In a remote spot in North Wales you'll find the Rivercatcher log cabins, offering a lovely place to stay amid incredible scenery – yet with plenty of creature comforts. Dean Usher went along to try it out.
Enveloped in rolling countryside and surrounded by working sheep farms are the newly-opened Rivercatcher Log Cabins near the Snowdonia village of Llandrillo.
There are four individually styled Scandi-style properties to chose from – we chose the Hyggelig, a traditional Norwegian ski chalet and were not disappointed with the style and layout. The interior was fitted out to an extremely high standard in keeping with the scandi style. The rustic DeVol kitchen, British sheep skin bar stools and award-winning Burgess Beds were particular highlights.
On arrival we received a lovely welcome hamper which contained a variety of essentials, including predominantly local North Welsh products including bread, butter, seasonal fruit jam, rapeseed oil and a much needed bottle of red wine.
Outside, on the private deck, it didn’t take long before we indulged in a bit of unwinding in the hot tub. The hum of sheep and lambs were a relaxing accompaniment to a spot of afternoon reading and an afternoon tipple.
If you crave for a relaxing getaway where you can relax, unwind, read, walk and cook in beautiful surroundings then this is the place for you. And should you be here with family, or just need a break from your partner’s riveting conversation, there is a fantastic communal games room with a table tennis table and table football. Like the log cabins, this is designed fully in-keeping with the local area and blends in with the rest of the buildings on site.
Getting out into Snowdonia was the true reason for coming here, however – we only scratched the surface, as there are a whole host of outdoor activities and adventures close by that we simply couldn’t fit in.
Ultimately, what the Rivercatcher log cabins provide is escapism from the hustle and bustle of busy life and the effort the owners have put in to ensure the stay is not only relaxing but also authentically Welsh is clear to see. We visited in Spring but I’m sure this would be a great place to visit whatever the weather – which gives me a great excuse to go back as soon as I can.
Rivercatcher’s log cabins sleep between 2 and 12 people, with prices starting at £500 for a week – www.rivercatcher.co.uk
Food and Drink
The local pub and a Thai surprise
In nearby Landrillo there is a lovely local pub called The Dudley Arms, a beautifully-restored old pub full of character (think stone walls and ceiling beams) serving ales from the Stonehouse Brewery in Oswestry.
After a drink, however, we nipped to the quirky village shop – The Stores – for supplies and to carry on our adventure back at the cabin. It turns out that the shop has a hidden treasure: a wonderful Thai lady who works there and freshly cooks a variety of Thai meals to take home. We indulged in the freshly cooked spring rolls and massaman curry and thought it polite to take some Thai red curry back home on our departure day.
If you want to indulge further you can choose from some great country pubs that are within walking distance – and for a special treat, the Michelin-starred Tyddyn Llan is just outside the village, offering a three course menu for £70 or the six-course tasting menu for £80.
Also nearby is Palé Hall (pictured below) whose restaurant is overseen by the formidable Michael Caines. It’s not long opened but recently won the Welsh Dining Room of the Year accolade.
Things to do
Messing about on the river
As we were looking to introduce our young Labrador, Oakley, to water, one of the owners kindly pointed out access to the River Dee, only a stone’s throw away. In the time it would take to say ‘God’s Own Country’ my wife and I had our walking shoes on and Oakley was splashing around in the river.
Heading for the hills
For the adventurous types looking to climb Mount Snowdon, it is only a 45 minute drive to the north. There are plenty of beautiful spots nearby, however, and we opted to make the most of the more local (and quieter) walks. We chose the Precipice Pass walk, a short drive away in Dolgellau. This beautifully-quiet, picturesque walk with amazing scenery takes you to a huge twenty-six acre, Llyn Cynwch, that’s a sight to behold even on a gloomy, wet day.
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