Guest book

We offer a hand-written guest book for feedback, to help us improve the place.
The following quotes [from 2009 - 2012] include comments we will respond to (or have already fixed) in order to improve your experience.  Most people seem to enjoy their stay, and we make every attempt to improve the service.  Please feel free to let us know where we can continue to make improvements to the holiday we offer.  The cottage remains a living building, a work-in-progress. 
Different seasons can present different problems, and (for sure) your mobile phone may not find a connection in the mountains...but there is a landline if you need to stay in contact (as well as WiFi).
In response to one suggestion, we wanted to add a sample of some comments from the guest book to the website.   [Note to self: We really should update this page from last five years!]

If you would prefer to have your comments removed, or corrected, please contact us on
Julie & Toby & Digby and Basil
March 2012
Hi Julie
I never got round to writing in your guest book as Friday got busier and busier as we tried to fit in just a few more things on our final day. 
I wanted to thank you for a wonderful cottage - it is the most beautiful and relaxing cottage we have ever rented. The whole week was fabulous and I am so envious of all the walks you have on your doorstep! Thank you in particular for guiding us through the mountain pass; what a tremendous way to arrive at the village. We had day walks up behind the cottage, on the hafod estate and along the Ywstwyth valley via the miners bridge. I grew up in Snowdonia on and off but I think your area has captured my heart! I even found myself googling properties for sale in the area...a dream, I'm afraid!! 
Main bedroom with qullt
I especially loved the quilt behind the bed...I accidentally discovered a passion for quilts when I made Katie one after promising her a horsey bed cover and not being able to find one to buy. I had forgotten two quilts that I had started making as a student many years ago...they had moved with me many times, unfinished and wrapped up in plastic bags! They are now complete as are several more. I can see myself quilting, knitting socks and growing vegetables in somewhere just like Ty Cariad! We all need a dream...that's mine!
I hope we can book another week with you before too long. 
With very best wishes



 22 – 29 October 2011


Well I can certainly see how the cottage lives up to its name – all that I hoped and more...but I’ll be brief!
Highlights for fellow visitors:
* Lunch at The Tynllidiart Arms, Capel Bangor 01970 880248 (The Black Lion had gone into hibernation!)
* Aberystwyth – some nice independent shops, great atmosphere, fish and chips on the front.
[Whoa – mini power cut so dark!!! – on again!]
[Toby : For emergencies you will find a wind up lantern near the front door/fuses, which does not need batteries]
*Mountain Road to Rhyader on sunny day – so beautiful
*Walks around Elan Valley. Pink potter’s cottage on the way who made the gorgeous mugs in the kitchen. Chatted for hours in the workshop.
*Getting lost around Hafod
*Walks in village, down to waterwheel, waterfall and bridge around woods (fork in road to Lisburne Motors)
*All the small local stores so friendly
We’ll be back! Thank You!
M, C, M (5) & A (1)


Oct 2011


If you are reading this note then consider yourself one of the luckiest people on earth!

Well done Julie and Toby on your amazing ‘Ty Cariad’ – it is beautiful, you have thought of everything.

We visited the Devil’s Bridge and the Hafod Estate on a couple of occasions. Definitely worth a visit.

I believe that the fairies and elves must reside at Mossy Seat and at the entrance to the Cascade Cavern! We can’t wait to return!

J, D & J.

PS:  It would be lovely to see your ‘before’ pictures, after seeing the finished article.



8th October 2011


Thank you so very much for the wonderful cottage this week!

There isn’t a single thing which you haven’t thought about and it has been much appreciated.

Most holiday places look and sound great and are such a let down when you get there. Not so here. Exceeded our dreams……..home from home. Well done on creating a warm and wonderful place.

Your beloved cottage has a really ‘good energy’ within.

I hope all who stay here will treat it with the respect it/you so deserve.


J, B, Boada the Staffie


9th September 2011


Despite rain and wind, and the constraints of a one-year-old, this charming cottage has been a cosy haven. We recommend dolphin spotting in Newquay (from the shore – it’s free!)

Aberaeron – a lovely little town, and Devil’s Bridge waterfalls, which are well worth the climbing though go on a dry day for safety.

