the big old mountains and moody skies of Snowdonia National Park, four miles from the North Wales Coast, Ynys Pandy (sleeps 8+cots) provides a quintessential rural retreat to escape the stresses, demands
and hectic pace of modern family life. This large
farmhouse has been listed in the
Sunday Observer’s Top 50 UK Holiday Cottages and BFB especially likes the fact
it’s not just very family friendly but also a real family affair, with the owners,Tom and Bren, and their daughter’s family all close at hand, even to babysit if required.
Ynys Pandy is a great place to slow right down, snuggle in by the
Inglenook fireplace and rediscover the pleasures of being a parent with good
friends and family. Getting out and about will also be impossible to resist,
with such awesome walking country, incredible mountain railways, mud
splattering mountain biking and the coast only a few miles away.
In refurbishing the 19th century stone built farmhouse, the friendly owners focussed on blending traditional
character with all mod cons, tasteful homely decor and lots of practical equipment
for babies and toddlers, no doubt assisted by the fact their own grandchildren are regular visitors! The lounge couldn’t be cosier with its magnificent
inglenook fireplace and wood burning stove, beamed ceiling, Persian rug and
leather sofas, providing a blissful spot to make the most of the Freeview TV, DVD and CD players, DAB radio and free Wi Fi.
Children will also be excited to discover the full height cupboard stuffed with
toys, games, jigsaws, books and DVD’s.
Throughout the house, bumpy
painted walled, quarry tiled floors, painted wood panelling and deep recessed
window seats add more character at every turn. The farmhouse fitted kitchen is
equipped with modern appliances and has a dining table which extends to seat 8,
plus there’s a separate utility room with dishwasher, washing machine, Shelia's Maid airer and Belfast sink. A particularly nice touch is the Y Siop Bach (Welsh for ‘Little Shop’) in the cupboard, where jams, honey, chocolates, fudge, eggs and
other local produce are available on an honesty box basis.
Another wonderful surprise is the huge heated conservatory
through French doors from the lounge, with cane sofa and armchairs, a huge
dining table and views over the large garden and beyond. The garden provides a
safe space to play, with a climbing frame and swings, plus there’s a table,
seating and quirky barbecue made by a local blacksmith from two metal gates. A
gate at the end of the garden leads into 17 hectares of fields, woods and
wetlands for families to explore, fly kites, play football and store up the
fresh Welsh air.... did somebody say 'Free Range Kids'?
Pandy has 4 bedrooms and sleeps up to 8+, the
owners recommend up to 6 adults, 2 children and up to two babies. The house has two double
bedrooms beneath the eaves, with a cot provided in one and a travel cot also
available. The third bedroom has two single beds and the fourth is a children’s
room with bunk beds. The large family bathroom is on the ground floor and
comprises a walk-in shower, separate bath with hand held shower, washbasin, wc,
fluffy organic cotton towels and complimentary Faith in Nature toiletries. A cloakroom houses a second WC downstairs. There are plenty of comfortable places for groups to relax with the large lounge, complete with cosy sofas, the conservatory with cane arm chairs and dining table, and the kitchen table, which seats eight. The kitchen comes with all mod cons and a separate utility room houses a dishwasher and washing machine. Outside, there's space for 4-5 cars to park, plus a large garden with BBQ, dining furniture, kids climbing frame with swings and plenty of space for ball games.
The owners welcome well behaved pets, bearing in mind that there are sheep and
usually horses in the fields and they have two free range dogs and two
similarly minded cats of their own. On that note, it is worth mentioning that the cottage garden is fully enclosed (when gates are shut) so the dog shouldn't wander in unless invited.
Pandy is located in peaceful seclusion on the very edge of the
Snowdonia National Park in North Wales yet just 4 miles from the buzzing little
harbour town of Porthmadog and Portmeirion. The Farmhouse is found at the end of a 150m private
lane from a minor road, along with the owners home in the Annexe and ‘Ysgubor’
where their daughter and family live. The big skies and far reaching views
certainly make guests feel miles from anywhere but reassuringly for families,
civilisation is less only 5-10 minutes drive.
(2 miles) is popular with climbers who come to scale scary crags nearby. The
village includes a handy Spar, fish and chip shop, Eric’s cafe and the family
friendly Golden Fleece pub that’s crammed with character, serves local real
ales, boasts a bistro and flower filled courtyard.
(4 miles) is a bustling harbour town with a long nautical history although probably
best known as the home of the Blaenau Ffestiniog railway.
Originally used for transporting tonnes of slate from the Snowdonia foothills
to the quays of Porthmadog, the railway steam trains are now a favourite with
all Thomas and steam train fans who can hop aboard for the scenic, 21km trip.
And talking about trains, there are two other heritage lines running from
Porthmadog along with the incredible mountain railway from nearby Llanberis that
chugs to the summit of Snowdon where there’s a visitor centre and cafe to
admire the amazing views (weather permitting!).
Guests at Ynys Pandy can find all the shops they need in Porthmadog
along with a wide choice of cafes, restaurants, pubs and takeaways.
On the outskirts of Porthmadog, Blackrock Sands is a 2-mile
stretch of wide sandy beach enclosed by a rocky headland where children can
have fun exploring caves and rockpools at low tide. It’s possible to drive
right onto the beach, which makes things a lot easier with a baby and for
packing a picnic feast.
Just a couple of miles from Porthmadog, it’s possible to
step out of North Wales for a few hours while strolling around the
extraordinary Italianate village of Portmeirion, created by eccentric architect
Clough William-Ellis between 1925 and 1975. There are craggy grottos and
surprises around every corner of the Mediterranean terraced gardens to keep
children amused, interesting gift shops, restaurants and cafes.
Besides the scenery, outdoor activities, sandy beaches and steam
trains, this corner of Wales has plenty of castles for little knights and
princesses to explore. Harlech and Caernarfon are both close by and when
visiting Criccieth, call into the Castle fish and chip shop and enjoy them on
the beach with wonderful views.
Nearest Medical Services: Drs. Webb and Edwards, Criccieth Health
Centre, High Street, Criccieth.
Telephone: 0844 576 9087. Ysbyty Alltwen, Tremadog – (about 2 miles),
Minor Injuries Unit. Telephone: 01766 510010. Ysbyty Gwynedd, A & E, Bangor
– (about 40 minutes by car). Telephone: