Birdwatching - Spring Birdsong in Wales
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One of the joys of birdwatching is the onset of singing in the spring, yet the identification of the birds from the songs proves challenging for a lot of birdwatchers. With many years’ experience, your leader will guide you through the complexities during some delightful spring walks.
- Tune in your ears to the songs of spring
- Leisurely walks with regular stops to watch birds
- Our expert leader will guide you around the best sites
Great Reasons to Join Us
- Great value: price includes Full Board en-suite accommodation, guidance from our expert leader, transport to locations and any entrance fees
- Accommodation: enjoy high quality accommodation and excellent food at Craflwyn Hall
- Expert leaders: our leaders are expert in their field and will ensure that you get the most from your holiday
- Sociability: spend time with like-minded people in a fun and relaxed environment
Cralfwyn Hall offers a stunning and peaceful location on the edge of Beddgerlert village. There are superb walks right on the doorstep, with the local mountains of Snowdon and Moel Hebog within easy reach.
Leased from the National Trust, Craflwyn Hall has 21 bedrooms, located in the main building and in the stable block which has been converted retaining many of the original features.
Choose your room
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• Tea and coffee making facilities
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Available from an extra £10 per person per night
• 3 or 4 beds
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk or occasional beds for children
|• Excellent boot and drying rooms
• Dining room
• Three lounges
• Free WiFi is available in the public rooms
|• Attractive grounds
• Peaceful location at the foot of Snowdon
• Variety of walks within the estate
• Attractive views of the surrounding peaks
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board with breakfast, picnic lunch and evening meal. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
Monday: Arrival day
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Please join us for afternoon tea at 4pm. All guests are invited - we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday. At 5pm, we’ll have a stroll around the grounds of the Country House, identifying to the songs of resident birds. Chris gives us a short introduction to our holiday before dinner and then enjoy a more detailed briefing afterwards.
Tuesday: Off to the Aber Valley looking for pied flycatcher, wood warbler and redstart
After breakfast we drive to the Aber Valley, where we spend the morning exploring the Coedydd Aber nature reserve, hoping to hear and see our target species: pied flycatcher, wood warbler and redstart. Later this afternoon we head on to the Ogwen estuary to look for waders.
Wednesday: Woodland birds at Betws-y-Coed and cuckoo and stonechat at Gwydir Forest and Llyn Geirionydd
This morning we drive to the Betws-y-Coed area where, at Coed Hafod, we will again look for and listen to woodland birds. Moving out of the valley into Gwydir Forest and Llyn Geirionydd, we have fun seeking out birds of more open habitat like the cuckoo and stonechat.
Thursday: The glorious Dawn Chorus
Alarm clock on! We’ll get up at first light and walk in the grounds around the Country House, listening to the glorious dawn chorus before returning for a very welcome and hearty leisurely breakfast. Later today we take a short walk along River Glaslyn followed by a ride to Pont Croesor. If time permits, we’ll move to other sites in the Porthmadog area.
Friday: departure day
Depart after a leisurely breakfast.
Please note: Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.
What to bring
- Outdoor clothing appropriate to the season, including waterproofs
- Strong, comfortable footwear with a good tread
Optional items you might like to bring with you:
- A telescope (ONLY if you have one)
- Thermos flask (optional but nice to have if the weather turns a little chilly)
- Field guide (if you have one)
- notebook and pencil for any notes you may like to make
The picturesque village of Beddgelert is about 1 mile from Craflwyn Hall. Facilities here are limited and include a post office, pubs and cafés. The nearest town is Porthmadog, about 8 miles away, which has a wide range of shops and facilities
During your visit to Craflwyn Hall you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:
Welsh Highland Railway
The recently re-opened Welsh Highland railway runs from Caernarfon to Porthmadog, passing through Beddgelert on route. This is a spectacular journey which includes the dramatic Aberglaslyn Pass and views of Snowdon. The steep gradients require powerful locomotives which have to work particularly hard on the climb from Beddgelert to the summit of the line at Rhyd Ddu. www.festrail.co.uk
Great Little Trains of Wales
Snowdonia is noted for its concentration of narrow guage steam railways, all of which offer highly scenic journeys. The Ffestiniog Railway and Snowdon Moutain Railways are both within reach. For a truly unique day out you can take the mountain railway to the summit of Snowdon (best to book in advance as tickets can sell out quickly on busy days). www.greatlittletrainsofwales.co.uk
National Slate Museum
Located at Llanberis, the excellent, and free, National Slate Museum tells the story of this once extensive industry. You can see slate being cut by hand, the huge waterwheel that powers the machinery, and the fascinating quarrymen's houses which show their development over the centuries. Llanberis is around 30 minutes' drive from Beddgelert, and can also be reached using the Snowdon Sherpa bus. www.museumwales.ac.uk/slate
Built by King Edward I after his conquest of Wales, Caernarfon Castle is one of the most impressive and well preserved fortifications in the principality. Along with neighbouring castles at Harlech, Beaumaris and Conwy it now has World Heritage status. Caernarfon is around 30 minutes' drive from Beddgelert, or can be reached using the Welsh Highland Railway. www.cadw.wales.gov.uk
The seaside town of Criccieth is around 25 minutes' drive from Beddgelert, and full of Victorian character. You could visit the historic castle, relax on the beach, or sample the excellent ice cream at Cadwaders parlour.
