Travel review: Picture-perfect cottage in the historic county of Denbighshire, north Wales
Set against the backdrop of rolling hills and lush countryside, Ysubor Celyn Megan is the picture-perfect location for a large family gathering or get-together among friends.
Sleeping ten people across four bedrooms and a living room sofa bed, the house is largely on one, ground-floor level, making it easily accessible for people of all ages - and perfect for youngsters to charge around.
It is situated Llwynmawr, a small village in in the historic county of Denbighshire, north Wales - a journey of just over two hours from West Yorkshire.
The acres of farmland surrounding the property meaning little ones can delight in coming face to face with sheep and horses on their doorstep. And for older party members, a sure-fire hit is having a country pub, The Mulberry Inn (http://mulberryinn.co.uk/), a short walk up the road which also offers delicious meals in its restaurant at the rear.
The owners of the house make sure guests enjoy a five-star welcome on arrival, with a bottle of wine and milk in the fridge, fresh flowers on display, well-stocked cupboards, a welcome pack of local delicacies as well as fully stocked fires all ready to be lit in the property's two log burners - one in the living room and one in the dining room.
The extensive gardens wrap around the property, with various seating spots to choose from. The living room has glazed doors along the length of the wall which open out onto a patio at the front, a perfect space for enjoying afternoon-long sunshine.
Around the side of the house is further patio space with a large barbecue area for sunny evening meals, accompanied by the babble of running water from the (fenced off) stream at the garden's border.
The house is in a walkers' paradise, with many doorstep routes radiating out from the village.
Just a few miles away are the popular towns of Chirk and Llangollen, a town most famous for hosting the annual International Eisteddfodd but which offers plenty more besides.
One of Llangollen's popular pasttimes is the horse-drawn canal boat - a relaxing way to spend 45 minutes in any weather (http://www.horsedrawnboats.co.uk. Adult 7.50, child £3.50). A return boat trip from Llangollen Wharf runs ever 30 minutes during school holidays and roughly ever hour at other times. There is no need to book, just turn up and pay on the boat.
Another popular tourist attraction is the Llangollen Railway. Run by volunteers, it allows visitors to take a step back in time by hopping on its steam or diesel engines to travel the ten-mile journey betweenLlangollen and town of Corwen (http://llangollen-railway.co.uk/. Adult from £16, child from £8.50).
If a home-cooked meal back at the house is on the menu for dinner, the kitchen - with its central island and four-seater table - is a perfect space for people to gather while the designated chef gets busy. The main dining room, as well as boasting the aforementioned log burner, seats eight at a long wooden dining table.
With the likes of the Snowdonia National Park and Chester also a short drive away, there is plenty in the area to fill a staycation break away - but the temptation to just relax at the countryside haven that is Ysubor Celyn Megan may in reality prove too strong. The cottage - a renovated barn conversion - is truly a home from home, and with its stunning views and scenery on the doorstep, is the ultimate in rural retreats.
Book: 01244 617687; sykescottages.co.uk
Ysgubor Celyn Megan’s sleeps up to 10 guests from £635 for 7 nights