Monday, 25 July 2016

A Trip To Llandudno’s Voted Best Hotel

Llandudno is a lovely place, a town that got it’s bearings from being purpose-built for the season and built for tourism. The years have come and gone, but Llandudno stands proud and aside from other seaside towns in the UK by the virtue of the fact that it is still very fit for purpose. A large part of this ideal is Llandudno's row of lovingly and painstakingly maintained Llandudno Seafront Hotels that have catered to those that demand a high quality, luxurious experience for over 150 years - and have been looked after enough to offer the same high-quality experiences for 150 more. Although Llandudno is undoubtedly a wonderful place to be, it is a tiny town. It’s not that special…. Or is it?

It absolutely is. Llandudno has recently been named the UK’s Number One Seaside Resort, beating the likes of Brighton, Blackpool and Torquay to this prestigious number one spot. It’s fabulous combination of clean beaches, fascinating history, the Great and the Little Ormes and close proximity to Conwy Castle, Snowdonia, and so many other fantastic attractions to ensure a holiday that’s far from dull.

One of Llandudno’s hotels is the embodiment of the seaside town’s excellent quality, and in 2016 was named the very best bargain hotel in the UK, and the second best in all of the world. That’s right – this North Wales Hotel managed to beat nationwide competition to be awarded the much vaunted number one spot in TripAdvisor’s yearly competition to find the very best bargain hotel out there.

The Elm Tree Hotel has many accolades and more than satisfied guests. Reviews for the Elm Tree Hotel are consistently excellent, and the hotel’s proprietors Carol and Tom are two award-winning hospitality professionals, committed to customer service and client satisfaction. The Elm Tree Hotel possesses an abundance of special features, including wonderfully landscaped public garden that  you are invited to sit within and relax after a day of seeing the sights.

Also flying the flag high for Llandudno and North Wales is the Lauriston Court Hotel which takes the third spot, the Can y Bae B&B at fifth, and the Pier Hotel in Rhyl, taking the seventh spot of the top 10. Llandudno and North Wales in particular are flying the flag high for Wales, and providing that the traditional British Seaside Holiday is far from dead.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Your Hen or Stag In North Wales

Llanrwst is known for many things. Great proximity to Bodnant Gardens. Some of the best hotels in Betws y Coed . Even closer proximity to the wonderful Zip World Fforest, as well as a vast assortment of other attractions to make it a great destination for multiple things. But Stag and Hen parties? Break the mold for yours, and have yours in North Wales. There’s a variety of things to do to make it a considerable leap up from just a night out.

22.7 km away from the wonderful area of Llanrwst in the neighbouring town of Cerrigydrudion, is an exhilarating go-kart track. Certainly not small or rickety, or anything even remotely resembling a hairdryer- GYG Karting provides a fantastic F1 racing experience for you, your family, and your friends. Have you considered taking advantage of their package deals to host a stag or a hen party?

Stag or hens party packages provide exclusive hire of their wonderful 1100m MSA approved British Circuit for 8-19 drivers; with racing suits and helmets provided. Zip away in your 400cc Twin Engine Pro-Kart and go head-to-head against your friends and family for the trophy. Bubbly, a results pack and a group photograph are provided in addition.   

After you’ve competed for glory and won the trophy, why not head back to Llanrwst for a slap-up meal? The astounding Lle Hari restaurant in Llanrwst offers fantastic food and a personal service – excellently and locally sourced natural ingredients with seasonal changes to the menu. The Lle Hari at Llanrwst is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, so if your hen or stag happens to fall on a weekend, you’re in for a real treat. (We also highly recommend their gourmet take-out burgers!)

When you’re tuckered out and fit to burst, the Meadowsweet Hotel offers daily room and B&B rates, as well as varying offers and promotions. The prices vary depending on the type of room, but every single one is a winner. Each bedroom is individually designed, and despite different themes, d├ęcor, and individuality, each room is unified by classic and contemporary comfort and style – not to mention being fully equipped with en-suite bathrooms, free WiFi, flatscreen freeview TV, hairdriers, an iron and an ironing board, bottled water and direct dial telephones as well as our favourite – tea and coffee making facilities.

Planning a Stag or a Hen in the middle of the Welsh countryside might seem like something only the most outdoorsy would tend to do. But that’s not the case any longer. There are a slew of activities in this fantastic area which won’t require all of your day to get to, and some remarkable hotels to stay in, should you decide to turn your Hen or Stag party into memories that'll last years to come.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

The Very Best Places to Stay for Zip World

Zip world is one of the very best attractions in North Wales, and features a unique day out that is suitable for all the family. With the fact that Zip World has expanded to three locations, one day often isn’t enough in order to get the full experience! There are a number of caravan parks in North Wales and Snowdonia, some less than 10 minutes away from the site itself. Here’s our pick of the very best places to stay in the region, to take advantage of all Zip World’s three sites have to offer.

