Y Goeden Eirin
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As a former cowshed, the building obviously had no name, but there was a plum tree growing in the garden, and that reminded us of the fact that the writer from Groeslon, John Gwilym Jones, had published a remarkable volume of short stories with the title Y Goeden Eirin, and an English translation is now available from Seren, entitled The Plum Tree. John Gwilym Jones was alive at the time, and something of a hero as well as a personal friend, so we decided to name our house after his book. By now there are four plum trees growing here. To reinforce the connection we commissioned the artist Sir Kyffin Williams to paint an oil portrait of him, and that picture now hangs in the dining room.
The nearest airports are Liverpool and Manchester, and there is a link between Cardiff airport and Valley. There is also an airport for small aeroplanes at Caernarfon.
The nearest railway stations are at Bangor and Porthmadog. We can meet guests at the station if they choose to come without a car.
There is plenty of parking space at Y Goeden Eirin, and the car can be taken to the main door.
There is one step to the two outside units. Unfortunately the doors to these are too narrow to take a wheelchair. The en suite rooms are on the same level as the bedrooms.
There is a flight of stairs to the superior double room in the house, but the en suite bathroom is on the same level as the bedroom.
There are two steps from the garden to the dining room. The dining room bathroom is on the same level, but is too narrow to take a wheelchair.
A large print menu can be prepared if requested.
From the direction of Porthmadog: Turn right from the A487 Llanllyfni and Penygroes bypass at the Groeslon roundabout, and turn left at Tafarn Pennionyn (a pub at the crossroads). After passing Dolydd Garage on the right, take the first turning on the left. Y Goeden Eirin is behind Hendre farmhouse, which is a large white house.
From the direction of Caernarfon: After going through the village of Bontnewydd, turn left at the last roundabout, signposted Dolydd. Y Goeden Eirin is on the right in about half a mile, a few yards before reaching Dolydd Garage on the left.
The house is in a peaceful spot, in about twenty acres of land, and yet it is easily accessible. The views from the windows offer a great deal of variety – the ruggedness of Snowonia as a backdrop, the Eifl mountains to the south-west, and the sea and the Menai estuary to the west. It is in a particularly convenient location, with Caernarfon only about ten minutes by car, and Porthmadog and Pwllheli about twenty minutes in the opposite direction. Buses run past the drive at regular intervals.
This is an area soaked in history and legend, and during the twentieth century it was home to an array of Welsh-language writers – the homes of Kate Roberts, R Williams Parry, T H Parry-Williams, Thomas Parry and John Gwilym Jones were in the vicinity. More recently, this was where the novelist Eirug Wyn spent his last years. The matchless beauty of the peninsula beyond the Eifl mountains towards Aberdaron is almost on the doorstep. To the north Anglesey, Bangor and the coastline towards Conwy and Llandudno are within easy reach. The magic of the Mabinogi is in the air, and the richness of Welsh-language culture is here to be explored by the inquisitive.
“The welcoming Eluned and John have created an unusually delightful space … Bathrooms are chic. Wonderful food is served alongside the Bechstein in the beamed dining room … a stylish spot from which to explore the country.’
Alastair Sawday’s Special Places to Stay: British Bed & Breakfast (2006)
'Dear Dr John & Mrs Eluned Rowlands, We're just writing to let you know that we've had a deeply complimentary letter, sprinkled with warm sentiments, about you and your home. I know that folk are far more likely to put pen to paper when they feel thay have a complaint, so this is praise indeed... we do appreciate that this glowing feedback is the result of your doing things extraordinarily well. Best wishes, Nicola Cross.'
Editor of Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay: BBB
‘… a superb bed and breakfast establishment that offers comfortable, spacious yet cosy, accommodation at affordable prices.’
Guide to Rural Wales (2007)
Dawn wâr y Goeden Eirin – un â greddf
I greu ac i feithrin
Hadau’r ardd, a dysg i drin
Y Gymraeg ym myw’r egin.
Huw Meirion Edwards yn Ysgrifau Beirniadol XXVII (festschrift a gyflwynwyd i JR)
'Diolch o galon ichi, John a Luned, am y croeso tywysogaidd a gawsom acw'n ddiweddar. Fe aethoch i gryn drafferth i sicrhau noson gofiadwy ar gyfer Ngugi a chriw Ysgol y Gymraeg a gadawodd gydag argraff arbennig o'r ardal a'i lletygarwch. Rydych yn genhadon Cymreig tan gamp!'
Yr Athro Gerwyn Wiliams, Pennaeth Ysgol y Gymraeg, Prifysgol Cymru Bangor
‘I will take the memories of your wonderful Welsh hospitality, John’s patience in helping me to pronounce the Welsh language, and above all … the music, both at Bryn’s Opera Gala and here at Y Goeden Eirin, which made me have a “calon hapus”. We’ll meet again.’
Cimarose from the Netherlands and Barcelona
‘Bodlonwyd y Tarw a’r Llew mas draw … Sul a Llun i’w cofio.’
Elin a John Hefin
'Mae croeso anghyffredin
A bord yn ffit i’r brenin
A’r gwely cyfforddusa ‘rioed
Wrth droed Y Goeden Eirin.'
Dic Jones a Siân, Blaenannerch
‘Llety ardderchog ymhob ystyr. Llond lle o groeso (a’r pictiwrs ar y walydd yn fonws!).’
Anne a John Breese
‘Wonderful to stay in your SIX STAR “cowshed”! Where else could one find a Bechstein Grand in the breakfast room?’
Peter Fisher (violinist)
‘Lovely rooms, delicious breakfast, fabulous countryside and such kind and generous hospitality.’
Peter Hewitt (pianist)
‘We had a terrific time over here! We felt very welcome. The breakfast was lovely…Thank you very much and hopefully we’ll meet again!’
Raymond & Marjo, The Netherlands
‘A delightful find, welcoming and perfect – every room with a view and every mouthful of food enjoyable. A place to which we would return.’
Jean and Melvin, Bury St Edmunds
‘Most enjoyable stay. I have, as a diplomat, represented UK for 32 years, but never before got to one of the most beautiful parts of the country. Excellent hospitality and will recommend strongly to others.’
‘After two weeks’ holiday a perfect last stop and we were so grateful to have a dinner so professionally presented. The house and rooms were a delight with so many interesting pieces of art.’
Michael and Tessa, Gillian and Nigel, Woodbridge, Suffolk.
‘What a gem of a place you have here! Your hospitality is second to none. You made us feel so instantly welcome and nothing has been too much trouble. We thoroughly enjoyed every mouthful of food we had. A very special ambience can be found here.’
Michelle, Julie, Julie and Sandy, West Midlands
‘Your home has been a perfect location for us and our bikes! Rooms excellent, food fresh, tasty and homemade. We will be back!’
Monica and Clare
‘A birthday treat to remember! Wonderful food, excellent hospitality, stunning views – a real delight.’
Iain Wright & Judith Alfrey
‘Thank you so much for the warm welcome and the interesting conversations about Wales and the world.’
B & R, Germany
‘What a delight to stay in your home. Thank you so much for your hospitality. I hope to be back again!’
Samantha, Eve & Arthur, Trinidad