Monday, 4 November 2013

North Wales

I have just sat down and realised that I am yet to fill you all in on my fantastic trip to Wales, and today marks one month (where has that even gone??) since I embarked on my week-long trip! So without further ado...North Wales 2013, with my fabulous best friend Kirsty!

We left on the morning of the 4th October, with the journey taking about 6 hours from start to finish. The cottage we chose to stay in was just outside the village of Pentrefelin, near Criccieth, and was surprisingly easy to find! I was expecting a trek around fields and tiny unheard of roads, as the last time we went to Wales we literally ended up in a field after taking a (very) wrong turn. However, "The Old Cow Shed" was really easy to find, and absolutely beautiful!

"The Old Cow Shed" and the amazing view!

The cottage itself was a converted cow shed, like the name would suggest, and was surrounded not only by mountains, but also had the most incredible sea view. You literally could not have asked for more, from a scenery perspective! We settled down for the evening with pizza and Disney films, tired from the journey!

Criccieth

On day one we went for a walk around the local town of Criccieth, which lay just 2 miles down the road. It's a sleepy seaside town, with a highstreet and a really nice beach (although, October isn't really beach weather!) so it made a nice relaxing start to our week. I had read online during my epic pre-holiday researching session that Criccieth had a Cadwaladers ice cream parlour, so obviously we had to go and sample some of that! I bought myself some "holiday yarn" while we were there, as a souvenir - I need to decide what to make!

We decided to spend the rainy Sunday as our crochet and cross stitch day, staying in our pyjamas and watching films for the duration, whilst indulging in our hobbies - nothing wrong with that! But Monday brought on a new adventure, and an hour long drive to the Corris Craft Centre. Words just cannot describe, so here are some pictures...

Corris Craft Centre

The Corris Craft Centre houses 9 individual artists' studios, including glassblow, candlemaking, pottery, a goldsmiths, and more! When visiting you go into each "pod" and can have the opportunity to buy some of these exceptional gifts, but also to have a go yourself, should you choose to. We both spent far too much money on the Monday, after Corris! The candle studio in particular was absolutely amazing (bottom right), and also played house to an adorable spaniel called "Steve", who had been trained to accept money from customers! If anyone is ever in the area, I would highly recommend a visit! I can also tempt you with the promise of a Welsh food store, and an excellent café!

Tuesday was my day, as such. The one thing I was desperate to visit while in the area, was the village of Portmeirion. The village itself is the work of architect Clough Williams-Ellis, who basically wanted to build an Italian style village in Wales, with the intentions of not spoiling the surrounding area. It is also famous for it's pottery, and was the location for the 1960's television series "The Prisoner". I took so many photos in Portmeirion and I'm glad that I got to visit it! It's definitely one of the most surreal and unique places that I have had the opportunity to go to!

Portmeirion

I just love how happy and colourful it is! Everywhere you looked there was something interesting or unusual. It's a really breathtaking place, and the only thing I was disappointed in was the weather. Alas, it still looked gorgeous so I can't really complain!

On Wednesday we took a trip to Betws-Y-Coed, which is the home to lots of lovely waterfalls. Kirsty is a fairy collector, and whilst researching I came across a location just outside the village called "Fairy Glen", which obviously was a must-visit for the trip! Betws-Y-Coed was lovely though and had a great atmosphere!

Betws-Y-Coed

During our time in and around Betws-Y-Coed, we visited three main attractions - Swallow Falls (which is the most famous waterfall there), The Ugly House, and Fairy Glen. All of them were fantastic, and the rivers looked great because of heavy rainfall the previous night (and just as I took my camera out, actually). The leaves were also still relatively green considering the time of year, but this didn't really matter. I was so glad that we visited Fairy Glen though. It was off the beaten track and quite difficult to get to in places, due to some horrible stone steps. It was quite a climb in and out but was worth it for the beautiful surroundings we were in. It was unfortunately a little wet for any fairy sightings though. We came home considerably wetter than leaving that morning, but both very happy!

Thursday was our final whole day, so we made another hour long journey, this time heading North to the Welsh Mountain Zoo. We got to see so many gorgeous animals, including bears, which neither of us had ever seen before! It's a fantastic zoo though, with plenty of photo opportunities!

Welsh Mountain Zoo

I was totally obsessed with the Macaw! They're such gorgeous birds and I got some lovely pictures of him! It was nice to spend our last day chilling at the zoo though, and we both had a great time.

Friday meant home time again. The week went way too quickly, but I was definitely glad to get the 6 hour journey out of the way again! So there is your very late rundown of what happened on my 2013 holiday with Kirsty! Sorry I'm so behind...I'll make it up to you with tomorrow's Treasury!

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