1 – Ogwen Bank Holiday Park and Country Club

Ogwen Bank is certainly a cut above your regular holiday park experience within North Wales, boasting a massive variety of luxury lodges, gigantic 3-bed caravans and a glamping option with the seriously cool Swift S-Pod Camping Pods, which offer an experience just like home, only in the heart of the Snowdonia Countryside. That, and the Ogwen Bank Holiday Park and Country Club has access to the leisure facilities at Seiont Manor and free golf at Bangor Golf Club, for when you’re zipped out. That, and it’s only a short walk away from Zip World makes it a fantastic contender.

2- Tyn Rhos Country House

The Tyn Rhos Country Manor is a fine country house in Snowdonia, and features one of the very best places to eat within the region. As somewhere to stay, it certainly doesn’t disappoint. The Tyn Rhos Country House deserves every single one of it’s five stars. It’s peaceful, quaint, and relaxing – which is exactly what is needed after a hard day jumping off high things at speed. The Country House is situated 5 miles from both Caernarfon and Bangor, and it’s 19 bedrooms, large conservatory, comfortable lounge and cosy bar is a quite understandably a hit to those that stay. For those that seek a real high-quality experience.

3- The Meadowsweet Hotel, Llanrwst

The Meadowsweet Hotel is a hotel in Llanrwst, situated near Betws-y-Coed and has proximity to Zip World Fforest, at just under 4 km away. The Meadowsweet Hotel features fabulous, individually styled rooms- as well as a high-quality self-catering farmhouse, the Plas Dre, for large parties. The Meadowsweet Hotel also benefits from it’s superb award-winning restaurant, the Lle Hari, which is a fantastic blend of traditional English food, with an American twist.

Zip World is a fantastic experience for families young and old, and with the upcoming Summer Holiday, now’s the time to give it a try!

A Premium Wine Experience In North Wales

We’re big fans of the North Wales region. Home to countless hotels and some truly special scenery—nothing really takes away from the fact that once, it wasn’t exactly… bustling. Where once the region was considered quite sparse and with absolutely nothing in it’s trajectory other than walking, walking, climbing, and more walking, the region has undergone an extensive sprucing up over the past ten years. We’re seven months into the region’s Year of Adventure, and while some prefer to spend their Year of Adventure climbing up mountains and engaging in a large manner of general outdoorsy activity, we prefer to spend our Year of Adventure with a trip to some fine dining restaurants in Caernarfon!

The Tyn Rhos Country House is very prominent in the region of Caernarfon, Bangor, and nearby Snowdonia, with food that’s truly and utterly amazing. We were stunned to learn that their menus are changed daily, depending on what local fare the chefs can source that very day! Freshness, quality, and attention to detail is guaranteed with this beautiful retreat, and we in particular were very impressed with it’s vast wine list.

The Tyn Rhos Country House is blessed with many things. A beautiful location, a fabulous building which is both full of charming Welsh character and, at the same time, well-looked after and absolutely sumptuously decorated, and a team of truly talented chefs at hand to ensure that your culinary experience is an absolutely fantastic one. As for the wine list, whether you’re a fan of red, white, or fancy something truly special, the Tyn Rhos has a partnership with the Tanners Wine Merchantry, and as result a truly exciting variety of wines to choose from, showcasing a large variety of grapes. The list features both conventional wines and bio-dynamic which are all personally tasted.

Their recommendations are absolutely stellar, as well. In a world where anyone and everyone calls themselves a wine expert, it’s truly refreshing to be served wine by people that wholeheartedly share a very real passion for it.  Whether your tastes lean toward the masterpieces of established wineries or more toward rising stars of the new world, the Tyn Rhos Country House has just the selection for you. Highly, highly recommended.    

Monday, 18 July 2016

Adventure Activities in North Wales

Who doesn’t love an adventure? At Conwy Camper van Hire,North Wales, we have an ethos that a great adventure can begin behind a wheel of a campervan, in particular, a VW 
campervan. Our fully equipped and ready-to-go luxury campervans mean you could be on the road in no time. This means more time for hunting out each adrenaline-filled activity and adventure available around North Wales! 

Snowdonia has recently been dubbed the adrenaline capital of the UK, with activity parks such as Surf Snowdonia, Bounce Below and Zip World to name just a few. There’s something for everyone – and by hiring a campervan with us at Conwy Campervan Hire, it means you will be given the chance to explore more freely, as all the necessities will be a mere arm’s reach away!

If adrenaline and adventure is what you seek look no further than North Wales. Here are just a few adrenaline filled activities for you and your rented campervan to explore.

