We mention here just a few of the many items of interest available in this lovely area of North Wales.
There’s plenty of gentle walking from the end of the drive, or you might choose to conquer Snowdon (the Rhyd Ddu path is 20 minutes away by car) or roam the Rhinogs, a wild and remote range of mountains just to the south, where you can walk all day without seeing another person. There are also unbroken stretches of beach to stride along; clean, exhilarating and never busy.
The National Cycle Route passes close behind Tremeifion, on its way south from the Menai Staits to Machynlleth, through the Coed-y-Brenin Forest, with its well-known Forestry Commission mountain-biking centre (bikes can be hired here). More challenging mountain-bike routes can be found in the southern reaches of the Rhinogs, just above Barmouth and the Mawddach Estuary. www.forestry.gov.uk
Talsarnau Station, on the Cambrian Line, is a 10-minute walk from the house and we are happy to collect you from the station if you want to travel by train. Three small railways weave their way through spectacular scenery to converge on Porthmadog. The Welsh Highland Railway now runs almost all the way down from Caernarfon – the last short section into Porthmadog will be ready quite soon. The Cambrian Line hugs the coast from Machynlleth to Pwllheli and is particularly beautiful looking west as the sun sets. The Ffestiniog Railway climbs from Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog, which boasts Europe’s largest slate-mine, open to visitors. A fourth line, The Snowdon Mountain Railway, will take you up to the brand-new visitor centre now open on the summit of Snowdon, and leaves from Llanberis.
HISTORY AND CULTURE
Edward I built his ring of awesome 13th-century castles here: Harlech, Caernarfon and Beaumaris are all World Heritage Sites and within easy reach. Castles built by the old Welsh princes to defend their homeland include Criccieth and Dolwyddelan. www.cadw.wales.gov.uk
Other attractions include the 5th-century St Tanwg’s church on the beach, the Lloyd George Museum at Llanystumdwy, and Theatr Harlech, which has a full programme of films, plays, concerts and recitals. There are craft centres, woollen mills, potteries and art galleries throughout the area. www.museumwales.ac.uk
For guests with an interest in industrial history, there are slate and copper mines, quarries and workshops, or you might tour Electric Mountain, to see how hydro-electricity is generated.
The Glaslyn Osprey Project watches over our local breeding pair of ospreys, which have been nesting here since 2004, and there’s a camera on the nest so you can check the progress of eggs and chicks. Red kites and buzzards can sometimes be seen from the conservatory windows, and there is a rich variety of birdlife throughout the area. www.rspb.org.uk
Four miles away at Harlech is the famous world-class Royal St David’s Golf Club where guests can claim a 10% discount on green fees. Porthmadog has a golf club and a golf driving range.
This wonderful village was the setting for the cult TV series, ‘The Prisoner’, and was designed and built by architect Clough Williams-Ellis, to demonstrate that it is perfectly possible to develop a beautiful landscape without spoiling it. Portmeirion is directly across the estuary from Tremeifion and forms part of our very special panorama.
Miles of safe, sandy beaches, and little sheltered coves with rockpools and caves, make North Wales a lovely place for small children. There are mountains and woods to explore, castles, activity centres of various sorts and, of course, Cadwalader’s ice-cream cafés. www.kingarthurslabyrinth.com
Besides Portmeirion, you can visit Plas Brondanw, the home of the Williams-Ellis family, to see a little-visited but very special garden. The National Trust property at Bodnant also boasts a spectacular garden.
This part of North Wales remains largely unspoilt, with a wealth of wildlife, and a burgeoning of wild plants and flowers that have disappeared from many other places. Just down the coast is the Centre for Alternative Energy at Machynlleth, educative and thought-provoking.