As soon as they got the chance, Victoria and Sean moved to their favourite holiday spot – peaceful Arthog in southern Snowdonia – to build the house they’d always dreamed of. From the top-floor living space it’s easy to see why: the Mawddach estuary and Rhinog mountains are a playground of lakes, waterfalls, hiking and biking trails (the Mawddach Trail goes right past the door), with the boats and beaches of Fairbourne and Barmouth just down the road. Built in stone, the house is tucked into a hill, with a patio behind to catch the first rays of sun and a garden in front to catch the last. Light flows through floor-to-ceiling windows, illuminating the chic, open-plan living room with its shiny oak floors and curved ceilings. A sparkling kitchen, soft charcoal sofas, a modern wood-burner around which to gather for meals and games… and four cosy bedrooms opening to the patio or lawn. Next door, your hosts are as enthusiastic as the day they moved and Victoria’s homemade bread and the local Welsh breakfast pack will set you up for the day’s adventures. Rent cycles locally for a mosey down the trail or seek some thrills at one of the nearby Zipworld activity centre.