Page 1

MAy 2018



n i W ay

fd l o g A four for

Bank Holiday Entertainment WHAT’S ON THIS MAY

Walking tall

Hiking safely in the hills INSIDE J Homes & Interiors J Town in Focus J Food & Drink






Discover a choice of wonderful holiday home parks in North Wales with beautiful countryside views and gorgeous coastal vistas. Experience exceptional leisure facilities, mind-boggling family fun activities, luxurious spa experiences and restaurants offering menus of tantalising and delicious dishes. With super stylish five-star comfort guaranteed, you and your family will want for nothing.

Aberconwy Resort & Spa Aberconwy Park, Conwy LL32 8GA

New Pines Holiday Home Park Dyserth Road, Nr Dyserth, Denbighshire LL18 4DY

Purchasing your very own Darwin Escapes holiday home has never been easier – or more affordable. With a number of options available, you can buy the holiday home of your dreams and start enjoying days full of fun, adventure, and relaxation.

Seaview Holiday Home Park Gwespyr, Nr. Holywell, Flintshire CH8 9JS

Talacre Beach Holiday Home Park Station Road, Talacre, Flintshire CH8 9RD

Imagine escaping whenever the mood takes you, and enjoying endless getaways, long weekends and full-on holidays at your own holiday home, as often as you wish



Join an exclusive club offering a world-class five-star lifestyle set in a beautiful coastal location. Pure luxury is offered as standard, but expectations are always exceeded.

• Beautiful coastal location • Signatures Restaurant ‘Best Restaurant in Wales 2017 Winner' • Indoor heated swimming pool • Luxury spa treatments • Steam room and sauna • Jacuzzi • Air-conditioned gymnasium • Unisex hair salon

NEW PINES HOLIDAY HOME PARK New Pines offers the perfect blend of traditional holiday home ownership with a five-star country club atmosphere. Relax or be as active as you wish, all within a secure gated setting.








WHAT TO EXPECT AND ENJOY • • • • • • • • •

Indoor heated swimming pool Steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi Air-conditioned gymnasium All weather sports pitch Leisure activity programme Brasserie restaurant and bar Over 18’s lounge and family room Costa Coffee™ Evening entertainment

£19,995 *

TALACRE BEACH HOLIDAY HOME PARK Just a stone’s throw from the beach, Talacre Beach is the perfect location to experience a fantastic range of five-star facilities and recreational activities the whole family will enjoy.


Indoor heated swimming pool Steam room, sauna and spa pool Air-conditioned gymnasium Leisure and activities programme • Bar and restaurant • Entertainment lounge • Evening entertainment

SEAVIEW HOLIDAY HOME PARK An intimate luxury five-star holiday park, situated in an unrivalled location. Either enjoy the peace and calm or use a range of facilities at Talacre Beach only a mile away.









Breathtaking sea views Peaceful and relaxing location Close to sandy beaches Use of Talacre Beach’s facilities: Indoor heated swimming pool, steam room, sauna, spa pool, air-conditioned gymnasium, leisure and activities programme, bar, restaurant, entertainment lounge and evening entertainment



01745 858 010

For a lifetime of memories

*Site Fee offer only available at Talacre Beach and New Pines. Applies to new customer purchases only on selected new and pre-owned models. No part exchange allowance can be used in conjunction with this offer.



Our new Olive Tree Coffee Rooms are now open from 9am-5pm Monday to Saturday, 10.30am-4.30pm Sundays; to give plenty of time for sampling our delicious breakfast menu (9am-11.30pm) and ÂŁ3 afternoon tea and cake deal (3pm-4.30pm). Please call 01492 580665 for all reservations and enquiries.

Our collection of top of the range, all weather furniture at affordable prices, ready to add the perfect finishing touch to your home or garden

NEW exciting and ground-breaking BBQ range called Everdure by Heston Blumenthal

Page 4 NWM 2017 Snowdonia Nurseries & Garden Centre, Glan Conwy 01492 580703


Dear Reader

Hello and welcome to the May issue of North Wales Magazine – officially our biggest issue yet. And, in this case, bigger really does mean better as our extra pages have resulted in plenty of new articles for you to enjoy over a cup of coffee or two… I am thrilled to be able to introduce our new

Zoo, who will now be bringing her aquatic

contributor Janet Hill who will be bringing

stories to print in North Wales Magazine.

rural living to you via her monthly feature.

There is a fascinating fact on page 103 – I

Janet knows all about the perfect rural

can’t believe that I didn’t know fish could do

lifestyle due to living in a picturesque spot

that, did you?

in Bodfari with her six cats and six dogs! Read her first feature on page 55 where she

Finally, turn to page 113 for our new Last

discovers the foodie delights of the Clwydian

Laugh column. Colwyn Bay resident Dave

Range Food Trail.

Rothnie might be a journalist by day but he’s a comedy compère by night – as anyone that

Also new this month is a walking column

has laughed their way through a Stand up at

to encourage you to get out and about and

the Seaside show will testify…

stretch your legs in areas perhaps not currently familiar to you. But, before you set off, it might be wise to check out our safety tips for hikers on page 47. We also have a new column article by Frankie Hobro, director of the Anglesey Sea

Kate Hamilton Founding Editor

Exploring North Wales is more fun if you take a picnic hamper!

J Are you organising or taking part in an event that should be covered in our what’s on listings? Then make sure you tell us! whatson@ J Keep in touch. Send in your contributions, letters, photos and press releases and become
part of the North Wales Magazine family. editorial@ J Subscribe. If you want
to ensure that you receive each and every copy of North Wales Magazine
then why not subscribe? All you pay for is the post and packaging. subscribe@ J Advertise. If you own a business in North Wales and want to get your message in front of 20,000 local readers every month then drop us a line. Prices start from just £75. sales@



In this issue...

We want to hear from you!

May is the perfect month to get your walking boots on

Front cover credit: Walking in Snowdonia © Shutterstock

NWM 2018 Page 5


Page 6 NWM 2017


Editor Kate Hamilton

16 The Big Picture

Publisher Grant Hamilton

19 Bank Holiday Entertainment

Art Director Simon Marriott

9 What’s On?

Your guide to all of the best events, shows, festivals and days out taking place in North Wales this May

Have a day out in historical Conwy

With no less than two bank holiday weekends to enjoy this month, it’s a good job that there is plenty of entertainment on offer

25 Town in Focus

Exploring beautiful Beaumaris

33 43

33 Top 10… Picnic spots

27 A good read Is a local read!

43 Lawrence of Arabia

Discover Tremadog, the birthplace of Lawrence of Arabia

Make sure you take the necessary precautions when out and about

53 Food & Drink


The region’s wining, dining and culinary scene

71 Homes & Property 88 Community news

North Wales Magazine is an independent, regional monthly magazine produced by KSG Publishing. It is available to pick up from a wide range of independent outlets throughout Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Wrexham, Gwynedd and the Isle of Anglesey.


A roundup of regional happenings

91 Competition!

Win a golf day out for four people

93 Walking

The first of our new walking routes

97 Crossword Get to grips with our brain-teasing puzzle

99 In my opinion… Our expert columnists share their thoughts

114 Horoscopes See what May has in store with Portmeirion resident

Contributors Stephen Gregory Alison Hough Tim Watson Cai Ross Julian Hughes Simon Smith Steve Goodier Nick Embrey Luke Edwards Caroline Roberts Dave Rothnie Frankie Hobro Janet Hill CONTACT US editorial sales subscribe@

47 Mountain safety

Get inspired by homes that are on the market, interiors and a kitchen worktop special



Disclaimer: All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part (electronically or in print) without written permission is strictly prohibited. Every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of published content, and any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of North Wales Magazine. The publishers assume no responsibility for any damage, loss or injury arising from participation in, or as a result of, any offer, competition, information or advertisement contained within the magazine. North Wales Magazine does not endorse any of the advertisements featured. All words and images remain the property of their respective owners and all copyrights are observed. North Wales Magazine is not associated with any newspaper group.

Russell Grant

NWM 2018 Page 7


Ruthin Gaol

Plas Newydd

Explore the cells of this Victorian Pentonville style prison and learn about the prisoners who stayed here! Activities available for all ages.

Nantclwyd y Dre Explore Wales’ oldest timbered town house with its beautifully restored historic gardens, a hidden gem in the heart of Ruthin.

Open 26th March–30th September every day except Tuesday 10am–5pm Visit for prices and further visiting information

Visit this extraordinary Gothicised home of the ‘Ladies of Llangollen’ and enjoy its spectacular historic gardens.

Open 7th April–September Opening days and times vary please visit for opening information and prices

Open 30th March–30th September every day 10.30am–5pm Visit for prices and further visiting information

20 % off admission 20 % off admission 20 % off admission To Ruthin Gaol

To Plas Newydd

To Nantclwyd y Dre

Llangollen Single use only.

Page 8 NWM 2018

Single use only.

Single use only.

Visit our website for more information including upcoming events! Follow us on Facebook @heritagedenbighshire

Hairspray 30th April - 5th May Hairspray is a smash hit musical comedy based on the 1988 film of the same name. Make sure you visit Venue Cymru to meet lead character Tracy Turnblad – and be prepared to dance the night away!

What’s on this...


Wildlife Explorers’ Club 5th Kids aged between eight and 12 are invited to join RSPB Conwy today at 1.30pm for all kinds

Silver jewellery

of nature related

3rd & 4th


Visit Afonwen today and find Sandra Roberts using eco recycled silver to create new beautiful pieces. Some are made from twisted silver wire, some hammered and some with gemstones and crystals

Climb Snowdon 5th

Blithe Spirit

EXPED’s Climb Snowdon Challenge is for those who

3rd – 5th

want to climb Snowdon itself. This is an ‘Open Event’

Sceptical novelist Charles

and you will be joining other like-minded trekkers in

Condomine invites self-

groups of a maximum size of ten. Your guide will be a

proclaimed eccentric medium

fully qualified Mountain Leader

Madame Arcati to his home for a séance, hoping to gather material for a new book. Visit

Creative Arts Saturday

Theatr Colwyn this week to find


out what happens when the

Rhos-on-Sea Country

hapless psychic accidentally

Market will be in

summons the spirit of

attendance at Rhos

Condomine’s late wife, Elvira

Cricket Club Pavillion 10am-3pm as part of the

Welsh language workshops

“Creative Arts Saturday” in Rhos-on-Sea today

4th & 5th The Ucheldre Centre, Holyhead is hosting two days of workshops. This is coming from a team composed

Antique Fair

of a writer, director, and two actors all of whom have

5th, 6th & 7th

encountered and are interested to look more closely at

Lions of Llandudno

the question of language, culture, and belonging. It is a

will be holding their

tri-lingual venture in Welsh, Turkish and English

latest charity Antique and Collectors Fair at Llandudno Town Hall this bank holiday weekend

NWM 2018 Page 9


The Gateway to Wales Spring Golf Festival 5th, 6th & 7th


Play three ‘hidden gem’ parkland courses in North Wales in this fantastic Spring Festival for just £37.50 or £15 per course

Llandudno Transport Festival

Art exhibition

5th, 6th & 7th

7th – 12th

This bank holiday weekend sees

The Mold Virgin Art exhibition

hundreds of lorries, buses, tractors,

takes place this week. The work

motorbikes, cars and stationary engines heading to Bodafon

of artists whose exhibits have

Fields in Llandudno

been voted the most popular by

Handmade teddies

visitors to Mold Parish Church’s annual Virgin Art exhibition

5th, 6th & 7th

since its launch in 2009 will be a

Ana & Sonia will be working on their adorable

centrepiece at this year’s event

handmade teddy bear collection at Afonwen today, dressing them and creating little charters for each bear as well as their handmade day bags, quilting and traditional knitted toys

Victorian Extravaganza

Athena a Trystan Llyr Griffiths 8th

5th, 6th & 7th

Athena are a classical trio made up of three of Wales’

With more genuine Victorian entertainment than ever, this

foremost sopranos, Gwawr Edwards, Sioned Terry

years Extravaganza promises to be the best yet

and Ellen Williams. They will be performing at Galeri Caernarfon tonight

Interiors demonstration 8th & 9th Corah Henry interiors is demonstrating at Afonwen today. Helen has a fabulous talent for stitch work making curtains, cushions, aprons and

Binocular and telescope weekend

blinds as well as bunting and accessories. She is

5th, 6th & 7th

joined by Elaine from

Come to RSPB Conwy this weekend and get some hands-

Cherry Bea working on

on advice about binoculars and telescopes from its

her lovely beaded jewellery

friendly, impartial team

and crystals

Page 10 NWM 2018

The Fureys 9th As part of their 40th anniversary tour, Irish Legends, the FUREYS will perform at Pontio Bangor this evening in a great night of music, songs and stories

The King Is Back 12th Internationally renowned as one of, if not the best Elvis tribute acts in the world today, Ben Portsmouth will bring his unique style, charisma and ten-piece band to Venue Cymru tonight

Conwy Real Ale Trail 12th Bus based Real Ale festival taking you to 8 of the best Real Ale pubs and one special microbrewery in Conwy. Start and finish anywhere on the route, with

Original Watercolours

unlimited bus travel between 11am and 11pm

10th Come to Afonwen today and see a range of original watercolour pictures and greetings cards as well as hand painted frames by Sandra and crochet toys, baby blankets and accessories by Sue

FOCUS Wales 2018

Up close and personal with Martine McCutcheon 12th Martine McCutcheon, who

10th – 12th

first found fame as Tiffany

FOCUS Wales 2018 will mark the festival’s 8th edition,

Mitchell in EastEnders in

and will welcome over 8,000 people to Wrexham. The

the 1990s, is bringing her

event will showcase over 200 bands, fill out a variety

new album to Rhyl Pavillion

of spaces and music venues, using 20 stages, and


hosting a full schedule of Interactive Industry Sessions, Stand-up Comedy, Arts events, and Film screenings throughout the festival

NWM 2018 Page 11


May Photography workshop

Rowen Village Gardens Open Day 13th About 20 lovely private gardens open for one day only. Plenty of ideas to take home, plant stalls, refreshment stops. In aid of improvements to Rowen Memorial Hall

12th This three-hour session takes place at 9am at Galeri Caernarfon

Colwyn Canoe Club

today. It will allow participants


to get to know their camera and

Come along to Llyn Eirias Boating Lake in Eirias Park today

learn to use manual settings to bring photographs to life in a

and “Try A Boat, Get Afloat”! This free event is open to all, under

workshop run by professional photographer, Kristina Banholzer

the supervision and guidance of experienced paddlers and coaches. There is no age limit but smaller children must be

Lost Like Alice

accompanied in the boat by an adult

12th Ben Parker, a singer songwriter based on the Isle Of Anglesey, has a busy day today. He will be performing original songs, written about all aspects of his life, under the name Lost Like Alice at both Prom Xtra and Focus Wales

Encaustic art 12th & 13th Linda Morris is a wonderful teacher and is delighted for you to have a go at creating

Colwyn Bay Floral Art Club

your own hot wax


art at Afonwen

Come and enjoy an evening of flowers at the Methodist Church

today. She has an

on St Georges Road in Rhos-on-Sea tonight. You will also be able

amazing array of pictures she has created for sale and kits

to see arrangements created by guest demonstrator Arthur

to take home. All proceeds will go to brain tumour research

McDonald entitled “Serendipity”. This month there will also be a display of items (flowers and others) as members are invited

Magical migration

to bring along something depicting “A Royal Wedding”. Visitors are welcome and doors open at 7pm

13th Welcome our summer visitors back from Africa at RSPB


Conwy between 1.30 and


3.30pm today. We’ll be looking

James kicks off its week-long tour

and listening for warblers,

at Venue Cymru tonight. The show

swallows and martins. Suitable for adults, and families with

promises fans the chance to see them

children age 8 and over. RSPB members £4, non-members £6

in unique and intimate surroundings

Page 12 NWM 2018

Gardener’s Market

Tim Vine



RSPB Conwy is hosting a

Master of the one-liner, Tim

gardener’s market between 10am

Vine is back on tour, telling

and 4pm today. With a wide

lots of silly new jokes, showing off new homemade props,

variety of plants for sale produced

singing some new daft ditties, and all with the appearance of

by local nurseries, plus free advice

confidence. He can be seen at Venue Cymru tonight

and information from the growers themselves, this great gardener’s market is not to be missed

Prosecco Festival 19th The North Wales Prosecco Festival takes place today!

All Types VW Show

With over 40 types of Prosecco, Spumante, Cava, Brut,


Champagne & Prosecco cocktails on offer, this truly is the

Held in the scenic grounds of Bodelwyddan Castle the All

ultimate festival for Prosecco lovers. Taking place at the

Types VW Show is the only VW Enthusiasts Show in North

beautiful Brynkinalt Estate in Wrexham

Wales and has become one of the largest shows in the North West region with thousands of visitors attending each year

RSPCA Dog Show The RSPCA dog show in Colwyn Bay promises to be a fun family day out. In addition to the main Dog Show, there will also be dog agility, games, lots of stalls, BBQ and refreshments. Hectors Greyhound Rescue will

Ed Byrne

be having a stall where we will have on sale a variety of dog


accessories, dog coats, crafts, jewellery, cards, plus our very

Comic Ed Byrne

popular tombola and games. Entry to the Show is £2.00 per car

brings his ‘spoiler alert’ tour to Venue

Race for life

Cymru this evening


Camp Penrhyn - The Plant Hunters

Cancer Research is hosting a 5k Race for Life in Caernarfon today. Come along and do your bit for cancer research

19th & 20th Free range fun for all ages at Penryhn Castle this weekend with the gang from

Gary Barlow

Wild Elements - nature


trails, navigational

OK, so it’s going to come

skills, marshmallow

as no surprise that Gary’s

toasting and archery

appearance at Venue Cymru

(£1.50) all on offer

this evening has sold out –

to keep all intrepid

but it might be worth lurking

explorers busy!

around Llandudno in the hope of spotting him in any case

NWM 2018 Page 13



Rhuddfest 2018 26th & 27th Rhuddfest is a family friendly music festival showcasing singer songwriters and gifted musicians. Relax and enjoy the music on a hay bale or a picnic blanket and soak up the atmosphere

Gŵyl Beaumaris Festival 22nd – 28th The Gŵyl Beaumaris Festival is a week long, arts based event offering orchestral concerts and recitals, opera, jazz, poetry, topical festival talks, an art exhibition and craft fairs

West Side Story 23rd – 25th Coleg Menai Performing Arts students present West Side Story at Galeri Caerbarfon tonight - one of the most memorable musicals and greatest love stories of all time...

