A foraged & homemade Welsh country Christmas


If I close my eyes and imagine my perfect Christmas country retreat it might look something like this. Although it seems to have fallen straight out of a fairytale, this isn't a magazine photoshoot - it's a real home. What's more it's available to rent through Under The Thatch, so you can book a stay for your own taste of the fairytale.

The vision and creation of Dorian Bowen, Ty Unnos is a traditional thatched cottage in a remote corner of Carmarthenshire. The idea behind the house originates from an old Welsh tradition in which it was believed by some that if a person could build a house on common land in one night then the land would belong to them.


This is a real ‘home-made home’ built in a traditional way using materials readily to hand, stones from the fields, clay from the ground and timber from the woods - an authentic reconstruction of the legendary 'one night house' built between sunset and sunrise.

I was lucky enough to be an early visitor to Ty Unnos shortly after Dorian completed work on it last year and it really was like stepping back in time to a museum quality interior. Internally the cottage has been furnished with traditional Welsh antiques inspired bya slate worker’s cottage from North Wales relocated in St Fagan’s National History Museum. The only truly modern element is the bathroom which features a stunning cantilevered bath!


Dorian made the tree out of larch twigs. I think it is quite possibly the most beautiful Christmas tree I have ever seen.


Picture windows offer inspiring views of the rustic Welsh landscape and lime-washed walls and antique Welsh furnishings lend it the air of retreat, with a refreshing lack of 21st century gadgetry.


Ty Unnos sleeps 3 and is available to rent through Under the Thatch. Prices start from £234 for a short stay. You can view more pictures of the property here.

Images © Ioan Davies.

HelenChristmas6 Comments