This traditional Welsh farmhouse is surrounded by glorious countryside and sits in a peaceful garden in a picturesque rural spot in the Upper Dee Valley, right on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park. With three cosy bedrooms, it's the ideal place for a family holiday or a break with friends.
The Sunday Times named the property as one of the '50 Coolest Cottages in the UK', and we would have to agree. Dating back several centuries, it's been lovingly restored – the original beamed ceilings and an oak-panelled wall remain intact, while sympathetic features have been added, including hand-carved details, a stained-glass window made from salvaged glass, and another window created from a cartwheel found on the property.
Inside is an array of antique and hand-made furniture, not least a rather impressive handcrafted grandfather clock and a large Welsh dresser, and there's a an inglenook fireplace in the homely lounge, with logs supplied. The well-appointed kitchen features country-style cabinets built by the current owner’s father, while an adjoining former barn has been incorporated into the main house, adding a stylish dining room and a light, airy triple bedroom upstairs. What was once a stable hayloft now houses a children's playroom, accessible via an external staircase.
Set in the Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there are plenty of scenic walks and cycle routes nearby, many of which can be taken from the door of the cottage – join the Tegid Way footpath, stroll to the Cynwyd Waterfalls (watch out for the steep drops) or head up to the Wayfarer's Memorial to admire the peaks of the Berwyn Mountains. Those seeking a bit more adventure can drive to Snowdonia National Park, just 10 miles away. The tourist centres of Bala Lake and Llangollen are 30 minutes' drive away.
If you fancy a bite to eat (or need to replenish supplies), the town of Corwen is three miles from the cottage – there you'll find a handful of restaurants, or for a real treat, head to Michelin-starred Tyddyn Llan in the nearby village of Llandrillo. How does Goosnargh duck breast with duck faggot, confit potato, cider and apple sauce and celeriac purée sound? All in all, this is a lovely spot to spend some time, whether it be exploring the area or relaxing in the farmhouse.
The Owner Says
Henfaes Isaf is a much-loved home that our family has owned since 1961. Back then it was a dilapidated former farmhouse with no electricity or running water. It has been restored with a lot of hard work, care and attention to detail, and is now a wonderful holiday cottage which has a very special place in our hearts. It offers seclusion, peace and relaxation in a homely, cosy atmosphere.
Our favourite spot
In winter, our favourite spot has to be curled up on one of the comfy sofas, beside a roaring log fire, enjoying a well-deserved glass or two of red after a brisk walk up the hill.
In the summer time, the large gardens come into their own, with several places to sit and admire the views, but our favourite spot would have to be the suntrap 'corner' – a former pigsty converted into a seating area – perhaps enjoying a barbeque with friends and soaking up the sun.
The local area
The Berwyn Mountains are an unspoilt part of the world, protected by SSSI status (Site of Special Scientific Interest), where it is still possible to enjoy peace, tranquillity, birdsong and starlit skies. We love being able to walk from the front gate into the hills, where you can enjoy the green space, fresh air and views across the Upper Dee Valley.
We also like being able to hop into the car and be in Bala, Llangollen or Betws-y-Coed within 30-40 minutes. The historic town of Bala is on the famous lake, offering boat and kayak hire. The road to Llangollen is breathtaking, but the recently re-opened steam railway now runs from Corwen to Llangollen which makes for a memorable day out if you prefer to look at the view. Drive along the A5 in the other direction and you get to the stunning town of Betws‑y‑Coed, centre for many outdoor pursuits in and around Snowdonia.
Best local places to eat and drink
We love the Berwyn Restaurant, 5 minutes away in Llandrillo, a small family run place with a warm welcome and fantastic food – don’t miss the desserts! Also you must try The Corn Mill in Llangollen – a great location next to the River Dee, a wonderful spot to sit on the outside terrace with a drink in your hand, watching the white-water rafters and kayakers take their chances on the weir and white water rapids below.
Another favourite is the fabulous Abul’s Spice in Corwen, a Bangladeshi Indian restaurant that won 'Best Indian Establishment in Wales' at the 2016 Food Awards in Wales, and was crowned 'Welsh Curry House of the Year' in 2015. We’re so lucky it is 10 minutes from our door.
Why stay with us?
This cottage is such a special place for us and its unique charm is appreciated by all who stay here. We have tried to go the extra mile to make this the perfect place to relax and de-stress, away from city life in the peace and tranquillity of this rural location. A large number of our visitors return, and the comments in our visitor book tell us that our guests feel the same way as we do about Henfaes Isaf.
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