Sign up to our newsletter to get all the latest news and offers!



Natural Inspiration: The Relationship Between Art, Nature and Wellbeing

Janet Hill | Feb 15th, 19 | Leisure

I read a fascinating article published in The Guardian a few years ago which reported that artists were heading for the countryside in droves. In the 80s and 90s, being considered a serious artist meant living in a city, specifically London; and if we’re talking even more specifically, somewhere quirky and ...


A Valentines Love Letter to The Countryside

Our beautiful countryside, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways…


Weekends Away in the UK - Why Go Anywhere Else?

I remember when the humble staycation was the option for holidaymakers too adventure-adverse to go abroad - or it was seen as a cheap and cheerful way for families to get some time out without blowing the budget.


Loving our Hills Community

A couple of weeks ago, we published an article commending the countryside for being a prime place to live. Amongst our top 5 reasons? The wonderful community spirit in such gorgeous rural locations.


Notes from a Nemophilist

Sonia Goulding | Jan 18th, 19 | GardenLeisure

Walking at twilight on a crisp winter evening with the light stretched thin across the landscape and the exquisite forms of unrobed trees exposed against the crepuscular sky, it is easy to see why artists lust after the beautiful contours and shapes created by their dark-limbed outlines.


Easing Into Life This January

It’s wonderful to be back here at The Hills, a very happy new year to you all! I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas break, and managed to unwind, unfurl and embrace the slowness that the period brings.


Book Review - Educated by Tara Westover

Tara Westover’s Educated was one of the biggest books of 2018, topping awards and bestsellers lists across the world. It’s a memoir in which Westover - who, by the way, is still only 32 - recalls her upbringing in rural Idaho as part of a Mormon survivalist family. Her father, Gene, ...


A Peculiarly Welsh Christmas

‘Marley was dead, to begin with.’ This well-known opening line from the most famous and best loved ghost story ever written sets the scene for the familiar story of a wicked, miserly old man whose shrivelled soul rejects the love and friendship of his fellow men in favour of the cold, ...


The Hills Christmas Gift Guide - Artisan and Homemade Gifts

In an age where the shop small and Just A Card campaigns are running strong and gathering steam year after year, long gone are the days when homemade and ‘craft’ gifts look Scrooge-like! Making or purchasing handmade items demonstrates a care for the community, a thoughtful purchase and passion for passing ...


There's a Pawty Going on Around Here!

When is a party not a party? When it’s a ‘PAWTY’, of course, and that’s just what you’ll find at the Market Hall in Caernarfon on Sunday December 9th, when it will be decked out in all its Christmas finery to welcome the town’s first ‘Tails and Tinsel Christmas Pawty’! ...


Rooted in History

There’s something wonderful about walking through a wood in the company of trees. Whether enjoying the soft, green light filtering through the fresh, unfurling leaves of spring, the crowded canopy of summer, alive with the sound of a thousand things, the glowing cathedral of stained-glass autumn leaves with the wistful whisperings ...


Embracing Slow Living

This week I have noticed my rapidly decreasing levels of energy as we progress from autumn to winter. Are you feeling it too? I recall a conversation I had a while ago with my great coach Julie Leoni about ‘going with it’, and living with the flow of the seasons. Winter ...


Book Review - All Among the Barley by Melissa Harrison

Laura McDonagh | Nov 8th, 18 | Leisure

It’s time for something a little more contemporary here at The Hills: today’s book review is on All Among The Barley by Melissa Harrison, a book I was desperate to get my hands on as soon as it was published at the end of August this year.


How To Reduce Your Household Waste - Without The ‘Zero Waste’ Pressure

Recycling is having something of a renaissance. ‘Zero waste’ as a concept is everywhere, from the headlines to the high street. Costa, Starbucks and Pret now offer free water refills to anyone who asks after Keep Britain Tidy revealed that 70% of customers would feel uncomfortable asking for a refill without ...


The Hills Meets: MOSTYN Gallery

Janet Hill | Nov 2nd, 18 | LeisureBusiness

An article in The Independent once declared that ‘art galleries ought to be amusing’. Not, as we discovered they meant, in a comedic fashion, but instead using the historic sense of the word - entertaining, interesting and enthralling. Unfortunately, research has also found that for many people, the concept of attending ...


A Winter Nature Walk: What to look out for as we move from Autumn to Winter

The evenings are drawing in, the woodburner is lit more often than not and the aga is coming in to its own. Yes, it’s true: Winter is definitely on its way.


Get Your Dose of Adventure in the Countryside this Autumn

During the summer, it's so easy for us to pick up our day-to-day activities and move outdoors. From evening strolls, to picnic lunches; weekend exploring or even just the local beer garden. However, as we all settle into the cozy comforts of autumn, with the daylight hours creeping ever-shorter, it’s easy ...


A Prayer to Nature

I have had an uncharacteristic day, a very un-Julie day, something I haven’t had since my summer by the sea in France. I have had tea in a bookshop with my son. I have gathered windfall apples and stewed them, they are waiting to be turned into cinnamon pies. I have cut ...


The Hills Meets - Julie Leoni

One of the most pleasurable and fulfilling activities of running my own business is meeting and spending time with talented people. In this week’s ‘The Hills Meets’ feature, and I am thrilled to be joined by my great friend, Julie Leoni. You may recognise her name from her monthly guest posts ...


3 Easy Ways to Create a Wonderfully Scented Fire

As the weather is decidedly turning, recently we’ve taken the hint to slow down a little, spend more time indoors and make sure the blankets and throws are ready for a chilly evening on the sofa.


And I think to myself, what a wonderful world...

