Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Top Tips to keep your Holiday Cottages Owners happy!

We have lots of lovely guests who come to stay in our properties and enjoy the facilities and the local area. Many return time and time again.
However there are a few guests who could do with a few tips on how to keep us happy.

1. If you really do have to cut your toe nails while on holiday , then please make sure that you put the clippings in the bin!

2. We really like welcoming families to Pentre Bach and provide cots and high chairs for families accompanied by babies and tots but please clean up the goo that some little darlings tend to smear into all the crevices and surfaces of the high chairs. Also please bag up pooey nappies and put them straight out into an outside bin. If left in the bins in the bedrooms or toilets, the smell does tend to linger long after you've departed Pentre Bach!

3. Please do not turn up before 3pm on arrival day unless you're prepared to grab a mop and join in with cleaning from the previous guests. You're always welcome to park your cars and have a wander round the village.

4. Please leave by 10am on departure day unless you've agreed a later time with us. We love to hear all about all the exciting things you've got up to and all the wonderful places you've visited but during our busy periods we only have a few hours in which to turn all three properties around so every second counts!

5. If the central heating is on and you find its getting too hot, please don't open all the windows and doors to let the heat out. Our poor boilers will just keep working twice as hard to provide more heat that goes straight out the windows! Either turn the thermostats down or ask us to alter the settings.

6. Please don't bother making all the beds up nicely, with throws, cushions, etc., before you leave. We won't be leaving them like that for the next guests!

7. Recycling! Our council only collect non-recyclable rubbish every three weeks so please do your best to recycle as much rubbish as possible. Our green bins are the receptacles for non-recyclable rubbish and only rubbish that can't be recycled should go in these bins. There are blue boxes provided for everything that can be recycled, apart from food. If its food waste then just put it on one of our compost heaps. If you have any unopened food or packaged food that you can't take away with you then PLEASE DON'T THROW IT AWAY! We can always find a home for it, even if its just in our dog!

8. If you order a grocery delivery from Asda,then please make sure that you book a time when you know you'll definitely be here. We had one huge £300's worth of groceries that arrived half an hour before our guests and before we'd finished cleaning!

9. If you find a problem or something is not working then come and tell us and we'll do our best to resolve the problem - as long as its not midnight! Don't leave it until you're leaving to tell us.

10. Dogs - if you bring a dog then please don't allow it upstairs in the bedrooms. Dog hairs on the valances are as bad as toe nail clippings on the carpet!

But above all - do have a lovely time!!!

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Nellie's Great Adventure!

Well I've had a great summer. Every day, sometimes twice a day Big Mike or Big Wilma has taken me down to the beach to chase stones. They throw them into the stream and I run into the water after them time and time again to catch them and bring them back. The trouble is...... when they land in the water I can never find them! One of these days I'll find one. I just keep on trying!
I love getting wet - cold and wet, and then I love having a good shake when I come out of the water.

I've got loads of room here at Pentre Bach to run around chasing swallows and seagulls and sparrows and robins and crows and bluetits and anything that flies really. But when big people come to stay in the cottages with dogs then I have to be good and have my lead on. We can't have dogs running loose all over the place , can we?

A few weeks ago BM and BW got this big long green thing out of the barn and put it in the car. It was so big it stuck out of the back so I had to sit in the front with BW. When we got near the beach , we all got out and pulled the big green thing out of the car. Then they put me in this bright orange coat thing with straps and a handle on top. We all went down to the beach and BM and BW put the big green thing in the water. BW got in and sat down then BM lifted me in and tried to get in himself but somehow we didn't do something right and it tipped up and we all ended up in the water!!! Great fun!
We tried again and set off out to sea with BW sticking a long black stick in the water every so often and BM trying to do the same but I think I probably got in the way a bit. Every time I saw a seagull I wanted to jump in and go after it but BM wouldn't let me.  After a while I did jump in but the water was really really deep and we were really really really far away from the shore and I have to admit I got a bit scared and wanted to get back in the green thing. Good old BM got hold of my handle and pulled me in. I may have done it again - I can't quite remember. I did get out again when we got back  near the shore and swam back. I showed them!! I can't wait till we go again!!

Last week my mate Mizzle came to stay again. We had a great time chasing each other and snuggling up in bed together. She does snore at lot though so I'm glad she's gone back home so I can get a good night's sleep.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Racing trains, worm charming and promising artists!

Well we're halfway through the summer holidays here in West Wales and so far we've been blessed with good weather. Will it hold out for the rest of August? Fingers crossed.
So .... for any lucky holidaymakers who've opted for a traditional seaside holiday here in north-west Wales, you're in for a treat.
This weekend Tywyn host the popular annual Race the Train running event. (Saturday August 15th) You're too late to enter any of the four challenges this year but you can still go and cheer the runners on.

