2019 has been designated the ‘Year of Discovery’ by Visit Wales. North Wales is one of the most popular destinations and the area attracts over 3.6 million British overnight visitors annually plus almost a further 0.3 million from overseas. The average length of stay in North Wales is 3.65 nights and some 31,200 people are directly employed in tourism in North Wales. This represents 11% of all employment in the area[i]. There is plenty to discover in this magical part of Wales and Bodysgallen Hall, a Historic House Hotel part of the National Trust is the ideal hotel base with plenty to discover around its 200 acres.
For those seeking adventure, several ‘ways’ showcase the uniqueness of Wales. The Cambrian Way is a complete north-south Wales journey along the mountainous spine of Wales running for 185 miles (300km) from coast to coast starting at Victorian splendour of Llandudno, home to Bodysgallen Hall. The North Wales Way follows an old trading route for 75 miles (120km) along the northern coast into Anglesey. There are plenty of loops and diversions including via Conwy which can be seen from Bodysgallen Hall.
Llandudno is an immaculate Victorian/Edwardian destination and Bodysgallen Hall is the ideal hotel to stay at. Located just 1 ½ miles south of the town, Bodysgallen Hall enjoys wonderful views and is situated in over 200 acres of beautiful gardens and parkland. The building dates back over 600 years. The key to the origin of the present house is the construction of Conwy castle. This famous fortress was designed to master the wild mountain areas of Snowdonia. It seems beyond doubt that the tower at Bodysgallen was built as a watchtower for Conwy castle to command the slopes south-west of the low-lying castle against surprise attack. By Elizabethan times Richard Mostyn was the owner of Bodysgallen whilst his elder brother William owned nearby Gloddaeth. Richard had learned Latin and Greek, and collected manuscripts of Welsh literature, and one must assume structures appropriate to his status as a High Sheriff of Caernarvonshire. With the marriage of his daughter Margaret to Hugh Wynn of Berthdu the house came into the Wynn family, who dominated the Conwy valley. It is the son of this marriage, Robert Wynn, whose initials with that of his wife Katherine appear on the datestone with the year 1620 on the south-west gable.
This early-17th-century block has five storeys, including attics and cellar, and its austere detailing and mullioned windows set the pattern for all future work at the house. Its two main storeys comprise a large low hall entered at terrace level from the west, and an equally large chamber above, which became the drawing room. Both rooms open in one corner into a curious little bay, with windows on two sides and a fireplace on the third; and both have heraldic overmantels. The hall is carved, with the arms of Gruffydd ap Cynan, Wynn and Collwyn. In the drawing room the chimney-breast has the shouldered form which occurs in Plas Mawr, the magnificent Elizabethan town house built in Conwy by another branch of the Wynns. On it is the Mostyns’ motto “Auxilium Meum a Domino,” and above, painted on plaster, are the arms of Wynn and of the Vaughans of Corsygedol.
The large walled rose garden is characteristic of the 18th century in Gwynedd in its attempt to keep plants from the wind. Above it is a complex of terraces, and on one is the lily pond. On the death of Hugh Wynn, Prebendary of Salisbury, in 1761, his wealth passed mostly to his daughter Margaret. Much more happened after but from 1980 the house and estate were rescued for restoration and conversion by Historic House Hotels and donated by way of a gift to the National Trust in 2008.
Today, Bodysgallen Hall is home to 31 spacious bedrooms split between the house and cottage suites. Each of the bedrooms has been individually furnished in a traditional style and decorated with antique furniture and works of art enjoying glorious views over Bodysgallen’s parkland and gardens. Several cottage suites benefit from their very own private gardens. The hotel is also home to an award-winning 3 AA Rosette restaurant and fantastic spa with an indoor swimming pool.
Bodysgallen is surrounded by over 220 acres of its own parkland and beautiful gardens – both manicured and wild.
The gardens have been recognised for their award-winning restoration. Featured are the rare C17th parterre of box hedges filled with sweet smelling herbs, at the centre of which is a sundial dated 1678, natural limestone outcrops, a rockery with cascade, walled gardens, lily ponds and several follies. There is also a formal rose garden and several well-established specimen trees and shrubs, including medlar and mulberry. Several garden tours hosted by the head gardener Robert Owen are planned for 2019 on 22nd February 22nd March 26th April 24th May and 21st June.
Discover a unique hotel in 2019 in North Wales.
www.bodysgallen.com Llandudno, North Wales, LL30 1RS Tel: +44 (0)1492 584 466
B&B priced from £190.00 per night based on two sharing
[i] Statistics from Business Wales / Visit Wales Regional Investment Update North edition brochure