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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Join Us At Cadair View Lodge Feb ’16

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Time is flying by… here we are at the end of January and looking towards February half term, Valentine’s Day and… my birthday 🙂

February in Snowdonia has lots to offer.  As in this photo from 2013, it can be crisp and clear or we could have more snow again (there’s currently just a bit more snow than this on Snowdon but if this warmth continues it could thaw).

Think about walking in the forests if the weather is a bit blowy but it’s also a great time to wrap up and walk on the beach.  Afterwards there’s always time for tea and cake.  See our Facebook page The Great Snowdonia Cake Trail for places to tempt you with their goodies!

Valentines Day is always busy as it tends to fall during February Half Term week.  Even at the busiest time we are always popular for romantic breaks with more than 150 proposals (that we know of) having taken place during stays with us.

The fishing season on Trawsfynydd Lake begins on 1st February.  Trawsfynydd is the 3rd largest lake in Wales at just under 3 miles long.  It has a cycle path around it and a cafe with lake views (and free WiFi) just off the A470.  Fishing permits can be obtained from the lakeside and boats can be hired too.  Kayaking is permitted on the lake and the cafe also have bikes for hire.  The lake is often the venue for international fishing competitions.

At the end of the month Coed y Brenin (2 miles from our log cabins) hosts The Fox Anti Freeze Enduro mountain biking event.  A a multi lap, staggered start, chip-timed challenge!  There is also a Junior Anti Freeze event for youngsters the day before – start ’em young.  The weekend before there is a yoga for mountain bikers session too to stretch the muscles.

Updates on what’s happening can be found on our What’s On page of the Cadair View Lodge website.

If you would like to visit southern Snowdonia during February 2016 (or at any other time) visit our website www.CadairViewLodge.co.uk to see what we offer and also to check out the latest deals on our log cabin accommodation.   Or call me, Sue, on 01978 759603.  There are still some “5 Nights for £200” deals available and “5 Nights for the Price of 2” (£270 per 2 bed roomed cabin) for Half Term Week (arrival on 14th February).

Guests staying with Cadair View Lodge during 2016 will (at the activity providers discretion) receive discounts of:

10% at Canolfan Tryweryn National White Water Centre

10% at Go Below Underground Adventures

10% at South Snowdonia Soft Tissue Massage Therapy

Thanks for reading and I hope to hear from you soon about a stay at Cadair View Lodge.


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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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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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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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Epic Brenin MTB Challenge HQ

Cadair View Lodge log cabins were chosen as the ideal base for the Epic Brenin MTB Challenge as they are close to Coed y Brenin and en-route to the other trail centres.

A blog written by Matt Jones, organiser of and participant in #EpicBrenin #MTB Challenge.

“For me, mountain biking is as much about everything that goes around the actual riding as the sweat and grind itself. The build up, banter on the ride and post ride analysis really add to the sport as a whole. That’s why overnight stays in the hills tackling previously unexplored trails and challenges provide the best chance to the off bike action.  Some of my best days on a bike in the UK have been weekends away with mates at trail centres.

There’s something brilliant about the road trip, the inevitable faff and late departure, the surely illegal overloading of vehicles, squeezing 7 bikes in the back of a Renault kangoo (true story!). Then getting lost before arriving at your destination after hours of road trip tunes blasting out. At this point your buddy deems it timely to announce his bottom bracket is seized, fear not , a minor delay as a trip to the friendly local trail centre bike shop comes up with the goods.

Once you get going the banter continues as you discover new trails, always that much better ridden for the first time. Trail centres give a thrill a minute compared to your usual local boggy woods midweek outings in the winter months. Ending the day in near darkness the salvation of your accommodation and local pub await. A full ride debrief follows rather than everyone going their own way home for family duties follows and of course the discussion around how with just a degree slacker head angle you would have owned that drop off instead of face planting. Mates on hand to virmontly advocate products they know little or nothing about other than what the latest mag or forum said.

Then to the pub, oh the glory of the local pub. The pubs you find in corners of the UK where trail centres reside are almost without exception absolute gems. Even if you were unlucky enough to find a bad example with beer watered down and the food uncooked the fact that you have escaped with mates biking for the weekend makes everything that much better and minor details ignored.

And the best thing about a weekend away following the vigorous refuelling via a fry up, on an ale fuelled hangover, you get to do it all again, two days biking in a row, ace!

Over the years some of my best bike rides have been on weekends away. There are so many places in the UK set up to meet all the needs of a group of biking mates. Although a little bit more riding than usual for a weekend away, our stay at Cadair View Lodges summed up everything that is great about a winter road trip to a trail centre, in this case to where such trail centres began, Coed y Brenin.

Cadair View Lodges are perfectly positioned a couple of miles up the main road from Coed y Brenin. Their log cabins are homely with plenty of space for all your gear and bikes, even an outside tap. What’s more on arrival you’re treated to a basket of essential supplies like bread and milk so you can focus all your efforts on that last minute full bike strip down before the following days outing.  Other features tailored to bikers are allowing single nights stays, very late arrivals if you’re travelling far and late departures if you need that all important shower before the drive home.

Cadair View was the HQ for our ‘Epic Brenin’ adventure, read all about it here. We can’t thank Sue enough for hosting us. Email queries were rapidly answered and everything about the stay couldn’t have been easier which was really important given the need to get everything else sorted for our adventure. The excellent local pub was literally a two minute walk from our cabin which was very welcome as despite all the cooking facilities you need, some waited on service was needed after 11hours in the saddle!

So I can thoroughly recommend a trip to take on as many trails as you dare at one go in the Coed y Brenin area. Staying a Cadair View is a great place to base yourselves to ensure another awesome weekend away in the hills on your bike that makes biking in the UK what it is.”.

Read the write-up of Epic Brenin Challenge from Singletrack Magazine

See Cadair View Lodge accommodation HERE

To book accommodation at Cadair View Lodge email , use the contact form below or call us on 01978 759603