Cwm Eigiau Cottage

Cwm Eigiau Cottage news

23 November 2023

We're delighted to have agreed a new lease with the Bodnant Estate that secures the hut for the next 20 years until 2043.  This comes with a significant increase in lease cost so we've had to make a modest increase to hut fees of £1 pppn starting in January 2024.  We think the hut is still fabulous for the price - and hope visitors do too.  See below for the summary of hut fees.

In other hut news...

The hut is in great condition and fully stocked with gas and coal for winter - though we advise visitors to take a handful of kindling of their own per night to make lighting the stove a little easier.  A couple of weeks ago we were able finally to fix the gas cookers so all four burners are working now. 

22 July 2023

A weekend of redecorating the inside and the hut is looking great.  Weather pretty grim so the external weatherboards will have their treatment in August.  The sheep have been taken a real shine to sheltering outside the front of the hut - they left mountains of sheep shit everywhere.  Very like the replica pyramidal mountain Richard Dreyfus builds in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  So I'd really appreciate it if hut users could take a shovel and keep it clear bit by bit so we all bring less of it into the hut.  Cheers.

Note that on the left hand gas cooker, the small burner is not working properly but all others are OK.  Waiting for a spare part but fixing it soon I hope.

21 April 2023

The new stove is working well though takes a little more coaxing to get going than the old blast furnace.  A little patience with a small chunk of firelighter, a few kindling sticks and carefully place briquettes is the best way of getting it started - then build up gradually with extra briquettes.  Please also be careful with the stove door to protect the glass.

Earlier in the year someone buried the toilet bucket contents in the grassy areas right by the hut (or at least tried to - we decided not to excavate).  PLEASE don't do this as the grass areas by the hut are used to lounge about after a day on the hill.  Instead use the large field on the other side of the main track for burials.

In other not so hot news, the left hand small cooker burner isn't currently working, but all the others are OK.  Dominic Raab has just resigned in protest at this shortcoming.

27 August 2022

A first ( I think) - congratulations to hut regulars Siobhan and Adam who were so inspired by the mood lighting and the new stove that they decided to get engaged whilst at the hut last weekend.  Many congratulations to them from me and all the RMC.  Honeymoon bookings opportunities still available.

30 July 2022

Hot news... the new stove finally installed this morning.  Thanks to Iain and Andy for a brilliant job

12 July 2022

We're nearly there... today Iain and Andy installed the new chimney liner in readiness for the new stove installation on 30th.  Pete and I shifted 1.5 tonnes of coal with the help of Iain's quad bike so the hut is now fully stocked for winter and looking great.  

20 May 2022  #eigiau#lost#lenscap

Just near Cwm Eigiau Cottage on 14 May I chatted with a couple of walkers staying in Lllanwrst for the week.  I think you may have lost your lens cap to your DSLR.  If so please just get in touch and I'll get it back to you.

In other hut news, after a long wait we are planning installing the new stove in early July!

25 Jan 2022:  The hut is fully open, stocked with fuel, and in great condition.  Last weekend we replaced the battery and I'm delighted to say that our lights are now fully working again.  Our stove is still in need of replacement but we're hoping to do this in the spring.  Please try to treat the old stove with care.  

We have risk-assessed usage during the pandemic and have controls in place to make the hut safe to use.  Following further relaxation of covid rules, we contine to ask all visitors to consider others and to take particular care to adopt safe hygiene practises.  Please contact the Hut Warden if you have any questions. 

About Cwm Eigiau Cottage

We don’t know when Cwm Eigiau Cottage was first built but parish records indicate it was lived-in by 1694.  These and later occupants were agricultural workers and shepherds until the 19th century when industrial workers - quarrymen and dam labourers - became more frequent occupiers of the cottage.  By the 20th century the cottage was not lived-in but used for storage and in summer by a local farmer.  It was in this run-down condition that the Rucksack Club of Manchester leased the cottage in 1911 for use a mountaineering base from which to tackle the fabulous climbs in the Carneddau and beyond.

Cwm Eigiau Cottage was opened in 1912 by the Rucksack Club of Manchester and was the first mountaineering club hut in Britain.  Used regularly at first, the toll of war and later vandalism led to its closure in 1921 and the hut fell into serious disrepair between the world wars.  When Rugby Mountaineering Club leased Cwm Eigiau Cottage from the Bodnant Estate in 1963, it was a neglected ruin.   After three years restoration by club members we opened it as a climbing hut in 1967 and it has now been in continuous use ever since.  We make it available for booking by RMC club members,  BMC affiliated clubs, other recognised groups, and walkers and climbers.  It is a brilliant place to escape. 

RMC members maintain the cottage and carry in all the fuel and supplies - each sack of fuel and every gas cylinder takes a 2 mile walk and hard graft to get it up to there - so we really appreciate visitors who help us care for the hut during their stay.

Cwm Eigiau Cottage

The cottage provides basic accommodation in a very quiet and secluded part of the country. 

The cottage is equipped with basic cooking gas rings & grills, a solid fuel stove, tons of pans, cutlery & crockery.  There is a single cold tap and lighting is powered by solar panels.  Fuel and firelighters are provided at the cottage and a chemical toilet is installed in the hut extension.  The fridge is the small stream next to the hut.  There is no electricity for charging devices and the hut is better for being wifi-free  and contactless.

The cottage sleeps a maximum of 10 people (6 upstairs and 4 downstairs) on Alpine style bunks provided with mattresses and pillows, though a party size of 8 or less can make for a more relaxing visit.  Dogs are allowed to bring their owners but to avoid rips, please don't let them on the mattresses.

For optimal enjoyment it's best to travel light and be prepared to whiff a bit.

Where is Cwm Eigiau Cottage?

Cwm Eigiau Cottage is located in upper Cwm Eigiau above Dolgarrog in the Conwy Valley, North Wales Grid reference SH 713638. The hut is clearly marked on OS Outdoor Leisure Map. No. 17. Click here to view the hut location using (the hut location is indicated by the orange arrow).

The road in from Tal y Bont is very steep and gated.  It is single track in parts so watch out for passing places. Access is 2 miles on foot from the public car park at SH732663. The hut is a superb starting point for all the hills in the Carneddau. The classic climbs 'Amphitheatre Buttress' and 'Mur Y Niwl' on Craig yr Ysfa are approximately 45 minutes walk from the front door.

How to book Cwm Eigiau Cottage

Contact the Hut Warden, John Smith by telephone on 07984 596011 or ideally by email at: 

Our hut fees for 2023 are:

£10 per person per night for BMC members and £12 per person per night for everyone else. The fuel charge is £5 per group per night and includes gas, solid fuel, and all the photons you can see.

For 2024 we have had to increase hut fees a little to:

£11 per person per night for BMC members and £13 per person per night for everyone else.   We are holding the hut fuel charge at £5 per night (not @ visitor)

How it works

Once the Hut Warden has confirmed your booking he will post you a hut key about ten days before your visit, so make sure to let him know the best address to use.  

After your trip please return the key as soon as possible and pay hut fees for the whole group to the RMC bank account.  You'll receive a return label for the key but you will need to use a large letter stamp.  If possible, please re-use the cardboard envelope it came in, if it's still in decent condition.

When is the Cottage Available?

Confirmed nights when the cottage is booked are shown on the calendar page. Generally the hut is available from the middle of the afternoon  on the following day.   We don't specify a time when visitors should vacate the hut (the weather usually decides this) but please just be considerate if you overlap with other visitors.