I’m back! It is so nice to get back to the blog after a bit of a break. Since Christmas, I’ve been overwhelmed with work and have had to devote pretty much all my spare time to it. And so, while I’ve still been enjoying adventures with my family, I’ve not had time to post about them. But finally things are starting to calm down – and I’m getting back on top of my photography backlog!
So, I’m taking you back to the very end of May and our half term trip to Snowdonia. After last year’s successful trip to the Lake District, we thought we’d try the children out with another week of walking – and while the weather wasn’t quite so good this year, we had such a wonderful time. For the first time since having children, we enjoyed a holiday more in the style of how we used to vacation in our old lives! No family parks or attractions, just the great outdoors, lots of hiking trails and delicious food. And I think the children loved it as much as us – the future looks bright!
We booked ourselves a gorgeous little cottage called Beudy Menai near the Menai Strait and on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park. It was set in peaceful farmland with a super friendly host and walks from the front door.
The main view from the cottage was a field that was sometimes full of cows, and always busy with birds visiting the feeders. The children loved watching the birds, and listening out for pheasants who were regular visitors – they found them hilarious! Here are a couple visiting the garden:
It was a long drive to get there, so we stretched our legs with a lovely walk on our first evening. Close to the cottage was beautiful woodland and a stream the children could scramble along, so we whiled away an hour enjoy the solitude.
The next morning looked grey but dry, so we decided to head into the national park to take the children on one of our favourite walks. With family who used to live nearby in Criccieth, Matt and I had visited Snowdonia a few times – and we loved walking from Beddgelert. We remembered a circular walk that covered a brilliant range of landscapes from river walking and a lake, to pretty villages, mining history and mountain passes. You can see the route on the National Trust website, and I’d highly recommend it if you’re in the area – it’s the Aberglaslyn, Llyn Dinas and Cwm Bychan walk (although we walked it in the opposite direction).
Almost immediately on leaving the car park, the children found some excellent climbing opportunities and immediately set to work scaling the rocks along the path!
They climbed trees:
Scrambled up waterfalls:
And Sophie even showed off her newly acquired gymnastics skills!
As we walked up the valley, signs of the area’s industrial past became apparent with the Cwm Bychan ropeway left from the old copper mining industry.
Eventually, we made it to the head of the valley where, despite the low clouds, we could see for miles across Snowdonia. No sign of Snowdon’s peak though – that was completely covered!
After enjoying the views and a sandwich, we headed down the other side of the hill towards the lake – Llyn Dinas – where, of course, the children threw about 1,000 pebbles into the water!
When we finally dragged them away from the lake, we walked along the river towards the town of Beddgelert. Alex learned a new word along the way – rhododendron! There were so many blooming in Snowdonia during our trip. Can you spot our boy amid the colour?!
It was just the end of the bluebell season as well, and every so often we’d spot a copse with a beautiful blue floor.
We enjoyed a short wander around Beddgelert and a big slice of delicious cake in The Real Coffee Stop. It’s a pretty town, full of walkers and cyclists. I loved the little stone church we passed as we walked along the river away from the town. We also passed Gelert’s Grave, the faithful dog of the medieval Welsh Prince Llewelyn the Great as we followed our route – it’s worth reading the sad legend of the town if you have a minute.
The final stretch of the walk was probably Alex and Sophie’s favourite – the route hugged the river closer and closer until we were scrambling along a narrow and rocky path. It’s an old fisherman’s path through the Aberglaslyn gorge and it was a lot of fun!
There were more opportunities for pebble splashing!
As well as rock scrambling…
It was a brilliant first hike of the holiday, and I’m just so pleased that Alex and Sophie seemed to enjoy it as much as we did.
More posts to follow, including summiting Snowdon and exploring Anglesey.