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Living Room Treehouse
Yes, you really are staying up in the trees in a little wooden house, but no, it’s not a bodged job made from the remnants of a garden fence, or the wood you never got round to throwing on the bonfire. This breaks the mould in tree house design.
From the moment you arrive in the farmyard, which is nestled halfway up a secret valley on the edge of Snowdonia National Park, you know you’re onto a winner. The air is so fresh, the sheep-filled meadows so lush and green – and the views... well, they’re simply to die for.
After a warm welcome, help is on hand for your luggage as you head off through breathtaking scenery to find your treehouse. As the site is over 300 acres, you won't be able to see any of your fellow ‘treehousers’ from your spot and, thanks to the melodic sounds of the mountain stream and the wind in the leaves, it’s unlikely you’ll hear any of them either.
The one likelihood is that you will be thrilled when you encounter your home. How exciting: actually staying in a tree house, clambering up its handmade wooden spiral staircase, supported by a twisted willow balustrade.The organic flowing creation is a beauty unto itself, with trees growing through, and supporting, its structure – all über-modern on the inside and with a living roof outside.
These off-grid treehouses have everything you need to be warm and completely comfortable. Free from the distractions of the modern world, this is a place to reconnect and share in the simple beauty of life... total relaxation – the kids will love dozing off to candlelight in the cosy wooden bunks and you'll be dropping off to the gentle breeze in the treetops and the gentle warmth of your wood-burning stove. Just as well that owls and squirrels aren’t jealous types...
Wonderfully romantic for couples and inspiring for families, there's heaps of space and freedom here. Watch the kids hurling themselves onto a rope swing, damming the stream and playing hide-and-seek. There are several circular walks within the 300 acre site, and flora and fauna fans will love seeking out unusual species in the ancient woodland.
Each tree house has its own bush shower and compost loo, with water heated via a wood-burner that can also be used to cook on. Wood and firelighters are provided. The kitchen space has a 2-ring gas hob and all the crockery, cooking utensils and cutlery that you’ll need. Light is generated by solar– and tea – light-lamps and there’s new fridges – designed by a local scientist and hand-made (no more flower pots in sand!). There’s a double bed, plus 2 bunk beds, and a day-bed is available if your family is a little bigger – all with bedding provided. A small library of books and plenty of wet weather games (this is Wales after all).
Families (up to 2 adults and 3 kids) and couples – yes. Large groups, campervans, tents, campfires, dogs – no.
As well as the mountains of Snowdonia National Park, there are beaches within a 20-minute drive; north and south of Machynlleth. Aberdovey offers white sand dunes, surfable sea, boats galore and crabbing from the quay. The Centre for Alternative Technology (01654 705950) has loads of interactive displays for kids (and adults) of all ages, and an adventure playground. Enter via the water-powered funicular railway. There’s also a good veggie café – perfect for lunch. Further into the valley, the Dolgoch Waterfalls are magnificent if there’s been rainfall in the area.
Food & Drink
Free-range eggs, jams and honey can be bought from the farm. There is a shop a mile away (a lovely walk through the woods), selling artisan bread and a wide range of fresh food. Machynlleth has lots of food shops selling local produce, including a bakery, butcher (01654 702106), the Blasau deli (01654 700410) and a Co-op. The Penrhos Arms (01650 511243) is a family-friendly pub just 15 minutes’ walk down the valley from the site. The Wynnstay Hotel (01654 702941) in Machynlleth has a pizza oven and, a little further on, The Riverside Hotel (01654 791285) at Pennal serves freshly prepared, locally sourced food and has a good kids’ menu.
All year (except January), but advance booking only.
You are staying up in the trees and have to climb a spiral staircase to get up there, so it’s not the best option for families with toddlers.
From Welshpool follow the signs for the A458 (towards Machynlleth). At Mallwyd village join the A470 (signposted Machynlleth). At Cemmaes village pass the Penrhos Arms (on the left) and take the first left (not signposted). Follow the small country road for about a mile, and turn right, signposted ‘Treehouse’. As you enter the farmyard, you’ll see another ‘Treehouse’ sign, where you park.
Take a train to Machynlleth, and the lovely Treehouse team will collect you – just give them a bit of prior notice.
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