Also this weekend Aberdyfi will be hosting Aberdyfi Festival of Food and Drink on The Wharf , starting at 10.30am on Saturday the 15th of August.The town will be celebrating all things Food and Drink!  
On the 22nd of August, why not come along to an afternoon of fun in the grounds of the former primary school in Llwyngwril. There's a free hog roast, entertainment from The Boggy Mountain Boys, a Worm Charming Competition, Fancy Dress Competition, free face painting and much more. While you're there, come and look at the plans for a community cooperative in the old school.
And ........ that evening why not come along to an evening of music with performances by local artists , in y Ganolfan starting at 7pm. Always a great evening's entertainment.
Another evening not to be missed is a live streaming of Othello at the Magic Lantern Tywyn, on the 26th August at 7pm.

Then ..........over the weekend of the 28th/29th/30th is the event of the year!!!!! Llwyngwril Art Group Exhibition!!! Come along and view our hard work over the last year. Refreshments will be on sale and you can even have an opportunity to buy a unique and original piece of Art work at very reasonable prices! There are some promising 'young' artists' work on show at this exhibition. Don't miss it!

And of course there is the ongoing Llwyngwril Yarn Bombing project throughout the village. New and exciting pieces are being added almost daily. Its well worth a trip to the village just to see this!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Weird ,wonderful and woolly!

If you come to visit Pentre Bach this summer, and wander round the village, you're in for a treat.
The ladies of the village have been very busy with their knitting and crotchet needles to produce the most amazing woolly creations. If you just pass through the village by car you may well spot lots of colourful bunting, a woolly milk churn, huge withy and woolly fish on the playground fence, psychedelic bicycle and most striking of all .........Gwril peeping over the edge of the bridge. There have been one or two near misses over the past few weeks as people are suddenly confronted by this huge ogre's head just as they're negotiating the narrow bridge! Do take care!

But there's lots more to see. Just take a stroll down to the beach from Ffordd y Felin (Mill Road) and you'll spot knitted crabs, star fish, a mole emerging from its hole, birds in nests , jellyfish , a life sized mermaid and even a baby in a pram!

If you turn north along the beach (towards Fairbourne) and then come back up into the village via the Quaker Cemetery then you'll come across spiders, ladybirds, colourful benches and believe it or not  ..... a knitted beach hut!!

But what's it all about?
Well the committee of Y Ganolfan (the village hall) have come up with the idea to attract visitors, engage the local community in a project and raise some money to help with the upkeep of the hall. Donations can be made in the village shop and at coffee mornings on Wednesdays in Y Ganolfan.

If you've got a pair of knitting needles , some spare wool and some minutes to fill, why not add a few woolly wonders yourself?

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Bank Holiday Fun in Llwyngwril

There are some strange goings on in Llwyngwril at the moment. Fishing nets with star fish and crabs draped in bushes, cuddly looking snakes curled around trees, parrots and tiny woolly birds nesting where they don't normally nest, and miles of multicoloured bunting strewn along above  the lanes and streets of the village!!!!
For weeks now many women (and the odd- very odd men!) have been clicking away with their knitting needles in the Llwyngwril Yarn Bombing Project. Their carefull created results are gradually being ' installed ' (as contemporary artists like to say) and before long the whole village will be festooned by these woolly creations.
It might take a bit longer but look out for some down Pentre Bach drive soon!

Also worth a visit this weekend is the photographic exhibition in the Ganolfan. This is a visual history of the village and its residents so if you're interested in what the village used to look like then don't miss it! There are light refreshments available and the exhibition will be open until Wednesday the 27th.

More fun on Monday! The Duck Race starts from the red bridge at 11am. You can still buy a duck on the day if you get there early.

Have fun and keep watching for those woolly additions to the village as the summer progresses!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Four more Lovely walks from Llwyngwril (in southern Snowdonia)

In the last seven years we've been on countless walks and since acquiring Nellie , our energetic Springer Spaniel, our rambles have become longer and more frequent. In order to prevent ourselves from becoming a bit bored with the endless trips down to the beach and back (although the view does change constantly and the beach looks different every day, depending on the time of day, tides and weather), we've tried to vary the routes that you can take from Pentre Bach www.pentrebach.com , or from just a short drive away.

Quaker Walk
One favourite walk of ours is to set off from Pentre Bach, up our drive, turn left and go towards the Garthangharad pub but turn right in front of the pub and go up College Road, passing some lovely stone cottages, including one with a window full of cats!
Continue up this road, going through a metal gate across the road, just as the houses finish, and carry on between stone walls which become perilously high in places but still allow you some stunning views over Llwyngwril and beyond to Barmouth in the north and the Lleyn Peninsula to the west. The views are even more spectacular when the sun is setting over Cardigan Bay.

