By Frankie the Cockapoo
About the farmhouse
Gwlgri farmhouse near Church Bay is owned and managed by Pete Thomas, who inherited the property from his parents and converted it into holiday accommodation. Apparently, every year Mum and Freya enjoys a holiday with ‘the girls’ and this was a return visit they enjoyed it so much! In fact, they were the first people to stay in June 2019, after it was fully refurbished and offered as a holiday home.
The property offers four double bedrooms, a bathroom and a shower room, with plenty of off road parking directly outside the back door, so unpacking two cars laden with stuff for four ladies and us dogs was not a problem.
The Paw Award
Everyone knows we dogs normally have four paws, so to get a five paw award is super special. Four is an extremely positive Frankie recommendation, any less and it’s just a question of personal choice.
Friendly & welcoming atmosphere
Naturally, the majority of self catering cottages are accessed by key entry only and so the welcome is judged on the information received once you have booked the accommodation. We dealt with Pete directly, rather than via the agent (see the end of the article), and found him really friendly and helpful. Luckily for us, a maximum of two dogs were allowed; there was the stipulation that we weren’t allowed in the bedrooms or on the furniture, but otherwise we had free run of the property.
Our five-day stay was in September 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we felt reassured that the house had been thoroughly cleaned with helpful notes about safety during our stay.
For self catering, this is judged on any help required during our stay. The lock on the back door (main entry point) jammed on day two. We reported this to Pete via email just to let him know, and used the patio door access in the kitchen so it wasn’t a problem. Naturally, during COVID no-one other than us entered the property.
At the end of our stay we we were asked to strip all the beds and place the bedding in a laundry bag for collection; we also needed to empty all bins, place in a rubbish sack (provided) and throw this into a communal locked bin at the end of the lane. There were no recycling bins, unlike last year, and so we took our recycling waste home with us.
Gwlgri was well stocked with cleaning materials, cloths, toilet rolls, dishwasher tablets, etc.
Accommodation suitability & cost per dog
This is where the farmhouse fell down in relation to us dogs. The ground floor shower had a fixed glass screen and meant the shower head was not long enough to reach us and so we had to be carried upstairs to the bathroom. The hand held shower on the bath was broken and so washing two sandy dogs was not easy. Luckily we wear our Equafleeces on the beach and so we managed with paw washes, but it wasn’t ideal.
There was plenty of space to make a cosy corner for our beds in the entrance hall. This was where our beds were positioned initially, but as there were no curtains and people were staying in the Yurt opposite, it meant we barked every time there was movement on the drive. We are excellent guard dogs, but this was not appreciated by the ladies trying to get some sleep. In the end, we slept in the lounge and trusted not to climb on the furniture.
Our early morning toileting and doodle dashes were great fun in the generous, enclosed back garden. Freya even had a sit in the hammock! I kept falling out of it, but that’s because at eight months old I’m incapable of sitting still.
In fairness, there’s no charge for dogs and the property is not marketed as specifically dog friendly, just that pets are welcome.
Little extras offered
There were no extras offered for us pups, but the ladies were delighted with their flowers and bottle of complimentary sparkle!
Location & dog walks
Church Bay, named after St Rhuddlad’s in Llanrhuddladafter, is located between Carmel Head and Holy Island on the northwest of Anglesey. Gwlgri’s location – just a mile away – is absolutely perfect for exploring the Bay with its pristine Blue Flag beach.
Our morning walks began through a gate situated opposite the Wavecrest Cafe (which the ladies highly recommend) and along the stunning coastal headland, most of it off lead. Through a gate at the back of the cafe, there is also a National Trust coastal walk in the opposite direction, but the scenery is not quite so pretty.
Anglesey is such a dog friendly island – even the beaches have a special section just for us all year round. We also had fun playing on the pebble beach at Puffin Island and walked on the cliffs at South Stack, an RSPB reserve.