We are Nick and Charlotte.
We live in the old barns of the cottage with our two young sons.
We moved here in 2016 to follow our dream of a life in the mountains by the sea.
Place has a big influence on us. It shapes our thoughts, feelings, actions, experiences, relationships and memories.
Here we feel best placed to create the kind of lives that we want to lead: playful, mindful, healthy, creative, appreciative lives full of slow adventures, where less is more and we gather experiences instead of things.
Nick is a Geographer (ex-teacher), Forest School Practitioner, cloud-watcher and map enthusiast. He loves wild camping, cycling, trail and ultra running. With the peaks of Cnicht and Snowdon in running distance from our home he’s now achieved his ambition of being able to walk out of his front door straight into the mountains.
I (Charlotte) love exploring at a slower pace, letting my mind wander (and wonder) along with my feet. I love words and images and find the beauty of this place is powerful fuel for creativity. Slowing down and really noticing my surroundings brings me a great sense of wellbeing.
Wellbeing and living well are two things we're really interested in. It’s why we wanted to live here, closer to nature, to be influenced by the beauty, wisdom and rhythms of it. Here we can give our children an incredible natural playground to grow up in, where they can roam free and develop a deep and beneficial connection with nature too.
Before moving here, we lived in East London. We had the river Lea and Hackney Marshes on our doorstep and were both lucky enough to work for organisations we loved, Amnesty International and WaterAid. But sitting at a computer indoors as the seasons changed outside was not how either of us had once imagined spending most of our days. We were left with a restlessness inside and a longing to 'run for the hills', to be immersed in natural, wild places.
The arrival of our first child intensified this feeling. As we watched him discover the world, we found ourselves rediscovering it too. Seeing through his eyes slowed us down and reconnected us with the mystery and awe of life. He is so fully alive, brimming with curiosity, imagination and playfulness. Sometimes fearless, sometimes terrified, his trust and openness enable him to connect deeply with the world. These are all things we want to help nurture and protect and we began to think a lot about the kind of childhood we wanted for him. Being outside in natural surroundings seemed to be the key element from which everything else would follow.
I grew up in Aberystwyth, a little further down the beautiful Welsh coast, so moving here has the feeling of coming home to me. Although a Londoner born and bred, Nick knew the mountains of North Wales even better than me. It’s a place he’s frequently returned to ever since he was 12, rucksack and tent in tow, to walk and navigate in a landscape he loves.
This is the start of a journey for us. We’re not entirely sure where it will lead, but we know something of how we want to travel: slowly (the only way possible with two small children so it’s lucky that it’s also beneficial for the soul!), sustainably, mindfully, playfully, courageously.
This is our adventure. The cottage means we can offer others this amazing place as a basecamp for their own adventures too. With 3-foot thick stone walls and wood burning fires it’s a true shelter for body and soul, with the life affirming, awe-inspiring wild to explore right outside.