Visiting Wales, A British Staycation

Get your Welsh flag flying.
Earlier this month we ventured to north and mid-Wales.

Staycations have become our post-pandemic norm. We'll venture to foreign climates soon.

For now I'm enjoying Britain, and appreciating what's on offer.

Not my first time in Wales actually. Years ago I visited Cardiff, but that was south Wales. I'd never done Wales properly, until now. 

Turns out north Wales is pretty. James Bond grew-up in north Wales. Well, the guy who played him, Timothy Dalton.

You certainly need a car in Wales. Unless sheep are a viable mode of transport? Public transport looked to be non-existent (from what I could see). Everything is spread out, so be prepared to travel.

Let me take you on a journey of Welsh culture.

Conwy Castle

Now this is a Castle!
If you visit Conwy, you must see Conwy Castle. It's a pleasant world heritage site.

Like me, the famous fortress is well preserved. It was commissioned by 'King Edward I', some 700 years ago (they tell me).

It's great to climb up the giant towers and stairwells. You get stunning views of the River Conwy and Wales. Lovely stuff.

Obviously, walk with caution. I sh*t myself once (or twice), when the kids got close to the edge. No tales of tragedy, or falling midgets, but be careful up there.

You need an hour or so to explore it. Conwy is a nice town, with a pretty harbour. We followed this up with a decent meal in the George & Dragon pub (where else!). 

King Arthur's Labyrinth

The next adventure was at King Arthur's Labyrinth It's an underground activity cave, themed around the legend of King Arthur.

Feeling a bit "caved-in"?
The word 'Labyrinth' evokes memories of the cult David Bowie movie. But alas, Jareth and his inappropriate pants were never found. Or the real King Arthur! 

But alas, Jareth and his inappropriate pants were never found. 

When underground, you are guided through tunnels by boat. You learn about King Arthur and observe the impressive rock formations. 

I quite enjoyed this adventure. It surpassed by expectations. The talking figurines are creepy, but informative. The legend of King Arthur is a good story.

Outside there's a market village to explore and purchase gifts. Later we had hotdogs at the nearby 'Corris Cafe'.

Did King Arthur ever try a hot dog? Bet he didn't, the Excalibur wielding wimp!

Aberdyfi Beach

A dad thumbs-up for Aberdyfi
Not far from the apartment, we visited nearby Aberdyfi beach. What a beautiful seaside town! 

David Hasslehoff wouldn't look out of place here, in his lifeguard attire...obviously (definitely not singing!).

Aberdyfi is a cute harbour within Snowdonia, where the river Dyfi meets Cardigan Bay.

A proper beach, complete with blue waters and decent sand. It certainly trumps the coastal parts of Essex.

For lunch we visited a little café called 'The Fridge'. Nothing was too much trouble, great staff and hospitality shown by the Welsh locals.

Snowdonia

Just a big hill isn't it?

Snowdon's summit
When I hear "Snowdonia", I think of colleagues, doing sponsored walks, and stinging me for money!

When I hear "Snowdonia", I think of colleagues, doing sponsored walks, and stinging me for money!

Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales (and England), standing at around 3,500 feet. I'd never visited previously.

I must confess, I didn't tackle the mountain on foot either. There's a convenient train service, running regularly. Perhaps I'll tackle it on foot one day? 

At the summit you get some impressive views. It's cold, misty and pretty rocky up there. It's a mountain of course. I also stole some Snowdon rock, to take home.

If you take the train, they give you around 15 minutes to observe the vastness and risk your life for a perfect selfie.

From a personal point of view, I can tick this off the bucket list. Would I go back? Probably not. 

Portmeirion

Portmeiron village, where's number six?
Portmeirion is worth checking out. A tourist village designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, based on Italian architecture.  

It's pretty, and the surrounding coastal walks are decent. It's a nice place visit, although pricey for what it is. 

Notably made famous by sixties TV show "The Prisoner", with Patrick McGoohan. I started watching it recently, weird but interesting!

It was also featured as the location for the 1995 song 'Alright', by British band Supergrass. Watch it here!

There's plenty of good photo opportunities. There's nearby cafes, ice cream parlours, beer and gift shops etc

Not for everyone, but our family enjoyed it. 

Final Thoughts

There's plenty to see and do in Wales, but be prepared to drive.

Everybody should check-out mid and north-Wales, at least once. 

Wales doesn't rain that much. We had one drizzly day, but I expected worse. Will you see sheep? It's not unusual.

Comments

  1. I loved Wales when I went. I stayed in a cottage in the middle of the Snowdonia National Park and there wasn't another person for miles. Portmierion was something else - such a cool place to visit!

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