This blog is off topic for Cadair View Lodge… rather than telling you how much people have enjoyed staying with us or talking about the great things to see and do in Snowdonia, this blog is the story of somewhere that I didn’t receive a friendly welcome in Snowdonia.
Today I met up with my friend Nick for one of our regular walks. We parked in the village of Trefriw in the Conwy Valley with the intention of walking over the hills to Llyn Cowlyd resevoir. At 7am the weather was dreadful… pouring rain! So we sat in the cars hoping that there would be a break – forecast said that the band of rain would pass over us early morning. By 7.30am there was no sign of the rain easing off so we decided to put on our waterproofs and go anyway.
It’s always nice when there’s a loo at the beginning (and end) of a walk. It’s OK for the boys who can “go” behind a tree but it’s a bit more difficult for us girls! There are “public conveniences” just around the corner from the car park in Trefriw but, as seems to be the trend, as it was before 8am they weren’t open. Councils take note… walkers start out early – especially in Summer months, it’d be nice to have loos opened earlier! Anyway back to my story…
Just over the road, next to the Trefriw Woollen Mill there are a couple of shops. One is a news agents and the other is a cafe. Both were open this morning with a little gaggle of locals, I presume sitting at a table outside. As we passed the cafe I saw that there was a toilet in there.
I asked the gaggle “Would it be OK for me to use the toilet in the cafe as the public ones aren’t open yet?”.
I was told “The public ones are over there”.
I replied “But they’re not open yet”.
I was told “The cafe toilets are for cafe customers only”!
As somebody who owns a business in Snowdonia and who goes out-of-the-way to make guests as welcome as possible… whether there is money in it for me or not, I found this action totally deplorable. What does this say about the Village and the attitude that it has towards tourists… who no doubt bring a substantial amount of money to its businesses?
The cafe was the sort of place that we may have gone into and bought a meal after our walk… there was an enticing smell of bacon coming from it when we came back… hungry and wet. But I wouldn’t step over the threshold, no matter how hungry I was, due to the hostile attitude that I had encountered.
Please don’t worry if you are a potential visitor to Snowdonia, the reason that I am blogging about this is because it is not the norm. The majority of people (and businesses) that you will encounter in the area are friendly and helpful and will go out of their way to ensure that you enjoy your visit. But there are a few, like this cafe in Trefriw, who moan that their business are failing and not being used by tourists and occurrences like this are the reason why.
The choice of whether to visit Trefriw or not, is yours.