Sue @ Cadair View Lodge's Blog

Tales from a self catering holiday provider


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Adventure #1 – Year of Adventure

As many of you will know 2016 is The Year of Adventure in Wales.  We’re encouraged to #FindYourEpic and do something adventurous.  What does “adventure” mean to you?   According to the dictionary…

Def:  adventure meaning an unusual and exciting or daring experience

So what would you do that you’d class as an “adventure”?

My first adventure of the Year was on 4th March at Dylan’s Restaurant at Criccieth.  A restaurant doesn’t sound like much of an adventure does it?  I was invited to a briefing for local tourism businesses.  As part of the day we were treated to a sampler lunch of local produce… always worth attending these things – especially when they’re hosted by great restaurants.  As part of the lunch there was local seafood on offer.  Now I’ve tried lobster, shrimp and mussels before but there was also clams, crab and oysters available.  I’ve always fancied trying oysters – not because I particularly fancied the flavour but more for the challenge.  If I was faced with a plate of oysters could I cope?  I like to eat out and to try different things but I’m not a huge seafood fan.  I wouldn’t order oysters in a restaurant just in case I didn’t like them but this was a great opportunity to just try one and I knew, being as it was Dylans, that they’d be great quality AND be prepared properly.  So….

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Oyster There!

here it is… one oyster!  I squeezed a little lemon on to it… slid my knife under it to make sure that it was going to come out of the shell without a big fuss.  Had my napkin ready… just in case.  Closed my eyes… held the shell to my lips… tipped and swallowed.  No chewing was going to happen.

Oyster Empty

Oyster Gone!

A taste of lemon and of the sea!  Smashed it!  Thanks to Dylan’s for facilitating this experience.

First “adventure” down! Bring on the next!

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Join Us At Cadair View Lodge Feb ’16

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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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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

 

 


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Busy Weekend in Snowdonia

Panosnow

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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The Fun Doesn’t Stop Here Because It’s Winter – Underground Adventures!

As many tourist areas of the UK wind down “at the end of the season” the fun continues and even ramps up here in Snowdonia.
How about taking a trip underground – out of the rain and the wind? The temperature underground is reasonably constant all year around so what feels cool on a hot sunny day can feel reasonably warm when the temperature outside drops.

Take a look at what our friends at Go Below Underground Adventures offer.

Go Below Underground Adventures

Go Below Underground Adventures

They run activities in local slate mines.  It’s not like pot holing or caving as the mines are vast and there are no tight bits to squeeze through.  Their Underground Challenge is 4.5 – 5 hours long and includes abseiling, climbing up underground waterfalls, crossing underground lakes, ziplines and more.  It is suitable for most adults and youngsters.

Go Below Underground Adventures

Go Below Underground Adventures

Their second activity, Challenge Xtreme, is for the fitter and braver.  It is 5 – 6 hours long and takes in the deeper part of the mines.  Guests staying with us at Cadair View Lodge log cabins often receive a discount on Go Below’s adventures.

Go Below’s adventures begin around 25 minutes drive from Cadair View Lodge log cabin accommodation.

Take a trip into Braich Goch Slate Mine with Corris Mine Explorers.   This isn’t a sanitised tourist attraction but a trip into a mine as it was abandoned 40 years ago.  The machinery is there as it was left, along with candles and things like cigarette packets – a Mary Celeste type experience.  Various trips are available from a taster up to a half day experience.  See the website for full details.  Braich Goch Slate Mine is about 25 minutes drive from Cadair View Lodge log cabin accommodation.

Visit the new Victorian Mine Trail at Llechwedd Slate Caverns.   There is now only one tour at Llechwedd which lasts about an hour.  The tour takes you 100s of feet underground via the steepest cable railway in Britain.  Here you will hear about the life of a slate miner.  You will also see cheese maturing in the caverns.  There is a beautifully lit underground lake where it is possible to get married!  Llechwedd Slate Caverns are at Blaenau Ffestiniog – about 15-20 minutes drive from our accommodation at Cadair View Lodge.

Bounce Below

Bounce Below

One of the newest underground activities in the area is Bounce Below.  This is a set of large, bouncy nets suspended in a huge underground cavern.  The cavern which is around 200ft x 60ft, is part of the old slate mine.  Each session lasts around an hour (which is a lot of bouncing) and during the session participants can move over 3 levels via walkways and chutes.  The cavern is lit by Technicolor lighting which enhances the experience.  Guests get to the cavern by travelling on an old mining tram.  The activity is suitable for those aged 7 and over but they must be accompanied by somebody aged 18 or over.  Bounce Below is located within the Llechwedd Slate Caverns complex at Blaenau Ffestiniog –  about 15-20 minutes drive from our accommodation at Cadair View Lodge.

Snowdonia Lodge 1For accommodation during your stay see the log cabins managed by Cadair View Lodge.  Guests can stay from 1 night upwards (except for certain dates in November, 24th-25th-26th December, 31st December-1st January).  See our latest deals HERE.

To contact Cadair View Lodge phone 01978 759603 or email us

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