Monday, 16 September 2013

Mike and Wilma have finally moved to Pentre Bach!

After 5 and a half years of travelling backwards and forwards between Macclesfield and Llwyngwril every week, we have finally moved permanently to Pentre Bach!
Katie's flat in Macclesfield , which served us well for 3 years, was put on the market in late June. Within a few days of putting up the FOR SALE sign we had a lady knocking at the door, who was very interested. She just had to put her house on the market. 'Oh well', we thought........... but less than 3 weeks later she was back. She'd put her house on the market and had a buyer within 2 days! After that things started to move very quickly and the completion date was set for Friday the 23rd of August. Not an ideal time for us as Wilma was already booked to go and parent sit for the last two weeks of August while her sister was on holiday, Heather was due to fly off to Canada for possibly up to a year and to cap it all, we'd booked a holiday in Crete, setting off on the 30th of August! Not to mention coping with the busy period of bookings at Pentre Bach.
We packed the car with clothing, pots and pans, DVD players, crockery, cushions, etc, etc every time we came over to Wales and gradually the flat was emptied in time for Thiursday the 22nd of August. Heather had to spend her last few nights on a mattress in the flat, in a tiny bedroom in the caravan in Wales and finally in a cosy bed in her auntie's house before jetting off for Canada on the 25th. Ah well, it was all good practise for couchsurfing on Vancouver Island!
So the Seniors no longer have to pack up every Sunday afternoon to make the long journey back to Macclesfield. However we're still living out of bags and boxes (which are scattered throughout the cottages and caravan so we can't find anything we need!) as the move happened a lot quicker than we'd anticipated so we still have bookings in Pen y Lon (our intended permanent abode) until early October. We're still moving around and staying in whichever cottage is available until we can finally move into Pen y Lon and unpack our bags!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Bad weather ideas at Pentre Bach

Ok, so the Great British Summer in west Wales has been particularly good so far this year and our guests have been able to spend long days enjoying the great outdoors.
But with the British weather being what it is, we could wake up tomorrow to a week of rain. The adults might be content to curl up by the log fire, batten down the hatches and bring out the paperbacks and Kindles for a lazy few hours, feeling snug and cosy inside, or just sit in the window seats and watch the changing skies and white capped waves.

However, what to do with the kids?
Well all the cottages are well stocked with  jigsaws of varying difficulty and games of all types from old classics such as chess and Scrabble to Air hockey, Jenga and Twister. Please just remember to put them all back in the right boxes!
The kitchens are all well equipped, and even include baking equipment, so why not spend an afternoon baking. Mmm..... freshly baked scones for afternoon tea!
Play hide and seek, sardines, charades, hunt the thimble and all those games we used to play when we were young. The main house in particular has loads of hiding places.
Arrange your very own version of Pentre Bach's Got Talent! Get the children to do what children love to do and show off! There's a chest full of dressing up clothes in the master bedroom of the main house  (another one being prepared for Y Popty). Even the grown-ups could get involved!
You could venture out as far as the barn for a table tennis tournament.
If they've exhausted all of the above then they could always join you and read a book. There are children's books in all the cottages.
Oh and if really desperate there are lots of children's DVDs available in all the cottages. If bad weather keeps up we can always arrange a swop!
If you want to venture further afield then read our blog entitled
 What to do and where to go when its wet in West Wales!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

What to do with children in and around Llwyngwril

If the weather is good then we have a huge field at Pentre Bach where children can run wild, play hide and seek, football, cricket, rounders, Frisbee, fly a kite, etc., etc. all within sight of the house and cottages. There are also 2 tyre swings and a willow den down by the vegetable patch.

Take up the challenge of our specially created Treasure Hunt which leads the children on a route round the village, searching for the answers to clues.
Go down to Llwyngwril's pebbly beach and have a competition to build the tallest pile of pebbles ever.
Go to any of Fairbourne's, Barmouth's or Tywyn's beautiful sandy beaches and do what children love to do on beaches- build a sandcastle.
Go ponytrekking at Bwylchgwyn Farm (spelling approximate!), about 4 miles away from Pentre Bach.
Go for a gentle cycle along the nice and flat Mawddach Trail or accept the more extreme cycling challenge of black runs at Coed y Brenin. Whilst there you can also make our way through the tree tops of Go Ape.
Go canoeing or kayaking in the Mawddach Estuary.
Spend the day underground and go back in time hundreds of years at King Arthur's Labyrinth in Corris.
Go crab catching off the pier at Aberdyfi.
Take the narrow gauge railway along to the end of Fairbourne Point then catch the ferry across the harbour to Barmouth.

