01348 837871

Bwthyn Mair

Tan y Bwlch near Portmeirion

Fairytale 17th century Snowdonia cottage in picturesque lakeside setting, Tan y Bwlch near Portmeirion

Near: Portmeirion 6m, Porthmadog 8m, Criccieth 11m

  • Reference 1295
  • Sleeps 4
  • Bedrooms 2
  • Internet / Wifi Available
Romantic Snowdonia Cottage
  • Set in a most picturesque romantic location at the edge of a pretty lake, this idyllic 17th Century fairytale cottage is surrounded by ancient oak woodlands.
  • Beautifully restored, completely in keeping with its original character, the cottage has thick stone walls, a huge inglenook fireplace and stone turned staircase leading to the bedrooms which are separated by the original elm wooden post and panel partitions.
  •  Once upon a time it was a small tavern (now Grade II Listed) and it takes little imagination to visualize the local menfolk sitting in the inglenook with their clay pipes whiling away time whilst swapping fireside stories!
  • The cosy comfortable lounge is stylish and the adjacent kitchen/dining room has freestanding pine units and an early Victorian pine dresser. Pretty ornaments adorn all the small windows of the cottage from where there are views of the meadow and lake beyond. Stargaze on clear nights - there is a telescope upstairs – no light pollution just myriad stars to enchant!
  • Opposite the cottage a small meadow bounds the lake where there is a boat for guests use – a note of caution though - the lake is tranquil but only experienced oarsmen (or women!) should venture out onto the water! Do remember your life jackets!
  • This property is not suitable for children under 10 years (babes in arms only please)  -  due to proximity to lake, unenclosed grounds and driveway across front of cottage to 2 adjacent properties.
  • Within walking distance of the cottage there are 2 locals, the nearest is ‘The Oakeley Arms’ and in the centre of Maentwrog village, ‘The Grapes,’ a 17th century coaching inn, visited by George Borrow, author of 'Wild Wales' published in 1862.  A short drive away in Llanfrothen is the Brondanw Arms.
  • Lots of activites to enjoy include mountain biking and excellent hill walking in the nearby mountains as well as river, sea and coarse fishing.
  • Read about the restoration of Bwthyn Mair on https://www.qualitycottages.co.uk/aroundwales/bwthyn-mair-snowdonia
  • Recommended by The Daily Post 19th Feb 2016 as a unique and unusual North Wales holidays cottage.

The Vale of Ffestiniog

  • This is a sublime valley through which the River Dwyryd meanders on its way down to the sea. Ancient oak woodlands cover the valley sides and there are lovely walks from the cottage including an easy stroll around Llyn Mair (Mary's Lake) as well as clearly mapped, easy to follow nature trails through the woods and valley.

Ffestiniog Steam Railway

  • A short stroll away from the cottage is Tanybwlch Station on the Ffestiniog Steam Railway - take a ride along the line either up the valley to the slate mines at Blaenau Ffestiniog or down to Porthmadog where it joins the Welsh Highland Steam Railway.  This scenic line cuts a swathe through Snowdonia all the way to Caernarfon and  Edward 1’s mighty castle - well worth a visit.

Plas Tanybwlch & Plas Brondanw 

  • This imposing manor house was built by the Oakeley family, who made their wealth from mining and exporting slate from the quarries of Blaenau Ffestiniog, and is now an environmental study centre for the Snowdonia National Park with walks through the gardens and woodlands open to the public throughout the year.
  • There are courses during the summer covering lots of aspects from environmental, historic and archealogical interests.
  • This whole area is a National Nature Reserve and home to a vast array of bird and animal life  - redstart, wood warbler, nuthatch , woodpeckers, pied flycatcher, peregrine falcons, buzzards, red kites, rare bats and elusive wild goats.
  • Do visit another lovely local garden - home of Clough Williams Ellis, Plas Brondanw, Llanfrothen.

RSPB Osprey Centre

  • This is a short drive away from the cottage and guests can follow the nesting colony of Ospreys that spend the summer on the Glaslyn River.

Borthygest & Llandanwg

  • There is a choice of beautiful beaches nearby -  take the train down to Porthmadog and walk to the pretty village of Borthygest where there are plenty of small sandy coves and lovely views across the estuary to Harlech.
  • A short car ride takes you to to the tiny intimate bay of LLandanwg. The ancient church in the sand dunes, with views across to Shell Island, is another very popular destination.


  • The  magnificent beach here never gets crowded.  Behind its miles of golden sands  is the UNESCO World Heritage site of Harlech Castle.
  • There are lots of places to eat in Harlech - Castle Cottage has one of Wales’s foremost cooks - booking advisable as well as The Plas Café, Freya’s Coffee Shop and an excellent ice cream parlour too.

Royal St David’s Golf Course

  • This golf course at Harlech is one of Britain’s greatest courses, a surprise find in a remote part of Wales but  it is known throughout the golfing world and is a challenge to any serious golfer – less demanding are courses at Porthmadog and Criccieth.


  • This Italianate village and beautiful grounds designed by Clough Williams Ellis, is home to the  Portmeirion Hotel with its lovely 1930’s restaurant, popular at that time with the Prince of Wales, later Duke of Windsor. Legend has it that Noel Coward wrote 'Blithe Spirit' in the grounds. Full of character and well worth a visit as is Castell Duedraeth Restaurant in a Victorian Manor House now part of the Portmeirion Hotel.



2 Double Bedrooms sleeping a maximum of 4 including an optional single bed (depending on sleeping requirements of party) on the landing passageway between the bedrooms & bathroom.  Cot on request.

Bathroom with full suite. Telescope for star gazing. All on 1st floor.  Shower Room with walk in shower and toilet on ground floor. Towels provided.

Kitchen/Dining Room country style with freestanding pine units, gas double oven cooker, fridge/freezer, microwave (no dishwasher or washing machine). Pine early Victorian glass top dresser, table & chairs seating 4.  High chair on request. 

Lounge large inglenook fireplace with multifuel stove, 2 seater sofa, 2 easy chairs,  radio/cd  no tv (but tv licence). Georgian pine settle containing garden chairs and gazebo.

Grounds small meadow opposite cottage with access to lake boat available for guests’ use.

NB This property is not suitable for children under 10 years - babes in arms only please -  due to proximity to lake, unenclosed grounds and right of way for 2 properties adjacent to Bwthyn Mair.

Parking 2 cars at the side of the road or just within entrance of private drive (both opposite cottage).

Fuel gas central heating inclusive May-September. £30 p/w outside these dates. Welcome pack of logs.

WiFi/Internet Broadband  Free telephone available to all UK landlines (hardly any mobile network reception).

Sorry no pets and please do not smoke indoors.



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Customer Reviews

Didn't want to leave! Wonderful cosy cottage in a gorgeous location. Fully equipped, the owners have thought of everything, but still retains its 17th century charm. Nice welcome pack left for us on arrival. The lake is simply stunning. Very peaceful, other than occasional barking of neighbours dogs and the whistle of the steam trains passing on the hillside behind the cottage.

Bolton party

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Location Map

Local Guide

Access Statement(x)

Is there parking for at least one car within the cottage grounds? No

Is there a gate to open? Yes

If no parking within the grounds is there parking within 100m? Yes

Does this parking have reserved disabled spaces (min width 3.6m)? Yes

Are there paths? Yes

Are paths level and firm? Yes

Type of suface Gravel

Are there dropped kerbs or changes in level? Yes

Are paths at least 1.2m wide? Yes

Are there dropped kerbs or changes in level? Yes