Posts tagged 'Siabod Holiday Cottages'

North Wales 2013 – Wednesday – To Hell and back

Posted by on July 29th 2013 in Great Escapes, Summer Holidays

Wednesday was set to be another roasting-hot day. Ready before the others as usual, I grabbed some time with the camera:

Carneddau

 

Siabod Holiday Cottages

Inside the cottage #1

Inside the cottage #2

 

Typhoon pic #1

Typhoon pic #2

Typhoon pic #3

It was a day for something, well, different (for us at least). Ella had been texting a friend and had discovered that said friend and his family were holidaying in Pwllheli, not a million miles away from us. We were due for a day at the seaside so I suggested a meet-up and we got an invitation in return - if we made our way to their caravan we could have a trip out on their boat. The kids were understandable excited at the prospect so we accepted and after several miles of proper driving and several more miles of detours due to roadworks we eventually found the site.

I was expecting a standard holiday-site rental-caravan and a dinghy, what we found was a plush residential static palace and a huge Chaparral, not dissimilar to this thing. We were duly impressed with the caravan, with the boat and with Ella's choice of friends! After intros and cuppas we hatched a cunning plan acceptable to all: the kids would go out on the boat with the other family, me and Chris would take our leave and do a mini-tour of some of the Lleyn Peninsula's beaches, later we'd meet at the caravan for a BBQ.

We waved goodbye to the kids and made for the beach north of Abersoch. The weather was scorching and I expected the sands to be alive with factor-50-lathered revellers but the beach was hardly populated at all -  I had forgotten that Leicestershire schools' summer holidays start a week earlier than most of the rest of the country. We spent a quiet hour or so catching some rays and having a paddle.

Towards Abersoch

 

Towards Llanbedrog

From there we drove to Pentowyn Dunes, parked up and spent some time on Porth Neigwl (Hell's Mouth) beach, not far from where Belly plays with and tests the hand-made cedar sea-kayaks that he designs and builds:

Towards Mynydd Gilan

Towards Mynydd Penarfynydd and Mynydd y Graig

 

Some stones

 Bird 1 #1

 Bird 1 #2

Closer to Mynydd y Graig

Bird 2 #1

Some more stones

Even more stones!

OK, it's getting a tad silly now

Bird 2 #2

After a stroll up and down the beach it was time to get back to the others to reclaim our kids. They'd been around the coast as far as we had and they'd really enjoyed their day. We had a great evening with BBQ food, beers (for the others) and chat while the kids went off to explore the shore:

The kids on Carreg yr Imbill (Gimblet Rock)

Eventually we had to thank our hosts, say our farewells and drive back to the cottage.

On the way, there was fanciful talk of getting a boat...

North Wales 2013 – Friday/Saturday – The day we went to Bangor

Posted by on July 22nd 2013 in Great Escapes, Summer Holidays

Given the task of finding a place to stay in Snowdonia looked like it was going to be a bit of an ordeal. The remit was: cottage, quiet, remote yet close to sufficient activities to keep the kids happy, close to some interesting mountain walks, within a couple of hours' drive of a beach, and fairly close to Bangor and Menai Bridge where Chris was a Maths undergrad.

In the end the task was a doddle. Choose a mountain (Moel Siabod), use Google to find a nearby cottage (Siabod Holiday Cottages near Pont Cyfyng), all sorted in ten minutes. I passed the details to Chris and let her do the rest.

Why Moel Siabod? Well, it's the best mountain in Wales, bar none. And I know it fairly well - I spent over eight weeks mapping it in the minutest detail for my B.Sc. Geology thesis.

Why Siabod Holiday Cottages? Apart from the fact that the price was right, it looked like the place had everything we'd ever need. Oh, and at about 850ft we'd have a significant altitude-advantage over the valley-starters when we got go up the mountain. We chose Ty Llewelyn, the middle one of three in a row that was derelict the last time I walked past. The recent restoration and renovation of these cottages has been done to a very high standard and the facilities and welcome were second to none. I'd recommend the cottages to anyone, the place is exceptional.

Rather than sit in a roasting car jammed in with all of the other holiday traffic on the A5 on Saturday, we chose to book an extra night and execute our getaway plan straight after school-time on Friday. It turned out to be a good idea, the traffic was light and driving in the evening was much better than braving the midday weekend sun. We were greeted by the owners on arrival, and soon we were installed after making inroads into the welcome-pack (tea, coffee, chocolate, Bara Brith, Welsh Cakes, cookies, shortcakes, sweets...) We had a chill-out night with much moderately-loud music, taking advantage of the fact that the other two cottages were unoccupied that night.

Saturday was hot and clear from the start. The others had a lie-in, I went outside for a mooch around the grounds and a play with the camera:

360+ pano: cottage-to-cottage via Carneddau and Llugwy

The same view in a temperamental scrolly-thing

The track to Moel Siabod

Hawthorn and Foxgloves

Foxgloves

 

A lonely cloud over Carnedd Llewelyn

 Dôl-gam campsite

 Between a rock and a hard place?

Standing stone

The cottages use renewable energy technology (but NOT wind-power!) Heat for underfloor heating, radiators and all of the hot water is generated by Air to Water Heat Pumps. I soon learned that standing in front of the units' exhaust fans was a good thing - the strong flow of heat-depleted air was better than any air-con unit.

When the others surfaced we decided to have a drive out to get some supplies. We headed off up the A5, stopping briefly to take in the views:

Tryfan. I told the kids that we would be going up the clearly-visible Heather Terrace. They weren't amused.

We pushed on through Bethesda and Bangor and over the Straits to Menai Bridge. After parking up we went for a snack followed by a stroll to Church Island's St. Tysilio's Church where Luke was christened:

St. Tysilio's Church

 

 

Up on the hill is the war-memorial from where there are fine views of the bridges and The Swellies:

Menai Suspension Bridge

 

Pont Britannia

Strong current in The Swellies

After doing a supermarket-sweep in Bangor we got back to the cottage just before sundown. After the evening meal it was camera-time again:

Carneddau evening

Moon and Moel Siabod

After that we retired in good cheer, mainly due to the lashings of cider that we'd brought back from Bangor  😎

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