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Summer is here



Summer is here at last at Bala Cottage holidays, after a very long winter and cold spring.  We have had some wonderful sunny days and the chance to get some mountain walks in, one being Arenig, an easy mountain to climb and only 20 minutes drive from Dolgadfa and Llanerch.

We welcome dogs, so a perfect place to come on holiday and not have to leave your four legged friend at home!


We only have one week left now in August at Dolgadfa, from Friday 3rd to Friday 10th August, so do please get in touch should you wish to come and stay, if you are a regular guest or a new one, we are always here to answer any questions you may have on both cottages.

Winter Wonderland & Snowdon Walk the Carneddau from Llyn Eigiau


Winter Wonderland & Snowdon Walk the Carneddau from Llyn Eigiau

What a great start to the festive season here at Bala Cottage holidays with over a foot of snow falling in the past few days, a beautiful day here, cold tonight -15C!  Lets hope it will last till Christmas with both cottages full for the ten day period.

We are getting quite a lot of enquiries now for 2018, so please do get in touch if you wish to come and stay next year.

A couple of weekends ago with some old friends we did a fabulous walk of which I will share details below!

Snowdonia Walk
The Carneddau from Llyn Eigiau, Carneddau

The Carneddau provide some great mountain walks. Their western flanks are usually busy with walkers starting in the Ogwen Valley but in complete contrast the eastern approaches are far less trodden and offer a greater ‘wilderness’ experience. The start of this walk is the small parking area (Grid ref SH731662) which can be reached by taking the “interesting” gated road from Tal-y-Bont in the Vale of Conway. As the lane climbs higher you begin to get an impression of the wide open spaces that typify this beautiful part of the Snowdonia National Park.

After parking follow the track heading northwest towards Clogwynyreryr, a rocky knoll on the eastern end of the Cefn Tal-llyn-Eigiau ridge. As soon as the track turns right, head straight ahead over climbing up over unpathed ground with a wall on your left. Cross the wall at a convenient point and climb onto the ridge. Turn southwest and continue along the ridge climbing steadily to reach the secondary summit of Craig Eigiau (735m spot height) from where there is great view of the complete walk. Head due west from here to meet a clear path that has come up from the access road to Melynllyn Reservoir and follow this as climbs across an area of open mountain. The path swings towards north and leads to the broad col between Foel Grach and Carnedd Llewelyn.

Turn left along the main Carneddau ridge path, with good views north to Yr Elen, to reach the summit cairn and wind-shelter on Carnedd Llewelyn. This is one of the great viewpoints in Snowdonia and you will probably not be the only person sharing the view. In clear weather you will be able to enjoy a mountain panorama of quality including all the major peaks.

Care is needed to ensure you take the correct onward path. In clear weather this is not a difficult task but in cloud it can be problematic. Leaving the summit cairn head south for a short way taking care to locate a wide stony path that swings east and descends steadily. Care is needed as there are crags on your left. Once sure you are on the right path continue the descent towards Bwlch Eryl Farchog. In the latter stages of this descent there is an awkward slab to negotiate. It is imperative that you do not trend too far left on the next section as there are substantial crags that could be dangerous. It is possible to peer down some spectacular gullies and you may hear climbers shouting instructions as they scale the popular pitches on Craig yr Ysfa.

Reaching the Col, ahead you get a grand view of the next summit, Pen yr Helgi Du, which is soon conquered after an interesting ascent with some mild scrambling. Reaching the grassy plateau the highest point is marked by a beehive cairn. Turning east follow the descending path towards Bwlch y Tri Marchog. Ahead lies the final ascent of the route and lacking any interest it is a dull slog to reach the small cairn that marks the summit of Pen Llithrig y Wrach. Despite the uninteresting ascent the view is great especially east across Llyn Cowlyd to Creigiau Gleision.