We had supper in the garden one evening, with no sound but birds and a passing horse. Absolutely lovely.

Thanks, Julie & Toby – very much.


J, T, I and Baby Y




3rd September 2011


Had a fantastic week in your gorgeous cottage.

Kids loved sandy beach at Borth and Rheidol Railway, Dad loved Miner’s Arms, Mum loved the magazines!

We all enjoyed Aberystwyth and the kite feeding station near Devil’s Bridge.

Hope to be back soon, A, S, B (5) & A (3)



12th Aug 2011


We had a great time in your cottage. Beautiful and quaint and very, very cosy beds!!

We tried but failed to get the wood fire burning – that’s townies I guess!!

Wifi was wonderful – especially for youngest daughter to keep in touch with friends. I like the isolation of no mobile phone though!!

We were pretty active: 2 days surfing at Borth; horse riding and golf at Capel bangor; Hafod Estate walks and finding the well hidden secret cavern falls!! Devil’s Bridge waterfalls walk and a couple of trips into Aberystwyth. Thanks and best wishes

J, C & A



July 9th – 16th 2011


A perfect location for exploring the numerous Welsh wonders of the surrounding area. This week we have done so much – the highlights being the Hafod Estate walks – with every twist and turn presenting a different landscape or gushing waterfall. We also recommend a trip to Machynlleth on Wednesday market day, taking in Corris craftshops and the Dyfi Osprey project on the way.

As for the house, well – it’s been so comfortable and homely that we actually forgot that it wasn’t our house!


Thank you so much for the amount of love and effort that has been put into Ty Cariad making it a wonderfully warm and cosy place to stay


T, D, J & M



5th July 2011


Dear Julie & Toby,


We have had a wonderful 4 night here at Ty Cariad!

What a wonderful cottage this is. You have done very well here to make it homely and comfortable. It’s just our sort of style too! J

Saturday we had a glorious day dolphin spotting in New Quay and Sunday was a great challenge at Devil’s Bridge, with a well deserved roast at the Miner’s Arms, gorgeous! And Monday catching crabs at Aberdovey. Fantastic, would love to come back some day.


The H family (B. P & S)


It was very fun I want to stay here again I loved it here Love S (aged 7)




25th June 2011


Again a wonderful and peaceful time has been has from our second holiday in this beautiful place.


It’s a shame the main shop is closed but the trips to the next village have not been too much of a problem. [please note there is now a new shop in the Miner’s Arms in the village!  – Julie]

The walks have been strenuous but worth it with some of the most breathtaking views of the welsh hills.

We will be back next year!


V, A & the Dogs (Otto & Tilly!)



28th May – 4th June 2011


Our first holiday to Wales and a magnificent one!

The cottage is completely breathtaking from the colourful gardens to the incredible décor and attention to detail. The location has been perfect for us and the locals have all been so friendly and helpful.

We have been busy bees whilst staying here, some days we have really enjoyed have been spent; walking around Hafod Estate, we walked the ‘gentleman’s walk’ which is fairly steep but completely worth it at the end to visit the cavern falls (wear a mac!) We enjoyed driving to Aberystwyth and taking the train through to Devil’s Bridge and back again. It’s the Vale of Rheidol Railway and is completely breathtaking. Another walk we had recommended was the Cors Caron National Nature Reserve. We walked ‘the riverside walk’ which is roughly 7 km long and worth doing. You have the chance to catch a glimpse of otters, kingfisher, and so much more. Perfect for bird lovers! You can’t take dogs on the riverside walk but there are alternative routes. We have left a leaflet on the bookshelf with the others.

Today we have visited New Quay (Cardigan Bay) on the coast, this was incredible as we went out to sea and spotted Atlantic grey seals and bottle nosed dolphins (in the wild). The boat trip cost £15.00 per adult which is so worth it to see these amazing animals in their own habitat. The tour guide educates his passengers not only about dolphins but also about the massive colonies of birds and various rock formations which have been created over millions of years. We have truly enjoyed our holiday here and would love to return one day and bring friends. Finally, good places to eat and drink: we mainly enjoyed a drink in The Miner’s in the village, really friendly people and good food! For a more special occasion the Black Lion is gorgeous (but you need to book) that is a few villages along but not far. The steak & ale pie is worth the trip!

