Hello and welcome to the North Wales blogs! We're happy to have you, grab a cuppa and a jammy dodger and we'll tell you all about it. We were sent on a mission to find some of the best things to do in North Wales, so our itinerary was jam-packed! We had a crazy amount of activities planned and only 6 days to do it in!
Portmeirion is a wonderful little village situated in Gwynedd - it's lush, you won't believe what you see when you get there! It just isn't like anything else in Wales! We actually arrived the night before the big mission so we got settled in. We stayed at the Portmeirion Village hotel and after checking in at the Castle, yes, you heard me right, CASTLE, we headed towards our room in a golf buggy. We were staying in the Neptune Suite and had our own living room and kitchen, we felt like true kings! We got settled in, Craig drank nearly all of the complimentary sherry -what a nan, I used the complimentary slippers, because you have to and we got to bed nice and early ready for some madness the next day.
When morning came it looked like a magical italian/spanish village! There was houses of all colours with cute little village streets and shops all decorated with pretty Christmas lights and trees. It felt like we were either abroad or on the set of The Game Of Thrones - winning either way! We had our mate take us down to breakfast which was the poshest thing ever. We had a little waiter, bless his soul, brought us toast and coffee and we got some pomegranate shots to start the day!
We were right next to the sea too (which we never knew when we arrived because it was dark) which was a lovely surprise! We got up early and shot a sunrise video which looked like something from Africa - no jokes. BEAUTIFUL!
Our first stop was Llechwedd SLate Caverns. On this tour we got to go deep down underground to listen and learn about the fascinating stories and experiences of the people that worked down in the mines, providing slate for roofs all over Wales.
We learnt that kids would work down the mines from just 8 years old, not getting paid until they were 19. Also a family of four would be paid just 12 pence a day!!
We were welcomed by a wonderful welshman called Shaun. We got our classy blue gladrags on and got into a small-ish rollercoaster-type cage to be lowered into the caves - it was madness but we were excited! The slate caves were absolutely huge and very cold. It had wonderful lighting down there to compliment the whole atmosphere! It really is something you have to experience!
We were really surprised when real people were projected onto a wall, it really brought the caves to life and the stories they told were fascinating! A real interesting activity to take part in. It insane how people used to work down there! No lights, no electricity, explosives, it was very dangerous!
To top the tour off, Shane carved us some slate taken from inside the mine for us to take home! It doesn't seem like much, but when you have actually seen where it's come from its a real honour to take it home!
After some brilliant Welsh lunch we headed over to the Zip Caverns just across from the Mines. We got our kit on and they questioned my glitter slip on shoes, which i was not parting with. (I know I should have dressed more appropriately, pipe down) We headed in with our lovely instructor, so lovely, i've forgotten her name. We did some little runs and practises - I had my usual freakout at the top but after one it was all good!
The main cave was INSANE! Splashed with even more neon coloured lights it was just amazing to look at, never mind zip line through! It's so vast and you seem so small trying to walk around the walls with tiny steps and chains to walk over! Zip lining was brilliant! They went higher and got gradually faster obviously we left as pure champions deliberating on which one of us was going to enter the zip wire olympics in 2018 - just marvellous!
Oh my god, Gelert's grave - I could have cried, in fact I nearly did. Bless his soul! If you don't know the story, it's a very sad one. If you've seen the video we did, you'll know were the worst when it comes to Welsh History and Gelert lives in Beddgelert (it's his home town not his sister.. long story).
Anyway! This is an old legend of Wales.. Gelert was a beautiful loyal and trustworthy dog that belonged to Prince Llewellyn. The Prince went off hunting without Gelert one day and came home to a blood drenched room with his baby son missing. Gelert had blood all over him, so the Prince assumed he had killed his baby son. He raised his sword and pushed it into the side of Gelert.. (this next bit we read off his grave and i was like seconds from crying) the dogs dying yell was answered by a child's cry.. Llewellyn found his baby boy alive and well and just next to him was the body of a wolf that had been slaughtered. you crying yeh? me too.. SOO.. Gelert had not only protected the baby but killed the wolf too.. and he died un-mistakingly! Absolutely heartbreaking!!
So Gelert, the little absolute babe, has a grave you can go and see with a life size statue of him to get a little selfie with.
We were excited to get to the activity park because we were booked in for some Segwaying! (is that a word?) Now, my middle name is clumsy so I wasn't sure how this would go after all to Segway, you need at least 2% balance.
We met our wonderful instructor Rob, who really was a diamond, we had such a laugh! Got into our camo gear and set off. Rob set challenges for us around the whole park and we went head to head - which Craig loved because 'he's not competitive at all'. Anyway, I fell off. It was inevitable. It was the pressure man! I'm not even fast at walking never mind directing a machine! It was brilliant fun and the end score was a miserable 5-1.. to Craig the great.
Caernarfon Castle was bloomin mental mate. What I want to know is, why don't people really live in castles anymore? Back in the day (dont ask me when) loads of people owned castles and there would be massive fights to defend them! Now it seems no one is bothered about them!
If you have no idea about Caernarfon Castle, not to worry, as soon as you go in you take a seat in one of the room showing a cinema type short film on the history of the castle.
The size of it is pretty impressive! How amazing is it to have a castle right in the middle of your town?!
So we had a little explore and talked about how DIY SOS would have a field day in there. Prince Charles owns it now, so it's up to him to get it touch with them.
After a wonderful long day exploring Gwynedd we crashing into our bed at The Black Boy Inn.
So the story goes.. little 'black boy' was a pet name given to baby Charles, the heir to the throne by his mother, because his skin was of a 'swarthy complexion'. There are other stories but I like this one best.
This little gem doesn't seem that big from the outside, but our room was HUGE! When we arrived we were hank marvin, so headed down to their restaurant for dinner. It was so cosy and cute, we sat right by the fire and the food was the boomting! After we opted for a late night stroll around Caernarfon town and took some night photos of the castle all lit up, it was lovely! North wales is literally the nicest place ever, it reminds me of like, an old grandma, in a good way!! When you think about her your smile and she's old (in history and stories and charm) and so lovely. The place is just gorgeous to walk around. Someone thought really long and hard before building Caernarfon.
But there is nothing better to end the day than jumping into a massive double bed with fresh white sheets! NIGHT THEN!
To watch what we got up to on our 2 days frolicking in Gwynedd, click the videos below:
Our next mission, is ANGLESEY!