Page last updated at 07:20 GMT, Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Tourists invited to royal retreat

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall
Charles and Camilla stay at Llwynywermod when visiting Wales

Holidaymakers can now stay in a Welsh retreat which is literally fit for a (future) king.

Two 18th Century style cottages on Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall's rural estate in Carmarthenshire are now being let out.

Visitors can sample Llwynywermod's royal life for as little as 600 a week and even bring a "well-behaved" dog.

But they will not bump into the owners as the cottages are only to be rented out when the couple are absent.

The three bedroom farmhouse-style main house which Charles and Camilla first stayed last summer will also be strictly off limits for tourists.

The Duchy of Cornwall bought Llwynywermod near Llandovery, the first home in Wales for the royal couple, in 2006.

Holiday cottages at Llwynywermod
The cottages have been rebuilt using traditional materials

Since then renovation work costing an estimated 1.8m has been carried out on the estate whose original owner was related to Anne Boleyn.

The royal couple have been determined to use traditional Welsh materials including slate and stone for the refurbishment of what must be one of their more modest homes.

Sustainable products such as the sheep's wool insulation and hemp plaster have been used on their house.

Both the holiday cottages, which are called the North and West ranges, have also been built using local materials and craftsmen.

Architect Craig Hamilton, calls Llwynywermod "a celebration of Welsh vernacular architecture" and both the holiday cottages, which can sleep up to 10 between them, boast stone flagged floors, stone fireplaces and oak-shuttered windows alongside mod cons like dishwashers and broadband access.

Even "good" dogs are allowed to take a royal Welsh break.

The Duchy of Cornwall says on its website: "Dogs are welcome here, a maximum of two well-behaved dogs can be accommodated by prior arrangement."

Inside one of the holiday cottaged
A couple of "well-behaved" dogs will be allowed to stay

Prince Charles has been searching for a place to call home in Wales for more than 30 years and Duchy of Cornwall land steward said the Carmarthenshire property "ticked all the boxes".

Even so, the royal owners are not expected to spend more than a few weeks there every year.

"I hope they will use it often, but it is an unknown quantity at the moment," Mr Curtis added.

The Duchy of Cornwall which also advertises cottages to let in Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly, and Hereford, started taking bookings on its website for the two Welsh cottages this week.

Already it says there has been "a lot of interest".

Tourism chiefs will visit the estate later this year and are expected to give it a five-star rating.

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