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Review of Bryn Elltyd B&B, Snowdonia National Park, North Wales

Posted by Richard Hammond at 11:06 on Tuesday 05 June 2012

Bryn Elltyd is a lakeside bed and breakfast at the foot of the Moelwyn mountain range just outside Blaenau Ffestiniog in the heart of Snowdonia National Park, North Wales. It is run by Ceilia and John Whitehead; John is a qualified mountain leader, canoe and kayak coach, disability assistant, local heritage and tour guide.

Bryn Elltyd is featured in Richard Hammond's 15 Green Places to Stay in Britain

>> For availability and booking, see our full listing for Bryn Elltyd.

Bryn Elltyd is at the foot of the Moelwyn mountain range in Snowdonia National Park.Bryn Elltyd is at the foot of the Moelwyn mountain range in Snowdonia National Park.The rooms
The six rooms are simple and un-fussy, with ensuite showers, kettle and fair-trade tea and coffee. I’ve stayed at Bryn Elltyd twice and both times slept in the single Arenig Room, which has a wonderful view of the lake. Manod Mawr Room is a double and has a similar view. Outside, the Hobbit room and its neighbour (Twlc Mochyn) are turf-roofed and made with local slate and wood to blend into the landscape. Both have ground floor access (as does the super King sized bed Wrysgan Room in the main building) and are suitable for some levels of disability – contact the owners for more info. Outside, there’s also a drying room/sauna while inside the main building is a relaxing sun lounge with wonderful views of the mountains. Downstairs is a satellite TV room with wifi internet.

The simple rooms at Bryn ElltydThe simple rooms at Bryn ElltydThe Food
Ceilia makes a slap-up English breakfast with locally sourced produce, including sausages, bacon, and eggs from her own ducks. For dinner, three-course evening meals are also provided (give 24-hour notice), made with home grown produce and locally sourced products where available. Group catering is also available, but do give plenty of notice. It’s a 30-minute walk to the nearest restaurant in Blaenau Ffestiniog –ask John/Ceilia for a list of the best places to eat (the Indian is popular with guests).

Locally sourced breakfast is served in the main dining room at Bryn ElltydLocally sourced breakfast is served in the main dining room at Bryn ElltydThe Activities
Bryn Elltyd is in a spectacular setting so it’s worth putting aside some time just to enjoy the scenery from the comfort of the secluded grounds. Chill out on the benches that are dotted around the alpine garden and watch the famous steam railway pass by on the other side of the mountain stream. For the more adventurous, Snowdonia National Park is on your doorstep, and nearby are some world famous mountain biking trails at Coed y Brenin, Betws y Coed and Penmachno. As well as the natural splendour, the area is rich in cultural heritage, from the slate-quarrying town of Blaenau Ffestiniog to the fascinating Italian village at Portmeiron. John is a qualified mountain leader, canoe and kayak coach, disability assistant, local heritage and tour guide, and offers guided services – contact him for more info.

Relax in the sun lounge and enjoy wonderful views of the mountains.Relax in the sun lounge and enjoy wonderful views of the mountains.The Green
Behind the scenes: John inherited several eco initiatives from the previous owner of Bryn Elltyd, but he has since installed a raft of new technologies, including a large pellet biomass boiler, a huge solar thermal array, rainwater harvesting, sheeps wool insulation and double-glazed thermal capture in the conservatories.
What you’ll see: There’s recycling bins for glass paper and plastic, fair-trade tea and coffee, locally sourced food and seasonally sourced fruit and veg from the owner’s garden.

Get there by public transport:
It's about a mile from the train station at Blaenau Ffestiniog, which has connections from Llandudno Junction, see Arriva Trains Route Map. Alternatively, you can go up the west coast line via Machynlleth and Barmouth, or take the heritage option, from the harbour at Porthmadog where you can take the Ffestiniog narrow gauge railway through the mountains to Tanygrisiau train station, 100 yards from Bryn Elltyd. Owners can pick you up from the stations, by arrangement. The grid reference for Bryn Elltyd is SH681449.

The grid reference for Bryn Elltyd is SH681449.The grid reference for Bryn Elltyd is SH681449.

The famous Blaenau Ffestiniog steam railway run behind the grounds at Bryn ElltydThe famous Blaenau Ffestiniog steam railway run behind the grounds at Bryn ElltydTop Tip
The famous Blaenau Ffestiniog steam train runs around the back of the grounds, so it’s worth finding out from the owners the times it will pass by and keeping an eye out for it. Alternatively, you can take a trip on the unique narrow gauge railway – a 13.5-mile journey from Blaenau Ffestiniog to the harbour in Porthmadog. For more info, see Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways.

Verdict
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.

By Richard Hammond.

A raft of eco initiatives at Bryn Elltyd makes it one of the greenest places to stay in North Wales.A raft of eco initiatives at Bryn Elltyd makes it one of the greenest places to stay in North Wales.

>> For availability and booking, see our full listing for Bryn Elltyd.

Disclosure

Blogs posts categorised as 'Reviews' have been written with the support of one or more of the following: accommodation owner, activity provider, operator, equipment supplier, tourist board, protected landscape authority or other destination-focussed authority. The reviewer retains full editorial control of the work, which has been written in the reviewer's own words based on their experience of the accommodation, activity, equipment or destination.

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