Rustic Cosy Stone Cottage/bunkhouse

Other - Entire home/apt · Furnace, SY20 8TD, United Kingdom

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.

The Space

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!

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 :)

Guest Access

Blaeneinion is an idyllic setting - 75 acres at the head of Artists Valley in Mid West Wales.
We have planted over 24,000 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 places (email hidden)ly 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 :)

Warmest wishes,
Sharon and Mark

The Neighborhood

Our neighbourhood is very quiet, secluded and tranquil. The air is clean, you can see the stars and we never hear sirens!

Getting around

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....
Check-in is strictly between 2pm and 6pm, after this time, there may not be anyone to show you around until the next morning.

Room type: Entire home/apt
Bed type: Real Bed
Accommodates: 6
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 1
Beds: 6
Extra people: $12 / night after 2 guests
Minimum Stay: 2 nights
Weekly Price: $303 /week
Monthly Price: $1169 /month
Check In: 2:00 PM
Check Out: 12:00 PM (noon)
Cancellation: Moderate

Overall Guest Satisfaction

Check In
  • Sharon and Mark are lovely, wonderful people and they were the greatest of hosts to us at thier amazing and magical place Blaeneinion!! If you need quiet, beauty and still you must visit this heavenly retreat. You can walk for miles in the forests and see no one or take a trip down to the sea. Read by the fire in sweet rustic beaver cottage (wood burner + super comfy king sized bed = happiness!) Watch the beavers at dusk, in summer paddle in the stream and use the canoe to drift on the water. Picking fresh pure organic veg, flowers and salad was the thing I enjoyed the most whilst watching and listening to enthusiastic and knowledgeable Sharon!
    Really I can't say enough good things about this place. Thank you Sharon and Mark for making such a special place to be and then for sharing it....... which is even more remarkable!
    Mark I promice not to tell about The Voice.
    Love from Emily and Alex

    April 2014
  • Blaeneinion is a stunningly beautiful setting, fresh and alive with the sounds of rushing water and rustling trees, with rare views into true wilderness. We stayed in the bunkhouse during March and found a lovely homely space, very well equipped, clean, tidy and warm. I highly recommend checking out this great place and meeting Mark and Sharon, they're great hosts and passionate about the work they are committed to there.

    March 2014
  • Sharon and Mark are brilliant. We had a really lovely time at Blaeneinion, which is both gorgeous and full of very interesting and worthwhile projects. Including a beaver sanctuary and the most amazing poly-tunnel, that even at this time of year (Feb) was jam full of delicious salad leaves. Highly recommend - a wonderful place to feel good about the world. Thanks so much for having us guys! We can't wait to come back.

    March 2014
  • On Friday morning while I was still contemplating on what to do on last 3 days of kid's vacation (age 11 and 6), I stumbled upon rustic cabin ad which was quite different from other as host is too humble to not promote too much or may be its just hard to put in words.
    Initially we were bit apprehensive about 10 minutes final Tarmac route but after quick email exchange with Sharon, we finalised our journey and head start to Artist Valley. In reality Tarmac route was better than some of Bangalore City roads but just narrow :).

    Place is amazing...bit rustic but has self contained cabin with enough space for 4 (or 6 if you don't care much on privacy). Mark helped us in buying Milk and other grocery item from their last minute trip to market in the evening which helped us to not leave the place for entire 3 days.

    It has swing, hen house, beaver pond for kids. For adults you have 75 acres of almost uncharted territory to explore like your own, including waterfall and kayaking in the stream. To rejuvenate your mind, you can have hearty discussion on growing oriental plants with Sharon who in spite if her busy workload is happy to share her experience of growing organic food with you.

    Family or single who wants little bit of break from whatever going on in our life can find some peace of mind here. We will come back in summer to tick the last to do action: watching stargazing night as this place is pitch dark like I've never seen before.

    Thanks Sharon and Mark for being such a wonderful host! Wish you all the best in your endeavour against big corporation/ packaged food industry :)

    February 2014
  • Sharons' rustic cottage is situated in some of the most beautiful countryside that I have been fortunate enough to enjoy in the UK. With a meandering stream literally steps away and what feels like ancient waterfalls to be found on some of the walks that you may choose to go on.
    A quiet time away from it all, is what I had desired and that silence can really be found here.
    Sharon and her family not only went out of their way to make sure I had all the things that I needed, but when the electricity went down, the down to earth good people that they are came blossoming through.
    The permaculture project they have running there is truly an inspiration and I look forward to returning in ten years to see the vision of their dreams come true. All my best wishes to you.

