THE SETTING: Minafon was built in the late 1800's for the miners who worked at the slate quarry. It faces the valley which runs from Cader Idris - the local celebrity mountain beloved of walkers for its varied and challenging routes - out to the ocean. Set in a pretty lane with a small stream opposite, you awake to the sound of lambs, and go to sleep to the sound of the softly babbling brook. This is walking and cycling country, with many popular and well-known trails passing right through the village. Alternatively the stunning sandy beaches which encourage visitors to revisit year after year are only a ten minutes drive. Sailing, kitesurfing, kayaking are all available on the local waters. Or crab fishing off the jetty at Aberdovey, and sand castles for the young, with a scoop of the locally famous honey ice-cream on warmer days. This area really has something for all ages, and we have been coming since we were children ourselves. Our family consider it home-from-home and I hope you learn to love this ecologically conscious, panoramically glorious area of North Wales as much as we have.
THE COTTAGE has three bedrooms. The largest has a king sized bed, and still plenty of room for the provided travel cot. The second and third have double beds, but are much smaller. All bedrooms have storage furniture for your clothes, soft carpet for tired feet, and plenty of lamps for reading, plus a stroppy radio which seems to like only celtic music from across the water! There is a newly installed shower room (and WC) upstairs, to complement the full bathroom downstairs.
Downstairs is the lounge and dining area, which has a log burner which we tend to run year round. We supply a full basket of logs within the cost because the room comes to life once lit. There are of course individual thermostatic radiators in all the rooms for your warmth and comfort. The floor downstairs is still the original slabs that were hauled from the quarry, which are scattered with large colourful Braided Rugs to provide a soft foot landing! The kitchen is modern and efficient, with an oven, ceramic hob, microwave, toaster and kettle. We chose a washer/dryer in preference to a dishwasher for a day outside often needs a clothes turnaround in the evening. There is a full bathroom downstairs and both shower and bathrooms have heated towel rails, but please be careful as the upstairs one does get very hot! All instructions are of course in the house book which will be on the table along with the local teabread 'Bara Brith' when you arrive.
The weather in Snowdonia is famously unpredictable. We go out with suncream, and a raincoat at all times! You will notice the local residents are tanned which is proof of the glorious blue skies which appear as a gift throughout the summer. We hope to install a dishwasher in the future, but meanwhile enjoy mindful washing-up. It is claimed to be restorative to the soul! Alternatively there is a good pub in the village which serves lovely meals and is about 200 yards away. Within ten to fifteen minutes are other special places to eat, from homemade fish and chips to a Spanish Tapas bar. We have listed our favourites in the book, and do advise booking as they quickly fill up. All the fresh air encourages healthy appetites.
There are so many attractions - castles, waterworlds, gold mines, and Abergynolwyn station is the hub of the Talyllyn steam train - a train track that used to carry the slate to the coast. The tea room serve delicious cake and is well worth a visit as you chug down to the coast and back. There are many short family walks leading off the train trail with ancient forests and tumbling waterfalls appearing regularly. The Dolgoch falls has its own tearoom with equally delicious cake, and a flat path to the bottom of the falls for those in wheels. If you take a drive North along the stunning Corniche - coastal road - there is the flat Mawddach estuary with a good pub restaurant which makes a good alternative for those of limited mobility.
The house is full of leaflets to help you choose. The sun rises in the back courtyard, and moves round to spend the rest of the day bleaching the front patio. There is a bench and table for you to simply nod off, or eat with your loved ones and friends. There is plenty of crockery and cutlery, although of course the cottage will sleep a maximum of six, in the three double beds, and be warned the third bed is a small double for those very close indeed!
We have tried to think of everything, including a high chair for the little one at the table.
Polite Notice: Please be aware Minafon is an old cottage, and although we have done everything possible to make it safe you must use the appliances, and windows etc at your own risk. Please keep children off the deep windowsills as there are blinds and whilst we have tried to increase the safety you must keep your children off the windowsills. Thank you.
We welcome you to Minafon, in this special corner of Snowdonia, and hope you have a magical holiday.