Tag: North Wales

How to visit the most historic harvest festival in North Wales

North Wales today hosts the annual Conwy Honey Fair, a historic harvest festival dating back to the reign of King Edward I.

I was in Conwy last week to preview the event and find out more about the walled city with its Unesco-listed castle.

I also visited the National Beekeeping Centre of Wales [pictured above].

Here’s a sample of my story:

The Fair dates back more than 700 years to the reign of Edward I when local beekeepers were given the right to sell honey, without charge, within the walls of the town for one day only.

Harvest festivals were always part of the church calendar but the right to hold the Honey Fair was formally decreed by the King in the town’s 13th-century Royal Charter.

“It’s an event frozen in time,” says event organiser Peter McFadden, “and still generates a huge sense of community.”

The town also hosts the Gwledd Conwy Feast, a weekend food festival with street food, show-cooking displays and live music from October 25-27.

Read the full article in Telegraph Travel, Is this Britain’s sweetest town?

An exclusive preview of the new Adventure Parc Snowdonia attraction

The new Indoor Adrenaline experience at Adventure Parc Snowdonia opens tomorrow.

But we were there a couple of weeks ago [pictured above] for an exclusive preview of the new adrenaline attraction, researching an article for The Guardian in the family travel section.

Here’s a preview of what we found:

Now rebranded as Adventure Parc Snowdonia, this converted aluminium factory in the Conwy Valley started life in 2015 as Surf Snowdonia with its inland artificial surf lagoon.

But it has expanded for the summer holidays with the opening of its Adrenaline Indoors adventure experience.

Think the TV series Ninja Warrior on steroids.

It’s an action-packed adjunct in a new building opposite the surf lagoon with activities including an artificial caving course, a parkour trail and freefall jumps, plus a soft-play area for younger siblings.

A 106-bedroom Hilton Garden Inn Hotel is due to open late 2020 with a restaurant and spa.

Adventure Parc Snowdonia

Read the full Guardian Travel story here.

How To Raise A Glass To North Wales’ Real Ale Trail

I joined a real-ale-themed tour of North Wales recently for Guardian Travel.

It was a trip around the hidden-gem rural pubs and microbreweries [pictured above] often overlooked by the stampede down the A55 towards Anglesey.

Based around Caernarfon, it highlighted the rise of community pubs at a time when our traditional village hostelries are struggling to survive.

There has been an explosion of local microbreweries and craft-ale pubs in recent years with The Albion Ale House in Conwy one of my favourites.

Here’s a preview of the article.

As the afternoon gave way to dusk, I was nursing a pint of Clogwyn Gold from the Conwy Brewery at The George in Carneddi, near Bangor, currently the Gwynedd a Mon branch of CAMRA’s Community Pub of the Year.

It was a tiny, no-frills bar with cheese rolls on the bar, beers stains on the carpet and a queue of people for the pool table but, an early Saturday evening in spring, it was bustling with a mix of regulars and ale-trail day trippers.

Landlord Dewi Sion says: “I still believe that serving a proper pint of local ale in a proper pub can create a place where a community comes together.”

Read the full story coming soon in The Guardian.

 

Northwest hotel reviews for The Hotelegraph

Foodie escape: Northcote, near Preston, Lancs
Foodie escape: Northcote, near Preston, Lancs

I’ve seen a lot of hotel rooms in some 16 years of travel writing.

And I saw a whole lot more over the summer months on a journey that took me from a castle in North Wales to a country haven for foodies in rural Lancashire [pictured above].

The reason? Telegraph Travel has been beefing up its hotel coverage and I picked up a fair few of the reviews around the Northwest and North Wales.

The bulk were in Liverpool and have been appearing steadily — digital first, of course.

The home to the majestic, Unesco-listed waterfront offered a colourful range of properties from budget basics to a Titanic-themed hotel.

But the stand out place was a night at 2 Blackburne Terrace, a hidden-gem boutique guesthouse in the city’s Georgian district.

Here’s a sample of what I said about it:

Set in a late-Georgian townhouse, this is very much a bespoke experience with frissons of flamboyant design and theatrical flourishes from the hosts to foster a very personal ambiance.

And here some of the reviews.

2 Blackburne Terrace

30 James Street

Epic Apart Hotel

Doubletree by Hilton

Aloft Liverpool

For autumn I will be packing my reviewer’s notebook for Carmarthenshire and Hull.

Please drop me a line with any suggestions.

More from: The Hotelegraph.