Friday, 30 June 2017


I have made a little promise to myself to see more of our beautiful island and head out to places I have not visited before.  Although it is always lovely to go back to somewhere that you have loved of old, as we did with Whitby, there is something really exciting about striking out to pastures new.  So off to North Wales I headed with my daughter in tow. 

Although only a few hours from our doorstep I had only been once before, having visited Llandudno for work, so there really was a lot for us to see


We started our adventure checking into our lovely little cottage Tyn Llech that I had booked via Homeaway who are one of my favourite house rental sites. It was a gorgeous two storey stone cottage with sea views, nestled amongst fields on the Wern Estate and had every amenity you could wish for.  We even treated ourselves to a meal cooked by Viv who looks after the property and it was the best meal we had while there.  
The view from our cottage 

Exterior of Tyn LLech cottage
We spent our first day exploring the pretty seaside town of Criccieth which was a few miles from the cottage.  The beach here is beautiful and goes on for miles and there are some lovely shops, cafes and pubs plus what remains of a pretty impressive castle built by the equally impressively named Llywelyn the Great. We enjoyed a tasty brunch in the Blue China Tea Rooms which overlooks the sea before walking along the sea wall/promenade. 

In the evening we ventured to Dylan's Restaurant which is housed in a retro 1950's art deco style building that fronts onto the sea.  The menu features hearty food and we both had steak.  My daughters was fine but mine was tough, but that is sometimes the luck of the draw when ordering steak.

The view of Criccieth Castle  from the beach 
Being on the Wern Estate meant we could walk out our front door and enjoy some beautiful countryside walks taking in views of the Snowdonia National Park.  We stumbled across some quaint little chapels down single track roads with graves dating back to the 1700's and one thing that particularly struck us was the longevity of folks in this part of the world, even centuries ago.  It must be the healthy air and lifestyle.  The first chapels we came across had a poster that declared they were 'Friends of Friendless Churches' - not something I had ever heard of before and rather a forlorn name but very apt.  On investigation it transpires this is a worthy charity who "rescue, repair and campaign for historic churches in England and Wales". They now own nearly 50 churches and preserve them as peaceful spaces for visitors and the local community which I think is wonderful and I will definitely support their endeavours. 

Views of Snowdonia National Park


The coastal town of Porthmadog was also within easy striking distance of our cottage, but I found it less charming than I expected and I favoured Criccieth.  The harbour area as seen here is very pretty and worth a visit and we did enjoy a snack at the Big Rock Cafe on the High Street but didn't particularly see any other restaurants that attracted us.  

Porthmadog Harbour


On our second day we visited the village of Abersoch on the breathtaking Llyn peninsula.  This captivating village combines a mix of old and new with stylish shops and a number of eateries and bars.  The never ending beach and surrounding scenery was stunning and this is somewhere I would definitely like to visit again to explore more. 

We enjoyed a light lunch in Zinc Cafe Bar and Grill which did not disappoint before heading off towards Bangor, one of the smallest cities in the UK.   


On our last full day in the area we headed to Harlech to see the magnificent castle which was originally built by Edward 1 in the 13th century as part of his 'iron ring' of fortresses.    It is an incredibly impressive edifice perched atop a rock overlooking the Irish Sea and much of the battlements remain which make it a really amazing place to walk and gaze out to sea while imagining the many pitch battles fought here. 

Patio at Cemlyn Tea Shop overlooking Harlech Castle 
We had a fabulous lunch at the Cemlyn Tea Shop which overlooks the castle and sea and wandered the steep streets of the town visiting antique and interior shops. 



We had visited Portmeirion on our first day in Gwynedd and it was particularly relevant as our cottage had been designed by descendents of Sir Clough Williams-Ellis who had designed and built Portmeirion.

Like a lot of people of my generation I knew it from the iconic TV programme The Prisoner and I was pleased to see a number of things that I remembered from that including the chess board and of course the stunning beach where Patrick McGoohan was chased by giant inflatables, which sounds really strange now.

The setting for the village is spectacular with incredible views of mountains, coast and country and the village itself bears testament to Clough Williams-Ellis and his vision to create a development that does not defile a site of natural beauty.

We both felt it was a little surreal with its Italianate architecture and was reminiscent of  Disneyland although it predates that by over 20 years.  None the less it was worth the visit and it must be lovely to stay there either in the Hotel or one of the rental cottages and enjoy the surroundings when all the tourists have gone home for the day.  

There are a number of cafes, restaurants and shops in the village and we enjoyed a drink on the terrace of the Town Hall Cafe which is a lovely setting to admire the village and watch the world go by.

We didn't have time to wander round the woodland and wider gardens and that is definitely something worth taking in on another visit.  There is even a little 'train' that will take you round but really it looked easily walkable. 

We seemed to run out of time to see as much of North Wales as we would have liked and didn't even manage to take the train on Snowdon, long at least walk it.  So a return visit is definitely not the cards and we can add a day trip to Angelsey to our plans.  


  1. Hi Anne
    Glad you enjoyed your trip to North Wales - a place very close to my heart.
    Next time you go near Porthmadog please venture over to Borth-y-Gest I'm sure you will like it. Also if you do go to Anglesey there are so many gardens,galleries & historic houses etc. I'm sure you would love that too but don't miss out on a trip around Puffin Island whatever you do.

  2. Hello and thank you for the tip! Not sure when I will get back there but will take your advice next time! It certainly is a beautiful part of the world!


© Sensational Baby Boomers

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig