Life of adventure, Travelling between housesits

A Long Weekend in Wales Part 1

Before our last week in North Yorkshire, had any chance to gain traction I received a notification from Airbnb regarding searches for places to stay in Wales. Apparently, the searches had increased by 300% since the last time I looked, which was actually only the previous day. I wondered if there was a big event on, or perhaps school term break or just a rare fine weekend?

We were hoping for the later.

In the end, I didn’t book through Airbnb, the selection wasn’t that great and to be honest not that much cheaper than going through Booking.com. We were looking for having a place where we could come and go as we please.

We started our roadtrip from North Yorkshire with our first night in Shrewsberry. I’m not sure about you though when I say the name a ridiculously wide grin appears on my face and I remember those jam filled biscuits with a hole in the middle that was just big enough to put a this child’s finger in. The rule I thought was to gain enough on your finger before biting into the said biscuit. Those biscuits I remember are not at all similar to the ones that most people on this side of the world can relate to. They have a different variation of Shrewsberry Biscuits. Not to worry as I am sure that both varieties are just as tasty as the other.

What were our thoughts on our short visit to the Medieval city of Shrewsbury?

It looked similar to Chester whom we had visited on another occasion which also included a return from up north. We were to find out that it did not have as many grandeur buildings, homes or the upbeat feel like the city of Chester. Though it did have a few things that caught our imagination and interest. One such object was a sculpture by the river acknowledging Darwin’s groundbreaking scientific ideas and his impact on the scientific world. Photo courtesy of The Squire.

Shrewsbury DNA structure.jpg

Then we headed to the town centre to walk around a few streets designated to where Darwin frequented many years ago, for more information Darwin Town Trail.

For a treat, we had the most scrumptious afternoon tea, which made it an enjoyable icing on another slice of England. Though I do wonder if we had not previously visited Chester would we have thought Shrewsbury lacklustre? Perhaps not.

The next day we had something to look forward to, a few days in Wales heading through Snowdonia. Here are a few highlights of our roadtrip through Wales.

Where did we stop and explore in Wales?

Llangollen

Llangollen - me

We had all our senses on alert with our first stop to explore in “The Historic Gateway to Wales”. Firstly, with the smell of fresh air after a dollop of rain, is there such a thing? Then the taste of water without calcium, accompanied with a good dose of caffeine. With a walk came the sound of rushing water and a train all in the same area. Then enchanting silence with a stroll alongside the canal, which has horse-drawn canal boats.

This canal was the “internet” of that era, the lifeline for transporting news and goods between towns. It was to be undone by the introduction of the railways.

Llangollen - canal

The visual was so many things, the buildings, the historic bridge and most of all it was enjoying the bush covered hills with mist disappearing as the morning progressed. They seemed to gently embrace this small town that is steeped in mystic.

Even though this is very much a tourist destination, it still makes you feel like it is indeed still an undiscovered gem. The combination of attractions and locals living their every life makes this small town worth more than a day’s visit.

We were instantly in love with Wales. Of course, this love affair was strengthened with the beautiful weather.

Ruthin

Ruthin3.jpg

I loved the combination of coloured houses, castle ruins and old brick buildings. The small businesses vying for your custom weren’t at all pushy and overly touristy. It was a right combination of attracting tourism and creating an atmosphere of vitality for locals to work and live in. An enjoyable place to explore for a few hours and to have an early morning tea in a small cafe run by a young lad and his mother.

Conwy

Conwy Castle1.jpg

As we came closer to Conwy, the first thing that is noticeable is, of course, the castle, which dominates this town. We weren’t at this stage interested in spending too much time in a larger town/city as we enjoy the smaller quaint villages and towns. So it was a quick visit, though a place to consider having a more extended acquaintance with down the line sometime!

Snowdonia National Park

20180601_152116_edited

Here are a few highlights and definitely not all that we saw, so much beautiful vistas to many too share on here.