Continue upwards until you reach OS ref 5976100 or when you spot an old track turning left off the main track, heading back down towards the village. This old track is particularly pleasant as its winds down between ancient trees. As you approach the edge of the village the track bears sharply right and you pass through another gate going past Llwyn Du on the left, which was owned by the Humphrey Family and was visited by George Fox who brought Quakerism to Wales in the 1600s. He visited Llwyn Du in 1667 and the Humphrey Family became faithful converts.
Continue on towards the main road. You won't have to wait long to cross, as three cars going through the village constitutes a traffic jam! Go straight over and down the track towards the village, passing the Quaker Cemetery on your right (the land was given by the Humphrey Family mentioned earlier). It's worth a detour to have a look at some of the very old gravestones in the cemetery.

After the cemetery the track takes a sharp right hand turn and here you have to take care crossing the railway line (at an official crossing point) but the trains only pass by infrequently. Take the little path down towards the beach , perhaps pausing to sit on the thoughtfully positioned bench above the beach, before carrying on along the top of the shingles in a southerly (left!) direction. You can walk for about 200 metres until you come to another path just before the stream and the start of the small caravan site. This path follows the route of the river Gwril back up towards the village , over the railway again until you come to a junction by the red brick bridge. Take your pick of the three routes here. All will eventually lead you back to Pentre Bach. The middle one, straight on, will take you past some of the oldest cottages in the village. We tend to use the right hand path over the red bridge , then immediately left along a muddy path and onto Station Road where you take a left back up past the public toilets, to where the road comes out opposite Riverside Stores. Nip in for an ice cream then back down our drive to Pentre Bach. This route is less than 2 miles long and can be done in about an hour.

This walk can be extended by looking for a path that goes straight up/rightish behind a cottage on the right shortly after the cat cottage on College Road.  Continue on upwards until you come to Rhiw Corniau then turn northwards  and down wards until you reach the main track again. You can either turn right here and carry on until you reach Cefnfeusydd Farm where you turn left , following the narrow winding road down to St Georges and then on down to the main road going through the village. Or when you reach the track below Rhiw Corniau, you can turn left and go down the track at the grid ref above.


Drive the short distance (about 2 miles) to Fairbourne and follow the main road through the village to Fairbourne Golf Club where you can park in the car park for a small fee (in an honesty box). Cross the road and the narrow gauge railway and climb over the wall onto the beach. At low tide the beach is wide and long and a great place to walk your dog. There are designated areas for dogs so if you want to avoid dogs then go to the other end!
We usually head north towards Barmouth and carry on right round Penrhyn Point to the edge of the Mawddach Estuary. Here you are afforded fantastic views over to Barmouth Harbour, Barmouth Bridge, the estuary and Cader Idris beyond. You could always take the little passenger ferry over to Barmouth for a mooch around the shops, a swift pint in the Last Inn or coffee in one of the many harbourside cafes, or just carry on around the point to return to the car park across the marshlands inland from the beach. Another alternative would be to catch the little train at the station at the end of Penrhyn Point back to the Golf Club.This walk is about a mile and a half and can take up to an hour (without any detours to Barmouth of course!)
You could always have a game of Par 3 golf while you're there. You can hire golf clubs from the clubhouse. The course is set amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in Wales.

Drive in a southerly direction to Rhoslefain then turn right and follow the road to a layby opposite Tonfanau station. You can park there for free. Its worth a detour over the railway to spot an interesting bat box on the side of the house by the station then explore the old army camp where soldiers trained during WWII. Back at the layby , walk in a southernly direction along the road (very few cars go beyond Tonfanau) until you come to the new bridge which was built to accommodate the Wales Coastal Path) . Cross the bridge then immediately look for a stile and  path going off to the left. Follow the path along the edge of Broad Water. If you've brought your binoculars then you'll be able to do a bit of twitching around here. Carry on until you reach Ynyysmaengwyn where you take a sharp right turn and turn back towards the coast along a long straight track. As you get near to the road again you can choose to go left or right again but will eventually return to the road. Turn right and retrace your steps back to Tonfanau.

WWII Memorial Walk

This is our Remembrance Day walk.
Drive to Arthog, looking out for a steep road going off to the right , immediately after a row of terraced cottages on the right. Follow this road through at least two gates until you reach a T junction. Park in a small layby opposite the road you've driven up. Go straight on through a gate, heading upwards, then after about 2-300 metres the track turns right. Keep going along here for about half a mile until the path starts to veer away from the wall. Try to spot a path that keeps to the wall OS ref 64313 and then you'll come to a plaque set into the wall where a US plane carrying about 20 US airmen crashed as they were returning to the US just after the end of WWII. Its a beautiful but very sad spot. After spending a few minutes thinking about these poor souls then return to the main track and either retrace your steps back to the car or turn right and carry on until you pass through part of a forest until you reach a junction of paths. If you're lucky the little farm café (basically a shed) might be open for business.  Turn right along the road here and follow this road for about a mile until you return to your car. There are spectacular views down towards Barmouth most of the way on this route.  Allow up to 2 hours for the whole walk.

