Your guide to north Wales’s Llŷn Peninsula

Guided by her husband’s lust for a country idyll, Jessica Landon falls in love with the wilds of North Wales

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Gesail Farmhouse
Jessica Landon
Jessica Landon17 hours ago

Plotting a family trip over a bank holiday weekend is never an easy task in our house. With four rambunctious boys and a Cornish husband who has a deeply ingrained desire to seek out the countryside for a proper rest, the choices are somewhat limited. We needed somewhere in the UK (so as not to bankrupt us with the cost of flights) and with enough variety to keep the whole brood entertained whatever the weather. 

I chanced upon Wales’s Llŷn Peninsula in my research: the landscapes were spectacular, all rolling fields and deserted beaches stretching out into the Irish Sea on one side, with the moody Yr Eifl hills on the other. We were sold from the pictures alone and arriving at our little white cottage, the Welsh countryside looked even more magical in real life. It was as if we had landed in a scene from The Lord of the Rings (very on brand if you know my boys). 

Mur Llwyd
Jessica Landon

Sure, we weren’t in New Zealand — but it wasn’t far off. Mur Llwyd cottage was cushioned by a carpet of fresh springtime grass and with a friendly troop of local cows and sheep to keep the kids company while out exploring every day, it was an idyllic start to things. The very long driveway that stretched down to the road made the walk to the rubbish bins an adventure. And when the weather turned — who doesn’t love a bit of Welsh drizzle? — we were in easy reach of our home to dry off and warm up with mugs of hot chocolate and a few episodes of Bluey

Having been born and brought up in London, I have never really shared my husband’s love of the wild. But each day offered us something new — a busy morning at the beach with a football and a kite (the Llŷn Peninsula has nearly 100 miles of coastline and some of the UK’s most rewarding wildlife spotting), or an afternoon traipsing through the windswept countryside, rewarded with a pint and a packet of crisps at the Tŷ Coch Inn, in the village of Porthdinllaen. 

When we’d had our fill of the coast, we drove just two hours inland and arrived at Eryri National Park (formerly Snowdonia), checking into the Gesail Farmhouse. In truth, I have never stayed anywhere so remote: nearest garage shop was a 20-minute drive away and there was not a jot of phone signal, bar the wi-fi the owners had thankfully installed. 

The property is quite something. A farmhouse and barn, which comfortably sleeps 10, it was lovingly converted by its owner (a renowned theatre creative) and exquisitely furnished with traditional Welsh furniture and fabrics — the historic polar opposite of the contemporary comforts of our first stop. 

There’s nothing to help you sleep more soundly in your cosy four-poster bed than a house this full of the past. So lovingly curated and restored, it was full of fireside nooks to curl up in with a book and spectacular views from every tiny window. Its location nestled at the foot of the owner’s personal mountain — waterfall gently tinkling into the stream running through the garden — was transformative for us all. Returning to London, I felt that maybe I need more of the wild in my life after all. 

Mur Llwyd, from £1,111 for seven nights, at; Gesail Farmhouse, from £300 a night, at