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Plas yn rhiw (Gwynedd, Wales)

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Address: Plas yn Rhiw / Rhiw, Pwllheli LL53 8AB / Gwynedd / Wales / Tel: 01758 780219

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      03.08.2011 18:47
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      Lovely to visit - Just not with children!

      Plas yn rhiw is a country house situated within Pwllheli, North Wales. As with many of the attractions within Pwllheli, this house is swathed in history. Built in the 16th century Plas yn rhiw has been lovingly restored to its former self. Some additions were made to the house in the Georgian period whilst much of the work was taken place in 1938 when it was bought and restored by the three Keating sisters. The three sisters along with their mother, bought the house in a ruined state. The sisters wanted to restore the house back to its former glory and in doing this they also wanted to preserve a small part of the llyn peninsula, they bought an accompanying 400 acres of woodland to ensure the surrounding areas remained pure, like it was frozen in time. For several years this family lived at Plas yn rhiw, having lovingly restored the house and gardens they were finally content with the outcome they had achieved. When there mother died in 1949 they donated the house and its accompanying land to the national trust to ensure a piece of their mother lived on. All three sister continued to live in rhiw until the last sister died in 1981. All three of these sisters are buried in the nearby church yard of Llanfaelrhys church. Plas yn rhiw has been left in the way that the sisters had lived in it. All of there furniture and positions, and I think the addition of a few other items, have been left in the house. It really gives you an insight into how this family lived. One of the major points about the house is the garden. Plas yn rhiw is the only national trust property in Wales to have an organic run garden. This has been kept the way that the sisters intended it to be kept. The bushes and shrubs are still cut in the same shapes and intricate detailing that the sisters had done when they lived in the house. The garden has several different walk ways and passageways leading to different treasures within the garden. One of these includes the first bath ever to be used in the llyn peninsula, this is now used as a base for a water feature. Another exciting find in the gardens was a two seat outside privy. We weren't able to go into the little area but it was lovely to see. The flowers and trees within the garden were actually brought in from the wild, I just about know a rose from a daisy but I could tell that they were very spectacular. Some of these flowers include; iris pseudocrus, various poppies, myrtle, the poisonous monkshood, sheep sorrel, and foxgloves. As well as having the house and garden to look at there is also a very large forest which you are able to take a wander through. As we arrived before the house opened, we took a leisurely stroll through the woods, as this area is high up you are able to see the wonderful beach of hells mouth. Right in a clearing looking over this beach was a picnic table so we were able to sit down for half an hour whilst waiting for the house to open and eat our pre made picnic. (it's a good job we did as no food is aloud in the house.) To be able to enter the house you have to buy your tickets from the neighbouring gift shop, this is set back of the entrance to the house so it does not ruin the rustic charm of it. This is the same with the car park, both of which are situated at the bottom of a hill, accompanying both of these is the toilets. Car parking is free but obviously you have to pay to enter the house and gardens. The price of which are actually very reasonable. Adult - £5.00 Child - £2.50 Family - £12.50 The house and gardens are open between march and October between 12 and 5 pm. Open times can change however so it is best to check out the website beforehand. Firstly we entered the house, there was a member of staff at the front door who took our tickets and told us the rules which was a lengthy list, I'm surprised she didn't tell us not to breath! You are not allowed to; eat, touch the items, stand to close to the items, go past the red ropes or take photographs. At this point I was wondering what exactly I could do. Don't get me wrong, I love history but I don't know an awful lot about it so I couldn't tell if I was looking at a chair from the 16th century or one from Ikea! Nether the less the house was breathtakingly beautiful and it was represented in a believable way. I could perfectly imagine it being a nice family home. A lot of the items were on display, for example books were open and decorative vases and such thing were on display rather than in the cabinets. There are several rooms downstairs which include a living room and dining room. There are no areas that are cordoned of downstairs so you are not blocked by ropes. There were several other people in the house and they looked very enthusiastic about the items on display so I am guessing that this is a very good place for antique lovers. My main task of the day however was ensuring my 2 year old didn't touch any of the items. She very much looked utterly bored throughout the whole tour. Upstairs all but two of the rooms are cordoned of with rope. There are two sets of stairs, the latter leading to a singular bedroom which you are not able to enter. You can however stand and look at the room and it is truly very pretty. There is a second bedroom, a bathroom, a study and a room which I don't think had much of a purpose but to show of some more antiques. There was a family in the study as we was in there and they were explaining to their son what all of the items used to be used for. He was very fascinated by this, my two year old however was more concerned with the lollypop that got confiscated upon entering the house. It is a very lovely house and I would really recommend a visit, I wish I could have looked more closely at all of the items but with a two year old trying to grapple everything my main goal was to ensure they all stayed in one piece. It is also a shame that you are unable to take photographs. After a ten minute wonder around the house we left to visit the garden, this was easer and more manageable with a child, the gardens were truly mesmerizing and so harmonious. It takes about 10 minutes to walk around all of the gardens, In which you are aloud to take photographs. We spent all but 15 minutes at the house and gardens which really is a shame as I would have loved to explore further, unfortunately this is not the perfect family day out and I would really not advise that you visit there with young children. Parts of the house have wheelchair access and a small part of the garden but there are a couple of slopes and steps to get to the house. I am going to award this country house 4 stars as I believe that many people would love it, including me if I was able to spend enough time there. Plus I think the story behind it alone gives it a couple of stars alone! I am however taking one star of for not being able to take photographs! Thank you for reading my review.

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