Have fun folks L & S x






May 2011

 Absolutely stunning little cottage.

 We’re agreed that it wins best library. Would’ve loved to stay just to finish all of the reading. We’d suggest all the Hafod walks, especially the waterfall section. Amazing greenery.

Ty Cariad is close enough to the coast for day trips and close to so many castles we simply did not have enough time for everything. Julie & Toby, thanks for sharing this little piece of your world, we’ll return to South Africa and Germany respectively, with fond memories.

 C Van R & G J


12-16 Feb 2011 

From the moment we walked through the door at Ty Cariad, we felt a very unique welcome we have not experienced anywhere else before. The interior design has such style, as you walk from room to room for the first time, each has its own wow factor. The spirit and enthusiasm that went into renovating the cottage shines though, the result being something so in keeping with the history of the cottage and the area that it is a real credit to Julie & Toby’s hard work and talent. Absolutely stunning! 

In a area of such unsurpassed natural beauty, even in February (or perhaps especially in February) the landscape cannot fail to stun. We particularly recommend the drive to the Elan Valley which rivals everything else the UK can offer; including the marvel of the exceptionally eerie long abandoned miner’s settlement, a great trigger to inspire our often underworked imaginations. We also witnessed the valley bathed in sunshine one moment and next we were watching a snow storm blow across the valley lightly shrouding our car and then move on.

A truly inspirational library with such a great variety of works that I found myself reminiscing about my school days (Kafka, Virginia Woolf) as well as enthused by titles I have always wanted to read (Animal Farm). With our gorgeous little rugrat crawling around we became nocturnal in order to finish our chosen titles!

 A wonderful few days to remember!

 Best wishes

G M & V(rugrat!) G


20-26 Feb 2011

 What a refreshing change!

A beautiful holiday home with all the character & idiosyncrasies of an actual country cottage you spend years creating for yourself.

We loved the ‘feel’ of the place, the details (as said earlier by others) and the quality.

My favourite part – the kitchen – great utensils, crockery and is a room where I liked to spend time! (bizarrely!) I also enjoyed the bedding – again quality.

 Our yound girls loved the Sky TV and the old beds. I liked the décor and your magazine collection. My husband liked the fire – very cozy, also the toaster!!

 Fab cottage all in all

 The area is also stunning – we spent a couple of days in Aberystwyth, a day at Fantasy Farm Park in Llanrhystud (excellent for children – well worth a visit) a day with the Red Kites and a day on the Talyllyn Railway in Tywyn (not really worth the drive to be honest).

In years past, we’d have taken advantage of the countryside specially the walks to be had, but these days with very small children, looked for ‘attractions’.

Your website is brilliant – sells your cottage well (and deservedly so) yet I think it could be enhanced by adding some of the comments in the visitor book – nothing like firsthand experience.

 There’s only one request we’d have if we were to return and that’s a vacuum cleaner. On arrival, we wanted to sweep the floors (as our baby puts everything in her mouth) and couldn’t work out how the cleaner worked. Just a small point! Also if guests with dogs could respectfully pick up after dog littering in the garden, it could be enjoyed by all.

Thank you for a lovely stay here (we haven’t played a game of scrabble in years!! Great stuff.)


J, S, D and F G (Cheshire)



June 2010

 What can I say that has not already been said. We have had a great week in your lovely cottage. All I can add to the previous remaks are that it is A LITTLE PIECE OF HEAVEN.

 C & J W(Grimsby) 


 2-9 Oct 2010

 Beautiful cottage and the perfect ‘get away from it all’ holiday.

A bonus was no mobile signal for miles!

Surrounding area is gorgeous with lots of lovely walks enjoyed by our dog Mika.

Comfy bed in very twee surroundings. Attention to detail is evident all through the cottage.

‘Ty Cariad’ is the perfect name.

