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Our Holiday Cottages FAQ’s

The fantastic location of these dog friendly self-catering holiday cottages in Mid-Wales means that you can enjoy the kind of holiday you want. That’s true whether it is a break filled with exploring, enjoying nature, cycling or mountain biking, walking with the dogs, having fun by the sea or climbing the Cambrian mountains. Maybe it is time for recharging your batteries, regaining wellbeing and taking a step back from it all in the comfort of Welsh Hideaways!

Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers.

How do you minimise the risk of guests catching Covid 19

We have a thorough changeover regime and bookings until May 2021 have 24 hours cleared either side to allow good cleaning time. Relax and enjoy the peace and beauty and perhaps your body’s ability to resist infections will strengthen too!  Wales is operating the Track and Trace system so we do need to have your home address recorded just in case you become unwell.  Our cleaning regime is as follows:

  • We support good hand hygiene for guests and anyone involved with the property by providing antibacterial soap products at property entry points.

Cleaning and disinfection 

  • Cleaning and disinfecting are two different steps in the overall process, and both are required to lower the risk of contamination.
    • Cleaning removes germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces or objects, by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
    • Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
    • Sanitising lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.
  • We  start with lowest risk areas (bedroom, living room) to highest risk areas (kitchen, bathroom)
  • We keep cleaning records
  • We ventilate the property during and after the process
  • We clean with water and suitable detergent
  • We use a detergent or soap and water, and leave to act for enough time, usually 3 to 5 minutes
  • We rinse, dry and wipe to remove all products
  • We clean and disinfect all cleaning equipment
  • We disinfect using the appropriate chemical per area.
  • We follow manufacturer’s instructions for application, ensuring a contact time of at least 1 minute, and allowing proper ventilation during and after application.

We prioritise disinfecting high-touch surfaces 

  • Door handles
  • Controls and switches (e.g. light switches, cooking controls, television controls, fan pull chains)
  • Bathroom taps, toilet flush handles, toilet seats
  • Utensils, cutlery and crockery
  • Furniture such as chairs, tables and parts of the bed frames
  • Linen, including those that appear unused
  • Refuse, recycling bins and any waste disposal containers
  • Cleaning equipment
  • Guest information, laminated maps
  • We wash linen at 60 degrees C, and dry completely before storing

What we ask of you:

  • Please only touch books, DVDs, games and toys after wiping them with the sanitising wipes provided.
  • When locking up on departure, please take a sanitising wipe to wipe the entrance door key before placing it in the key safe.

THANK YOU #Staysafe.

Where can we get a good meal out?

It’s always risky to recommend somewhere because good cooks come and go!

We would value your feedback on any local restaurants including these mentioned below.  Do check the restaurant chosen has re-opened post-Covid.

The nearest restaurant is Hafod Hotel, just down the hill at Devil’s Bridge and it had new owners in 2016 and we have had consistently good feedback from guests who have dined in the bar area.  There is also outside dining with a great view, weather permitting!

The Miners Arms nearby in Pontrhydygroes offers good value traditional Sunday lunches. We have not been there recently. 01974 282238.

The best lunch we have enjoyed was at The Harbourmaster Hotel, Aberaeron; a great place for lunch on the sea front.  It is in the Michelin Guide too.  Also in the guide is SY23 Y Sgwar, 2 Pier Street Aberystwyth SY23 2LJ.  Ths is getting great reviews and you can book online.

A pub with a strong local reputation is Y Ffarmers Llanfihangel y Creuddyn, Aberystwyth SY23 4LA  It burnt down January 2018 and reopened May 2019.  Now, post-Covid, open for dining outdoors and  indoors from May 19th 2021.  They also have a lovely covered area for eating outside.  Excellent for Sunday lunch too. Must book: bar@yffarmers.co.uk or 01974 261275.  If you want a taxi there and back, Hopton taxis will provide: 07487 523133 Y Ffarmers is the cream coloured house in the centre of this lovely picture by Lizzie Spikes

It was all about good Welsh food and beer served in an attractive relaxed atmosphere by friendly staff.  We have had many good meals in the lovely restaurant including good Sunday lunches.  In July 2017 Caitlin and Lewis took over the running of the pub and they are ensuring that high standards are maintained.  Do book before you go. Our SatNav took us to the door and the drive was 22 minutes.

Also 22 minutes away is The Druid at Goginan, SY23 3NT 01970 880650 but possibly closed until June 2022. The bar and restaurant there are very popular. The pub has been in the Good Beer Guide for over 40 years and was local pub of the year in 2014.  They also welcome dogs and we have had great feedback .  Ty Mari visitors rate this place highly.  Friendly and good value with generous helpings!  See the bar below:

If you are in Aberystwyth and would enjoy a good view of the beach area try Baravin.  It is great for pizzas, pastas and sea food but it can get very crowded so booking might be wise. 01970 611189 and info@baravin.co.uk. It’s on the front at 1 Llys y Brenin, SY23 2AP.