The long arm of the Llyn Peninsula offers beautiful and contrasting scenery, with wild cliffs and white sandy coves. Enjoy the glorious beaches at Aberdaron or Abersoch, or walk to the tip of the peninsula and enjoy the views of Bardsey Island.
Harlech Castle occupies a superb vantage point overlooking the coast and the mountains of Snowdonia. Built by Edward I, its imposing walls were built by 1,000 skilled craftsmen between 1283 and 1295. www.cadw.gov.uk
Llechwedd Slate Caverns
Located near Bleanau Ffestiniog, about 30 minutes' drive from Beddgelert, the Llechwedd Slate Caverns are one of the area's most popular attractions. Take the underground railway deep into the mountain where a knowledgeable guide will tell you how slate was hewn by hand. www.llechwedd-slate-caverns.co.uk
Situated in the Conwy Valley, about 50 minutes' drive from Beddgelert, the National Trust's gardens at Bodnant have impressive collections of colour and views of the Snowdonian mountains. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden
The grand house at Plas Newydd enjoys glorious views overlooking the Menai Straits. Built for the 1st Marquess of Anglesey, the house itself is impressive, as are the extensive gardens. Now managed by the National Trust. Around 50 minutes' drive from Beddgelert. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/plas-newydd
This quaint Italianate village was the brainchild of the architect Clough Williams-Ellis. It is also well-known as the setting for the cult 1960’s TV series The Prisoner. Portmeirion is around 20 minutes' drive from Beddgelert. www.portmeirion-village.com
Plas Newydd image ©National Trust Images/John Millar. Caernarfon Castle and Harlech Castle images © Crown copyright (2016) Welsh Government
Travel to Snowdon
Our address is: Craflwyn Hall, Beddgelert, Gwynedd, LL55 4NG
The nearest railway stations are Porthmadog and Betws-y-Coed; however we would recommend taking the train to Bangor which has the best train service. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
The 25 mile journey from Bangor railway station takes approximately 40 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £40 per taxi. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Craflwyn Hall Manager.
There is a limited bus service which runs past Craflwyn Hall. Any bus route that goes between Beddgelert and Pen-y-Gwryd will pass the end of the drive of Craflwyn Hall. For bus times see www.traveline.info
For a lovely drive through the Welsh countryside, head towards Betws-y-Coed. In Betws-y-Coed take the A5, heading towards Bangor, as far as Capel Curig, then turn left onto the A4086. After a further 4 miles bear left onto the A498 at the Pen-y-Gwyrd Hotel; this road follows the Glaslyn Valley passing two large lakes. The entrance to Craflwyn Hall is on the right hand side of the road, approximately 1 mile after the second lake. Look out for the brown National Trust sign.
Travelling from overseas
Manchester Airport has the quickest onward connections to Bangor. Trains from the aiport take 3 hours, with one change at Crewe or Chester. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option, but has a longer onward train journey - allow at least 4½ hours to reach Bangor by train. You'll need to head to Euston station in the centre of London, from where there are direct trains to Bangor. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
In each case complete your journey to Craflwyn Hall by taxi (see above).
Chris lives in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire and is currently Secretary of Huddersfield Bird Watchers Club. He has been a Walking Leader for HF Holidays since 1999 and has led birdwatching holidays since 2004. He is also a volunteer guide for RSPB at Snettisham and Titchwell in Norfolk.
Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
Prices are per person
- Premium single room: £15 per night
- Premium twin/double room: £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person