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September Walking

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September Walking

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It has been a while since I wrote my blog for Bala Cottage Holidays, no excuse but it has been a mad summer holidays as normal! Both cottages have been full and we have had some lovely guests through the doors.

September walking, nothing beats it, we had a fantastic walk on Saturday with some friends from Angelesey, an area I had not been too in Snowdonia before, so we started just before Betwys Coed on the A5, at the end of a small village called Cwm Penmachno, a place steeped in history as this is where most of the old Welsh Slate mines were, after a steep climb through a forest we came upon the ruins of Ma Dwr per, an eerily beautiful place with the large chimney still very much standing.

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Then on and up over to the top of Manod Maw with fantastic views down to Blaenau Ffestiniog and then onto the Porthmadog estuary and out to sea. Then we went down and onto Manod Quarry, a place with quite a secret.

The Manod is a cold and lonely place, 1,750ft above sea level. Its isolation caused it to be one of the most secret places in the second world war. The entire National Gallery Collection was hidden in its underground labyrinth in case Trafalgar Square was bombed, which, of course, it was in 1940. Londoners feared for their lives each night, and sheltered from the bombs wherever they could. But the Ministry of Works gave top priority to a nine-month building programme at Manod to ensure the paintings would be safe beneath a 300ft thick slate ceiling in the highly unlikely event of Hitler deciding to bomb a lonely mountain in north Wales.

Six vast underground chambers were installed for the treasures. Each had its own air-conditioning system, which ensured four changes of air an hour, and a constant atmosphere of 65F and 42% humidity. Five thousand tons of slate were removed from the moutain entrance increasing it from a 6ft square hole through which generations of miners had passed, to one 13ft by 10ft. This allowed masterpieces by Gainsborough, Hogarth, Constable, Turner, Monet, Degas and Rembrandt, as well as the remainder of the British, French and Dutch Schools, to be unloaded unobtrusively from lorries driven inside the mountain. The road surface under the railway bridge at Ffestiniog, was lowered two and a half feet so that the lorry carrying the vast Van Dyck canvas Charles I on Horseback and Piombo’s Raising of Lazarus could edge underneath with inches to spare.

Today you can still the barred entrance, but it really looks quite unremarkable, considering what a huge secret it held all those years ago. A walk really worth it not only for the history but for the outstanding views. Snowdonia never ceases to amaze me.

But back to home now and we do still have availability at Dolgadfa for October Half term from Friday 21st October for seven nights, so please get in touch and come and stay and if you are interested I can show you many wonderful walks in the area.

Glorious May

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We have had an interesting start to May, with the Bank Holiday weekend, bringing cold winds, rain and even some hill snow on the tops! But I don’t think I have ever known a “hot” first May bank holiday weekend here ever! Anyway now glorious May has arrived with wonderful warm sunny weather, with it even hitting 25 C last weekend and here yesterday. The gardens at both our cottages have gone wild, and grass cutting once a week doesn’t seem to be enough! Within 3 days it has grown again! The warm weather is giving us wonderful displays of bluebells within the surrounding woods of Dolgadfa and Llanerch and the blossom is truly the best I have seen it here for sometime.

We are busy with guests coming and going and have at last in place at Llanerch the new shower in the downstairs bathroom that has been mentioned many a time by our guests! In fact it is so nice I am rather jealous and wish we had one like it on our house!

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We have also been spending time up at our mountain lake, where John caught two brown trout last week, a really lovely spot where you feel as if you are miles from anywhere!

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We have a few weekends left at Llanerch, please have a look at the availability calendar, and get in touch should you have any questions at all, lets hope that glorious May continuous into a glorious summer!

In Like a lion out like a lamb

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March – In like a lion out like a lamb, well this old saying could well be true, as after such a mild wet winter, we now have winds from the east and north and persistent snow showers! So lets hope that the month ends, what with Easter etc with some spring like weather!

We have had some great guests to stay and some lovely ones from Llanerch who spent February half term sent the fantastic photographs you see in this blog, wonderful sunset over Bala Lake and Aran and the old stone bridge over the River Dee

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Bookings are well underway and we are nearly full now at our larger cottage at Dolgadfa. Llanerch still has availability particularly in late Spring/early summer, so please get in touch should you like to come and stay. The summer holidays are now full for both cottages which is great.

