Northern Snowdonia Through a Lens Holiday
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Immerse yourself in the world of photography, capturing the epic beauty and mountain range of Snowdonia through a lens. Mountain panoramas, rivers and waterfalls, castles and coasts provide just some of our subjects on this holiday. Visit advantage points across the mountain range, giving you the opportunity to take breathtaking photos of the lakes below, whilst enjoying the rural peace this iconic location offers.
- Spend most of the day outdoors seeking out the best light and the best images
- Small sociable group of like-minded people
- Evenings offer opportunities for further tuition, or the chance to review the day's photographs
- High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
- Guidance and tuition from a knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
- All essential transport to photography locations, via mini-coach or other mode of transport e.g. boat
Craflwyn Hall offers a stunning and peaceful location on the edge of Beddgelert 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.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplement to upgrade to 'Better' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
Craflwyn Hall is generally accessible to wheelchair users. There are no ground floor rooms, but there is a lift. One of the rooms on the 1st floor has a converted bathroom that is suitable for wheelchair users.
- Fire procedure is displayed in each room and guests are requested to read the booklets in the rooms regarding safety procedures. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued on request. An under-pillow vibrating pad is available on request
- Good signage for fire escape routes
- Internet access computer available free of charge. Free Wifi
- Mobile phone reception in the house and surrounding area is not available
- One bedroom key issued per room (second key available on request)
- Guide dogs can be provided for
- Information can be provided in large print
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.
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (premium rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea. All guests are invited – we’ll welcome you to your holiday and introduce your leader who'll be able to chat to you about the many beautiful places we're visiting this week. Your leader hopes we'll enjoy a slideshow with some handy technical tips for taking better landscape photographs.
On our photography holidays we spend most of the day outdoors, exploring by mini-coach or on foot, walking up to 3 miles (5km) each day. Each evening your leader will hold review sessions, providing constructive feedback on your images.
Ogwen Valley & Llanberis Pass
After a tasty breakfast we head towards Capel Curig, stopping along the way to capture vistas of the beautiful mountains and lakes of the Snowdonia National Park including the magnificent Snowdon. Next we enjoy the panoramas of Tryfan and soon we’re stopping by Llyn Ogwen, to capture images of the River Ogwen and then to Bethesda and the beautiful waterfalls there. We return to Craflwyn Hall via the stunning Llanberis Pass, stopping at vantage points to capture dramatic vistas back down the pass with its narrow valley floor and towering mountain sides.
Caernarfon Castle & the Coast
Today we’re off to the town of Caernarfon and its stunning castle, built in 1283 by Edward I, with its walls designed to mimic the great banded walls of Constantinople. We’ll explore on camera the castle, the surrounding town and the beautiful harbour. (There is a small entrance fee for the castle if you wish to go inside). We then return homewards via Rhydd Ddu Pass, visiting the beautiful Llyn Cwellyn with views of the Nantle Ridge Mountains along the way.
Our Discovery Points help you make the most out of your free day. There’s plenty of maps and a selection of the best local walking routes, as well as weather forecasts and public transport options – plus details about other places to visit.
We set out for the mystical island of Anglesey, to photograph the monastic settlement of Penmon Priory and Penmon old quarry works. We’ll visit Penmon beach, with its rocky outcrops and lighthouse, to capture images of this beautiful and rugged coastline. On our return we stop on the north side of the straits to capture the majesty of Telford’s Menai Bridge and visit a wonderful old church situated almost out in the Straits.
Wales’ Industrial Past - Slate
Today finds us at to the former industrial town of Llanberis, to photograph the effects of the slate industry on the natural landscape. We’ll visit the National Slate Museum, built in the shadow of Elidir mountain, site of the vast Dinorwig quarry. We see how the men of the quarry worked and lived, and have the opportunity to photograph demonstrations of slate working. We’ll then take a short walk to Dolbadarn Castle and Llyn Padarn with its small steam railway. Here we can explore the shoreline and the castle made famous by Turner’s painting.
Heading north towards the coast once more, we’re heading for the little village of Abergwyngregyn, to take a walk up to the beautiful Aber falls. As we walk up the trail there’ll be plenty of opportunities to capture the magnificent landscape. On reaching the falls you can photograph this timeless scene as the water cascades down over the steep mountain side.
This evening our leader hopes to put together a slideshow for all house guests to see the images we’ve taken during our holiday. It’s an informal but fun way to round off this brilliant holiday.
Depart after a leisurely breakfast.
What to bring
- Your camera and other essential accessories
- Memory card
- Battery and charger
- Your camera’s instruction manual
- Waterproof clothing and outdoor footwear, ideally walking boots
- Bag for your camera equipment, spare clothing, lunch, water, etc
- Notebook and pencil (pencils work better in the rain!)
- A laptop plus accessories for viewing, editing and sharing images (whilst it’s not absolutely essential, bringing your own laptop will mean you get more from your photography holiday if you shoot digital)
Optional (remember you will have to carry some of these)
- Spare memory cards
- A spare camera battery
- A spare camera (you never know)
- A small selection of lenses: wide angle, telephoto, macro, for example filters: neutral density and graduated, polarising
- Memory stick or CD for storing images
- A tripod or monopod if you feel more comfortable with one
- Camera rain-protector—a shower cap or plastic bag, or something more expensive if you prefer
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 route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.
The 25 mile journey from Bangor railway station takes approximately 40 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £45 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 airport 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).
David is a well known and established professional photographer. During his busy and extensive imaging career he has worked on assignments for all of the top UK newspapers and glossy magazines, as well as many leading worldwide publications. As well as leading photography holidays for HF Holidays, David gives photographic seminars and presentations. He also gives talks on historical subjects and is indeed a guest speaker at HF Holidays’ Country House on the Isle of Wight.
David made everyone feel they achieved something and went home having learnt something.