Relax and recharge as Wales’ latest luxury boutique glamping opens in Pwllheli

Mark Barrowman and Jonathan Gooders stood in front of their shepherd huts on the pontoon of a lake.

A Love of art and nature are the inspiration behind the opening of Brook Cottage Shepherd Huts near Pwllheli.

Offering luxury boutique glamping, the five traditional shepherd style huts have been constructed by co-owners Jonathan Gooders and Mark Barrow, both of whom have a background in fine art, together with a helping hand from the Development Bank of Wales.

A £50,000 micro loan has enabled the completion of the three-acre site that now features two gypsy huts, two poacher huts and a single shepherds hut. Facing a lake and offering fabulous views towards the Yr Eifl mountains, the huts are all free-standing and use sustainable materials with double glazed windows. They are discreetly positioned using natural hedging, trees and climbing plants to offer seclusion and privacy.

Named after Joan, the wife of Llywelyn the Great and their four daughters Angharad, Susanna, Marared and Elen, each of the luxury huts has its own character and bespoke interior with private shower room, kitchen and wood burner.

Co-owner Mark Barrow said: “We had wanted a lifestyle change for some time then fell in love with this beautiful area during a trip to Portmeirion in 2017. Two years later and we found our dream home in Y Ffor, just outside of Pwllheli and we knew that it had the potential to become a great location for luxury glamping with three acres bordering a pretty lake and offering breath-taking views.

“Of course, nobody could have predicted Covid-19 but one thing is for sure, we have all come to appreciate the value of a luxury break in our own beautiful country. Indeed, seeking authentic experiences and fully immersing in a local culture and atmosphere has become a driving force for many discerning travellers which is why we’re developing a range of bespoke packages in conjunction with local artists and craftspeople. Guests really will get a true flavour of the local area whilst being able to relax, unwind and recharge in comfort.

“However, none of this would have been possible without the help of the Development Bank. They had the foresight to believe in our ambition and are now giving us the support that we need to create a unique holiday destination that will not only enhance the area, but also positively reinforce the Welsh brand and bring real long term lasting benefits to the local economy.”

Sion Wynne is an investment executive with the Development Bank. He said: “Luxury accommodation in the glorious Welsh countryside is in big demand as our tourism industry and the wider hospitality sector recovers from the impact of Covid-19. Mark and Jonathan have remained absolutely focussed on their vision of providing a unique glamping experience and we are really impressed with the high quality accommodation that they now have to offer.”

Brook Cottage Shepherd Huts are available to book at The £50,000 loan from the Development Bank of Wales came from the £30 million Wales Micro Loan Fund that is financed by the Welsh Government. Loans between £1,000 and £50,000 are available with repayment terms ranging from one to ten years. Small businesses, sole traders and social enterprises based in Wales, or willing to move to Wales, can apply.