The Hive on the Quay at Aberaeron (Cadwgan Place SA46 0BU 01545 570445) is a ‘funky friendly place serving American-style food with a European influence’.  Honey ice cream is made on the premises and not to be missed.

The Halfway Inn at Pisgah is enjoyed by many of our visitors, especially those with children.  It is beyond Devil’s Bridge towards Aberystwyth on A4120.  It is a lively pub with simple but good family food enjoyed by many.  To book: 01970 880631

Advise for dog owners
  • Up to two well behaved dogs are very welcome at each cottage.
  • There should be a dog collar tag in each cottage on a key hook.  PLEASE replace it when you leave!
  • Please keep them downstairs when possible and off the beds and sofas.
  • If you leave a dog behind in the cottage when you go out, please be confident he/she is not going to bark and upset people in the next door cottages.
  • Ty Mari and Penroc have garden areas divided by a fence but the fencing is not completely dog-proof. The cottages are ‘dog-friendly’ in that we welcome dogs there.  Penroc’s entrance door is from the shared garden area but Ty Mari entrance is onto a ‘no through’  track between cottages.
  • There are ticks in Wales, commonest in spring and autumn.  There is a tick remover hook in the dresser draw of each cottage. For great advice for tick removal from Happy DIY Home, please click here.
  • Please clear up any dog mess left around the cottages.  There is a spade in the Garden Store room and the brambles benefit from the ‘fertiliser’ you drop over the end of the terrace!  Out on walks, biodegradable bags are preferable as there are not many dog poo bins around.
  • For a late evening walk, try going down the track to the road and going right and first right, down towards the river.  Enjoy the amazing night sky at the same time!
  • If you want a meal out at somewhere that welcomes dogs, see the first FAQ.  The Druid at Goginan is recommended by our visitors but re-opens June 2022.
  • Some of the best walks for dogs are in Hafod Forest where there are miles of amazingly beautiful walks.  The Arch walks are good for a short run.  Ynyslas beach is wonderful for dogs.  It is just beyond Borth.  Note there is a car park charge and the estuary is not safe for swimming.
  • ALWAYS keep your dogs on a lead when sheep are in the same area and keep to footpaths.  Lambs in Cwmystwyth usually arrive late March; it is especially important pregnant ewes are left unworried by dogs.  Farmers can legally shoot dogs that are worrying sheep under section 9 of the Animal Act 1971.
  • Our Golden Retriever loved going to the cottages and was especially fond of the underfloor heating in Penroc!
  • Do read this guide to ensure you are aware of the Welsh Dog walking code for dogs in the Welsh countryside.
  • Dogs and their two legged friends can enjoy the freedom on the beach and surf of Ceredigion’s 60 mile coastline from October to the end of April.  Between 1st May and 30th September dogs are not allowed on the main bathing beaches.  Check the maps at beach access points to find out which parts of the beach dogs are not allowed in summer
  • Please don’t hesitate to email or call to be sure the cottages will meet the needs of your dogs! You can check out our entry on the Good Dog Guide site here.


Do you have an accessibility guide as I am not very mobile?

Yes we do for Ty Mari and Penroc.  Unfortunately the cottages are not well-suited to people with significant disability.

I see you have your main address in England. If something isn’t working or some other kind of help with the cottage is needed, is anyone on hand?

Yes, we have one caretaker almost next door and our cottage servicing team with senior caretaker, Alan, just ten minutes away. They all know the cottages inside out!

Please may I pay by credit card?

PayPal is fine using Booking payment tab on Home page header, but we do not take credit cards over the phone.  Our invoice will give you a link to a credit card facility for online payment.

Do the cottages have showers?

Both cottages have a shower attachment integral with the bath taps but you cannot really shower. The uneven walls and lack of bathroom space make fitting a separate shower a challenge. There is something good about relaxing in a hot bath after a great day out!

Smoking policy

No smoking indoors please and no cigarette ends outside! The holiday is a great opportunity to break the habit!  If smoking in the garden area, please be aware of possible guests next door and ensure they are not close by.  If you are staying in Penroc then the balcony could be an OK place to enjoy smoking and if you are in Ty Mari, the Garden Room is OK to smoke in but please keep the door open and leave it free of any evidence of smoking afterwards.  Thank you.

How far to local shops and garage?

