We were both 50 years old when we decided to move from St Helens in Merseyside to North Wales and buy a property that would allow us to offer holiday accommodation. In 1997 we found and bought Tyddyn Sargent, formerly a 140-year-old farmhouse set within eight acres of glorious countryside near the popular village of Benllech. The site had a selection of out buildings, comprising two bunk barns, one large communal kitchen, games room, static caravan, one small touring caravan, plus a 1¾ acre coarse fishing lake.
The previous owners had established the business as an activity centre and gave it the name of Lakehouse Holidays. The lake was mostly used for canoeing, raft building and fishing. An activity provider was bought in for the groups who used the bunk barn accommodation, being mostly Boys’ Brigade companies, over the school holiday periods.
We bought Tyddyn Sargent to provide luxury, self-catering cottages and to develop the fishing lake, even though we had no idea about fishing and no previous experience of running a tourism business. Keith has a background in construction and lecturing in FE, while Jean trained as a nursery nurse as a mature student and later managed adult education courses.
While we saw the potential for the business, it was to take five years for us to obtain planning permission from the Council to make the conversions. In the meantime we started to improve what we could and to continue to offer bunk barn self-catering accommodation and to open the lake to fishing on a day ticket. In 2005 we also excavated a second lake to meet the increased demand for coarse fishing on the island.
In 2006 Ty Teiliwr was completed and immediately proved very popular, attracting many first-time visitors to the island in search of a luxury cottage break. Such was the success of Ty Teiliwr, it was decided to carry out a second and third development, Ty Llyn (2009) and Ty Menyn (2012), again with the intention of providing high quality, self catering accommodation. We have also upgraded the caravan to ensure that the high standards of accommodation are retained across the site.
We look forward to welcoming you to Lakehouse Holidays.
Jean and Keith