© 2019 by Writers Retreat - Snowdonia

Betws-y-coed, Conwy. North Wales 

E.  info@writersretreat.wales

 A land of  legends, toil, hardship, war, love and pride

North Wales - A land steeped in history and beautiful landscapes. 

 

North Wales is a land steeped in legends of dragons, fabled kings, wars and saints set within the mountains and rugged coastline that is Snowdonia. 

Wales has the most castles per acre than anywhere else in the world, due to the long standing disputes between locals and invaders. 

The beauty of Snowdonia has been used in many films over the years including The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, King Arthur, Game of Thrones and the mountainous scenes from Carry on Up the Khybur which is re-enacted on Snowdon’s Watkin Path every year.  Tolkien holidayed in North Wales and is thought to have based Mordor on the slate workings of the area with the Elvish language being based on the Welsh language.

The slate mining industry that this area is renowned for, meant harsh working conditions and poverty for the workers leading to bitter strikes and ultimately to its destruction, but remnants survive and can be seen particularly around Blanaeu Ffestiniogg, which adds to the contrasting landscape. Lush forested areas give way to the mountainous slate spoil heaps, lakes and beautiful waterfalls. 

As the industries have declined, tourism within the area has boomed and the focus is on enjoying the tranquillity and peacefulness of the stunning nature that is in abundance in Snowdonia. 

Although there are plenty of relaxing walks Betws-Y-Coed is known as the gateway to Snowdonia and a super base for adventurous activities such as kayaking, zip lining, climbing, mountain biking, and hiking. 

Snowdon is the second highest mountain in the UK and is situated in the centre of Snowdonia, half an hour from Betws-Y-Coed. There are a variety of routes up to the peak that challenge all levels of ability. Snowdon is busy all year round, but there are also many other peaks and ridges within Snowdonia that are less visited, but provide just as good challenges and vistas, while giving you the feeling of being completely on your own in the wilderness and a sense of relaxation and calm. 

It’s a place that evokes creativity and a want to capture the awe inspiring beauty of the area. Betws-Y-Coed became a centre for artists and writers after the arrival of the railway during the Victorian era and is set in a valley surrounded by pine forests, rivers and waterfalls. 

It’s a special place that makes people want to become a part of its natural surroundings and relax and unwind away from the trappings of their normal lives. Because of its setting in the middle of the Snowdonia National Park it is a fantastic base to explore the beauty of Snowdonia. A chance to recharge those batteries, awaken your senses and get your creative juices flowing. 

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'Don’t wait for things to get easier, simpler, better. Life will always be complicated. Learn to be happy right now. Otherwise you’ll run out of time.'  Tiny Buddha

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A romantic view of working in Penrhyn Quarry. Original can be found at Penrhyn Castle.