The Welsh countryside will be peppered with a unique handful of pop-up cabins this summer, as architects around the world see their dream glamping retreats come to life.
The eight show-stopping hideaways – purpose-built for the Epic Retreats project with support from Visit Wales – take inspiration from Welsh legends and history, including King Arthur, the iconic Welsh dragon and the country’s famous industrial heritage.
The initiative invited architects to submit their ground-breaking concepts, the best of which were turned into actual “hotels”.
Cashing in on the trend for experiential travel, they are available to guests for a limited period in Southern Snowdonia (from June 5- June 30) and the Llŷn Peninsula (from July 10 until September 11).
Each artisan cabin features just enough space for a cosy haven for two, with a double, king-size or circular bed, living area with wood burner and hob and en-suite facilities. They’ll also be a communal area with a fridge, BBQ and eating space.
A series of bespoke experiences, including private chefs, Welsh music and theatre performances, go hand-in-hand with the secluded boltholes, all of which will be tucked away in glorious and remote landscapes.
Each meticulously designed hub has its own story to tell, and is completely original in scope.
Take a look around a few of our favourite cabins – the making of which is depicted in Channel 4 documentary Cabins in the Wild with Dick Strawbridge – below, or learn more by visiting the Epic Retreats website right here.
Prices start from £795 for a three-night stay.
Created by Barton Wilmore Architects
Little Dragon is a unique blend of industrial heritage and Welsh folklore.
Inspired by the iconic emblem of Wales, it has been specially created using locally sourced sustainable materials synonymous with the country’s history.
The scaly shingle exterior and claw-like tripod base are evocative of the smoke-breathing beast that, according to legend, once dominated the rugged Welsh landscape.
Inside, soft furnishings and a roaring log fire provide a homely experience, while the cylindrical design delivers magnificent panoramic views, immersing guests in the stunning scenery outside.
Created by Carwyn Lloyd Jones
With its stainless steel scaly ‘skin’ and gridshell roof, the Dragon’s Eye pod is designed to get the imagination firing on all cylinders.
Relax on the round rotating bed and drink in sumptuous views of the beautiful Welsh landscape through the full height glass ‘eye.’ Or catch up in the warmth of the wood burner while protected from the elements by the sheep’s wool insulation.
End the day with a hot shower in the walk-in wet room clad in reclaimed slate tiles.
Created by Trias studio
Mimicking the art of constructing cairns, whereby walkers collect stones and build place-markers along their route — this raw, unclad building will gradually transform through layers of slate, forming a textured, stylish exterior.
A neat structure of slate, the cabin fits effortlessly into its surroundings and embodies simplicity and style.
In contrast to its grey slate exterior, inside you’ll find a single, cosy room clad with honeyed wood. A kitchen and built-in table form a sitting space, while the bed sits on a raised platform providing a magnificent view of the countryside all around.
Created by How About Studio
Miner’s Legend is a tribute to the once-thriving mining industry, central to Wales’ rural communities. At first glance, the cabin is a collage of mining structures and corrugated iron sheds seen scattered through the Welsh landscape.
But once through the entrance tunnel, you’ll discover exquisite, crafted details that will fill you with delight.
Angular corridors play carefully with light and material to transport your imagination to the subterranean mines.
Continuing your journey through a collection of unique cavernous spaces, you will soon arrive in the main chamber. Generous in height and warmed by a small stove, you can savour views over the surrounding landscapes from the comfort of a soft alcove.
Created by Waind Gohil + Potter Architects
One for the “stargazers and dreamers”, Skyhut provides a unique setting to experience Wales’ magnificent night sky.
Named as the country with the highest percentage of ‘International Dark Sky’, Wales boasts exceptional views, especially at night.
Taking inspiration from the myth of Welsh mountain, Cadair Idris, where legend states that travellers sleeping out at night awake as madmen or poets, Skyhut will lend you a rich appreciation of the skyscape.
With a switch to an electric actuator, open the doors to transform your cabin into a glamping-observatory.
Images: Epic Retreats