Review: the perfect Welsh stay with Dioni cottages

Harlech Castle
Thirteenth-century Harlech Castle is just 10 minutes away

This stone-built 17th-century cottage is the ideal base to soak up the beautiful scenery and historical treasures along Wales’ Cambrian coast.

cottage, wales
Two-bed Y Felin cottage in Dyffryn Ardudwy sleeps up to four and has all the mod cons Credit: Dioni

If you’re yearning to get away from it all, breathe crisp, fresh sea air and marvel at the majesty of some of Britain’s most stunning landscapes, the Cambrian coast of north west of Wales might just be the spot for you.

And, for the full experience, what could be better than a stay in a cosy, traditional Welsh cottage?

Dioni offers a wealth of properties across stunning Snowdonia. Our lovely two-bed, 17th-century home for the weekend was nestled in the village of Dyffryn Ardudwy on the Cambrian coast road between Barmouth and Harlech.

‘Y Felin’ offers sea views, an Inglenook fireplaces (or ‘simne fawr’ in Welsh), warming log burners and slate floors, along with picture-perfect ledged and braced doors and exposed beams.

Snowdonia, mountains, view
The stunning Snowdonia National Park is right on the doorstep Credit: Dioni

With the mountains Snowdonia National Park rising up behind you, miles of sandy, unspoilt beaches rolling out in front of you and fascinating historic castles nearby, the charming village of Dyffryn Ardudwy is an ideal place get out of step with busy city life and rejoin the slow lane.

But to get the full country experience, you won’t have to forego creature comforts: under-floor heating and host of mod cons means you’re met with a warm welcome when you return from those long coastal and mountain walks, and historic adventures.

Harlech Castle
Thirteenth-century Harlech Castle is just 10 minutes away Credit: Visit Britain

Whether you want to take it easy or take the strain, the area – despite the acres of space all around you – has plenty of places of interest within easy reach. Barmouth, 10 minutes south, is a traditional Victorian seaside town with promenade, ice-cream and buckets of charm. Ten minutes north is 13th-century Harlech Castle, which seems to grow spectacularly from the rock on which it is perched. One of the most formidable of Edward I’s ‘iron ring’ of fortresses designed to contain the Welsh, its fascinating role in British history makes it a must-see.

Delightful Portmeirion is a taste of Italian Riviera in Wales Credit: Visit Britain

A little further north on coast sits magical Portmeirion.Visionary architect Clough Williams-Ellis created this little ‘Italian riviera’ in Wales between 1925 and 1975 to show how a beautiful site could be developed without spoiling it. A visit transports you to a fantasy world of beautiful buildings in every colour, glorious gardens, woodland walks and wonderful sea views.

There’s also the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highlands Steam train, two narrow gauge railways with fascinating histories and spectacular views, many more historic castles, the national park and beaches to explore, and walks, hikes, rides and adventure pursuits galore. And, what’s more, with the incredible landscape all around, getting to where you’re going feels like a treat in itself.

To find out more about Dioni’s holiday properties.

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