Leave the summit of Pen Llithrig y Wrach on the clear path heading roughly north. This descends quite quickly at first before starting the level out at the 650m contour. You can follow the ridge path to reach the valley near Hafod-y-rhiw. However it is just as easy to make a more direct ascent into the valley over unpathed mountainside by heading downhill in a northerly direction to reach the small quarry (Grid ref. 719636). From here a grassy track leads via a stile to the main track that runs along the valley floor. Reaching this track, follow it north past the remains of the dam to reach the starting point.

We can suggest many wonderful walks in surrounding Snowdonia and in the meantime from us all at Bala Cottage Holidays wish you a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year

Autumn Dolgadfa & Llanerch



Autumn at Dolgadfa and Llanerch is the time to do a deep clean, now that the bookings have slowed up, first week we have not had anyone at Llanerch since March! So lots to do. Llanerch is free from next week, we have had amazing back to back week bookings here since the middle of July, so we must be doing something right!

Of course we are still very much open all year and though November is a quiet month, as I think a lot of people are of course thinking about Christmas and not about gong away for a break. Though Autumn tends to be one of the best times to visit North Wales, the colours are at their best and the weather tends to settle down to cold bright days and this is a good time to walk the hills in the surrounding area.

We are already taking bookings for next year and Llanerch is now full for the summer holidays. It is a hugely popular little cottage up a steep un tarmac track, but so worth it when you get there as the views are wonderful, nothing but you and the Berwyn mountains. You won’t be disturbed as no near neighbours and perfect for bringing dogs as the garden is well fenced in, so many fantastic walks right on your doorstep, so you don’t even have to go in the car.

Dolgadfa still has weeks left for next summer, although Christmas 2018 has already gone! This is a fabulous farmhouse, perfect for a family get together as it comfortably sleeps 12, again dog friendly and well fenced garden, with the River Dee running at the bottom of your garden. Those who like fishing it is an ideal house as you have over half a mile of fishing right on your doorstep.

So with this in mind please do get in touch as we are always on hand to help our guests with any questions they may have about both Dolgadfa and Llanerch.

Tomen Y Mur


Tomen y Mur, Trawsfynydd

We have just enjoyed a wonderful though rather wet walk in Snowdonia.

This circular walk will lead you from the shores of the man-made reservoir, Llyn Trawsfynydd, and across farmland to the most fascinating feature of the walk, the Roman fort of Tomen y Mur.

Tomen y Mur is one of the most interesting archaeological sites in Snowdonia, and is one of the most complete Roman military settlements in Britain. The fort is situated on a hillside at the cross roads of four Roman roads with commanding views of the local area. It was constructed in AD 78 by Gnaeus Julius Agricola, a Roman general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain, to maintain order amongst the native Celts and protect road communications.

The walk starts from the entrance to the Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station. Construction of the Power Station started in 1959 and the two reactors were in operation from 1965 to 1991. The lake provided cooling water when the reactors were operational. The Power Station is now in the process of being decommissioned.

Tomen Y Mur

Distance: 4 miles – 6.5 km

Time: Around 3 hours

Grade: Moderate Leisure Walk

Terrain: Fields & some rough, wet terrain. Wear appropriate footwear

Start/Finish: Car park near Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station (SH 697 384)

Parking: Car park near Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station

Post Code: LL41 4DS

Relevant Map:OS Ordnans Exp OL18 (Harlech, Porthmadog and Bala

Tomen Y Mur

Route Details

1. From the car park near the Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station, turn left along the road and then turn right. Walk between the wooden cafe and the old club house building towards the far end of the car park. Follow the cycle path for just over a mile until you reach the A470 main road.

2. Cross the A470 main road taking extreme care as this road can be very busy. Walk ahead along the minor road for about 50 meters until you see a bridge on your left.

3. Walk over the bridge, and follow the footpath heading through two gates. At the tarmac road, turn right and follow this road for 300 meters until you reach the old railway bridge.