Stand-up at the Seaside

Bala Lake Model Railway Show


26th- 28th

The best in stand-up comedy comes to The Station Pub in

The third Great Little Trains Model Railway exhibition takes

Colwyn Bay at 8pm tonight. Featuring Gavin Webster, Tony

place in the town of Bala today. Located in a local school with

Burgess and Lorna Corner, tickets cost just £12.50

easy access, free parking, full refreshments and a free vintage bus service linking the exhibition with the Bala Lake Railway it

Gwledd Abergele Food & Craft Festival

is an event not to be missed for the model railway enthusiast

26th This free entry Food & Craft festival has something for all the family including a petting farm, fun mini dog show and lots of

Wildlife Drop-in

inflatable fun for the kids! It starts at 11am and takes place in


the lovely setting of Pentre Mawr Park

Drop in at RSPB Conwy at 2pm today and have a go at pond dipping

Peppa Pig’s Adventure 26th & 27th Join Peppa Pig at Venue Cymru this weekend as she gets ready to go on an exciting camping trip to the woods with George and her school friends

Page 14 NWM 2018

Are you organising or taking part in an event that should be covered in our what’s on listings? Then get in touch!

NWM 2018 Page 15


Page 16 NWM 2018

The big picture What better time of year to get out and about and enjoy the history of our region than in the beautiful month of May. Conwy Castle sums up North Wales in a nutshell – full of history and located in stunning surroundings. Edward I spent an estimated £15,000 building the castle between 1283 and 1289, which was the largest sum spent in such a short time on any of his Welsh castles. Edward’s trademark ‘walls within walls’ weren’t needed at Conwy, as the rock it sits on provided enough security itself, but you will find two barbicans, eight towers and a large bow-shaped hall all located within its unusual elongated shape. And, even if castles aren’t really your thing, it would be a shame to miss out on a visit to Conwy and the amazing views that are provided from its battlements.

NWM 2018 Page 17



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NEW call Geoff on 07747 442963 or email: Pagetraders 18 NWMwelcome, 2018



Looking for great entertainment over the bank holiday weekends? Well you can rest assured that North Wales has got it covered…

If you want to get out and about during the May bank holidays, then you’ll be pleased to hear that there is plenty happening on the North Walian entertainment front. Kicking off the spring festivities is the Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza which takes place over the 5th, 6th & 7th of May. The Extravaganza has been running annually in the town for a whopping 32 years – so it’s safe to say that they know a little bit about entertaining the masses over a bank holiday weekend. The event has steered a little bit off track over recent years, but the Extravaganza will see a return to its roots this May with a large vintage steam funfair and a daily parade of Victorian dress, vintage vehicles, marching bands and traction engines. Traditional performers, such as Andrew Van Buren, will baffle and delight the audience in colourful sideshows, while a host of fire breathers and stilt walkers will be on hand to entertain the crowds. But if thrill rides are more your thing then fear not, as the modern section of the Extravaganza will still be available this year, featuring a host of great rides such as the Mac1 Bomber, Freak Out and the Sea Storm. “We are also very excited to have a 35 metre high Observation Wheel at this year’s event,” commented organiser Chris Williams. “It’s

Top: Rhuddfest is a family friendly music festival held on 26th & 27th May Middle: The A4 Brass Quartet will be performing at Beaumaris Festival Above: A wide range of historical vehicles will be on show at the Llandudno Transport Festival

NWM 2018 Page 19


Left: The Sirenian Singers will be performing at Beaumaris Festival Above: The Victorian Extravaganza is having a big push on authentic attractions this year

the first time on the streets of Llandudno – the views from the pods will be amazing!” Meanwhile, just down the road at Bodafon Fields, the Llandudno Transport Festival will be taking place over the same weekend. A wide range of historical vehicles including miniature steam engines, barn engines, pedal cycles, tractors, A cavalcade of vehicles taking a road run to Conwy via the Great Orme during the at the Llandudno Transport Festival

motorcycles, classic cars, caravans, lorries, buses and coaches will all be on display. During the weekend (weather permitting) a cavalcade of

Newton Faulkner is the headline act at this year’s Rhuddfest

vehicles will leave the field following a team of marshals taking a road run to Conwy and back via the Great Orme. This run has grown to such enormous proportions now that the last vehicle is still due to leave the field when the first one arrives back! And if you can’t decide between the two events then fear not, as a free vintage shuttle bus service will run between the Transport Festival and the Victorian Extravaganza all weekend. There is plenty to keep you occupied further down the coast too. Tir Prince in Towyn is hosting its opening meeting of 2018 on Saturday 5th May, and it is expecting a bumper crowd to get the season underway. Tir Prince Raceway was built in 1990 by the late Billy Williams – a showman who was also a harness racing enthusiast. Harness racing is a multi million pound industry in America and Billy had a dream to build a track up to

Page 20 NWM 2018

Surf Snowdonia is hosting Minis in the Mountains on Sunday 20th May

American Standards. Tir Prince Raceway is now widely

Mini enthusiasts from all over North Wales and beyond

acknowledged as the premier harness racing facility in the

are invited to gather at Surf Snowdonia for a Minis in

UK and Ireland. For the uninitiated harness racing is a form

the Mountains meet in the heart of the Conwy Valley.

of horse racing in which the horses race using a specific

Owners are invited to ‘dress’ their wheels for a surf mini

gait namely Trot or Pace – you will see both types of races at

theme, with prizes for the best-looking motors. Every Mini

Tir Prince. The horses usually pull a two wheel sulky with

driver who visits on the day will be offered a 2-4-1

a driver on board, although it does occasionally have saddle

voucher for Surf Snowdonia’s Wipeout-style Crash &

races where the jockey is on the back of the horse.

Splash obstacle course.

“Harness racing is often confused with illegal road racing

Tickets are not required, but Mini owners should register

and this is a constant source of frustration to us at Tir Prince

for their free place in the Surf Snowdonia Mini Park. Surf

as we are a professional track whereby all of our races are

Snowdonia is a world-first surf lagoon where absolute

run under the governance and stewardship of The British

beginners can surf alongside experienced surfers. You can

Harness Racing Club (BHRC),” explains Eric Witherspoon,

surf with or without instruction, and slots are bookable by

business development manager at Tir Prince Leisure Group.

60 or 90 minutes. There’s comfortable glamping, hot tubs and

“All horses must be fully flu vaccinated and only people

food on site too. The Minis in the Mountains meet starts at 12

licensed by The BHRC can own, train or drive horses.

noon and runs until 4pm. Prizes will be awarded at 3.30pm,

Horses that compete are regularly dope tested and the rules

and advanced booking is advised.

surrounding the sport are stringently upheld.” Just a couple of days later and the Gŵyl Beaumaris Festival So go along this bank holiday Saturday and see for yourself

kicks off on Anglesey on 22nd May. The Festival is a week

what harness racing is all about. It promises to be a great

long, arts based event offering orchestral concerts and

evening out for all of the family, and it is also dog friendly

recitals, opera, jazz, poetry, topical festival talks, an art

provided that they are kept on a lead. There is a licensed bar

exhibition and craft fairs.

and bookmakers on site along with both indoor and outdoor catering facilities.

This year’s Festival programme is celebrating ‘Women in the Arts’ and many of the performances reflect this in both

And if you can’t wait for the next bank holiday weekend for

words and music - and whether you are into classical music,

the next exciting event then fear not, as Surf Snowdonia is

opera, songs from the musicals or want to hear about famous

bridging the entertainment gap with Minis in the Mountains

women in the world of music there is something in the

on Sunday 20th May.

programme for you.

NWM 2018 Page 21


Tir Prince in Towyn is hosting its opening meeting of 2018 on Saturday 5th May

Spreading the local love This May Day bank holiday weekend GreenWood Forest Park is celebrating all things local with a massive 50% discount on admission prices for Anglesey and Gwynedd residents. So, on the 5th, 6th & 7th May

The Extravaganza will see a return to its roots this May with a daily parade of Victorian dress

anyone who visits GreenWood with proof of Anglesey or Gwynedd residency will be given half price entry into the park! So come along and make a splash on the UK’s only solar powered water ride, jump aboard the world’s first people powered roller coaster or zoom down the longest sledge run in Wales. Children will love discovering the super bouncy Giant Jumper, exploring the turrets of TreeTop Towers, taking their shoes and socks off for the BareFoot Trail or aiming for gold at archery. As well as enjoying the fun of the rides and activities, prepare to be dazzled in the Forest Theatre by GreenWood’s fabulous entertainers – or even try out some traditional May Pole dancing! Make sure you bring some proof of address with you in order to get a little bit of local love…

The Festival has three performances

album, Hit The Ground Running, Newton

most days – morning, afternoon and

is promising a genre-hopping collection

evening and the art exhibition is open

of songs that will grip you from the very

throughout. The resident Festival

first listen.

orchestra is the Welsh Chamber

Contacts Victorian Extravaganza

Orchestra led by Anthony Hose and since

2018 brings you Rhuddfest’s first Chill

1999 it has championed commissioning

Out Sunday. A more relaxed shorter

and performing new works by living

day showcasing up and coming youth

Llandudno Transport Festival

composers – especially those from Wales.

musicians followed by professional

This year the composer Hilary Tann

bands. Go along and show your support

has composed a new piece that will be

for youth music. As usual, a selection of

Tir Prince

premiered at the bank holiday concert.

food traders and licensed bars will be

providing refreshments, and activities The last major event of the month is

to keep adults and children entertained

Surf Snowdonia

Rhuddfest – family friendly music

alongside the music, including party

festival held on 26th & 27th May in

dancers, bouncy castles, kids crafts,

scenic fields of Morfa Lodge Farm in

coconut shy, tin can alley, circus skills

Beaumaris Festival

Rhuddlan. The festival starts at 11am

and chainsaw carving will all be on offer.

very talented local youth bands, before

So a packed itinerary this May. After all


Newton Faulkner headlines on Saturday

that, you’ll probably need another bank

evening. Performing songs from his sixth

holiday to recover! n

on the Saturday showcasing three

Page 22 NWM 2018


LLANDUDNO’S PREMIER ATTRACTION Llandudno Pier is the premier attraction to visit


whilst on holiday in Llandudno, a fantastic

5th May – 7th May - “Live Music @ The Bar”

holiday venue in Wales. We are Wales’ longest

Saturday 5th May - Dave Lee Vaughn

Pier and offer superb views, concessions, a

Sunday 6th May & Monday 7th May -

relaxing stroll and excellent food stalls.

The River City Jazz Band Spring Bank Holiday - “Live Music @ The Bar”

Relax, and enjoy the leisurely pace as you

Saturday 26th May - Dave Lee Vaughn

explore our friendly shops and stalls. Take a

Sunday 27th May - The River City Jazz Band

stroll and enjoy the beautiful views of Llandudno and the Irish Sea.


01492 876258 | Llandudno Pier, North Parade, Llandudno, Conwy LL30 2LP

NWM 2018 Page 23


Tudor Rose  32 Castle Street  Beaumaris  Anglesey  LL58 8AP Tel: 01248 810847  Fax: 01248 811770  

2 Pen Y Parc, Beaumaris, LL58 8YW £449,950 A substantial Family Home with fantastic views and gardens, spacious accommodation and a glorious setting. In addition, the location is wonderful being located close to the Baron Hill Golf Club and on the edge of the Historic Castle Town of Beaumaris that provides an abundance of small shops, bars and restaurants in the coastal location. The property enjoys beautiful landscaped grounds and is set in a mews style of 3 renovated houses providing spacious kitchen /diner plus 3 reception rooms, 4 double bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Views of the Snowdonia Mountain range and the Menai Straits command the outlook, whilst the accommodation provides modern living with a traditional feel, being set in a total of 15 acres of communal park land. Available fully furnished if required...

Tryfan Lodge, Anglesey Lakeside Lodges, Llandegfan, LL59 5SB £350,000 A superb detached three bedroom Scandinavian style holiday lodge, situated on a small, select and very successful holiday development, and having direct lakeside frontage. Having one of the largest plots on the site, Tryfan Lodge enjoys an enviable private position, bounded by the lake to the front, farmland to the rear and a small river and woodland to one side. It is indeed a perfect holiday home. Built about ten years ago of insulated pine panelled walls and slated roof, the lodge enjoys all the benefits of modern living with the 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom accommodation having modern kitchen and bathroom facilities, gas central heating and double glazing. There are spacious gardens and ample private parking, while other facilities include a large timber patio area overlooking the lake with sunken hot tub.

MISREPRESENTATION ACT 1967 These particulars are believed to be correct but their accuracy is in no way guaranteed and they do not form part of any contract. Neither the vendor nor his Agents make any representation or warranty in relation to this property is offered subject to the owner’s confirmation of price, to a contract and to not having been sold. Page 24 NWM 2018 All prices quoted are subject to Owner’s acceptance and to the property being unsold.


Beaumaris Famed for its iconic castle, there is more to Beaumaris than meets the eye. Steve Goodier explores this historic town.

For some reason I can’t remember (probably because I am

them. In summer those mountains made me want to abandon

football mad) I happen to know that the Welsh footballer

my working day and go climb them and in winter, draped in

Wayne Hennessey, who keeps goal for Crystal Palace and

snow and ice, they simply looked stunning.

internationally for Wales, was brought up in Beaumaris even

I also liked the view towards Llandudno’s Great Orme down the

though he was born in Bangor. I sometimes surprise myself

end of The Menai Straits and being able to see Bangor Pier. It

with what I can dredge out from the corners of my mind!

has been many years since those days but I still make visits to Beaumaris for day trips when the mood takes my wife and I.

But that is not all I know about this charming Welsh seaside town that offers the visitor a pretty mixture of Georgian,

Another enduring memory I have of the town was taking my

Victorian and Edwardian architecture.

aging mother and father there and catching a boat trip from the pier to go around nearby Puffin Island. In itself it sounds a fairly

The thing is though, a lot of visitors to the Isle of Anglesey often

normal thing to do but my mother can’t swim and is terrified of

bypass Beaumaris altogether as they cross the Menai Straits

water and the sea was very choppy that day. To say she spent

over either Menai Bridge or Britannia Bridge and then head

the whole cruise terrified is understating things somewhat. It

Northerly up the island or aim for one of the coastal resorts on

must have been 25 or more years ago but I don’t believe she

the west or east.

has ever stepped foot on a boat since!

You see, Beaumaris is tucked away near the south east corner

Having established Beaumaris’s credentials as a worthwhile

of Anglesey and it isn’t as straightforward to get to as some of

destination let’s look at the geography of the area a little and

the other local holiday destinations. However, this should in no

then move on to showcase all that is good about the town.

way put you off coming for a visit. As regulars and locals will tell you, the town has a lot to offer and plenty to see and do as well.

It’s easy to see why Beaumaris can be missed when you look at a map of Anglesey, but there is no excuse to do so really as the

In a previous life I used to travel around North Wales selling

A545 runs north easterly directly from Menai Bridge and is an

fencing to farming and agricultural merchants and, if I was

excellent road that takes you straight to the town. The town is

anywhere near Beaumaris, I always came and parked on the

also serviced by The B5109 which approaches it from both a

front to eat my sandwiches at lunch time. I liked the view over

westerly and northerly direction.

The Menai Straits to Abergwyngregyn, Llanfairfechan and the area around Penmaenmawr and the sight of the towering

The town has a population of around 2,000 and is a lovely

Carneddau Mountains of Snowdonia National Park beyond

quiet location to come and stay in. There is a pretty walk along

NWM 2018 Page 25


What to do

(Ynys Seirriol) is a bird sanctuary you will see the likes of Puffins, Kittiwakes, Guillemots, Razor bills and many other varieties of sea bird. Cruises are suitable for all



You won’t miss it if you come to

Beaumaris and it is one of the town’s ’must see’ locations and worth a morning or afternoon of anyone’s time. Built to classic proportions and having perfect symmetry, Beaumaris Castle was

VISIT BEAUMARIS GAOL A bit of a dark attraction but surprisingly popular with families who really enjoy a visit to

Edward 1’s last massive building venture in

Beaumaris Gaol. A trip here provides

North Wales as he hoped to control the Welsh people with his

a fascinating insight into the world of

‘Iron Ring’ of castles around the region.

prison life and the conditions prisoners

experienced during the 1800’s. You can explore the dimly lit corridors and visit the Spartan cells and places of punishment


– the darkness of the punishment cell is an eerie experience.

Penmon Point is a stunning location in the south eastern

You can also see the condemned cell were prisoners where

area of Anglesey. It’s a nice drive from Beaumaris down quiet

held before they were hanged and their bodies thrown

lanes and well worth taking the time out to go and explore.

into a lime pit. In 1862 Richard Rowlands was executed for

You will get great walking and bird watching and superb sea

murdering his father in law. He protested his innocence and

views of Puffin Island, Llandudno’s Great Orme and even of

local tradition has it that he put a curse on the church tower

the mountains of Snowdonia. Puffins, seals, porpoises and

clock opposite the scaffold – to this day the clock has never

dolphins are all regular sightings so take along binoculars

kept the right time.

and, if you fancy seeing stunning sunsets on clear evenings, then this is a great place to come. You will also catch sight


of Trywn Du Lighthouse which is 95 feet tall and was built

As well as the gaol you can also visit Beaumaris Courthouse

between 1835 and 1838.

where you can see what it was like to be tried as an accused party. Beaumaris Courthouse is one of Anglesey’s most


fascinating buildings and is also one of the oldest courthouses

From the pier on the seafront of Beaumaris you can catch

in existence in the UK. Some alterations were made in the

a superb boat trip which will last about an hour and a half.

