Sue @ Cadair View Lodge's Blog

Tales from a self catering holiday provider

A Walk On Porthmadog Cob

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We recently took a walk over Porthmadog Cob – Y Cob Porthmadog.  Many of you will have driven it and looked out over the marshes but did you know that a few foot below that stone wall there is a fantastic pathway – cycleway?  This area was created when The Cob was widened several years ago and provides a fantastic place to watch the wildlife on the Glaslyn Marshes and to catch a glimpse of the Glaslyn Osprey fishing when they are in residence (March-ish to September-ish).  The big black wall on the other side of the road blanks out the spectacular view of the estuary, marshes and out to sea.

It is possible to walk across The Cob alongside the railway line but, of course, you must be very aware of trains passing quite close to you, keep control of children (who may be frightened by how close the trains are) and dogs.  Maybe check the train timetable and do this part of the walk between trains.  The Cob is about a mile each way.

We started our walk at the Boston Lodge end, crossing the road shortly after the old toll house and climbing the steps up to the railway level.  It’s quite obvious down on the ground.

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Information at Boston Lodge end of The Cob

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Looking back along the line to Boston Lodge yard and sheds

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View across the tracks towards Portmeirion and Harlech

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Every walk needs cake.  Coffee + Walnut Cake at Spooner’s Cafe on Porthmadog Harbour Station.

The halfway point.  We crossed the road to Britannia Terrace and turned for home.  Drop down onto The Cob footpath and cycle way just after the HMRC office.  william-maddocks

Stop a moment and take a look at the carving of William Madocks, the man who built The Cob and who gave his name to so much locally.  Read more about him HERE

When there is no traffic passing on the road this is a beautifully peaceful walk.  We were surrounded by the sounds of birds (and waterfowl), wind and water.  If you do this walk savor these moments.  It was a rather grey day and the clouds were low otherwise we would’ve had a fantastic view of Cnicht (the Welsh Matterhorn – Google it and you’ll see why), The Moelwynion mountains and Snowdon plus its surrounding peaks.  This was the best that I could do.

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I mentioned the wildlife.  We thought that we’d spotted an otter but it was a log (isn’t it always) but there are otters in the area.  We did see several egret (stood for 5 minutes watching one fishing in a pool on the seaside of The Cob), lots of oyster catchers, curlew and geese.  Of course there were lots of birds which I’ll lump together as “seagulls” but an expert would give you more information I’m sure.  There are often swans and cormorants/shags on these marshes too.

This great “trailhead” greeted us as we approached the car.  Two miles done – mostly level.

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To do this walk either park in the lay by on the Minffordd side of The Cob, near to the old toll house and Boston Lodge  – this is free but limited.  Alternatively, park in Porthmadog – there’s a big Pay and Display car park behind Wilko’s.  See a map of Porthmadog HERE

This walk is about 20 minutes drive from Cadair View Lodge log cabin accommodation in the Snowdonia National Park.  To enquire about availability, suitability of our accommodation or prices drop me a message using the form below.

 

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Frongoch… Birthplace of IRA?

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Not what you’d be expecting a holiday accommodation provider in Snowdonia to be talking about is it?  But it happened.

After the Easter Rising in 1916, around 1,800 people were transported from Ireland to a tiny village near to Bala.  Why there you may ask?  Well it seems that it was “out of the way” and there were already 2 established prisoner of war camps which had held German prisoners.  What it seems the authorities hadn’t realised (or realised the significance of) is that the area was a hotbed of Welsh nationalist feelings and behaviour.  These locals were working in the camps and the imprisoned Irish saw them as role models I suppose for what they could achieve.  The prisoners started to teach each other to speak Irish which made it more difficult for the prison authorities to understand what was going on.  It seems that they were allowed to “perform” dramas which involved drilling and military tactics.  When they returned to Ireland in the Christmas of 1916 as heroes they had formulated plans and I suppose they were what we’d call today radicalised.

Amongst the people at Frongoch were Michael Collins, a significant figure in the Irish Revolution and Sinn Féin founder, Arthur Griffith.

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This plaque was until recently the only reminder of the Frongoch Camps.

Until recently all that remained as a reminder of what happened in this little village was a plaque in a layby.  Since the Centenary commemorations an interpretation board and flags have joined it.  Stand in the layby and look at the board with an aerial photo of the area and try to imagine where this huge camp (and the whisky distillery which was there too) stood… it’s very hard.  It happened – honest, but it’s very difficult to imagine it now.

 

Frongoch is on  A4212 between Bala and Trawsfynydd.  The plaque is in layby, on left hand side after the Village on way towards Trawsfynydd.

BBC mark 100 years since arrival of Easter Rising prisonners

This is about 20 minutes drive from Cadair View Lodge log cabin accommodation

 

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The interpretation board showing where the camps where in relation to what can be seen at Frongoch today

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Ever Seen A Shooting Star?

