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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Rough Guide – 20 Things Not To Miss in Wales

Out of the 20 locations shown in the article, 7 are in North Wales and of those 5 are within 30 minutes drive of our accommodation at Cadair View Lodge!!

There is an amazing amount to do in the area and fantastic things to see… all year round.  As you can probably imagine much more than the 20 things featured in the article.

Come to stay with us and discover lots of them for yourself.

Our accommodation can be seen at www.cadairviewlodge.co.uk


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How Will Your Children Experience Halloween This Year?

ImageI’m passed the time now when I have to plan what my children do at Halloween.  I’ve gone through the Brownie’s parties, the duck apple at a friend’s house and the “trick or treating” around the neighbourhood followed by a “sleepover” but I know that many of our readers are still there.

When they’re younger there’s often the demand for more and more expensive fancy dress (what happened to painted boxes and made over clothes?) and as they get older there’s the demands to let them out with friends “trick or treating” without supervision.

As Halloween is in half term holidays for many of you why not come away for 1 night or longer and enjoy one of the local organised Halloween events.  Both you and your children are sure to have an exciting time.

Here are some suggestions:

Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre – 31st October 6-8pm Halloween at a forest centre!  Suitable for 6 to 11 year olds (accompanied by an adult). Booking Essential. (Places strictly limited) Cost: £3.50 per child. Details: 01341 440747

Ffestiniog Railway Halloween Train – 29th, 30th, 31st October from Porthmadog.  Includes train, meal, fireworks, “frantic fun in the big scary forest”!  Always sells out so book early

Talyllyn Halloween Train – 30th, 31st October From Tywyn, includes train ride, activities and meal.  Another one that sells out!

Llechwedd Slate Caverns – 31st October.  Halloween fancy dress kids disco in the café £2.50 per child, with refreshments etc on sale, and prizes for the best costume ages 0-5 and 6 – 11.

King Arthur’s Labyrinth – 31st October – Ghost Tours!

Greenwood Forest Park – 19th October – 3rd November!  Halloween crafts, lantern parades, prizes for fancy dress plus lots more.

Penrhyn Castle – 30th, 31st October Ghost tours of the castle by candlelight!

Penrhyn Castle – 31st October – Batty fun day!

Bodnant Garden – 31st October – Spooky night walk

Bodnant Food Centre – 31st October – 6 – 8pm £2 per child.  Book in advance

Llyn Padarn Railway – 27th October – 2nd November Halloween Hunt

This is not an exhaustive list but gives lots of ideas of places to go to suit different ages, tastes and pockets.

Check out our accommodation late deals HERE.  If you can’t see the dates or length of stay that you require please contact us as all availability isn’t shown on this page.  Our email address is info@cadairviewlodge.co.uk or call us on our office number 01978 759603.

We also welcome those who are looking to escape the knocks on the door!  Quiet and peaceful location but we can’t rule out the odd owl or bump in the night.


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Day Out to Plas Tan y Bwlch with Llandudno MG Owners’ Club

A quick disclaimer before I start… the photos below are snapshots, some taken on my phone and others taken from a moving car – they are here to illustrate the words not as a form of art in their own right.

Today’s run started from Tescos at Llandudno Junction but the places that we visited can easily be found from other starting points in North Wales.  This is the route that we took.  I may have inadvertently changed a junction but the outcome is the same.  There were about 9 cars (I didn’t count) – you’ll see some of the cars in the photos.

We headed away from Llandudno and up into the lanes above Glan Conwy and along the tops of the hills above the Conwy valley.  It’s a bit steep and narrow getting up there but well worth the effort.  The view across to the Carneddau and beyond was spectacular but due to the haze a photo wouldn’t have done it justice (doubt if you would’ve seen what I’m on about).  Loads of snow still on the mountains and there was lots of evidence of how deep the snow had been along our route.

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There were a couple of places where we could see lanes still closed by snow… and it came down more than 2 weeks ago!

Our leader for the day led us across hills and moorland, through places that we recognised and some that surprised us – I’d never heard of Llansannan but it’s quite a big place (sorry residents of Llansannan!).

Eventually we came out on the Denbigh moors and headed for Llyn Brenig Visitor Centre for our coffee break.

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I’ve driven down the B4501 loads of times (mostly in the middle of the night) but have never stopped at Llyn Brenig – I was surprised how big it is and there’s obviously lots of fishing going on there.  There looked to be small boats with outboard engines for hire and some sort of fish breeding “cages” out in the middle.

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There also seems to be a fair amount of mountain biking in the area given the muddy cyclists buying bacon rolls in the cafe!  Here’s the link if you’d like to find out more information.

We parked up and checked that we hadn’t lost anybody along the way.

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It wasn’t quite warm enough to sit outside as there is still quite a bit of snow about but I imagine that it must be lovely on a warmer day.

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Was wondering what the motorcyclists thought about the car park all being cleared of snow except for their spaces?

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After our break we were back on our way again.  Still lots of miles to cover before lunch!

We headed back out onto the Moors again and eventually hit the A5 for a very short stretch before turning off towards Pentrafoelas.  There’s a 40mph speed restriction on the A5 at Pentrefoelas and we spotted a (probably) frustrated traffic cop just beyond where we turned off the main road.  He must’ve thought that he was going to catch at least one of this convoy of MGs doing more than 40… but not today!

Just whilst mentioning Pentrefoelas I have to tell you that there is a little car park just after the turning.  There are some lovely walks along the river and a picnic area.  It’s also a great  place to stop for a clean loo (on opposite side of the road to the car park).  There’s also a tea shop inside the Riverside Chocolate House

Another quick check that nobody had missed the turn and we were back off across the countryside again.

