About this listing
Located in stunning and remote 'Artists Valley' (with Beavers) this charming Self Catering cottage in in a 75 acre conservation and permaculture site. With Woodburner, Kitchen, Bathroom Central Heating and unparalleled views, an ideal base for walking, horse riding, nature or mountain biking holidays or as a rural family retreat.
A dinky stone cottage ideal as a base for a rural retreat. Fully self-contained and with a real wood- burning stove for winter happiness!
An hours walk to the nearest road, this place is for honest folk who are looking for a simple rural retreat.
Ideal as well for riding groups who can stay overnight and keep horses in the field. From beach to us it is a gorgeous days ride!
Beaver Lodge is a rustic little cottage with 2 main rooms - one room has 4 bunk beds, and in the main living area with the wood burner has a double bed and a 4-seater comfy sofa. Potentially, it can sleep 7 (very good!) friends or a family, but better for 4 people sharing.
Please note that for groups over 2 there is a surcharge for extra folk to cover additional fuel use.
Beaver lodge is warm, with a small but fully equipped kitchen, bathroom with bath and shower, and has a new instantaneous boiler (LPG) which provides oodles of hot water and runs the heating.
To the side of the main living area is a quaint and unheated annex space with a dining table and chairs if needed - great on sunny days but very basic and chilly in winter :) this can easily be closed off from the main living area which is always very toasy with the fire on! The annexe also has a tumble dryer for when hiking gear gets soggy :)
The kitchen has an electric cooker, fridge, microwave, kettle and toaster. All crockery and utensils are provided - and a good selection of herbs and condiments.... all you would need to do is pick up your main cooking ingredients and you are all set!
There is no washing machine in the cottage, but for those on longer stays, please ask at the main house, and we would be happy to help.
Electricity is supplied on a coin meter - set at standard rate, so bring £1 coins or ask at the main house.
Blankets are supplied in abundance, and we recommend that where possible guests bring a sleeping bag. If this is not possible, we can provide sheets and pillowcases etc. for a laundry fee of £6.00 per person.
The log basket is filled for short stays as part of the package, and there is a charge of £6 per 'barrow load' once these are used up.
There is WIFI available in the cottage, with a reasonable connection (even possible to make internet video calls) - please ask for the pass key.
The Cottage is kept pretty clean - but is not the Ritz! Definitely 'no frills' It is simple and honest - but we love it!
In addition to exploring the whole Permaculture and Conservation site, you would also be able to make the most of our new 'Breakfast Room' - a 10 metre Conservatory with glass on 3 sides, tables and chairs to sit at and comfy sofas at the other end. This gorgeous space is for use by everyone at Blaeneinion and is perfect to relax in or check emails on wetter days - please see the photos :) There are lots of plants, a stereo system, some childrens toys (wooden train set has been a big hit!) jigsaws and a growing and eclectic mixture of books to enjoy. It is a great spot to enjoy looking out at the stars in the evening or enjoying a glass of wine after a long days walking and exploring :) As a new space, it is not heated - but is super-hot on Summer days and comfortably warmed by even the merest sunshine even in Winter.... the stone wall internally retains heat like a big storage heater well into the evenings. There are delicious home-made jams for sale in the Breakfast room, and please ask if you would like honey, eggs or fresh produce produced on site.
N.B the drive up to Blaeneinion is 10 minutes along a stunning woodland valley single lane track, following the river in places, it is breathtaking, if not a little scary perhaps!? The road is tarmac and fine for all cars - just take it slowly and enjoy :~)
We encourage folk to minimise car use - and are very happy to provide a taxi service to and from the station at Machynlleth if you need it. Please get in touch if this is of interest.
Also an apology that we cannot accept pets on site - we love animals and have lost both poultry and wild birds and animals from dog attacks. Even the most well-behaved dogs leave a strong scent which deters the wild animals from coming near the house... and although we know it's not their fault, we just have to be strict on this issue. We hope you can understand.
~Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have :)
Blaeneinion is an idyllic setting - 75 acres at the head of Artists Valley in Mid West Wales.
We have planted over 26,000 native saplings in the past 4 years. There are the beginnings of a 2.5 acre Forest Garden (next 'layer' of soft fruit to be planted this winter) and have a productive vegetable garden with access to winter greens and some root crops all year round. The poly tunnel and geodesic dome supply us with most herbs, winter salads and oriental greens even in January!. If you would like some fresh produce, please ask for help to harvest, and make a small donation.
We have geese, ducks and chickens, a stream for paddling and a fire pit for al-fresco cooking in the front garden, which we heartily encourage folk to use. There is (usually a little damp) wood scrap available for the fire free of charge.
It is a lovely place to hang out with children (rope swing is awesome!) and just exploring the local area, mushroom foraging or looking for lichens, insects or bilberries, preparing meals together or fashioning ornate staffs from local wood can fill your day in a rewarding and simple way.
From the Cottage, there are breathtaking walks into the Cambrian Mountains and through Plynlimon, and we are within 45 minutes drive of Cadair Idris and on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park for those who enjoy climbing or a scramble.
Close to Ynyslas RSPB reserve and the Dyfi Osprey project, there is wildlife everywhere - there are Buzzards, Kites and Owls on site! In the summer, we have several pairs of nesting swallows and redstarts. Mammals here include polecats, stoats, foxes, badgers (a naughty mink) and even naughtier rabbits everywhere (who eat our saplings), and of course there are opportunities to watch our pair of Eurasian Beavers at dusk and dawn in their 2.5 acre enclosure every day.
If you prefer the sea, we are 15 minutes drive from Borth and Ynylas beaches (great surfing!) or you can enjoy nestling into the sheltered sand dunes for picnics and BBQs. In the warmer months, there are opportunities to collect Samphire from the esturine mud.
There are boat trips out of Aberystwyth and Barmouth from which you can see dolphins in Cardigan Bay.
The historic market town of Machynlleth is 20 minutes drive from the house, and has some fantastic old buildings, bookshops, antique shops and a lively street market every Wednesday. The world famous Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is just outside Machynlleth, and is a 25 minute drive from the Cottage.
For those who get withdrawals and need a 'civilisation' fix, the University town of Aberystwyth is 30 mins drive away, with cinemas, restaurants, the National Library of Wales and the famous Arts Centre. Aberystwyth is a charming seaside town with donkeys and a cafe on the beach in summer, and all the banks/supermarkets etc... that anyone may need access to.
There are a few delightful steam railways still operating locally - well worth a trip to Devils Bridge, beautiful Dolgellau, 'Blue Lake' and to watch the sunset from Cae Du campsite!
So whether you are after a quiet retreat walking, reading or cycling - or if you would just like an affordable 'base' from which to explore the local area, there is a wealth of options!
Interaction with Guests
We live and work on site developing the project, and the main house is 100m or so from the Cottage.
As you can imagine with a project (and dream) this large, our family is pretty busy holding it all together. There is always plenty to keep us out of trouble maintaining the gardens, planting, building and doing renovations. This winter, we will be restoring some of the old parts of the main house, planting soft fruit in the orchard, making a yurt and finishing the compost toilet in the camping area.
We are hardworking and friendly folk - but don't expect to 'hang out' the whole time... as there is simply too much to do!
We will gladly help with any practical stuff (washing, bedding, wood, advice and directions etc) and if the situation allows, will even squeeze in a tour of the site or a talk about the beavers or permaculture principles.... if you are particularly interested in any of these things, it may be best to ask in advance and we could set some time aside.
So basically, we are right there if you need us - but expect to be autonomous :)
Sharon and Everyone :)
Our neighbourhood is very quiet, secluded and tranquil. The air is clean, you can see the stars and we never hear sirens!
It takes an hour or so to walk the picturesque 3 mile track to the nearest main road. The village in Furnace has a number of houses and a gorgeous restored water wheel, but no shops or pubs.
