After approximately 10 weeks of almost non-stop, sunshine, it rained when I visited North Wales a few days ago! I hasten to add the whole of the UK had similar weather and North Wales (despite the rumours) didn’t have a climate of its own. 😉
We stayed in a beautiful country house hotel (Sygun Fawr); nestled in the country side, with magnificent views in all directions, this was one of the most peaceful places my husband and I have ever stayed.
The mountain view in the picture above offered hours of enjoyment as the clouds billowed around the landscape. Within a few minutes we saw the picturesque view disappear under clouds, reappear in a haze and then highlighted to full colour by glorious sunshine. Near Beddgelert, these types of views are seen often. There are several walking routes available, including a climb up Snowdon Mountain,which is only a few miles away.
We wanted a restful weekend, so no climbing for us; however we did visit a spectacular copper mine (Sygun Copper Mine). My love of chemistry and my husband’s love of history were indulged, as well as both our love of art and colour.
The mine tour is self-guided, following signs to various stations, listening (via speakers) to the story of a miner describing the conditions and offering an insight into the process of mining copper. We climbed through the mountain, up metal steps; the highlight being several stalegmite/stalegmite formations and ‘the light at the end of the tunnel’; the stunning views at the top (bottom left of the above picture).We spent a good while taking pictures and then meandered down the path back to our car, where we drove to a nearby lake.
The second day was spent in Portmeirion. This village, known as the ‘little Italy’ of North Wales, was designed by Clough Williams Ellis; he wanted to show that it was possible to place buildings within a beautiful landscape, without ruining the atmosphere. He also loved Italy, therefore there is colour, pattern and stunning architecture whichever way you look in the area. Also worth noting, Williams Ellis often saw buildings elsewhere and when possible and only when he felt they would add to the village’s unique outlook, they were imported into the structure. For example this Bristolian columnar structure:
The colours and the playfulness of the architecture are nothing like I’ve seen elsewhere. There may well be some art or crochet piece in the future completely inspired by Portmeirion.
As an example, in the picture above, the stores for the garden area, painted to blend in (bricks and what appears to be arches) are really made of wood and metal.
I honestly think we could have spent an inordinate amount of time in Portmeirion and we are sure to return.
Our short trip has given us a taste of this beautiful part of the world and I hope it has inspired you to visit. Be assured, you won’t be disappointed!
Thanks for reading, wishing you safe travels wherever you journey this summer.
If you’d like to see some more pictures of the mine or Portmeirion, please check out my Instagram 🙂