Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pistyll Rhaeadr

The waterfall Pistyll Rhaeadr is one of the seven wonders of Wales and is well worth the visit. The waterfall itself has an 80 metre drop and is very impressive even in the summer. From the centre you can get to it by taking the road to Bala then turning left towards Llangynog. This road takes you around the other side of the Berwyn ridge. Once through Llangynog travel on to Penybontfawr and from here take the left hand turn to Llanrhaeadr-Ym-Mochnant. Once into this village the small side road on the left takes you up to the waterfall, this is signposted. Once at the falls itself there is some parking on the road or you can park in the main car park which is just £2.00. You can walk to the bottom of the waterfall where there is a bridge that crosses the river and you can walk from the car park up into open country and stand at the top of the waterfall. If you do this with young people you need to be very aware that it is a sheer drop and looking over the edge has the risk of falling. There is a café in the main car park and you can easily spend an hour or two at the waterfall and in the surrounding area. I have been to the café with a group of adults who all had a cream tea before trekking off to tackle the main peaks of the Berwyn ridge and then the walk back into Cynwyd.

For me the best way of getting to the waterfall is by walking in from Llangynog. This is a great walk that can be done with people who are fairly young although with younger ones it would be better to be met in the car park of the waterfall so you do not have to walk back to Llangynog. Details of this walk can be e-mailed to centre users. There is a free car park at Llangynog and you get into open country very quickly giving a complete sense of isolation but in reality you are never very far from a road.

The waterfall is well worth visiting and gives an enjoyable half day trip as part of your programme of activities whilst staying at the centre or cottage.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Llangollen Railway Thomas the Tank Engine weekend

On Saturday 26th February we took the opportunity to go to Llangollen railways Thomas the Tank Engine day which was one of the two days being run over that weekend. We were up before dawn that day as our oldest daughter was awake early asking if toady was the day when we were going to see Thomas. We arrived at Llangollen station for 10.00 am and saw Thomas arrive for the day and then did our first ride on the Thomas train which spent the day going up and down the length of the platform at Llangollen. At this point it was raining but after visiting the imagination zone for some colouring and face painting we went outside again and by this point the sun had appeared and continued to shine for the rest of the day. Trains arrived and departed all day and we travelled up to Berwyn station and back into Llangollen for our longest journey of the day. More colouring, some time to watch an episode of Thomas on video and another ride on the Thomas train filled the rest of the day and we finally left at about 4.30 pm. We did not get time to take part in the main train ride or to visit the puppet show at Carrog station as we were too busy at Llangollen. The staff at the railway were all superb entering into the spirit of the day and the activities entertained two little girls superbly. At £14.00 per adult and £9.00 per child with under 3’s free we thought the whole day was brilliant value for money. We finally left with two very tired little girls who had both enjoyed themselves tremendously. More Thomas weekends come up later in the year and you can combine these with a trip to the Centre (for groups or multiple families) or the cottage (for one family). We will certainly be visiting the Thomas the Tank engine weekends again later in the year and recommend them to everyone. A really, really great day out.