Wildlife & Wildflowers of Northern Snowdonia
Your leader, Phillipe Apchin provides insight into Snowdonia’s distinctive flora and fauna
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Join us and explore the distinctive flora that characterise the northern Snowdonia landscape in summer and look out for the more unusual wildlife, such as nesting ospreys, puffins and feral goats!
Suitable for any level of experience, with no prior knowledge required.
- Discover the diverse flora of northern Snowdonia in summer
- The chance to see ospreys, puffins, choughs and other sea birds
- Leisurely walks with regular stops to look at plants and wildlife
- Enjoy wildflowers and wildlife in a small sociable group setting
- Our expert leader will guide you around the best sites
- Flexible itineraries will take into account prevailing weather conditions
- Full Board en-suite accommodation
- Full programme of excursions and visits
- All essential transport
- Admissions to places of interest
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
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (better rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea. This is the first occasion when everyone in the country house meets together – an opportunity to meet your leader and fellow guests, and find out more about your holiday. Weather permitting, we might enjoy a short stroll in the grounds to see the dragons!
On our Natural World holidays we spend most of the day outdoors, exploring by mini-coach or on foot, walking up to 6 miles (9.5km) each day but making regular stops to enjoy all the wildlife and wildflowers around us.
Capel Curig & Cwm Idwal
A short coach ride takes us to Capel Curig where we explore the local woods to listen out for the calls of woodland birds such as wood and willow warblers. Later, we'll head off to Cwm Idwal in the Glyderau range. A botanist’s paradise, home to rare arctic-alpine plants such as the Snowdon lily and moss campion, this National Nature Reserve is one of the finest places to see how glaciation and subsequent retreat of glaciers shaped this spectacular landscape. If we are very lucky we might spot wheatear or ring ouzel; both of these migrant birds come here in the summer. The area is also home to a flock of feral goats. A superb day to begin our holiday.
Llanddwyn island has fascinating geology as well as being great for marine wildlife. After our visit there we go to South Stack reserve, home of the endemic Spathulate Fleawort and where many seabirds nest on the cliffs. We're hoping to see Puffins, Guillemots and Razorbills. Choughs and Peregrine falcons are also frequently sighted too, so fingers crossed!
The Glaslyn River & Ospreys
Crossing the famous cob (sea wall) with its saltmarsh habitat we are likely to spot a range of wildfowl such as Teal, Wigeon, Dunlin, Redshank and Curlew. The area is part of the Glaslyn Marshes SSSI and provides a variety of habitats from brackish open water to mudflats, marshes, wet grassland and wet woodland.
After seeing what wildlife we can spot, we’ll make our way to the Victorian coastal village of Borth y Gest to explore rock pools on the shore. At the rise and fall of each tide the wildlife inhabiting each pool changes; look out for cushion stars, sea slugs, dog whelks, shrimps, hermit crabs and sea anemones.
Finally we’ll visit Pont Croesor for the latest on the nesting ospreys there, enjoying the opportunity of some excellent birdwatching. A wonderful finale to our holiday.
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
- Outdoor clothing appropriate to the season, including waterproofs
- Strong, comfortable footwear with a good tread is essential
- Telescope (if you have one) and binoculars (essential)
- Thermos flask (optional)
- No particular field or bird guides are recommended field. Please bring whatever you already have. Your leader will provide reference materials.
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).
Philippe’s enthusiasm for the natural world developed when working as a scuba-diving instructor and underwater naturalist all over the world.
Originally from France, he fell in love with the UK in 2004 and started exploring the country mountain biking, fell running, birdwatching and hill walking.
Now a full-time Mountain Leader, Philippe is leading walking holidays in the UK and in France and bespoke birdwatching tours in Provence. At home in Bath, he regularly guides country walks as a volunteer Cotswold Warden.
Philippe is a generalist leader with a passion to share his wide range of interests in birdwatching, wildlife, wildflowers, geography and geology developed through his experience in the field and attending online university courses.
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
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person