Saturday, September 05, 2009

Summer Holidays North Wales/South Cornwall?

The question mark in this post's title signifies the incredulity about whether staying in Britain this summer would feel like a holiday. Mrs maytrees being of the view that these days, airports and hot climes do not necessarily a brilliant vacation make, the decision to avoid both for summer 2009 was as some might say, 'a no brainer'.

The attic of a former boarding school house in Dolgellau made for a spacious holiday home. The town's best coffee shop (Roberts') was a converted drapery and linen store in which the huge original linen measuring bench was used as a table to sprawl over with maps and coffee. A walk from there ten miles along a disused railway track to Barmouth took one passed the old but packed Charlie pub, along an estuary teeming with birds and wildlife and ended with the foot crossing over the still used (just)rickety wooden and iron railway viaduct towards the beaches. A more energetic but frightening climb a few days later up and over the Roman Steps at Cwm Bychan was beset by heavy rain, wind, marshy bogs and absent a compass our heading for miles due East rather than West a Snowdon Ranger's mum whose house we chanced upon, amusedly offered us tea pending the arrival of a taxi to take us miles and miles back to the start point.

Cornwall was equally exciting. By contrast to the huge Dolgellau loft rooms, our Gunwalloe abode was a tiny cabin on the edge of the cliffs near to Chuch Cove. Torrential rain and gale force winds made the cliff edge site which was beautiful on sunny days seem very precarious at night. The Maori restaurant, Kota, at the tiny nearby harbour village of Portleven provided fare every bit as good as that we have enjoyed in Southern Europe and far less expensively than elsewhere.

No airports, good food, comparative isolation, sea, walks, mountains, bracing weather and time out together made for a vintage break, as good as any abroad.

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