Cwtch, (which has no literal English translation, but is an emotionally significant embrace and an intrinsically Welsh word that evokes a sense of home) Pontrhydygroes SY25 6DQ (07925338768)  is a little over 4 miles and less than 15 minutes careful drive…the road is very narrow! It is by Lisburn Garage SY25 6DQ.  We have just heard that this lovely store has sadly closed.  Keeping it here in the hope it will reopen.  The store lives up to its name, stocks a few essentials and much more, has great home baking, along with having a very friendly cafe with everything at amazing prices, and dogs are allowed in.  You will find Teas, Coffees, Home cooked food made with quality fresh ingredients.  2022 it is under new ownership so things are changing…even offering a lovely all day breakfast and many more hot food items.  Open 9.15am to 4pm Monday to Friday, 10am – 4pm Saturday and 10.30am-3pm Sunday but check on this link to ensure times have not changed.  Follow the Google Map link and the shop/cafe is adjacent to the big green garage building on your right in Pontrhydygroes.

The nearest garage is a BP Garage on A44 at Ponterwyd, 7.3 miles and 17 minutes drive (turn left when you reach A44).  It also sells newspapers 7 days a week and has a mini-supermarket.  From Easter to 30 September each year the Woodland Cafe  at Devil’s Bridge sells a few groceries, newspapers (MUST order the day before) and gifts seven days a week and has an adjoining Tearoom and Games Room. The Tearoom sells a good breakfast, snacks and homemade cakes. 01970 890423 and SY23 3JW (just a few hundred yards towards Ponterwyd from The Falls).

Is there another Holiday Cottage nearby if friends want to visit?

Our neighbour Marjorie Budd is one of the most hospitable people in the world.  She has the end-of-terrace cottage opposite Ty Mari Yr Hen Sgubor for holiday lets.  It is completely refurbished and accommodates six people (a double, a twin and two single bedrooms, a shower and separate bathroom). Book through Cottages.com on 0345 4986900

What is the postal address for the cottages?

Ty Mari (or Penroc), Cwmystwyth, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 4AD

Bedding and Towels

The beds will be made up and waiting for you and there will be bath towels on the beds, hand towels in the bathroom and kitchen and clean dish towels in the kitchen area.  If you are staying longer than a week and would like a change of sheets and towels, just let Alan, our caretaker, know. 

Where do you suggest we eat on our journey to Cwmystwyth?

That is, of course, up to you!  If you are coming via Abergavenny then there are 2 favourite places that we stop at for breakfast or lunch but of course things can change so don’t hold us to the recommendations! Firstly there is the Honey Pot Cafe at Bronllys, LD3 0LH 01874 711904.  There is a brown sign to it on the A479 near Talgarth.  It opens from 9am to 10pm (but January to Easter hours are shorter so check the website) and we have never been disappointed.  There is also The Court Room Cafe, Crickhowell NP8 1BD 01873 812497.  This opens really early and is great value for breakfast, lunch or snacks.  There are reviews on TripAdvisor.  Parking in the street is usually easy.  It is in the Market Hall (pillars outside), High Street.

Which companies deliver food to Ty Mari and Penroc?

Morrisons.com, and ASDA.com  and Tesco.com deliver to the cottages if you register and order online.  They have never let us down but we do suggest you say on the order that the cottage is up an unsurfaced track immediately past The Old Post Office.

COOK delivers Tuesday to Friday for a very reasonable delivery charge.  You can have wonderful frozen meals delivered for your stay and the freezers have good space, especially in Ty Mari.  The meals come in a disposable cool box so you don’t have to hang around awaiting a delivery!

The Spa at Rhayader is en route for most people and will meet most every day requirements; there is also a large Morrisons  and M & S Food Store in Aberystwyth.

For fabulous fresh meat phone Bob the butcher in West Street, Rhayader and place your order.  If your route takes you through Rhayader you will pass his shop.  He can deliver for pick up in Devil’s Bridge by arrangement on Fridays. Call 01597 810342.

If it snows heavily is there anyone to tow my car out?

The main road to the village is snow ploughed pretty quickly but the mountain road that goes direct to Rhayader is best avoided. Use the A44 via Devil’s Bridge.   Alan from our cleaning team has a 4×4 for a tow if needed but hopefully that stays a very rare event!  Don’t forget there is a toboggan in Ty Mari loft!

Does Penroc have laundry facilities?

Marjorie Budd at The Old Post Office almost next door (01974 282231) will generously allow those staying to use her large capacity washing machine and tumble drier for a very small charge.

Kitchen equipment?

Both cottages have kettles, toaster, microwave, small electric beaters, handheld blenders, electronic kitchen scales, a variety of casserole dishes and baking trays along with electric cookers, each with 2 ovens, grill and ceramic hobs.  At present space does not allow for slow cookers or dishwashers.

Fridges and freezers; what size?

Ty Mari has a large full height freezer in its store cupboard and a small under-counter integrated fridge in the kitchen area.  Penroc has a small 4 drawer freezer under the staircase, along with an integrated fridge under the kitchen work surface.

