An award-winning, seriously quirky ‘bed in a boat' with some spectacular mountain views and lashings of charm.
A nation of shed lovers, apparently a whopping 67 per cent of Brits "would prefer to stay in a shed over a cottage, caravan or tent" when it comes to taking a staycation. If you're one of them, look no further than the 2013 ‘Shed of the Year', with its attached 'Boatel'.
Comprising a bed-in-a-boat and a communal shed with a boat for a roof, Boatel is located on a farm and up a mountain in Powys's beautiful Dyfi Valley Biosphere, in an acre of wildflowers and complete with views of Cader Idris.
The scenery in this part of the world is truly captivating, ideal for those who love long, fresh air-filled mountain walks and who aren't scared of leaving the laptop at home.
Boatel itself is the proud result of a labour of love by owners Sarah and Alex, who designed and built the shed themselves using recycled materials. They've hosted many popular events there since, and Alex - otherwise known as DJ Badly - has been known to prepare his Glastonbury sets in the space.
You can expect a laid-back, creatively-inspired experience from the moment you arrive, in earthy camping-style surroundings that aren't afraid of the odd speck of dust and the occasional spider! There's plenty to keep you interested, from the unique curios all around, to those ridiculously cosy moments that come when you light the candles, fire up the woodburner and reconnect in comfort.
You'll find the field kitchen in an old livestock trailer, which is based on a 1950's kitchen diner which houses basic cooking facilities and running water. Completely off-grid, there's a compost toilet and an outdoor solar-powered shower and access to an outside flushing toilet. Eco-friendly to the last, all water is supplied from a local spring.
Once you've settled in, you're sure to want to explore...just make sure you've packed those walking boots and wellies! It probably goes without saying that this is unsurpassed walking country, so you'll be disappointed if you haven't packed for all those gorgeously windswept mountainside rambles on offer.
Public transport is limited here, so you'll need to bring the car to access anything further afield. The area is home to some amazing attractions, including the Centre of Alternative Technology - complete with beautiful gardens - and the historic Talyllyn Railway. And if you've been inspired by those views of the Cambrian Mountains of Snowdonia, why not try tackling them up close?
If you've had enough of glitzy glamping holidays, down-to-Earth Boatel is waiting to re-introduce you to the wonders of nature...with a huge side order of friendly quirkiness to boot. Simply stay once, and get ready to fall in love.
Things to note
Guests should bear in mind this is considered a camping experience (the bed is under a wooden roof), so should come prepared, guests also share the boat-roofed shed with other resident guests. No pets are permitted though the owner has two friendly dogs onsite along with cats and uncaged chickens. Guests may use the main house for Wi-Fi connection if required.
Region: Machynlleth, Powys
Cost (from): £50 per night
Minimum stay: 1 night
Property ref: 1056
FacilitiesSleeps 2, double bed, bedding provided, fireplace, compost toilet, outdoor shower. Shared boat shed, kitchen equipment, fridge, 2 ring gas hob, grill, field kitchen, tea, coffee & sugar is provided, parking.
Canoeing, wild swimming, hiking, cycling, horse riding, golf, climbing, high ropes, abseiling, potholing, mountain boarding, caving, gliding.
At a glance
- Bed in a boat for two, with a handcrafted facilities shed featuring a boat for a roof, set high on a mountain in Powys's Dyfi Valley Biosphere with spectacular views. Perfect for a quirky, off-grid couples' stay.
- Public transport is scarce, so you will need to bring a car or arrange for the owners to collect you from the nearest station (Machynlleth, 7 miles from the property).
- Pets are not permitted. Please note that due to the site's mountain location, it is not recommended for guests with access requirements.
- Shared facilities include a solar shower, a compost toilet, a flushing toilet with basic kitchen facilities inside an old livestock trailer. The owners' house is available for WiFi access.
- Bring towels, toiletries and a strong pair of walking boots!