Well have you?  Did you make a wish?

Shooting Stars

Many people haven’t had the opportunity to do that… either they’ve not been looking in the sky at the right time or they’ve not been looking in the right place at the right time.  I’ve been fortunate to see two or three properly (i.e. not just a flash of light out of the corner of my eye) and I can remember the occasions vividly.

Do you know that the Snowdonia National Park was named as one of only 10 Dark Sky Reserves in the World in December 2015?  So our location is now officially one of the best places to see a shooting star (and many other astronomical events and sights) in the UK.

So, equipped with the list of meteor showers anticipated (on the “What’s On” page of our website), NASA’s guidelines for watching meteor showers and some decent, clear weather hopefully you’ll see a shooting star during your stay at Cadair View Lodge log cabins in Snowdonia.

But what will you wish for?  No!!  You can’t tell us.


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Journey To + From Work 8th September 2015

You may or may not know that I live on the beautiful island of Anglesey in North Wales, but our holiday accommodation at Cadair View Lodge is in Southern Snowdonia.  There are several routes that I can take – the quickest (and shortest) is via Caernarfon and Porthmadog.  A good functional route but it can be a bit slow and although picturesque by most people’s standards not THE most picturesque route.

When I set out yesterday to do the journey it was a beautiful, cloud free morning and so I decided to take a stunning route across the mountains.  See my route HERE

I always love the drive up the Nant Francon valley.  The mountains tower above you as you climb towards Cwm Idwal and Tryfan.  As always, it seems, there was no chance of stopping on the way up to take a photo but once passed Ogwen Cottage I stopped at the lay-by on the left, by the lake and took a few snaps on my phone.

Ogwen Valley 8th Sept 15

Ogwen Valley 8th Sept 15

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Even at 10am on a Tuesday morning the car parks were getting full and there were lots of people on the hills already.

I continued on my journey along the A5 to Betws y Coed where I picked up the A470 towards the cabins.

Again a stunning drive with the heights of Cnicht looming ahead.  Nowhere to stop or too much traffic behind to get photos – sorry.

Climbing up over the Crimea Pass (did you know that there used to be a brewery where the layby is now?) and into the barren landscape of the slate quarries.  After a long slow climb up the hill I was glad that the coaches ahead turned off into Llechwedd Slate Caverns.  Whether they were going on the underground tour or going to Bounce Below or on the Zip World attractions I don’t know but I was glad that they’d gone.  Down and through Blaenau Ffestiniog which is quite pretty (honest) on a bright sunny day.

Once out the other side of Blaenau Ffestiniog, Llan Ffestiniog and Ffestiniog (it carries on for longer than you’d think) I was back out onto the rolling hillsides.  Glimpses of the Rhinogau ahead and occasionally the sea, I found a place to stop to look across towards Tanygrisiau and the mountains beyond.  Then onwards again.

Looking back towards Tanygrisiau 8th Sept 15

Looking back towards Tanygrisiau 8th Sept 15

Turning left though still on the A470 I’m almost there.  Trawsfynydd Lake looks spectacular but no time to drop into the cafe today (that was yesterday’s treat).  Now driving south with the Rhinogs to my right.  The three peaks of Cadair Idris come into view – left turn at Bronaber and I’m there!

Panorama taken from Sunset View deck

Panorama taken from Sunset View deck

A day at work looking over cabins and making notes of things that need to be done… that time of year.

Time for home but far too nice for the inland route… and I needed a cup of tea so decided to head over to Criccieth where I was sure to get a parking space next to the beach – I love to paddle whenever I get the chance, shoes and socks are off… big kid in me!

Criccieth Beach 8th Sept 15

Criccieth Beach 8th Sept 15

Then off to Cadwaladers for tea and cake… and managed to get a window seat overlooking the sea again.

All good things must come to an end… well sort of.  As I said I live on the wonderful island of Anglesey and when I got home as it was such a beautiful evening we decided to have fish and chips on the beach… so… this is where I had my tea.  Overlooking the Menai Straits with the sun just beginning to set on Caernarfon Castle opposite us.

Caernarfon Castle across the Menai Straits 8th Sept 15

Caernarfon Castle across the Menai Straits 8th Sept 15

If you would like more information about Cadair View Lodge log cabin accommodation in Snowdonia see our website http://www.CadairViewLodge.co.uk


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Rain, Rain Go Away!

Walk Through Coed y Brenin

Walk Through Coed y Brenin

There’s been a bit of rain over the last few days but then it is Wales and we’re known for our lush, green scenery.  That doesn’t happen without a bit of the wet stuff.  Although there are down sides to it the upside is that it makes it the ideal time to put on your waterproof and your boots and go off to visit our local waterfalls which should be in full flow by now.

