Chalet 122, Trawsfynydd Holiday Village, Bronaber, North Wales Introduction Chalet 122 is part of Trawsfynydd Holiday village, at Bronaber, on the Southern fringes of the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales. The village is made up of 300 privately owned Norwegian style log cabins overlooking the magnificent Rhinog mountains to the West. We have owned our Chalet since the mid 1990's and let the property out to friends, family, and colleagues. Directions to the Chalet The Chalet is part of 'Trawsfynydd Holiday Village' located at Bronaber, on the A470 between Dolgellau and Trawsfynydd. If you are driving from the South of the UK, the easiest route is via Birmingham, the M54, and the A5 through Llangollen. From the A5 after Langollen and Corwen, take the turning signposted to Bala on to the A494. Arriving at Bala, turn right on to the A4212 towards Trawsfynydd. At the end of this road, turn left on to the A470 and proceed for just over two miles, looking out for the signpost to the holiday village on the left - being a straight, fast road, it is easy to miss this turning. For a step-by-step guide on how to get to the holiday village from your location, go to the RAC RoutePlanner website. Enter your post-code as the starting point, with LL41 4UR as the destination post-code. Once in to the holiday village, proceed past the site office and general store for 100 yards or so. At the point where this road bends to the left, take the right hand turning that goes straight ahead. Chalet 122 is on the right after a few yards. Pull close in to the Chalet as the parking space is shared with the property next door. Facilities Kitchen The well equipped kitchen has a full sized electric cooker, microwave oven, refrigerator with small freezer compartment, kettle, toaster, and cooking / cleaning utensils. There are also basic condiments provided such as tea, coffee, sugar, salt and pepper, etc., and enough utensils to cater for up to six people. Main living area The main living area of the Chalet is fully carpeted and comprises table and chairs, a double sofa-bed, storage heater, plus a colour television and video. There is also a selection of books, maps, and board games. WC and Shower room The WC and shower room has an electric shaving socket over the wash basin, and What you will need to bring with you a heated towel rail. The shower is an enclosed power-shower. Duvets, Pillows, and blankets are provided for each bed, but you will need to take your own sheets, duvet covers, Bedrooms and pillow cases. You will also need to take your own towels. There are two bedrooms in the Chalet. The main bedroom has two single beds, a wardrobe, and an electric heater. The second bedroom has a double bunkbed, a wardrobe, and an electric heater. Tariffs Rent is charged for the hire of the property itself, including electricity, and is not linked to the number of people staying. These rates are for the duration 1st January 2005 to 31st December 2005 and are irrespective of season or school holidays. Cost per night: £33 Cost per week: £200 Once we have confirmed your booking, please send us a cheque made payable to Mr P J Shaw to Kylemore, The Ridge, Cold Ash, Thatcham, Berkshire, RG18 9HX. Nearby Towns The on-site shop at Trawsfynydd Holiday Village sells basic supplies such as bread, milk, and newspapers. However, for a better range of provisions, it is necessary to head to one of the major towns in the locality such as Dolgellau, Porthmadog, or Blaenau Ffestiniog. Trawsfynydd Trawsfynydd (pronounced 'Trouse-vinn-ith' and often referred to as just 'Traws') village, some three miles north of Bronaber, is the nearest collection of shops, with a Spar, a newsagent, a cafe and a very good butcher. For basic goods and very good quality meat, Trawsfynydd is ample, but for a weekly shop, head to Dolgellau, Porthmadog, or Blaenau Ffestiniog. Porthmadog Porthmadog (pronounced 'Porth-ma-dog' or anglicised to 'Porth-Maddock') is a harbour town with its heydey in the slate mining era of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Slate was mined in the surrounding mountains and transported mostly by narrow-guage railway to Porthmadog where it was further transported by ship. Evidence of this history can be found throughout the town, not least at the terminus of the Ffestiniog Railway. Porthmadog is easily the best equipped town in the locality as far as shops are concerned. A Tescos superstore is complimented by other chain stores such as Co-op and Woolworths, and other independent stores you would expect to find in a medium size town. There is also no shortage of tourist shops selling postcards, and locally made crafts and souvenirs. A large car park next to the Co-op supermarket means that parking is usually very easy in Porthmadog. Dolgellau Dolgellau (pronounced 'Doll-geth-lie') lies to the South of Bronaber near the junction of the A470 and A494. A historic town built on the wool trade, its picturesque streets and alleyways contain mainly small independent shops dealing in arts and crafts, and other outlets catering for outdoor pursuits. There is a Somerfield and Kwiksave supermarket. Blaenau Ffestiniog Blaenau Ffestiniog (pronounced 'Bligh-nigh Fess-tinny-ogg', and often referred to as just 'Blaenau') is at the centre of the North Wales slate industry, with the biggest slate mines