Monday, 30 April 2012

Wales Coast Path

These boots are made for walking.....

Fancy a walk this weekend? Well why not try the brand new Wales Coast Path?
On May 5th, the Wales Coast Path will be officially opened, making Wales the first country in the world to have a walking route that follows every inch of its coastline. It'll be possible to meander, wander, walk and explore an incredible 870 miles of some of the most beautiful coast in the world.

From the outskirts of Chester in the north, the path follows the coast all the way to Chepstow in the South. The project has been co-ordinated by the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW), along with sixteen local councils and two National Park Authorities, as well as the Ramblers and the Welsh Government, so it has been a huge collaboration and a long-running project.

Some parts of the Wales Coast Path are already well promoted walking routes. The Pembrokeshire Coast path has been officially opened since the 1970s and is one of the most popular Long Distance Trails in Britain.

However, there are some parts of the Wales Coast Path that are not yet open to walkers and the opening of the Wales Coast Path will mean that entirely new sections of coastline will open up to walkers and visitors. The sections between Porthmadog and Machynlleth and most sections between Swansea and the end of the route at Chepstow will all be new sections of path.

And last year, travel guide publishers LonelyPlanet selected the coastline of Wales as one of the “must-see” regions of 2012", alongside world locations such as Croatia, India, Kenya and Central America.

What more of a recommendation do you need? With 870 miles to explore where will you start?

The Oakeley Arms is only a couple of miles from the Coast Path at Portmeirion and Porthmadog, so there's plenty to explore. Check back soon for some details of walks along the coast.

See you on the coast!!

Image ©VisitBritain/ James McCormick

Monday, 23 April 2012

Portmeirion Village Stamp

Pretty as a Picture

For our guests and customers that have been to Portmeirion, it'll be no surprise that this beautiful and bizarre village will feature on a Royal Mail Stamp Collection.

The Stamp Collection will celebrate British Heritage and Culture, and features 26 unique location across the UK - each letter of the alphabet representing an iconic place around the country. Any guesses for which letter Portmeirion will be for?

And if you haven't yet been to Portmeirion, then now is definitely the time to visit. Springtime is when the lush gardens start to bloom and the wilderness of the landscape behind the village really comes to life.

It's just a 10 minute drive from the Oakeley Arms to Portmeirion, so why not visit during your stay with us?

Wonderful, weird, unsettling or idyllic? Welsh or Italian? Portmeirion is Wales’ village with a double identity.

Precariously balanced on the Welsh coast edge, and looking as if buildings from a quintessential Italian village have been picked up and thrown at the hill to land chaotically, this bizarre, but beautiful place has been attracting tourists, artists, philosophers and Hollywood for years.

Portmeirion is the work of eccentric, but amazingly talented Welsh architect Clough Williams Ellis. After the end of the First World War, he bought up a crumbling old estate near the traditional Welsh harbour town of Porthmadog, describing the land as “a neglected wilderness” and set about transforming it into his idea of utopia; a perfect coastal village that paid more than a passing tribute to the glamorous air of the Mediterranean.  It became his life’s work, and between 1925 and 1975, he worked tirelessly on designed, building and renovating the village.

Today, the village is run as a hotel and self-catering apartments, incorporating a restaurant, cafes, shops and ice cream parlours.

Thursday, 19 April 2012


And the winner is......

After a brilliant day at the Oakeley Arms on Easter Sunday, we are delighted to announce that the winner of the giant chocolate egg raffle is.....Mr Med Price!

And here's a picture of us (reluctantly) handing it over

but what a star, he did bring some back in for us all to nibble on, and deliciously egg-stra special it was too (sorry, we promise no more egg puns now.....well, till next Easter anyway!)

The whole event was a huge success, and a whopping £700.88 was raised for St Twrog's Church, which is a great result. Thanks to all who attended and contributed.

Gwynedd Charity Fundraising Venue
If any charity volunteers or fundraisers would like to hold their fundraising event at the Oakeley Arms, then do get in touch; we're the ideal venue!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Barmouth's Titanic Plaque

Fit for a Hero

Who would have thought that the little town of Barmouth would be linked with one of the most famous maritime stories in history?

