Sue @ Cadair View Lodge's Blog

Tales from a self catering holiday provider


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Earth Day 2016 @ Cadair View Lodge Ltd

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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  • We don’t fill our accommodation with tourism leaflets which quickly become out of date or tatty.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

Snowdonia Lodge 1


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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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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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Mountain Biking UK – Welsh Special Edition 2012

Check out the Welsh Special Edition of Mountain Biking UK magazine on sale tomorrow – June 1st.

You’ll see our advert alongside a feature on the recent Fetish UK Gravity Enduro series round which took place at Coed Brenin over an extremely wet and wild weekend. Several of the teams taking part stayed with us – bet they were REALLY glad that they were in a nice, warm dry log cabin and weren’t camping!

There’s also the first feature with brilliant photos of the soon to be opened Antur Stiniog – One Big Adventure Gravity Bike Park alongside Llechwedd Slate Caverns at Blaenau Ffestiniog.  This is a wonderful new development with 4… yes 4, downhill / free ride trails, uplift service (with push up track coming soon for outside of uplift running hours) and a Visitor Centre with cafe, showers, bike shop and roof top viewing area.   We’ve also been told that there will be a separate free ride skills area built along side of the Visitor Centre.   There’s loads of parking on site.co

Get a flavour for what riding here is going to be like here

I also love this film of the build.  The music is no reflection of my thoughts about those who participate in hard-core downhill mtb… honest!

Next year, the new Tan-y-Grisiau Lake XC route will be opened.  This will be a spectacular ride!  Having walked the area regularly I can tell you that the scenery is immense!  Just west of Blaenau Ffestiniog and a short ride from Antur Stiniog it will be well worth the visit… great cafe by the dam too!

We were enormously proud to be asked by the Antur Stiniog Team to do a presentation, at the launch of Eryri One Big Adventure back in March, as a showcase of how local accommodation providers should cater for the mountain bikers visiting the area.  We were also featured on ITV Wales News as part of the project.

This new Centre is about 15 – 20 minutes drive from Cadair View Lodge Log Cabins and boosts the number of “official” trails that are within an hour’s drive of our accommodation to well over 20!  Far too many for ONE weekend’s stay!

And finally, Mountain Biking UK features the Wales Coast to Coast route which comes right past our front door!  If you are coming this way remember that we offer single night stays all year except Christmas and New Year.  We have a pub 5 minutes away for food (including breakfasts)  and “refreshment”.   Our famous Welcome Basket provides basic provisions (bread, milk, tea, coffee, etc. washing-up liquid, loo rolls) is standard with EVERY stay.  We can also have bed linen on your beds for when you arrive exhausted!  And don’t worry… we’ve seen a muddy shower or two in our time!

Enjoy the magazine and we look forward to seeing you very soon.

For more information about what we offer See Our Website

To book, or for more information call me, Sue, on 01978 759603 (office hours usually 10am – 7pm Monday – Friday and weekends).  If I am out leave me a message and I’ll call you back.


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Fancy A New Hobby in 2012?

This is the time of year when many of us resolve to “change our lives”.  It may be that we resolve to make a lifestyle change – lose weight, get fit or stop smoking or it may be to learn something new.

Whilst a visit to us in Snowdonia can be part of your lose weight, get fit and stop smoking resolutions we also have lots to offer in the learning a new skill side too.  We’ve put together a list of suggestions for courses local (within 30 minutes drive) to Cadair View Lodge accommodation.  Remember that our log cabin accommodation prices are per property and not per person.  So you could bring your family to enjoy a break in Snowdonia whilst you attend your course and the accommodation would cost the same.

Learn Photography – This is our sister company.  Based at Bronaber, Learn Photography.co.uk offer 1-2-1 or 1-2-2 hands-on, customisable digital photography tuition.  No previous knowledge is expected or required and attendees don’t even need their own camera – one can be provided.  Course content it flexible to suit each attendees requirements.  The group size is only one or two people (e.g. for a couple) so attendees get the full attention of the tutor and can ask as many “silly” questions as they want without embarrassment.  This also means that elements can be gone over and over until attendees “get the idea”.

Courses are usually run over 2 days and the price include accommodation in a 2 bed roomed, self catering log cabin for 2 nights.  Attendees are welcome to bring other members of their family to use the accommodation during the course.

Wild Welsh Wood – Wild Welsh Wood specialise in producing furniture made

Mini Story Telling Chairs Made By Wild Welsh Wood

from reclaimed materials.  Their one day course would see attendees learning the skills and completing a rustic chair or stool.  Longer courses to make more detailed pieces of furniture can be arranged.  Guests staying with Cadair View Lodge and taking  a Wild Welsh Wood one day course between January and end of March 2012 will receive 10% discount on their course.  We love Wild Welsh Wood’s story telling chairs.  These are the child sized versions of the originals.  The Company are  based at Dolgoch Falls, about 40 minutes drive from Cadair View Lodge.

Sylvanflair, at Corris Craft Centre, also offer wood furniture making courses.

Mountain Bike Skills Course – Steve, from Wheelism provides a wide range of mountain bike skills courses at Coed y Brenin trail centre which is 2 miles from Cadair View Lodge.  He also runs bike maintenance courses.  Campbell Coaching also provide courses in the area.

Snowdonia Safaris – If you’re thinking big game hunting across the hills you’d be wrong.  A Snowdonia Safari will help you to learn more about and to experience the food (and drink) that is produced in our area.  The selection of safaris is steadily growing and I believe that there will soon be an opportunity to attend a workshop with an artisan baker as part of a safari.  Guests staying with Cadair View Lodge will receive a discount on their safari.