Sadly John and I haven’t been able to get out and do as much walking this winter as we would like, though we are pretty hardy and walk in most weathers, we feel that torrential rain, strong winds and zero visibility is just not much fun! So role on some dry clear cold days so we can get out and about and tackle some more peaks in Snowdonia that we have not yet managed to do!

We are still planning a downstairs shower at Llanerch and hope to get this in place before the main holiday season starts, we have had numerous requests from guests that this would be an added bonus at Llanerch and agree that it is a necessity! Also with elderly or less able guests to stay it can only be of help.

Here is another shot of Llanerch below from our kind guests.

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So In like a lion out like a lamb…..on we role through March.

February Storms

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February Storms, can’t quite believe that we are on “H” for the naming of the winter storms that have battered and flooded our little valley here on the River Dee. Luckily “Henry” wasn’t as bad as they had predicted so we got away without the river flooding the road again! Also no trees were down on Llanerch drive, which was a relief as two years ago nearly to the day we had a “red alert” wind warning here and a terrible storm raged all day and all night and did considerable damage, with trees down everywhere! Even though we had guests at both Dolgadfa and Llanerch, luckily we could get them all out safely.

As I write this we had a light sprinkling of snow last night and the surrounding hills are looking wonderful now the sun has come out at last! So think it would be a good photo opportunity this afternoon to take the dogs up onto Mynollyd mountain and get those snowy shots!

We have had lots of enquiries in the last month, most of which have lead to bookings for the coming months, which is fantastic, both cottages are nearly full for the summer period already, we only have a couple of weeks left at Dolgadfa for the end of July/beginnng of August.

So despite the February storms, if you are thinking of coming then please do contact me, especially if you have any questions you would like to ask, we are always here to help!

January Rush

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Well here we are in the second week of January and the enquiries and bookings are rushing in, I love this time of year, the beginning of a New Year and the January Rush…..we are getting booked up now for all the major holidays, so if you would like to come and stay in a beautiful part of the world then get in touch!

At last we have some seasonal weather, snow on the Berwyns and a sharp nip in the air. After what has bee the wettest December on record it is a welcome relief to have some dry cold days, showing off the fantastic scenery from Dolgadfa and Llanerch. We have some weekends left this winter so if you fancy some winter walking right on your doorstep then either of our two cottages will be ideal wether you are a large party of 12 or smaller 2-6. We also welcome dogs and there is not where better to have your four legged friend with you!

A bit of deep cleaning is now underway this week, with sofa covers and cushions washed and carpets scrubbed ready for the coming year.

So send us an email, give us a call, and be part of the January Rush here at Bala Cottage Hollidays

Blog – September

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September here at Bala Cottage Holidays – Well the summer is over and what a busy one it has been here at Bala Cottage Holidays, both cottages full, despite the wet August, everyone seems to have had a good time!

Now thoughts are turning to the Autumn and of course as soon as school starts again and the holidays are over the sun comes out! With the heather now in full bloom on the mountain behind us, now is the time to come and stay. Llanerch is full for most of September but we still have a couple of weekends free in October, so checkout the calendar and give us a call! We are already taking bookings for next year and it is filling up….we are full for Christmas and New Year at Dolgadfa but still have New Year free at Llanerch, a great cottage to rent, cosy wood burners, so secluded, you won’t be disturbed by anyone!

Now the work starts for us after the rolling weeks of guests. Autumn “spring” clean is well underway with maintenance on both cottages, gardens to be weeded and cut back, curtains to be taken down and washed!

So with September well under way, John and I are planning our next walks in Snowdonia so we can tell our guests of more great walks to go on when you come and stay with us.

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Spring is here at Bala Cottage Holidays

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Spring is here at Bala Cottage Holidays, having just walked Snowdon with my youngest daughter and her year group from school the last weekend of March there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  Snowdon is only a 45 minute drive from both our cottages Dolgadfa and Llanerch here at Bala Cottage Holidays.  A good walk or you can take the train from Llanberis so opportunity to reach the summit for all capabilities.  It is without doubt one of the most beautiful mountains in Great Britain and we are fortunate to have it within easy reach.  Of course nearer to home, here in Bala, there are some spectacular mountains within a 15 minute drive, or from your doorstep here the Berwyns.  Both which can be seen from Dolgadfa and Llanerch.

We are getting booked up for the summer now but do still have weeks left in July and August at both Dolgadfa and Llanerch, so if you don’t want to miss out then please get in touch soon!

