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Homely eco guesthouse in a picturesque setting where ALL energy is from renewables, with easy open access to the mountains from the door. The wonderful Ffestiniog steam train curls around the grounds. Bus & mainline trains 2km at Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Please quote greentraveller when you book

Rooms: 6 ensuite rooms.12 person total single,doubles,twin triple

from: £40

Meals: 24hr notice meals 3 course £16. Cafe 100m daytime. Restaurants /Art centre 3k Blaenau Ffestiniog
Open: Year round
Address: BRYN ELLTYD Eco guesthouse, Tanygrisiau, Near Blaenau Ffestiniog, Snowdonia, Gwynedd, LL41 3TW
Tel: +44 (0)1766 831356; mob 07905568127
reviewed by greentraveller

Why we've chosen Bryn Elltyd Eco guesthouse:

Reviewed by Richard Hammond:

"Bryn Elltyd is a great base from which to explore the natural splendour and rich heritage of Snowdonia National Park, particularly if you are looking for a comfortable, no-nonsense B&B where you can expect a hearty breakfast in a relaxing atmosphere. John and his wife are also very experienced in providing for disabled guests so it’s a great place to stay if you’re looking for accessible accommodation.  Finally, the commitment of the owners to reduce the impact of you stay on the environment and contribute to the local economy, makes Bryn Elltyd one of the most eco-friendly places to stay in North Wales."

Read Richard's full review of Bryn Elltyd

Running entirely on renewable energy - absolutely ALL energy from renewables, carbon zero! Taking a London mainline train with only one change at LLANDUDNO JUNCTION you will find yourself at an 1883 Wrsygan Quarry manager house right in the heart of Snowdonia.  With stunning views and the Ffestiniog steam train curling around grounds, the station is at Tanygrisiau just 200m away.

Open access to mountaineering, rambles, climbing, mine exploration, local mountain and (coming soon:) down hill trails, fishing, waterfalls, you can explore a very varied natural eco systems, Victorian slate heritage and locked gated roads. With bike store availability and disability advice from mountain leaders / parent of chair user. Sea beaches / cliffs are just a 20 min drive.

What they say:  

Bryn Elltyd eco guesthouse, 700ft up in Snowdonia believe that green does not mean compromise. Wifi, sauna, 3 electric car charge points etc. It is all carbon neutral, all energy comes from renewable. Having had solar panels since 1983 John and Ceilia like to think they tread lightly on the land for their grandchildren. Many organizations discuss climate change and carbon reduction, but this business has acted and runs only on renewable energy.

Heating uses a local wood bye product that is turned to gas and burnt at 900c. Amazingly for a house up a Welsh mountain it has computer inter-grated solar panels that work to make hot water. Other solar arrays make 240v electric. All the work has been done by John or by employing local engineers. 

Rain can be a welcome resource here. It is harvested to flush loos and water the garden and there are also two commercial hydro plants within 200m. Sewerage goes through 3 natural biological chambers then a small reed bed and into a duck pond, with ducks. John says " Don't panic: the system is smell free and the loo flushing is normal.  Bryn Elltyd was built in 1883, had an out side tap in 1983 and has now evolved into a totally carbon neutral space. It has been a long adventure using my 25 years experience of teaching technology and engineering. High tech solar integration works, as does low tech conservatories, soaking up the heat into 39inch thick walls and vents to put this warm air into the house.  Together with my wife Ceilia we did what most parents dream about. The children went off to uni so we put the house on the market, sold up and moved to this stunning area where we used to holiday. Take care in the Hobbit room, lined with cozy sheep’s wool, turf roofed and dug into the mountain. It has had two marriage proposals in it so far……..’’

