Tuesday, 18 March 2014

More reasons for coming to Pentre Bach/Llwyngwril

In 2012 we had a large group who gathered together to celebrate Patrick and Jeremy's civil ceremony of their partnership. Friends and family gathered from all over the UK, the US and France to help them celebrate. Every year we have large groups book our cottages to spend Christmas and New Year together. We had an expat family, who came over from Dubai, in the hope of getting cool, damp weather! Americans have come here to visit ancient castles. One man stayed in Y Llaethdy and spent the week taking beautiful photographs, many of which now grace our website www.pentrebach.com Can you think of any more reasons?

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Why do people come to Pentre Bach/Llwyngwril?

Why come to Pentre Bach/Llwyngwril? When we first took over Pentre Bach Holiday Cottages, we were sure that most of our guests would be lured to our properties in the pretty village of Llwyngwril, on the southern edge of Snowdonia National Park, by the outstanding beauty of the scenery around us. Walkers and those keen on outdoor pursuits would be arriving in their droves to enjoy the countryside around Llwyngwril. Well that has been true to a certain extent but there are numerous other reasons why our guests have chosen to come and stay at Pentre Bach, some of them quite unexpected. Possibly the most bizarre purpose for a visit to this area was by a group of around 30 (mainly) men from the Netherlands, back in 2008, led by Iwan, who came to take photographs of RAF planes training in the hills above Corris. Some of them even brought along some step ladders so that they could get even higher to snap the pilots as they zoomed past!
The most popular motive for groups spending weekends in our main house is most definitely to celebrate significant birthdays or anniversaries. We’ve had parties celebrating every birthday from 21sts up to 80th! One lady, who had reached the age of 80, thought that she was coming to a little cottage for a quiet weekend with her daughter. When she arrived and sat down on the garden bench to appreciate the view over Cardigan Bay, all of a sudden heads started to pop up from the ha-ha in front of her! The whole extended family had arrived earlier to surprise her and later in the weekend a fancy dress party was enjoyed by all.
Some adults like to come and recreate nostalgic holidays spent in this area when they were young. They delight in bringing their children and grandchildren here to enjoy the pleasures of an unspoilt Welsh seaside holiday, building sandcastles, catching crabs and flying kites. We’ve had three wedding parties staying in our cottages, and actually hosted the wonderful wedding reception of Mel and Eric from Canada. Both their families came and stayed for a whole week leading up to and after the wedding, helping to organise the event and then explore the area afterwards. The ceremony was held at the top station of the Tal-y-Llyn steam railway and then Mel and Eric cycled on a tandem down to Tywyn beach for photographs. The reception was held on the lawn over the ha-ha and in a marquee, and catered magnificently by Annie Grundy.
We’ve had one or two stag parties and hen parties but I’m sure they won’t mind me saying that the participants were more ‘mature’ in age, preferring the peaceful location of Pentre Bach in the quiet village of Llwyngwril, with its solitary pub, to the hedonistic and over-indulgent type of hen/stag party that they might be treated to in Manchester, Dublin or Magaluf! The first stag party indulged in a weekend of playing poker in our sumptuous dining room and in fact the groom and several of the others from the group have since been back to Pentre Bach with their extended families. Last September we hosted a training weekend for Meirionnydd Girl Guide Leaders. Their busy weekend of meetings, planning and practical sessions was interspersed with various individuals practising playing musical instruments in the garden. We have to say that after they left, there wasn’t a single sign to show that they had ever been to stay!!! They have got to be the tidiest group ever! And we’re so pleased that they’re returning later this year! Groups of various religious tendencies have stayed at Pentre Bach. The ‘Church of Shalom’, from High Wycombe, have booked all of our cottages on two separate occasions. Robin and Chris Caine brought groups to come and stay here for a fortnight at a time. They were all delightful people and all enjoyed every day to the full, culminating in group barbeques, cooked by Robin each evening. We’re looking forward to welcoming them back in 2015. Every August in Tywyn, the event ‘Race the Train’ occurs and we’ve had both large groups and individual families who have chosen to lodge at Pentre Bach whilst taking part in this annual event. Mike has even helped out as a marshall to ‘do his bit’! Maybe I’ll take part in the race one of these days……
Other outdoor enthusiasts have been those who enjoy mountain biking (great trails at nearby Coed y Brenin , where there’s also a Go Ape course!) , bird-watching (at ,amongst other places, Ynys-hir, made famous by the BBC’s Springwatch), fishing , both at sea and at the picturesque Cregennan Lakes, surfing at Tywyn or golfing at Aberdyfi, Harlech or even the par 3 course at Fairbourne. Many groups do enjoy walking and instead of joining the hordes ascending Snowdon every weekend, they opt for the relative tranquillity of climbing Cader Idris, which is practically on our doorstep, and the effort of the ascent is rewarded by spectacular views from the summit. We’re ideally situated right on the new Wales Coastal Path and only last week we had a couple staying in Y Popty, who spent two days walking along two different sections of the path, using the Cambrian railway either at the beginning or end of the day to return to the cottage each day. Many groups of friends, who used to go to university together, choose Pentre Bach as a venue for a reunion. Now in their 30s or 40s, they get together once a year and most now have young families so Pentre Bach House and the two adjoining cottages offer lots of space for the expanding groups, yet is intimate enough for cosy gatherings. Children of all ages enjoy playing, cricket, football, etc in our field.
This was a group of doctors dressed as farmers, with one individual dressed as a sheep, playing cricket!!! In August 2012 we had a couple who booked two weeks in Y Llaethdy to ‘get away’ from the Olympics!! In March this year, we’ve had an extended family come to stay, who’ve congregated here from all over the country, in order to scatter their parents/grandparents ashes over the summit of Cader Idris. Fortunately it was an absolutely beautiful Spring Day. What a lovely yet sad reason for coming to this area. These are just a sample of the many and varied reasons for choosing Pentre Bach and the village of Llwyngwril as a venue for a holiday or short break. Get in touch if you can think of any other unusual reasons.