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As you can imagine a convoy of MGs can take people by surprise.  Our group today didn’t cause too much of a stir but these farmers and their dog weren’t quite sure how many were coming down the road.

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If you really want to see a lot of MGs together check out Llandudno MG Owners’ Club Snowdon Run on August 18th 2013.  It begins with a lineup of all cars on the Promenade at Llandudno in the morning and finishes on Cae Llan in the middle of Betws y Coed in the afternoon.  Back to our run…

We went through the village of Ysbty Ifan..  If you know any welsh then you’ll know that “ysbty” means “hospital” and there’s certainly no hospital in this tiny, picturesque village.  Well this reference dates back to the Knights of St John who founded a hospice here in 1190.  Find out more here.

Our trip continued out across the moors again.  This lonely road across to Pont yr Afon Garn is amazing!  It is difficult to believe that there could still be a road in North Wales where it is possible to drive for so long without any signs of civilisation – no pylons, no fences, no houses… try it and see!

The cafe at  Pont yr Afon Garn had a sign out to say that it was open… that’s a sure sign that it must be nearly Summer.

On a clear day the road from this point down to Llan Ffestiniog is a joy with views over the Moelwyns, the Rhinogs and as far as the coast.  Today was hazy and not so spectacular but very pleasant.  There is a car park and view point along this stretch of road but it is unsigned and has a narrow entrance between two big stone walls.  We managed to duck in there (much to our convoy’s surprise) as we knew where it was… keep your eyes open for it.  This is a photo looking down the hill.  Much better views to be had on a better day.

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After this we carried on down the Vale of Ffestiniog to Plas Tan y Bwlch at Maentwrog.  If you’re turning into Plas Tan y Bwlch pull into the layby on the left and then cross the main road into their entrance like a cross road.  I think it’s safer that way.

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Quick check around the car park… yes – everybody has made it to our destination!

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We walked up to the main house through the gardens.  I think due to the recent cold snap, all of the Spring plants are running a bit late but it was a pleasant enough walk.

Some of the group decided to brave the terrace for their picnics whilst others decided to sit inside in the Conservatory.  Image

The view from the Terrace is wonderful – but needs a sunny day to do it justice in a photo.

There is no entrance fee for the house or gardens and there are lots of walks around the grounds.  The House has its own halt on the Ffestiniog Railway and we were lucky enough to see a train coming through the mountains, down the Vale of Ffestiniog towards us and hear it blow its whistle as it went around the back of the house.

The last of the photos…

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And the obligatory group photo… some people will try to pinch anything!

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So there you go!  Would thoroughly recommend Plas Tan y Bwlch for a visit during your stay at Cadair View Lodge.  It’s about 15 minutes drive away.  It’s a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.  There are self-powered audio points through the gardens to give the information about what’s around you.  The Oakley Arms or The Grapes are local recommended places to eat.

Have you been?  What did you think?


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Cadair View Lodge 30 Minute Ring

Sunset view of Criccieth showing east beach and castle

View of Criccieth

So what is The Cadair View Lodge 30 Minute Ring?  

It’s all of the attractions, activities and tourist focused businesses that can be driven to, from Cadair View Lodge’s accommodation, in roughly 30 minutes.  You can see how much of Snowdonia this takes in by looking on The Map  We’re in the middle and the blue flags are placed in places that Google Maps says are 30 minutes away.  To make it easier we’ve tried to place them in towns and villages so some are a few minutes over the 30 minutes.

Snowy view of Rhinog mountain range

Why 30 minutes?

When we started staying at Trawsfynydd, a long time ago before we started the business we thought that if we drove for more than 30 minutes (certainly back through Bala) we were well on our way home (living in Wrexham).  When you look at how far you can drive in 30 minutes and what is inside of The Ring you’ll see that there is plenty to see and do without driving any further.  We have mountains, forests, waterfalls, coast as well as castles, steam railways, mines plus picturesque towns and villages.  There is also a huge diversity of activities – extreme and not so extreme to be found in the area.

Now that we have Cadair View Lodge we see the importance of supporting our local economy and tourism business community.  Many visitors are attracted to Caernarfon, Snowdon, Llanberis, Conwy, etc. and don’t venture any further south in the Snowdonia National Park.  We are aiming to highlight how much there is to do in our area and encouraging our guests to spend their money HERE.

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Dawn at Borth y Gest

Advantages of staying within The Ring

  • Guests have often come on holiday to relax – why have the stress of hours of driving?
  • Children can get fed up on long car journeys – they’ve probably had a long journey to reach us – keep the journeys short when you’re here
  • Driving less reduces the price of your holiday
  • Using less fuel is better for the environment
  • Generally the places within The Ring are less commercialised and quieter than those further North
  • Staying within The Ring will support businesses and areas that are often overshadowed by the more popular areas within The Snowdonia National Park

We’re not saying that our guests mustn’t drive any further – for many the highlight of their trip is walking up Snowdon.  We’re just saying that there is no need to.

Subscribe to Cadair View Lodge Local a daily e-paper which highlights stories from people on Twitter that are within The Ring.  Or LIKE the 30 Minute Ring Facebook page (link below).  Both will help to inform you about what’s happening within The Ring.

If you are a business, attraction or activity within The Ring and have a Twitter or Facebook presence and would like to included then get in touch with me sue.hall@cadairviewlodge.co.uk  – it’s FREE.  We would be very grateful if you’d promote us in return.

We will be creating a further map showing what’s inside of The Ring.  At the moment businesses within The Ring are included on our website http://www.cadairviewlodge

Cadair View Lodge 30 Minute Drive Tourism Ring

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A few of the major attractions within The Ring:

Llechwedd Slate Caverns

Fairbourne Railway

Ffestiniog & West Highland Railway

Portmeirion

Criccieth Castle

Harlech Castle