The Snowdonia Hideaways

near Harlech, Wales, United Kingdom Book from Book from £160 per night

A pair of handsome stone cottages (sleeping 2-7) on the slopes of the remote Rhinogs, with spectacular sea and mountain views
What a stunning spot this is! Perched on the slopes of the ancient Rhinog mountains in north Wales - one of the UK’s last and loveliest wildernesses - with soaring views over becastled Harlech, glassy Cardigan Bay and across to the misty Lleyn peninsula, it’s enough to take your breath away. We know and love this part of Snowdonia, so were especially thrilled to discover these two cottages - once an old stone farmhouse and neighbouring barn, now beautifully restored - and to welcome them into our rental portfolio.

Step inside, and it all looks equally airy and soaring. In the larger house, a bright conservatory with open eaves, slate floors and sink-into sofas faces those mesmerising sea- and sunset views: nature's cinema. Inside are ancient beams, snow-white walls, a vast hearth with woodburner, and 3 cosy upstairs bedrooms with sash windows. In the smaller house is a double height living space with more huge windows, a romantic mezzanine bedroom and a second bedroom downstairs. Both have kitchens, picnic tables, grassy gardens and endless fresh air: perfect for outdoorsy families. As one guest so poetically put it: "From the amazing scenery to the spectacular sunsets, these cottages refresh the soul." We'll join you on the waiting list for that.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

    • We especially love the look of the main house: the rustic-chic furnishings are just right for the setting
    • The glass gable in the farmhouse draws the light in and makes it feel bigger than it is
    • Handy touches include Welsh woollen blankets, satellite TV, a washing machine and hairdryer
    • From the rocky summits and tarns of the Rhinogs to the endless sands of Harlech beach, this is paradise for hikers and swimmers
    • Owner Emily calls these "the best views in Snowdonia", and we can't disagree

Lows

    • Such remote beauty means a long drive in: 3 hours from Manchester or Birmingham, 5 hours from London
    • Those views might not be so breathtaking on a cloudy day; you’re at 300m altitude here
    • There's no WiFi, but good 4G signal in the main house (and patchy signal in the farmhouse)
    • Stays are strictly Saturday-Saturday in summer and school holidays - and you'll need to book ahead!

Best time to go

The cottages are open all year and make a wonderful cosy escape whatever the weather. Of course, summer is the most popular time - the beaches, the hills and the lakes are at their most welcoming. But we also love the rich colours of October into November - reddening brackens, perhaps a dusting of snow on the far summits. And late spring (May into June) bursts with wild flowers and birdsong up here.

Our top tips

Recommended eateries nearby include Dylan's in on Criccieth Beach, housed in a wonderful Art Deco building, and The Moorings Bistro in Porth y Gest. For superlative ice cream, head to The Castle Creamery in Harlech.

Remember to pack some waterproofs, games and jigsaws to offset the lack of WiFi. Towels and linens are provided.

Great for...

Beach
Eco
Family
Great Outdoors
Romantic
  • Cottage Rentals
  • 2 cottages for 4-7
  • Self-catering
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

The Main House

The 3-bedroomed main house, also known as Moel y Geifr after the nearest hill, has a chic and classic cottage feel, with its vast inglenook, chess-tiled floors, white-dressed sofas and olive-painted casement windows in the living-dining-kitchen area. There's a local oak dining table too, plus a TV with sound system, and the obligatory woodburner (with a vast basket of logs).

In the well equipped kitchen you'll find a good-size fridge-freezer, a chest-height oven, dishwasher and plenty of crockery, pans and utensils. The owners spend some of their own family summer hols here, so it's well stocked and kept.

Stairs lead up to 3 cosy bedrooms - 2 doubles and 1 triple (bunk beds) - all of them simple and calming, with thick walls, stone niches, bright woollen blankets – and not much else besides. One bedroom has an ensuite shower room, and there's a family bathroom with tub for the other two.

But the trump card here is surely the airy timber-framed conservatory, with its walls of glass bringing those long sea views in. With more sofas here, another dining table and a TV, it's handy if your family has divided eating or entertainment schedules.

The Old Farmhouse

Tucked 50 yards away facing the hills, the 2-bedroomed farmhouse feels more like a beautifully and cleverly converted barn. Its double height living area has glass gables to bring the light in, as well as underheated slate floors, oak and glass-panelled stairs, and a more contemporary feel. It is split at the rear into an airy double bedroom with four-poster bed and bathroom (wetroom with electric shower only) on the upper level, and an L-shaped kitchen area downstairs.

Do note that all of this part – including the bedroom – is open-plan with no dividing walls, so we think it's best for a couple or a small family, rather than friends travelling together. There's also a smaller second double room with its own little bathroom on the ground floor. You could happily book this house as a couple (and not use the second bedroom); we think it would make a rather wonderful romantic escape.

Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Hiking trails lead from your doorstep up to the unpronounceably beautiful Moel Ysgyfarnogod (the stone circle at Bryn Cader Faner is utterly magical!), or down to Harlech and the beaches
  • While in Harlech, climb to its hilltop castle, one of four built by Edward I, and still impressive 700 years later
  • Drive 30 mins to the lovely lake of Cwm Bychan, where a Roman stepped path leads up to the gnarled summits of the Rhinogs - a lovely lung-cleanser, with rocks to scramble and tarns to plunge into
  • Mts. Snowdon and Cader Idris are also within easy striking distance - but be prepared (heaven forbid) to meet other walkers
  • The seemingly endless sands of Cardigan Bay are great for beach games, jogging, dog-walking or horse-riding
  • Ride the Ffestiniog steam railway - trains depart twice a day and there's a woodland walk from the halfway stop to a pretty lake
  • We enjoyed strolling through the quirky Italianate pastiche village of Portmeirion, famous for its pottery
  • The area is also great for mountain biking, zip wires, canyoning, slate caves and kayaking

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome, and the houses would make a lovely escape for an outdoorsy family. There are enclosed gardens, books and jigsaws, and satellite TV.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

For a couple with one or two children, the smaller Old Farmhouse is a great option, if you don't mind the open-plan layout. For a larger family, or possibly two families with up to 3 children between them, the Main House works well. It has 3 bedrooms (2 doubles and a triple). Cots aren't provided, but you can bring a travel cot.

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Harlech Castle and beach
  • Greenwood Forest Park: tunnels, mazes, trails, magic shows
  • Children's Farm Park: petting animals, soft play, ride-on buggies

Distances:

  • Shops: 5 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

The Snowdonia Hideaways are located high in the Rhinog hills above Harlech, in north Wales, within the Snowdonia National Park.

By Car
You'll need a car, as it's 5 miles from the nearest town (Harlech) for provisions and eateries. The cottages are about 3 hours' drive from Manchester or Birmingham, 4 hours from Bristol and 5 hours from London.

By Train
There is a train station at Harlech (5 miles, with taxis) and another smaller one at Talsarnau (3 miles), which can be handy if some of your group are arriving by train.

By Air
If flying to the UK, the nearest airports are Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham (2-3 hours' drive); London Heathrow is 4.5 hours' drive.

Detailed directions will be provided when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Manchester 164.0 km MAN
  • Liverpool 152.0 km LPL

Other:

  • Beach 9.0 km
  • Shops 7.0 km
  • Restaurant 7.0 km

Rates for The Snowdonia Hideaways

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