We are Steve and Lea,

The Woodlife Way.

We very much enjoy creating useful and beautiful products from local natural materials inspired by the amazing nature all around us. Our favourite material to work with is wood – from seed and throughout its life to ash and decay. We also make unique driftwood pieces from stone and driftwood.

We try to keep the original beauty of the natural material, which shows its unique history.

We craft from local natural materials, personalised hand burnt key rings, wooden buttons, and coasters. Driftwood trees (for Christmas or all year),  Tree Charm decorations with many unique designs, natural wooden hooks made from tree branches, and we will hopefully be adding some photography based items soon too.

buttons

We choose, cut, shape, sand, wax and drill each button, keyring and coaster by hand. Being a natural wood product each piece is unique.

Our buttons are presented on either a hessian, linen or 100% wool backing with a whittled stick and string to hang. As well as looking very decorative, we find that it is very useful to be able to hang the buttons in your craft space where you will be able to find them when needed. It is then up to you to finish the story, whether they become a fastening on a handmade cardigan, a new embellishment for a favourite cushion, bag, quilt or curtain, or they would make a lovely gift to anyone who enjoys crafting. The backing could also be re-used, maybe to hang earrings or even more buttons?

Whatever their destiny we always love to see pictures of where they end up…

Please have a look at our craft pages to see what we have listed so far. We have many ideas for future products, so do check back. Or maybe come and visit for a stay in our Gite

Ty Huelgoat self catering gite, light, bright and spacious accommodation with wonderful views across Huelgoat and its legendary forests with lake views from the top floors too!
There are 3 bedrooms 2 double (1 ensuite), and a twin.There is a spacious kitchen/dining/socialising room (with a wood-burning stove) on the ground floor that leads directly to the garden, a second light and airy loungeon the first floor. There are 2 shower rooms and 3 toilets.
The beautiful lakeside village of Huelgoat is just a few minutes walk.
The perfect place to enjoy a perfect holiday.

Other things to note

All linen and towels are provided.
We provide the first bag of firewood for free. After that, if you would like more firewood we charge 5€ per bag.

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The neighborhood
Steve & Lea’s place is located in Huelgoat, Bretagne, France.

The small town of Huelgoat in Brittany has all the essentials for a great holiday. Within the town there are shops, tourist information, small supermarkets, restaurants, bars and a weekly market. There is a lake and the famous millennia-old boulders the “Chaos”, the “Mushroom” and the “Trembling Rock” among many others.
The surrounding forest of some 1150 hectares is part of the protected Parc Naturel Régional d’Amorique. From the edge of town there are easy walks/hikes through the forest to, for instance, the iron age settlement of Arthur’s Camp and those towards the silver mines which closed in 1866. There are also walks around the lake, which was dug in the 16th Century to provide water to the mines and not far away are the moorland walks on Brittany’s highest hills, the Monts d’Arrée.
The area is rich in legends involving Arthur, King of Britain & Brittany, the Devil at the Devil’s Grotto, Giants creating the famous boulders and many more.

