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Ben and Sarah bought this wet-led community pub in Blaenau Ffestiniog in September 2019. Located in the very heart of the Snowdonia National Park, the area is now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a result of the historical slate mining ruins that dot our local mountain landscape alongside its natural lakes and waterfalls. It is very beautiful and sometimes a little eerie. One journalist referred to the area as the UK's Machu Picchu.
If you love hiking, wild swimming and perilous mountain biking, this is your heaven. We have Zip World Deep Mine caverns and Antur Stiniog mountain bike services just up the road within easy walking distance. The Moelwyns and Manod mountain ranges are literally on our doorstep and we have views of the Manod Mawr through our front windows and the entire Moelwyn mountain range through our back windows.
We are only a 20-minute drive from Porthmadog, some of the most spectacular beaches in the UK, and the sea and the famous tourist towns of Betws-y-Coed and Beddgelert are within a 30-minute. When the service gets back to normal, there is a steam train service that can take you all the way to the base of Snowdon (although it isn't cheap!). The more traditional bus and train services are surprisingly regular and reliable for the UK. Within an hour's travel from our pub are some of the most famous peaks in Wales, from Tryfan and the Snowdon Horseshoe, to Cadair Idris and the famous Roman Steps and badlands of the Rhinogs.
Blaenau Ffestiniog is a place with true grit. It was a thriving quarry town but has since become deprived and a little shabby as the quarries shut down and people left. Now enjoying a rebirth resulting from the tourist trade, it will take time before it can be described as magnificent and we are extremely proud to be a part of that rebirth. Meanwhile, the people who live here are also very proud and very real. If you are in any way prejudiced against gipsies, Romanies, or work-hard/play-hard folk, this is NOT the place for you. If, however, you enjoy becoming fully immersed in a very real place, and fully embraced by a very real community, full of colourful characters such as Pete the Hat (always wears a hat), Mick the Stick (makes handmade walking sticks and has a very colourful history), Guy Bus (drives the bus), Dewy Plumber (you guessed it!), and the self-named, Ed the Gypo (if you don't cross him he'll take care of you forever), then living in a local pub is absolutely the quickest way to be drawn in. It offers privileged access... not to mention beer on tap.
850ft above sea level, nestled in a cole between two massive mountain ranges, it can rain here. So, to really appreciate this place in its full glory do bring full-on wet weather gear and a love of living in the clouds.
Bricolage et projets de construction
Our pub is busy and our locals are very Welsh and very friendly. They will happily spend hours over a pint teaching you Welsh, and sharing their cultural heritage with you. Their fathers and grandfathers were the quarrymen who ran the slate mines and lived in those ruins among the mountains. They grew up here so know every nook and cranny of every mountain, even if they haven't been up there for many years themselves.
We also get a regular trickle of tourists all year round, who are most often just as friendly and interesting.
The pub offers both BT and SKy sport. So, if you love football, rugby, darts or boxing you're in luck. Especially if you're a Liverpool or Man. U fan. There is always a fun atmosphere for big matches. We also host the occasional disco and live band and Friday and Saturday nights can get busy. So, if you're a socialite, look no further.
However, if you aren't a big drinker and prefer the peace of the outdoors, then it's easy to disappear into the mountains to wild swim and wild camp. I enjoy showing visitors some of our favourite walks and secret spaces - of which we know many!
Blaenau Ffestiniog has most of what you need but is fairly remote. So, having your own transport would be the best option.
Cet hôte offre l'hébergement et une rémunération.
L’hôte a indiqué qu'il paierait au moins le salaire horaire minimum de son pays pour chaque heure travaillée et que l’hébergement serait fourni. Il demande de l'aide dans le cadre de son entreprise ou activité professionnelle. Contactez l'hôte directement via la messagerie du site pour en savoir plus et avoir des détails sur le salaire proposé. Tous les arrangements devraient être conclus à l'avance avec votre hôte.
Since lockdown, Sarah had to go back to a remote desk job as a science magazine editor to ensure our financial security which means Ben now runs the pub alone with staff. This means we are both busy throughout the day and neither of us has any experience with hands-on renovations and now neither of us have time to learn...
...so, we are really hoping to find visitors (either a single person or couple) who bring with them some expert skills from the roofing, building and carpentry trades as we need help moving the renovation project forward. We have local. builders on board but they are entirely run off their feet since lockdown and keep having to let us down. We do have a reliable plumber and electrician but need help with general construction work and bathroom fittings etc.
- There is also always the opportunity to work shifts behind the bar and we can provide training for this.
- We would love to find a carpenter able to craft internal shutters for our first-floor windows.
- We have the funds and need to plan and instal a fully functional restaurant kitchen downstairs.
- We also have planning permission and the funds to build a full-length balcony overlooking the Moelwyns.
- The entire first floor needs walls, floors, and ceilings rebuilt, re-plastered, and soundproofed to plan
- There are new bathrooms to install once the basic structure has been plastered and soundproofed
- Each of the six new ensuite bedrooms will then need decorating
- A new communal kitchen area also needs to be installed on the first floor
We will supply materials and pay a minimum wage so you must be a UK resident. For skilled projects, a fair top-up salary will be discussed and agreed on a project-by-project basis. If you have your own tools, please do bring them.
Cet hôte propose un échange linguistique
Ben and Sarah are both trying to learn Welsh (and failing) so need to focus on that, but Sarah is always happy to help you learn English and suspects you may be able to teach us a little Welsh by the time our locals finish with you.
We live across two accommodation floors above the pub, which also has a basement and cellar. While the pub is in full working order and highly successful, the rest of the building requires renovation.
We have at last moved into our new attic flat, but the entire first floor needs renovating so we're only able to accommodate workawayers with their own van or caravan, which can be parked in the carpark and hooked into our electricity supply.
We live with two cats and a large but VERY friendly dog called Dexter.
Accès Internet limité
Nous avons des animaux
Nous sommes fumeurs
We have a carpark out the back which is large enough to park a van and the pub toilets would be easily accessible. We would be able to supply electricity with a little effort and an extension lead.
We have two cats and a dog of our own and dogs are welcome in the pub. If you have a campervan/motorhome of your own, a well-behaved pet would be welcome.
Entirely flexible depending on which work you wish to take on and how much time you wish to dedicate to it.