19th Century but the original character of the building remains

The boats are 54-seater cruise vessels and will take you on

essentially the same as when it was first built. It is around

a tour of Puffin Island which is beyond Penmon Point and

400 years old and makes a great few hours for everyone

off the south east coast of Anglesey. For your money you get

with kids loving the experience as much as adults. Down the

an interesting and informative commentary with local points

centuries the courthouse has witnessed numerous cases from

of interest being pointed out. You will also get the chance to

the likes of cheese and beef theft to murder. You could easily

spot wildlife such as seals, porpoise and dolphins. The cruise

combine a visit to the courthouse and a trip to Beaumaris Gaol

is a lovely experience on a sunny day and as Puffin Island

and make a good day out of the two.

Page 26 NWM 2018

Where to stay

1832. The hotel has a good restaurant (offering a ‘taste of


garden. The hotel ballroom is often used for weddings and

The Bull (Beaumaris) is located in the heart of the town

group functions.

and makes a good choice if you want a central location to

Wales’), a coffee shop, a real ale bar and a lounge plus a

explore the area from. The hotel consists of two buildings which are around 400 years old. The main building is a

Yr Hen Fanc

five star location with decent rooms, excellent food and

This elegant self-catering house is brilliantly located in

a lively and vibrant bar. Just a short walk down the road

the centre of Beaumaris, near numerous restaurants,

from this you can opt to stay in the lovely Townhouse

bars, cafés and shops. If you’re looking for a spacious

where the bedrooms are all colour themed and named

place to rent (Yr Hen Fanc sleeps up to nine people), with


everything you need within walking distance, then this is

your perfect holiday destination.

Hen Ysgol Hen Ysgol is a Grade II listed former school house, built in 1816, and renovated to a superb standard by the present owners. This historic property sleeps four, and is located right in the heart of Beaumaris, just a stroll away from the shops and coast, moated castle and historic Gaol. There are breathtaking views from the town across the Menai Straits to the stunning mountains of


Snowdonia and some of the best beaches of Anglesey are

Formerly known as The White Lion Hotel, Castle Court

just a short drive away.

Guesthouse is an independent B&B and bar run by

Guy Williams and Katherine Barwood. Guy was born in Beaumaris and Katherine grew up in France and Spain


and they decided to open and run Castle Court after six

The Bulkeley Hotel is located close to the pier and

years working on luxury yachts. The guesthouse has

seafront in Beaumaris and has stunning views across the

ten bedrooms that are comfortable and offer bed and

Menai Straits from many of its comfortable 43 en suite

breakfast accommodation and there is also a bar and a

bedrooms. The Bulkeley Hotel is an impressive looking

beer garden where you can relax and enjoy the location.

building which was built as a Georgian show piece in

the seafront where you get the aforementioned views to the

amazing castle produced a fortification that formed perfectly

nearby mountains and the town has a small pier. The streets

symmetrical concentric lines. Sadly the castle was never

are charming and the houses and cottages are often painted

completely finished as money and supplies ran out before the

in soft pastel colours. Scattered around there are cafés, pubs

full height the building was planned for was achieved, but

and restaurants to suit all budgets and tastes – and there are

the castle does boast a moat and even a tidal dock so supply

shops to look around too.

ships had access to the castle.

The town’s name is Norman in origin and was originally

For all that, Beaumaris Castle is believed to be architecturally

‘beau marais’ which meant ‘Fair Marsh’. This was a

the most technically perfect castle in The British Isles. The

description of the site that was chosen by Edward 1 for the

supervision of the building work was undertaken by The

building of his final castle in his ‘Iron Ring’ of such structures

Kings Military Architect, James St George, and it was the

from which he hoped to control The Welsh – it was actually

biggest and most ambitious venture he ever undertook.

built on a marsh. With Beaumaris Castle Edward hoped to

Today it is a United Nations World Heritage Site (it has been

keep control over the comings and goings along The Menai

since 1986) and a ‘must visit’ location if you come to the town

Straits as well.

and gives a fascinating morning or afternoon out.

Constructed between 1295 and 1330, the builders of this

Going back beyond the time of the castle, Beaumaris was

NWM 2018 Page 27


Eating and drinking

originally a Viking Settlement known as Porth y Wygyr (Port of


The Vikings) but the town only really started to develop with the

Great for authentic and modern tapas with

commissioning of the castle project in 1295.

seasonal specials based around local produce. Midland offers a good menu selection and decent

A mile to the north of Beaumaris lay the ancient village of Llanfaes

wine to compliment your meal.

which had been regained from the Anglo-Saxons by Merfyn

Frych, King of Gwynedd and which remained a vital and strategic settlement as it was located on the coast at the eastern entrance to


The Menai Straits and had a natural harbour. To prevent trouble from

The Pier House offers great views of The Menai

the residents of Llanfaes, Edward had them removed completely to

Strait and the mountains of Snowdonia. Friendly

the west of Anglesey where he created a new settlement he called

and relaxed with a varied menu that includes

‘Newborough’ – isn’t history fascinating?

local delicacies.

Edward awarded the town a Royal Charter and, as he insisted that all trade in the surrounding areas had to be conducted at Beaumaris, the


town became the main commercial centre for The Isle of Anglesey.

Set on Castle Street, Beaus Tea Rooms is a traditional tearoom that offers 30 different types of

The town soon developed too as a major shipbuilding centre as it

tea as well as a good selection of cakes and light

had become the point of registration for all vessels in North Wales

bites to go with them.

and this included not just the island but the complete coast from

01248 811010

Conwy to Pwllheli.


Apart from the castle other buildings of significance in Beaumaris

Bishopsgate House offers dining in an AA Rosette

include the courthouse (1614), the 14th Century St Mary’s and St

awarded restaurant. Popular with hotel residents

Nicholas’s Church, Beaumaris Gaol, The 14th Century Tudor Rose

and locals alike, the two menus offer a great choice

which is one of the oldest original timber framed buildings in the UK,

of quality food.

and The Bulls Head Inn which dates from 1472. During The English Civil War ‘The siege of Beaumaris’ took place TREDICI ITALIAN RESTAURANT

in 1648 and as a result of this the hill leading north from the town is

Tredici offers fine Italian cooking in a friendly and

known as ‘Red Hill’ because of the blood spilt during that time.

warm atmosphere. The chef produces a wide range

Whether it is modern day Beaumaris that appeals to you or its

of homemade breads and pizza dough and the

thrilling history (or maybe a combination of both), there is no denying

menu is full of antipasti, pasta and pizza.

that the town is worth exploring and getting to know. And anyway,

it’s in such a lovely setting that it’s worth coming here just to sit on the front with some sandwiches and soak in the gorgeous sea and mountain panoramas… n

Steve Goodier is a freelance outdoor writer that specialises in North Wales. He is the author of ten outdoor books and his latest ‘Ten Best Pub Walks in Snowdonia’ will be published later this year, followed by ‘Ten Best Waterfall and Lake Walks in Snowdonia’ ( He is married to Paula and has two grown up children.

Page 28 NWM 2018

Abersoch Holiday Homes



has the ultimate collection of coastal chic self-catering properties in Abersoch and the Llŷn Peninsula. Our high quality, specially selected properties range from large renovated farmhouses and boutique luxury homes, to pretty picturesque cottages. We have something for everyone.

Y GARN, ABERSOCH Oozing luxury, style and elegance, this exquisite house features spacious living areas, a top-quality kitchen, fabulous bathrooms and incredible outside spaces including a glass infinity balcony and luxury hot tub. All within walk distance of the beach and village.








A stunning individually designed 3 bedroom coastal retreat with S TAY I N S T Y L E O N T H E L L Ŷ N sauna, situated a stone's throw from Abersoch main beach with it's beach cafe, Mickey's Boatyard, clear blue shallow waters and sandy beach.

A breathtaking barn conversion lying on a private estate on the outskirts on the seaside town of Pwllheli. Designed, built and styled to exacting standards, a spacious and truly stunning property with log fire, mezzanine bedroom and far reaching countryside views, perfect for a romantic getaway.





BWTHYN Y PLAS, ABERSOCH Boasting a stylish design and contemporary interior, this immaculate detached bungalow is an excellent choice for families and offers a fabulous base within walking distance of Abersoch's beach and popular restaurants, shops and cafes.

Set in its own pretty landscaped garden, Y Ty Pren offers the ultimate retreat for rest and relaxation. Sitting at the foot of the Bwlchtocyn headland with uninterrupted views across Cardigan Bay to the Snowdonia mountain range, the house offers stylish and artist inspired delights of a top quality boutique hotel with the decadence of having it all to yourself. ^





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TRI AR DDEG, LLANBEDROG Bright and airy with chic contemporary styling, this detached bungalow boasts a superb high gloss kitchen, a woodburning stove, elegant decor and a private garden. A short walk from the pub and about a mile from Llanbedrog's sandy beach.





NWM 2018 Page 29

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10 Picnic spots to come

While the sun is shining in the month of May it’s not usually warm enough to start sunbathing. What it is warm enough for, however, is a beautiful spring picnic. So dig out that hamper, dust off your blanket and get out and about in glorious North Wales…

Llyn Ogwen


1 Llanwrst

The picture perfect town of Llanwrst is the ideal picnic Llyn Ogwen is one of the most popular lakes in Wales. It lies

spot. The three-arched bridge across the River Conwy,

alongside the A5 between two of Snowdonia’s mountain

thought to be the work of architect Inigo Jones, is the

ranges – the Carneddau and the Glyderau. Llyn Ogwen is fed

centerpiece of the town – and it’s the banks of the

by a number of streams from the slopes of the mountains

river that are begging for a relaxed spot of al fresco

which surround it. Somewhat unusually, the county

lunch. The beauty of Llanwrst is that you don’t need to

boundary at this point is drawn so that the lake itself lies

plan ahead either, as long as you have a picnic rug in

in the county of Gwynedd, but the surrounding land lies in

the boot then there are many cafés and shops where

Conwy County. There is a lovely circular walk around the

you can buy some sandwiches before you stretch out

lake too if you want to work up an appetite first – visit the

alongside the rolling river.

National Trust’s website for the route.

NWM 2017 2018 Page 33


Fairy Glen The Fairy Glen in Betws-y-coed is a gorgeous wooden


dingle that is considered to be one of the prettiest spots in the area. Called The Fairy Glen for the mythical sprites which are said to live there, it would be a shame to unpack your picnic hamper here without an imaginative child or two in tow. A stream weaves between two sides of a small rocky gorge, making it the perfect spot for a family photo to boot. Don’t be caught out by a lack of small change however, as there is an entrance fee of 50p per person and £1 for parking.

Lake Vyrnwy We could have written an article on the top ten picnic spots surrounding Lake Vyrnwy alone, such is the size and beauty of this impressive


reservoir. Situated on the edge of The Snowdonia National Park and south of Bala, Lake Vyrnwy is set amidst the remote and beautiful Berwyn Mountains. With spectacular waterfalls, and unspoilt open countryside, a visit to Lake Vyrnwy is a must for any picnic enthusiast. And if you are lucky enough to be staying in the Lake Vyrnwy Hotel then panic not, as the hotel can pack a picnic for you...


Pistyll Rhaeadr So beautiful is the Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall that it is one of the seven wonders of Wales (which are all in the North, in case you were wondering!) At 240 feet high it is Britain’s tallest single-drop waterfall and, while there isn’t a charge for access to the falls, donations for upkeep of the site are gratefully received. And if one picnic just isn’t enough, and you want to make a weekend of this amazing location, then there is a campsite situated a stone’s throw away from the majestic waterfall.


Capel Curig Capel Curig is a small mountain village in the heart of Snowdonia. It has a big reputation with outdoor enthusiasts, in fact it is actually home to the Plas-y-Brenin National Mountaineering Centre – an outdoor pursuits centre that boasts a wide range of courses that appeal to everyone from beginners and families to more experienced adventurers. Of course, adventurous mountain sports aren’t for everyone, in which case why not visit The Ugly House – a cottage full of history, legend and mystery.

Mount Snowdon OK, so lugging a hamper up to the summit of Mount Snowdon might be a tad excessive – but you could always take the train! The Summit Station is only 68 feet below the peak itself and it has two platforms with direct access to Hafod Eryri, the summit building and visitor centre. From here it is just a few short steps up to the summit


and a spectacular view across North Wales. Do be warned however that the peak itself can get rather busy, so don’t harbour any dreams of spreading your picnic blanket out on the very peak itself – but the area surrounding the station provides a fabulous backdrop to enjoy a spot of lunch.

NWM 2018 Page 35



Swallow Falls

Swallow Falls is located on the Afon Llugwy near Betws-y-Coed. It is believed that its name arose from a mishearing of the Welsh word ewynnol (foaming) as the similar-sounding y wennol (swallow). But, whatever it is called, there is no denying that the waterfall is now is one of Wales’s most visited attractions, an area of outstanding natural beauty and designated a site of special scientific interest. There is an entrance fee of £1.50 per person (75p for kids), but it is a price well worth paying. And, just in case you are sick of picnics by this point, then fear not as Betws-y-Coed is home to a wide range of eateries to tickle your taste buds.



Beddgelert is one of Snowdonia’s loveliest villages. It is a beautiful place to visit, and an event better place to come for a picnic! According to legend, Beddgelert is the resting place of Gelert, the faithful hound of the medieval Welsh Prince Llewelyn the Great. Today, the picturesque stone-built village is the ideal base for exploring all of the local beauty spots – Aberglaslyn Pass to the south, Nant Gwynant to the east and Snowdon to the north. The village is also one of the stopoff points on the Welsh Highland Railway from Caernarfon to Porthmadog.

Llanddwyn Island

You can’t have a list of picnic spots without including at least one beach and Llanddwyn Island fits the bill perfectly. Located just off the west coast of Anglesey, Llanddwyn isn’t technically an island as it remains connected to the mainland at all but the highest tides. Part of the Newborough Warren National Nature Reserve, Llanddwyn Island contains a selection of small, yet perfectly formed, little coves – no wonder it has been classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Page 36 NWM 2018


NWM 2018 Page 37


Buy the book

If you don’t fancy getting out and about over the bank holiday weekends, why not bring a little bit of North Wales into your home? Whether it’s fact or fiction you prefer, there are plenty of options to keep you entertained this May…

Fact 1) The ever-popular North Wales seaside resort of Llandudno has a surprisingly long and intriguing history that predates the development of the present town, as Llandudno at Work demonstrates. Illustrated with a fascinating series of contemporary and rare historical photographs, local author Peter Johnson explores the life of the ‘Queen of the Welsh Resorts’, from its earliest days, through two world wars and into the twenty-first century as Llandudno continues to evolve and thrive as a popular holiday destination. It is available from www. 2) Wrexham and its immediate vicinity has a rich heritage of industry including coal, iron and steel, brewing, tanning, brick and tile making and lead mining. John Idris jones takes the reader on a tour of the town’s past, illustrated by his own photographs. Secret Wrexham is a wide-ranging collection of lesser-known places and tales, telling stories from Wrexham’s varied past that the reader will find instructive and engrossing. Visit for further information 3) A new town established in the 1800s, Colwyn Bay thrived with the coming of the railway, growing over the last century into one of the largest communities in North Wales. Well-known local author Graham Roberts takes the reader on a fascinating tour of the town’s history, relating many a tale of the most interesting people and places. Fully illustrated with photographs from the past and present, the A–Z of Colwyn Bay will prove to be a must-have for everyone’s bookshelf. It is available to order from

Page 38 NWM 2018

Fiction 4) Patricia Lennan’s debut novel, Owl at Midnight, refers to the story of Gwenllian – the lost Princess of Wales, daughter of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd. After her father’s death Gwenllian was imprisoned by King Edward 1st in a convent in Lincolnshire. History tells us that she remained here for the rest of her life until she died at the age of 54, however Owl at Midnight takes a different twist based on a ‘what if’ situation… Patricia, who lives in Beaumaris, is selling the book via

5) Trisha Ashley is perhaps North Wales’ best-known novelist. The Conwy based author’s latest book, The House of Hopes and Dreams, is already a Sunday Times bestseller. When old friends Carey Revell and Angel Arrowsmith move into Mossby, Carey’s ancestral home, it’s rather a mixed blessing. Will all their dreams for happiness be shattered? Or can Carey and Angel find a way to make this house a home? The House of Hopes and Dreams is available from Amazon

6) Duncan Smith was born and brought up in Wrexham, but he has been living in Abersoch since 2003. It is coastal living that has inspired his latest novel, 24 Heures Du Abersoch. The novel moves between Abersoch on the Llŷn Peninsula and Le Mans in northern France, humorously charting the ups and downs of three young people trying to live their dream – and their passion for fast cars. The book is available for £7 (plus postage and packaging) by contacting Duncan Smith directly: smith_

NWM 2018 Page 39

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Page 42 NWM 2018

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T.E. Lawrence was born in Tremadog in 1888



Lawrence of Arabia was born in Tremadog 130 years ago this summer. Stephen Gregory discovers the small town that was the birthplace of this great man…

In 1888 a baby was born in a modest house in Tremadog,

But the name which has stuck with him longest, and

North Wales. His father was Thomas Chapman and his mother

forever, is Lawrence of Arabia.

was Sarah Junner. Because they had run away from Ireland and weren’t married and they wanted to be incognito, they

My father took me to see the film. It was a marvellous thing,

changed their names to Mr and Mrs Lawrence.

in those days, to go to the cinema. It was 1962 and I was a little boy in boarding school in Colwyn Bay. One wonderful

So the baby was born Thomas Edward Lawrence. As a young

afternoon, when my Mum and Dad came to take my brother

man he preferred to be known by his initials, as simply T.E.

and I out of school for a Saturday treat, we went into the

Lawrence. Later he would change his name to John Ross. And

cinema in town and saw Lawrence of Arabia.

later still to T.E. Shaw. Well, I say it was wonderful… but it felt a bit too long for me, and I fell asleep. I remember Peter O’ Toole’s steely blue eyes and his oddly pantomime costume, and there were a lot of thundering hooves and clouds of dust, great stampedes of horses and camels – so many, and for so long, that I nodded off. It was the following day that the impact of the story really hit me. As a follow-up to the film, and something to do on a rainy Sunday, Dad drove us all to Tremadog, not far away from school, and he showed us the very house where Lawrence of Arabia (the real one, not Peter O’ Toole) had been born. Yes, TE Lawrence, a baby boy who grew up to be an archaeologist and diplomat and writer, and who became a Snowdon Lodge, birthplace of Lawrence of Arabia, now offers self-catering group accommodation

legend for his role in the Arab Revolt during World War 1 – a desert soldier forever and globally known as Lawrence of Arabia – was born in Tremadog, on the 16th August 1888.

