Unique of the Week: Living Room Tree Houses

Living Room Tree House Wales

Living-Room Treehouses in Wales are a truly enchanting and magical escape from the everyday stresses of modern life.

Tucked away in a stunning and remote location the tree houses will fulfil every childhood (and adult) dream of a tree top adventure.

These uber-chic tree houses are the creation of Mark Bond & Peter Canham; imagined, designed and built especially for you.

Living Room Tree House Wales

When did you open?

We built our first two tree houses, “Lofty” and “Bryn Meurig Bach”, in 2011. We now have 6 treehouses for guest to stay in.

Can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind the business?

We wanted to build real tree houses, high in the trees, that pushed the boundaries a bit in tree house design. Also, we love the landscapes here, and felt that tree houses, designed to fit seamlessly into the natural environment, would be a magical way to spend a holiday.

What time of year would you recommend to visit?

The tree houses are lovely to live in all year. They have wood-burning stoves, that heat the space and the water beautifully, and are very cosy. We often have people who visit in the summer, and come back in the winter to sample a different season.

So, every season has its own beauty, particularly when viewed from 30 feet up a tree!

If a visitor only had 1 weekend, how would you suggest they spend their time?

Cosy up in front of the fire and send the children off to play in the woods!

Or go for one of the amazing walks that start at your Treehouse door!

Or spend the day sitting in the wood-fired Hot Tub!

Or chop wood, build a den, lie on a hammock and watch the clouds!

Just spend time with the people you love, far away from the outside world!

Can you recommend any special places to eat in the area?

There are some great restaurants close-by: ranging from the vegetarian “Quarry Cafe”, in Machynlleth, to the “Brigands Inn” gastro-pub and the “Number 21” bistro.

Local produce is very high quality here, so look out for lovely lamb, and, as we are close to the sea, fresh seafood dishes.

What type of guest is your accommodation suitable for?

The treehouses are romantic for couples, and magical for families. Each is located in its own natural environment, around a 5 – 10 minute walk from the car park, so an enjoyment of the outdoors is good, but not required!

The treehouses are easy to live in, and have everything you need to be very happy and cosy, deep in the heart of nature.

How would you best describe Living-Room in 3 words?

Not sure …

Magical and memorable?

Definitely not Normal?!

We have had lots of lovely comments about the tree houses – but our favourite, from a family who stayed in Gwdy Hw (pron. Goody Hoo), was simply …

“From now on, everything that is good in our lives will be called ‘Gwdy Hw’”!

A Family Tree House Experience (2 nights) costs from £399.00 and a Tree House Experience for Two (2 nights) costs from £379.00. They are closed in January but open for the rest of the year. For more information please see their listing on Unique Sleeps.

£190/Night

Living-Room Tree Houses, Wales

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Unique Of The Week – The Straw Cottage, Wales

   
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The Straw Cottage is a truly unique and unusual place to stay in Llandrindod Wells, Mid Wales. 

Wake up to the sound of birdsong, go to sleep to the sound of Holly Brook, breakfast outside with just the meadow flowers and the hills for company.

This week we get to know a bit more about the inspiration behind The Straw Cottage with our owner interview.

When did you open?

2013

Can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind the business?

We were interested in the concept of building with straw for warmth and for sustainability.

At the same time we wanted to offer a special kind of holiday, one where couples and families could experience getting away from all the pressures of modern life.

So in 2012 Anthony designed and started to build the Straw Cottage. We chose not install electricity instead candles and lanterns provide light.  Without TV or internet we hoped families, friends and couples could spend time together relaxing, talking, walking and playing games.

Completely on its own and surrounded by woods and fields with a stream we believed children could experience the freedom that we had known.

What time of year would you recommend to visit?

Any time is a good time.  Of course, summer is wonderful, long sunny days, having a picnic by the stream, walking around the farm, lazing in the hammock,  having a BBQ,  kids playing on the swing, building a den or doing the treasure hunt.

Winter provides a different experience,  dark starry skies, chilly nights spent snuggling up by the wood-burner, chatting, playing games or reading all lit by candles and lanterns.   

In autumn the trees are glorious with their red, gold and yellow leaves. Long walks through rustling leaves, watching some beautiful sunsets whilst toasting marshmallows by a blazing bonfire is a perfect way to spend a day. 

In April and May spring arrives with its fresh green colours, the woods around the cottage have a carpet of bluebells,  the birds are singing, lambs are in the fields, the days are getting longer, everywhere is coming to life again.

If a visitor only had 1 weekend, how would you suggest they spend their time?

Sit on the veranda or laze in the hammock listen to the stream. Walk for miles on quiet country byways or around the farm with stunning views everywhere.