Is there a local taxi service?

Richard has a 6 seat Land Rover Discovery licensed for private hire, both local and long distance. Call 01974261425/07773182001 or richard@cambriansafaris.co.uk

There is a local taxi in Devil’s Bridge that makes no charge for coming to Welsh Hideaways.  Call: 07931132368 

What essentials will be needed?

We aim to make your stay as comfortable as possible and provide the essentials…

  • Bed linen
  • Towels
  • Bath mat
  • Tea towels and kitchen hand towel
  • Liquid soap
  • Washing up liquid and sponge
  • One roll loo paper
  • A ‘starter’ amount of kitchen roll
  • Cling film and aluminium foil
  • Salt and pepper
  • A good selection of family games and DVDs and a bird book
  • Cleaning following your departure
  • All heat and light as needed including under floor heating in Penroc – loved by dogs and those in bare feet!

We suggest you might benefit from bringing:

  • Wellies and waterproofs
  • Insect repellant & Anthisan in the summer months
  • Binoculars
  • The music centre in each cottage has a USB slot for your favourite music
  • Washing powder (Ty Mari only)
  • Suntan cream of course!
Is there space to park two cars close to each cottage?

Car parking within the property grounds is on the gravelled area you can see in the photograph of the cottages .  Overall there is just room for three cars but there is usually space just outside the property gates on common ground that is well away from the road.  Please only use this if necessary as parking there impacts the view from Ty Mari dining area.

Are there ironing facilities in the cottages?

Both Ty Mari and Penroc have an iron along with a very small ironing board which is only suitable for ironing small areas at a time.

Anything to note about driving in Wales?

Minor roads can be very narrow and in the mountains the edges to the roads can have a steep drop…so go carefully!  Speed cameras are ubiquitous, especially in parked white vans, so beware!

Bins and recycling

Recycling wheelie bins (with clear plastic recycling bags) and black bag refuse wheelie bins are emptied alternate Thursdays by a private contractor and should not be put by the roadside. The garbage caddies are collected every FRIDAY from the roadside after 8am. In each cottage in the ‘Please read’ manual, there is a list of what can be recycled and what has to go in the general refuse bags.  Please use this guide carefully.  Wales is the third best country at recycling in the world.  PLEASE DO NOT PUT GLASS IN REFUSE BLACK BAGS OR RECYCLING BAGS.  Glass goes in the small black trays outside the cottages and are collected by Alan, our caretaker, when full.  For general rubbish, everything MUST go into the black bags provided, including disposable nappies and dog bags.  Please work to keep this to a minimum.  Please use biodegradable dog waste bags when possible.  

Electric Car Charging

I’m sure you have checked this website but here are the most local charge points: CLICK.  .   Several are fairly close by.   Penroc has a 13 amp plug by the entrance door and you could park very close to that.  No cat flap for the lead though but a window close by opens!  Ty Mari also has a 13 Amp socket by the door but it would be difficult to park there so it would work best to miss out on the view overnight and park by the main downstairs window where there is a socket beside it.  We are well aware this is far from adequate and we will consider installing charging points when our funds permit.  There is a small paved area so your car would be a couple of meters from the socket.  We applaud you having an electric car and are pleased Wales is working to ensure there are charging points at least every 20 miles.  We would ask you to send us £10 for each full recharge or whatever you would pay elsewhere.

How do you embed 'Green' credentials in an old cottage

Not easily!  We have LED lighting almost everywhere, about a foot of wool across the roof voids, EcoSave thermostatically controlled heating and a strong encouragement to recycle, which is not so easy when you are on holiday.  The stoves in both cottages will be electric from September 2021. All the electricity is supplied from renewable energy. Further suggestions are always welcome, thank you.

Being tick aware. What do I look out for?

Ticks can transmit Lyme Disease and infections are more likely in late spring, early summer and autumn.  Walkers should avoid the very small spider-like creatures by sticking to paths, wearing long sleeves, tucking trousers into socks and wearing lighter coloured clothes so ticks are easier to spot and brush off.  After a walk, just check for ticks, especially in folds of skin and behind the knees..  There are tick removing hooks in the cottages but tweezers are fine.  Grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible and pull slowly upwards, taking care not to crush or twist the tick.  Swift removal is the key as infection is only passed on if they remain attached for a day or two.  There is great advice for removing from dogs HERE.

The tell-tale sign of infection is a bullseye-shaped rash that appears around the bite, usually after 3-14 days.  Some people just feel incredibly tired and achy.  Treatment involves a course of antibiotics.

To put this in perspective there were only 39 cases of Lyme Disease notified in 2017 in Wales and incidence continues to be low.