NWM 2018 Page 43


Tremadog today

T.E. Lawrence’s birthplace in Tremadog is now known as Snowdon Lodge. 130 years ago the house was called Gorphwysfa, which is Welsh for ‘resting place’. Today Snowdon Lodge is a Grade II listed building that has been converted into self-catering group accommodation for up to 35 people. Owners Carl and Anja Borum welcome groups of holidaymakers interested in sleeping in the birthplace of Lawrence of Arabia and who are keen to visit the mountains of Snowdonia, local tourist resorts and beaches of the Llŷn Peninsula. A plaque at Snowdon Lodge commemorating the life of Lawrence of Arabia


mountains. I remember one of my schoolteachers telling us in a history lesson – when we were ‘doing’ the bits about King Edward 1st and his ‘conquest’ of Wales – that the towns of Porthmadog and Tremadog were named after the great Welshman Madog ap Gruffyd, who had attacked and sacked Caernarfon Castle in 1294. Pretty impressive… but my teacher was wrong. In fact, Simon Weston OBE (left) and David Williams-Ellis (right) remember the life of Lawrence of Arabia. David, who is related to Portmeirion architect Clough Williams-Ellis, is an international sculptor who was commissioned to make a bronze of T.E. Lawrence. As a coincidence, his grandfather (who was also born in Tremadog) meet Lawrence during the Arab revolt period in 1918

Porthmadog and Tremadog are perfect examples of ‘planned settlement’ in the 18th and 19th Centuries, when an English engineer and so-called ‘agricultural improver’ called William Madocks bought the land known as Traeth Mawr in the estuary of the Afon Glaslyn, and had it drained and reclaimed

You can visit the house. It’s a modest house, but it’s truly

for building land and farming. The new towns, built between

inspirational to walk in its rooms and passageways and

1798 and 1811, were named after him.

simply breathe and think and be in the building where one of the greatest figures of modern history was born.

By all accounts, William Madocks was a forceful and entrepreneurial businessman. He also became an MP, with

Tremadog itself is a pretty town well worth a visit on your

a constituency in Boston, Lincolnshire, and eventually died a

travels through Snowdonia and along our lovely coast. Rock-

comfortably wealthy man, in Paris in 1828.

climbers – generations of thrill-seekers almost as intrepid as the town’s native hero – have tackled the famous cliffs,

By the way, Madocks’ Tremadog house was briefly let to Percy

preparing for assaults on Alpine and even Himalayan

Bysshe Shelley, and you can see a memorial there to the great

Page 44 NWM 2018

Tremadog as it would have looked around the time of Lawrence’s birth in 1888 Credit: Martin Pritchard

poet if you visit. It wasn’t a particularly inspirational sojourn for Shelley – he stayed only a few months (in 1813 and 1814) and disappeared without notice, leaving all his bills unpaid. As for T.E. Lawrence, born unremarkably and more or less anonymously in Tremadog some 70 years after the poet’s ignominious visit, he wouldn’t stay a lot longer himself. His father, on inheriting his baronetcy, decamped back to Ireland.

Lawrence of Arabia was a British scholar, writer and soldier who mobilised the Arab Revolt in World War One Credit: © National Portrait Gallery, London

Lawrence won a first-class degree at Oxford and took himself off to Syria on a solo expedition, to research a thesis on the

the adventures in Arabia. For a short while Lawrence was a

Crusader castles. On that trip, alone and vulnerable in remote

Middle-Eastern advisor to Winston Churchill, but he quit the

country, he quickly grew to love the local Arab people and

job, changed his name to John Ross to escape the spotlight of

learned to speak Arabic.

his celebrity, and joined the RAF. That didn’t last long either, because he was dismissed when someone blew his cover. He

During World War 1, while the great battles on the Western

tried once again to change his identity, and as TE Shaw he

front were resulting in unimaginable carnage, T.E. Lawrence

enrolled as a private soldier in the Tanks Corps.

took up the cause of the Arab Revolt against the oppression of the Ottoman Empire. He was an intelligence officer in

Yes, a troubled, unsettled life, repeatedly re-inventing himself

Cairo and a formidable guerrilla fighter – some people have

– perhaps never really finding himself.

surmised that, hearing that his two younger brothers had been killed in France, he was driven by a kind of guilt to serve

At the end, on the 19th May 1935, swerving in a leafy Dorset

and to fight for a desperate cause.

lane, he was thrown off his motorcycle and fatally injured.

Ultimately, as the Great War ended, T.E. Lawrence would

So died Thomas Edward Lawrence. What a life, what a legacy

be disappointed. The Arab revolt failed. He wrote about his

of extraordinary exploits!

exploits in his monumental book, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, and returned to England to find himself a celebrity, dubbed

Born in Tremadog, the illegitimate son of a feckless Anglo-

Lawrence of Arabia.

Irish baronet – best known and forever remembered as Lawrence of Arabia. n

It was a fame he did not want. Summoned to Buckingham Palace by King George V, thinking he had been called to discuss a post-war deal for the Arabs, he was astonished to find he was about to be knighted… he left the palace, spurning his knighthood. A strange, complicated, oddly frustrating life, from its inauspicious beginnings in Tremadog, to Oxford, to Syria, to

Stephen Gregory’s seventh novel, PLAGUE OF GULLS, which is set entirely within and around the medieval castle and town walls of Caernarfon, comes out this month. Check it out and order your copy by googling PS Publishing / Stephen Gregory, or email the author directly on

NWM 2018 Page 45

Blwyddyn M0^r Year


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of the

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Hon yw ein

Take care

up there

Steve Goodier takes a look at staying safe and well on the mountains and hills of Snowdonia and North Wales.

Over the recent Easter break I was having breakfast in a Snowdonian café early one morning before heading up into the mountains for the day. A nearby party were discussing their route when someone asked the question: “it looks complicated, what happens if we get lost?” Someone else replied instantly. “We’ll call mountain rescue. After all, that’s what they’re there for.” And, sadly, that is a view held by a lot of people who head onto the mountains and hills of Snowdonia and North Wales – often ill equipped and with little experience. The mobile phone has replaced the map and compass in many instances and it’s small wonder that so many people get into difficulty on the Welsh mountain tops. A few years ago a party approached my wife and I on a foggy freezing cold

NWM 2018 Page 47


And yet with careful planning, sensible behaviour and good mountain skills you can move safely in our high places and return refreshed from your day out and not wishing you had never set off

March day while we were walking on The Carneddau

Mountain Rescue Team responds to about 120 call outs

Mountains above The Ogwen Valley. Their leader was

each year.

clutching a map and pointed an accusing finger at me as he asked “have you any idea where you are?” “Of course I do,”

Statistics from The Mountain Rescue England and Wales

I snapped back defensively. “Good,” he replied. “Would you

website ( show that there were

mind showing us because we haven’t got a clue.”

304 incidents in North Wales alone in 2016, and in England and Wales combined there were 2074 call outs of which 1,812

I could re-count numerous other incidents such as this and

resulted in a team being deployed.

tell of accidents I have helped out at, but the point is simply this: if you intend heading onto the high ground of North

And yet with careful planning, sensible behaviour and good

Wales (and particularly the summits of Snowdonia) it’s

mountain skills you can move safely in our high places and

down to you and your group to go prepared and ready and

return refreshed from your day out and not wishing you had

not to expect others to come and bail you out if things go

never set off.

pear shaped. You can also help ease the burden on our mountain rescue Now don’t get me wrong, accidents happen and no member


of a mountain rescue team will complain about attending a genuine incident, but ask them what they feel about getting


dragged from in front of their fire to bring down someone

There is an old saying amongst walkers that goes ‘remember,

with no map and compass who is simply ‘lost’ or ‘too tired’

the summit is only half way. Coming down can be more

to continue. Trust me, all these things happen and, as our

difficult’. So, with that in mind, let’s look at a few ideas for

mountain rescue teams are voluntary bodies, it makes

staying safe in our hills and mountains. Note, however, that

sense not to abuse the services they offer.

in full winter conditions the summits are best left to the experienced mountaineer and mountain walker who is well

They are often besieged with call outs at busy times and

equipped with ice axe and crampons.

Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team is the busiest in the UK with over 200 incidents to attend to each year. Most

1) Plan your route carefully and make sure it is well within the

of its time is spent helping walkers on Snowdon. Ogwen

capabilities of the weakest member of your party.

Page 48 NWM 2018

2) Get an up to date weather forecast and don’t be afraid to change to an easier route or abandon your walk altogether if it seems unsuitable. Remember winds blow much stronger as you gain height, rain falls heavier and temperatures drop.

WEATHER FORECASTS J mountain-forecasts

3) Don’t be afraid of turning back if the weather deteriorates or a member of the party shows signs of fatigue or illness.


‘Better a postponement than a post-mortem’ as the late guidebook writer Alfred Wainwright said. 4) Have the appropriate map and a compass and know how to

7) Carry food and some form of instant energy bars (Mars bars

read the first and use the second. GPS units are very useful

and Snickers will do at a push). And even though water is

but batteries can run out (carry spares) and nothing beats

heavy always make sure you are carrying enough.

being able to navigate with a map and compass. Remember mist and rain can be very disorientating so extra careful route

8) If the sun is shining (and it sometimes does even in Wales)

finding is needed if caught in these conditions.

carry sun cream and wear a sun hat. Sun and heat stroke can be just as deadly as hypothermia.

5) Don’t rely on mobile phones – batteries run down and there may be no signal in the area where you are.

9) Carry a decent first aid kit and a plastic survival bag with the party and keep an eye on each other. Hypothermia can

6) Wear good boots and socks and appropriate warm clothing.

creep up on the unwary and is a killer. Simple things like

Carry hat and gloves and waterproof coat and trousers

blisters on toes can be agonising and debilitating so know

(preferably Gore-tex material). Use a layering system starting

how to deal with them and act sooner rather than later.

with a wick away base layer and ending with a wind and waterproof outer layer. You can take layers off and put them

10) Act sensibly and walk carefully being especially cautious

on as the day progresses and you get hotter and colder. Other

on rocky ground and scree. Treat steep slopes and drops with

items worth taking along are a head torch, paper and pen and

respect and avoid them if possible. The majority of mountain

some spare clothing.

rescue call outs are to slips, falls and tumbles.

NWM 2018 Page 49


they are tired and hungry then there is no need to call out mountain rescue, is there?


4) Make the casualty as comfortable as you can by adding extra clothing or covering them with it. If you can get them in a survival bag do so and see if someone can get in with them to add extra body warmth. The most important thing is to


keep the casualty warm and calm. Depending on the nature of the injury it may or may not be possible to administer first


aid if you know how to. Remember, if injuries are to the neck or back it is best not to move the casualty until professional help arrives.

11) Always let someone know where you are going and your intended route as well as what time they should expect you


back. Leaving a route card or route outline is a good idea but

You can contact Mountain Rescue through the police by

always remember to let the person you have trusted with

calling 999. Mountain Rescue teams work extensively with

the details know you are back safely. Numerous mountain

Air Ambulance, HM Coastguard and their helicopters and

rescue call outs have been initiated because someone forgot

search and rescue dog associations so you will be in good

to do this. Route cards and outlines should include a good


outline of the route with grid references for the key points and timings too – and remember to stick to it and not change

Once you have decided to contact Mountain Rescue have as

it once you are out.

much detail as possible ready for when you get put through. Try and have as many of the following facts ready:

12) To summarise – be sensible, take care, do nothing rashly and remember your enemies’ names are Mr Cold, Mr Wet and Mr Hungry. Avoid these and things will go much more smoothly so stay warm, dry and keep well fed. WHAT TO DO IF THE WORST HAPPENS

J Location of the casualty with a grid reference if known J Condition of the casualty and assessment of injury J Number of others in the party and gear being carried J How the accident occurred J Mobile phone numbers you can be contacted on

So you’ve taken all the precautions and carried all the right gear but things have gone dreadfully wrong. What should

From then on you will be in very experienced hands and will

you do?

be told what to do and what to expect. n

1) Make a quick assessment of the situation and make sure that not only is the casualty in a safe position but all members of the party are too.

FURTHER INFORMATION J Plas Y Brenin at Capel Curig is The National

2) Keep everyone calm. There will often be other walkers

Mountain Centre and offer courses in mountain

around who will offer to help but even if there isn’t, nothing

safety and walking for all levels of experience.

is to be gained by panicking.

J 3) Be realistic. If someone has just sat down because

Page 50 NWM 2018

NWM 2018 Page 51

MAY/MAI 22-28 01248 811200 TOCYNNAU O’R GANOLFAN/TICKETS FROM CANOLFAN Orchestral Concerts, Talks, Choral Concert, String Quartet Young Artist Recitals, Jazz, Art Exhibition, Organ Recital, Craft Fair, Brass Quartet, Wine Tasting, Children's Workshops, Piano Series, Poetry, Family, Film Matinee, Songs From The Shows

FOOD & DRINK INSIDE Clwydian Range Restaurant Profile Recipes Wine Column

NWM 2018 Page 53

The Hills inspires, supports and promotes small businesses We are passionate about helping to connect rural businesses and entrepreneurs with the community around them and even more passionate about enabling people who live in the British countryside to support small local businesses in their area.

Page 54 NWM 2018

Add your beautiful business to our community and join other rural makers, creators, crafters and brands in our directory.

Afonwen at Afonwen uses fresh, local, produce

Afonwen Craft Centre

Range On the

The cakes at Afonwen Craft Centre have quite the reputation!

The members of the Clwydian Range Food and Drink group focus on local produce that is fresh, homemade and delicious. Janet Hill dug a little bit deeper to find out more… My abiding passion is simple; wholesome country living,

local food and drink, the Clwydian Range Food and Drink

hearty food, great conversations, idyllic dog walks, the

group is now home to around 30 of North Wales’ best food

very best staycations and fabulous artisan businesses

producers, retailers and eateries, meeting monthly and

full of wonderful produce and creations. Lucky to be

all working together to create new products and cross-

living in the hills in North Wales for the past 15 years,

promote their goods by attending festivals and organising

I am surrounded by places I truly adore, the food I love

excellent local events.

to eat and the people whose talents and skills I want to shout about!

Janet Monshin Dallolio, treasurer of the group and owner of Afonwen Craft Centre, and Edenshine Restaurant, near

It is a tough job isn’t it; meeting warm and welcoming

Caerwys in Flintshire, was the first group member I met.

people, sampling their expert culinary products… and

Janet’s passion for fresh, homemade and delicious cannot

all in the name of business! But hey, someone has to do

be in doubt. During our meeting the cakes (of far-reaching

it. It was through my ‘research’ to find communities and

reputation) were divine and the coffee she serves equally

groups in my local area who work together well (for the

delicious, sourced of course locally at group member

benefit not only of community members but all of us who

Owen & Edwards, suppliers of hand-crafted, high quality

are lucky enough to sample the delights they support

fairtrade and organic coffees.

each other to make and promote) that I was delighted to come across a group of passionate food lovers.

The names of 15 or so of Janet’s suppliers are displayed proudly on her website and in her restaurant; all of her

Established in 2012, with the simple aim of promoting

fish, meat, eggs, cheese, vegetables, ice cream, cheese

NWM 2018 Page 55


Group member Owen & Edwards produces great tasting coffee

The Clwydian Hills are inspiration to many local food and drink producers

Fresh meat is always on the menu at Afonwen

and beer is produced locally. Her famous Tiramisu dessert uses local coffee, and is served with local Chilly Cow coffee ice cream, also made with Owen & Edwards coffee! In 2014, Chilly Cow, a Ruthin success story, started to sell exceptionally tasty artisan ice cream using fresh milk from the family farm. Anna and David farm a herd of Brown Swiss cows. Not the most common of breeds in Wales, one has to say, but they produce milk that is higher in butter fat content than most cows – delicious for top quality ice cream. There’s no shortage of volunteer tasters at Chilly Cow when developing new recipes and flavours! The Cow Shed, the obvious name for their new onsite parlour, offers visitors ice cream and drinks and sells, like so many other Clwydian Range Food and Drink group members, other locally produced products. A range of sumptuous Pop into Afonwen Craft Centre to sample one of its delicious cakes

homemade jams and chutneys from Mostyn Kitchen Garden and Celtic Honeysmith honey are just a couple of examples. Dedicated to supporting local communities and local trade, Anna Taylor told me: “It was one of the main aims when we started the business to become a member of the food group. We felt it would be a great avenue for promotion and support as a new business in the area. Being a member has brought us several benefits including extended promotion in national publications, the opportunity to meet other small producers and exchange tips and most importantly, it has opened doors to progress my business, mainly through events that we have run such as Meet the Producer. As members we also have an understanding of the difficulties met by small businesses and we offer support and guidance to each

Page 56 NWM 2018

Top left: In 2014, Chilly Cow started to sell artisan ice cream using fresh milk from the family farm Top middle: Owen & Edwards coffee is roasted locally Top right: Brown Swiss cows produce milk that is higher in butter fat content than most cows – which is ideal for Chilly Cow’s ice cream Middle to Right: Cheese from The Little Welsh Cheese Company is maturing nicely Bottom: The Cow Shed, Chilly Cow’s new onsite parlour

other where we are able, and to us that is priceless!” I next spent several pleasurable hours chatting with Jo Smith, an active member of the group for several years, owner of the popular Hope Mountain B&B in Ffynnony-Garreg, Cymau, Flintshire and a soon to be nationally famous Cheesemaker, after her new business The Little Welsh Cheese Company was selected to participate in the new Artisan Food TV series Top of the Shop with Tom Kerridge! Jo is currently working on exciting plans to build a brand new dairy at home. Meanwhile her cheeses are maturing nicely, some of her finest will be ready for sale in a couple of years. Jo is a gold mine of useful local food and drink knowledge and who she doesn’t know isn’t worth asking! She sees the Food and Drink Group as a ‘valuable, up and coming group of people, passionate about food and drink and the area in which we live and work’ and she too uses and sells other members’ products. I had a fabulous time meeting these members of the Clwydian Range Food and Drink group, so much so I am going to continue my meetings and hopefully sample the delights of all 30! Julie Andrews was right – the hills are alive, especially in the Clwydian Range Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty! They are alive with vibrant communities, creative and skilled food producers with brilliant businesses. Join us at The Hills for conversation with other countryside lovers, and a taste of simple living. n

Janet Hill lives at the foot of the beautiful Welsh Hills with her two children, six cats, six dogs and an assortment of wild ducks. She is the founder of The Hills, a new website that promotes the too-often unsung heroes and beauties of our British countryside.

