4 bed holiday cottage near Abersoch in Wales, sleeps 8. Bryn Goleu Holiday Cottage. A touch of luxury in the heart of the beauty that is Wales
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Bryn Goleu Holiday Cottage - a brief history

We had been looking for a family retreat for almost 6 years but nothing ticked all the boxes, Then one sunny spring day in 2007 Jenny and I drove up the lane to Bryn Goleu and took in the spectacular views and location of the cottage.

Our search for a family retreat started in 2001 after fond memories of childhood holidays on Anglesey and the Llyn peninsula made us try to recreate these memories for our 3 daughters. So over the years we visited many properties covering the North Wales area. On our wish list we were looking for a character property with views, close to beaches and good restaurants and pubs, whilst having a rural tranquillity. A difficult list to satisfy, which probably explains why 6 years later we still had not found a property which ticked most of the boxes.

It was in 2007 on a spring weekend away enjoying a stay at Portmerion Village that we read an advert for a run down property in Garnfadryn with a stunningly poor photograph of what appeared to be a old farm building. Out of habit we phoned to make an appointment to visit the property on the way home to the Wirral. As usual we were running late on the Sunday and got lost in the myriad of county lanes in the area. After driving down the third country track leading to nowhere, with no mobile phone reception, we had decided to give up and go home. Just as we were leaving we came across the lane to Bryn Goleu.

On reaching the property we stepped out at the top near to the double gates and absorbed the stunning views. We still believe today that the location of the cottage is one of the best on the Llyn peninsula.

We knew at that moment this was the cottage we had been looking for. Even wandering around the dated cottage which was last updated in 1965 did not dampen our enthusiasm.


Bryn Goleu is old, very old! We are still researching the history in particular before 1900. However this is what we know at the moment.

The name Bryn Goleu is Welsh for ‘light on the Hill’. Bryn Goleu is probably the oldest building in the area apart from the hill fort.

We believe the centre section was built circa 1680’s as a dwelling for a smallholding. The centre section (the lounge) would have been the entire accommodation for the family with a ladder leading to the crog loft for sleeping. The large inglenook fireplace would have been the centre focus for the cottage where all the cooking would have taken place. The entire family would have slept in one room in the loft. During the early 1700’s it is likely that the left section of the building was built on again to accommodate livestock. You will be pleased to learn that your downstairs bedrooms where once shelters for pigs and other livestock! The right section was built many years later to accommodate more livestock. If you look closely at the front walls of the left and right sections you will see the original door opening’s for the animal pens. These are now filled in with stone at the lower sections and the upper sections used as windows. In the late 1800's a large family lived in the cottage and ran it as a smallholding with reputedly 12 children all sleeping upstairs in the crog loft bedroom! In past times the crog loft would have been a small space under the roof, reached by a ladder. It would have been lit by one small window in the end wall, now hidden by the later additions. On the floor there would have been a number of small straw mattresses for the children to sleep on. The property stayed in the ownership of this family until the 1960’s.

In 1965 a Birmingham Architect purchased the derelict cottage planning to refurbish it as a holiday home. He spent 2 years modernising and extending the property. After obtaining planning permission to extend the property to the rear, the property was gutted, removing all the interior floors, windows and roof covering, leaving just a stone shell with bare roof timbers. The property was extended to the rear to provide the hallway, corridor, bathrooms and boiler storeroom. Originally the rear cottage external wall was the wall inside the corridor. If you look at the cupboard and the book shelf alcove in the lounge, these were originally the rear windows looking out to the rear garden.

In 1965 the cottage was equipped with the new idea of a ‘fitted’ kitchen unbelievably this kitchen remained when we purchased it. In 1965 the modernised cottage would have been an impressive modern property – slightly less by 2008! Despite this modernisation, access to the upstairs crog loft bedroom was still via a ladder from the kitchen. The approximate position of the ladder was just at the right side of the kitchen door leading to the lounge. Today there are no signs of the ladder access as the whole kitchen has been re-plastered.

Outside where you have the front lawn, prior to 1965 there was public footpath running through the middle of the lawn which sloped steeply towards the lane. In 1965 the footpath was diverted into the lane and the lawn and front rocky area built up to provide a level lawn. The footpath was diverted into the lane and a lot of planting was undertaken by the Architect which sadly had turned into a mass of brambles and weeds by the time we purchased the property. We now have a gardener who is slowly bringing the garden back to its former glory. Looking away from the cottage if you look to the left of the old stone steps you will see an old stone gatepost in the field, this is the original footpath gate and entrance to Bryn Goleu - the smallholding.

Our greatest find was when we decided to replace the old fire and found hidden behind a wall a fantastic stone inglenook. It took some cleaning and was quite a challenge as we had already fitted new carpets but was well worth it.

In about 1993 the cottage was purchased by a Nantwich couple who installed central heating, double glazed windows and re tiled part of the roof. Other than this work, up to the summer of 2007 the property was still in a 1965 time warp - for 42 years the cottage had remained almost untouched!

Bryn Goleu front aspect

Views from Bryn Goleu

Views from Bryn Goleu

Views from Bryn Goleu

Wood Burning Stove in the Inglenook Fireplace

The Modern Kitchen

Beautiful Bathroom