ONE OF THE BEST PLACES TO RELAX & ENJOY
as are the two flats in the house which is separated from the cottages by just a narrow pathway. So either pair taken together allow their guests to be separate yet together, and sometimes people take all four places (maximum sleeping 26). The aerial photo of Brynygwin’s layout with its identifying arrows shows how conveniently close the four lets are to each other.
For guests occupying just one of the properties there is no sense of being crowded. Unless you happen to be going out or coming in at the same time as others, you would not know they were there. This is due partly to the solid construction of the buildings (2 feet thick granite walls!), and partly due to their lay-out which is linear but avoids any air of formality by the line of the buildings being stepped and their shape varied.
This comfortable one-bedroomed, ground-floor only, cottage, is one of three conversions from the outbuildings of the 19th century family house. This one was the brewery. The others, to either side were the stables and the laundry. The Mews can sleep 3 using a pull-out in the living-room, and is ideal for dog-owners and bird-lovers.
The living-room which you enter up three shallow steps at its front door is the full width of the cottage and has a good outlook into the garden, a typical Welsh-dresser, open log fire and two night storage heaters. One shallow step leads into the central well which gives access to the kitchen on the right, the bathroom on the left, and, straight ahead, the double bedroom which is also the full width of the cottage.
The kitchen opens into the garden which runs more than the full length of the cottage and is securely walled and gated, making it ideal for dogs. Nuts and fat-balls hung on the line bring a flurry of birds to be watched from the living-room and kitchen windows. “A veritable bird-hide” is how someone described this cottage. A guest here counted over 30 species over a fortnight, and the tally of sightings in the grounds since we started records in 1990 has topped 70. Nuthatch, hawfinch, woodpecker and goshawk are among the more exciting sightings from the Mews living room.
The three-bedroomed Ty Clyd. once the stables, hay-loft and tack room for the family country house, sleeps up to 5 or 6. Ty Clyd is Welsh for Cosy House and it lives up to its name, the living-room having a porch on its entrance side, and, on the opposite side, a small conservatory-cum-porch which leads into the small walled and gated garden and into the ground-floor bedroom which is plenty large enough for a pull-out, if needed, to supplement the two single beds there. A discarded shelved corner unit, found lying in a hayloft by the builders at the time of the conversions in 1961, was built into the living-room to make a painted wood focal point which more than compensates for the lack of fireplace.
The twin-bedded downstair bedroom, with revealed window arch and A-frame base across the mostly flat ceiling, has warm-coloured parquet flooring, and is spacious and light with windows either side, one of them looking over the garden to the Aran mountains 15 miles inland.
The compact but adequate kitchen and bathroom lie opposite each other off the living-room. The view at the kitchen sink transports you to the breezy heights of the mountain to which Brynygwin is pointed, Y Garn, the goal of one of the 30 or so walks which we have detailed and supply for use by guests. The double bedroom’s round window looks out over barn roofs to the New Precipice Walk which many who stay here rate the highlight of their visit for its stunning overview of the Mawddach estuary.
We don’t know what the Welsh is for ‘characterful’, but that too could have been its name. No two rooms in this cottage look the same, and it is quite distinct in feeling from the other Brynygwin properties. Upstairs, in what was the hayloft (hence the outside stone stairway which is now just an emergency fire-escape), are the double and single bedrooms with their preserved hayloft purlins, sloping ceilings and plaster-clad stone-wavy walls.
The double bedroom’s main feature is the 4 foot round window with its two opening quadrants and its views of mountains which flank the Mawddach estuary. Across the stairtop landing the single bedroom still has the ‘upsteps’ hayloft door which is now windowed and bolted.
This can be used to make another bedroom with any of the four lets. It is furnished as a bedroom with two adjacent 3’ divan beds. It is not en suite, but, if used with either of the cottages whose gardens it overlooks, is literally only a few yards away from their facilities which can be reached without going through any room used to sleep in.
If used with either of the flats in the house which is only 100 yards away, a downstair toilet there is available, and an extra key to the appropriate flat would be provided. You could think of it as an upmarket stone tent! It is entirely private, being accessed only by its original outside flight of stone steps, yet is not isolated, being part of the cottages complex. The steps are lit by electric light. The room is heated by a 1kW time-controlled oil-filled electric Dimplex radiator and by a 2kW fan heater.
Its features include the original oak A frame (with wooden pegs), and a round port-hole picture window which looks across the valley to the nearer mountains overlooking the Mawddach estuary. Its other, venting window looks over the cottage gardens to the roofs and chimneys of the house, and away to the Aran mountains 15 miles distant – the best view in the place, especially at sunrise!
It is suitable for adults or teenagers many of whom like it as being a bit ‘different’. Access can be either by a garden path running along the back of the cottage gardens, or on the tarmac drive along the front of the cottages.