If you want to venture a little further away then we can recommend two good walks we discovered by watching Derek Brockway, the weatherman on BBC Wales, on his programme, 'Weatherman Walking'. If you click on the link www.bbc.co.uk/wales/nature/sites/walking and put in our postcode LL37 2JU into the search box then you should be directed to a number of walks including one starting off from Abergynolwyn and another from Aberdyfi. You can download maps and detailed routes that are easy to follow.

And finally........ if you haven't already read it , then there are 7 more walks detailed in our blog 'Lots of Lovely Walks around Llwyngwril' from May 2012. Sehttp://pentrebach.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/panorma-walk-and-lot-more.htmle also

Sunday, 12 April 2015

What adventures can we get up to in Snowdonia?

We've just had a mini heatwave here in southern Snowdonia so some of our guests have been making good use of our field, playing football, rounders and generally lazing around outside in the sunshine, while families have been venturing to the local beaches, building sandcastles and catching crabs off Aberdyfi pier.
So...... our thoughts turn to summer holidays and what to do around north west Wales whether the weather is hot and sunny or not.
For the more adventurous holidaymaker you're lost for choice this year.
In nearby Aberdyfi is a company called Coastriders,  www.coastriders.co.uk which runs courses in kitesurfing, kite buggies, land buggying, paddleboarding and more.

Just up the road in Coed y Brenin you can experience the adrenalin rush of hurtling downhill on a mountain bike on trails of varying difficulty, or negotiate the high tree top obstacle course at Go Ape. For the not so adventurous there's an excellent café, visitor's centre and children's playground, or you can volunteer to be the official photographer for the rest of your party!

If you prefer to get a little bit wet then why not try white-water rafting just outside Bala, where there are grade 2-3 rapids (with one grade 4 rapid) on the Lower river and grade 3+/4 rapids on the Upper river. www.balawatersports.com

Blaenau Ffestiniog is a mere 40 minute drive away , where you can find the brand new Bounce Below , www.bouncebelow.net , which is the world's first subterranean playground and also Zip World, www.zipworld.co.uk which has the longest zip wire in the northern hemisphere. Many of our guests have experienced both of these and loved them!
There are also more downhill mountain bike trails at nearby Antur Stiniog.

If that's not enough for you and want to try something new then in the summer of 2015 Surf Snowdonia , www.surfsnowdonia.co.uk will open at Dolgarrog in the Conwy Valley. This will be the only artificial surfing facility in the UK and newcomers to the sport will be able to have tuition in a controlled environment from qualified surfing teachers, while experienced surfers will be able to surf all year round, with guaranteed surf.
Of course you can always go surfing for free off many beaches around our coastline including, Aberdyfi, Tywyn and Black Rock Sands.

 All sounds too much effort? Then just relax on Pentre Bach's (www.pentrebach.com ) patio with a large glass of red and watch out for dolphins passing by out in the bay ;0)

Sunday, 29 March 2015

A few words from Nellie

Well I'm a big dog now (although some would call me a big bitch) and I love living here at the seaside.
A few weeks ago Big Mike and Big Wilma went off somewhere and left me with Big Sue, Big Brian and my quite big cousin Mizzle. It was great. They fed me, took me out for walks by the river and even let me go UPSTAIRS!
When BM and BW came back then Mizzle came to stay with me for a while. I loved chasing her round and round the field and nipping at her ears. Oh what fun we had. Mizzle's getting on a bit though so occasionally we left her for a rest in her bed when we went out for walks. Mizzle brought her big bed with her but we liked nothing better than snuggling up to each other in my little bed. Mizzle loves a good swim in the sea, lake, stream , pond or river. I'm not so keen on the cold water but sometimes you just have to go with the flow! She's gone back to BS and BB now so I've got the place to myself again.
BM thinks he's got me trained. Ha ha! I sit when he says 'Sit' - sometimes, and stay when he says 'Stay' - sometimes - well whenever
he's got treats in his pocket. But if there's a seagull or squirrel to chase then suddenly I can't hear a thing. It's very strange.
My favourite things to do are racing round on a long sandy beach and pulling socks and knickers (or any old bits of cloth really) off the clothes horse and chewing them to bits.
I also like to help out a bit with the gardening. I can dig really well and I help to carry the watering can around. However its got lots of holes in the bottom now. No idea how that happened.
It's a dog's life......