in the world surrounding this small town. The Ffestiniog Railway from Porthmadog terminates here, which once transported the slate away for export. As far as shops are concerned, there are Co-op and Somerfield supermarkets, a baker, and a butcher, as well as numerous craft and souvenir shops. Parking is not so easy in this town with narrow streets and small car parks. Things to do in the local area Fishing The rivers in this part of the country are mainly fast flowing and rocky. Consequently, they are the domain of mainly game fish such as Salmon, Brown Trout, and Migratory Trout. Course fishing can be found in the still waters of man made and natural lakes, while the Chalet's proximity to the coastline means that sea fishing is only a 30 minute drive away. Lake Trawsfynydd Lake Trawsfynydd is a very large body of water situated only a couple of miles North of Trawsfynydd Holiday Village on the A470. The lake is stocked with Rainbow Trout, and there are also Brown Trout, Perch and Rudd to be caught. Unlike many Trout waters, fishing method is not just confined to fly fishing. The fishing season is March to September for Brown Trout, and February to December for Rainbow Trout and course fish. Permits are available from the Newsagents in Trawsfynydd Village. http://www.trawsfynydd.com/index.php?loc=11 Mawddach River The Mawddach River begins in the mountains behind the Chalet, and is joined by tributaries such as the River Wnion, on the way to the sea at Barmouth. The river is known for it's Salmon and migratory Trout fishing, and again, fishing methods are not just confined to fly fishing, but spinning and live bait also. Day tickets are available for the waters from Selected outlets. Visit the Dolgellau Angling Association website for more information about fishing these rivers, and also Llyn Cynwch, a trout fishing lake near Dolgellau. http://www.dolgellauanglingassociation.co.uk/ Mountain biking Mountain-biking is a sport that has taken off over the last few years, no where more so than North Wales where there are hundreds of miles of forest track, ranging from the wide open fire trails, to the technically demanding 'singletrack' snaking its way through the pine forests. The Forestry Commission has taken a very proactive approach to recreation, particularly so for mountain biking, and has actively encouraged the creation of several purpose built mountain biking sights within the local area. Coed Y Brenin Situated just three miles from Trawsfynydd Holiday Village, Coed Y Brenin is the centre of mountain biking in the UK. Several purpose built circular waymarked trails have been constructed from easy short routes, to long hard routes with steep climbs and fast downhills. There is also a short but technically demanding track called the 'Red Bull Trail' with tricky rock-strewn descents and virtually impossible climbs. http://www.mbwales.com/coed_y_brenin/index. htm Gwydyr Forest Gwydyr Forest is near to Betws Y Coed, which is considered to be one of the prettiest towns in North Wales. Built in conjunction with the Forestry Commision and Marin mountain bikes, the Marin Trail is a circular waymarked trail offering the same sort of riding as the longer routes at Coed Y Brenin. For less experienced riders there is also gentler riding through the forest on fire roads. http://www.mbwales.com/gwydyr_forest/index.htm Machynlleth The trails around Machynlleth begin and end in the town, and again, are purpose built mountain biking trails for all abilities. http://www.mbwales.com/machynlleth/index.htm Snowdon The bridleways and paths to the summit of Snowdon are prone to severe erosion from the hundreds of walkers who climb this mountain. It is possible to cycle to the top of Snowdon from Llanberis, following the route of the railway. However, due to the nature of the path and its shared status, there are strict guidelines as to when you can do this; From October until the end of April, cycling is allowed, but for the rest of the year, the only time you can cycle on the Snowdon summit path is before 10am or after 5pm. http://www.eryri-npa.co.uk/recreation/cycling/restrictions.php The Mawddach Trail For gentler, flatter riding, nothing is is easier to cycle than the eight mile stretch of disused railway line from Barmouth to Dolgellau. http://www.eryri-npa.co.uk/recreation/cycling/mawddach.php Walking Trawsfynydd Holiday Village, Bronaber, is located right in the centre of the Snowdonia National Park, which offers an almost endless array of walking and hiking possibilities. From gentle riverside strolls, to hard-slog mountain climbs, Snowdonia abounds in spectacular and rugged scenery. Below is a very small selection of some of these walks, with rough maps provided as an indication to their location and route. When walking out on the hills in Snowdonia, always take detailed maps showing contour lines and landmarks - these are available in the Chalet. Alternatively, maps printed on waterproof post-cards are available to purchase from the site shop. The Gold Mine Walk, Coed Y Brenin Coed Y Brenin, just three miles south of Trawsfynydd Holiday Village, Bronaber, offers plenty of riverside and wooded walks through Scotts Pine forest. The Mountains around this part of North Wales are rich in Gold, and the precious metal continues to be mined around the area. The short walk to the old Gold