Wales and Lake District Lodging?

Old Jul 6th, 2001, 12:57 PM
  #1  
Ando
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Wales and Lake District Lodging?

We'll be spending two weeks this October in Wales and in the Lake District.
Any recommendations for good base camp towns and small hotels thereabouts?
Anyone stayed at the Howe Keld in Keswick?
How about the Cranleigh Hotel in Windermere?
Not sure where we'll be in Wales but will want to split time between the south and north. Is Cardiff too hectic to serve as a base for exploring the south of Wales? Or would we be better off in Hay-on-Wye? Any suggestions for a better base in the south? And in the north, is Llandudno a good base?
I need help. . . . Thanks in advance for your insights. Ando.

 
Old Jul 6th, 2001, 01:16 PM
  #2  
Claire
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Hi Ando,
A few ideas about Wales: firstly, Cardiff is the capital city of Wales, with big-city attractions , traffic, etc. Hay on Wye is a "quaint" village full of second-hand bookshops. Depends really if you want city or country ...Hay is in the more picturesque (sp?) setting.
Llandudno is a seaside / holiday resort. October will be out of season, and probably a bit depressing (no offence intended!) Many posters to these boards like Betws-y-Coed, it is central/north Wales and v.close to Snowdon National Park.

If I can think of anything sensible to say about the Lakes, I'll be back. Don't know the hotels that you mention.
 
Old Jul 6th, 2001, 03:34 PM
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MarkJ
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We stayed in a very rural area along the Wales \ England boarder about 10 miles from Hay-On-Wye. The town was Madley. We stayed at Canon Bridge House (a self cattering \ self contained wing of a 17th century house) which is run by a very nice couple, Tim and Alison Anscomb. If you would like more info please e-mail me directly.
 
Old Jul 6th, 2001, 03:47 PM
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Deb
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Llandudno is quite nice. I can recommend the Cranberry House very highly. Run by a lovely couple. It isn't right on the beachfront but is not far away (an easy walk). If you want to splurge, you can stay at Bodysgallen Hall (sp?) which is a manor house outside of town. Even if you don't stay there, it is a wonderful place to go for dinner.

Conwy is another lovely town (only about 3-5 minutes from Llandudno) with a castle surrounding it. Also I can recommend Y Groes Inn for dinner as well (it is 5 miles out of Conwy - in the countryside).
 
Old Jul 6th, 2001, 03:53 PM
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Frances
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I think you would miss out on a lot of the best parts of South Wales if you based yourself as far east as you are suggesting.To my mind Pembrokeshire is the most picturesque part of South Wales but its as far West as you can go.That's not to say you can't make day trips from Cardiff and Hay but you are only likely to get that far once and probably try to pack in everything to save a return journey. May I suggest that you consider a second base in the South in Tenby.This is a seaside town full of character and narrow streets and I defy you to say you weren't enchanted!You must have an ice cream creation at Fecci's-no ordinary cornet this.I used to work in Tenby and dream sometimes of being able to move back to Pembs and live there.
You are then in an excellent position to explore all points West from here assuming you will have covered the Vale of Glamorgan(small villages,thatched houses)Brecon Beacons(National Park)and the Gower peninsula being the picturesque outdoors,and the South Wales valleys for their enormously important industrial history fromCardiff/Hay.Personally I wouldn't stay in Cardiff but that could be because I'd rather a rural location.Cardiff is a city albeit one I like,but there is nothing that would cause me to stay there.
If you leave Pembs and head North you will pass through the Preseli mountains which are rugged and beautiful and into the Welsh speaking part of Pembrokeshire into Cardiganshire.Along the coast you have little gems such as Mwnt-a tiny white church on a cliff where you can watch the dolphins swim below you if you are lucky.You can travel via Aberystwyth a very traditional university town and copy the students in their tradition of kicking the bar. On to Machynlleth a market town built extensively of stone and with its Celtica exhibition.I've not been there and reports are varied.Just to the north is Corris and King Arthur's Labyrinth-not been there either but I understand there's a boat ride involved.I'm getting so carried away with this that I forgot to mention the Centre for Alternative Technlogy back down the road some 4 miles.
O.K. just realised you asked for places to stay not places to visit.In North Wales stay at Ty'n Rhos Country Hotel,Llanddeiniolen,about half way between Caernarfon and Bangor and about a mile inland as the crow flies.About 80 including breakfast for a double room.Highly recommended.Location wise this is great.You are within an hour of the furthest points of the Lleyn peninsula to the West,the island of Anglesey and the ferry port of Holyhead for Ireland(you can easily do a day trip to Dublin from Ty'n Rhos and there is now a new dual carriageway across the island which speeds you there),Bala and Meirionydd to the South and Llandudno to the East.You can also make Chester in 1hour 30.
I hpe I've made it sound appealling for you.
Croeso!
 
Old Jul 6th, 2001, 03:58 PM
  #6  
Frances
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Oops forgot the details!Ty'n Rhos is at [email protected]. Phone is 01248 670489.
 
Old Jul 6th, 2001, 07:23 PM
  #7  
Judy
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Frances: Thank you for excellent posting, show me more interesting pleaces to visit.
 
