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The Coach House at Tan Llan

2 bedrooms
2 bathrooms
4 guests
Lying on the edge of the quiet village of Llanelltyd in South Snowdonia, squirrelled away in the sheltered grounds of Tan Llan—a handsome, grey-stoned country house—is the Coach House. Originally a stable and later transformed into a coaching house, this renovated cottage is a modern rustic retreat ideal for one family in summer or winter.
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Set within the Snowdonia National Park, among towering mountains and glorious valleys, this sympathetically renovated bolthole stands free from the shadows of Snowdon’s twin, Cader Idris. And evidence that the sun does shine in Wales can be found in the verdant tropical plants either side of the front door. Green oak window lintels have predictably split (unpredictably, as is their way) and relaxed into place among the unusually small and neat Flemish bricks.

The overall welcome is relaxed and rustic. The wide, oak front door beckons guests into the open-plan living space, and large Welsh slate floor tiles run throughout the ground floor, of course. An almost impossible number of tongue-and-groove-clad walls and ceiling give this a Scandinavian cabin feel. But its Grade II listed status suggests that this is no pale imitation, but a proud Welsh tradition. Brushed, country-checked fabric and Welsh woollen blankets add to the warmth provided by the wood burner in the corner, as do the gnarled wooden beams and an exposed brick wall in the sitting area. There’s also a sociable, round dining table within the living space.

The adjacent cosy snug provides a flat-screen TV and over-sized anglepoise-style lamp that add a slick, modern edge. A handmade kitchen with breakfast-bar sits tastefully within wood-clad walls and ceiling. It’s equipped with all mod cons including a stainless-steel American-style fridge freezer.

Climb the neat wooden staircase, and there are two beautiful bedrooms within the eaves, both en-suite. It feels somewhat hayloft meets boutique hotel with its sloping walls and wonderfully wonky exposed beams. Quality bedding and sumptuous mattresses provide pure comfort. Melin Tregwynt Welsh woollen blankets and throws dress the beds; simple in spirit, satisfying in quality and timeless in design.

The grounds are what seems like a never-ending playground for the children, although if one were to be more precise, there are fifteen acres of spectacular landscaped grounds. The bulky presence of Cader Idris bears down on the garden. Menacing yet magical.

The lawn in front of the Coach House sports a neat, gentlemanly trim rather than a military-grade crew cut. On its other side, the River Mawddach laughs by at the edge of the garden—happy, perhaps, because it is on first-name terms with the trout and salmon that dance in it.

Beside the river, an old oak filters the descending shafts of light that dapple upon a picnic table. It provides the ideal spot to relax with a glass of wine or local Cader Ale while watching the resident rabbits and red squirrels scamper through the woodland of established trees; trees that appear to be generously exchanging carbon dioxide for oxygen in lungfuls. This is truly a place to breathe.

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Download floor plan (PDF format)
The Coach House at Tan Llan is just two miles from the idyllic little market town of Dolgellau, with its air of unhurried importance. It boasts the highest concentration of heritage-listed buildings in Wales, with more than two hundred. It was once a regional centre for Wales’ prosperous wool industry in the 18th and early 19th centuries and many of its finest buildings were built at that time. However, local mills failed to keep pace with mass mechanisation and decline set in, preserving the town centre much as it was then. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have its fair share of delightful cafes, bars and independent shops. Even closer to home, a renowned restaurant, just over half a mile away from the house, offers local fare and beautiful views. An excellent location for walkers, mountain bikers and outdoor enthusiasts, the extensive sandy beaches of North Wales are a delight, with the popular seaside town of Barmouth easily reached. The bulky, menacing crags of Cader Idris loom large. It is said that the hounds of the underworld fly around its peaks. And that anyone who spends the night on the summit will awaken either mad or a poet. Choose not to stay at the Coach House and, alas, you may be crazy in the first place.

Dolgellau - 2.2 miles

Barmouth Beach - 8.3 miles
Cadair Idris - 13 miles
Portmeirion - 23 miles
Pwlheli - 36 miles
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