Northern Snowdonia Discovery Tour
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The stunning Snowdonia National Park is a dramatic landscape boasting high mountains and stunning coastal vistas, but it's so much more than just breathtaking scenery. Imposing Caernarfon Castle, quirky Portmeirion and the beautiful Bodnant Gardens show the diversity that makes this area special.
History lovers will certainly be inn heaven too. Snowdonia is renowned for the impressive fortifications that run throughout the countryside - reminders of the conflict between the English and the Welsh during the 13th and 14th centuries, and still some of the finest examples of medieval architecture in the world.
Our Discovery Tours really get into the heart of the countryside. These are sightseeing tours by minibus, visiting places not normally reached by a full-sized coach. Our Discovery Tours really get into the heart of the countryside. These are sightseeing tours by minibus, visiting places not normally reached by a full-sized coach. Small groups and friendly leaders make this a great way to enjoy Britain at its best.
- Stay at Craflwyn Hall amidst dramatic mountain scenery
- Visit mighty Caernarfon Castle
- Explore the beautiful coastal scenery of the Lleyn Peninsula
- Snowdonia and Portmeirion
- Llyen Peninsula
- Bodnant Gardens
- Swallow Falls at Betws-y-Coed
- Optional short strolls of up to 1½ miles
- High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
- The services of our knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
- Full-day excursions with all transport on touring days in a good-quality, comfortable mini-coach
- Admission cost for the Llanberis railway
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
During your Discovery Tour you'll have the opportunity to visit many fascinating places. The following is our provisional programme, and your HF Holidays' leader may adjust it at their discretion, taking into account factors such as weather, local opening times, or other events. This holiday includes active sightseeing and you should expect to spend lots of time on your feet.
For maximum flexibility, admissions are not included; please remember to bring your National Trust or English Heritage cards if you have them. Otherwise please allow up to £10 per day for entrances (there may be concessionary and group discounts which may reduce this price). Please bring cash as card machines are not always available at all venues.
You're welcome to check-in from 2.30pm (better rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea.
Caernarfon & The Menai Strait
Our holiday begins with a journey through some of the most spectacular scenery in Snowdonia, with excellent views of the highest mountains towering over picturesque lakes. We cross onto the island of Anglesey and continue to Beaumaris, with its 13th century castle, before proceeding to Llanfair PG (the village with the longest name in UK). Then its Caernarfon where another of Edward I’s 13th century castles is the main attraction in this historic walled town.
We journey around the Lleyn Peninsula, the most westerly part of north Wales. Our morning visit is to the Lloyd George Museum at Llanystumdwy before continuing to the Plas Glyn y Weddw Gallery at Llanbedrog. We then cross to the north coast of the peninsula, with its wide sandy beaches and granite-worked mountains, to visit the Welsh Language and Culture Centre at Nant Gwrtheyrn.
A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the Country House. 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.
3-night holiday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast
4-night holiday: Arrival day
Your're welcome to check-in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (better rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea.
The Crimea Pass & Bodnant Gardens
Our day starts with a delightful scenic journey through to Blaenau Ffestiniog and across the Crimea Pass to the famous Swallow Falls in Betws-y-Coed. From here we drive north up the beautiful Conwy Valley to visit the woollen mills at Trefriw and then the famous National Trust garden at Bodnant.
Llanberis & Pen-y-Gwryd
Enjoy a beautiful view of the Snowdon massif enroute to Llanberis. The area is dominated by the massive slate workings of Dinorwig Quarry. Visit the Padarn Country Park with its many attractions, including the National Slate Museum of Wales and the narrow-gauge Llanberis Lake Railway, which runs alongside Llyn Padarn. We can also visit the Electric Mountain pumped storage hydroelectric scheme before returning past Llyn Cwellyn and the Beddgelert Forest.
Tremadog & Portmeirion
We start with a short walk to view the many historical buildings of Tremadog, including the birthplace of T E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), before a visit to the picturesque harbour and bay at Borth-y-Gest. A short journey then brings us to the unique Italianate village of Portmeirion, created by Clough Williams-Ellis. On the return journey we will visit the beautiful garden at Plas Brondanw, which was Clough Williams-Ellis’ private residence.
Depart after a leisurely breakfast
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.
Caernarfon Castle image © Crown copyright (2016) Welsh Government
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).
Alban has spent a lifetime sharing his enthusiasm for literature with people of all ages: pupils in secondary schools, trainee teachers in a Faculty of Education and since 2012, a great many HF guests as well. He describes the three pillars of his life as his family, his football team and Shakespeare.
He also has a passion for travel and history, for mountains and moorland, for lakes and lochs, for landscapes and seascapes – as well as for HF leadership in Britain and Europe. After many years holidaying with HF as a walking guest, he is keen to ensure that those who travel with him enjoy their time together, explore new and interesting places and discover the fascinating stories always to be found there.
“Excellent. An impressive range of knowledge and a real love of the area and its history.”
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Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|5 Jul 2019||BGHCR - Discovery Tour - Snowdon||3||£389.00||£339.00||Book Now|
|5 Jul 2019||BGHCR - Discovery Tour - Snowdon||7||£915.00||£855.00||Book Now|
|8 Jul 2019||BGHCR - Discovery Tour - Snowdon||4||£549.00||£524.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person