From the bus stop in Furnace, the buses come about once every hour at peak times, and every 2 hours at other times (a lesson in patience and enjoying the moment methinks!) so not helpful to be in too much of a hurry on public transport ;)
Aberystwyth is the nearest large town with all amenities and will take about 25 minutes on the bus. Machynlleth is closer but in the opposite direction and will take around 15 minutes to get to by bus.
Bus routes run from Aberystwyth to Machynlleth regularly, and then continue further North or South - please ask for timetables if you need them, or we can find your route on the internet.
There is also the most remarkable and strange station ever fairly near by called 'Dovey Junction' .... it is unique in being in the middle of an estuary, and is about 15 minutes walk through marshland before reaching the nearest road! For those of you with light back-packs or a spirit of adventure, this may be the way forward :)
The closest airport is Birmingham International, from which it is easy to catch to a train to Aberystwyth. You would need to buy your ticket on the Aberystwyth line, but only as far as Machynlleth (about 2hrs, 30 mins journey from Birmingham), where we could collect you (for a reasonable rate) or you could contact a local taxi firm which will charge around £15 to bring you to Blaeneinion. Please ask if you need a taxi number. Alternatively, buses from Machynlleth will stop in Furnace if you prefer, and we could come down the track to collect you.
Some intrepid folk however have been known to walk the whole way... or cycle! Long gone are the days when my legs could cope with such steep hills on a push bike - but all power to you if you decide to take the plunge!
Once you are here, there are competitive hire car companies in Aberystwyth that can help with transport if you need more flexibility getting around and don't have your own car.
Please get in touch if we can help in any way with planning your journey.
Other Things to Note
If you do decide to bring your car, please go easy up and down the track - there are lovely old ladies, small children and dogs walking....
From the main road (A487) in Furnace take the 'Artists Valley' turning into a single land tarmac road and drive for 3 miles until the very end. (You will see our wooden sign a mile before you reach Blaeneinion) There are frequent 'passing places' along the track should you meet someone coming the other way, and most folk are happy to reverse :)
If you are using GPS to get here, we have the coordinates, but they will not display on the site - so please ring or email us and we can send them to you.
Most Sat Navs will only direct you to a neighbouring property a mile down the road.
Check-in is strictly between 2pm and 6pm, after this time, there may not be anyone to show you around until the next morning. If you can only arrive later in the evening for whatever reason, please call us and make an arrangement - and we will try to accommodate your plans.
In the warmer months, there are midges here, so it may be a good idea to bring an insect repellent if you want to watch the beavers or sit out in the evenings :)
Be happy, have a wonderful time and please ask if there is anything you need.
We ask that folk are considerate with fuel use - LPG gas canisters to heat the water and for heating (£57 each), electricity for the cooking and wood for the fire.... if you are using a lot, please make a fair contribution toward the cost and try to remember the greater cost to the planet too x
Looking from the Hallway to the lounge, there is a double bed with new comfy mattress to the left and a wooden storage cupboard for blankets. The log box is full when you arrive, and there is kindling as well. The door goes out into the annexe area.
What a lovely, charming cottage set in the most beautiful surroundings! The pictures really don't do the place justice! Sharon was really friendly, gave us a tour of the place and introduced us to Mr Beaver! There were goodies on arrival, fresh fruit, locally grown salad, cookies and jam. The place was very well equipped with everything we needed including a fully equipped kitchen with a variety of cooking necessities, board games, books and wood to light a fire. Our only regret was not being able to stay longer, would love to visit again! Highly recommended!!
This is our third family visit to Blaeneinion, the second this year! As always we felt warmly welcomed and more than taken care of, we felt downright cosseted.
Although we had bad weather during part of our stay, we made several outings to nearby Welsh attractions, including a hike to Bearded Lake in nearby Happy Valley. We spent a number of pleasant hours in the recently opened breakfast room, reading and playing games.