NWM 2018 Page 57


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STAR QUALITY One of only two restaurants in North Wales boasting a Michelin star, Tyddyn Llan is a shining example of excellent local fare…

Only a few of life’s professions offer the beam of a star

stance and ended

to guide our every twist and turn as we labour up the

up joining a

career ladder, rung by rung. Certainly, those of a nautical

catering course”

persuasion might expect to gaze upwards at ‘Orion’s Belt’

one day a week

or the ‘Southern Cross’ every once in a while during times

off site instead.

of satellite navigation failure. Nomadic herders too will

His persistence

look to the skies seeking direction as they make their

paid off too, when

perilous passage over the shifting sands of the Sahara

he landed his

desert. And, if we look a little closer to home, residents

first kitchen job in 1981 at the Michelin starred Crown at

of North Wales might just spot the phosphoric glow

Whitebrook near Monmouth. In keeping with a good many

emanating from the brightest of them all – the Michelin

chefs, he started at the bottom, washing pans and dishes

star. For nestled in the heart of rural Denbighshire near

and working his way up the hard way – though I got the

Corwen lies the widely acclaimed Tyddyn Llan restaurant,

distinct impression he would have worked double the

where head chef Bryan Webb – and his wife – can be

hours for half the pay to avoid his most likely alternative

found working fiendishly hard to keep it twinkling.

career – a subterranean life mining Welsh coal.

Attracted to cookery from a young age as a result of

In search of pastures new, Bryan left Monmouth and,

helping his mother out with charity bake sales, Bryan

after a spell at “probably one of Wales’ best restaurants

tried unsuccessfully to enroll at school on a cookery

at the time,” headed to London where he took up his first

course but was told it was only an option for girls.

head chef role at the “young age of 24” before eventually

Unperturbed by what now seems a very outdated and

settling down at the Hilaire in South Kensington where

anachronistic mindset typical of the 1970s, he “took a

he took over from the outgoing Simon Hopkinson. The

NWM 2018 Page 59


move proved so successful that by 1990, he’d managed to

puree, tagliatelle with broad beans, bacon and mustard,

purchase the restaurant himself, giving him the freedom

dressed langoustine with avocado salsa or, perhaps my

to enjoy a further 11 years success and in doing so,

favourite, local pork four ways. Of course, as you might

maintain a constant score of “7 out of 10 in the Good Food

expect, the miserly number of mouthwatering options I have

Guide.” Following a year off in 2001, he and his wife left

presented before you here barely scrapes the surface of this

London and set their sights on another challenge in the

expansive and exciting menu and to properly do it justice, I

shape of Tyddyn Llan. But enough about the man, what

can only suggest you get online and take a look yourselves

about the Llan?

before grabbing the phone and reserving a table.

There’s a great deal to talk about, that’s for sure. I could

How you choose to experience Tyddyn Llan is also a matter

start with the myriad accolades and awards hanging,

of personal choice, as both Bryan and Susan have worked

metaphorically at least, from the walls. Or its location,

hard to provide a wide selection of alternatives including

situated as it is in the Dee Valley and offering patrons a

dinner, lunch and breakfast menus, a six and nine course

romantic view of the spectacular North Welsh scenery.

taster menu and annual celebration evenings including an

But of course, there is really only one place to begin and

‘asparagus dinner’ every April to mark the arrival of this

that’s with the food. Having built his menus on a platform

seasonal delicacy, a ‘Champagne dinner’ in June, a ‘lobster

of the best ingredients, Bryan is unapologetic of his high

and grouse’ event in the early autumn and, in November, an

expectations, declaring that he only uses “local if it is good

‘anniversary dinner’ celebrating their arrival at the restaurant.

enough,” though unsurprisingly, plenty of the nearby

In addition, those keen to take their experience beyond the

produce is. Like Welsh Black beef from the Bala area, local

dining room can take advantage of different weekend break

lamb in spring, sausage and bacon from Edwards of Conwy

options including a two-night walking package complete with

and water cress and asparagus from the Wirral.

complimentary guides and maps. And if the lure of Bryan’s cooking isn’t enough to power you up and down Mount

These sumptuous ingredients, along with others from

Berwyn in record time – and it should be – then the promise of

further afield, are turned with a touch of Bryan’s genius

a hot shower and a cosy night’s rest in one of the guest rooms

into such delights as griddled scallops with cauliflower

will do it.

Page 60 NWM 2018

The place is run first and foremost as a restaurant with rooms and not a hotel per se, but don’t let that put you off. Guests can still expect a great night’s sleep in one of the property’s dozen individually designed guest rooms or, if you are looking for something a little more luxurious, why not throw a crumpled shirt or two into the wardrobe of the ‘Garden Suite” and square away your wash bag before hurrying down to sample the food. Staying with the theme of crumpled shirts, though not in any way encouraging untidy and disheveled diners to flock to the restaurant, Bryan was keen to point out when we spoke that while his food is definitely of the ‘fine dining’ variety, the atmosphere that he and Susan have striven to create inside the dining room is neither stuffy nor pretentious. Instead, what diners will find is more of a relaxed feel and any guest waiting expectantly for a waiter or waitress to unfurl and neatly place their napkin will be disappointed. Lastly on this journey of culinary excellence, it would be totally

mountain range. Then again, for others, Tyddyn Llan’s

remiss of me not to delve a little deeper into those accolades

attraction could just as easily be its relaxed feel and unfussy

I mentioned earlier. Being consistently well rated in the Good

hotel vibe or, of course, the plain old promise of fabulous food.

Food Guide and climbing to 36th in the Sunday Times Top 100

But whatever your reason for visiting, promise me you’ll

Restaurants would be a lofty enough height for many in the

switch your car’s satellite navigation off as you make your

industry but not Bryan. These are just staging posts along the

way over to Corwen. For as long as the restaurant’s stoves are

way. Described by fellow multi-award winning chef Shaun

lit and burning, you’ll be just fine using that light Michelin star

Hill as being “at the top of his game as a chef and restaurateur

to guide you. Something Bryan knows, learnt well throughout

for so many decades that it is amazing he has managed to

his long and successful career. n

avoid becoming a celebrity cook and TV star,” Bryan clearly chose to focus on a Michelin sponsored star rather than one backed by the BBC, something that paid off in 2010 when Tyddyn Llan joined that most elite of restaurant clubs. What really stands out about this restaurant though is the depth of its appeal. Some may be drawn by the awards bulging out of the trophy cabinet or attracted by the location,

Nick Embrey is a teacher from the borders who recently started blogging about the antics of his crazy brown Labrador called Dudley. You can follow them at

with its proximity to the rugged and isolated Berwyn

NWM 2018 Page 61


Lots of clever storage options

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Food for thought

I recently tried to trick my son into eating his

flip-flops on is ice cream. North Wales is

carrots with that old lie about them making

home to plenty of independent ice cream

you see in the dark, and it put me in mind of

makers who have been crafting their wares

many of the colourful untruths we often use,

here since the 1920s. Forte’s in Llandudno for

usually to keep our kids on the straight and

example, and Parisella’s in Conwy have both

narrow. I can remember being convinced at

been servicing our sweet-teeth for decades.

a young age that robins were spies working for Father Christmas, reporting back to the

There is something pretty special about

big man about whether you were being good

making your own ice cream though. For

or not.

anyone who has an ice cream maker, the thrill of seeing your home made mixture

Old favourites include the one about your

start to thicken as it cools still feels like

face freezing if the wind changed direction

witchcraft to me. It’s also a great way to

(false, it turns out) to the one about your legs

while away an afternoon with the kids

falling off if you unscrew your belly-button

(who can be hoodwinked into cleaning the

(similarly untrue).

machine afterwards with the promise of fresh ice cream).

Cai Ross is co-owner and

One of the best ones I ever heard was from a penny-pinching dad who told his kids that

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, fret

Maitre d’ of the award-

ice cream vans only play their music when

not. I’ve discovered the easiest recipe since

winning Paysanne Bistro

they have sold out of all their ice creams.

beans on toast – all you need is an electric

in Deganwy, which has

whisk and a can of condensed milk (yes,

been serving French

After such a miserably damp and grey

they still make condensed milk!). I’ve paired

country-style food to the

winter/spring, I think we are entitled to a

it up with another classic summer recipe

fine people of North Wales

prolonged hot spell this year, and the first

that’s equally simple. All we need now is a

since 1988. He also writes

thing I think about when summer gets its

little sun!

for Calibre Magazine, BBC Good Food, HeyUGuys. com and The North Wales Weekly News

NWM 2018 Page 63


St Winefide’s Well


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Page 64 NWM 2018

ut sed milk (p ed conden n te ee sw n ½ a 397g ca ) your coffee in st re e th m ea cr double 600ml pot t ac extr 1 tsp vanilla illa m and van d milk, crea se en er d h n et g co Pour the l and mix to a large bow thickens. extract into hisk until it -w d an h ic tr well, then with an elec d stir it in you like an at h tin or w af d lo d A large hing into a you like. er in ta n pour everyt er-proof co z ee fr for about er e z whatev and free lm fi g in cl h Cover it wit ht ideally. , or overnig rs ou h ve fi

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Page 66 NWM 2018

Raise your glass May is the perfect time to discover the great wines of southern Italy…

We here at ‘The Grape to Glass’ love the wines of Italy,

Now to mention a few, to tantalise the taste buds, and I have

especially the deep south. There is a serious charge of

just one page in this fine example of a local publication, so

popularity from all our regular customers, so much so, that we

you’ll have to pop in to discover the rest…

can’t help bringing in more varieties and styles.

J SQUINZANO, Apuglia (DOP) Cantine due Palme – Varieties: The wines of the south have been rising in popularity of late. Prosecco and Pinot Grigio have had their growth story in Italian wine over the past generation. Perhaps you’ve heard?

Negroamaro/Malvasia Nera Seductive, fruity aromas of dried fruits and exotic spices. Juicy, dark damson and black berry fruits on the palate with an intense and long spiced finish.

Unless you’ve been spending too much time filling your boots with Brunello, Barolo, and Reserva Chianti, maybe not, it feels like the story has just begun for the rise of this great part of

J AGLIANICO del Beneventano, Campania (IGT) Cantine Tombacco – Variety: Aglianico Often referred to as the Barolo of the south! This structured

Italy, and certainly for us too as a stockist and venue. Southern

wine is complex with enjoyable hints of cherry and red

Italy: I’m talking about the lower half of the Cavalier’s boot. From

berry notes, followed by a marked vanilla and spicy note.

below the knee that is Rome, all the way to Puglia’s steep heel and including the island of Sicily off the big toe. (No foot fetish here, just a love of wine and geography. But mostly wine.)

J IMPERIO ‘LXXIV’, Manduria, Apuglia (DOP) Feudo Croce – Varieties: Primitivo This wine presents a complex panorama of aromas with marked notes of ripe red fruit, spices, slight hints of cocoa

The deep south is an ancient land of historical vineyards, offering hundreds of grape varieties and vastly improved winemaking techniques.

and a balsamic vein. A harmonic balance of fruit and toasted French oak.

J SOGNO del SUD, Sicily (IGP) Baglio Gibellina – Varieties: Grillo This delightful wine is straw yellow in colour. An intense but

The old days where most production was used to be the

pleasant nose with notes of exotic fruit and spice. Fresh and

source of bulk wine destined for blending elsewhere, is now

soft on the palate, well balanced with a persistent aftertaste.

flourishing with new and older generations of winemakers proudly bottling their own cuvee styles.

Iechyd da! Tim

You’ve got to be open-minded to embrace most southern Italian wines given the unfamiliar grape varieties and flavours, the wines really ought to be judged on their own terms, or at least

Tim Watson runs The Grape to

with a view to how it might pair with food or just plain old

Glass Wine Shop and Tasting

good company.

Room in Rhos-on-Sea which, as well as offering wine from

If you prefer to play things safe with Prosecco and Pinot Grigio

far reaching lands, also stocks

all the time, stick to the north; it’s churning out plenty of those

locally produced beers, wines and spirits

wines to go around. Try something different! Not only do Mark and I adore the array of wine available to

The Grape to Glass Wine Shop and Tasting Room

showcase for you, they speak for themselves when you

8b Rhos Parade, Penrhyn Avenue, Rhos-on-Sea, LL29 7RE

taste them!

01492 545934

NWM 2018 Page 67



Orangeries - Windows - Conservatories - Aluminum Bi-Fold Doors - Patios Doors - Roofline - Extensions - Garage Doors - Loft Extensions Garage Conversions - Residence 9 Window Collection

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tel: 01492 543 317 NWM 2018 Page 69


Page 70 NWM 2018

HOMES & INTERIORS INSIDE worktops property roundup interiors

NWM 2018 Page 71

Save yourself from commisery Instruct us to sell for


from over 40,000 reviews (April 2018)

Book a free valuation at † Our optional viewings service takes care of every viewing for you, with a dedicated professional, for £300. We want to give you the choice of paying a transparent and fixed amount for viewings (many of our customers prefer to do it themselves) rather than hide it within a much larger commission charge. Our fee is a fixed cost to you, payable regardless of sale, and we will market your property for as long as it takes to sell without ever asking for more money.

Property of the month

Kestrel Cottage is the perfect country retreat to get away from it all. Located in Capel Curig, the new owners will be able to enjoy the peace and quiet of the area while savouring the extensive views of the surrounding Snowdonia landscape – making it the perfect home or holiday retreat.

NWM 2018 Page 73


Being tucked away at the end of a single track, accessed via the neighbouring farmland, this really is one of the most peaceful positions you could wish for. The detached cottage has a wonderful decked, raised balcony which runs the length of the property, overlooking the garden with stunning far reaching views, ideal for al fresco dining, entertaining or simply relaxing. The beautifully presented accommodation, which has the addition of a hot tub, comprises lounge with French doors out onto the balcony, fitted kitchen, utility room, rear aspect conservatory, three bedrooms and a family bathroom with separate WC. Externally there is extensive parking, a large timber car port and a former garage which is now being utilised as a separate annexe. The property is surrounded by rolling countryside with direct access to many country walks, with a lovely natural garden to side and rear with a large pond which also has its own decked seating area. n This three-bedroom country home is on the market for ÂŁ325,000 with Purple Bricks. Visit for further information

Page 74 NWM 2018

INTELLIGENT ELECTRIC HEATING Tailored to suit your home & lifestyle

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NWM 2018 Page 75

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Page 76 NWM 2018

WORKING ON IT When choosing a kitchen, everybody tends to focus on the units – but it’s worktops that can make, or break, a new kitchen design. Kate Hamilton reports.

Worktops are often over looked when it comes to

market. “Modern laminate worktops are pretty resilient

planning the kitchen – but it can be a costly mistake.

and have come on in leaps and bounds over the years,

Worktops need to do what they say on the tin – work –

with a wide variety of patterns and finishes to choose

and any surface that will scratch or stain might not be up

from,” continues Gilbert.

to the job. Howdens in Mochdre stocks a wide range of laminate “People often ask the question ‘will they mark?’ when

worktops in a choice of matt, gloss, smooth and textured

looking to purchase worktops,” says Gilbert E C Gillan

finishes – including a realistic stone-like appearance. You

from Hinton Interiors in Craig-y-Don. “The short answer

can choose from either a square or bullnose edged profile

is yes, most worktops will mark if not used sensibly.

and, while all of Howdens laminate worktops are moisture

We always recommend the use of chopping boards and

resistant, those marked P3 have an extra moisture

trivets for hot pans.”

resistant core.

Laminate is a pretty practical solution, and the huge

Solid wood worktops meanwhile add warmth and

choice available means that there is bound to be a finish

character to any kitchen, but they might be a little more

that complements your design. It is also probably the

high maintenance than their laminate counterparts. When

most cost effective worktop material currently on the

they are installed they will need to be treated with Danish

NWM 2018 Page 77


oil (around four coats as a rule of thumb according to Gilbert), and have an annual treatment from then on. Wood worktops will also need to be kept dry so, if your other half tends to get a bit messy when doing the washing up, then this probably isn’t the most practical worktop for you. But, if you wipe up spills as soon as they happen, then a wood finish adds a great depth of warmth to your most used room in the house. Howdens sells a wide range of wooden worktops too, and they can be profiled or grooved to create intricate detailing. They are available in two thicknesses, 27mm and 40mm and all of Howdens worktops come with a one-year manufacturing guarantee for peace of mind. However, if you really want to make a splash in the kitchen, then stone is the way to go. But, again, choosing isn’t as easy as it sounds. “When customers call into our showroom, they are often

worktop to suit their taste and requirements.”

overwhelmed by the huge choice of granite and quartz

The first consideration is whether you want granite or quartz.

available,” explains Julie Williams, managing director at

Granite is a natural stone that is quarried in blocks, sliced into

Stoneworkz in Denbigh. “At this stage many have already been

slabs and then either polished, or textured to show its colours

worn down by all their other kitchen choices such as colours

at its best.

and style of doors, shape of units, handles, sink types, taps and flooring. I consider it my job to be as helpful as possible and if

“All natural stone is porous and dependant on the grain and

required guide them through the process of selecting the right

colour, and the porosity varies considerably,” continues Julie. “However with some excellent sealants available you are able to protect your granite from staining. Lighter colours will need sealing more frequently although there are branded granite ranges such as Sensa by Cosentino and Naturamia by Levantina that are pre-sealed at the processing stage and come with guarantees against staining.” Quartz meanwhile is man made into slabs using natural quartz and granite particles mixed with resin and formed into slabs. “Quartz goes through the same fabrication process as natural stone, although we use higher grade consumables as the quartz can be more hard wearing on our tooling,” adds Julie. “Quartz has the advantage of being non porous so there is absolutely no concerns of the lighter colours staining. However, quartz doesn’t like heat so we advise the use of pan trivets as hot pans can distort the resin and cause areas of the

Laminate worktops, such as this one from Howdens, come in a choice of matt, gloss, smooth and textured finishes

worktop to singe or mark.” Julie recommends asking yourself four key questions before choosing the type of stone you want:

Page 78 NWM 2018

Stoneworkz in Denbigh supplies and fits a wide range of granite and quartz worktops

Quartz worktops, such as this one from Stoneworkz, have the advantage of being non porous – meaning that they won’t stain

1) Who uses your kitchen? If it’s a busy household then practicality is vitally important. Either a textured granite that doesn’t show every crumb or a non porous quartz (so no worries about staining) would be a good choice


2) Are you considering light or dark worktops?

