Rhiw Goch is a 17th century longhouse on the hillside above the Lledr valley. It is half a mile up a steep climb from the main A470 and sits nicely on a small plateau at 720ft, not that far below the hill top. Its lands extend some 17.5 acres, mostly of unmanaged ancient oak woodland, but with extensive landscaped and managed gardens.
Originally two long houses, Rhiw Goch and Rhiw Goch Bach, at some point the two were joined into one larger property. This was at one time the main country house of the area, owning much of the land around, which is reflected by the National Trust "Rhiw Goch" sign on the main road. In the earlier part of the 20th Century it was owned by Major Chorley who for one thing we've heard, built the now mostly overgrown steps and pathway all the way down to the valley bottom. At some unknown point in history, the land surrounding the house was landscaped and natural areas made accessible by hidden paths and steps.The previous custodian and psychotherapist Abigail King and her friends and clients brought back much of the gardens from bracken, gorse and heather. They built yet more paths up and down through the sloping lands creating stunning gardens of sequentially flowering rhodedendrons, azaelias and many, many other stunning flowering trees and bushes, layered back into the wild oak and birch woodland. You can wander these quiet paths without seeing anyone or be still and appreciate any number of idyllic secluded spots with their stone seats. You could come through the trees to the little clearing with just such a seat, overlooking the magnificence of the valley and surrounding hills covered by Gwydyr forest. Then again you might also find yourself clambering around like a child exploring secret gardens!
You can walk down the drive and join the public footpath to climb through craggy moorland offering magnificent vistas of the surrounding hills and mountains, or take your mountain bike up the Roman Road into the forest tracks that eventually lead you to Betws-y-Coed or Capel Curig. All the while, you will probably never see another soul. The energy here has to be felt to be understood. It feels wildly fresh, energising and healing. Here it is difficult to imagine you are anywhere in the modern bustling world.