Mine follows a wide track next to a fast flowing river up to spectacular waterfalls. This walk, and other walks in the Coed Y Brenin forest are waymarked by the famous 'footprint' signs. Gelerts Grave Walk, Beddgelert The Welsh placename 'Beddgelert' track bed which can be followed down to translates to 'Gelerts Grave' in English. the tunnel - now closed to walkers Legend has it that Gelerts master following the decision to rebuild the returned to his house to find his baby son railway from Porthmadog through to missing, and his dog Gelert with blood caenarfon. around his mouth. Gelerts master immediately jumped to the conclusion that the dog had eaten the baby, and so in a fit of rage, thrust his sword through Gelert. As Gelert lay dying, the sound of the baby could be heard hidden away from view, with the body of a slain wolf by its side. Gelert had killed the wolf to protect the baby. This short, flat walk takes in amazing views of the surrounding countryside and the Aberglaslyn pass, together with the Shrine that Gelerts master supposedly built for his faithful dog. The walk also crosses the old Welsh Highland Railway The Precipice Walk and the New Precipice Walk, near Dolgellau The word 'precipice' conjours up images of traversing dangerous steep mountains. However, the Precipice Walk and the New Precipice Walk could not be further from the truth. The original Precipice Walk follows the contour around a steep mountainside, at a constant height above sea level, meaning that it is a flat and very easy walk. High up in the hills above the Mawddach Estuary, the views of the river and valleys are stunning. The New Precipice Walk is similarly flat albeit from the climb up to the Walk which follows the route of an old tram track for some of the way. Various tracks to Snowdon summit There are six main tracks up to the summit of Snowdon - Watkins Path, Miners Track, Pyg Track, Snowdon Ranger, Rhyd Ddu path, and the Llanberis Path. The easiest climb to the top is on the Llanberis Path which follows the route of the Snowdon Railway. One of the hardest is said to be the Pyg Track. Whichever one you choose, it's a hard slog to the top, and the way down isn't always as easy as the way up. Cnicht circular walk, Croesor Cnicht is a distinctively shaped mountain, pointed at the top, and often mistaken for Snowdon, being similar in appearance. In reality, Cnicht is a much smaller mountain than Snowdon, but the views from the top are equally as spectacular. This walk is a circular walk taking in the peak of Cnicht first, and returning through circumnavigating the deep valley below. Walk from the Chalet to Craig Y Penmaen Being high up in the hills in the heart of Snowdonia, there are walks that you can do straight from the Chalet. This walk goes up a steep hill behind the Rhiw Goch pub, and joins a path across sheep farming country to a rocky outcrop called Craig Y Penmaen, with views over the holiday village and the valley beyond. There are also remnants of an old gold mine, long since abandoned. Various tracks to the summit of Cader Idris Cader Idris is not as well known as Snowdon, but the various walks up to the summit of this mountain are no less challenging. There are three main paths to the top, the Minffordd Path, the Ty Nant Path, and the Llanfihangel Y Pennant Path. The easiest path is the Llanfihangel Y Pennant route, but it is also the longest. The Minffordd path is the shortest route, but also the steepest, while the Ty Nant route is said to have the best views. Whichever path you choose to the summit of Cader Idris, be sure that it is no less a demanding mountain to climb than Snowdon. Other outdoor activities within the local area The mountains, rivers, and valleys present create a host of other opportunities for enjoying the fresh air of the Snowdonia countryside. Below is an example of other activities on offer. White water rafting Canolfan Tryweryn National Whitewater Centre claim to be the UK's largest and most well respected white water rafting centre. Situated beneath a dam near Bala, the centre has the benefit of knowing that there is a constant supply of river rapids. Pony Trekking There are a few Pony Trekking outfits in North Wales. Abergwynant Farm is one example that offers pony trekking for all abilities, and is situated close by, just near to Dolgellau. Rock Climbing The rock faces and mountains around Snowdonia are ideal playgrounds for experienced climbers - a popular climbing location is the rock face on the Tremadog to Beddgelert road. There is also a popular indoor climbing centre at Llanberis called Beacon Climbing Centre. Going to the beach Not so much an option in the winter, but in the summer the beaches can be absolutely beautiful. Black Rock Sands near Porthmadog is a giant beach stretching for miles and miles and has the added bonus of doubling up as a car park, ie you can drive on to the beach, pick your spot and park there! Barmouth, a bit further down the coast, is more of a traditional seaside town with a seasonal fun fair and good beach. Tourist attractions within easy reach of Bronaber Portmeirion Italianate Village Made famous by the BBC television series 'The Prisoner', Portmeirion village is built on a peninsular near to Porthmadog. The land was acquired by a noted architect, William Clough Ellis, who set out to create a village of