4. Cross the bridge, and turn left by the Public Footpath sign. Make your way uphill along the track and in 200 meters head through a gate. Keep following the track heading through another gate. As you reach a bend follow the track uphill in the direction of the pylon in front of you.

5. As you head through another gate turn right keeping the fence on your left. Head uphill walking between the pylon and the building remains. Follow the path and head through a gate. Cross the stream and head through a gap in the wall. Before you reach the next gate ahead of you, look out for a small gate in the stone wall on your left with the name plate ‘Tomen y Mur’.

6. Head through the gate on your left and walk across the open land towards Tomen y Mur. There are several well trodden steep paths up to the top. Enjoy the panoramic views from the summit.

7. Take care as you walk down from Tomen y Mur. Head down to see the reconstruction of the Roman fort and walk through the derelict farmhouse noting the amazing fireplace.

8. Walk out of the farmhouse and follow the grassy track northeastwards to a stile. Head over the stile and follow the track to the tarmac road. Turn left at the road, and walk through the gate next to the cattle grid.

9. In about 100 meters cross the stile next to the Public Footpath sign on your left. Descend through the trees down to a stone bridge and head over another stile. Walk in the direction of the electricity pylon towards two gates at the far end of the field.

10. Cross the gate on the left and follow the path keeping the fence on your right. The owner of this land has marked the route of the public footpath along the land using yellow paint. Head over the stile near the pylon, and walk downhill keeping the fence on your left.

11. Head over the stile and follow the faint path that descends through the woodland. When you reach a wall at the bottom of the wooded area, follow the path to the left towards a stile.

12. Head over the stile and walk through the tunnel under the old railway line. Climb the steps onto a lay by on the A470. Taking extreme care, cross the road, turn left and walk along the pavement. Turn right towards the Power Station and walk back to the car park.

Fishing at Dolgadfa


Fishing at Dolgadfa, well I can’t quite believe it is nearly the end of May and I have to say we have had some wonderful spring weather, in fact the rain last week was very welcome not only for John’s vegetable garden but for all the farmers too.  This week is promising fine and fingers crossed it will last into next week, as it is half term and both Dolgadfa and Llanerch are full, it would be nice for our guests to enjoy the surrounding stunning countryside and maybe even try their hand at a little fishing.

We don’t have many guests who come and stay just to fish, but we are truly blessed to have Dolgadfa situated right on the River Dee, literally a stones throw from the garden, the River Dee is renowned for its Grayling, and a fact that the river has to be exceptionally clean for this fish to thrive.  We do of course have trout and have been lucky enough to have salmon here end of August beginning of September.  Not as many as there used to be when John was a child, but it is encouraging that they are coming back.

Trevor is our local gillie, who in fact came to stay with us at Dolgadfa many years ago when I ran it as a bed and breakfast.  He now lives just outside Chester, and comes with clients to fish the river, he knows it extremely well and I could not highly recommend him enough to help any enthusiastic fisherman who we might have to stay.

We do also have a mountain lake which is a truly wild fishing experience, it is stuffed full of brown trout and they are quite a challenge to catch, a good walk up from Dolgadfa, taking your picnic, could make for a great day out.

We still have a week left at Dolgadfa from Friday 19th August, maybe there are some fisherman out there who would take advantage of what we have to offer here.  We only charge £10 per rod per day.

Have a look at the website for all availability as there are still some short breaks available too from Monday to Friday, Llanerch has a couple of weekends left  this summer, and although on the hill above Dolgadfa only a 10 minute walk to the river below.  Please do call me if you have any questions at all.




Spring at Bala Cottage Holidays has certainly arrived, with the busiest April we have ever had here at Dolgadfa and Llanerch, both cottages full. We have been very lucky with the weather with last weekend wall to wall sunshine! This doesn’t happen very often here, so when it does it is a bonus for our guests.


We still have some space left in May at Llanerch, please do check out the reviews on Trip Advisor, then for the summer some spaces in June and beginning of July and now only one week left for Dolgadfa in August Friday 18th August until Friday 25th August, our calendar is always up to date here on our website so have a look and see what is available.

