This guide as been compiled for the convenience of holiday guests staying at Bryn Bras Castle.View from Bryn Bras Mountain Walk towards Snowdon and Llanberis Pass
There are a great many Castles and Historic Places in this area of Wales. Caernarfon Castle is four and a half miles away. At Llanberis, three and a half miles away, are Dolbadarn Castle, the National Museum of Wales and the Welsh Slate Museum. Two National Trust properties, Penrhyn Castle, Bangor and Plas Newydd, LlanfairPG, Anglesey are within nine miles. Helpful leaflets are available from Cadw (01443 336 000) and the National Trust, Llandudno (01492 860 123).
Four World Heritage Sites are in North Wales, the Castles of Caernarfon, Conwy, Beaumaris and Harlech.
The region offers excellent opportunities for mountain walking and rambling, and the beautiful surroundings have made Snowdonia extremely popular for this type of recreation. Within a radius of eight miles to the east and south of Bryn Bras Castle there are thirty mountain peaks of 2,000 feet and above in altitude, which include all the highest peaks of Snowdonia. Full details may be obtained from Hill Walking in Snowdonia by Steve Ashton. The local Ramblers Association arrange walks in the area and they would be pleased to let you join their activities free of charge, contact Canon Edmund Plaxton (01286 880 188). For the less adventurous there is, of course, a variety of fascinating walks which would be difficult to better anywhere.
The nearest 18 hole golf course is six miles away at Llanfaglan, west of Caernarfon. Meals are available. For details contact the Caernarfon Golf Club (01286 673 783). There is another 18 hole course at Bangor, seven miles away. For details contact St. Deiniol Golf Club (01248 353 098). Both courses enjoy extensive views of the superb scenery, and guests at Bryn Bras Castle are welcome without formality.
Archery, clay shooting, Falconry and Hawking are available at the Bob Valentine Shooting School, Llanbedrog, 28 miles away (01758 740 810or www.theshootingschool.com).
It is easy to spend a day in Ireland. Stena Line and Irish Ferries depart from Holyhead (28 miles away) every day allowing several hours ashore to tour Ireland by coach or train excursion. For full information on sailings and fares contact Stena Line (0870 241 2417 or www.stenaline.co.uk) or Irish Ferries (0870 532 9129 or www.irishferries.com). For details of any excursions from Dublin, contact the Tourist Information Centre at Dublin (00353 1605 7700 or www.visitdublin.com).
Bryn Bras Castle is an ideal centre for touring north west Wales. The Lleyn Peninsula, Isle of Anglesey and the Snowdonia National Park are all situated within a seven mile radius. Llanberis - Past and Present by Sue Lowe, available from local bookshops is a tourist guide book to Llanberis. Tourist information folders and guides on north Wales can be obtained from the North Wales Tourism Office (01492 531 731). Comprehensive general guides are published by VisitWales (02920 499 909). There is a Tourist Information Centre in Llanberis (01286 870 765) and at Caernarfon (01286 672 232). Blue Badge guides, Mandy Whitehead (01286 871 232) and Donna Goodman (01286 677 059) conduct tailored tours for the connoisseur; accompanied by a driver/guide.
Galeri, Caernarfon, is a theatre and arts centre (01286 685 222) with English and Welsh stage productions as is the Venue Cymru Theatre, Llandudo (01492 872 000 or www.nwtheatre.co.uk) twenty seven miles away.
Please see the Eating Out page for full details.
There are several of the Great Little Trains of Wales within easy reach of Bryn Bras Castle. The nearest two are in Llanberis three miles away; Llanberis Lake Railway and the world famous Snowdon Mountain Railway (01286 870 223). A joint leaflet for all the railways can be obtained from Narrow Gauge Railways of Wales, c/o Wharf Station, Tywyn, Gwynedd (01654 710 472).
One of the best ways to experience the delights of the countryside is from the saddle. Treks across country into the heart of the mountains, far away from motor cars, can be most exhilarating and can be enjoyed by experienced riders and beginners alike. The closest pony trekking centre is three miles away at Snowdon Riding Stables, Waunfawr (01286 650 342).
