So, how do you describe a holiday spent in a renevated church? I'm going to give it a go!!!
It's tricky to find this place on a map/satnav, but look for the Pen-Y-Bont hotel & you'll find St Mary's directly opposite.
My wife & I were met by Peter, the owner, with a warm welcome. He is very enthusiastic about the place & let us know that we were the 2nd people to stay there, despite himi owngin the property for the last 5 years - it has taken 4 years or more for all the planning permissions to come through etc.
What was the vestry has been converted into a kitchen and lounge area - the kitchen has everything you could possibly need, and maybe more! The living area has very comfortbale seating (I even had a nap on the settee one afternoon) as well as a TV with Freeview. There is no mobile signal in the area, though I found that to be treat rather than a hindrance. Pete has provided a landline telephone if anyone does feel the need to use it. He has an "honesty jar" for this, so if you use it just put some money in there to cover any calls made. There is also an excellent wi-fi connection.
Through the door from here you go through the church into the bedrooms with the main part of the church is intact, with the pews, pulpit, font, altar and even the organ all present.
At the end of the church are the 2 bedrooms - one downstairs and the other upstairs. We stayed in the main downstairs bedroom which had the en-suite. It has been finished to a high specification, very comfy double bed, leather settee & pleanty of storage. There was also a TV here with a built-in DVD player & a selection of DVDs, but we never used it. The en-suite is quite small, but everything does what it is supposed to do, especially considering the restraints imposed when getting the planning permission.
The bedroom upstairs is an open plan room looking over the churchnstrel's gallery type room overlooking the church. Again a TV was available as well as a desk & some leather chairs.
Admittedly, it's a bit weird having to cross a church hall to go to bed knowing that there are about 500 graves outside ranging from 1684 - 2003, but once we were asleep all was well!
The scenery around the place is amazing - there is actually a spot at the top of the graveyard which gives a stunning view of the lake at sunset.
As mentioned, across the road is the Pen-y-Bont hotel, which was decent enough for a pint & some food if you didn't want to cook. The lake itself is stunning and, although we didn't manage to walk right the way around it, there are plenty of other areas to explore nearby - take a stroll up the pony trail if you fancy a climb!! About a 20 minute drive is a little seaside town with a few shops if you need to top up on anything as well as a lovely beach.
One other thing that I feel must be pointed out is that a few times a day there were Air Force jets screaming overhead as the general area is, apparently, a designated low fly area. It doesn't happen that much & they aren't always directly overhead (though I personally thoguht it was dead cool when they were!!) but I think it's worth pointing out.
Practically perfect in every way, I'd have no hesitation in going back or recommending this to anyone & the look on peoples faces when you say that you're going to (or have stayed in) a church with a graveyard is worth it!!