night seeing to him.
I’m not going into detail because it’s not fair on Granddad but there was a small incident that meant the duvet cover, duvet and mattress protector needed cleaning.

Luckily, the cottage had a washer and a dryer so Ant was able to get it all clean.

Granddad was much more himself on Sunday and we managed to have a nice Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with no further problems.

Wonderful View

We positioned him on the sofa so he could look out at the wonderful view. The only problem we had with the cottage was the very low sofas. Granddad had to sit on a pile of cushions to enable him to be able to get up again.

I also struggled with the sofa. It wasn’t very comfortable and it was really hard to get up.

Check Out

We were supposed to be out of the cottage by 9 am on Friday morning. Granddad is very slow in the mornings and we knew we wouldn’t be able to be out in time so we decided to leave on Thursday. It meant Ant could get the car and trailer and packed while Granddad relaxed.

On Wednesday Granddad decided he’d like to go home early. He said he’d had a lovely time but he was ready to leave so Ant got packed and we left around 2 pm.

After just 1 toilet break, we got home a little after 8 pm. Granddad was shattered and it took him a few days to get over the exertion and back to his routine.

Cottage Owners

To top off what was a disaster of a week, Ant got a text from the cottage owners the day after we got back saying they needed to replace bedding and a mattress that had been ruined and had extra cleaning costs that we needed to cover.

After much back and forth via texts Ant decided to stop replying by text and sat down to write an email.
He’d asked for photographic evidence of the ruined bedding and mattress but they didn’t send any.
If I owned a holiday cottage and someone left it in the state they claimed we did, I’d have sent photos with my first communication so to me, it felt a bit suspect that they didn’t provide any when asked.

They said the mattress had blood on it but none of us had bled so Ant told them that they would need to get the blood tested to prove it came from one of us before we would agree to pay for a new mattress.

He also said that we would not be paying to replace the bedding because we knew it wasn’t ruined. He said we would be prepared to pay for professional cleaning due to the accident that occurred at the start of the holiday.

We both felt that they were just trying to get more money out of us unfairly and it topped off one of the most stressful holidays we’ve ever had.

Finally Over

Ant offered what he thought was a fair figure to cover the professional cleaning and they accepted.

Suffice to say, we will never be going back to that cottage and we will not be recommending it to anyone, especially if they have older family members or young children!