Have a BBQ on the porch, lit by candlelight as the evening darkens and watch the stars.

Away from the farm, visit the beautiful Elan Valley with its vast reservoirs and ancient woodland, cycle, walk or drive, see the Red Kites at Gigrin Farm, visit the Victorian town of Llandrindod Wells with beautiful buildings, green spaces and a 13 acre lake with café and pedallos.

Sunset at Pont Ar Elan in the Elan Valley

Can you recommend any special places to eat in the area?

Drovers Thai Restaurant, Worth Your Salt, The Fforest Inn, The Harp Inn

What type of guest is your accommodation suitable for?

Guests of any age, couples, group of friends and families with children.

How would you best describe The Straw Cottage in 3 words?

Unique, magical, comfortable

If you want to find out any more information about a stay at The Straw Cottage, check out their listing on Unique Sleeps.

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Unique of the Week – Glam Camping Queenstown

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Glam Camping Queenstown offer the ultimate luxury camping experience in New Zealand’s outdoor adventure hotspot. Glam Camping is home to Queenstown’s only Geodesic Dome, located in a truly stunning spot, off the beaten track, surrounded by mountains.

This week we get to know a bit more about the inspiration behind Glam Camping Queenstown in our owner interview.

When did you open?

October 2018

Can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind the business?

After family members going glamping and having a great experience we jumped at the chance to start it ourselves. Being able to work outside and provide a little slice of paradise for our guests is a dream.

What time of year would you recommend to visit?

Anytime from Oct-April. We’re fortunate to have beautiful summers here in Queenstown.

skyline gondola over Queenstown New Zealand

If a visitor only had 1 weekend, how would you suggest they spend their time?

Check in 2pm. In the afternoon, go for a walk around Moke Lake. Pre order a DIY BBQ box to cook yourselves dinner with a nice bottle of central Otago Pinot. Play board games in bed with hot water bottles until you drift off to sleep.

Wake up and make breakfast and enjoy a tea. Go for a horse trek through the valley. Ask us to help you book one of the great restaurants in Queenstown for dinner. Book an early morning private yoga class outside your tent before checking out at 10am.

Enjoy a walk around Moke Lake

Can you recommend any special places to eat in the area?

Public Kitchen and Bar – right on the water front, locally owned Kiwi food. Pavlova!

What type of guest is your accommodation suitable for?

Honeymooners, families, friends, weddings, everyone with a little sense of adventure.

How would you best describe Glam Camping Queenstown in 3 words?

Adventurous, luxury, relaxation. 

If you want to find out any more information about a stay at Glam Camping Queenstown, check out their listing on Unique Sleeps.

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6 Things To Do In North Wales

6 Things To Do In North Wales

North Wales has it all – beautiful beaches, stunning scenery and a rich and intriguing history.  No matter who you are and what you like to do, there is a wide and versatile choice of things to do in North Wales.

6 things to do in north wales

Formerly referred to as the Kingdom of Gwynedd, North Wales today is best regarded for its large expanses of lush green terrain, mountainous regions, lakes, and coastlines. The landscape of North Wales ensures the perfect weekend holiday of hiking and outdoor exploring.

Besides the physical, North Wales also boasts a rich history of unique Welsh culture and language which is still ingrained in life today. Visitors are encouraged to experience not only the natural beauty that abounds, but also to immerse themselves in local customs brought on by a unique heritage.

1. Give Yourself a History Lesson at Conwy Castle

Conwy Castle North Wales

For history buffs, Conwy Castle, located just along the river, is a must. Between 1283 and 1289, construction began under the direction of Edward I. Building costs amounted to a total of £15,000 with the goal of walling in the city. Throughout history, the castle has served a vital role in many battles, including the English Civil War, which ultimately resulted in its surrender to Parliamentary armies. Yet today, UNESCO calls Castle Conway one of the most pristine examples of military architecture during the late 14th and early 13th century.

From across the water, the National Trust Conwy Suspension Bridge extends to the entryway of the castle. Eight large towers, two looming gateways, and a large bowed hall at the centre define the castle’s interior. The inside leaves nothing without thought. Rooms include the kitchen, hall, and public chambers, as well as more hidden private and royal chambers. Since 1986, Conwy Castle has been included in the Castles and Town Walls of Edward I World Heritage Site.

The site is open all year, although opening times vary from season to season. Between 1 July and 31 August, the castle opens from 9:30am until 6:00pm, with last admission thirty minutes before closing. It’s easily accessible by rail (Crewe-Llandudno Junction/Holyhead route), bus (No 5, Llandudno-Conwy-Bangor/Caernarfon) or bike (Route No.5 (150m/164yards).