Sharon and her interns keep the grounds in beautiful shape, and the town of Machynlleth has great little shops and restaurants in addition to a well-stocked grocery and other necessities.
We stayed in the bunkhouse, and were very comfortable though the building itself is rustic. The kitchen was well stocked, and we cooked numerous delicious meals there during our weeklong stay.
I hope to return again next year!
This was our second visit here. As before Sharon was warm, welcoming and did everything to make sure we were happy. The area is beautiful. We had lovely walks and some very hilly runs and cycles. We had evening fires outside, fed the amazingly tame Mr Beaver, Sharon kindly took us on a tour of the whole site which was really interesting.
We totally recommend this place if you want a complete getaway, peace and quiet, wildlife and a friendly welcome. Also, the homemade jams are awesome!
We arrived to fresh fruit Jam and a warm welcome by Sharon. This was my family's second trip to the bunkhouse and it was still as brilliant as last year I managed to go for a run in the hills and forest whilst my Mrs and kids played on the swings and fed the chicken's.
I have got to say this has got to be the place my family and I will be visiting for years to come I class Sharon as a friend and am inviting her to Manchester next July please please please try this piece of heaven in Wales .
Due to several queues we arrived hours later than planned. We kept contact by telephone and Sharon received us in the evening with warm open arms... The drive up to the Artist Valley is allready so wonderfull and when we arrived we couldn't believe our eyes. The place is a piece of heaven!!! The host is a very warm woman who wants to make everyday a special unforgettable one for you! And that is how she is!!!!! The bunkhouse, a little dark though, is cosy and wellorganised. Simple but everything you'll need is provided. Fantastic garden with fireplace and a brook, breathtaking views and surroundings. We stayed for a week but we didn't have time enough!! This is definitely a place to return to!! The Bunkhouse has no television but for us, 3 adults and a 15-year old, that was great. We didn't miss the world for a second. Wifi-signal was very reliable. Little farmshop with homemade jams and salads from Sharons own garden..Farmshop is situated in the breakfastroom but is also a nice orangerie!!
Lovely setting in the hills of wales with a warm host to welcome you. Perfect retreat!
Sharon made us feel so welcome and was always available but (website hidden) valley is stunning. We had a fantastic time.
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About the Host, Sharon
We are a warm, friendly and hardworking family developing a 75 acre conservation site in Mid West Wales.
With a life-long passion for the natural world, I have been growing things as far back as I can remember and have worked for many years in urban permaculture and community development before coming to manage Blaeneinion.
I have one child still at home and another at University.
We like making things- wooden buildings, growing spaces and doing renovations. There is always plenty to do in the veggie garden and developing the edible 'Forest Garden'. Outdoor life and the natural world are a passion - we love weather of all sorts, a soaking wet walk through the stream and adventures. I love good food (lots of it - and meaty too!) and I am happiest transforming home-grown produce into something mouthwatering.... Other joys include warm fires, laughter and straightforwardness :)
After a long days work - usually very physical, we normally get to bed early and love watching a good movie. I am a smoker and enjoy a brandy at the end of the day.... and am happy for our guests to unwind as they wish - but we are not big party animals, and try to keep Blaeneinion as a mellow and down to earth retreat... (but are open to the odd spontaneous night singing and cooking by the fire pit!) Great food in good company is a joy
We have had the most wonderful experiences and have made some new friends through Air B+B, and hope that it continues to be positive and rewarding for everyone - and that we can provide a really special space for folk to relax and recharge from the craziness of modern life (I have come from a busy city environment and understand:)
There are often volunteers from the 'WWOOF' scheme on site and we will probably be running around building, planting, picking and attending to family life - and our guests would have plenty of space to do whatever they wished with their time here at Blaeneinion - just ask if there is anything we can do to make it better :)
If we were to have a life motto - it would probably be about simplicity, peace and love.... now in my 40's, I am very thankful to be here doing something I love and believe in - caring for my family and this little corner of paradise x We hope you love it too :)