Surf Snowdonia, Dolgarrog, LL32 8QE
Nestled into the valley is the World’s first inland-built surf lagoon. Magnificent man-made waves that reach head height are attracting people from every corner of the globe, and it’s easy to see why. Pull up in your campervan and get your wetsuits on. Why not try out a surfing lesson? Also on offer is an exciting Crash and Splash Lagoon assault course as well as paddle boarding, gorge walking, kayaking and canoeing – what more could you want!

Zip World Fforest, Betws-y-Coed, LL24 0HA
Not far from Surf Snowdonia is this tree-top rope course, set with incredible views of the surrounding valley. With three separate courses to tackle, you won’t leave bored. Try Plummet; the World’s highest powerfan tree parachute simulator, Skyride; Europe’s first 5-seater rope swing, or the Zip Safari; an exhilarating rope course suspending you mid-air in a canopy of trees. The excitement is endless – but comfort can be found in a hot drink made in the warmth of your hired VW van, before setting off in search of a new adventure. Perfect!

Zip World Bounce Below, Blaenau Ffestiniog, LL41 3NB
In your campervan, travel down the A470 towards the slate quarry town of Blaenau Ffestiniog for another major adrenaline attraction. Here homes more of the Zip World franchise; Bounce Below and Zip World Titan. Bounce Below is a series of indoor trampoline-like nets that suspend the jumper over the deep Ffestiniog caverns. Hours of adrenaline-fuelled fun for all the family!

Zip World Titan, Blaenau Ffestiniog, LL41 3NB
Right next door is where the real adrenaline begins. Titan is one of two major Zip Line attractions in North Wales. Get your flying gear on! Titan, the first four person zip line to exist in Europe offers breathtaking views across the surrounding area as you fly mid-air – a real rush for even the biggest of adrenaline junkies. Some, however, view Titan as just a warm up to its somewhat more extreme sibling; Zip World Velocity; a 5 minute drive from Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Zip World Velocity, Bethesda, LL57 4YG
Behind the wheel of your VW, take a 5 minute drive further down the A470 to Bethesda: home of Zip World Velocity. This exciting attraction is the fastest zip line in the world and the longest in Europe. This is a highly recommended challenge for any lover of adrenaline! Warm up first on the Little Zipper before taking the exciting plunge, right from the peak of Penrhyn Quarry. It’s easy to see why Snowdonia is renowned for its adrenaline sports when Zip World alone has so much to offer. Meanwhile your trusty Conwy VW Campervan will be on stand-by as you fly through the stunning backdrop of North Wales – food, drink and comfort at the ready!

All this and much more is readily available round North Wales. With our luxury campervans anyone can explore the area with great ease, and make use of the adrenaline filled activities just waiting to be experienced. So, what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

The Welsh Robin Hood and The War Of The Roses

Gwydir Forest, where Dafydd ap Siencyn lived. 
For such a small, scenic and pretty village, Llanrwst certainly has an amazing history. Llanrwst's main trade is tourism, and there's certainly enough local and mythical legend surrounding the region for Llanrwst to do very well out of North Wales' booming tourism industry. Llanrwst is very much an attraction in itself, boasting picturesque sights, engaging and fantastic walks, and a few very fantastic hotels in Llanrwst. Llanrwst's history is vast and expansive, and one of the more factual accounts is quite unknown to most. The story of Dafydd ap Siencyn is fascinating, and he has earned the moniker "The Welsh Robin Hood" by visitors and historians alike. Dafydd ap Siencyn was reported to have been an outlaw poet, which was actually directly descended from Owain Glyndwr (on his his mother's side - that lady known as Margaret, daughter of Rhys, Son of Rhys Gethin, the son of Owain Glyndwr.) Dafydd ap Siencyn was a partisan for the Lancastrian side within the War of the Roses, and fled Llanrwst when it was besieged by the Yorkist Army under William Herbert, the Duke of Pembroke. It is said that he then lived within the Gwydir Forest, overlooking the town of Llanrwst, with his army of followers - who were noted to have dressed in green - probably as a form of camouflage. He is noted to have marched to Denbigh (which was North Wales' largest Yorkist Garrison) and entered a bloody battle which resulted in the entire garrison being burned down. The King was said to have been furious at the tenacity of the bandit, and then charged William Herbert with "laying waste to the entire Conwy Valley" Subsequently, Llanrwst church was burned down, and rebuilt 2 years later. Dafydd ap Siencyn received a pardon from the King in 1468, and was appointed the Constable of Conwy Castle after killing his predecessor. Not much is known about Dafydd ap Siencyn's life thereafter. It is presumed that he kept his position until he was killed in a brawl.   In 2010, the Forestry Commission unveiled a sculpture trail which commemorates the birth, life and death of this outlaw poet, Wales' very own Robin Hood. It stands proud, 16 years later - attracting tourists from all over Wales, and internationally.
Image Credit: Stuart Madden | CC BY 2.0