We have had a good year so far at both cottages and many happy guests, as you can see from our guests comments on our website here.  If you are looking for a get away from it all then both cottages offer seclusion, peace and privacy, with the winding River Dee at the bottom of the garden at Dolgadfa and the stunning views down the valley and to the Berwyns from Llanerch.

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January Rush

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January Rush – we love January here at Bala Cottage Holidays, every day numerous enquiries and bookings, a good way to start 2015!  We have had some seasonal weather, even managed some sledging between Christmas and New Year.

Both Cottages have been very busy and nice now to have a few days to have a good sort out, especially after all the parties over the festive period!  We are already booked again for Christmas in Llanerch and New Year in Dolgadfa.  February half term and Easter now full in both and only Llanerch to fill for the May half term break!  So all good, also nice to have repeat guests again, that is what it is all about.

John and I are trying to fit in a few more walks off the beaten track in Snowdonia in the next month so we can share our experience and knowledge with our guests.

We are still on track to add a new shower into the downstairs bathroom at Llanerch, just getting the quotes in now!  But should hopefully be ready before the main season starts at Easter.

Think we might be due some more snow this week, so will get some good pictures to add our Facebook page, please if you have net already done so Like us on Facebook, also follow us on Twitter and Pinterest, all links our here on our web page.

So join the January Rush and book your holiday here with us at Bala Cottage Holidays.

 

 

Autumn Walking

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Autumn Walking

Two fantastic walks you can easily do from Dolgadfa or Llanerch, the first is from Blaenau Festiniog, to the range of mountains called the Moelwyns, park up above the village and you begin your ascent past a waterfall on your left, up towards the old slate caverns, huge craters left in the landscape, the scale is difficult to believe unless you see it for yourself.  Amazing Slate heaps adorn these hills.  There are three peaks here for the Moelwyns, you clamber up grassy slopes to some spectacular scenery with views right across Snowdon and towards the sea and Portmadog and on a clear day to the end of the Lyn Peninsular and beyond.  Also not a soul in sight!  We walked for approx  six hours, and that was going at quite a pace so not for the faint hearted, but so worth it and only a 40 minute drive from Dolgadfa and Llanerch.

The second walk was from Capel Curig, park up behind the Pinnacle stores, cross over the A5 and soon you are away from the crowds around Snowdon and on your own again, this time we took plenty of teenagers with us and they all managed it, only a little bit of rock scrambling from one peak as our guide (a friend!) decided to take a quicker route down!  Again a six hour walk apron probably not going at such a pace so could be done in a little less time maybe 5 1/2 hours!  Again we didn’t see a soul until the last descent back down towards Capel Curig, amazing as it was the first Saturday of half term and so close to Snowdon.  Fantastic views towards the peaks of Snowdon.  It would probably take you about 50 minutes to drive to Capel Curig from Dolgadfa or Llanerch.

 

 

 

Bala in the Autumn

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Bala in the Autumn even though it is the end of the summer holidays, September is giving us a last taste of warm sunny days and in fact this is the best time to come and visit North Wales and here at Bala Cottage Holidays.  We can highly recommend the White Water Rafting Centre near Bala, only a 10 minute drive from Dolgadfa and Llanerch. A truly great experience, and suitable for all ages.  A great family day out.

We have had a busy summer here at Bala Cottage Holidays with both cottages full, we have met some great people and hope that we have given everyone who has come to stay a memorable holiday.  The weather has been glorious with only a slight blip in August, but nothing too bad!  So all our guests have enjoyed the great outdoors as a result of this warm weather, BBQ’s most nights, swimming in the River, long sunny walks with dogs, day trips out to the local beaches, mountain walking and all the other numerous activities in the area.

As always our thoughts turn to to the Autumn with Half  Term fast approaching in October, due to cancellation at Dolgadfa (sleeps 12)  we have the last two weeks of October now available at a greatly reduced price of £1,200 ,  so give us a call and come and stay!

We have much to do over the coming weeks after a busy summer, maintenance on both houses the priority,  due to the high demand for a shower yup at Llanerch, we have decided to go ahead with the work over the next month or so.

Though the days are shortening, the autumn really is the best time to visit North Wales, less crowded and not so much traffic on the roads.  We often have warm sunny days and cool nights, ideal to light that fire when you have come in from a long walk.

So end of the summer holidays, but plenty still of the year left to come and and stay!