30 Jun 2011

Betws y Coed

24th-26th June 2011

We’ve never had much luck in Wales, something always seems to go wrong…the weather, a problem with the caravan, a rubbish site, illness….! But we can’t go to Cumbria all the time, so on the back of good reviews we booked a weekend at Riverside Touring and Holiday Home Park, which is sandwiched between a railway line and a golf course near to Betws y Coed.  Pros and cons of this site are listed below, but overall a very good site.  Shame about the weather, though!


Friday 24th

On arrival we were allocated pitch number 1 - not a good start!  Bad things about pitch number 1…near the entrance; a bit exposed with caravans behind us and statics in front of us.  Good things about pitch number 1…handy for the amenities.  We prefer to be tucked away in a corner, but didn’t ask to be moved.


Didn’t bother with the awning this time.

Betws y Coed is only a short stroll away, past a church and  graveyard…


…and through the railway station….


The railway carriage cafe is a good idea but a bit shabby on the outside.  We didn’t go in.

Instead we went into the town centre and had a late lunch/early dinner in the Royal Oak Hotel.

Went back in the evening but it was too lively for us, so we went to the Pont y Pair Hotel instead.  Also very lively but at least we managed to get a seat.  It was raining by now, so no chance of sitting outside!

Saturday 25th

We awoke to the sound of light drizzly rain which didn’t really stop all day.  Not a day to climb mountains, instead a short walk in the hills around Betws y Coed.

Set off just after lunch, heading for Llyn Elsi.  A very wet walk, mostly through trees, but we are not just fair weather walkers!  It’s good to walk in adverse conditions from time to time.  Very easy to follow instructions.  J the navigator today…


Monument overlooking Llyn Elsi.



Came across a dead lamb on the way.  Got a gruesome pic but J wont allow D to include it in the gallery.

The drizzle continued all day so the planned barbecue was shelved and we headed off into town for dinner.  First choice was the Royal Oak Hotel but it was packed, so we ended up in the Gwydyr Hotel.  Nice food but not cheap, and such a poor selection of beers that D had to switch to red wine! 

No beer of the weekend feature this time!  D very disappointed with the beer and pubs (or lack of them) in Betws y Coed.

Sunday 26th

Woke up very early, so wandered into the town to get pastries for breakfast before heading for home.

Riverside Touring and Holiday Home Park


  • Close to town centre
  • Good location
  • Excellent toilets and showers, and plenty of them
  • Very quiet (despite being sandwiched between a railway lane and a golf course…noisier golfers than trains!)
  • Shop selling all sorts of caravanning accessories


  • Not cheap

Overall, a very good site with mostly good pitches (avoid the ones near the entrance if you can).

Coming soon…

Nothing planned, but hope to get away early in July.

6 Jun 2011


3rd to 6th June 2011


One of our favourite sites is the C&CC site at Ravenglass.

It’s a bit hard to get to (took us just under three hours this time!) but well worth the effort in our opinion.  Check out previous posts for reviews.

Lots to look forward to this weekend…three nights instead of two...hot, sunny weather forecast…and Locomorris!

Friday 3rd June

Arrived about 2.30 after a long, tiring journey and allocated pitch number 3.  An excellent pitch with a view of fields to the rear.

Excellent manoeuvring skills from D for a change, who finds it so much easier when nobody is watching!  Not the easiest of pitches to get into either.


After putting the awning up we took a short stroll into Ravenglass village, which has a choice of three pubs.  We usually head straight for the Ratty Arms, but chose the Holly House Hotel this time because it overlooks the estuary and it was warm enough to sit outside (even for J!).  Seems to be popular with the locals and we got to overhear lots of local gossip.  Got charged a different amount for each round of drinks, but it seemed to work in our favour so we didn’t ask any questions.  £3.05 for a pint of Loweswater Gold and a half of lager was the cheapest round!

