Thursday, 9 February 2012

North Wales - landscape

In a way this last minute trip to Wales was well planned as it got me out of this freezing cold house for a few days during the worst winter week so far.

The journey wasn't too bad, only hitting a bit of snow across the high point of the M62, Saddleworth Moor. It's always bleak across that stretch and the times I've been across it I don't think it's ever been fine or I've seen the sun.

Destination was Llanberis at the foot of the Snowdonia mountains.

The hotel was cheap and cheerful and most importantly WARM with a capital 'W', bliss, didn't need a vest! Even better there was a view of the mountains and sheep in the hotel car park!

The purpose of the trip was a combined break and to view some properties but unfortunately I haven't found my escape to the country yet. One property I viewed in the morning had received an offer on it a couple of hours later and was basically sold stc by the end of the afternoon so that was a bit of a waste of time. 
Another property I saw was the most interesting little cottage steeped in history. I'll show you just a smidge in order to preserve the owners privacy.

The history of the cottage dates back to the 1400's when it was a self sufficient small holding with about 40 acres, it now has about 1.5 acres. It was completely off the beaten track, you got to it by driving about a mile through a forestry track and on mud tracks around field boundaries, I think a 4WD would have made access a bit easier so it turned out to be more inaccessible than I thought.
The owners had restored the cottage very sympathetically, it was a bit like looking around a heritage museum with the huge inglenook complete with original meat hooks, bread oven, slate floors, panelling, crog-loft bedrooms, half metre thick random stone walls. It was fascinating inside and equally outside, there was a small meadow with ancient species of grasses & wild flowers, an orchard with old, rare apple & plum varieties, a patch of woodland by a stream, another small paddock for chickens. In many ways it was my sort of place but being realistic about the house, the rooms are quite small, the windows tiny which isn't good for the light I need in my work and I think to put my modern & plentiful Ikea furniture in would totally ruin the ambience of the place. In a way it needs someone to buy it who will totally appreciate the historical aspects and preserve what has been achieved.
Amazing that this type of place still exists in this day and age.

Time to enjoy the scenery after the house hunting and it was my first time in the Llanberis area. Just outside the village you can see evidence of the huge scale slate mining that went on. 

Platforms are carved into the hills creating a very angular & cubist landscape, it's very dramatic.
Driving on a bit and I traveled through the Pen-y-Pass mountain road into the foothills of Snowdonia. The weather was chilly but lovely and sunny, almost a bit too bright for capturing the snow on top of the mountains.

The water was very still on this lake as you can see from the reflections.

And just a stones throw from that lake, another lake was completely frozen, as were all the leaves on the ground.

That's a look at some of the scenery, I will do a couple more Wales posts on food and craft purchases.


grace said...

cute cottage sooooo cold today, stay warm!

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Snowdonia is very beautiful! :)
Shame the little cottage didn't meet your requirements, it is wonderful. Don't worry your ideal home is out there and at least you got a trip away and felt warm to boot!!
V x

patty said...

Yes it was lovely to feel warmth and see nice scenery for a few days. I'm sure I'm getting closer to finding a new home.

BeckyWise. said...

The cottage looks beautiful! I must have one! Looks like you've had a great day. :)
-Becky :)

ray@garlicbuddha said...

I did my nurse training in Bangor... not been to llanberis in years.. is Pete's Eats still open? Mega chip butties and pints of tea :)

patty said...

Yes Pete's Eats is still going strong. Llanberis has a lot of shut down shops though which is a shame.