Hinton Interiors

If dark, there are some lovely granite choices – if light, then

quartz is ideal or a pre-sealed branded granite Howdens 3) Are you looking for a contemporary look or do you want

something more traditional or rustic? Granite has more character and the textured ones even more


so. However, if a contemporary look is desired there is such a

large range of quartz available to suit all colour palettes 4) Do you want your worktops to compliment your units, or contrast against them

regret your choice after only a year.”

This immediately eliminates or introduces colours similar to carcass units and is a great starting point as to which

These days there is such a large choice, even within the

materials to look at first

materials themselves, that you can rest assured there is a worktop for everyone.

“If there is one piece of advice I’d offer it’s to take as many trips back and forth to see as many samples as required, and

Just remember Julie’s parting words before making your

borrow the samples to see the colour in the setting that they

final choice between stone, laminate and wood: “I remind my

will be installed,” continues Julie. “Put in the time required

customers that although theses days many of us are looking

to make a confident decision with your worktops, because

for a kitchen with a wow factor, it is still a working room

once production has started, there’s no going back – and

and practicality is essential. Make sure that you choose the

your worktops are made to last a lifetime so you don’t want to

worktop material that suits your way of life.” n

NWM 2018 Page 79



EW The Sycamores, 35 Pwllycrochan Avenue, Colwyn Bay LL29 7BW

Pen y Cefn Henryd Road, Conwy LL32 8YF

£595,000 *

Four Bedroom Detached Property Situated In A Quiet Semi Rural Location Within Walking Distance To Conwy Town * Enjoys Far Reaching Mountain & Countryside Views Reference Number: FP5470C





Reference Number: RP1625




12 X 3 Bedroom Luxury Apartments Award Winning Local House Builders Smart Home Control Module And Integrated Music System *Superb Location Close To Promenade, Beach, Shops And Amenities

EPC Rating “F”



Prices Starting From £188,000

* * *










Apartment 7, Plas Meirion, Trefriw LL27 0RZ

Apt.5, West Wing, Harbourside 35 Marine Drive, Rhos On Sea LL28 4NL



* Luxury Three Bedroom Penthouse Apartment * Superb Countryside Views * Fantastic Location With Easy Access To Wide Range Of Activities & Amenities Reference Number: FP5482

Page 80 NWM 2017

EPC Rating “C”

Reduced From £375,000



* *

Modern Second Floor Two bedroom Apartment Spectacular Curved Window Frontage Enjoys Panoramic Views Of The North Wales Coastline Reference Number: RP1463

Beach House, Rhos-on-Sea Beach House offers an exciting opportunity to purchase development land with planning permission for six individually designed one- and two-bedroom apartments. Located adjacent to the sea front between charming Rhos-onSea and bustling Colwyn Bay, the new apartments will boast stunning sea views. This development opportunity is available via Fletcher & Poole estate agents for ÂŁ350,000..



Old Coastguard House, Penmon

Groeslon Ty Mawr, LLanddeiniolen, near Caernarfon

This superbly situated semi-detached proeprty enjoys

Groeslon Ty Mawr is a family-run bed and breakfast business

one of the finest marine locations on Anglesey, and

with a licensed restaurant and tea rooms which is set within a

commands panoramic views of nearby Black Rock

lovely rural position between Bangor, Caernarfon and Llanberis

lighthouse and Puffin Island over Llandudno Bay and the

on the fringe of the Snowdonia National Park. The property

Menai Strait towards the Great Orme. It is unusual for

is set within pretty well maintained gardens and has five

a property to become available in this location, and the

comfortable en suite letting bedrooms, a charming 44-cover

cottage is currently used as a very successful holiday let.

restaurant/tea room, a well-equipped commercial kitchen and

Having been extended, the cottage provides a lounge,

a spacious owners apartment. Huge scope exists to increase

open plan kitchen/dining room, sun room/fourth bedroom

the food and beverage side of the business by extending

with adjoining bathroom while, on the first floor, there

the trading hours of the restaurant. Groeslon Ty Mawr is

are a three further bedrooms and a second bathroom.

surrounded by picturesque and open countryside and, on a

There are spacious and private gardens all around and a

clear day, provides fantastic scenic views of Mount Snowdon. It

garage/store room. It is on the market with Joan Hopkin

is located in the area of Llanddeiniolen, around six miles from

Estate Agents, and has an asking price of ÂŁ425,000.

Llanberis, and is available to view with Colliers International.

NWM 2018 Page 81


Tyddyn Bach, Holyhead Tyddyn Bach is a new development of two-, three- and four-bedroom new homes that is ideal for first-time buyers and families alike. Positioned on the main road, between Llaingoch and Holyhead, it offers easy access to the A55, port and train station. Developer Anwyl Homes has opened a new show home at the development – a three-bedroom semi-detached mews-style house, with parking, named The Powys, which shows the high level of specification included in properties at Tyddyn Bach. Popular with those looking for a high quality newbuild family home in Holyhead, and also those looking to secure a second home in this highly desirable part of Wales, prices at Tyddyn Bach start from £144,950 or £115,960 with Help to Buy.

Cadnant Park, Conwy 
 This five-bedroom semi-detached Victorian home is situated in the highly desirable Cadnant Park area close to schools, and within walking distance to the historic walled town, harbour and beach of Conwy. Combining the original charm and character with modern living, the well planned accommodation comprises a lounge with open fire, dining room with wood burner, superb kitchen/family/ living area with multi-fuel burner, roof lantern and French doors onto the garden, utility/store room and shower room. On the first floor you will find a master bedroom with en suite, two further bedrooms, family bathroom and linen/store room, while on the top floor there are two further double bedrooms, one of which has en suite and study. Double glazing, gas central heating, gated driveway, secure rear garden with lawned area, outside entertainment area with pizza oven and store room complete the package. On the market for £439,500, viewings are available via Fletcher & Poole.

Water Street, LlanfairTH This delightful detached character cottage which has an abundance of original features including inglenook fireplaces and exposed beams, is situated in the heart of the popular village of LlanfairTH, near Abergele. The three-bedroom home boasts stunning countryside views, a newly fitted en suite shower room, conservatory and a lounge with a log burner and exposed beams. The village, which sits alongside the River Elwy, offers everything needed for day to day living with a shop/post office, doctor’s surgery, primary school, church and two pubs. The cottage is on the market with Purple Bricks for offers over £150,000.

Page 82 NWM 2018




BESPOKE GRANITE & QUARTZ WORKTOPS WITH A *15 YEAR WARRANTY (subject to terms & conditions)

Natural Stone & Quartz Specialists, all products bespoke. Full measuring & installation services provided Call our friendly team for a quote, advice or just to talk through options Free No Obligation Quote

01745 797 007 • • Page 60 NWM 2018


AT A PRICE YOU’LL LOVE Freestanding and inglenook stoves from over 40 of the worlds leading manufacturers

01745 582254 | Chester Street, St Asaph, LL17 0RE

Inside Out North Wales Magazine brings you the latest products from the world of interiors

Electric avenue With an advanced design that ensures maximum heat distribution, with no cold spots, an electric heating system from North West Heating is also compatible with solar panels – meaning that the cost to run is minimal. Available with a range of controls, including a unique and high tech ‘SmartApp’, this intuitive system is cleverly designed to automatically monitor room temperature; the radiators can switch themselves on and off so that you only pay for the heat when you need it. Ideal for those that need to remotely set heating for holiday homes from miles away.

The sword and the stone Make a statement in your garden with this natural sandstone featuring a galvanised sword hand forged into it. Produced in Wales by traditional blacksmith Dyfed Wyn Jones, no two pieces are the same. The sword is cemented into rock, and is available with or without slate base which, in turn, can be etched with personalised words. Prices for this garden talking point start from £220.00 and they are available to purchase from Stoneworkz in Denbigh.

Relax like a Royal The Buckingham is a rather irresistible recliner style chair. High resistant foam filled cushions and a deepbuttoned detail back provide the ultimate in comfort, and customers can choose their covering from a huge selection of leathers and fabrics – or supply their own. In addition to that there is also a choice of feet styles and studs to make the chair as unique as you are.

NWM 2018 Page 85


Dressed for success Ensure that your furniture makes as much effort as you do, with the Stiletto chest of drawers from MY Furniture. Priced at £369.99, the Stiletto chest features a contemporary design with an elegant, tapered rose gold frame. Four spacious drawers with tapered rose gold handles, black felt lining and a soft close mechanism complete the design package while extremely strong and durable toughened white glass with deep bevelled edges promises that the chest will keep its looks too.

Nordic Ochre Inspired by distinctive Scandi style, the Nordic fabric from iLIV boasts rich colours in retro designs to create an impactful decor. Nordic is available in six colourways, including Ochre (pictured), Scarlet, Tangerine, Capri, Kiwi and Noir. Shown here in Ochre. Design potential with such beautiful print is endless, and prices start from £21.00 per metre..

In the square Garden Requisites’ range of square metal planters complement their popular circular steel planters. The zinc galvanized steel planters are designed to withstand the damaging effects of the weather, soil and water. Unlike wood, terracotta, faux lead or fibreclay planters, these British made steel planters (which start from £295) will not crack, rot or crumble, so are well worth the investment. The planters include a raised base with drainage holes, substantial corner legs for stability and an elegant top rim making lifting easy – the perfect planter for contemporary or traditional gardens. Bespoke planter designs and made to measure sizes are also available.

Page 86 NWM 2018

Fires and Fireplaces The Fireplace Specialist You Can Trust...


• Home surveys and made to measure bespoke service • Quality installation from start to finish - No outside contractors • Plasterwork, gas runs, load bearing lintels, chimney cowls, all rubbish removed from site Call: 01492 536353 or Visit our showroom at:

Unit 1, Falcon Estate, Eagles Farm Road, Mochdre Business Park, Mochdre, LL28 5HF Mon – Fri: 10.00 - 5.00 and Sat 10.00 - 4.00 Sunday CLOSED • Customer car park • Wheelchair friendly

Q&A with Steph Jeavons Colwyn Bay Motorcycles is running a questions and answers evening with Round the World Adventurer Steph Jeavons aka ‘One Steph Beyond’. Steph (pictured left) has just finished riding round the world on her Honda CRF250L motorcycle and is the first woman to have visited all seven continents as a solo female rider. This will be Steph’s official welcome home party and the first presentation that she has done in the UK since her return. “Steph is from Old Colwyn and has even worked for us, so we are chuffed to be welcoming her back!” commented Natalie Pritchard of Colwyn Bay Motorcycles. “We are also allowing guests to submit a question for Steph on the night… they can do this and register via our website.” When Friday 11th May at 7pm Where Colwyn Bay Motorcycles, 4 Groes Road, Colwyn Bay, LL29 8PU Cost

Awards success for RSPB Conwy

A minimum donation of £5 is required to gain entry to the

Helen Jowett, visitor experience manager at

event. Food and drink will be included. All proceeds will go to

RSPB Conwy and some of the Wild About Nature

Blood Bikes Wales

volunteers (pictured) attended the High Sheriff of Clwyd community awards ceremony recently,

Further information:

for which they had been shortlisted in the Conwy community volunteering section. They came away with the top award for the county “in recognition of their enthusiasm in connecting people with the natural world”. The credit came as the latest issue of The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain cited RSPB Conwy as one of only three locations in the whole of North Wales that meet their accessibility criteria. The review features all of the things that the centre does in order to make a visit here good for everyone. “The staff here are enthusiastically trying to improve accessibility at all times and are helpful without being fussy,” stated The Rough Guide.

Page 88 NWM 2018

Wrexham Lager history appeal A finance firm has launched an appeal with help from the daughter of a former Wrexham brewery worker to find hidden treasures from the iconic building’s history. The owners of Wrexham-based Hadlow Edwards

New collaboration for tourism jobs sector

Wealth Management have signed a lease on the original Wrexham Lager brew house on the edge of Central

A brand-new collaboration has been formed between

Retail Park and have started a major transformation

North Wales Tourism and recruitment agency JVP Group,

project to turn it into modern finance offices. The team

to provide a digital jobs platform and recruitment service

are keen to help preserve as much of the building’s

as part of the recently launched Go North Wales Tourism &

history as possible and would like to showcase photos,

Hospitality Academy. The Academy was unveiled in 2017

artefacts, and other items from the brewery business

with the purpose of connecting students, tourism and

as part of a celebration of its contribution to the town.

hospitality employees, employers and education providers

Dominic Richmond, Hadlow Edwards Operations Director

in North Wales. Bodelwyddan based JVP Group will work

who is overseeing the move to the new site, said: “We

with the Academy to aid the development of a skilled

are all very excited to be moving in to the fantastic

workforce in the sector, and assist tourism and hospitality

Wrexham Brewery building which is such a treasured

businesses across the region in attracting talent. “The

landmark for the town. When you take over the lease for

sector is hugely important to the Welsh economy and

a historical building like this, you feel a certain sense

it is therefore essential that we focus on tackling the

of duty to look after its history and preserve it in some

skills shortage, and building a sustainable workforce for

way for generations to come. While we are carrying out

the future,” commented Cath Harrison, MD of JVP Group.

an extensive and modern refurbishment of the entire

“Tourism is our biggest sector in North Wales and we need

building, we do not want to lose sight of its heritage

to shout about the many and varied career opportunities

and hence we are on a bit of a mission to find anyone

that are available to people,” added The Academy’s project

who has old photos, artefacts and memories from the

manager, Pam Everley. “We also need to ensure they have

brewery in its hey-day and ask them to get in touch.

access to the right skills training to make the most of

We are exploring ideas of how best to incorporate the

these opportunities.” Anyone who is interested in signing

history of the brewery in our own extensive redecoration

up to the Academy, whether a student or employee, should

of the building.” Do you have memories, photos or

visit for more information.

artefacts which relate to the Wrexham Lager Brewery?

Alternatively, if you’re an employer, visit www.JVPGroup.

Contact Claire Garner on 01244 680385 or claire@

(left to right): Jim Jones, MD of North Wales Tourism | Pam Everley, Project Manager of Go North Wales Tourism & Hospitality Academy | Cath Harrison, MD of JVP Group | Sion Jones, Head of Marketing at JVP Group

NWM 2018 Page 89


IS... Huge congratulations go to the winner of April’s afternoon tea competition…

Julie Wilson From Rhuallt Is the winner of an afternoon tea for two to remember at Gwinllan Conwy Vineyard. Enjoy Julie (and have a glass for us!) GWINLLAN CONWY VINEYARD Y GWINWYDD, LLANGWSTENIN, CONWY, LL31 9JF 01492 545 596 |

Mae croeso cynnes i bawb yn BOCS! If you need storage for your home or business, then look no further than BOCS Self-Storage. We offer a wide range of secure, clean, accessible and affordable storage units.

Key Features • Welsh speaking staff • Use of free van when you move into BOCS • Secure and accessible indoor storage • Undercover loading bay • Short and long term rental • Trolleys & trucks on site Talk to our trained staff who will advise and support you through the storing process making sure you only pay for the space you need.

Galwch heibio a gweld sut y gallwn eich helpu.


Win A golf day out for four people Built in an area of outstanding natural beauty Pennant Park offers a challenge to all golfers from beginners to professionals. The well-manicured parkland course offers 18 holes with stunning views, while a practice putting green, driving range, clubhouse and holiday lodges can also be found on site. The prize Arrive at Pennant Park with three friends and the four of you will receive breakfast with tea and coffee. Then you can hit the course with complimentary buggies before retiring to the 19th hole for a spot of lunch.

To Enter To be in with a chance of winning this fabulous prize, simply send your name and address to by Friday 18th May – making sure that you put Pennant Park in the subject line. Good luck! Pennant Park Golf Course & Holiday Homes Whitford Holywell Flintshire CH8 9ER 01745 563000

DATA PROTECTION NOTICE: North Wales Magazine may contact you occasionally with details of relevant offers. Your details will not be passed on to third parties, except to the provider of this competition.

NWM 2018 Page 91

SUBSCRIBE to North Wales Magazine and get the most out of your wonderful region If you enjoyed this issue of North Wales Magazine then why not subscribe? Packed full of interesting features, what’s on listings, food & drink articles, columns, interviews, homes & interiors and days out, North Wales Magazine is the ONLY glossy monthly publication dedicated to the region. You can pick one up from a range of independent retailers throughout North Wales – but when they’ve gone, they’ve gone! For just £2.99 (or the price of a cup of coffee) you can guarantee to have your own issue delivered straight to your door every month. We have a range of payment methods designed to make your life as easy as possible. Choose from a monthly standing order of just £2.99, or you can pay £32.89 annually by cheque, credit or debit card or via online banking – whichever method suits you best. Either fill in the form below or email subscribe@ for further information. NORTH WALES

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THE BRIDGES OF BETWS-Y-COED Betws-y-Coed is one of the most popular destinations in Snowdonia National Park and an exploration of its four historic bridges makes for a great walk. The town is located at a point where The Afon Conwy, The Afon Llugwy and The Afon Lledr converge and was founded around a monastery in The 6th Century.