Well, on Sunday 15th April, the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic, a plaque was unveiled on Barmouth's quayside. The simple plaque commemorates Harold Lowe, one of the Titanic's most heroic officers.

Harold Lowe was born in Barmouth in 1882. Determined to work at sea, he left at the age of 14 to join the navy. After his apprenticeship was over, he joined the ill-fated White Star Line in 1911 and was appointed Fifth Officer aboard the stricken Titanic for her maiden voyage.

Incredibly, Officer Lowe survived the tragedy, but it is documented that despite reaching safety on a lifeboat, he was the only officer to return to the ship to try and rescue more passengers from the freezing waters. He saved four  more lives from a tragic ending, as well as rescuing occupants of a sinking lifeboat that passed his own lifeboat.

When Harold returned to Barmouth, crowds of over 1,000 people gathered to welcome the hero. Crowds gathered almost 100 years later to remember the brave actions of Barmouth's most heroic son. Harold's Grandson, Captain John Lowe, unveiled the plaque.

Lifeboat filled with Titanic passengers

Did you know: in James Cameron's Oscar Winning Hollywood smash of 1997, Titanic, Welsh actor Ioan Gruffydd played the part of Fifth Officer Harold Lowe.

** Barmouth is a great day out from the Oakeley Arms. It's about a half an hour drive along the fabulous scenic coast road beyond Harlech. Explore the fabulous beach, the resort town and the iconic bridge. And while you're there, why not take a stroll around the beautiful Panorama walk.

Mawddach Estuary from the Panorama Walk

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Dolgellau New Bridge

Like a Bridge....

If you've been out walking this weekend, you might have noticed that there's a lovely new bridge in Dolgellau. The £450,000 project was given the go-ahead last winter and was completed just in time for the Easter weekend.

The new foot bridge replaces the old one, which crossed the Afon Wnion in the town centre near what was once the Dr Williams Girls' school (and is now the tertiary college). Because of this, the bridge was known locally as the "Dr Williams Bridge" or sometimes the "Ladies Bridge" or the "Green Bridge" - in reference to the green uniforms that the girls wore.

The school opened in 1878, and the bridge was built a few years later in 1900. Although it was a famous local landmark, it had a number of sharp turns and ramps and was narrow, making it unsuitable for today's cycle and foot traffic.

The new bridge will make it easier for walkers and cyclists to join the famous Mawddach Trail - you can find out more information about this lovely multi-use trail that goes from Dolgellau to Barmouth here.

So, when it finally stops raining, get out and about and explore this brilliant new facility for walkers!

See you on the bridge!!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Easter Fun

Easter Egg-stravaganza!

Easter is very nearly here, that chocolate is so so close!

If you're looking for a way to entertain the whole family over the weekend, don't forget about the Oakeley Easter Fun day - lots of local, Easter fun in Maentwrog, Gwynedd. 

There'll be a fabulous Easter Egg hunt, as well as stalls, our very own easter bunny and the chance to win this stunning egg in the raffle.

It's all taking place on Easter Sunday (8th April), so come along and join the fun.
There'll be a small charge for entry - all proceeds to go to the St Twrog's church fund.
Be there or be a square egg :)
See you Sunday!!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Grand National 2012

Ready, Steady, GO

There's a few fun things happening in the next few weeks - bank holidays, Easter-egg hunts, Easter egg eating, more bank holidays and of course let's not forget the good old Grand National 2012!

The Grand National is the nation's favourite horse racing event, and is arguably the world's most famous steeplechase races; it's steeped in history and is the ultimate test of endurance, for both the horse and the jockey.

image by oxyman on wikicommons
Red Rum - a National legend! 

  • the Grand National is televised in 140 countries and it watched by over 600 million people!
  • the total prize fund for 2012 is £975,000!
  • there are 16 fences on the racecourse, but most are jumped twice.
  • the Grand National was first broadcast on the radio in 1927
  • Not only is Red Rum the record holder for the most wins - he won in 1974, 1975 and 1977, but he is the most legendary National horse.
  • Kirkland was the only ever Welsh trained horse to win a National in 1905

This year it's all happening on Saturday 14th April, so you've got a couple of weeks to pick your winner and place your bets!

You can see a list of the runners and hot-tips here.

image by RacingKel on wikicommons