One of our favourite local walks, which is suitable for almost everybody and is pushchair friendly, is the Waterfalls and Goldmines walk in Coed y Brenin.  Mainly along forest roads this path does go quite close to the edge of the river in places so keep youngsters and dogs under control.

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The walk is circular and up near the waterfalls there are some remains of buildings from the gold mining industry in the area and some interpretation boards.

Take a look at this video posted by our friend WezChef a few years ago showing part of the walk.

There used to be a nice downloadable leaflet showing the route but since Natural Resources Wales have taken over from The Forestry Commission it’s disappeared.  You’ll now need to download the app

There are also waterfalls just outside of Gallwyd – Rhaeadr Ddu which is on National Trust land.  Details HERE.  This one is a more challenging walk.  Also look at Dolgoch Falls.  A little further away but again brilliant after rain.

So, Welsh language question for you.  What’s the difference between a rhaeadr and a pistyll?  Both Welsh words for “waterfall”.  I’ll leave you to spot the difference!

If you’d like to come to stay in Snowdonia to check out these places for yourself then take a look at our log cabins 2 miles from Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre HERE


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St David’s Day in Criccieth?

Criccieth Beach Sunset Panorama (2)

As has happened the last few years Cadw (the Welsh Government’s historic environment service) has announced FREE entry to several of its properties to celebrate St David’s Day.  The locations within 30 minutes of us are Harlech Castle, Criccieth Castle and Dolwyddelan Castle (there are several more in North Wales too).  Details HERE.  As we both love to go out exploring on at least one day each weekend we’ve decided to visit Criccieth if the weather is good enough.

Haven’t spent any time in Criccieth for nearly a year.  The last time we were there the weather was good enough to sit on the sea front and to “promenade” along the promenade.  We didn’t visit the Castle last time so it’ll be nice to see over it and refresh my memories of it.  There are fantastic views across Cardigan Bay to Harlech and way beyond from the Castle and surrounding grounds.  Did you know that Criccieth was one of the pioneering Cadw sites that ran a trial of allowing dogs to visit (on a lead and with their owners of course)?  And this has now been extended to more locations.

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As well a visiting the Castle we’ll most likely pop into Cadwaladers for an ice cream… a MUST when you’re in the town.  Their cafe “overhangs” the beach with fantastic views across Cardigan Bay.  They do great cake and coffee too.  Have just heard about a Welsh Cake Sundae that they’re launching on Sunday.  Sneaky peak HERE

There’s also a visit to Criccieth Lifeboat Station on the books too.

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We drop into lots of RNLI stations to say “Hi” as my partner (and his son) is a crew member of Holyhead Lifeboat Station.  There’s always a warm welcome.

For future reference, Dylan’s, the restaurant currently based in Menai Bridge is opening a new venture on the beach (well almost) at Criccieth early Summer 2015.  They’ve got all sorts planned for the town so they’ll be a place to visit maybe next time we visit.  You’ll find some more information HERE.

I’ve also heard rumours that there maybe fish and chips for tea…. but where?  No Dylan’s yet?

So now you know my plans for the weekend… how about you?

Will post some photos of the day if there are any decent ones – fingers crossed for good visibility from the Castle and no rain.

Criccieth is 19 miles from our log cabin accommodation at Cadair View Lodge and it takes about 29 minutes to drive there.


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Busy Weekend in Snowdonia

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Don’t get too excited… the Rhinogs don’t look like THIS just yet but with the weatherman saying it’s getting colder this week you never know WHEN it might happen!

We’re heading into a REALLY busy weekend.  There is lots happening on the weekend of 6th – 7th December and we’ve got some great accommodation deals on so that you can come and enjoy the pre-Christmas excitement.

So what’s happening?

2014 December 6th Coed y Brenin – Christmas Market with Father Christmas and local crafts for sale
2014 December 6th – 7th Portmeirion Food + Craft Fair Lots of local food to buy for Christmas plus unusual gifts
2014 December 6th – 7th Betws-y-Coed – “Nadolig Llawen yn Betws-y-Coed”  Lots happening in the Village all weekend.  Click the link for news.
2014 December 6th – 7th Bala Lake Railway – Santa Specials Details HERE
2014 December 6th – 7th Llechwedd Slate Caverns – Visit Santa at Bounce Below (and have a bounce too!) Details HERE
2014 December 6th – 7th Welsh Highland Railway – Santa Trains run from Caernarfon to Waun Fawr Details HERE

What do YOU fancy?  Personally, I would like to see “The Big Man” (and I don’t mean Sean Taylor!) on Bounce Below.  If you would like to join in this fun we have one night stays on 6th or 7th December for £130 per cabin or 2 night stays for £200 per cabin.  See all of the details on our Special Offers Page.

To see what’s happening locally for the rest of December (and into 2015) see our What’s On Page.

Cadair View Lodge... Log Cabin Accommodation in the Heart of the Snowdonia National Park

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