PENS AND NEEDLES
NORTH WALES IN NOVEMBER
CHAPTER FIVE BEACHWRITER'S BLOG
For a wider view of the world I have a blog on Wordpress
You know you are in Wales when the road signs are in both languages. Only about a fifth of people in Wales actually speak Welsh fluently, but in the north the majority do.
We stayed in Porthmadog for four nights, a lovely town with mountains in the background, a harbour and lots of trains, including the famous Ffestiniog Railway, Rheiffyrdd Ffestiniog.
Portmeirion is the fantasy cliffside village designed by architect and local aristocrat Clough Williams-Ellis. It is famous as the setting where sixties television series ‘The Prisoner’ was filmed, one of those dramas where viewers had no idea what was going on, thus making it a cult film. You have to pay to go in, but it is well worth a visit and it must be even better on a sunny summer’s day. Colourful strange buildings cling to rock faces. Various winding steps, slippery in the damp weather, take you down to the edge of the estuary. No one lives there. We went to the hotel that was the house of a previous reclusive owner before Clough Williams bought the land in the 1920s and had coffee in front of an open fire. It was quiet, but apparently they had had a hundred guests for breakfast, those staying at the hotel and others in self catering apartments in the exotic buildings. Behind the village woodlands spread up the hill.
We drove to Llanberris through the mountain scenery of Snowdonia in mist and rain to visit the Snowdon Mountain Railway. It was closed till March, but we thought it would be fun to see the station. I had always imagined a station sitting at the foot of the mountain. It isn’t quite like that and with the low lying cloud and mist we were not quite sure which mountain was Snowdon. Since 1896 the little rack and pinion railway has been taking visitors up Snowdon and there is now a new visitor centre and cafe at the summit. But even in winter the area is well worth visiting and the sun came out for a while.
You can read more about our trip to North Wales at my Tidalscribe blog.
NIGHT AND DAY IN STRATFORD-UPON-AVON
October has been a month full of rain and we have not been anywhere far afield so here is a look back at September.
On our way back from Whitby we stayed overnight at Stratford -upon-Avon; not enough time for proper sightseeing, but the town is also perfect for wandering around, night and day. Enjoy the historic buildings, wander down to the river and canalside and see the theatre. There are good walks on both sides of the river and a little chain ferry to take you acoss.
VISIT MORE PLACES IN CHAPTER FOUR
TRAVEL NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND
THE WEBSITE OF AUTHOR JANET GOGERTY