Old Jul 7th, 2001, 12:07 AM
  #8  
Frances
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Judy I'll post more later tonight
 
Old Jul 7th, 2001, 03:37 PM
  #9  
Frances
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Picking up where I finished last night-What to do in North Wales.I soppose the most obvious attraction of the area is its scenery.Snowdonia sits in the North West part of the country.I've heard several posters tell you to take a trip up Snowdon.A tiny train makes the journey up several times a day in Summer, it also runs out of high season in good weather and then comes a time when it only travels half way up and back.There is a cafe at the top and stunning views as long as it is not cloudy.The trick here is to wake early and if you can see the summit go to Llanberis straight away.This is where the station is but the train is so small that it fills up really quickly.The staff will give you a booking on a specific train so if you have a wait you can then wander into the village.Taking the train up and walking down is a good way of spending 4or5 hours on a niceday but wear walking shoes and carry drink although you can always buy this at the top.Most of the descent is above the tree line so there is a danger of overexposure to the sun if its hot.
Spend the rest of the day in Llanberis.This is a lkeside town which has a n interesting country park.There were very large slate mining quarries here and you can visit the Miners hospital(now a museum)and a row of the old quarrymans cottages.There is a small railway alongside the lake.You can also visit the massive hydro electic scheme which is great for adults but not too good for tinies.You will see sheep grazing alongside the road by the lake-ask someone about the story behind this.
Llanberis has what I consider to be one of my 3 favourite restaurants anywhere-Y Bistro.They actually serve things like "llys" which I think translates as whinberries in English which only grow in a very few areas locally.
Take some time down the Lleyn peninsula-the long finger which projects West.Pwllheli is one of the largest towns in which you will hear so much Welsh spoken that you will be forced to recognise that you are now in a different country from England.It has a weekly market on Wednesdays and until relatively recently was an area of Wales where you couldn't buy alcohol on Sundays.West out of Pwllheli it is beautiful and rural with many good beaches.Aberdaron is small and sweet and was home to the poet R.S.Thomas.Go to Uwchmynydd and look over to Ynys Enlli(Bardsey Island)where so many saints are buried. I hesitate to say10,000because it sounds so many but that is what sticks in my mind.Sometimes you can cross to Bardsey-look in the local newspaper -Caernarfon and Denbigh Herald for ads.Also on the Lleyn you have Criccieth and its castle and close by the town of Porthmadog which is v.busy in Summer.Just outside is Portmeirion-a village modelled on portofino in Italy.It has a first rate hotel with a comparable restaurant.Go for Sunday lunch-book.Then spend the afternoon wandering around the village or along the beach.You can stay in the Italianate houses but they are quite pricey.
Anybody interested in any more?I haven't started on Anglesey yet.
 
Old Jul 7th, 2001, 04:36 PM
  #10  
Ando
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Thanks so much for sharing, Claire, Mark, Deb, and Frances. Per the info on Wales, I do like the idea of a rural base, and will look very closely at Tenby in the south and Betws-y-Coed in the north. One point of consideration, though: we are planning on using trains and public transportation to move about once "in country" and will likely opt for a BritRail Flexipass. Given that, are there special considerations? Are Tenby and Betws both reachable via public transport? (or should I say "easily reachable" via public transport?) We really do enjoy getting into the mainstream, riding the trains and such with locals and other visitors. While renting an auto is convenient, it does tend to insulate you from things at times. We've seen more interesting things and met so many locals and fellow travelers, I'd hate to forego that. And, o.k., so I also want to kick back and enjoy the scenery, rather than focus on staying on the road. In any case, any more info you can share would be greatly appreciated. Frances, by all means, do continue with details of Anglesey and beyond. Regards, Ando.
 
Old Jul 8th, 2001, 09:05 AM
  #11  
Susan
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Frances, please continue! Thanks!
 
Old Jul 9th, 2001, 05:37 AM
  #12  
xxx
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We were in North Wales earlier this spring. It was the highlight of our trip and we wish we had planned for more time there. Top on our agenda was to visit 5 of Edward's castles. We used both Fodors and R. Steve's guidebooks to pick what we thought were the top 5. We visited Conwy, Beaumaris, Caenarfon, Cricceth and Harlech. Each was unique and special in its own way--although for some reason, Harlech was my favorite. Caenarfon is the only castle with exhibits inside. The others are mainly ruins but plaques and the purchase of a guidebook provide a good "tour." Just few notes: We stayed at the hotel in Portmadog. I just wanted to pass on that we were told it is the only hotel in town. So, if you plan to stay there, you may want to consider reservations. Perhaps we were not told the truth, but we had waited too long to start looking for a place to stay and it was getting late. The next day we drove the few miles to Cricceth and wished we would have stayed there. There were many hotels and B&B's right across from the beach. I can't comment on the specifics of places, but the town just had a nice "feeling" to it. The other castle town that had that same "feeling" was Harlech--again, it was nothing tangible but just the views of the castle and the water. Enjoy your trip!!
 