 Thank you for a lovely week 

A, P & Mika  xxx


Julie & Toby

 We come to Wales about once a year for a Family Reunion and then stay on for a couple of more weeks. We usually bring our caravan. We love this part of Wales so much that we’ve brought my parents here to experience it with us. They are visiting from the USA. Your cottage was a last minute life saver and aside from very carefully manoeuvring our SAAB 95 though the tight gate-way and into the drive every day, we couldn’t have stayed at a more perfect cottage.

My mother and I have fallen in love with the kitchen and my husband the wood burning stove. The main bedroom is wonderful and the views from all of the windows stunning!

You’ve done a great job on Ty Cariad! With there being so many of us we’ve done the dishes by hand. It would have been nice to have a couple more dish towels on hand. (We’ve bought one and left it here…)

The weather has been GORGEOUS all week (13 – 22 degrees centigrade) and sunny!

We’ve taken my parents to Hafod, Teifi, Elan Valley, the coast, fish n’ chips in Aberystwyth and to the mountain wilderness of Llyn Brianne.

Birds of prey as well as small lambs, calfs and foals everywhere!

Swimming in mountain streams and picnicking on a lookout! What bliss!

The woodpecker has graced us with its presence most mornings J

and we’ve really enjoyed  staying here.

 Thank you!

 M, B, G, S, D, D & H

 PS An ice-cream scoop and pizza cutter would have come in handy.

PPS My dad is keen to recommend Ty Cariad to honeymooners as it is so cosy and lovely! 


19 – 26 June 2010

 We have had a wonderful week here in Wales. Your cottage is perfect – it has been the ideal retreat with everything you could possibly need. This has been our 5 month old baby’s first holiday and will be fondly remembered for many years to come. The weather has been glorious and we have enjoyed walks around the Hafod Estate, Aberystwyth and Borth beach. Our dogs have never felt so tired! We will definitely visit Wales again.

 With Kind Regards

M, R & I (and our Schnauzers Ruby & Margot)


 3 June 2010

 Last evening of our wonderful week here at Ty Cariad.

A last minute booking and a mad choice for a part of Wales not previously visited.

After the steep climb up to the cottage and precarious parking, we were absolutely amazed at the entrance to the living area and the whole cottage.

Exceeding our expectations, we enjoyed the beautiful garden, visiting the Hafod Estate, visits from Red Kites, trips to all the nearby towns and cosy evenings followed by beautiful morning breakfast views.  


 The cottage was excellent!



 10 Apr 2010

Ty Cariad has been a pleasure to stay at and so very peaceful. The local shop has seriously benefited from our food and alcohol consumption.

The area is lovely and very rural which has suited our Labrador Otto and given him plenty of exercise; we now have muscles we haven’t used for years.

The cottage itself is perfect and feels so homely, well done.

With kind regards

A, V, H, G and Otto xxx


18 Dec 2009

 Ty Cariad is certainly full of character. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our stay here with our 2 dogs – grateful that they are both welcome too. We’ve had glorious weather and been able to explore the area thoroughly.  Especially enjoying the Hafod Estate and a walk around Devil’s Bridge. It was so peaceful and we barely saw a soul – maybe all out Xmas shopping? Borth beach was particularly memorable as we were able to let the dogs loose on the beach and they ran themselves ragged, chasing seagulls.

Lovely to come back to a log fire after such a bracing day!

 Thank you    E & J


28 Sept 2009

 Julie & Toby

 Love the peace and quite of the cottage ‘quiet as a church mouse’.

Had a lovely day out at Aberystwyth and went to Hafod – sat in Marianne’s garden for hours with Isobel the picked you a flower from there which is enclosed on this page –

You have very nice furniture and a comfortable bed – put some bread out for the birds but only seen magpie so far.

On the whole I think it is a wonderful cottage and location, and fits the description.

I imagine in winter the access roads would be a bit scary at night with black ice and frost.

One thing you could consider is some form of fence at the end of the drive to stop cars falling over the edge when reversing out, and perhaps a patio heater – but anyway excellent stuff.


1 Oct 2009

 Hi lovely couple                    

 We have been exploring the story of the Hafod estate.

C has been really inspired by the story of the Mariamne Johnes. C started by reading your book Ceredigion Landscape in your handbook.