exceptional beauty that blended in perfectly with its surroundings of mountains and sandy beaches. http://www.portmeirion-village.com/en/index.php Castles Wales is steeped in History, and its ongoing wars through the ages with various countries (mainly England) has resulted in a number of castles and fortifications built throughout North Wales. Caernarfon, Criccieth, and Harlech are some of the finest examples of these castles. They have withstood the elements for hundreds of years and are all open to the public. Ffestiniog Railway The Ffestiniog Railway snakes its way from the harbour at Porthmadog through spectacular scenery to the slate mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. High quality slate has been mined since the 18th century, and until the early 20th century was transported by rail to Porthmadog. Left to decline and then closed completely in the 1940's, a group of enthusiasts worked to rebuild the railway. Part of the project involved having to circumnavigate a new dam, built as part of a Hydro-electric scheme. But by the mid 80's the railway was reopened along its full original length to Blaenau Ffestiniog. It is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in North Wales. http://www.festrail.co.uk/ Llechwedd Slate Caverns Slate is still mined around Blaenau Ffestiniog, although not on the same scale as it once was, and of course by using much more efficient methods. The old mines of Llechwedd and Gloddfa Ganol have been turned in to tourist attractions with guided tours of the caverns and mining tunnels that was once home to a workforce numbered in their thousands. The overall experienced is fascinating. http://www.llechwedd-slate-caverns.co.uk/ Sygun Copper Mine Another tourist attraction built from the rubble of yesterdays industry, Sygun Copper Mine is an example of 19th century copper mining in North Wales. There are guided tours of the old mine shafts and tunnels, as well as the industrial workings outside of the mine. It is open all year round and located near to Beddgelert. http://www.syguncoppermine.co.uk/ Snowdon Railway Snowdon is the highest mountain of any peaks in Wales and England. You can get up there the hard way, or you can relax in the comfort of an enclosed railway carriage on the ambitious Llanberis to Snowdon summit 'rack and pinion' railway. http://www.snowdonrailway.co.uk/ Welsh Highland Railway The Welsh Highland Railway originally stretched from Porthmadog through the Aberglaslyn Pass and Beddgelert, all the way to Caernarfon. The closure of the railway in the 1920's saw the track bed fall in to disrepair, but efforts are now being made to rebuild the railway, and at both ends there has been progress. The Welsh Highland Railway from the Caernarfon end now stretches all the way up to Rhyd ddu, within a few miles of Beddgelert. From the Porthmadog side, the Welsh Highland Railway stretches only a few miles, but eventually, the two will meet, forming the longest narrow gauge railway in Britain at almost 40 miles in length. Dining out in the local area The Grapes Hotel, Maentwrog Probably the best pub in the local area, http://www.hgt.gwynedd.gov.uk/TheGrapesHot the Grapes Hotel is a 17th century elMaentwrog/Default.htm Coaching Inn, although an ancient cellar is known to date back to the 13th century. The pub and restaurant are reliably excellent, with good beers and quality food, with a friendly atmosphere. In addition to this, they are family friendly, and have a seperate kids menu. The Grapes is located a 10-minute drive away, mid way between Bronaber and Porthmadog. The Rhiw Goch, Bronaber The Rhiw Goch is a 10 minute stroll up the hill from Chalet 122, and overlooks the holiday village, with views across to the Rhinog Mountains. Another pub with origins stretching back for hundreds of years, decent meals are served in the restaurant section, accompanied by a selection of good beers. Reflecting the family orientated customer base of the holiday village, the Rhiw Goch is a child friendly pub, with a large pub garden and a games room. http://www.logcabins- skiwales.co.uk/rhiwgoch.htm The Tyn Y Groes Hotel, Ganllwyd The Tyn-y-Groes hotel is a 16th century coaching inn situated at Ganllwyd on the A470 between Bronaber and Dolgellau, a 5-minute drive away from the holiday village. The usual standard of pub food is on offer, with a wide variety of beers. http://www.tynygroes.co.uk/ Frequently asked questions Does Chalet 122 have a fixed telephone line? What is mobile telephone reception like? Is there a pay phone nearby? Chalet 122 does not have a fixed telephone line. However, vodafone and Orange reception is very good at Trawsfynydd Holiday Park. A pay phone can be found next to the site office, 2 minutes walk away. Are there additional costs for electricity or other amenities? No - the costs for electricity (including heating) are factored in to the daily and weekly charge rates. Does Chalet 122 have a washing machine? No - but there are washing machines and tumble dryers next to the site office, which is a two minute walk away. Is there still a dry ski slope just above the holiday village? No - the dry ski slope that was built next to the Rhiw Goch pub has closed down due to falling attendance and rising insurance premiums. The site has now been re-landscaped, and the reception area is being turned in to a bunk-house.