MY BUCKET LIST FOLLOWING LOCKDOWN!
With all this time indoors it has given the opportunity to think about all those things normally taken for granted and so easily accessible before the country went into lockdown.
How I miss walking my dogs to the pub and going to my favourite Italian restaurant in Conwy!!
During this ‘free’ time I’ve been considering all the things I would like to do and have decided to compile them into my own little ‘bucket list’ which I thought I would share.
It would be interesting to hear what you have on your bucket lists…
Number 1: WATCH THE SUNRISE FROM SNOWDON (ERYRI)
I’ve climbed Snowdon from all angles and love the views from the summit and yet I have never climbed it at night to watch the sunrise. Friends who have done it in the past have posted pictures and it looks stunning!
I would probably park in Llanberis itself in the early hours and walk the main Llanberis Path as this path is probably easier defined in the dark, even though it is a longer walk it is probably easier to navigate. I will pack a picnic and a flask of coffee to enjoy, the café won’t be open this early, while I take in the view from a good viewing point.
Coming down I usually walk the ranger path as I find it’s almost always deserted and free of the ‘traffic’ climbing up the main route. Here are a few more options:
Lunch in either Pete’s Eats in Llanberis or Caban in Brynrefail.
Number 2: CLIMB TRYFAN
The only peak in North Wales I haven’t ‘conquered’ is Tryfan. It is also the only peak in Britain that you actually can’t walk all the way to the summit as at some point or other you will have to scramble or climb.
I have a good friend, an experienced walker, who has climbed Tryfan many times, and has offered to guide me.
Legend has it that Sir Edmund Hillary used this area to train for his ascent of Mount Everest!
We will probably meet in one of the car parks around Ogwen cottages before we commence our ascent. The Visitor Centre is a good meeting point, where one can also enjoy a coffee or something beforehand.
If we are feeling fit and the weather is nice, it may be good to complete the circular walk around Llyn Idwal coming down Y Garn and take in the view down the Ffrancon Valley.
Afterwards afternoon tea for us both at The Ugly House tea-room (my treat), between Capel Curig and Betws y Coed on the A5 and then maybe a pint in The Stables!!
Always consult local mountain safety info before venturing into the mountains.
Number 3: VISIT MORE CASTLES
2017 was Visit Wales’s Year of Legends and North Wales is full of history and culture, from its Castles to its urban Myths. We are constantly being asked on our parks about the history of the area and sometimes can become embarrassed when our visitors know more than us!!
A castle I really want a return visit to is Criccieth Castle.
Cricccieth isn’t all about the Castle, it is also home to the original Cadwalader’s Ice Cream parlour, so a must-visit on a nice day… what am I saying, you can eat ice cream any day!!
For more castles to visit in North Wales, please check out this article from the Daily Post:
Number 4: LEARN TO SURF
I’ve always wanted to learn to surf and what better facility to learn than at ‘Surf Snowdonia’ in the Conwy Valley, literally 15 minutes from my front door!!
They offer many learn to surf packages on their website and there are plenty of other facilities on-site to keep all the family entertained as well as watered and fed!!
Number 5: MAKE USE OF THE STAND –UP PADDLE BOARD (a gift from my wife)
Last year for my birthday, my wife gave me a stand -up paddle-board, something we had done together in the past and said that we do together again. The embarrassing thing, it is still in its bag!!
North Wales has more lakes than the Lake District… Fact!! That and the fact we are also surrounded by fantastic coastlines with some great beaches, leaves absolutely no reason for any excuse!
I think we will start out at Lake Geirionydd which is sheltered, and we can also take our dogs.
Afterwards, I’ll treat us both to Pizza in Betws y Coed at Hangin’ Pizzeria.
Number 6: LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE
I’m embarrassed to say, and especially as I’ve lived in Wales all my life that I can’t speak our native language. My wife’s first language is Welsh and even though she has tried to teach me a little, we’ve never managed to get past a couple of sentences.
To begin I think I’ll try downloading a welsh language app on my phone for when I’m out walking the dogs or driving in the car.
We are fortunate to have a pretty good Welsh Language Centre set in probably the most beautiful area in North Wales and a must to visit even if you don’t want to learn the language.
Nant Gwrtheyrn is built within the structures of the former quarrying village of Porth y Nant, which was abandoned midway through World War II after the cessation of quarrying. It sits between the villages of Trefor and Nefyn. Here, they offer a range of residential courses for all levels of abilities.
Number 7: DINE OUT MORE
I love my food and North Wales has some fantastic foodie places to visit, Conwy, Menai Bridge, Llangollen are a few of the many towns gaining a growing reputation for being foodie destinations!
One restaurant which has eluded us over the years is Sosban & The Old Butchers, in Menai Bridge.
After a trip to Alfredo’s in Conwy this will be top of list of places to eat out at.
Coupled with this I want to BBQ more, first though I may need to buy a new BBQ, suggestions for a new BBQ would be much appreciated!!
Number 8: Visit South Stack Lighthouse.
I must admit I’m guilty of not spending as much time with my wife as I should do and promise to do more things with her once we are out of lockdown.
One place I can’t believe I’ve never been to visit is South Stack. The South Stack Lighthouse was built on the summit of a small island off the north-west coast of Holy Island, Anglesey. The lighthouse has warned passing ships of the treacherous rock below since its completion in 1809.
Returning from South Stack we could take in a walk for the dogs at Newborough beach followed by tea out at Dylan’s, Menai Bridge.
Number 9: ATTAIN MY POWER BOAT DRIVING QUALIFICATION
Thornley Leisure Parks has for many years supported the Lifeboat and it is something we will continue to do with fundraisers on the parks. A few of our customers have boats in marinas in the area, and we have a fantastic working relationship with Conwy Marina for boat storage.
But one thing I must do is learn to drive a boat.!! All the marinas in the area have either a sailing school either in-house or are linked to a local provider. I must look to getting my powerboat course completed.
There are any amount of other sailing and surf schools and stand up paddle-board groups to help take us out onto the water.
As well as enjoying the countryside, I also want to ensure I enjoy the coastline we are so lucky to have in North Wales with the miles of endless coastal paths.
Number 10: BUY A CAMPER VAN
I have always dreamed about having a VW Camper Van right from being a young child and it’s amazing how the years have passed and still I haven’t realized my dream. With all these things listed on my bucket list I think one could come in handy!!
If anyone reading this has either a VW California or T5 Transporter that has been converted and wants to change into a Holiday Home on one of our parks’, do please get in touch. We accept part exchanges of anything from motor homes to tourers and we promise to pay best book price.
Above all else, it is important that we Live, Laugh and Love and that when we get through this current crisis we concentrate on fulfilling our life’s dreams, making memories and appreciating all the things that we generally take for granted.
Please share with us your bucket lists and in the meantime, stay safe, stay indoors and support our NHS.
Thanks for taking the time to read.
Stay home, stay safe, protect our NHS, save lives.
Picture credits: Go North Wales, Visit Wales.