After a few drinks we headed back to the site to try out our new barbecue. A lot of campers seemed to have a notebook one which folds flat so we picked up one from Asda for £20.  To be honest, we weren't expecting great things, as our previous ones only stayed hot for about 30 minutes. This one is great as it holds loads of coal so we managed to do  burgers, sausages (WeightWatchers approved no less!) and some chicken kebabs and it was still piping hot afterwards.


No expensive gas barbecues for us!

Afterwards we headed back into the village, to the Ratty Arms for a music and song session with the visiting morris dancer groups.  Instead it was just a group of people sitting in a corner playing folk music.

Saturday 4th

The plan for today…a walk and then a drink in the King George IV pub whilst watching the morris dancers.


Today’s objective…Harter Fell (Eskdale) 653 mtrs

Not to be confused with Harter Fell (Mardale), which we’ve also done!

A very warm day to start with, so progress was painfully slow with plenty of stops…to admire the view!  Whilst “admiring the view” halfway up we were overtaken by a seemingly endless procession of fell runners.  Two people near the back were talking…

  • One man was reminiscing about a race he and his companion had done previously.  “What was it called?” he asked.
  • “Sorry, can’t talk,” replied the other one, gasping for breath as he staggered upwards.

The things people do for fun!


I wonder which way it is to the summit?

When we eventually made it to the top,  The runners were long gone!


On the way back to the car we made a slight detour to look at the Hardknott Roman Fort.


And made a new friend.


And so to the Locomorris dancers, at the King George IV pub.


Great fun.  There are more pics in the gallery and a couple of videos…

The odd car spoilt it a bit!

Lot’s of long white beards in evidence this weekend, D thinks he might grow one when he gets older, and a pony tail.

We ended up having a sandwich and some chips in the pub.

Back at site, we sat around the caravan for a while and then headed back to the Holly House Hotel for a quick drink before bedtime.  Still light at 11pm, oh happy days.

Sunday 5th

Normally we would be packing up and heading for home, but not today.  Instead, a big breakfast, listened to a bit of the Archers on radio 4, and then off for a trip on the Ravenglass to Eskdale railway, to the village of Boot.


A very cold, breezy trip in an open top carriage, both of us stubbornly refusing to put on our fleeces!  J so cold at the end of the journey she put her fleece on over her handbag and the wrong way round!

A short walk took us to Stanley Force waterfall, which was quite impressive.


Then, with a bit of rain in the air, we headed to the Boot Inn for lunch.  2pm on a Sunday and only about half a dozen customers.  In Liverpool we can’t even get into a pub at 2pm on a Sunday!

There is another pub in Boot, the Brook House Inn, and we thought we would give it a try too.


Again, only half a dozen customers.  These are our kind of pubs!  Just wish we could have stayed for the Sunday night pub quiz, but we had to catch the train back to Ravenglass.


The plan was to have another barbecue but the weather was a bit iffy, so J cooked a nice meal in the caravan instead.  Salmon, new potatoes and salad, best meal of the weekend according to D.

Afterwards the weather started to brighten up, so we strolled into Ravenglass and had a walk on the “beach”.  A bit desolate or moody and atmospheric depending on which of us you ask.  Anyway, it was a good sunset.


Popped into the Ratty Arms for a drink and ended up having two.  Lots of drinking this weekend!

*** Best beer of the weekend…regular readers will not be surprised to learn that it was either Langdale in the Brook House Inn or Loweswater Gold in the Holly House Hotel.  Apart from these two old favourites, Yates Golden Ale in the Ratty Arms was nice too ***

Including us, ten customers.  No music, no television, just a nice atmosphere, why can’t all pubs be like this?  Entertainment came courtesy of the couple sitting a couple of tables away.  Can’t really describe it, though.  Daft is the word that springs to mind, but in a nice, funny way.  Like a couple of children.  You probably had to be there.

Monday 6th

Left at 10am and arrived home at 1.30pm.

All in all, an excellent trip.  Good site, good pitch, weather okay, no problems with the caravan or anything else.  D struggling to think of a better trip.

Coming soon…nothing planned, but hoping to get away again before the end of June.