Caernofon - National Park.jpg2

Llyn Padarn

Lake Reflections1

Then there was this lake called Llyn Padarn that took our breath away, and luckily for us, it was not a cold wind that did it, just the grandeur of the place. Which meant some great reflections for us to capture and enjoy.

Lake reflections the boats

After taking numerous photos, of the area and a train that just happened to appear on the scene, it was time for a leisurely walk with some gravel paths and paddocks if like us you go slightly off the beaten track. Which brought us from Llyn Padarn to Llyn Peris to where the castle is situated on a hill.

Train by the lakes.jpg

Llanberis

We then headed into the township of Llanberis and then there were the bright coloured buildings that soon brought a smile as we wandered up and down deciding which colour was the best. Oh, and did I mention the huge ice-cream? Well, we couldn’t resist a purchase of two exotic favours from the Ice-Cream shop, which happened to be the green building, would’ve been rude not to go in. We saw it as supporting the local business and choosing not to think about our waistlines that warm afternoon.

Coloured houses in the lake area_edited

This town indeed creates a few WOW moment during our time in Wales. To be honest, it wasn’t until we drove into the sparsely populated areas of Snowdonia our introduction to Wales became more enjoyable.

Capel Curig

Is a small mountain village which we stopped and admired the view, nothing more or less than that.

The Ugly House

The Ugly House

Set in a picturesque tree-lined road in a valley is a cafe worth a stop for a late afternoon energy boost. It is easily missed as it is tucked away by the hillside around a bend by a bridge. Luckily the Squire is good at sudden stops when I say “Here it is” leaving him very little time to digest what I have said let alone turn the wheel into a safe position by the roadside. Somehow he manages to do all tasks with a mutter under his breath and eventually with a smile when I tell him it is supposed to have very yummy food and coffee.

Capel Garmon

Another one of those picturesque villages in Snowdonia that is worth a moment or two to turn off the car engine and “be-in-the-moment”.

Mallwyd – Brigands Inn

Brigands Inn

In this little community is a lovely quaint old building called Brigands Inn and where we got to rest our weary bodies. After of course having a small bite to eat in their restaurant, which was not overly priced and the food very enjoyable. Being of grand old age the building’s floors were uneven and squeaky which did add to the ambience of staying in a 17th century Inn.

After travelling sitting down is not usually required or wanted, especially by us. It was then a lovely sight to see a map of where we could go for a short walk before dinner. What a thoughtful thing to do for your guests. It was a scenic walk down a narrow country road heading down to a stream with of course an ancient bridge.

Bridge near accomodation in Snowdonia

The next day we were greeted with another beautiful day, well, as fine looking as Wales can get. Not wholly blue sky, though it wasn’t cold and raining, so we were very grateful. Our departure from the Inn also signified our leaving of Snowdonia National Park and heading to the Coast.

A LONG WEEKEND IN WALES

For more information:

Brigands Inn – the room shown is the one we had – a place worth visiting twice.
Visit Wales – Tourist Information – more places to see and things to do.

69 thoughts on “A Long Weekend in Wales Part 1”

  1. I love this post. Found you on Senior Salon. We spent a week in Wales and enjoyed it a lot. Actually stayed in Conway and went out from there. So many quaint little towns and the scenery is fab. Your pictures are great!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This looks like a fantastic trip. I so want to visit Wales but I am not sure I can handle driving on the left side. I have done it before but it was very nerve wrecking and I think one really needs a car in Wales… Your photos are beautiful and make me want to go!!! Marguerite

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The OH is from Shrewsbury and I lived there for a couple of years. Some lovely architecture in the centre, though a few ugly buildings and bad planning decisions made in the ’60s and I was disappointed that there are not more walks (and pubs) along the river. But nice enough. Can’t compare to Chester as I have only ever spent an hour there! But if you are back that way again then head to South Shropshire and visit Ludlow. Also a lovely ‘Black and White’ trail around that region (timber-framed houses). Beautiful landscapes in south Shropshire and Herefordshire / Welsh border country.