Some of the best climbs in Britain are to be found in the mountain ranges a few miles away to the south and east of Bryn Bras Castle, and most the finest and hardest of these climbs can easily be reached from Llanberis Pass, which is only five miles away. For climbers of intermediate ability and experience there is a wealth of climbing available. Rock-climbers can find all they want in Snowdonia, with Clogwyn Ddu’r Arddu five miles away, providing the ultimate challenge. The conquerors of Everest trained in these mountains and their autographs can still be found on the ceiling at the Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel. Mountaineering equipment, guide books, maps and the contact details of local guides are available from Joe Brown Shop, Llanberis (01286 870 327 or www.joebrownsnowdonia.co.uk).
The River Seiont is only one and half miles from Bryn Bras Castle and offers good salmon and sea trout fishing. Migratory fish enter the river in May and early June and runs occur from that time to the end of the season. Brown trout and char are available in Llyn Padarn, a mile away, and this lake is famous for its char fishing. Full details, advice and permits may be obtained from Garth Maelog, Llanberis (01286 870 840). Boats are available in Caernarfon Harbour for sea fishing trips in Caernarfon Bay, for flat fish, mackerel, codling, bass and lobster; and in the Menai Straits where there are good bass fishing grounds.
The nearest sandy beach is at Dinas Dinlle, nine miles away. It has excellent sands with good surf and views of the Lleyn Peninsula. Bryn Bras is centrally situated for many other delightful sandy bay beaches, such as Red Wharf Bay, Llanfairfechan and Llanddwyn Bay, a remote and lovely suntrap with four miles of clean golden sand, sheltered waters and dunes.
Arfon Leisure Centre, Bethel Road, Caernarfon (01286 676 451), three miles away, has many facilities; tennis courts, swimming pools, squash courts, activities halls (badminton, table tennis etc.) and fitness room. Equipment may be hired, and meals and refreshments are available. The centre is open daily. There is a large, heated, indoor swimming pool at Garth Road, Bangor (01248 670 600), nine miles away. This pool is open daily and snacks are available.
Canoes can be hired on the beach at Dinas Dinlle, nine miles away. There is lake canoeing and other sports at Llyn Padarn, Llanberis (01286 870 556) three and a half miles away, and at Llyn Mymbyr, Capel Curig, twelve miles away organised by the Plas-y-Brenin National Centre for Mountain Activities, which also organises skiing, climbing, abseiling etc. (01690 720 214 or www.pyb.co.uk).
Plas Menai, near Caernarfon (01248 670 964 or www.plasmenai.co.uk) is the National Water Sports Centre offering many activities such as canoeing, sailing, cruising, boardsailing, power boating, diving and swimming. They also provide courses on Mountain Craft and have an indoor climbing wall.
The Menai Straits are only three miles away from Bryn Bras Castle and provide first class sailing facilities in a superb setting against the backdrop of the Snowdonia mountains. Numerous regattas are held there during the summer months with entries from all parts of Britain, and the Menai Straits fortnight is one of the major national sailing events. Port Dinorwic on the Menai Straits has modern harbour facilities and is a very popular sailing centre. Information may be obtained from the Marina, Port Dinorwic (01248 671 500).
Caernarfon Airport (01286 830 800) adjoining the beach at Dinas Dinlle is nine miles away. It offers the opportunity of pleasure flights seven days a week over Snowdonia, the Menai Straits and Anglesey. The Airport displays many types of aircraft. Flying lessons are also given.
There are many workshops in the area where craftsmen can be seen at their work with pottery, textiles and fabrics, wood, cane and wicker, jewellery, leather craft, slate and stone, candles, soft toys, taxidermy etc. The nearest Craft Workshops are at Padarn Country Park Llanberis, three and a half miles away. An old established business is Bryncir Woollen Mills, near Porthmadog, 20 miles away (01766 530 236). Here are made tapestry and honeycomb bedcovers, flannel, tweed, knitting wool and woollen gifts.
Had a lovely week. Weather fine. Llanberis is a very good centre and the Castle is special.
International: 44 1286 870 210
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