Self-Catering in Betws-y-Coed
Gilar is set in the heart of North Wales, within a couple of miles of Snowdonia National Park. The truly historic, outstanding stone Grade II* Listed Farmhouse was built c.1600 AD as the seat of the High Sheriff of Denbighshire. The Gatehouse, added in 1623, is one of very few such remaining in Wales. Both buildings retain many original features including exposed oak beams, large fireplaces and oak panelled walls. Although no longer used as the entrance, the Gatehouse still houses the original gate and is about 35 yards to the front of the main house. Welsh farmhouses of this period were often built in two halves to house two generations of farming families. The other half of Gilar House is home to a couple who have farmed actively since 1965 and are a blessing to have next door – there is no crisis they cannot deal with!
Gilar is set on a 500 acre working hill farm which runs Welsh sheep and some cattle. It is hoped that visitors to the house will explore the farm, following the private road that runs up through ancient woodland to wilder rocky slopes, almost to the top of Garn Prys mountain. Once there you will find two small lakes, both stocked with trout, from where there are sensational views of the entire Snowdon range — the perfect spot for a getaway picnic. Gilar was featured in the BBC TV Holiday Programme, 10 of the Best UK, as well as in Food & Travel Magazine in March 2004. To quote the latter, ‘the main house is stunning with oak panelling and fireplaces large enough to hide a whole herd of sheep. There is even a 7ft wide four-poster bed’.
Ground floor: Entrance porch to huge, studded front door. Entrance hall. Large, oak panelled, beamed, superbly comfortable sitting room. Large log fireplace – logs supplied. Radio/CD, TV and DVD player. To the right of the hall is a magnificent dining room with stunning oak refectory table big enough for 10, plate warmers and huge (non-working) fireplace. Through the dining room is a downstairs bathroom with roll-top bath with splendid, centred shower over. At the end of the hall, a step leads into the quite small, but very well equipped, modern fitted kitchen with dishwasher, double oven, microwave, fridge and freezer.
First floor: Spacious, panelled master bedroom with super king size (7 ft.) oak four poster bed with wealth of exposed beams. Main twin bedded room with glorious original floorboards and rugs. Cosy single bedroom. Upstairs full bathroom.
Behind the house is a separate ‘washhouse’ containing washing machine and tumble dryer.
The Gatehouse room is reached by a flight of outside stone steps. It is attractively furnished with a quality double sofabed, tables, lamps and a chest. To accommodate a party of nine at Gilar linen will be supplied for the bed. For parties of seven or fewer, the room will be set up for use as a day room for anyone wanting a little peace and quiet, reading room, games or wet weather picnics. The main window faces over the large walled garden to the front of Gilar House and the view from the top of the steps, over the farm, is lovely.
Outside: Large garden, tables, benches, chairs and ‘oil barrel’ barbecue. Kennel. It must be noted that Gilar is a working farm and occasionally the yard not far from the house may contain sheep or cattle.
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