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  4. I love Wales, such fabulous walking, scenery and quaint villages. Jon used to live in the area of Llanberis, (I know the cafe well πŸ™‚ they do the best big mug of tea, very welcome after a long hike!) Your photographs are lovely Suzanne.

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  5. I actually like Shrewsbury very well. I have friends very close by and I suppose I just see it as itself rather than comparing it to Chester which I also know very well as I had family there. North Wales is lovely. My Aunt is from Bethesda so many happy weekends have been spent walking in Snowdonia. As ever you pick off some lovely places and I am glad you found good accommodation. I am losing my rag with AirBnB … the prices seem to be hiking up and I get better deals on Booking.com and Expedia. In Britain, in France and over here. But maybe its just a temporary glitch – who knows but the main thing is that you found a good place πŸ™‚

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    1. I compared the two due to us being undecided where to go. Always good to check out somewhere new than go with something we already know. Still some good deals with Airbnb, and many that are trying to cash in without putting in effort to what they are offering. Could say the same with hotels!! Snowdonia would make a grand place to do more walking around. So many places so little time πŸ™‚

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      1. Yes, Snowdonia is a lovely place for a walking break. I think the story with AirBnB is inevitable. There will always be those that try to cash in for little effort but hopefully the good ones will thrive and the less good will fade away 😊

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  6. Wow, this looks lovely! It’s been years (in fact decades) since I visited Wales. However, funnily enough, I recognise Llanberis although I have never been there. Just this week, another blogger posted about it, having eaten at the cafe in the blue building on the right of your picture. Including the green building makes it even more colourful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Anabel, seems Wales is the place to visit at the moment πŸ™‚ Well, it is the height of the season with fewer chances of rain every day. Most of the photos do seem cloudy and aren’t in keeping with my memory of lovely days. We did have rain for about an hour on the first day and then that was it! Maybe you will venture down there sometime soon to visit the blue building with very tempting ice cream πŸ™‚

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  7. Great post Suz. Gorgeous photos and telling of the story 😊 Wales looks very beautiful and it’s great that you got such a good few days to get out and enjoy it. Looking forward to spending a couple of days in Wales later on this week although different area.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for taking me back through some of my favourite places in North Wales! We always drive past the Ugly Cottage and I feel quite sorry for it! And for me – having being the start and end point for our Snowdon walk – Llanberis will always be a place that reminds me of pain, rain and blisters so I’m glad you’ve reminded me how wonderfully bright and colourful it can be!!

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  9. What a fantastic time you had in Wales. You really made the most of it. I really need to get myself across there more often. Am glad you visited Shrewsbury too. One of my best mates lives there, so I’ve visited often. I know what you mean about it having a different vibe from Chester though. It’s still lovely though- just not as β€œbuzzy” as Chester.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Hayley, yes we did enjoy our time in Wales and it is indeed a beautiful part of the UK to visit. Chester is more touristy than Shrewsbury and we loved the buildings in Chester very unique though of course it was a showery day πŸ™‚ Shrewsbury still held a fascination. Nothing about sorting out travel destinations is ever perfect!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. He is certainly a man worth claiming and to attract more visitors to an area. Interesting that when you read up about famous people very little reference is made to their ordinary lives before they became famous. I like knowing their past as sometimes helps form a whole picture of that person.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. LOVE THIS! I visted all those places a few times in the late 70s with my then boyfriend – what I’m wondering is if the blue building in Llanberis high street is that of the cafe we stayed at…. 40 years ago! It was brilliant, a climbers’ cafe, and you ate for free if you helped out in the kitchen.

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  11. With exception of the ugly house I have visited all the places you describe on this visit. I believe you painted a true picture of both Shrewsbury and your corner of Wales. Happy travelling ‘ Borradah’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ross! Airbnb was acknowledging all my searching efforts 😁 We have used them for years though of late I’m finding more home owners putting ridiculous prices on their accommodation. There are still a few treasures to be had via their website.

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