HISTORY
There is evidence that the area was settled as early as 4500BC. In the forest surrounding the town, the site of Arthur’s Camp was an Iron Age settlement for a Celtic tribe known as the Osismes who later developed their capital in Carhaix. The motte nearby dates from the 9th century as a defence against Viking raids of that time.
In the Middle Ages the area was part of a very large parish called Ploumenez, in the 11th Century it was a included with Berrien. Documents show that Huelgoat existed as a town by the end of the 13th century and by the 14th century had a ducal market charter. It became a parish in its own right in 1791 and continued to develop as an important market town for the area.
The lake, some 15 hectares in size, was dug by German engineers at the end of the 16th Century to provide water for the nearby silver mines. The water ran to nearby the mines as the river Argent but later canals (channels) were constructed to bring water from the river closer to the mining operations. There were three veins of silver running north to south. The mines were at their height in the 18th Century but closed in 1866 In the 20th century attempts were made to re-start mining but these were finally abandoned in 1934.
By the end of the 19th century Huelgoat was becoming a well-known tourist destination and a tourist office was opened in 1923. Between the wars it continued to develop as interest in Breton culture grew. In World War II German forces arrived in Huelgoat in June 1940 and the town was liberated in August 1944. Today it is a part of the Parc Naturel Régional d’Amorique with its forests, lake and its mass of granite boulders known as a Chaos.
THE CHAOS
The fascinating mass of granite boulders at the head of the Argent as it leaves the lake is known as a Chaos. From underground magma produced over 300 million years ago, this cooled and cracked. Erosion then brought it to the surface where around 50 million years ago warm rains removed the sand and gravel in the cracks and the remaining granite boulders tumbled into the chaos we now see. From a similar process the rock known as the Mushroom (near the Intermarché supermarket) and the Trembling Rock are also fascinating to see.
THE FOREST
Consists of about 1150 hectares with mainly beech, oak and Scots pine. Rich in wild life, the granite boulders of the Chaos, the Trembling Rock and others, the gushing river Argent and sites such as Arthur’s Camp it is a forest walkers’ paradise.
LEGENDS
Arthur’s Grotto is said to connected to Arthur, King of Britain & Brittany and the forest to be that of Brocéliande. Others state that Merlin’s treasure from the Valley of No Return is hidden in the nearby cave. During the French Revolution, monarchists chasing a Republican soldier fled on seeing the Devil in the depths of the Devil’s Grotto. The hill above the Gouffre chasm is said to be the favourite place of Dahut, daughter of King Gradlon of Quimper, where she enjoyed singing, dancing and the pleasures of young men! The Chaos has two main legends: the giant Hok-Bas, on receiving poor refreshments from the townsfolk threw giant boulders at the town. The other, that in a battle the giants of Berrien and Plouyé lobbed boulders at each other but all fell short and rolled into the forest at Huelgoat.

HUELGOAT TOWN
The main square is Place Aristide Briande.
Here there are restaurants, bars, shops, the Tourist Office, two boulangeries and the smaller supermarket Huit a Huit (open 8 till 8 of course!). The open air Market is held here every Thursday morning. Off the square is the Mairie where there is extra parking (all free) and the recycling and “black bag” facilities.
Also in this square is the parish church Eglise St-Yves with Flamboyant-Gothic style dating from the 16th century. Yves is the patron saint of Brittany, an ecclesiastical judge in the 13th century noted for the fairness of his judgements.
Access to the Chaos is by the path beside the bridge at the end of the lake, but it is very uneven and can be slippery. An easier route is across the road from the Intermarché supermarket/Parking du Champignon on the Route de Berrien.
The old building by the bridge is the old mill Moulin de Chaos, built in 1339 by the then Duke of Brittany. It came to the French King after Brittany became part of France in 1532. It has two wheels and two mill-stones.
The chapel at the end of our road is the Chapelle Notre-Dame des Cieux where there are fine figureheads and carvings. The annual Pardon was once held here, drawing large crowds from a wide area of central Brittany.
Across the road from the chapel, down a steep path, is the Fontaine et Lavoir. The lavoir is the public washing-place for linen etc and the fountain source once fed the fountain in the main square.
Worth a visit (open April to October) is the Arboretum Les Arbres du Monde, off the Rue des Cieux, behind the cemetery, close by our house. There are 22 hectares and a lake.
The large buildings on the main road (Rue des Cieux) opposite the chapel is the Hospital Mont le Roux. Founded in 1894 as an hospice for the old and sick of Huelgoat. In 1993 it became a hospital for the elderly and dependant people (EHPAD for short). In front of the hospital are the gardens Jardins de l’Argoat which are open to all just to sit or stroll.

WALKS
Huelgoat has an outstanding reputation for its walks, particularly in and around the abundant forest.
Signposting is good and many recommended walks take about two hours to complete but, of course, may be shortened to suit the walker.

These include:-
To Arthur’s Camp via parking at Parking de l’Arlquellen on the road towards Poullaouen (D769A).

Around the town’s lake.

Towards the mine along either the upper or lower canal, setting off from the Mairie.

Into the forest to the east of Arthur’s Camp, this time parking at Parking du Gouffre.

Driving 15 or so minutes west on the main road back towards Morlaix (D764) to reach the area of the highest hills in Brittany, the Monts d’Arrée, where there are abundant moorland walks plus those around the reservoir.

Getting around

For those travelling from southern Britain the ferry docks at Roscoff (of Onion Johnnies fame) and Huelgoat is then an easy 50 minutes drive away. Parking is on the residential road at the gate to the house.
Travelling by public transport then we recommend using the site breizhgo – simply input your details and it will give you options on how to get to Huelgoat.