The Long Way Back from North Wales

Okay, I’ve been back for almost a week now, but still wanted to draw a line under my second bank holiday trip to North Wales.

Monday saw another quick run in the morning to finish the recce for the two walks from the house in Criccieth where I’ll be staying with the group in September. Started from the campsite around 7am along a normally quite busy B road, before turning off onto a footpath over a couple of fields and a very wet one at the end with high grass dripping with moisture. I didn’t mind much though.

Running is easy when you got THIS.

Crossed the road in Crieccieth and onto the minor road up to the house which looked amazing and I can’t wait to stay there in September. Huge property of grey stone blocks, white window frames and quite the view into Criccieth with it’s castle.

Up the tiny hill behind the house I went for a better and indeed last look along the length of Llyn. Quite the viewpoint and I can somehow imagine myself up here at the dawn of day with a cuppa tea and wrapped up warm.

View down to Criccieth.

Down and back at the campsite I showered, packed up and drove the half hour to Harlech, a place that’s been on my list for quite some time. Been really busy ticking stuff off lately, haha.

Now I’ve been to Conwy and Caernarfon with their ginormous castles all built by Edward I. in the 13th century. Harlech was number 3 of 4 and I had been keen to have a look at this one for quite some time, having been impressed by the first two very much.

Rolled into Harlech 9:30-ish. Only car in the Long Stay car park, sweet. Quick stroll to the viewpoint down the road. Not bad on a bit of a wild weather day with dark clouds, some wind and a splatter of rain every now and then.

Harlech castle, Snowdonia and dark clouds.

Found a small cafe for second breakfast and WiFi to upload my blog, then wandered down to the castle itself. I liked Harlech so far. Nice little town with pretty houses, narrow streets etc. The castle itself dominated the town almost as much as the castles in Conwy and Caernarfon.

£7.30 was a steep price, but I was committed now. There were some posters in one corner with the history of Harlech castle which was quite interesting, but that was literally it. Climbed the tower that was accessible and walked the ramparts and the views towards Llyn and Snowdonia were indeed quite stunning despite the not ideal weather and the eye sore of a caravan park.

Compared to Conwy and Caernarfon I was actually a bit disappointed. It’s quite a well-known castle, but for what I paid I’d expected a bit more. More exhibition items to show what life in the castle was like etc. I’ve had better experiences for half the money.

Never mind. Tick on the list and off I went back to the car park. By now it was 11:30am and the town centre was rammed with people. Cars trying to get a space on a bank holiday on the castle car park which can accommodate maybe 20 cars? Haha. Nice try people. Even my Long Stay was now rammed with cars circling around hoping for someone to leave.

Well, that wasn’t gonna be me. Not immediately at least. I had gotten myself two scoops of freshly made Welsh ice cream on the way back. What they called two scoops was more a pile of lush hibiscus and pistachio ice cream with a waffle biscuit and a Welsh flag. That alone had been worth the drive down.

Apparently, that’s two scoops.

Finished my “lunch” (Why not, I’m on holiday, right?) sitting in the car and eventually set off for Bristol.

Nice chilled end to my brief bank holiday break. Had it been worth driving 4+ hours each way? I’d say yes. And I’d do it again. Decent campsite, two really nice days of walking. And sooooo much more to do in the area. And I simply don’t get tired of Beddgelert. It’s such a lovely place, even being as touristy as it is. I think next time I or we need to stay there in one of the hotels to be able to enjoy a drink sitting outside watching the world go by.

June is gonna be a quiet one, but we’re off to the Pyrenees in July, so stay tuned!

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