Climb Cadair Idris.

Watch this space for what do do when the weather's bad.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

What's not to be missed in and around Llwyngwril this summer!

If you want to come to North West Wales for a peaceful, relaxing time then you can! Sit on one of our patios, gazing out to sea and possibly catch a glimpse of passing dolphins or sailing boats gliding gracefully across the bay. Unwind with a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio and watch the sun go down spectacularly behind the Lleyn Peninsula. Perhaps you might summon up some energy to stroll down to the beach or play a game of boules on the lawn, or cricket on the field?

If, however, you're up for something a bit more adventurous then this undiscovered corner of Wales has a few surprises up it's sleeves.
Next weekend sees the start of the Three Peaks Yacht Race from Barmouth. Teams of sailors and runners, set off from Barmouth on Saturday afternoon ((15th June),and sail up the west coast to Fort William , but stopping off en route so the runners can tackle Snowdon and Scafell Pike on the way. After Fort William the runners then have to run up and down the highest mountain in the UK, Ben Nevis. The winning team is the first to complete the Ben Nevis ascent and descent. A truly epic race. See for more details.

If mountain biking is your thing then why not join in (or just spectate!) the Trail Marathon Wales at Coed y Brenin Forest Park, just north of Dolgellau, on the 22nd of June.
While there you could always while away an hour or three negotiating the tree tops via cargo nets, zip wires , etc at Go Ape. You can get discount if you book through us!

Something a bit different? Why not go to the Barmouth Kite Festival over the weekend of the 13th and 14th of July? Take your own kite or just sit , watch and be amazed at the stunts. Always a colourful event.

If that's not enough, the same weekend hosts the Mawddach Paddlesports Festival between Barmouth and the stunningly beautiful Penmaenpool. Some fun and some serious races for rafts and canoes. Can be very exciting in extreme weather!

From the 19th - 21st of July is Sesiwn Fawr, a music festival with craft workshops, puppet theatres, etc. at Dolgellau.

Who watched Carolyn Quentin's programme about Snowdonia National Park? One event she covered was the wonderful Race the Train that starts from Tywyn on August the 17th. Hundreds of runners participate and attempt to beat the Talyllyn Railway engine back to it's starting point. There are races of different lengths that attract runners of all ages from across the country. It's on August the 17th this year , in aid of Action for Children and definitely should not be missed!!!

Shortly after that, on August the 22nd,  is Children's Duncan Days at the Talyllyn Railway. This narrow gauge railway was the original inspiration for the Reverend Awdry's 'Thomas the Tank Engine' stories.

Watch this space for more news about events in this beautiful part of Wales.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Come and play!

I just happened to spot a little article on Independent Cottages website telling cottage owners about a company that sends out free games to be used in holiday cottages. Its a clever marketing campaign, to get holiday makers to enjoy playing the games , in the hope that they'll then buy them at a later date. We sent off a quick email to the company to say that we'd be happy to accept any games and within a few days a large package was delivered to Pentre Bach with a total of 8 boxed games! They're now distributed around our cottages for all our guests to enjoy.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Fully Booked this weekend!

All our cottages are booked for the next two weeks. Eek! That means the caravan for us! I don't think so. Not if this weather continues.........
Will it be like this

                                  or like this?

We've got some vacancies later on in April if anyone fancies a break. We can do some late availability deals!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Work Work Work!

We arrived on Thursday the 14th ready to finally get on with lots of jobs , including finally finishing off upgrading the heating and hot water system in the main house and two cottages. Mike spent most of the weekend taking up carpets and floorboards, hanging radiators, etc,.  He did take a break to watch Wales crucify England at rugby. And of course Scotland lost but they didn't disgrace themselves. Good job we didn't go to the pub to watch it!
We did manage a walk on the Sunday, another attempt to walk across the new Dysynni bridge only to find that it still wasn't finished and open so we had to make do with a stroll along the beach and even had our first picnic of the year.

