UK Travel · Wales

A Long Welsh Weekend

Thinking back to last summer; or more so the lack of one.

So fast forward to August, we opted to get away for the late bank holiday. Even the weather wouldn’t play nice, we decided Wales is a destination that would still have lots to offer!

In true British bank holiday form, we set off on our drive expecting huge delays on the motorway. But to our surprise, we made the journey from Manchester to Anglesey in just  over two hours. The drive across way so beautiful, entering Wales and having a fairly coastal drive. The weather was temperamental but entering Beaumaris the clouds had started to clear and the sun was breaking through.

We were staying in the The Bulkeley Hotel and it was absolutely stunning. We’d booked after reading great views on Tripadvisor. The room was overlooked the sea-front and captured the landscape perfectly. To make the most of the afternoon we threw our bags down and walked alongside the sea. From here we drove across to Treaddur Bay beach and spent the evening watching people surf in what I can only imagine to be freezing waters! Still. Wales was doing alright so far.

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Late August sunshine, across from The Bulkeley.

Day two and there was a slight nip in the air. But we packed our togs and set off an hours drive south to Portmeirion. I’d heard so many wonderful things about this little place, so I was adamant to fit it in during our stay here. There was an entry fee but apparently my big brown eye’s wavered that cost. They never get me much so I thanked the guard and off we strolled in. The gardens, as suggested were fairytale like. We wandered around admiring all the painted little buildings and then walked round the wider site stopping off at the (very posh) Portmeirion Hotel for a late lunch. There looked to be a lot of musicians and dare I say groupies around the area which later on I found out was for the Festival No.6. Now, knowing how magical this place is – I’m eager to get myself back here for the festival!

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Fairytale Gardens / Portmeirion

Another Anglesey highlight was our visit to South Stack, luckily day three was much warmer. The drive across, again so scenic – the contrast from driving out of Beaumaris under the leafy roads to the open coastal route coming into Holyhead. We parked up and started the short walk across the hills and down towards the lighthouse. It was fairly flat until we came to the actual drop. There it was, the lighthouse out on this little bit of land and what felt like 200 steps to get to the entrance. Although we visited in August the weather hadn’t been great before today so the Island actually being open for visitors was great! Again, there was an entrance fee to get in but our smiles got us through – yay! Should really move to Wales, we never get this treatment back home. 

In all honesty though, the best of the views came from the walk up to South Stack and not from the lighthouse itself. If you’re a history buff, then going inside and reading up on it would probably be for you. Me, I like good views. And this ticked that box.

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Me and a lighthouse, South Stack that is. (Anglesey)

Final day and the plan was to set off early so we could get back to Manchester and sort our lives out before heading back to work (boo, hiss).

As with 90% of our decisions being influenced by the weather, we opted to make the most of the blue skies and stay in Wales. Having a keen interest in historic buildings, well castles in particular, we headed for Conwy (which supposedly had a great one!). Driving into the little town was hectic due to the freak heatwave, the streets were over crowded with people. But a couple of loops round the town, we managed to find a parking spot in the castle car park. We had a wander around the city walls followed by a cheeky chip shop lunch looking out to the river. Conwy Castle itself was interesting, although it was hard not to have a ‘princess moment’ when looking down at the kingdom from the many turrets. Also, sat stretched out inside the castle grounds were a stage group of some sort, maybe after rehearsals? Who knows, but a few of them were playing acoustic guitar and it just gave a the castle a much more mellow vibe.

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The view from below, Conway Castle.
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Castles make me way too happy! Conwy again.

First trip to Wales outside of visiting family or the school trips to Porthmadog and Barmouth as a nipper and it was a good’un. Extending our last day got us to head outside of Anglesey and visit Conwy which has made me think of other places I’d want to come and visit. Perhaps a hike up Snowdonia?

I’ll get planning.

 

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