There’s nothing like a bit of nature to cure those lockdown blues. As restrictions are starting to lift across the UK, we’ve been chatting to Mark, who owns and runs a truly breath-taking collection of treehouses, nestled into the forests of the Welsh Countryside. He’s told us all about what he’s been getting up to during lockdown, and what things are like now we’re all starting to step outside again.
So Mark, tell us a little bit about yourself
I live in a remote village in mid-Wales with my partner Camilla our son Oskar. I’m from England but have lived here for 20 years – and Camilla is from Sweden. We run a few small businesses including the Living-room treehouses and have been involved in eco-tourism for a long time! My business partner Peter, and I, design and build the treehouses ourselves, with the help of local craftspeople!
What brought you to rural Wales, then?
I grew up in Northamptonshire, and after university went travelling for 9 years. I’ve always been drawn to remote areas, and after living on one of the Orkney Islands eventually settled in the Dyfi Valley in mid-Wales. This area is home to the Centre for Alternative technology, which has helped create quite an alternative feel to the valley – it is a wonderful place, with a vibrant community; this, along with the gorgeous landscapes, allows is really special outdoorsy and vibrant way of life.
The Dyfi Valley is nestled at the Southern edge of the Snowdonia National Park – and stretches from the mountains to the sea. It is a perfect area for walking, climbing and a range of outdoor sports (the valley is a mecca for mountain biking). The living-room site is 280 acres, much of which is pristine oak, larch and scot’s pine woodland – with streams, waterfalls and wonderful wildlife – there are even Ospreys nesting in the valley. Most guests don’t leave the treehouses for their entire stay – the walks are lovely!
“Stairway to Heaven” was written by Led Zeppelin just a couple of miles away. Machynlleth was the Capital of Wales at one time (only 2000 people live here). There are lots of legends surrounding King Arthur in this part of Wales. Cadair Idris mountain – Wales’ most magical mountain – is a few miles from the treehouses. There is so much to do in mid-Wales yet it’s one of the UK’s least visited areas.