Three inches of snow on top of a foot of mature welsh bog – think I have found the limits of the Geax Saguaro.
Up on the tops the wind is whipping the snow off the ridge against a bright blue sky. A frighteningly sketchy descent (the brakes work but nothing’s gripping anything) and ten minutes later it’s like a summer’s day in the valley.
Apart from the half mile stretch of black ice on the road, which I can’t even walk on.
Home for a warm bath. Perfect.
Jenny, Richard and Oscar the dog stayed with us in December 2015 after winning a weekend’s stay through the very nice people at Singletrack. Jenny wrote a few words about her stay….
“The last time I won a competition was in 1989 when I won a pair of curtains for my composition entitled “Penguin with a hat on because he is cold” in the medium of Crayola. I was rather more impressed when my husband told me he had won a weekend break at Ty Beic just by virtue of being a Singletrack subscriber. The owners of the converted barns at Ty Beic are riders themselves and have designed the accommodation with riders in mind. There’s a secure bike store, bike wash, drying cupboard, laundry, a great shower, and cosy underfloor heating. Indeed, I had to prise the dog off the floor in the morning and practically drag him outside for his morning constitutional.
We started the weekend at Penmachno having read some great reviews about the trails. We hadn’t factored in Storm Desmond making an appearance which lead to some “challenging” conditions. The water was so deep on the trail that it was hard to tell what was a drop-off and what was just a small puddle until you piled into it (piled in being a common theme of the day). I’m lead to believe the final descent is a really fast, whoopy, chute; however Desmond was blowing a 67mph head wind at us which meant pedalling flat out downhill just to prevent being blown back up the hill. The two 30ft trees that had been blown down on to the track should have been a warning to us but we carried on regardless. Back at the accommodation we settled down with a locally brewed beer from the craft beer shop in Bala, and an enormous steak cooked in the well equipped kitchen in the barn. After dinner (and with another one of those craft beers) we used the handy guide the owners have made to plan our ride for the next day.
Ty Beic is situated in the singletrack epicentre: less than 45mins from Coed Llandegla, Penmachno, Coed y Brenin, The Marin Trail and Antur Stiniog. I am strongly motivated by cake and so Llandegla is one of my favourite trail centres on account of the superior quality – and portion size – of the cake. Luckily my husband knows what’s good for him and agreed to go there (happy wife, happy life). Desmond had moved on to ravage the Highlands of Scotland by this point so we were left with distinctly better conditions. Llandegla never fails to disappoint [sic] and we had an enjoyable blast around the trail before I got to tuck into a large slice of the good stuff.
We will definitely be back, and with friends next time – both converted barns can be rented together for a discount. I’m going to admit defeat and pack away the Crayola and leave my husband to the competition entries from now on.”
shorts were a bad idea
This article originally appeared on singletrackworld. Words and pics courtesy of Jenny. Craft beers courtesy of Stori. Mud and gales courtesy of Desmond.
We’re not very good at blowing our own trumpet but it’s lovely when a guest does it for you and does it so well….
“My Wife and I stayed at Ty Beic for a last minute weekend away. Even with the very short notice we gave Karen, only a matter of hours, the apartment was gleaming for our arrival and Karen couldn’t have been more welcoming. The apartment was furnished to a standard you’d expect of somewhere much more expensive, and the location is beautiful, perched above the Welsh countryside.
I’d highly recommend Ty Beic for anyone looking for a lovely trip away; however if you’re a cyclist then Ty Beic is truly unbeatable. The location is perfect for accessing some of the best road and mountain biking that the UK has to offer and in addition Ty Beic offers complimentary bike storage, a bicycle jet washer, laundry facilities and more cycling reading material in the apartment than you could get through in a whole Summer’s holiday. This all came as a nice surprise during our trip as our itinerary consisted of a weekend’s mountain biking at the local Marin Trail and Coed y Brenin.
Ty Beic easily scores 5 out of 5, I’d score it higher if I could and will most definitely be returning to explore even more of what the area has to offer.”
That’s what our latest guests, and winners of Singletrack’s Tuesday Treats prize draw, thought about Ty Beic. We can’t help but agree. Read the full review here and find out for yourself by booking a holiday with us.
We’ve one weekend left this year, 18 – 20 December, and plenty of availability in January. 10% discount for Singletrack subscribers.