To plan your next visit to Conwy, check out their website.

2. Explore the Far-Reaching Snowdonia (Snowdon)

Snowdonia

Snowdonia gets its name from a Welsh phrase meaning, “the place of the eagles.” It’s a beautiful stretch of green landscape stretching 838 miles, and includes mountains and rocky regions (nine separate mountain ranges), as well as lake alcoves. Any trip to North Wales would be lacking without a day (or several) spent here.

The national park offers a little something for all of its visitors—all the way from the serious hiker to novice explorer. It’s the perfect place for family fun activities, like canoeing, kayaking, and even zip lining.

Snowdon offers diverse animal and plant life, including ash, hazel, and oak trees.

The parks also includes coastline, home to the Dyfi, Dwyryd, and Maywddach estuaries. Greenwood Forest Park, King Arthur’s Labyrinth, Fairbourne Miniature Railway, Electric Mountain, Cadair Idris and Anglesey Boat Trips can all be found within the Snowdonia National Park grounds.

Operating hours vary based on individual attractions, but function more or less throughout the year.

Access to the park is made easy by car, train or by plane. Accommodation on the park grounds is also possible.

Find out details about planning your next visit at Visit Snowdonia.

3. Take In The Beautiful Coastline Of North Wales

Barmouth Beach North Wales

North Wales boasts some of the best beaches and coastal towns. With close proximity to Liverpool, Birmingham, and Manchester, it’s an easy weekend getaway.

Some of the most popular waterfronts are located in Prestatyn, Rhyl, and Colwyn Bay, and also include portions of Snowdonia National Park. Families can spend the day at the SeaQuarium or Welsh Mountain Zoo, and the afternoon and evening along the water nearby.

Each beach has something unique to offer.

Barmouth Beach is located just at the tip of the Mawddach Estuary and Cardigan Bay, ideal for a fun day of hiking and birdwatching.

The beach at Anglesey, a near off island, makes for a relaxing and peaceful respite.

Llandudno is a mix of seaside bliss with a serene, yet energetic atmosphere—those looking for an afternoon of arts and crafts will find themselves at home here.

To plan your next coastal holiday, take a look here.

4. Squeeze Inside the Smallest House in Britain

smallest house in Britain

If you’re up for a quirky add to your itinerary, pay close attention or you just might pass right by. That is, past the Smallest House in Great Britain, 1.83 centimetres across, and just over three metres wide. If it weren’t for its bright red frontage, this must-see attraction, situated in Conway among other terraced homes, might go unnoticed.

Although the home hasn’t seen any tenants in the past hundred years, nevertheless, it has a rich history. It was once home to a fisherman nearly two meters tall, and an elderly couple prior to that.

See for yourself the practical innovation needed to live in such a tight space.

The home is open to the public from 10-6 during school summer holidays, and 10-4 at other times (they may close early in case of bad weather).

Entry is £1 for adults and 50p for children (16 or under).

For more information, check out The Smallest House.

5. Stroll Through Bodnant Gardens

Bodnant Gardens North Wales

Barring rainy weather, visitors to North Wales should definitely give some of their time to the Bodnant Gardens. Not only are the gardens rich with a wide variety of plant life, but have stood the test of time too.

Over 150 years ago, the McLaren family and head gardeners carried out their vision to add to an already diverse landscape, including the Carneaddau mountains of Snowdonia.

The collection welcomes daffodils, magnolias, azaleas, and Himalayan Blue poppies in the spring; roses and water lilies in the summer; seeds, berries, and late roses in autumn; and hellebores, dogwood stems, and camellias in the wintertime.

Although most visitors may spend the day or the afternoon at the gardens, Bodnant also offers residential and holiday cottages on the property.

For more information about booking your stay or spending the day at the gardens, go to Bodnant Estate.

6. Sample the Local Flavour

North Wales offers fine dining and cooking classes, but has also made a name for itself at local food festivals.

With a multitude of food festivals to choose from throughout the year, there is something for the whole family.

Take for instance the Real Ale Trail where you can use the hop on and off festival bus to travel between pubs, sampling award winning ales as you do.

Honey lovers won’t want to miss out on the Conwy Honey Fair. This historic festival dates back over 700 years and aside from honey, there’s plenty of other produce and crafts on offer.

Perhaps with the most picturesque backdrop, the Portmeirion Food Festival in Snowdonia (December), includes an evening of entertainment—live music and cooking demonstrations—with samples of local wines, fish, meats, and cheeses.

For more information on checking out one or more of these festivals for yourself, check out Visit Wales.

Places To Stay In Wales

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