    February 2014
  • We had a lovely couple of days staying in Sharon & Mark's cottage. The location is great and feels like you are in the middle of nowhere, while still be close enough to towns should you need to drive down to buy anything. The cottage itself is cosy and warm, perfect for hygge.

    January 2014
  • We had a wonderful few days at Sharon and Mark's cottage. It was cosy and warm and very well and thoughtfully equipped. The location is really amazing and very versatile in terms of things to do. One day we did a long circular walk from the cottage, through forest and over hills with stunning views. Another time we went to a nearby bird reserve in a marshy estuarine area and another day we climbed Cadair Idris, the nearest big mountain. We never got to see the beavers, so definitely hope to come back again soon. Thanks so much Sharon and Mark for providing such a lovely opportunity.

    January 2014
  • Sharon and Mark were lovely people and extremely helpful. Made us feel at home and provided us with everything we needed.
    They even drove us down to the main road in order to catch the bus into Aberystwyth, because to cut a long story short, we did not manage to get our car rental the previous day!
    It is beautiful where they live, literally on the end of the road, in a lovely forest with loads of small rivers everywhere. Would love to go back in the summer, in order to get to sit outside more and take in the fresh air! If you took enough food supplies with you, you could stay there for probably a week and just go on walks directly from the bunkhouse, without ever needing to move your car!
    Beaches are also approx. a 20min drive away...yes, we highly enjoyed ourselves and truly recommend it!
    Unfortunately i must admit that the only thing that disappointed us was the bed mattresses. I believe these need to change immediately. I cannot stand sleeping on a mattress while the springs are poking into my back. Luckily we took the thin (no spring mattress) from the sofa-bed, and placed onto the double bed, which saved the day! This is the only reason i gave it 4 stars, instead of 5!

    December 2013
    Response from Sharon:

    Hi Nicol and everyone :) - I hope you are feeling well and excited about your new arrival. - not long to go now... It was lovely to meet you all, and I hope the journey home was more straightforward than the one here x
    Thank you for your lovely review, and also for the useful feedback.... as no-one has mentioned the mattress before (and we don't sleep there ourselves to find out!) it is good to know what can be done to make things better as we are new hosts and appreciate honest and constructive criticism :) It would be wonderful to see you all again in Summer - perhaps with little one just weaning and able to enjoy fresh raspberries and all the lovely veggies at that time of year... all the very best, Sharon and Mark. .

  • Sharon was lovely throughout and very helpful when we arrived later than we hoped.
    The bunkhouse is simple but cosy and really practical. The location is absolutely gorgeous - a beautiful escape from the rest of the world.
    It's great to be in a place where you can see thepeople take such good care of the land and wildlife around them.

    December 2013
  • We had a great stay at Sharon & marks cottage! The scenery is just beautiful & they are both so nice! It's close enough to town but feels like your miles away from anything! I would defiantly recommend staying here!

    Thanks for a great stay!

    November 2013
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We are a warm, friendly and hardworking family developing a 75 acre conservation site in Mid West Wales. Mark is an eccentric and extremely talented IT 'freak' with a very interesting sense of humour often very 'un-PC!' - surreal and very much 'in the now'! He is kind, has the biggest smile in the world, is as strong as an Ox and a lateral thinker - practical and no-nonsense. He is huge-hearted and will always help out if folk are in need. I am eccentric too (definitely less than Mark;) ! and my jokes are more tactful and much less funny! 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. We are a very happy couple with one child still at home and another just started at University. We like making things- wooden buildings, growing spaces and doing renovations. Mark will avoid any fiddly planty things as much as possible, so I do all the 'girlie stuff'! Outdoor life and the natural world are a passion - we love weather of all sorts, a soaking wet walk through the stream and adventures. We both 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 documentaries or a good movie. We are both smokers and enjoy a brandy or a beer at the end of the day.... and are happy for our guests to unwind as they wish - but 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 As new hosts, we are hoping that our Air B+B experiences will 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 (we have both come from busy city environments and understand:) Mark and I 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.... both in our 40's now, we are very thankful to be here together doing something we love and caring for our family and this little corner of paradise x We hope you love it too :)
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