Easter weekend is upon us and new guests in tomorrow, always plenty do do here, wether a delicious Lunch or Afternoon Tea at Pale’Hall or a stroll to the local pub The Bryntirion in Llandderfel, or venture further afield to the Snowdonia National Park with all its wonderful attractions from the highest mountain in Wales to the glorious coast and too many castles to count!

As you are probably aware if you read my blog, John and I are keen walkers and know the surrounding area well so if you would like advice of any walks we are more than happy to help and point you in the right direction. We are dog friendly at both cottages and it is an ideal location to bring your favourite pet, with large enclosed gardens at both Dolgadfa and Llanerch and numerous walks to take them on straight from your front door.

I dont think I have mentioned for a while that we have wonderful fishing right at the bottom of the garden at Dolgadfa on the River Dee and only a 10 minute walk down the hill from Llanerch, the river being well known for its Grayling fishing, but trout and even the odd salmony have been caught. It is is a beautiful stretch of the river and even if you dont fish a special place to have a picnic by the old summer house.

So come and stay in this beautiful part of the world

Dolwyddelan Castle



Now March is here, snow yesterday, but luckily it disappeared as quickly as it came, ground too wet. We took the opportunity in between the showers on Saturday to walk with some friends near Dolwyddelan Castle, it has been a while since John and I have been and it still is a remarkable place and well worth a visit.

A little history about this Welsh castle, it was built in the early 13th century, functioned as a guard post along a main route through North Wales. It was reputed to be the birthplace of Llywelyn the Great, though it is now thought that he was born at Tomen Castell, a small tower that previously stood on a nearby hill, and that he built Dolwyddelan Castle. On 18 January 1283 it was captured by Edward I of England’s forces during the final stages of his conquest of Wales. Some historians have suggested that there may have been a deal between the defenders of the castle and Edward I in which its surrender was negotiated. The castle was then modified and strengthened until at least 1286 for occupation by an English garrison with recorded repairs including carpentry, the bridge, and the water mill.

Edwardian troops maintained a military presence here until 1290. As the long-term strategy of control in Wales began to rely on military and administrative centres accessible by sea, the inland castles became obsolete.

In the 15th century, the upper storey and drainage system were added to the keep by local lord Maredudd ap Ieuan who acquired the lease in 1488. It was restored and partly re-modelled in the 19th century by Lord Willoughby de Eresby, who added the distinctive battlements. It was reported that in around 1810 one of the towers may have collapsed.

In 1930 the building was placed under the guardianship of the Ministry of Works. The castle is now under the protection of Cadw, which is part of the Welsh Assembly’s historic environment division.

We met our friends at the station car park (not many trains run now but still it is good to see the line up and working), after a nice gently start to our walk we too a sharp right through the newly cut forestry on to the top of the ridge, we then followed this round walking the ridge until lunchtime, by this stage the rain had started and we headed to the shelter of the trees to eat our picnic. Much discussion was had as to whether we would continue along the ridge to the next point or head down through the forest to the track and then back to Dolwyddelan. As three of us were rather wet and cold we decided that it would have been a silly idea to continue in such poor weather so the shorter route was taken back down the valley. We then headed into Betwys-Coed for a glass of cider, and amazingly even on a cold wet March day the town is buzzing, and it was hard to get a table to sit!

So we have some weekends left in March, so come and stay and bring your dog and do some lovely long walks or even visit Dolwyddelan Castle, now at last the days are drawing out.

February Half Term



We still have February Half Term available at Llanerch, our wonderful smaller cottage perched on top of a hill with far reaching views towards the Berwyn mountain range, no neighbours to be seen or heard, just the sheep in the surrounding fields and red kites soaring in the skies above.

