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.