Plas yn Rhiw : A hidden precious gem in Snowdonia
We are fortunate enough to live in such a diverse and beautiful spot on the map of Britain. Plas yn Rhiw near Pwllheli was one of the places we didn’t know existed until a few weeks ago.
Sunday is usually our family fun day. And with three mini explorers we are always looking for fun and interesting to do not too far from home. I am probably the one who has a love for old homes and gardens. The kids also share a sense of love for the outdoors and nature, so when we popped to explore the grounds of another nearby stately home one sunny Saturday, my purse slipped and I found myself a member of the National Trust.
For us as a family, it makes sense to be members. We pay £10 a month for two adults and two children over the age of three. In the two months we have been members we have already made three visits to National Trust properties which means we have already made our money back on annual membership. Plus they always have half term entertainment for your mini explorers! Win win! It lets us make the most of where we live without needing a re-mortgage.
When we got home with the welcome pack we discovered a lovely hidden gem that neither of us had heard of previously. Cue a visit with the kids!
Plas Yn Rhiw
Located on the Llyn Peninsula in Snowdonia the 17th Century farm-house commands a hilltop position giving absolutely stunning views of the coast all the way over to Cardigan bay on a clear day. The car park is situated around half a mile or so walk from the actual house, and is also the start point of a circular walk along the coast. The views from the car park alone are just stunning.
We have recently transitioned from using the pram to letting G run wild with a harness. He loves his harness which I’ve reviewed here, and it allows him the freedom to run around with the other two. He’s a very tactile child, he loves smelling flowers, hugging trees, picking up rocks and doing rolly polies down slopes. This was our first outing using the harness, so I had a few concerns about him picking precious flowers and breaking irreplaceable objects.
The National Trust have restored Plas yn Rhiw beautifully. The older kids love learning things on our travels, so this is what we picked up on our day out. The farmhouse has been there since the 17th Century, built by the descendants of the King of Powys. It was donated to The National Trust in the eighties by three elderly ladies, the Keating sisters, who did a lot of the restoring themselves. One of the guides told us there was an actual river running through the house when they bought it! The sisters reminded me a little of the Bronte sisters of Haworth, each with their own special hobby, writing, painting and horticulture.
Obviously I can’t show you photographs of inside of the house. It was just as if it were frozen in the thirties. From a large gas-fired oven and cooker in the kitchen to tapestry throw rugs on the floor, and gorgeous hand-made quilts on the beds. It gave all the children a great sense of how difficult it could be to live in such a remote place, especially without gas and electricity. It was as if we stepped back in time though, and I remember details in my own grandmothers home such as the printed lace screens, oil lamps right up to the bound leather family Bible on the hearth.
Thankfully we got out of the house without a G accident!
Grounds and accessibility with children
There is a short woodland walk to the orchards if you don’t fancy the 2.4 miles of coastal path. I think when G gets a bit older we will revisit and try this.
We went mostly to have a look at the wild bluebells. I don’t think I’ve ever seen quite so many. That’s the joy of visiting places in different seasons – we only just missed the snowdrops, but G was so excited to see a carpet of nodding bluebells greeting him on the walk. This path isn’t accessible with a pram, and I don’t think I’d have ventured up the stone steps and hilly path to the orchard in his beloved Joie. Even though we did accidentally take it up Holyhead mountain in Anglesey last year – whoops!
It’s well worth bringing a picnic with you and making your way up to the orchard. The view from the top here is delicious, and G although only two and a half managed to run up picking up sticks and stopping to smell the flowers of Spring on his way. The older kids both enjoyed looking for secret pathways in the trees, and hidden benches, ornamental bridges, and natural springs of mountain streams. A bumper crop of bluebells this Spring painted the landscape blue, we were so lucky with the weather!
We’re already planning a second visit – we totally demolished a cuppa and a scone in the café after our walk – word of warning though, the scones are beautiful, and if you’re on a budget – it can get expensive with little ones! Overall it made a full day out for the family. Well worth the time, and I’m so glad we stumbled upon this absolute diamond!
Plas yn Rhiw is located here.
Opening times are seasonal so check before you rock up!