Sue @ Cadair View Lodge's Blog

Tales from a self catering holiday provider


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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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You’re Looking For Pet Friendly Accommodation?

This is a testimonial from some very happy guests.

Whiskey at Cadair View Lodge

Whiskey at Cadair View Lodge

“Four adults and our pet labrador decided to spend a week in Snowdonia National Park. and found what we believe is the best holiday web site we have ever seen. It is so informative about the various log cabins, the site amenities, places to visit etc and if like ourselves you want to take your pet on holiday the web site has a brilliant write-up on all the things dogs want from a holiday, and written by Whisky the resident dog. TAKE A LOOK. ITS BRILLIANT.

We stayed in Cadair view lodge cabin, 2 bedroom, large extended kitchen, and our dog had plenty of room for his bed to sleep on, and a large decking for him to lie out on and for us adults to sit out and relax and eat outside when weather permitted.
Shop on site and a great pub only 5 minutes walk from our cabin which we found very friendly and do great meals and dogs allowed in as well.
5 minutes drive takes you to Coed y Brenin forest where you can walk various trails, cycle (definitely taking our bikes next time) picnic by the river or simply sit and have one of the biggest cups of coffee you will ever have at very reasonable price.
Porthmadog, Harlech, Criccieth, Barmouth, Dolgellau,Pwllheli, Abersoch and Portmerion are all within half hour or so drive and we visited them all. William, our lab, says he liked Black Rock Sands the best.  Miles of wonderful beaches for him to run and play on (adults loved it as well).
You will find all the information on what to do and where to go on their website which means when you get there you can enjoy your holiday knowing you have all the information you want to hand.

Great directions on how to find the site as well.
Doubtful if you will need much help in deciding if this is the place you want to holiday at, but if you do need help ring Sue Hall, she is extremely pleasant and helpful and will tell you all you need to know.
The accommodation is not a 5 star Hotel, it’s a log cabin in Snowdonia National Park, but we had more fun than any 5 star hotel we have ever stayed in and look forward to returning later in the year.”

See our Pet Friendly Accommodation Details HERE


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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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St David’s Day in Criccieth?

Criccieth Beach Sunset Panorama (2)

As has happened the last few years Cadw (the Welsh Government’s historic environment service) has announced FREE entry to several of its properties to celebrate St David’s Day.  The locations within 30 minutes of us are Harlech Castle, Criccieth Castle and Dolwyddelan Castle (there are several more in North Wales too).  Details HERE.  As we both love to go out exploring on at least one day each weekend we’ve decided to visit Criccieth if the weather is good enough.

Haven’t spent any time in Criccieth for nearly a year.  The last time we were there the weather was good enough to sit on the sea front and to “promenade” along the promenade.  We didn’t visit the Castle last time so it’ll be nice to see over it and refresh my memories of it.  There are fantastic views across Cardigan Bay to Harlech and way beyond from the Castle and surrounding grounds.  Did you know that Criccieth was one of the pioneering Cadw sites that ran a trial of allowing dogs to visit (on a lead and with their owners of course)?  And this has now been extended to more locations.

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As well a visiting the Castle we’ll most likely pop into Cadwaladers for an ice cream… a MUST when you’re in the town.  Their cafe “overhangs” the beach with fantastic views across Cardigan Bay.  They do great cake and coffee too.  Have just heard about a Welsh Cake Sundae that they’re launching on Sunday.  Sneaky peak HERE

There’s also a visit to Criccieth Lifeboat Station on the books too.

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We drop into lots of RNLI stations to say “Hi” as my partner (and his son) is a crew member of Holyhead Lifeboat Station.  There’s always a warm welcome.

For future reference, Dylan’s, the restaurant currently based in Menai Bridge is opening a new venture on the beach (well almost) at Criccieth early Summer 2015.  They’ve got all sorts planned for the town so they’ll be a place to visit maybe next time we visit.  You’ll find some more information HERE.

I’ve also heard rumours that there maybe fish and chips for tea…. but where?  No Dylan’s yet?

So now you know my plans for the weekend… how about you?

Will post some photos of the day if there are any decent ones – fingers crossed for good visibility from the Castle and no rain.

Criccieth is 19 miles from our log cabin accommodation at Cadair View Lodge and it takes about 29 minutes to drive there.


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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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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