Living in London with a crazy border collie (yes I know, we’re mad!) we’ve come to love our staycation breaks, ok you can’t guarantee the weather but what you can guarantee is fresh air and plenty of R&R.
For Mr B’s birthday we decided to head north to the Llyn Peninsula and the small village of Nefyn. As we approached the cottage it became clear that our lives would dictated by the tides over the next week (car access is via the beach only) and we immediately fell in love with the place. The location couldn’t have been more perfect for a week of escapism.
After spending much of the day in the car we grabbed a beer from the coolbox and headed out on a much needed walk across the beach. Flo was in doggy heaven, with dusk on the horizon the beach was empty so she had free rein to run where she wanted and the sea was gentle enough for her to enjoy some paddling. Sunday was extremely chilled day and after a morning stroll to get the papers we decided to head along to the coastal path to the Ty Coch Inn for a spot of lunch. We arrived a little weather beaten and were very happy to see a gazebo giving a little protection from the unpredictable showers. Mr B enjoyed the range of local beers although it’s clear that the management are relying on reputation alone for food trade! The menu is very simple with light bites such as sandwiches and jacket potatoes but the price doesn’t represent this (£10 a jacket potato!!). Despite this, we enjoyed an afternoon chilling in this fantastic beach front pub watching the tide recede against a backdrop of mountains.
Neither Mr B nor I can sit still for very long and so fortunately Storm Aileen passed us without too much issue so we weren’t confined to much at all and over the next 5 days we tried to see as much of the peninsula as possible, whilst enjoying lazy mornings and late brunches.
On Monday we visited the west side of the peninsula taking in Aberdaron & Abersoch. Both were pretty but my pick of the two would be Aberdaron, unusually lots of businesses in both were closed on a Monday lunchtime so try to plan to visit later in the week, especially off season.
Tuesday was the worst day weather wise with the eye of Storm Aileen due to pass late in the afternoon so we decided to have a very chilled day in and around the village. After an early morning walk across the beach we headed across the coastal path to Café Porthdinllaen for a light lunch, where we enjoyed our best coffee of the week, before setting up camp in the Cwrw Llyn brewery for the afternoon. With Flo sleeping under the table we enjoyed a selection of very good beers and enjoyed the company of the staff, I would highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area.
Wednesday was Mr B’s birthday and so after a morning walk we headed across to the Venue in Pwlheli for a birthday lunch. The food was delicious and the terrace provided spectacular views of Snowdonia. We across the beach in the fading day light to a lovely sunset before lighting the fire & chilling out with a curry.
With the weather still not quite good enough for us to climb Snowdon we decided to take another road trip on Thursday, this time taking in Harlech, Porthmadog and Criccieth. Harlech Castle was fantastic and the staff were very welcoming of Flo. The views from the castle were amazing and were worth the entrance fee alone. We sat in the courtyard outside Llew Glass Café enjoying a light lunch before strolling around the many antique and interior shops. We arrived back in Porthmadog late in the afternoon and stopped in the Australia pub for a quick drink. This brewpub for the local Purple Moose brewery was lovely and we could have stayed for several hours had we not had the car! By the time we reached Criccieth the castle was closed for the day but we enjoyed a walk along the beach with a local ice cream from Cadwaladers before heading to the Castle Inn for dinner. We received a lovely warm welcome from the landlord and his daughter and enjoyed the best meal of the week, but be warned turn up hungry as the portions are huge! The pie I ordered could have easily feed two and I felt very guilty about the waste left on my plate.
Friday was a tough call between another chilled day or heading further around the coast to Barmouth but with building work ongoing in the adjoining property we decided to catch the train across to Barmouth for the afternoon. The train journey itself was worth it, with a beautiful backdrop of mountains and sea. The pretty little town had a lovely beach, although our walk was interrupted by a very heavy shower so we retreated to The Tilman to dry off. Mr B was happy to see Wild Horse on tap and I was very happy with the gin menu!
Thankfully Saturday saw the forecast improve enough for us to climb Snowdon. After climbing Ben Nevis last year I was a little nervous, but I shouldn’t have been. We took the Llanberris Path and the route couldn’t have been simpler. The incline in certain places was tough but manageable, the views as we walked were incredible and I couldn’t believe how busy the summit was!
As we drove back to London with achy legs we reflected on a lovely week. The cottage provided us the perfect location to enjoy some downtime, 4G was non-existent and it was really lovely to switch off for a week. My only criticism of the entire area is its failure to promote the fantastic local Welsh produce, many of the pubs and cafes we visited were promoting local breweries, but it would have been lovely to see them also support the local farming and fishing industries also.
Mrs B xx