The daughter Mariamne was an avid botanist. She had curvature of the spine and many other illnesses. Although she was doted on by her parents. A partner was never sought.

This story appealed to Chris’s imagination and his song writing. His enthusiasm for discovering the history of the place has inspired me too. We have explored the Hafod estate. Where there is a church and grave yard where the Johnes family are buried and the highlight of the walk was the daughter’s garden where she tended and loved it, now has a rather sad quietness to it. The walks have features that unfold reading some the background information makes the history come to life and paints a picture of their lives. Chris after reading the Ceredigion walks was interested in an urn of Carrera displayed in the Atrium at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth. We went along and the very friendly staff took us into the back of the library. The piece was very beautiful and depicts – Marimne with her dear beloved robin. The story is well worth reading.

 Everything was catered for, hot water, heating, all mod cons. I would have liked an electric shower and microwaveable plates.

 Thanks for such a lovely holiday. It’s amazing you have worked on it from scratch. Very comfortable.

 Love, I



3-17 Sept 2009

We have had a lovely stay.

Lots of walks and just being.

Found peace and healing on our many walks and encounters.

A holiday of streams, trees, mosses and red kites.

Cottage was warm and comfortable, love the view through the porch arch saw shooting stars.

 Thanks you

 C & T

 Made rosehip syrup and gathered pine seeds and conkers for lotions and potions. So many berries and bits in the hedgerows.


27 Dec 2009

 We have had a wonderful Christmas at Ty Cariad. The cottage is a pleasure and the surrounding stunning.

The weather has been cold, frosty with hail and a covering of snow, but the wood burner has kept us all warm and cosy.

Here’s wishing you a happy & healthy new year from the D family & the T family 


It’s a lovely cottage with lots of character!

Enjoyed the walking most of all – across the Miner’s Bridge – left to the river all the way down til you can run in the river chasing sticks and stones then shaking dry. Some bits of river deep enough to swim in too. You must go to Hafod Estate as well with its fairy tale wood and cascade of waterfalls and back along the river again to the stonehouse and home to the cottage absolutely knackered! Then down the Miner’s Arms in the night to kip on the floor. Would like to come again!! 

 Otis (the dog)

 The cottage is very nice. The Sky TV is great because we don’t have it at home. It was really nice sitting in front of the fire in the night watching the telly.

The Miner’s Arms is a great pub for the family and has lovely food and a pool table that is really fun (the steak and chips with pepper sauce is particularly nice).

The Black Lion is also nice but you have to book as it gets busy but it doesn’t have the same feel about it as the Miner’s Arms does.

The Teifi is not recommended, the food was a bit ‘orrible and not very nice!

The walking is nice and the countryside is beautiful but is is very tiring!

We saw lots of Red Kites and Buzzards.

The train ride to Aberystwyth is a good thing to do but my favourite thing was the fishing in Taglen fishery where you coarse fish, which is when you catch fish like carp and bream and put them back, and you can hire equipment and you get some tuition, very cheap as well.

One thing needed in the cottage is a mat in the shower because I slipped over a couple of times!!!

 From the L family.

29 Aug 2009 

Hi both,

 Well what can I say, I think they have covered everything.

The cottage is beautiful and so are the surroundings.

We have had a lovely week.

Lots of stunning walks and scenery. What a beautiful place!

As you’ve read – Otis has had a great holiday swimming every day – ‘rain or shine’.

H (Age 14) said the best thing he did was the course fishing.

We wish we could stay longer but unfortunately can’t, but we will definitely come back for another visit 

A relaxed and rejuvenated R, C, H & Otis


14 Aug 2009 

The cottage is delightful! So full of character and such attention to detail.

Our boys particularly enjoyed Sky (which we don’t have at home so a bit of a treat for them!) and the WIFI access, while we enjoyed the more natural and peaceful aspects.

The countryside is stunning and everyone we met was friendly.


 PS My personal favourite – the knitted cakes!


1 Aug 2009

What a wonderful cottage!

It’s clear that a lot of time was spent making the cottage welcoming and comfortable. We the the area, unspoilt nature and picturesque villages.

 The D family

 PS You win the prize for the best holiday cottage library ever!