Two rustic riverside cottages on the edge of Snowdonia – perfect for getting away from it all with friends and family.
Aberdyfi Gwynned LL35 0RG 0800 443 377
Situated in a former slate works and quay overlooking the beautiful Dyfi Estuary, Smugglers Cove Boatyard has been offering moorings and acting as a hub for local sailors for years. But these days it's much more than just a boatyard, with camping pitches in the best spots along the riverbank, a glamping boat on the foreshore and four-star self-catering holiday accommodation in two almost adjacent properties – Chapel House and Quarry Cottage – which are rented together as a single holiday let. With room for 14–18 people in 7 bedrooms (as well as the ability to book the camping pitches and The Boy John glamping boat for even more guests), it's an ideal venue for family reunions, parties, celebrations and get-togethers.
Both properties were fully renovated by local architects and are furnished in a comfy rustic style that is cosy rather than posh. Five-bedroom Chapel House, the larger of the two properties, has three bedrooms downstairs, one with a four-poster, one a twin and another with bunk-beds. There are also two double bedrooms upstairs and a total of two toilets, two shower rooms and a family bathroom. The large open-plan area on the ground floor has a big sitting room, a communal dining table that can fit everyone, even at full capacity, and a well-equipped kitchen with a gas-fired hob, electric oven, American-style fridge, dishwasher and microwave. There's gas-powered central heating and also a wood-burning stove for cosy nights in, a Freesat flatscreen TV and a DVD player, a CD player and free wifi; and one of the sofas opens up as a sofa bed for additional guests.
Quarry Cottage, has a similar layout and facilities but just two bedrooms, plus a small double sofa bed. It also has a small, secluded garden, while Chapel House has a patio area with bench tables & BBQ. Dogs too are welcome, and it couldn't be more ideal; they even have an outdoor tap and drinking bowls for thirsty hounds and dirty paws.
One of the nice things about Smugglers Cove is the access it gives to the rocky foreshore and the river. You can launch your own boat or canoe or just enjoy the private beach, from which you can swim or just watch the boats bobbing about. The RSPB Ynys-hir nature reserve on the opposite shore is worth rowing across to, or you can stride out into the hills behind on numerous footpaths; Snowdonia National Park and the ridges that crinkle towards the north east are a short drive away – as is Cadair Idris, Wales' second most popular mountain for walkers, after Snowdon. There's also Aberdyfi beach at the far end of the estuary, which is a wonderful expanse of golden sand and dunes. All in all Smugglers Cove is the perfect place for a celebration or just a few days away from the daily grind.
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Two cottages available as a single let, with 7 bedrooms comfortably sleeping up to 18 people.
Find a bed in a place to sleep near you
From £1,395 to £1,895 most of the year; short (3–4-night) breaks from £995. Dogs £25.
- Camping Available
- Dogs Welcome
- DVD Players
- TVs with Freeview
- Wood-burning stove
- Groups Welcome
- Hills & Mountains
- Remote Location
- Something Different
By car from Machynlleth, take the A487 towards the train station and continue under the railway bridge and over the river bridge and then turn left onto the A493 to Aberdyfi. Drive for about 6 miles, through Pennal and Cwrt, and then follow the road down to the river. The white-walled building on the right is Quarry Cottage; continue for 100m and turn left into the boatyard. Park and walk through the tunnel to Smugglers Cove cottages. By public transport, take the train from Birmingham to Machynlleth, where there's a taxi rank; there's also a local bus, the X29 which runs every two hours and stops at the boatyard.
Open all year.