Thursday, 22 October 2015

Happy Campers

Back at the beginning of September I told you about going to a wedding and staying for two nights in a hotel in Bournemouth. Well, after that we drove back into Wales and spent two nights camping before heading home again. Let me explain. I know camping isn't anything strange but it's been years since we camped. In fact, the husband was clearing out the garage and issued an edict: either the camping gear is put into use or it is dumped. Of course we couldn't just dump it all so it was brought out of the garage and cleaned up ready for this short trip.

For our two nights in Wales we stayed in the Nantcol Waterfalls Campsite in Snowdonia. It was very good; nice, clean facilities and plenty of room to pitch the tent. It was also right beside the waterfalls and river so very picturesque.

The first place we went to visit was Powis Castle and Garden. As we are National Trust members we were able to get in for free. It was a really beautiful day so, after visiting the castle, we took our time going round the magnificent gardens. I'll not tell you about all the photos (there are a lot of them) but just a comment on some. This horse's head was for sale in the castle shop. Way too expensive for our budget, unfortunately.

These yew trees had been featured on the Country File programme a few weeks earlier, showing them being cut. They are massive!

I loved this tree; you could actually get inside!

The husband will never let me take his picture so I have to try and snap him any chance I get! Just to prove he actually was at Powis Castle.

This picture below really shows how tall the yews are.

After a very enjoyable day out we headed back to the campsite. Thankfully the weather was so good that I was able to cook dinner outside using the two tiny gas stoves you can see in this picture. Don't know what we would have done if it had been raining!

Each pitch on the site had its own fire pit so we bought some fire wood and lit up.

We lit the fire a bit too early, really.

It didn't take long for the wood to burn away and we had to resort to burning any wee bits of twigs we could find! Then we started getting anything we could possibly burn out of the car!!

We got a good blaze going but soon the cold beat us and we had to go to bed.

The following day (Tuesday 8th September) we went for a drive through Snowdonia National Park. The scenery is magnificent; in some ways a bit like the Lake District. We stopped in several of the little towns to look round craft shops and get coffee.

We stopped in Betws-y-Coed, quite a big town, for some lunch. And there we found this rhino, filled with plastic bottle tops.

After re-fuelling with our sandwiches and crisps (I very, very rarely eat crisps!) we went to visit Penrhyn Castle, another National Trust property.


I didn't take as many pictures at this castle (obviously!) and none at all of the railway museum that we also visited there.

That was all we had time for on our mini holiday. We drove to Holyhead, taking our time to see as much as possible of Anglesey. This is where we waited until it was time to go for the ferry.

Look, here comes our ferry!

Just appearing past the harbour wall.

So we're back to being campers; very happy campers. We've been for another short trip (I'll tell you about it soon) and we've been upgrading our equipment a bit. One very important thing was to get a warmer sleeping bag for me. The husband doesn't feel the cold! The other, probably equally important thing, was to get a tent that is high enough to stand up in. We're too old to be crawling about in a tunnel tent on our hands and knees!

Hope you enjoyed the photos and didn't give up. If you're at this point then you must have stuck with me.

All the best for now. I'm in the throes of ripping out my Aran coat and it's not going well. Worse even than I anticipated. Oh well, I just need to get enough out of it to make my poncho. And, if all else fails, I can buy more of the yarn (but don't tell anyone, please). The poncho crocheting is going very well except that I now need more yarn from the not-ripped-out coat. I'm enjoying the crocheted cables so, so much!


  1. Wonderful photos - I especially like those sculpted yew trees that look like they are straight out of a fairy tale! I am glad that your camping trip was a success. I only camped once as a teenager on a lay by returning from a Genesis concert in Milton Keynes!!! x

  2. What beautiful photos - the castles and landscaping were truly magnificent! I haven't gone camping in ages but it sounds like lots of fun. I would definitely need one I could stand up in - I'm well past the crawling stage.
    Have a wonderful week-end.

  3. I have just added Snowdonia to my list of places to visit! Wonderful photos, I particularly like the recycling rhino. As for staying warm when camping, I am somewhat of an expert (more like obsessed).... I have been suffering from cold for years until I have invested in a super duper mat with an insulation value of 9.5 (this is very high). It is this one I think ( It is expensive but worth every pound. Before the mat, even my Antarctic expedition down sleeping bag was not good enough to keep me warm. Hope you'll enjoy many more fun camping holidays. x

    1. Thanks for the link for the mat. I'll check it out. Anything to keep warm!

  4. What a wonderful mini break, you certainly made the most of the time you had visiting some fabulous places. I've never been camping, my dad wouldn't go when we were kids and Mick won't go now. I love those yews, such brilliant shapes.

  5. Lovely photos and another place to put on my must visit list. It's good you enjoyed the camping, I haven't camped in years as my husband refuses to do it. Hx

  6. Your photos were wonderful, every where you turn there was something beautiful to see. Thank you for taking us along.

  7. Super photos Gillian, Powis Castle is stunning. And the rhino is fun. You were lucky with the weather too, especially for camping.
    Caz xx

  8. I really like Powis Castle and the garden; they are so beautiful and I would like to visit some day.
    The old Yew tree is precious I am speechless.

  9. Great photos, Gillian. Loved the sculpted yew trees, and all the photos of Powis Castle....especially love the pictures of peacocks, we used to have one nearby - I do miss the screech they make! Camping - did it as a youngster, couldn't do it now, especially not crawling about! Hope the mat Christina recommends helps. Barbara xx

  10. I've never been to this castle even though it's within easy reach of here. Did climb half way up Snowdon once though - it is beautiful so round there. I'm not a camping fan really - prefer my en suite facilities, but this sounded like good fun.

  11. Wonderful to go on your travels with you in this way! Especially good for me as I am not a camper! The castle is amazing, those hedges are incredible aren't they and trimmed so beautifully. I love the stick bench too, that is a great piece of furniture! xx

  12. stunning location, I have never ever been camping I have always wanted to but the Mr never agrees. He likes his creature comforts and he worries about the cold and if truth be told he is scared of creapy crawlies. He is such a baby I'm not sure if staying in a caravan counts as camping we have done that quite a few times. Thank you for sharing your wonderful break .I love the image of that roaring fire.

  13. Hello Gillian,
    What a nice report of your trip. Wondserful pictures.
    Great to see all these wonderful places. Shots 57 and 58 are so amazing with that wonderful view over that area.
    Nice the special old tree and the figure which is make of bottle caps. Very impressive.

    Many greetings,

  14. Glad to read you both had a good time, those look like some lovely places to visit indeed!
    Crochet cables are so much fun btw, no wonder you're enjoying your poncho! xx

  15. Thanks for taking us along on your camping trip! What beautiful sites to see! :-)


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