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW J Distance: 4.24 miles/6.82 kilometres J Time: Allow 2.5 – 3 hours J Start: The long stay car park near

This pleasant route gives a straightforward riverside and forest

Betws-y-Coed Tourist Information

walk taking in The Sappers Suspension Bridge, Waterloo Bridge,

Centre and Railway Station. The walk

Pont-y-Pair Bridge and the famous Miners Bridge. Both The Afon

starts in the first left hand long stay

Llugwy and The Afon Conwy are followed to give fairly easy walking

car park after the station and cafes

with some small ascents and descents, a bit of a climb on a forest track and some quiet lane walking to return you back to the village.

J Grid Ref: SH 794566 J Nearest postcode: LL24 0AH J Ordnance Survey Map: Ordnance Survey OL Explorer OL 17 – Snowdon and Conwy Valley

J What to expect: Easy going on tracks and paths by rivers and in forests. A circuit of a golf course plus some road (pavement) and quiet lane walking (no pavement). A few rough areas where care is required

J Dogs: OK but must be put on a lead J Suitable for: Most age groups but take care with children on the road and lane sections

J Refreshments: Betws-y-Coed has shops, cafes and pubs

NWM 2018 Page 93



Rhyd-y-creua farm



Afon Llugwy

Artist’s Wood

Golf Course

Lane Walking

Mineas Bridge



Pentre Du Farm


Tyddyn Bach

Pont-y-Pair Bridge

Sappers Bridge


Hendre Rhys Gethin



3 A5

Miniture Railway Hotel


Afon Conwy

START Exit the car park towards the stone barn with


Waterloo Bridge

‘Information’ on it. Go right of it to go right through a white gate marked ‘Private Road’ and ‘Royal Oak Farm’.


Continue on a track past Royal Oak Cottages and Royal Oak Farmhouse. Follow The Afon Llugwy (left) as the track

to go left taking a surfaced path by The Afon Llugwy. Cross

gets rougher. Pass under a railway bridge to continue by a

boardwalk continuing through the forest beyond. At a fork by

golf course (right) and the river (left) following the designated

picnic benches stay ahead and continue by the river passing

path (keep dogs on leads). At the end of the golf course, pass

through a kissing gate. Cross an open meadow (keeping dogs

through a kissing gate and descend steps to reach a junction

on leads) crossing a bridge and an old wall. Pass through a

of The Afon Llugwy and The Afon Conwy.

kissing gate taking the surfaced path beyond. Follow the river left and continue to rise and eventually climb steps to The

2) Curve right past a bench and continue curving right

Miners Bridge.

through a kissing gate. Now follow the opposite side of the golf course using the designated path (keep dogs on leads).

Points of interest on this section

Follow The Afon Conwy to drop down steps. Continue by the

J Waterloo Bridge was built by Thomas Telford in 1815 to

golf course to pass through a kissing gate. Continue past the end of the golf course and stay ahead to join and follow a surfaced track. When this bends right stay ahead over a low

commemorate The Battle of Waterloo. It is decorated with leeks, roses, shamrocks and thistles

J Pont-y-Pair Bridge (Bridge of The Cauldron) is the oldest

stile to walk left of St Michael’s Church.

existing bridge in Betws-y-Coed. It was built prior to 1475

Exit the churchyard over a stile to reach The Sappers

and salmon can be seen leaping in this area in the autumn

Suspension Bridge (which can be visited to your left if you want). Go right and then left to follow a lane to The A5.

J The Miners Bridge was the point it is believed The Romans used to cross The Afon Llugwy. The Miners Bridge was also used by local quarrymen to reach the mines of The

Points of interest on this section:

Gwydyr Forest

J St Michael’s Church is the oldest building in Betws-y-Coed and dates from the 14th Century

J The Sappers Suspension Bridge crosses The River Conwy

4) With your back to The Miners Bridge take a rising path signed for ‘Diversion if River is Flooded’. Rise steadily through

and was built in 1930. It replaced an earlier bridge from

woodland following the Blue footprint markers. Continue to

1917 which was built as an alternative to the stepping

pass a barrier and reach a lane near a junction.

stones that were the original way over the water 5) Go right descending the lane and staying ahead at all times 3) Go left along The A5 to reach a car park with a good view of

to re-join your outbound route by the car park and toilets. Go

Waterloo Bridge.

ahead to go right over Pont-y-Pair Bridge and then go left to walk through Betws-y-Coed to The Royal Oak Hotel. Go left

Re-trace your steps back to where you joined The A5 and

facing the hotel entrance to go left of The Information Centre

continue ahead into Betws-y-Coed. After crossing the road to

and then right back to the car park. n

the railway station (right) cut right into a park and continue

Once over the bridge go left on a lane as the road bends right.

A WORD OF CAUTION Walking in the outdoors can be a strenuous activity and it is up to you to ensure that you are fit and healthy enough to undertake the route described and to approach the venture with caution and care. You should wear appropriate footwear and suitable clothing, take along food and drink plus carry the relevant map and a compass and be able to use it. The details given here are believed to be correct at the time of going to press. However, neither North Wales Magazine nor the author can accept

As the lane begins to rise (after a carpark and toilets) leave it

responsibility for inaccuracies encountered.

along the top left edge of it (keeping dogs on leads). Exit the park near The Royal Oak Hotel to go ahead along The A5 into the village. At a junction right (just before a café/chip shop) go right to cross Pont-y-Pair Bridge.

Page 94 NWM 2018

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NWM 2018 Page 95

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Nursing Care • Residential Care • Dementia Care • Respite Breaks If you need urgent care or just some help and advice, our friendly teams are always here when you need them. For more information visit our website Bod Hyfryd Care Home

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Tel: 01745 274 276

Tel: 01352 851 804

The Last Word










9 11 12

13 14




18 19






25 26


28 30


29 31

32 34


36 37

38 39

Across 4 Arm joint (5) 9 Cheering person (7) 10 Texan mission (5) 11 Existence (5) 12 Difficult question (7) 13 Brusque (5) 14 Arcadian (5) 17 Sovereign’s seat (6) 18 Shooting star (6) 19 Card dispenser (4) 20 Kidnap (6) 22 Small measure (6) 25 Republic between Iran and Syria (4) 26 Plot (6) 29 Far distant (6) 30 Hebrew patriarch (5) 33 Steeps (5) 34 Apprentice (7) 36 Seaport in NW Israel (5) 37 The last of a series (5) 38 Spire (7) 39 Preen (5) Down 1 Helper (Abbr.) (4) 2 Asked (8) 3 Machinery repairer (8) 4 Cinder (5) 5 Wild rose (5) 6 Move back and forth (6) 7 Formal gesture of respect (6) 8 Group discussion (10) 15 World’s southernmost city (7) 16 So be it (4) 17 Semiconductor device (10) 21 Fastens a knot (4) 23 Performs surgery (8) 24 Adults (5-3) 27 Paradise (6) 28 Accident (6) 31 Proof of being elsewhere (5) 32 Fastening device (5) 35 Ridge of rock (4)

NWM 2018 Page 97

Down: 1 Asst, 2 Enquired, 3 Mechanic, 4 Ember, 5 Briar, 6 Waggle, 7 Salute, 8 Conference, 15 Ushuaia, 16 Amen, 17 Transistor, 21 Ties, 23 Operates, 24 Grown-ups, 27 Heaven, 28 Mishap, 31 Alibi, 32 Clasp, 35 Reef. Across: 4 Elbow, 9 Sunbeam, 10 Alamo, 11 Being, 12 Toughie, 13 Gruff, 14 Rural, 17 Throne, 18 Meteor, 19 Shoe, 20 Abduct, 22 Noggin, 25 Iraq, 26 Scheme, 29 Remote, 30 Isaac, 33 Soaks, 34 Learner, 36 Haifa, 37 Omega, 38 Steeple, 39 Primp.


wedding planner

Tre-Ysgawen Hall Country House and Spa in Anglesey is renowned for its spectacular weddings

Enchanted castle or modern venue overlooking the sea? You’ve decided on the type of ceremony you’re going to have

changing weather climate. For

but now you need to find a venue!

example, you may want your drinks reception outside, but if it

When looking for your ideal venue there are a couple of

does happen to rain during this

questions to start you off on your venue search…

part of your day does the venue have space inside to hold the

How many people are you looking to invite to your ceremony,


wedding breakfast and evening reception? Once you’ve narrowed down a couple of options based on the

You may think this is jumping ahead slightly as you’ve just got engaged, but the answer to this question will help you narrow down your venue search. If you’re looking at a church ceremony what is the maximum capacity the church can hold and does this fit with your guest list? This will then give you an idea of numbers for the venue you’re hosting the wedding

above questions, book some

Didnowst k ding brealkyfoau eat u o y led a weedfirst moeuaple n

dates so you can visit the venue as a couple. Once

Get planning!

Tyn Dwr Hall Open Evening Wednesday 2nd May 5 – 8pm Penbedw Estate Wedding Fayre Sunday 6th May 11am – 3pm Bodlondeb Wedding Fayre Sunday 20th May 12 – 4pm

at the venue look at every detail from arrival to departure and everything

c h al ee in between. Take pictures as you walk around of all It’s cuse it’s tmarried ay has b wet a d a a c g s s e n a a i b , the positives/negatives and ask for the full details and wedd luck ie! your as gooder to unt n breakdown of all costs involved, because then it will o Rain sidered is hard con knot allow you to compare the details with other venues later.

breakfast. If you’re having a civil ceremony what is the maximum number, you can have?

These are just a couple of questions to start you off on your

Does the venue have separate rooms for the ceremony and

venue finding journey. Once you have a favourite venue you

wedding breakfast or if everything is taking place in the same

can then go into more detail and specifics before confirming

room, what will be the turnaround time and where can you and

your date and paying a deposit. Next month will explore

your guests go while the room is transformed?

some of the areas you need to consider before confirming your chosen venue – until then make the most of your

Location, location, location…

engagement period! n

If you’re having a church ceremony what is the ideal distance/ time frame you have in getting from the church to your venue after the ceremony? Don’t forget to build in any time for special pictures after the

Caroline Roberts runs Events by Caroline Louise, an

ceremony along the way. If you’re having your

event management company that specialises in wedding

wedding day all at the same venue is it easily

planning. She also owns Bella, the Prosecco Van and

accessible for all guests? Also, when looking at

provides happiness in a glass! For more information

location, think about the different contingency

please visit

plans, allowing you to make the most of our ever-

NWM 2018 Page 99


How to keep kids (and parents!) happy at your wedding Children are often tolerated at weddings, but rarely

5. Provide a fancy dress box. Even if you just put out a box of

welcomed. It’s almost as if you have to invite the kids

silly hats, over-size glasses, feather boas and scarves you’re

because you want their parents to come – right? But it

providing them with hours of entertainment

doesn’t have to be that way. Happy, engaged kids are an absolute joy at weddings, and parents love it when you

6. Set aside a corner of the garden just for kids. A brightly

demonstrate you care about their little ones. With a little

coloured kid-size gazebo is a great idea for sunny days. Fill

forward planning it’s easy to ensure all your guests enjoy

it with picnic blankets, cushions, comics and books. Outside

your big day.

the gazebo you can lay out Giant Jenga bricks, ready for building. It’s always a crowd-pleaser!

1. Start as you mean to go on. Kids love to get stuff in the post, so why not send them an invite, addressed just to them – not

7. Get a bouncy castle – you won’t regret it. Just keep away

to their parents. Ask them to bring a favourite teddy as their

the groom and bridesmaids if they’ve been on the fizz!

‘Plus 1’ 8. Dig deep. It’s easy to create an instant sand pit that won’t 2. Organise a ‘Get to Know You’ goodie bag game on arrival.

damage the lawn. An inflatable paddling pool will set you

Fill named goodie bags chock full of games, bubbles, toys and

back less than a tenner. Add several bags of play sand,

sweet treats, then hide them around the venue. The children

buckets, spades and a few plastic shapes and bingo – happy

will quickly form friendships as they seek out the bag with

kids for hours and hours!

their name on and investigate what’s inside 9. Don’t forget the kids at dinnertime. It might be worth 3. Get creative. Provide an assortment of pens, crayons and

talking to your venue about seating the children together,

paper on a low table and ask the children to do their best

at their own special table. If your menu is particularly

drawings of the wedding, the venue and the guests. You can

grown-up then an alternative kids menu would not only be

also dedicate a corner of the table to creating confetti to use

appreciated, but could save you money…

later in the day! 10. Call in the professionals. If you really have a lot of kids 4. Disposable cameras are great fun but if you wanted to take

coming, it might be worth the outlay to hire a professional

the idea to the next level, get your hands on a couple of mini

entertainer. A magician or face-painter will appeal across the

Polaroid cameras. Most of the kids won’t even know what a

ages. Get the magic show to start as the speeches commence

Polaroid camera is – just wait until they see how much fun

to guarantee two hours of peace and quiet…

they can be! Add a blank photo album, some kid-friendly glue, and let the kids get creative as they compile your

And finally, enjoy your young guests. It’s your wedding, but

amazing ‘alternative’ wedding album

they will also remember it fondly for years to come. n

Page 100 NWM 2018

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NWM 2018 Page 101



Spring is in the sea as well as in the air during May!

May is a magical time in the seas around our local

But many members of the wrasse family hold another

coasts, as the sea temperature gradually starts to rise

much less apparent – and far more remarkable trick –

and our native marine life becomes more active after

under their fins. These species live in small groups or

the winter months. Many people are not aware that our

‘harems’ with one male presiding over his territory and

sea temperatures lag considerably behind the seasonal

a group of smaller, less colourful, females. When the

temperatures on land. March is the month when sea

male dies, the largest of the females in the group goes

temperatures are at their very coldest, when many

through a complete sexual transformation to become a

marine animals are in a state of slower activity and

male; she grows larger, develops the bright colours of

semi-torpor – or have migrated to deeper waters to

the male and, upon breeding, will produce sperm rather

avoid the low temperatures for the winter months. Here

than eggs, becoming in a matter of weeks the dominant

in North Wales the average sea temperature drops to

male to the harem.

6-7 °C in winter – but it may get considerably lower than this in shallow coastal areas.

Lumpsuckers or lumpfish are another enigmatic native species which many people know little about. These

In May, as the sea temperatures are gradually

weird and spectacular fish resemble some kind of

increasing, our coastal waters start to buzz with

bizarre alien from a sci-fi movie, with their almost

activity again as many species return from deeper

spherical bony body covered in warts and bumps,

waters and all marine life starts to get more active

huge rubbery lips and modified pelvic fins on their

again in preparation for the upcoming breeding

underside which allow them to stick firmly to rocks

season. Here at the Anglesey Sea Zoo, all of our water

and substrate even in very rough seas. These quirky

is pumped directly from the Menai Strait, so the

characters spend the winter months offshore in deeper

animals in our exhibits experience the same natural

waters but migrate to coastal areas in spring to breed

increase in temperature during May as those in the

and can often be seen close to shore right through to

sea and, as a result, we see the same natural changes

the Autumn months. The brightly coloured males range

in their behaviour.

in hue from orange to pink or purple while the drab grey females are twice as big as the males, around the

We have many very colourful species of fish in British

same size as a rugby ball. The eggs of lumpsuckers are

waters, and of these the wrasse family, particularly the

eaten as an imitation form of caviar in Scandinavia, but

male wrasse of several species, are probably the most

these peculiar characters have recently started to meet

impressive. Male wrasse become their most flamboyant

a much more vital role, as a ‘cleaner fish’ to naturally

and colourful in May. Male Cuckoo wrasse (pictured)

reduce the parasite burden in fish farms. n

turn their beautiful bluish hue into a vibrant electric blue to impress the less brightly coloured females, male

Frankie Hobro is the owner and

Ballan wrasse become a sparkling bright orangey red

director of Anglesey Sea Zoo. She has

and the striking colours of the Corkwing wrasse are

always been a passionate advocate for

more attractive than ever in the males of the species.

conservation, and has a long history working on hands-on conservation projects with critically endangered species in difficult conditions abroad

NWM 2018 Page 103

Page 104 NWM 2018

On the road Luke Edwards unveils the magic of Maserati

Maserati Trident logo. The Silver Trident also features at the heart of the perfectly shaped steering wheel and displays on the Touch Control 8.4” media screen. The driving position, in the Levante, feels like you are in a Maserati sports car and not a Sports Utility Vehicle. The 3.0 litre V6 Turbo Diesel power plant (with 275bhp) started with a press of the stop / start button and the automatic box can be driven normally or when you are after a more sporty experience you can use the shift paddles. Maserati is a magical name in Italian car culture. Founded by

There is a sport button on the Levante that once pressed

the Maserati Brothers on the 1st December 1914, at N° 1 Via de’

prepares the SUV for those curvy Welsh B-roads and when

Pepoli in Bologna, the Italian marque has always produced cars

pressed again adapts the dampers for spirited driving. The

that have style, class and a sporting pedigree.

handling of the Maserati was sublime due to a low centre of gravity and perfect 50-50 weight distribution.

The Levante, named after the Mediterranean wind, has a mix that is new for Maserati; luxurious, but also adventurous. All

The Levante also has advanced safety features which is

versions of the Levante have an eight-speed gearbox and

reassuring for the family driver, including six dual-stage

intelligent Q4 All Wheel Driver with a torque vectoring system

airbags, active headrests and a tyre pressure monitoring

to move power around the wheels where it is needed. There

system; as well as optional ‘active’ safety technology designed to

are dynamic five ride heights to choose from via advanced

help prevent collisions which includes Adaptive Cruise Control,

active air suspension. This is a Maserati that is equally happy

Blind Spot Alert, Rear Cross Path detection, and Lane Departure

both on and off the road.

and Forward Collision warning systems.

