Tom: “Lawrenny has so much to offer. You don’t always realise until you live here and then you understand why it’s so popular.
“Our children have plenty of after school activities! Our son is football mad. Luckily, Lawrenny has a football club, for teams of all ages. It attracts children from other villages – we know how lucky we are to have the facility. The clubhouse and pitch are also used for cricket in the summer. How many small Welsh villages offer that, alongside a stunning estuary, quayside and the surrounding landscape?
“Our daughter enjoys music and has violin lessons nearby. She plays in a local orchestra and takes ballet lessons. They do the same things that most kids do; there’s no lack of access to lessons, clubs and activities. We’re big fans of the outdoors – you have to be – so bike rides and Sunday walks are the norm.”
Birte: “We definitely sleep well!
“As the weather was so spectacular last summer, I would head down with friends to swim in the estuary each morning. A friend moored his boat in the estuary and the children were all diving off into the water. It was just magical. We have a yacht too which has been well used since we moved here! The children now realise that Lawrenny is a special place to live – I often hear them say: “it’s so lovely here”. They really embrace it. Perhaps when they’re older they’ll want to move on but for Tom and I, it’s a home for life.”
Birte: “We log on! We run a couple of businesses together, one in Port Talbot and a Restaurant, The Peppercorn, in Narberth. Internet access has never been a problem thanks to the village fibre (WiFi) link. We work from the office, in the village, and Narberth is only a short car drive away. Being self-employed is ideal as we can work it nicely around the children. Most of the residents work for themselves or own their own businesses but not everyone.”
Tom: “Then we head to the village shop! It’s not a supermarket but it has the essentials. It’s open 24/7, thanks an automated checkout and access for Lawrenny residents. It’s brilliant and a clear central point for the village. Last New Year was great as we all met at the shop at midnight to celebrate and watch the fireworks together.”
Tom: “In addition to all the outdoor activities, The Lawrenny Arms is down by the Quayside. We are very lucky to have a village pub – but then it’s a popular place! You can cycle, walk, run, bike, swim or sail there, and we do!
“Lawrenny has a Yacht Club. As well as all the boat-related activities you can imagine, it also hosts an annual ball, casino nights, dances and other events in the Quay. There’s so much to do, I don’t know another village like it. The tearoom opens in the summer, allowing people to take advantage of the views once they’ve moored. There are village moorings for boats too.
Birte: “The Lawrenny community centre is busy – we spent more time there when the children were younger and attended play school but I’ve heard there’s now a weekly Tai-Chi class! There’s a nearby yoga retreat and the Big Retreat Wales festival held each May, on the former Lawrenny Castle site. We are truly spoilt.
“I’m part of a book club in Lawrenny that attracts at last four generations of resident to the monthly meetings.”
"It’s lovely to catch up with people you don’t often see but who are fun to be around. Having it all on your doorstep makes it easier to get involved."
Tom: “I remember moving back to Pembrokeshire and thinking it would be very sleepy. It’s true; I’ve probably slowed down a bit but only in terms of moving towards a work-life balance. We’re much happier and more relaxed.
“I do understand the argument that towns and cities offer higher incomes but the cost of living is much cheaper here (another benefit) and you don’t have to pay to do the things that attract people here in the first place. We don’t need to go to Centre Parcs, it’s right here on our doorstep!”
Tom: “Pembrokeshire is a ‘small’ county in that everyone knows each other. I’m sure other regions of Wales are similar. It’s most evident in the pub as, when you look around, you realise you know who everyone is.”
"Lawrenny is perfect for us and the children love it. We have honestly never been happier. It was definitely the best decision and we can’t imagine living anywhere else."
We asked Tom and Birte for their ‘top tips’ for life in Lawrenny – a handy guide to those moving to the village.
Click here to register your interest in Phase One of the Lawrenny Estate development.