Awards 2015:

  • Trip advisor GREEN LEADER ECO AWARD top PLATINIUM level - twice (2012 & 2014)
  • CONSIDERATE HOTELIER 2015 green team award. Winner in 2014 was The Savoy. The finals were two giants Best Western and Park Plaza Hotels / organisation, but against the odds, Bryn Elltyd won.
  • CONSIDERATE HOTELIER 2014, took on all under 20 bed hotels in UK in this eco category. Some of the finalists were 5 star establishments, charging hundreds of pounds per night more than Bryn Elltyd. Bryn Elltyd won. 
  • WALES GREEN ENERGY AWARD. Made the final 3 along with the National trust at the Royal St David's Hotel Cardiff
  • SLATE THROPHY AWARD for FUTURE SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY from a mix of European universities
  • TRIP ADVISOR HALL OF FAME. Award based on great reviews for 5 consecutive years
  • Gold GTBS twice awaiting 3rd grading

The Oxford exam board set a 3 page A' Level Tourism exam question on Bryn Elltyd's green credentials. The Guardian quotes them as  "one of the greenest bolt holes in Europe". 

>> Tesla EV Destination Charge point! Tourism assessment at Gold again, plus Trip advisor Green Leader Platinum again. Whoot!

Since the Greentraveller review:

Bryn Elltyd no longer relies on gas, all energy inputs are now from renewables. £20k spent on a wood gassification boiler intergrated with 4 solar thermal arrays on the roof of the new boiler house. The boiler house is warm and houses two solar thermal tanks. This building covers the two storey gable end of a 1883 granite building with 39 inch wall. That is a lot of thermal mass all at the same temperature as the boiler house, just like underfloor heating but thousands of tons of rock.

  • More insulation has been added to the solid wall
  • thermal velux blinds
  • 9m long log store built from mainly recycled railway sleeper with a solar PV array on top
  • Bike store with sedum roof (part built with timber from the old conservatory)
  • new conservatory with auto venting transfering heat into house (local installer, local plastic from 1 mile away, more expensive than national chains but keep it local)
  • Furniture for conservatory up cycled from local disabled charity shop.
  • 6 new log stores some with sedum roofs (part built with timber from old conservatory) which created a need for JOhn to get his chain saw licence
  • New state of art log burner, integrated with room thermostats
  • More advanced heating controls that sense zones and outside temps every 30 secs and choose to use solar water or fire boiler
  • 4 electric car charge points Tesla EV Destination Charge point / type 1 / type 2 / and normal 240 plug to feed all cars on our green electric) 
  • two networks for better wifi
  • 2 more compost heaps
  • Laid the hedgerow
  • 4 more veg plots hacked into mountainside
  • small orchard
  • And they wore out the bread maker so now have a new one to bake fresh bread each morning

This summer, Bryn Elltyd closed for a day to give free eco tours via SUPERHOMES for the 5th time, one of 180 in UK with Bryn Elltyd being the only one in Wales. SUPERHOMES is an an eco charity looking at energy use in older homes, and during the visit they test with IR heat meters. 


Top green features of Bryn Elltyd:

  • All energy inputs to the house are from renewables

  • Turf roofs lined with sheeps wool

  • Computer intergrated biomass and solar thermal arrays

  • Solar PV electric. 100% renewable electric

  • High efficiency log burners. 20ton wood stores

  • Green SAUNA

  • Rainwater harvesting

  • Biological waste disposal

  • On site veg and orchard, duck pond and ducks for biological pest control

  • 3 Electric Car charging points charged with our own electric or 100% renewable electric, within 10m are two hydo/pumped storage electric stations



Bryn Elltyd Eco Guesthouse, Snowdonia, North Wales
Nearest train station: Blaenau Ffestiniog.Mainline Train+ Bus+ Ffestiniog steam

Directions from station:
Located 3k south west by 2k long lake. Travel 2k down A496 then follow signpost RIGHT to Hydro power station Pick up by arrangement in mini bus or take the Ffestiniog steam train. Within 200m of Tanygrisiau station. From miles around you can see the huge 2k long old incline / ramp comming out of the mountain side into the1 acre garden Plan b. head for power station and we are 200m before it.

Plan your journey by train

Buy rail tickets online and then collect them at any main station.
Bookings usually open 10-12 weeks before your date of travel.

For more ideas of where to stay and things to do