Nature and the Environment – Teaching children through being outdoors is becoming ever more popular with Forest and Beach schools being talked about regularly.  When you come to Snowdonia check out what Ranger activities are being held at Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre just down the road from us.  For those who are a little older the Centre for Alternative Technology  hold a wide range of day and multi-day courses about 40 minutes away from us.

Mountain Skills – Many people come to Snowdonia for the Great Outdoors.  Some time spent learning the basics from an experienced instructor can help you to start enjoying your chosen discipline far quicker and also help to keep you safer.  Our friends at Seren Ventures (based in Betws y Coed but operating across the National Park) offer a wide range of courses and guiding.  If they can’t help you they will be glad to give you the details of somebody who can.

Kayaking  – The Tryweryn and Mawddach are just two of the local rivers that prove very popular with kayakers  To be safe and to enjoy the sport take a course with an experienced local coach.  The team at Canolfan Tryweryn can provide a full range of coaching at the National White Water Centre at Frongoch, about 15 minutes drive from Cadair View Lodge.  Also check out FlowFree Coaching who can provide coaching at all levels.

Drive A Steam Train – Snowdonia is well-known for its steam railways.  Come to stay and have a go at driving a train yourself.  The Fairbourne Railway offers “exclusive use” of their railway on non-passenger days.  The Talyllyn Railway offer a “full day” driving experience.

Quilting + PatchworkingBumble Bee Quilting in Corris run workshops, courses and demonstrations for all skill levels of quilters and patchworkers.  They also have a well stocked shop (and an online shop) to provide all of your quilting, patchworking and other crafting needs.

Fishing Courses – With access to rivers, lakes, estuaries and the sea, Snowdonia is an ideal location for those who love to fish.  The North Wales Fly Fishing School based near to Bala offers courses in all aspects of fresh water and sea fishing.  See their website for full details of their courses.

Bill Swann Glass Courses – Bill’s courses run at his extensively equipped workshops in Porthmadog (about 20 minutes drive from Cadair View Lodge).  The courses are mixed ability which gives beginners a chance to see what can be achieved by more experienced students.  The courses run over 3 days to allow for the preparation of materials and the overnight firing of pieces.  I attended one of Bill’s courses last February and came away with some small pieces to use in jewelry, a couple of slump glass pieces that have been transformed for use with candles and a couple of fused pieces that stand on a window ledge.

Bushcraft Skills – Are you a budding Ray Mears?  You can really experience the wild and decide whether or not foraging and building your own shelters and fires is for you under the supervision of Firefox Bushcraft who run a variety of courses   close to us in Snowdonia.

Cookery CoachingWild in the Pantry offer occasional cookery coaching sessions.  There are usually a number of different topics to choose from each lasting for half a day.  Groups are kept small – usually no more than 4 people, and are as “hands on” as is practical given the space.

Our accommodation is very flexible.  Guests can stay with us for any number of days (except Christmas and New Year) and we can often arrange early arrivals and late stays with advance notice.  All of our guests receive our famous Welcome Basket (bread, milk, tea, coffee, biscuits, dairy spread, etc.) no matter how long they stay.  Contact us to book

If you would like to run a course, training session or team building event in Snowdonia then contact us to discuss your requirements.  Our guests have access to a free training room locally.  This room can be fully catered.  It will seat up to 40 people “restaurant style” (i.e. in tables of 4) but can configured to meet individual requirements.  It can also be blacked out for slide shows.

There is so much happening within the Cadair View Lodge 30 Minute Ring that I am bound to have missed something out.  If you run a course or training that would be of interest to visitors to southern Snowdonia then please contact us and I’ll add you in an update.  If you’d like to work with Cadair View Lodge in 2012 then let me know too.


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Where Can I Book A Short Break In Snowdonia?

Montage of Cadair View Lodge log cabins in Snowdonia

Cadair View Lodge Log Cabins

 

If you are looking for a short break in Snowdonia (or anywhere else for that matter) you may struggle to find self catering accommodation.  Most self catering accommodation providers prefer you to stay either for a full week (and it MUST be Saturday to Saturday) or, out of season, they may allow you to stay Monday to Friday. 

At Cadair View Lodge we are different.  We will allow you to stay for a short break right through the year.  Guests can book to stay for as little as one night right through the year.  The only exception is over Christmas and over New Year when we ask that guests stay for a minimum of 3 nights.  So we can give you a price to stay just for a Saturday night, if that’s what you want.  It is also possible to start longer breaks on any day that you want too.

Although we allow you to stay for a short break, the longer you stay the lower the nightly rate gets. 

So if you’d like to book a short break in one of our log cabins in the Snowdonia National Park either call us on 01978 759603 or email us on info@cadairviewlodge.co.uk to check short break availability.

You can see details of our cabins and any special offers that we have on short breaks in Snowdonia on our website www.cadairviewlodge.co.uk

This blog was written as part of the #30dayblog challenge.


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Testimonial – Encil Rhinogau 9th July 2010

Outside of Encil Rhinogau Log Cabin showing deck

Encil Rhinogau - a Cadair View Lodge log cabin

Just wanted to say thank you for our recent stay in ‘Encil Rhinogau’.

We had a relaxing time with some great walks in lovely countryside and in spite of the weather we still enjoyed ourselves. We used the cabin as a base to visit surrounding areas such as Portmadog, Dolgellau, Coed y Brenin & Harlech Beach (thanks Whisky, Molly particularly enjoyed Harlech), Rhiw Goch Inn (near the cabin) & The Grapes Hotel (in Maentwrog) both served great food & made Molly very welcome.