This week I have been back visiting holiday cottages in North Wales. And what a week to do it in – baking hot weather and barely a cloud in the sky.
First up was Fron Dirion in the something valley (I later discovered that there is another property to be reviewed within a stone’s throw of this one! However at the time it was booked up, so I couldn’t have visited anyway). This is a wonderfully secluded cottage, accessed through farm fields and a couple of gates (had to be careful not to let a flock of sheep escape!). On the way out I had the tricky task of reuniting a lost lamb with its mother – it seemed determined to run in the wrong direction!
This cottage relies on electricity for heating, with a wood burning stove to assist. Plenty of scope for improvement here, with ample space for renewables such as solar PV, and some leaky windows to address. This was also the case at the next stop, Nant Las cottage, near Dolgellau. A lovely little cottage with just one bedroom, set in abundant woodland – plenty of land around and wood – perhaps a biomass system could be of use here?
Last but not least was The Bothy, a large 7 bed property in the grounds ofPowisCastle, surrounded by immaculate gardens and just a few minutes walk from the castle itself this is in a fantastic location. Again this has traditional windows and doors that aren’t of the most insulating type, so there is scope for improvement here too.
During my few days away I squeezed in a run at Coed y Brenin forest, in training for a race I am doing there called Trail Marathon Wales. It is a stunning venue for such an event, with great views of the surrounding mountains, and beautiful rivers running through. The visitor centre here has been rebuilt within the last five or so years and is very ec0-friendly, with water-less toilets, rainwater recycling, and now solar PV – although the position of this array left a little to be desired, with a significant amount of shading from the surrounding trees.More reviews to follow next week – shouldn’t be long until all the North Wales properties are complete.
Also heading to a pedal-power workshop next weekend – more on that in the next blog.