Rambles with a Sketchbook in Northern Snowdonia
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Create your own artistic impressions as we walk through some of Snowdonia’s most inspirational landscapes. We’ll walk up to 4 miles (6.5km) each day, sketching scenes along our journey. Your sketches may be the finished result or used as a source for further painting or drawing. Some of the rambles will include stiles and cover rough and uneven ground so you will need to bring good walking boots and have a reasonable level of fitness. Be aware that you will be spending a fair amount of time on your feet as you ramble between sketching spots!
- Gentle rambles of up to 4 miles with plenty of stops for sketching
- A variety of inspirational landscapes from hign mountains to beautiful green valleys
- Our professional artist leader will guide and encourage
- Enjoy the sociable atmosphere of sketching in a group
Great reasons to join us
- Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, transport for rambles and tuition from our expert leader
- Accommodation: enjoy high quality accommodation and excellent food at our Country Houses
- Expert leaders: all 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 relaxed and friendly 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.
Friday: 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.
Before we set off there'll be a discussion on sketching techniques and composition. We'll then walk by the Glaswyn river to Beddgelert village – a chance to sketch the mountains and the river. We will visit Gelert’s grave and sketch the views from there before passing through the village on the way back to the Country House.
Sunday: Swallow Falls & Betws y Coed
Today we'll walk down the Llugwy river, sketching the stunning Swallow Falls and the miners bridge before arriving in Betws y Coed – an opportunity to sketch the famous beauty spot by the bridge.
A free day for you to relax in the Country House or explore the area independently.
Tuesday: Beside the sea
Today we'll head for the coast and walk on part of the Llyn Coastal path along cliffs to Criccieth, an unspoilt seaside resort with an impressive castle (and a modern house that featured on Grand Designs). There will be a chance to sketch the wide views of the Cambrian mountains and the peninsular, the town and castle and some wild flowers.
Today we'll travel over the famous Llanberis pass to Llyn Padarn, the lake at the foot of Snowdon. We will sketch Dolbadarn Castle, made famous by Turner’s painting, then walk to the slate mine and the hospital museum where we can sketch the wonderful views of the lake and mountains. Turner also painted in the ancient woodlands surrounding the lake which now make up the Padarn country park.
Thursday: Final sketches
Today we'll take some time to look at the work done over the week and do some sketching in the surroundings of Craflwyn Hall – we'll walk up the valley to sketch some of the inspiring views once more. In the evening there will be a chance to exhibit your work, if you would like to.
Friday: 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.
What to bring
- sketchbooks – good cartridge paper (e.g.150gm), A4 or 8” square and/or A5 or 6” square (spiral bound or hard back)
- 2B & 4B pencils and a watersoluble graphite pencil
- craft blade for sharpening pencils
- putty rubber
- bulldog clips or large elastic bands
- a sketching pen
- blank slide mount or small cardboard mount for view finder (e.g. postcard or smaller)
- Optional – a set of Caran D’Ache Neocolour water-soluble pastels, or a set of water-soluble crayons (e.g.Derwent Inktense)
- Any other lightweight materials you like to use
- A rucksack to carry the materials
- A foam seat pad or lightweight stool that you can easily carry
- Protection against weather & insects!
- You will have to carry your equipment and lunch so keep it simple!
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).
Helen is an experienced artist and tutor whose enthusiasm for her subject is infectious; her patient and encouraging way of teaching gives every student the chance to progress without feeling inhibited, whatever their standard. She studied painting with professional artists in the UK and USA, gained a BA Hons in Fine Art at Hertfordshire University and a post-graduate diploma in printmaking. She appeared on Channel 4’s Watercolour Challenge and has worked with the sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. She has taken part in many solo and group exhibitions in London and the South-East and also a touring exhibition in Scandinavia. She has achieved awards in several national art competitions and has work in both public and private collections.
Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|11 Aug 2017||BGPDW - Rambles with a Sketchbook - Snowdon||7||£899.00||£879.00||Book Now|
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