A perfect place for a family get away and of course you can bring your dog with you too, as we are pet friendly at both our cottages. Bala lake only a short drive away with stunning views towards Aran mountain and the soft peaks of southern Snowdonia in the distance, as you can see from this wonderful photograph that was taken by one of our guests who stayed at Llanerch last year.

There is an abundance of things to do this February Half Term with Bounce below and the longest zip wire in the Uk, all under an hours drive away. As the days are getting a little longer the perfect chance to spend a day walking one of our local mountains. John and I are keen walkers ourselves and can recommend many walks not only from the doorstep of Llannerch but within a 15 minute drive away.

So if you haven’t made any plans yet for half term then maybe you would like to re-consider a break away with your family, we have reduced the week to £500 now and the cottage sleeps up to six.

Please do get in touch with me either by email or phone as I would be happy to help in any we we can to make your stay with us here a memorable one.

So February Half Term getaway might be be a good idea!

Wonderful Pale’ Hall


#Bala Lake

Wonderful Pale’ Hall, a little more about this in a minute. Cant quite believe it has been over a month since my last blog and with Christmas and New Year now a distant memory! We had some wonderful guests over Christmas and who I think had a good time.

As I write this the last of the snow has begun to melt, a brief winter wonderland for 24 hours, now back to wet and warm. January is always a good time to take stock and look back at the very good year we had here at Bala Cottage Holidays with many great guests coming to stay. Now the January rush has started and enquiries and bookings are coming in thick and fast. The main holidays and half terms are being booked quickly so please if you would like to return or our indeed a new guest please get in touch. We have had some great reviews on Trip Advisor so if you are a new guest please have a look to see what our guests have to say about Dolgadfa and Llanerch.

Just also wanted to mention that we now have the most fabulous hotel on our doorstep, a five minute drive away (or lovely evening/day stroll of half an hour) to wonderful Pale’ Hall Hotel, this wonderful house has been meticulously restored to its former Victorian splendour by Alan and Angela Harper, who over the last year have painstakingly put the house back together again. Now a super smart and extremely comfortable Hotel set in the most stunning location just above the River Dee, with the soft mountains of southern Snowdonia looming in the distance. The kitchen has been supervised by the famous Michael Caines who has seen the overseeing and appointing of the new Chef Gareth Stevenson, the food is outstanding and for all you foodies out out there this is definitely the place to eat, whether it be a fabulous eight course tasting menu, the three course A La Carte or indeed Sunday Lunch or Afternoon Tea, or just a delicious cup of coffee and homemade biscuits. Please do check them out on the website www.palehall.co.uk

So with that I must get on and continue our spring cleaning of the cottages, please do get in touch and look forward to welcoming you to Dolgadfa and Llanerch in 2017.

Autumn at Bala Cottage Holidays


Views above llanerch Bala Cottage Holidays

Autumn at Bala Cottage Holidays, well we are already into November, and Autumn has certainly now arrived, with a cold northerly wind, the trees are at last beginning to shed their wonderful coloured leaves, leaving carpets of red, yellow and gold.

We have had a busy year and now is the time for jobs to be done and maintenance carried out at the cottages.

We are already getting bookings for next year with Easter, May bank holiday, May half term, two weeks of August, week in October and Christmas and New Year 2017/2018 already booked at Dolgadfa! So please if you are interested at all in coming to stay with us get in touch and I would be more than happy to answer any of your questions.

Bala Cottage Holidays - above Llanerch

We have an exciting new place to eat on our doorstep with the re-opening of Pale’ Hall, which has been carefully and meticulously restored to its former glory by owners Alan and Angela Harper, they have a wonderful new chef and are using Michael Caines to help set up and host special days and events throughout the year, it is definitely worth a visit either for lunch or dinner or even afternoon tea, only a five minute drive away from Dolgadfa and Llanerch or a easy half an hour walk along the lane through the village of Llandderfel.

Please do ask me about it when you book as it is a must for a special outing.

So it just leaves me to say come and stay with us here for a warm welcome in the Dee Valley