Sue @ Cadair View Lodge's Blog

Tales from a self catering holiday provider


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Earth Day 2016 @ Cadair View Lodge Ltd

Earth-Day-2016-Poster-Earth-Day-Network

April 22nd 2016 is #EarthDay.  You may’ve heard about it in the media but what does it mean to you?  Have you thought about what small changes you could make that might have a positive effect on your environment or on the planet as a whole?  Here are some ideas from The Independent though there is a lot of other information about.

So what do we do to be greener?

  • We have 30 solar panels on our office roof which give us FREE green electricity to run our office for most of the year… with energy to spare.
  • We DON’T print marketing material as we recognise that the majority of leaflets, brochures and flyers end up in the bin (or as litter)
  • We print the absolute minimum that we can in our office and recycle as much paper that we receive as we can.  Last year we took 80kg + to the recycling centre
  • In the office we boil the kettle at the beginning of the work day and fill a flask which keeps us in tea (usually) until home time
  • All of our laundry and the majority of our welcome pack shopping is done within 3 miles of the log cabins.  This cuts down on the miles AND benefits our local community
  • Things that we can’t buy locally we try to buy in bulk to avoid the need to drive
  • We maximise our use of digital communications to cut down on the need to drive
  • We don’t fill our accommodation with tourism leaflets which quickly become out of date or tatty.  We encourage our guests to plan their activities via the internet before they come.
  • We highlight to our guests businesses, attractions, activities and locations which are within 30 minutes drive of our accommodation.  Cutting down on the number of miles that they drive (cutting down their stress, the impact on our roads AND the impact on our environment) and encouraging spend in our local economy.
  • We encourage our guests to ride their bikes down to Coed y Brenin using the back lanes and tracks rather than driving the 2 miles.
  • We highlight greener activities to our guests – cycling, running and walking
  • Most of our cabins are now stained rather than being painted.  The stain lasts far longer than the paint used to do therefore reducing the impact on the environment.
  • There are now recycling facilities on site and we encourage guests to recycle all that they can.
  • We are beginning to fit devices to our heaters (4 cabins converted with the next one planned) which means that they only stay on for a fixed amount of time (up to 2 hours) before switching themselves off.  This means that guests can have the cabins as warm as they like when they are in the cabin BUT the on demand heaters can’t be left on when guests go out for the day.  Don’t panic… the storage heaters still provide background heating.
  • In most cabins water is heated when needed… we don’t have hot water tanks.
  • The light bulbs in our cabins are being changed for LED bulbs where possible to reduce their impact too.
  • Our cabins are fitted with up to date TVs which use less power.

If you would like help, advice or support with running YOUR self catering property in Anglesey or Gwynedd then please get in touch with me Sue Hall at sue.hall@cadairviewlodge.co.uk 

To find out more about Cadair View Lodge accommodation in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park take a look at our website www.CadairViewLodge.co.uk


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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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Do You Usually Go Away Over Easter?

No – this isn’t a selling pitch this is just for your information.

Easter at Cadair View Lodge

Easter at Cadair View Lodge

Have you checked your children’s “Easter” holiday dates for 2016?  Easter is very early next year and some local authorities are not ending their Spring Term until a week AFTER Easter!  That is to say that some schools will close Good Friday and Easter Monday but then continue until the following Friday before breaking up.  So if this applies to your LEA and you usually take advantage of the 2 Bank Holidays and schools being closed to take a holiday then you’re scuppered!

Good Friday 2016 is Friday 25th March

Easter Monday 2016 is Monday 28th March

See your children’s school holidays by Local Education Authority HERE  Fingers crossed that the same holiday range applies to all of them.

If you would like to come to stay at our log cabins in Snowdonia, North Wales for Easter 2016 then please get in touch as soon as possible.   I can see a lot of stay-cations happening over Easter 2016 so book early.  See our website HERE  Minimum stay 3 nights


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It’s The Real Thing!

A few years ago I attended a workshop aimed at informing local accommodation providers what food they ought to feed mountain bikers that came to stay.  Not being a B&B most of it didn’t apply to us but it was interesting all the same.

One of the things that they talked about was that a drink of half CocaCola and half water would provide a boost for the last half of a ride – giving the rider sugar, caffeine, sodium and water plus replacing electrolytes lost in the first half of the ride.  Today I spotted THIS article about the effects of CocaCola on the body and wondered whether the advice given was right or not.

Have you ever tried the half Coke half water drink?

The other thing that I took away from the workshop was that REAL homemade lemon barley water is a great rehydrator.  Here’s a recipe for those who want to try it for themselves.  Let me know what you think.

Sophie Grigson’s lemon barley water

Lemon barley water

Preparation and cooking time

25 minutes plus cooling/chilling

Makes

approx. 3/4 litre (1 1/4 pints)

  • 300g (10oz) pearl barley
  • 1 large firm lemon
  • 75g (2 1/2 oz) butter, chilled
  • Icing sugar (optional)
  1. Bring the barley and 2 1/2 litres (4 1/4 pints) water to the boil, skin off any scum that rises and then simmer for 20 minutes. Draw off the heat.
  2. Pare the zest from the lemon into long strips using a potato peeler. Stir into the hot barley water with the caster sugar, then leave to cool. Strain and discard the barley and lemon zest.
  3. Stir the lemon juice into the liquid, taste and if necessary, sweeten with a little icing sugar, or extra lemon juice if it could do with a shot of acidity. You may even want to add a little more water to soften the flavour.
  4. Keep refrigerated, always serving your lemon barley water thoroughly chilled.


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No Two Days Are Ever The Same

Over the last couple of days I’ve been attending a performance coaching course in Bangor.  After some initial trepidation (mostly created by the pre-course reading list that was sent) it turned out to be an interesting couple of days, surrounded by friends and acquaintances from the #BigIdeasWales project with whom I’ve worked for more than 11 years.

We learned lots and had a chance to try out our new-found skills on each other.  Thanks to Vicky from The Centre for Coaching for her tolerance and keeping us on track.

We were kept sustained with handmade chocolates brought by Jo Edwards of Aballu plus constant chatter and anecdotes supplied by Andrea Calland from Hedge Witch Healing.

Andrea with Willow

Andrea with Willow

On the last afternoon Islwyn Jones from Pen y Bryn Falconry brought Willow, one of his barn owls, to fly in the meeting room.  Lifted everybody for the last afternoon’s work.

At the end of the session, David (Maria Garwell the Magician’s husband) produced a ballballoon-27-appleoon modelled apple for our teacher… maybe he was looking for extra marks in his assignment!

Us #BigIdeasWales role models run an eclectic mix of businesses.  We speak in schools and colleges across Wales to encourage young people to think about working for themselves at some point in the future.  If you’d like more information about what we do have a look at http://business.wales.gov.uk/bigideas/


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We Aim To Help and Inform

walkers on snowy Cadair Idris

Aberdyfi SAR Team Training on Cadair Idris 2013

During an enquiry phone call yesterday the potential guest told me that they were looking to go up Snowdon during a stay in January.  From more than 11 years of experience of talking to guests and from what had been said in the earlier part of the conversation I asked “Do you have the right clothing and equipment for going up Snowdon in the middle of Winter?”.  The reply was “What equipment would that be?”.  Says it all really.  No wonder there are so many Search and Rescue Team call outs.  Hopefully this group will now not be the cause of one of them.

“Have You Packed for WINTER in Wales”?


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Everything Stops For Tea!

Cadair View Lodge Tea Time

You’ve driven for hours but now you’ve arrived.  You’ve opened the cabin door – it’s warm and welcoming inside.  The promised welcome basket is there waiting for you.  The kettle is ready filled.  Flick the switch, get the cups out, grab some tea bags (or coffee sticks) and the packet of biscuits from the welcome basket.  Boiling water, milk from the fridge, RELAX!

Your holiday has begun!

Open the information pack and the biscuits – the car can be unpacked later.

Welcome baskets containing bread, milk, biscuits, tea, coffee, milk, butter, washing-up liquid, loo rolls, bin bags, kitchen towel and more provided FREE OF CHARGE with all stays at Cadair View Lodge in Snowdonia (even one night stays).  We’ve provided it so that you don’t have to remember it.

Check out what else makes us special at www.CadairViewLodge.co.uk .

You can also call us on 01978 759603 or email info@cadairviewlodge.co.uk

Come to stay for a relaxing break soon