Old Jul 9th, 2001, 08:58 AM
  #13  
kam
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Two years ago we stayed at Brecon Castle Hotel in the Brecon Beacons for trips to see the south and the Prince's Arms in Betws-y-Coed while touring in the north. One last place was in Beaumaris on the Isle of Anglesey at the Old Bull's Head Inn but wished we had stayed in Conwy instead since Anglesey is out of the way a bit. Llandudno would be good as well and is a cute little town. About 6 years ago we spent several wonderfully restfull days at Miller Howe on Lake Windermere in the Lake District.For me Keswick is too crowded, but do try to have a dinner at the Restaurant at Underscar Manor.
 
Old Jul 9th, 2001, 09:20 AM
  #14  
Don
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We love Keswick and do not find it half as crowded as the other major towns (E.g Windemere)We always stay at the Edwardene Hotel, which we find is excellent value for money, .
Check out their web-site:
www.edwardenehotel.com
 
Old Jul 9th, 2001, 01:47 PM
  #15  
Frances
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Thank you for your encouragement-its great to hear that people are interested in Wales(even if Anglesey is a "bit out of the way,"Kam!)
I will come back but it may be at the weekend.I don't type very fast and both my daughters who type much faster than me are away.
Anglesey coming up soon!
 
Old Jul 9th, 2001, 11:51 PM
  #16  
Frances
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What to do on Anglesey?Well first of all to answer Ando, yes most of Wales is accessible by public transport but
it is pretty rural.The main traffic arteries run from West to East-particularly the railways.However touriam is an important part of the country's income and so more and more provision is being made to provide what people want.You will see more in terms of being able to get everywhere if you have a car.On the other hand having to wait in an area until your next train or bus can often mean you look out something to do which you otherwise might have missed.
Anglesey is a holiday destination with some v. good beaches-Rhosneigr with wind surfing,Trearddur Bay for families and my favourite,Llanddwyn just beyond Newborough in the South West.You get to Llanddwyn through land owned by the Forestry Commission which of itself provides lovely woodland walks if you are the only member of your family who doesn't like the beach.The beach faces West and when it is very hot(yes it does happen sometimes)you can see the mountains on the mainland (Yr Eifl) stretching down the Lleyn Peninsula shimmering out of the water.take binoculars and look at the tiny villages and farms so high up on the foothills of Snowdon.Right up the top of the beach and out of sight are a row of Pilots cottages.One of these was refurnished and you can(or could the last time I walked up there)see how the pilots would have lived.There are no facilities on the beach so take food and drink
For children there is a fair amount to do.The castle at Beaumaris and also the courthouse-prettyold, Judge Jefferies sat there. This was in regular use until recently but being built so long ago was not actually large enough.Whenever there were two courts sitting there was nowhere for the bench to retire to take their decisions so everyone else had to clear the court this meant standing outside.!It was only then you realised why the White Lion pub had its door SO close to that of the court!
Beaumaris also has a great jail with translation facilities which takes you through the last hours of the last person to be publicly executed there.
The Sea Zoo is interesting for adults also.It focuses on the marine life in the Menai Straits which is pretty unique.
There is a model village(close to Llanddwyn ) which has scale models of some of the local buildings and features.Birdworld is nearby.
The Northeast coast is the most unspoilt part of the island -perhaps similar to the west coast of Ireland if you've visited there.
I forgot to mention that Beaumaris also has a Museun of Childhood-good for when it rains.
There is an old priory and church at Penmon beyond Beaumaris.Walk from here over to Penmon point and admire the view to Puffin Island.You can hear the lighthouse bell ring here and you soon realise why it is needed,.Look over to the Great Orme and Llandudno where for some reason the weather is often better.
Must stop now.Anyone still interested?
 
Old Jul 10th, 2001, 08:48 PM
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Susan
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Frances, We might be going to Wales next year, so as far as I'm concerned, the more info the better! If you have more to add, please continue. Thanks!
 
Old Jul 11th, 2001, 03:36 PM
  #18  
Frances
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Topping for Jo!
 
Old Jul 11th, 2001, 06:38 PM
  #19  
Alma
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Ando,
stayed in Ruthin,Wales in June. We stayed at the Ruthin Castle. It was beautiful. We even had a Mediaeval Banquet. (we ate with only a dagger!)
The entertain was very nice and we had fun. The Castle is very modern yet quaint with beautiful furniture and paintings throughout. Peacocks and Sheep right outside the window. They have no elevator and the walk to the rooms are a trip. It is a Castle, even though it is plush! The phone# is:
011441824702664. This was my favorite place. I don't know how much is was for the night, I was on a Collette Tour. Have fun.
 
Old Jul 11th, 2001, 07:23 PM
  #20  
Martha
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Ando -

I was in Wales two years ago and stayed in Aberdyfi, which is in mid-Wales on the coast. It was a lovely seaside village on the train line, with a beautiful beach and golf course. I stayed at a 10 room hotel that was well known for its restaurant and pub downstairs - the Penhelig Arms. All rooms had a seaside view. It was a great place to stay. From there it's easy to take the train up the coast to Harlech Castle and numerous other little towns.
Martha
 

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