I know, it’s been a while. I’ve been busy. I could unpick this statement with a thousand elaborate stories but it would hurt my brain to find words of embellishment. So here’s a little of review of somewhere I stayed in North Wales.
My daughter was chosen for a Wales U15s football camp (playing two International friendlies against Scotand in Bangor and Llandudno) so fancying an adventure I made the long trek up north. My work colleagues would probably take great satisfaction in telling you about my dreadful sense of direction but it does always surprise me how far the northern tip of Wales is from Swansea (not just ‘somewhere north of Cardiff’ as I used to think). It’s like entering Narnia – snow, mountains, biting cold and sweeping landscapes. I half expected Aslan to jump on to the road to question me on my motives.
We randomly selected Caernarfon as our base camp and chose a quaint looking B&B called Tŷ Castell, situated in the High Street. There’s no parking – I’ll just put that out there now. You can usually find a spot within a short walking distance away. Although we did stay in the bitter cold of a quiet Winter.
Tŷ Castell is gorgeous. It has the date of 1735 on the front of the building and is a Grade II listed building – right next to a castle. There are only four rooms and we stayed in ‘Math’ on the first floor. The building has only just been rennovated and this was evident in the quality of the furnishings, decorations and the snazzy bathroom (including a very dazzling light-up mirror). Two cute chocolate brownies had been left for us. We stayed for two nights and it was incredibly quiet. In fact at times we wondered if we were the only couple in the building (and at times Caernarfon). There’s a tapas restaurant and bar downstairs but we chose to eat/drink out.
After I had recovered from the shock of finding out that there wasn’t a Nando’s in the vicinity, we found the fabulous Galeri Caernarfon just round the corner from Tŷ Castell. This is a new arts centre run as a social enterprise and the menu in the cafe is splendid and destroyed all my wanton feelings towards Nando’s. I had a delicious spicy chickpea burger and that was one of many vegan options. In addition to the cafe, there is also a cinema, theatre, rehearsal rooms, art space and offices. I wish we had been able to engage in more than just the food but it was still a highlight of the trip. Well, that and discovering the Wetherspoons in the town centre.
It was a joyful visit to Caernarfon. I’m kind of pleased that we went at such a forsaken time of the year. It was quiet, bleak and out of season. Time goes slowly and seems more thoughtful than in Swansea where life is faster.
Thank you to Caernarfon for accomodating us. It’s well placed to visit a number of tourist sights too (Llandudno, Port Meirion etc).