A Welsh Journey

After France we had a few days out to get our Motorhome serviced in The UK. We got to stay in a lovely hotel in Durham with an enormous bed and a bath, things that are absolute luxuries when you’ve been travelling for 5 months in a Motorhome. As Elddis is at the top of The UK, it was a bit of a drive but meant we could add Wales to our itinerary which seemed like a great last adventure. 

We spent two days driving through The Peak District driving such roads as “The Snake Pass”. My favorite colours seem to be associated with Autumn so it was an obvious joy to be driving through the bracken covered hills and through roads lined in red golden autumn leaves. The Peak District is truly beautiful with these gorgeous country villages dotted throughout where everyone drives a Landrover and owns 3 dogs that regularly visit the local pub with their owners. However before we knew it, we had popped out the otherside so off we went to Wales.

We headed for North Wales first so crossed over onto the island of Anglesey over this amazing suspension bridge and drove around the coast to Beaumaris where we spent our first night in Wales being pummelled by a gale. The town of Beaumaris is stunningly picturesque and is home to an ancient castle surrounded  by a moat. 

As you drive around the coast you will see lots of little islands where people have made their homes on. If your looking for an island to live on all to yourself , Wales might well be the place.

We did drive to the very tip to Hollyhead, but it didn’t do a lot for us, although I will happily blame the atrocious weather for that. Since arriving in The UK, we have had nothing but rain.

We also spent a night in Conwy overlooking it’s Castle before braving the weather to take a walk around the city walls. 

We very nearly got stuck inside these city walls because the exit was particularly narrow.

They certainly make things small in Conwy.

From here we headed in search of Snowden Mountain, the highest peak in Wales where we were rewarded with a stunning drive through some spectacular countryside before stopping for the night just outside this pub where a few other Kiwis had been before us.

The hiking in this part of the world must be insane and I’m slightly peeved that we just don’t have the proper gear to get out there in this weather although there are many who are. 

We checked out the hiking town of Betws-Y-Coed.  You have got to love the names of these Welsh towns – today we drove through Portmadog, Ffestinog and Gellilydan We very nearly bought hiking gear in Betws-Y-Coed at this fabulous Christmas sale but exited the town smartly before any hard cash could be spent. 

From Betws-Y-Coed, we headed across The Snowdonia National Park towards the coast which is another stunning, jaw dropping drive before arriving in the coastal town of Portmeirion

To our suprise the town was closed off to a Christmas Fair so that was an added  bonus for us. When I was reasearching Wales I wrote down a few roads to travel on and a few towns to visit. I had underlined Portmeirion but I couldn’t remember why. Quite possibly the prettiest town ever is why. Portmeirion is a tourist village in Gwynedd, North Wales. It was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 in the style of an Italian village, to be the perfect Welsh coastal town. I can certainly agree with this. Appaently it is now owned by a charitable trust.

And it all sits overlooking the most glorious harbour. Just ignore the mist.

Oh and the Christmas market was delightful too.

After a lovely morning we needed to make tracks so we headed off through Portmadog in search of the A740 to make our way down through Snowdonia to the bottom. Not as spectacular as some of our drives but still lovely all the same and we were rewarded with the lovely market town of Machyllneth where Doug discovered a fabulous junk shop with all the junk his heart could desire. Pity we leave in a few days because I feel he could have loaded up.

We had also stopped for coffee along the route in this fabulous Tea Shop called TH Roberts in Dolgellau which was full of hikers braving the weather drinking delicious deep mugs of coffee and eating huge plates of food. You could even pick up a pair of knitting needles to knit a square towards the scarf in their window which is being made to be as high as some mountain. Definitely our kind of cafe.

From here we have headed out to the coast where it’s been a noisy night next to the roaring sea. This storm will not let up sadly and I suspect we are not going to see the sun while we remain in The UK. 

Our plan for today is to drive The Top Gear Rd through The Black Mountains before making our way to Southampton where the motorhome is being shipped from on the 5th. Sad times coming our way. 

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