Fancy doing something different this Christmas?
We have two warm and cosy cottages, decorated in our own idiosyncratic style and with stunning views, six trail centres within a 30 minute drive and Christmas lunch in a 17th Century traditional Welsh pub.
Our local, the Bryntirion in Llandderfel, is open on Christmas Day and is offering a very special Christmas Day 7 course lunch. Yes, that’s 7 courses. We have booked ours and have reserved a further 4 places for our guests. For only £320 your can enjoy 3 nights in one of our cottages and a Christmas Day lunch at the Bryn for two people. You can even bring your faithful hound if you book into the Stable.
If you don’t want to eat out, no problem. Our kitchens are fully equipped for you to cook at home and we’ll even order a turkey for you from one of Bala’s two award winning butchers if you ask nicely and give us plently of notice.
You’ll want to work off that Christmas lunch with a bike ride. Natural trails never close, but can be a little muddy this time of year, especially after the battering Abigail, Kate and Barney have just dished out, but the trail centres are rideable all year round. Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre is closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day but the trails are open so if you are planning to visit then, take a picnic. And some warm clothes. Oneplanet Adventure at Llandegla closes on Christmas Day but is open at all other times. Penmachno and Marin trails never close.
Booking closes for the Christmas Special on 11 December. Email me if you’re interested.
Have a look at our Prices and Availability page for other bookings.
So, that’s Christmas sorted.
Two mud loving MTBers stayed at Ty Beic this weekend and they like what they found…
We found Ty Beic to be very comfortable, very clean, well equipped (including for cyclist/MTBers, as per the name!), warm, tastefully renovated with a lot of attention to details and a very high finish throughout. The woodwork done by Richard was a joy to look at! It’s a very quiet, rural location with fantastic views, and facing South. As no-one was booked in on the day we left, Karen extended our departure time which made for a nice relaxing day.
Charlotte and Mark stayed braved the wet and windy weather to try out so some local routes (roots). The slightly muddy conditions meant they made full use of our bike washing facilities.
*I don’t have any photos of our guests so the main photo is of Richard
, the wood botherer, taken at Llyn Brenig the weekend before.
We appreciate that this won’t appeal to the vast majority of the finely honed athletes reading this, however if there is anyone out there who likes a well crafted beer, our friends at our favourite local beer shop, Stori, are hosting a series of ‘Meet the Brewer‘ evenings this Autumn/Winter.
You can meet the brewer, learn about the brewing process and taste lots of lovely beer. All the breweries featured are from North Wales. November focuses on the Wild Horse brewery from Llandudno (I recommend their Buckskin Blonde) and December is our most local bragdy, Geipel, about 10 miles away in Gellioedd.
We’re offering two free tickets to Stori’s Hop Circles in November and December when you book two or more nights at Ty Beic. The next one is on 2 December so get in contact with us sharpish to book your slot.
Don’t forget that our local trail centres are rideable all year round so bring your bike and earn that pint.
We finally finished the Barn on 14 August, 2 hours before our first guests arrived. Since then we have welcomed 21 guests from 8 different countries. Not bad for 6 weeks. We have loved meeting so many interesting and different people but so far only one guest has come with a bicycle.
We’re not complaining but Ty Beic is all about cycling and we would love more cyclists to visit so we can show them the fantastic road cycling and mountain biking that North Wales has to offer and they can make full use of our bike storage, bike wash, laundry, workshop tools and free copies of Singletrack. If that’s not enough to entice you, bring your bike and will be give you 10% of your next booking*. Just quote “mae gynnon ni beiciau” when booking. Google translate will help if you would like to know what that means
If you are wondering about the Stable, that’s nearly finished and we hope to have it ready by the end of October.
And for those that are interested, here are some photos of the project from start to finish….
*Valid from now until end of March 2016 excluding Christmas, New Year and Easter. Subject to availability
Yet more windows, this time for the barn extension.
They’re large, allowing light to flood into the cottage and give views of farmland to the east.
The frames are made from burnt Welsh larch. The burning brings out the sap, making the timber weatherproof. It also creates a rather striking pattern in the wood.
The extension will be clad in Welsh larch to contrast with the stone of the rest of the cottage . We’re mixing old and new quite a lot in these conversions. It is part of our desire to create characterful buildings that reflect our eclectic and eccentric tastes.
They’re not boring.