My step mum had carefully planned a surprise family get together for my Dad’s birthday. There were to be thirteen of us and a dog, all meeting at Maes Tyddyn Cottages in Wales to stay for the weekend.
My Dad knew nothing about the weekend and somehow everyone had managed to keep it a secret for six months. So on the Friday we set off to Wales, where my Grandad was waiting for us. At 90 years of age, he is a remarkable man and had arrived earlier in the day, got the log burner burning, allocated everyone’s bedrooms and put the kettle on just before we arrived. We were the second to get there, my brothers family about half an hour behind us.
While we were waiting for my brother and his family, Grandad showed us round. We had imagined a cottage to be small but this eight bedroom maze like building was huge! My pictures don’t do it justice as I could not manage to convey the size.
When my brother and his family arrived, my niece had been sick on the way so my sister in law discovered the convenient utility room, accessed from outside, to put her clothes on to wash.
There were two front doors as the cottage could have an inside door locked to become two cottages. We decided to lock one and have my Dad come in the other, so we could hide in the huge dining room with its table, big enough to seat us all.
My Dad would be coming in the door to the smaller cottage so it looked like their accomodation. As you walk in this door you see a kitchen to the right and a staircase up to two bedrooms, one King size and one triple, both ensuite. There is a toilet downstairs too and a back door out to a picnic area.
The hour we waited for my Dad to arrive, didn’t seem long enough as we all set to work exploring and putting up banners. I put the kids to work blowing up balloons and found the party poppers to pull as my Dad came in.
As well as the huge dining room, we decorated the two living rooms in the larger cottage. One of these rooms had sofas, a TV and a Playstation 3, which the kids thought was great. They also found the wifi code in there quicker than I could get the bag of balloons in from the car!
This room had a back door out to the biggest hot tub I have ever seen and a sauna! We resisted the temptation to try them until later, although everyone had a look.
The other living room was the more cosy, with the log burner that my Grandad had started and some comfy sofas. It was to become the place (other than the hot tub) that everyone congregated in the evenings.
My step mum messaged us to say that both they and the Tesco delivery were about to arrive. Fortunately the food arrived first and the poor delivery man was completely taken aback as ten of us rushed outside to grab the food and get him on his way before my Dad arrived. It was as we were running with item after item to the second kitchen and throwing them into the huge american fridge that we really wished my step mum had ordered carrier bags!
We managed it, the delivery driver sped out of the farm yard and disappeared up the lane and we hearded the kids and Grandad into the dining room as we re-locked the second door, shut all the curtains and turned the lights off in the second cottage.
We waited quietly in the dark as my Dad pulled up outside, well I say quietly but between my Grandad loudly telling everyone to be quiet and the kids excitedly whisper shouting, it sounded like a zoo. My Dad opened the door to the smaller cottage and everyone held their breath. We could hear my step mum telling my Dad to go through the door to his left and as he came in my daughter turned on the lights and we all shouted “surprise”! He was completely speechless but hopefully happy to see us all!
The kids excitedly showed my Dad, Step Mum and Step Brother their bedrooms. My Dads room was down stairs and the largest as it was his birthday, they had loads of space for the dog, a King sized bed and ensuite wet room. Every bedroom had a large flat screen TV.
Upstairs there was a King size room through an empty room with a double mattress against the wall. We think this was the advertised playroom/bedroom that was a work in progress. Through the King room was a door to the games room with table tennis and a pool table. The games room was also accessed from outside so the children didn’t need to walk through my Grandads bedroom to get there!
A long corridor ran down to the other three bedrooms, two twin rooms and one double at the end. Each of these rooms were also ensuite.
Every King size bed could be converted to twin beds and visa versa.
We had a great weekend stay at Maes Tyddyn Cottages. The owner was in communication with my step mum, checking everything was ok and that we had got the sauna working. We managed to cook for everyone. There was enough equipment between the kitchens so it became a bit of a game running between the two to find what we needed. There were also three dishwashers so no one had to be on washing up duty.
The beds were really comfortable and considering how many people and kids sharing bedrooms there were, we slept well as the rooms were quiet. It was great to wake up and see the cows and sheep out the windows too. Towels were provided but only one large and one hand towel per person so I would advise anyone thinking of booking to take extra towels for the hot tub and also a hairdryer if needed.
The two cottages together were plenty big enough for a family of thirteen and a dog. There were enough rooms for people to escape to if they needed and enough communal space for people to congregate and eat together. Despite their size, the buildings, with Welsh slate used throughout and original oak beams still felt very cottage like. We would definitely stay again!
Taking autistic children to Maes Tyddyn Cottages
Between them, the two cottages are very large and you could actually lose track of where your child was.
There is a playstation in one living room and TVs in every bedroom.
The hot tub is great if your child finds water calming.
There are quite a few easily openable doors to outside. They lock with keys from the outside but can be unlocked without keys from the inside. Outside is a farm, not a busy road, but the area is very large.
There are no cupboard locks etc in the kitchens but there is a stairgate at the top of the stairs in the smaller cottage.
The cottage is peaceful and feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere.
My six year old niece kept getting lost inside and couldn’t find her bedroom.
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