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Add Maentwrog to your bucket list this year

Ahhh, Snowdonia. It’s the mountainous skylines of North Wales that are awe-inspiring to me. Maentwrog is exactly what I imagined ‘up North’ to look like before I moved here from South Wales. A sleepy village with stone built houses, nestled within a colourful tree-lined landscape. Maentwrog is situated in the Vale of Ffestiniog, within the sublime Snowdonia National Park, the River Dwyryd weaving a course through it. If you’re still not convinced (hard to please, aren’t you?!), here are a few more reasons why you should stay in this magnificent part of the world.

A great base for exploring

Maentwrog is in a great location. Enjoy a hike up Snowdon one day and sun yourself on a sandy beach on the Llŷn Peninsula the next! A short drive away is Portmeirion, a must-visit Italianate village…in North Wales. If you’re anything like me, you’ll spend a whole month’s wage on the incredible pottery that they produce and sell there. Porthmadog is popular for its pretty harbour, but it’s the steam train which really draws the crowds. You can ride to the historic town of Caernarfon via Beddgelert or to Tan Y Bwlch. Marvel at the blooms at Plas Brondanw or Bodnant Gardens, the latter also having a great restaurant, tearoom and farm shop. Not forgetting the magnificent castle in Harlech, which boasts the most breathtaking views. Or the waterfalls at Rheadr Ddu. I could go on…and on…

Perfect for outdoorsy types

Despite being inland, Maentwrog is actually on the Wales Coastal Path. You can walk from Maentwrog to Llanystumdwy (18 miles) or from Llanbedr to Maentwrog (17 miles). If you’re a cyclist or keen mountain biker, don’t despair, we’ve got you covered! Coed Y Brenin is perfect for the more adventurous mountain biker, with its woodland trails (also great for hikers). For those preferring a less strenuous ride, Sustrans have all the information you’d need on the many cycle routes nearby. Plas Y Brenin, The National Mountain Centre, is run by enthusiasts and they provide courses for all levels of experience and ability, year-round.

Something for the little ‘un’s

If you’ve got the children in tow, then why not treat them to a day at the beach? Abersoch is renowned for it’s watersports, Aberdaron is popular with families, as is Porthdinllaen (home to the world famous Ty Coch Inn!). Criccieth has a lovely beach but if you tire of the sand, there are fantastic places to eat, quaint shops, and a castle to run around, pretending to be knights with plastic swords and shields (just me?). At Blaenau Ffestiniog you’ll find not only the incredible Victorian mine at Llechwedd Slate Caverns, but a zip wire to hurtle down at eye-watering speeds and subterranean trampolines. At Betws Y Coed – another picture-postcard-perfect village – you’ll find not only gorgeous shops and the superb Alpine Coffee Shop (decadent cakes, healthy food and loose leaf tea abound!), but the mega-fun Tree Tops Adventure.

Where to stay?

We have two fabulous holiday cottages within Maentrog itself. Each has it’s own personality. All are within walking distance of The Grapes, a well-known pub at the heart of the village that serves good food and has great ale (a must for me and mine!). Sleeping 5, Ty Coch is a pretty stone cottage standing in an acre of stunning gardens. There is a little stream that runs down along the cottage from the National Trust oak woodland that you can access from the gardens. This is a perfect rural retreat! Tyn Llwyn Cornel, sleeping 4, is a fantastic renovation of a derelict stone barn. It’s subtle mountain theme, hand crafted furniture and wood burning stove makes it a cosy and welcoming home to return to after a day on the hills.

If you’d like to see all the cottages in Maentwrog, then click here.

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