Monday arrived but Stuart and Steve didn't. Well did we really expect them to? Of course not!

Tuesday arrived and so did Stuart and Steve. Hooray!  Some progress was made on the new radiatiors but not much.  I went back to Macc ready to teach on Wednesday.

Wednesday arrived and so did Stuart and Steve. Hooray again! The radiators and new pipework were completed but very little, in fact next to no progress made on finishing off the hot water system so phase 6 or is it 7? has been pencilled in for May. Ah well, this Wales.

Thursday arrived, I returned and so did reliable Gareth to wire up the unfinished new hot water system. Great story about the Brazil nuts Gareth!

Meanwhile Mike completed his new recycling storage area outside Y Popty, I did a bit of sort of reupholstering of some rather tired bucket chairs and potted A LOT of petunia and lobelia plugs, as well as assorted seedlings.

Friday arrived and the rest of the country was more or less covered in snow. Llwyngwril wasn't but we worried about our guests getting here from deepest Buckinghamshire. The first couple arrived well prepared in a Land Rover about 5pm. The other two couples arrived much later but unfortunately the couple who booked , were ill so couldn't come. Their plan was to climb Cader Idris this weekend,  which wasn't going to happen with the high winds we had all weekend.  I think they made it as far as The Last Inn in Barmouth.

Other jobs achieved over the last few weeks include new carpets in Y Popty and Pen y Lon. Much needed new curtains made and hung in Pen y Lon and new shower installed in downstairs shower room in Pen y Lon.

A huge new bed installed in the master bedroom of Pentre Bach and new windows all round in Y Llaethdy.

The table tennis Scotland v England continues. I think England perhaps just has the edge at the moment but Scotland is putting up a good fight!

Oh and Mike got a mole on Saturday!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

It's all happening at Pentre Bach!

What a busy and productive weekend we had.
After 5 weeks without a landline and therefore no Internet connection, last Thursday BT finally got their act together and sent out a team with traffic lights so that the Openreach engineer could safely repair the fault in the junction box up on the road coming into the village. We're can now communicate with the world again without having to go to Ro and Gerald's house to access our emails or wander half way up the drive to get a mobile signal!
Telephone clip art

On Friday a new bed was delivered for the main house. It's a zip and link bed so can be used as two separate single beds or connected together to make an extra wide double bed. In fact its big enough for 4 people!

On Saturday Mike successfully installed a much needed new shower in Pen Y Lon, lifted the old carpets from Y Popty and Pen y Lon and lost to me at table tennis! Oh and as it was such a glorious day, we managed a walk to see the new bridge over the Dysynni. However the approaches aren't finished yet so we couldn't actually walk over it.

On Sunday, I managed an early morning run along the beach, then Tony Carpet arrived at 11am to fit our carpets. Hoorah! We'd bought them back in October! 6 hours later we had badly needed new carpets fitted in Y Popty lounge, Pen y Lon's biggest bedroom, landing, stairs, hall and lounge. What a difference.
Oh and Mike beat me at table tennis.

All in all a busy and successful weekend.

Monday, 11 February 2013

A celebration of 5 years at Pentre Bach!

Last Friday was the 5 year anniversary of us buying Pentre Bach so on Saturday we held a party to celebrate.
It started off sensibly with drinks and canapes in  the kitchen at 3pm, with a TV lounge in Y Popty for those who couldn't miss out on watching Wales v France  at rugby.
Many, many thanks to Rosemary and Gerald , who provided the majority of the buffet, (yummy homemade bread, flans , roast beef, salmon and salads) and many thanks to Helen and Sue who helped me prepare the rest earlier in the day.
It went down well to say the least!
Unfortunately as we were too busy circulating, we forgot all about the cake, which was probably just as well, as in the heat, it  was slowly subsiding over on the sideboard!
Apres food , and some time to let it settle, the games started...... Gerald takes the prize for the effort, creativity and sheer entertainment!
It was a long day but it was lovely to be able to share our celebration with so many people who'd helped us over the last 5 years and also made us feel so welcome in the village.
Here's to the next 5!