The best films, books or pieces of music are often so special that they render you unable to explain why they are so good. The same can be said for Nook in Snowdonia. But, a wordless guide is of no use to anyone.
Nook lies on the outskirts of Beddgelert and the drive to the property takes you down a beautifully winding lane, flanked by Cnicht on one side and Snowdon on the other.
The house lies in a valley, surrounded by woodland, the mountains and streams and we were greeted by birds of prey circling above and a rolling road block of sheep. Nook is owned by Nick and Charlotte and they as a family and their story are equally as special as the place itself. Having wanted to give their first son a childhood ‘full of slow adventures, where less is more and they gathered experiences instead of things’ they moved from East London and made this former cattle and sheep farm their new home. As a family, they have an exceptional warmth, calm and kindness and they have made Nook a truly magical place to stay.
FACILITIES AT NOOK
Nook is a perfect base in the centre of Snowdonia for those looking to explore the area. In our case, it was somewhere to slow down and live simply for a few days. Or as simply and as slowly as you can do with two boys under 2.
Nook has three bedrooms and sleeps 6 (1 double / 1 twin room / 1 bunkbed) and has everything you would need, especially a young family.
As our youngest is still a baby, it’s always a worry whether places we visit have facilities such as a bath, microwave and dishwasher for bottles but Nook had everything we needed and more. They had even supplied child friendly plates, cups and cutlery and a highchair in advance of our arrival. It has a kitchen full of character that looks out on to the woodland. Nick and Charlotte had also kindly installed a baby gate for Arthur’s room and put a travel cot up in case we needed it. For the adults, a couple of locally made ale and Welsh cakes on arrival was a really thoughtful touch.
The living room was a welcoming space with a log burner, a thick Welsh blanket and a library of books and films suitable for everyone. While there was WIFI available, I made the decision to put my phone on airplane mode for the whole two days; something I don’t think I’ve ever done before. It was strange but liberating to be cut off and to read books and wander with notifications and emails taking my attention.
There are 2 bathrooms too so if you’re part of a group you can avoid those early morning shower disagreements.
OUTSIDE OF NOOK
Nook sits in 90 acres of land and the outside space provides a magical playground, not just for children but adults too. A walled orchard at the back of the kitchen is a perfect space for kids or dogs to roam and run safely while you cook, whilst outside the front of the property there is a climbing frame with swings and down at the river’s edge is a fire pit and den; a perfect hideout for the children or late night speakeasy for adults!
At the back of the cottage there is even a secret hot-tub hidden away in the Orchard Room that’s perfect after a day out climbing in the mountains.
The outside space at the back of the house made for a perfect spot for lunch or exploring before bed. Arthur and I went hunting for bugs in the grass and one evening sat listening to the hoots of owls and watched the bats circling above us. Having read about these in books, seeing his face as he experienced these things at first hand was wonderful.
Nook is an incredible place, owned by a couple who have taken the brave leap of changing their family’s lives. However, they are also passionate about sharing it with others. In their own words, ‘This is our adventure but the cottage means we can offer others this amazing place as a basecamp for their own adventures too.’
Can I tell you exactly what it was that I loved about Nook? I honesty wouldn’t know how to. What I do know is that it had a profound impact on all of us as a family and it was with sadness that we left but also with a certainty that we would return. Maybe next weekend. And the weekend after that.
To find out more and to book, please visit their website here or their Instagram account @nooksnowdonia
For more suggestions of places to STAY, please see our suggestions here