The model Maserati loaned me was sporting a very striking

For someone who wants Italian elegance, a unique bespoke feel

Blu Emozione paint colour, which highlighted the lines of the

and a capable vehicle for many situations, the Maserati Levante

Levante perfectly. Inside it had the luxury leather you expect

is a perfect choice. The 3.0 litre V6 Turbo Diesel Levante starts

from an Italian sports car, in the colour of Cuoio; it’s the sort of

at £54,335 on the road.. n

traditional tobacco colour that suits Italian car interiors. The trim was finished with High Gloss Ebano Wood that boasted a beautiful grain; just think of the

Freelance motoring journalist Luke Edwards is a member

wood finish you might see on a vintage Riva Boat

of the British Guild of Motoring Writers and is a motoring

and you are in that territory. It felt so luxurious and

specialist for BBC local radio. He can be found as a

fitted with the Italian bespoke feel.

competitor in the occasional Hill Climb competition too – but in his car rather than on his feet. You can follow Luke

It was reassuring to see the traditional Maserati

Edwards’ Motoring on Twitter @exhaustnotesuk

clock in place, the iconic oval, proudly sporting the

NWM 2018 Page 105

A BREATH OF FRESH AIR Boys & Girls • 2 ½ - 18 • GCSE, A-level & BTEC Day, weekly and flexi boarding places available • Stunning location on the North Wales coast • Pwllycrochan Avenue, Colwyn Bay, Conwy, LL29 7BT To book contact or call 01492 530155

Learning by heart “April is the cruellest month” claimed T S Eliot in The Wasteland.

making connections, thinking about exam technique and

However, for the thousands of pupils sitting GCSE, GCE and IB

focussing on teachers’ feedback. However, there are some

Diploma exams this summer, May is probably far worse. May is

simple measures which can make revision more effective.

the time when revision really should start in earnest, if it hasn’t already, and exams become a reality rather than something


which seemed like a long time away before the Easter break.

papers and tests. That way the actual exam paper is “just

Spend more time on practice questions, exemplar exam

another practice paper”. Spend less time re-reading or reAs a teacher, a headmaster and, last year, a parent of a 16 year

writing (and highlighting) notes; it’s now about applying

old I can sympathise and empathise with teenagers and their

knowledge rather than cramming it in.

parents all across the country now fretting about the next six


weeks or so. The stakes are certainly high. A Level grades

ensure that the bedroom remains a place where you can return

and IB Diploma points will determine which university one

to relax and sleep well without a pile of folders to constantly

enters and GCSE results are becoming increasingly important

raise anxiety levels. Keep the phone out of sight too.

too especially with the new 1-9 grading system. Many will be


sitting new style exam courses for the first time with greater

to support each side of this argument but ultimately you will be

emphasis on subject knowledge and less, if any, contribution

working in an exam hall in silence; you need to train yourself to

from coursework marks and earlier modules. How might one

work in that silence.

approach revision and exam preparation?


Avoid working in the bedroom! Work in a separate room to

Don’t revise with music on. I know there is much evidence

Vary your approaches to keep the revision fresh. Use

technology, revise with friends, get parents to quiz you, play the For parents it’s a difficult balance of encouragement and

“just a minute” game - anything to stop you feeling bored and

pressure. Ultimately it will depend upon your child of course,

frustrated, though remember the most effective form of revision

but there are some approaches that will help.

is number one above. 5.


Keeping them calm, fit and healthy is crucial. Maintain

Have a life! No prizes for originality here but sleeping well,

exercising, eating properly and even socialising (in person

normal routines, encourage exercise, regular eating etc. but find

rather than virtually) will all keep a sense of perspective. Avoid

alternative topics of discussion over the dinner table.

the late nights, so-called energy drinks and unproductive time


spent at your desk. Earn the break but don’t be frightened to

Have non-negotiables. You want to be supportive but

keeping phones out of sight, sticking to agreed working

enjoy it.

times, appropriate bed and waking times etc. may need some enforcement. They’ll thank you for it in time!

There’s no shortage of advice on how to prepare for exams and


these thoughts only scratch the surface of what might work for

Help with testing e.g. language vocabulary, history dates or

literature quotations or ask them to explain a topic to you.

someone but the most important advice I can offer is what I told


my son last year in preparation for his GCSEs. Just follow your

If you are at home while they are revising supervise with

a light touch. They won’t appreciate being interrupted but the

teachers’ advice, be honest with yourself and, most importantly,

occasional nudge, prompt or offer of a drink may just interrupt a

have no regrets. If you can do that then August will hopefully be

bout of daydreaming

the happiest month. n


Finally, resist the temptation to ask how an exam went that

day. It’s time to move on to preparing for the next one.

Simon Smith is the headmaster of Rydal For pupils it’s probably more straightforward; they are, after

Penrhos in Colwyn Bay. He is married

all, in charge of their own destiny. It is encouraging to consider

with two teenage children and has a

that much of the groundwork has already been done. Revision

passion for rugby

should not be about learning the material but reviewing it,

NWM 2018 Page 107


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Getting back

to Nature

There’s plenty of wildlife across the region in May, says Julian Hughes, if you know where to look during Year of the Sea.

Credit: Steve Stansfield

Three places to visit in May Gronant, near Prestatyn Little Terns nest on the beach between Gronant and Talacre, their only breeding site in Wales. The colony is fenced, to prevent disturbing these birds that arrived from Africa in April. Natterjack Toads have been reintroduced

Seabird special

to pools created in dunes

May is the month to visit a seabird colony, and there

behind the beach, and

are plenty around our coast, from the Little Orme in

Grasshopper Warblers breed

the east, to the Afon Dysynni in southern Snowdonia.

in waterside vegetation.

Kittiwakes and auks, such as Guillemots and Razorbills, line up on sheer rock faces; other Gulls and Cormorants

Morfa Harlech dunes

nest colonially at the base or top of a cliff; the charismatic Puffin nests down a burrow, so

The shifting sands of Morfa

you’ll only see them on the water below the cliffs. If you climb or kayak, please follow local

Harlech are one of the

directions to avoid disturbing seabirds, many of which are declining across Europe.

best places to enjoy wild flowers in North Wales.

Inland shores

Credit: Thomas Kuvaaja

Specialists include orchids

Year of the Sea celebrates our lakes and rivers too. Look

such as Marsh Helleborine,

along shorelines for Common Sandpipers, with their

Heath-spotted Orchid and

jerky, bobbing walk. They visit from Africa, lay their eggs

Early Marsh Orchids while

in shingle and hunt for insects along the water’s edge.

butterflies such as Small

Upland lakes may also hold Goosanders or Red-breasted

Copper, Marsh Fritillary and

Mergansers, ducks with shaggy crests that hunt for fish,

Silver-studded Blue can be

and you may be really lucky to spot an Osprey, which are


summering in North Wales in increasing numbers.

Credit: Julian Hughes

Colourful cliffs

The coast is a riot of colour in May, especially the clifftops, where a special community of plants can survive the salt spray. All are low growing, so look for Spring Squill, a sky-blue flower that is actually a member of the Asparagus family; and Thrift, with globular heads of pink flowers each on the end of a stalk. Into June, the Spotted Rockrose blooms only in northwest Wales; it’s the county flower of Anglesey, and the RSPB nature reserve at South Stack is one of the best places to look, but visit in the morning because the petals fall off by mid-day!

All at sea

If you’re on a boat, or watching from the shore with binoculars, you may spot a grey shape breaking the surface of the sea. It’s most likely to be a harbour porpoise, which have a low-profile dorsal fin and never come out of the water, unlike dolphins which have longer fins and may ride the bow wave of a boat. If you do spot a cetacean (the collective name for whales, dolphins and porpoises), send your sightings to the Seawatch Foundation, which collects records from around the Welsh coast.

Penmon Point, Anglesey If you don’t fancy a boat trip (from Beaumaris Pier) around Puffin Island, you can drive to the easternmost point on Anglesey and see seabirds flying onto the cliffs. Take binoculars – or, even better, a telescope – and you should spot Guillemots, Puffins and Kittiwakes, plus Eider ducks and Black Guillemots that nest on the rocky shore. Look for seals in the channel, and maybe a Harbour Porpoise if you’re lucky.

Julian Hughes grew up in North Wales, which instilled a lifelong love of nature. He lives near Llandudno, manages the RSPB’s Conwy nature reserve, and writes about the region’s wildlife.

NWM 2018 Page 109



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d dia / e n m My ddi am Free ry Ent

For the love of all things


The confessions of a modern day Magpie Hurray, hurray the first of May! What is it about Spring? That time of year

a well put together home is something that

that people suddenly decide to up sticks

emerges over time. My house is a fusion of

and move house. For sale signs appear to be

decorative antiques and vintage furniture

popping up all over the place. Is it that people

accumulated over years and years of buying. It

get itchy feet or is it a seasonal nesting

creates an individual and stylish look personal

instinct like the birds? The one question I

to me and my family, everything in it evokes a

frequently get asked by clients and friends

memory and memories make a home.

when they purchase a new/old house is “Where do I start with furnishing it?” And

Looking back over my year of writing for

my reply is quite logical, especially when

North Wales Magazine, who would have

purchasing a period property. You must work

thought it would prove so fruitful in my

with what you have and let the house dictate

endless quest to unearth hidden treasures?

to you, of course adding your own style or

Tatty has been super busy responding to

modern twist as you work on through.

endless phone enquiries and attending house calls the length and breadth of North

There is nothing that Tatty enjoys more

Wales. I am always interested to hear from

than working with a client to strip back a

my readers should you be looking to sell

house and unearth its long forgotten hidden

any antiques, paintings/mirrors, Welsh

features. It could be as simple as ripping

blankets, hand stitched quilts or furniture.

up a carpet to unveil a fabulous parquet

Never knowing what the next call may

floor, or my very favourite hidden surprise...

bring is what makes my job so exciting and

when you peel off old wallpaper to reveal the


Tatty is constantly searching for new stock and would love to hear

original hand painted version underneath – how’s that for inspiration!

Readers, I barely sleep!

When you are finally ready to start

Tatty x

furnishing your house, I always advise

from you if you have any of the following for sale: quality vintage costume jewellery/handbags, antique quilts or Welsh blankets. 1920/1930’s ladies clothing and

to start with a key item. In the trade they

PS: Don’t forget to watch “Salvage Hunters

refer to it as the “Hero Piece”, and it could

the Restorers” Wednesday 9pm on Quest.

be absolutely anything that takes your eye,

Featuring my business partner, and all

a statement chair, an antique rug or a great

round top French Polisher /Antique Restorer,

piece of modern art that you picked up at a

Alex Webster

shawls. Please call 07940 730421

flea market. Above all it must be something that you’re crazy about, a standout find. You then work your room around that item,

Ali Hough is a specialist vintage dealer with a passion

finding other pieces that gel and compliment.

for decorative antiques and a flair for interiors, based

Before you know it, your space will start

in Old Colwyn, North Wales

to flow and take shape. The overall look of

NWM 2018 Page 111


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As someone who is regularly asked by friends to sponsor

inappropriate, because I can hardly ask them to hunker down in

them as they embark on outdoor endurance activities, I

a shiny plastic chair with a Fruit Shoot and a copy of the Brief

barely batted an eyelid when I read reports that we might

History of Time when my own volume is sitting pristine on the

be charged to climb Mount Snowdon. Put me down for 10p a

shelf, a faded bookmark wedged into page two of the preface,

mile I thought. If it means preserving the countryside, then it

serving as a way-marker of my own ignorance.

sounds like a good idea. But, as I struggled to think of ways to entertain my children over the Easter holidays, I figured that

So I did what any parent of three children would do, and

an even better idea would be to install a giant iPad, hewn from

asked the eldest to explain it to the other two. It always works.

Welsh slate, at the summit of the great mountain.

“Is that right Daddy?” asked my youngest after a couple of minutes of exposition. “Um, yes I think that pretty much covers

Technology has become a crutch for the modern parent. How

it,” I said. “Now who wants an ice-cream?”

our forebears used to cope with endless questions without recourse to a search engine is so genuinely incomprehensible

A little later, once the cheering had died down and I’d jet-

to me that I resorted to Google for an explanation. And this

washed the sprinkles from their faces, I found the fascination

Easter the questions went into overdrive. It was like the

of Ken Dodd easier to explain. The last great music hall

Spanish Inquisition, so I can only imagine what it’s like for

entertainer, his gigs would last longer than the average

parents in Barcelona or Bilbao – let alone Bala.

Eisteddfod, and the constant stream of daft witticisms and one-liners would beat even the humourless into submission

But what made Easter even more worthy of childish

and laughter. Except on one famous occasion at the Glasgow

interrogation than usual was because it

Empire, when Dodd was heckled with the line: “It’s all right if

coincided with the passing of

you like laughing.” It’s not a bad template to follow. Snowdon’s

two greats from very different walks of life – scientist Stephen

all right if you like walking, and Hawking’s all right if you like to solve the eternal mysteries of the universe.

Hawking and comedian Ken Dodd. The result was a

And, if you do like laughing, there’s a truckload of it coming to

fraught 20-minute barrage of

Venue Cymru in June. The Craft of Comedy is a brilliant event

questioning as I struggled to explain Black Holes and the

that brings together the finest comedy writers and performers from the world of TV, film and radio to share their knowledge and experience with anyone who wants to listen. And, to cap it

Diddy Men.

all, it’s happening at the same time as the town’s first comedy But, even after harnessing the

fringe festival. It’s the brainchild of former BBC producer

power of the internet and passing

Steve Doherty who moved to Llandudno a decade ago and

it off as my own, I still couldn’t help

is now re-inventing it as an Epicentre of Hilarity. Which is

feeling that my children were still

a planet inhabited by Ken Dodd and discovered by Stephen

short-changed by my own lack of

Hawking. Don’t bother Googling that, I made it up. n

knowledge. On Stephen Hawking, even the usual attempt to promote a wholesome

Dave Rothnie is a comedy

activity (‘let’s

promoter and compere of Stand-

go to the

up at the Seaside, a monthly

library and

comedy club that takes place at

find a book

The Station in Colwyn Bay.

about it’) was

NWM 2018 Page 113




While everyone remembers Russell Grant from his Breakfast TV appearances in the 1980’s, most people don’t realise that Russell was the first astrologer in over 300 years to present a horoscope forecast to a member of the Royal Family (HRH Queen Mother). Now dubbed the “Royal Astrologer” Russell has appeared on numerous television shows, including Strictly Come Dancing. He divides his time between London and his North Wales home near Portmeirion.

May’s horoscopes brought to you by Russell Grant ARIES (March 21st-April 20th) Accepting a new job is a strong possibility at the middle of May. The New Moon on the 15th will give you a chance to gain hands on experience. Accept a temporary assignment. You will make such a success of this venture that you will be offered a full-time position. There will be plenty of growth opportunity at this company.

LIBRA (September 24th-October 23rd) Moving in with your significant other, getting engaged or exchanging wedding vows are among the possibilities this month. On the 15th, the New Moon will urge you to merge with someone who has earned your trust. If you’re not interested in romance, you might form a business partnership or collective. The Full Moon on the 29th could find you commanding the spotlight.

TAURUS (April 21st-May 21st) Take this opportunity to show off your creative work. The New Moon on the 15th will attract an appreciative audience. If you’ve been longing for a career in the arts, this is the time to make your move. On the 29th, the Full Moon will prompt you to make a merger official or break things off with an oppressive partner.

SCORPIO (October 24th-November 22nd) It’s time to turn a fresh page in a relationship. The New Moon on the 15th will cause you to see your business or romantic partner in an entirely different light. Maybe you weren’t aware of the full extent of their abilities. Perhaps you took their help for granted. Whatever the reason for this oversight, it will be corrected towards the middle of the month.

GEMINI (May 22nd-June 21st) After a frenzied period of partying, you’ll be able to rest and relax in the middle of May. The days surrounding the 15th urge you to take time off work and recharge your batteries. Obey the call of the New Moon and stay away from social media. Solitary activities like reading, writing and even a little contemplative meditation will be therapeutic.

SAGITTARIUS (November 23rd-December 21st) Hiring an assistant or additional staff is strongly advised on or around the 15th. That’s when a New Moon will put helpful people in your path. Getting upbeat, enthusiastic people to join the team will take a lot of work from your shoulders. On the 29th, the Full Moon will prompt you to put the finishing touches on a personal project.

CANCER (June 22nd-July 23rd) Joining a political organisation or professional club will be lots more fun than expected. On the 15th, you’ll be inspired to work with a group that shares your beliefs or ambitions. After feeling like an oddball, it will be a real relief to find your tribe. A big job will come to a successful conclusion on the 29th, filling you with pride.

CAPRICORN (December 22nd-January 20th) If you’ve been yearning for romance, you’ll find it near the 15th. That’s when the New Moon puts an interesting person or opportunity in your path. A gifted artist will seek your company. You’ll admire their impeccable taste while they’ll praise your impressive accomplishments. This will be a match made in heaven.

LEO (July 24th-August 23rd) You’ll be able to make fresh inroads in your career, thanks to the New Moon on the 15th. It’s a good time to take a job involving art, luxury goods or cosmetics. Your warmth and humour will attract loyal clients who trust your judgement. If you’re not looking for work, you might be invited to take the helm of a cultural organisation.

AQUARIUS (January 21st-February 19th) Spending time with your nearest and dearest is important at mid-May. You’re not especially sentimental, but you do need the support of family. The New Moon on the 15th gives you a chance to connect with people who love you unconditionally. If you’re estranged from your relatives, focus on creating a support network consisting of friends, neighbours and colleagues.

VIRGO (August 24th-September 23rd) May invites you to go after a cherished dream. Earning an advanced degree, living abroad and publishing a book are among the possibilities. You’ll get a green light near the 15th, when the New Moon beckons you into unfamiliar territory. Don’t be afraid to leave familiar surroundings for an intimidating environment.

Page 114 NWM 2018

PISCES (February 20th-March 20th) The New Moon on the 15th is ideal for planting seeds for renewed health. Starting a fitness regime will pay off handsomely. Investing in a gym membership, joining an exercise class or hiring a trainer will keep you focused on your goals. Being able to socialise while getting physical activity will make this routine a labour of love.

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THE WINDSOR PEARL COLLECTION We are delighted to present our limited edition Windsor Pearl collection

Available in either yellow or rose gold, these exquisite designs are adorned with shimmering freshwater pearls and white topaz. We have only created 120 of each piece, making this collection truly sought-after. As with every piece of Clogau jewellery, each limited edition piece contains rare Welsh gold as used by some members of the British Royal Family.

PURCHASE YOURS NOW | 0845 606 88 77 Clogau boutiques in Broughton, Cardiff & London. Participating Clogau retail partners.

Page 116 NWM 2018

Image: Windsor Pearl pendant and earrings in yellow gold.

to commemorate the wedding of HRH Prince Henry of Wales and Meghan Markle.

May NWM 2018  
May NWM 2018