Every morning I wake up, raise the blinds and feel enormously privileged to live where I live - and that isn’t an exaggeration. I might be biased, but I think The Hills HQ is situated in a particularly lovely corner of the British Isles, set as it is at the foot of ...


Shopping Small In Your Community

One of the pleasures I take in visiting smaller towns and villages in North Wales derives from the variety I see on the high street. Unlike cities and towns where small businesses have been beaten by the lowest common denominators of ‘cheap’ and ‘easy’, local businesses create colour and diversity. They’re ...


Book Review - Tarry Flynn, by Patrick Kavanagh

Tarry Flynn, a young man in his mid 20s in 1930s staunchly Catholic Ireland, spends his days arguing with his mother, tending his smallholding and talking about girls with his friend, Eusebius...


Single Use Plastics in The Countryside

Here at The Hills all of us (myself, my team and Directory members included) feel very passionately about caring for our environment and the planet on which we live. Did you manage to read last week’s blog post on sustainability? I’m still taking part in Plastic Free July, and very much enjoying participating in ...


Sustainability isn’t just for July…

If your social media feed is anything like mine, you will be aware that we are now almost two weeks in to Plastic Free July! This world wide movement now has now has millions of participants across more than 150 countries, and is really bringing single use plastics, sustainability and eco-living ...


The Hills Meets - Mark Fetherstone “Fetherstone Photography”

I’ve spoken lots about the arts and creative businesses here on The Hills recently - just last week we had the opportunity to chat with Murdering The Text playwrites on their booming murder mystery business, and we are going to continue today to delve further into the creative hive of The ...


The Hills Meets - Murdering The Text

Janet Hill | Jun 29th, 18 | Leisure

As you know, here at The Hills I’m passionate about promoting all kinds of rural businesses and enterprises, but I must admit that those organisations which represent the Arts are close to my heart. In North Wales, you really can take your pick of artists! But it’s not all paint and ...


An Evening With Amanda Owen

Rather than a book review this month, we’re going for something a little different here at The Hills - a review of An Audience With Amanda Owen. The event - an evening at Pocklington Arts Centre in Yorkshire’s East Riding - saw Amanda, famous for her remote life in the Yorkshire ...


The Hills Meets - Welshot Photographic Academy

Janet Hill | Jun 22nd, 18 | LeisureBusiness

As you know, we have a diverse range of members in The Hills directory, from gardeners and artists to cheese makers and photographers! Today I introduce you to Lee Iggulden, owner of both Welshot Photographic Academy and The Kiwi Social. At Welshot they believe that you don’t need to have the latest, ...


From Eden to Environmental Catastrophe

I believe that there is a plague upon our beautiful countryside. It’s easy to prevent and a cure is readily available. But for some reason it keeps spreading, affecting more and more of our rural beauty spots and costing local councils and charities millions to treat. The plague I’m talking about is litter. ...


Photography Tips for the Business in the Hills

Welshot Photography | May 25th, 18 | Leisure

Are you someone who loves photography? Maybe it’s not your passion, but you’ve realised it is something you need to know how to do to help promote you and your business? I am guessing it can be a bit frustrating too – creating continuous content for your website, social media, newsletters – ...


Get started with…growing your own vegetables

Is there anything more satisfyingly wholesome than tucking into fruits and vegetables grown in your own backyard? And if you fancy a larder packed with homegrown produce, we have good news: it’s not too late to get started with growing your own food.


The Hills Meets: The Laundry

Janet Hill | May 16th, 18 | Leisure

As our directory is steadily growing with exciting and brilliant new business members, this week I would like to take the opportunity to throw the ‘spotlight’, on one of our most recent subscribers - The Laundry.


The Outrun by Amy Liptrot

Laura McDonagh | May 7th, 18 | Leisure

The Outrun is a memoir of addiction and recovery - and admittedly an apparently odd choice for a ‘countryside read’. But this is no ordinary AA story, and the Orkney Islands are key to both the author’s descriptions of addiction - living on the edge, literally and figuratively, facing a raging ...


Why You Should Be Planting Wildflowers in Your Garden This Spring

Just imagine sweeping fields full of wildflowers. The picture perfect image of the British countryside. Sadly the reality is that since the 1930’s we’ve lost over 90% of our wildflower meadows. But don’t be fooled, wildflowers aren't just pretty; they're wonderfully good for your garden and the local wildlife too!


A Day on the River

Kerry Brind | Apr 1st, 18 | Leisure

Every year at about this time, Mr B and I do a rather foolish thing...


The Shepherd’s Life by James Rebanks

Laura McDonagh | Mar 5th, 18 | Leisure

‘I bet he was a sod at school.’ That was my first impression of James Rebanks, author of this aggressively honest memoir about life as a shepherd in the Lake District.


The Interview: Ella Woodhead, Equestrian

Ella Woodhead | Feb 28th, 18 | Leisure

Ella Woodhead, marketing guru by day and eventing enthusiast every other waking hour, started riding on a geriatric pony at the age of 6. Now 22, she dreams of making Team GB. Here she tells The Hills about the qualities that make a star competitor, her beloved competition horses and her ...

Sign up today

Get the latest from The Hills...

Get all the latest blog posts, features of the week, exclusive offers straight into your email inbox.

Join the


They’re hidden in the hills…

Add your beautiful business to our community and join other rural makers, creators, crafters and brands in our directory and business services.

Join the directory

Login Required

Sorry, but the post you want to read is for registered members only.

Login below to try again or register an account

Login Register

Login Required

Sorry, but the post you want to read is for Premium & Business members only.

Login below to try again or register for a Premium or Business account

Login Register

Login Required

Sorry, but the post you want to read is for Business members only.

Login below to try again or register for a Business account

Login Register