The Barn

Make, Work, Play

The Emergence Centre for Residencies, Retreats & Workshops

The Barn offers unique self-catering accommodation which includes a beautiful, light and airy studio/working space with views across to Cadair Idris.

Ideal for writer’s retreats, solo and small group residencies, dance and performance research and development, or simply for time and space out for creative dreaming.

We welcome artists, creators and makers to our warm, comfortable and spacious converted barn, four miles from Machynlleth, in the foothills of Pumlumon and on the edge of the Dyfi Valley and Snowdonia National Parks.

You are welcome to come to The Barn to create, retreat and re-connect. You will have sole, private, entirely self-contained use of the converted barn which is attached to our 200 year old Welsh farmhouse.

Here you will encounter big skies, a deep ferny ravine with a stream running through, veg beds, poly tunnel, apple trees, blackcurrant bushes and lots of foraging opportunities – all set amidst acres and acres of peace and quiet!

Nant y Gwenill sits in the middle of beautiful hills, has a large thriving garden with plenty of wildlife, surrounded by mature trees with a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) on the land through which runs a beautiful stream. At night, conditions for bat watching and star-gazing are perfect.

“You have a wonderful space here…”


We can accommodate up to 8 people in the Barn (1 double, 1 twin, 1 twin ‘bunkhouse’ type space in addition to a double sofa bed in the studio). There is also camping available in the garden with further B&B and camping options nearby.

In addition, there are two cosy conservatories, a sitting room with wood-burner, dining room, galley kitchen and bathroom. There is an additional first floor ‘bunkhouse-style’ sleeping area and a ‘snug’ which can be used as a library/sitting/quiet area.

The Barn has limited mobile signal but has its own free wifi.

The entire building runs on renewable energy via solar panels and a sustainable wood pellet fuel boiler. We also have a charging point for electric cars.

“space to re-connect with the land, water and air in this beautiful valley…”

The Studio/ Group Space

On the first floor of the Barn is the beautiful group space, with wooden floors, measuring 3.3m x 5.8m, suitable for movement, bodywork, meetings and meditation with a balcony and views towards Cadair Idris.

If you need access to a larger group space, there is an option to book our local village hall which is a 5 minute drive/20 minute walk away. Contact us for more details.

“Wow what a Place…”

Outdoor Spaces

There is also undercover outside space available where you can safely meet and work whilst Covid protocols/social distancing are still in place. The land around here is accessible and perfect for ceremony/nature/outdoor work. It is easy to move effortlessly between indoors and outdoors and there are many hidden, private places to sit, journal and move close-by. A public footpath runs through the garden and access to the nearby hills and fields is literally available on your door-step.

“Truly a Haven…”

Working with Us

There is also an option for working with Fern and Phil whilst you are here.

Work with Fern on mentoring, coaching, facilitation, craniosacral therapy and bodywork, medicine walks, ceremony, and rites of passage. For more information: &

Work with Phil on writing for stage and screen, mentoring, dramaturgy etc.

For more information

The Barn @ Nant y Gwenill will also be the venue for our own courses, retreats, residential workshops and ceremonies including Space for Change and our annual Vision Fasts.

Our vision is to welcome others to work, make, rest and retreat here alongside our own programme of work.


Diolch yn fawr for a fabulous two weeks! A beautiful place to work and be creative in. It is very special and has given me the space to rest deeply and connect with the land again. We certainly intend to return soon to drink deeply of the magic that abounds here.

Kevin (Theatre Performance R&D)

We leave your beautiful barn feeling rested, relaxed and recuperated with such fond memories of cosy evenings by the fire, writing and creating in the wonderful, tranquil light-filled studio, cooking meals in the brilliantly equipped kitchen and savoring them round the fabulous oak table; nights of sound sleep in the calm quiet bedroom and incredibly comfy bed and above all else your warmth, hospitality and love. Diolch yn fawr, we’ll be back!

S: (Play writing R&D)

Thank you for such a warm and welcoming stay; this place has been a refuge for creativity and rejuvenation.

L: (Silent Meditation Retreat)

A week of writing the proposal for my book. For now, the book is called ‘Falling into Place’ and what a gorgeous place to map it out. Huge thanks Fern for all the connections you made for me with people doing place-based work in Wales. So valuable! And thank you both for the luxurious guest house and your warm company. It has been such a pleasure. We will be back!

I: (Writing Retreat)

Thank you for this beautiful, homely and easeful space to be, meditate, dream and rest in. Magical.

J: (Silent Meditation retreat)

The Surrounding Area & Transport Links

We are four miles from Machynlleth, the Ancient Capital of Wales, close to many sandy beaches, beautiful mountains and magical lakes. Machynlleth has a mainline train station with good bus routes to the surrounding areas. We are happy to arrange pick-up/drop-off from the train station as there are no local buses to us.

The Centre for Alternative Technology, Cadair Idris, Aberystwyth Arts Centre and The National Library of Wales are all a short drive away. Machynlleth hosts a National Comedy Festival and International Music Festival each year and the weekly street market is a mainstay and social hub of the town.

Here is a flavour of the beautiful surrounding landscape and some images from our favourite walks and places to visit nearby.

Covid Protocol

We are committed to keeping people safe during Covid-19, so deep cleaning and one day between booking has been built into our schedule. We will send you our ‘Keeping Safe During Covid’ Hub protocol on booking.

Prices & Cancellation Policy

Click here for 2023 prices


For booking and more information contact