Cheese maturing in the depths of Llechwedd Slate Caverns
Megi Williams of South Caernarfon Creameries tells us about an unusual cheesy collaboration with Llechwedd Slate Caverns
We wanted to bring out something new, so we looked back to some of the traditional methods used to do things and decided to try maturing our cheese in Caverns. We checked around for a suitable location and decided on Llechwedd Slate Caverns. There are hundreds of caverns, so it was the perfect place.
Once we’d decided on a place, we had to work on the cheese. The cheese is matured for 11 months at the creamery before we take it underground, but we had to figure out exactly how long it needed in the cavern for there to be a difference in the flavour. At first we tried a month which had no effect. Then we tried two months with the same result. Finally, we left it there for three months and found a significant difference to the taste. Continue reading →
It’s a wintery, watery wonderland at Surf Snowdonia this Christmas, says business development manager Justin Everley.
We’ll be launching the festive season with a splash this year as Surf Snowdonia hosts its first ever Christmas Market. Taking place 10-11 December on the shores of our world-first inland surf lagoon with the woods and mountains of Snowdonia in the background, you’d be hard pushed to find a more stunning and unusual location for a Christmas Market.
It’s free to enter and fun for all the family. If you’re looking for that perfect one-of-a-kind Christmas gift, this is the place for you. There’ll be dozens of stalls selling original gifts, crafts, hand-made furniture, clothing, jewellery and festive decorations that you won’t find on the high street. Of course, you can always pick up some surf-related goodies in our onsite shop too.
Carrie Dugdale of Snowdon Mountain Railway tells us about a very special birthday bash.
In September we hosted a weekend of celebrations to mark the 120th birthday of Snowdon Mountain Railway. 120 years is a long time for anything to last, but for a business with the unusual focus of ferrying train passengers to the top of the highest mountain in Wales, it feels like a real achievement.
To mark this milestone, we invited passengers, local businesses and people from the Llanberis area to come along and enjoy some traditional food, drink, fun and games in our station forecourt. Continue reading →
Talyllyn Railway’s new general manager Stacey Parkinson on a fulfilling first few months in the job.
I started here in May 2016 and it’s been absolutely lovely so far. I’ve been a railway enthusiast for a long time, so it’s really the perfect job for me. The fact that I’m in such a beautiful part of the world is just the icing on the cake.
I’ve been on lots of railway-themed holidays in lots of different places. I’d been on other railways in Wales and had really enjoyed my visit to Talyllyn. When the I saw the job come up, I applied and was really pleased to get it.
When I came out of university, I originally worked with steam trains. Before I started here, my last job was with a train operating company that ran commuter and long-distance services, so the move to Talyllyn has brought me back to my roots. It’s a lot more fun to work with these wonderful steam trains. My last job was based in Hull, which is pretty much flat. It’s a very different environment to the beautiful mountains and valleys that we have here. Continue reading →
Esther Roberts tells us why Storiel’s recent relocation to Bangor’s Bishop’s Palace was a step in the right direction.
In January 2016, we moved premises to a new venue as part of a major project. Storiel is now based in what was the Bishop’s Palace in Bangor, a 1500-era building right next to the cathedral. It was previously being used as offices, but we’ve taken all the modern stuff out and restored it to be closer to how it would have looked all those years ago. As well as giving us a new freedom to display and interpret our collection (which was started back in 1884), it’s been a fresh start for a fantastic old building.
The new venue is much more visible than the old one, so we’ve been able to market ourselves a bit better than before. Plus it’s such a beautiful and inviting building that it’s somewhere that people seem to really want to visit.
Get to know some of Snowdonia’s fabulous fortresses. For a closer look, pick up a Snowdonia Pass and enjoy reduced entry costs to every one.
Beautiful Beaumaris on the Isle of Anglesey is a masterpiece of 13th-century castle design (and a UNSECO World Heritage Site). Even though it was never fully completed, it’s concentric walls-within-walls layout was a high-tech defensive innovation at the time. With its deep moat, sturdy round towers and protected access to the sea, it’s still pretty impressive today. Continue reading →
Glasfryn Parc’s Bas Kearns on overcoming adversity through the joys of wakeboarding
I’ve been wakeboarding for about 12 years. I started out behind a speedboat at Abersoch, but began coming to Glasfryn because of the cable system. Basically, it’s a big winch that pulls you back and forth, which is much less effort than doing it behind a boat. It’s a lot easier and quicker because if you fall, in the cable comes straight back to you rather than you having to wait for the boat to come round again. It’s brilliant for learners because it helps you get up on top of the board really quickly. The cable is above you, so it lifts you out of the water rather than dragging you through it. Best of all, you don’t have to clean the boat at the end of the day. I’ve been an instructor here for a few years now. One day they were short-staffed and needed some help, so I got involved. I’ve been here ever since.
In September 2015 I had an accident which resulted in me losing most of my left arm. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to carry on wakeboarding, which got me down a bit. When I was ready to get back on the board it was pretty difficult to start with, but I kept on trying and I learned different ways to do things. Now I’ve got my own style based on using one hand and half an arm. Continue reading →
Lahn Hinchliffe of Quarry Pottery explains how Snowdonia’s dark night skies inspired a new range of ceramics that’s just out of this world.
I was born in Dolgellau and grew up in Tywyn, before leaving to go off to university. My family have run the pottery since 1982, so I grew up in the ceramics world. I went to a lot of potters camps, which I thought were very boring at the time, but I was probably subconsciously picking up stuff about pottery from a very early age.
The idea for this new range of pottery that we’re calling In the Night Sky came from a lifelong interest in astronomy. Growing up in such a remote and unspoilt place you could look up into the sky at night and see the Milky Way. The stars were so bright. It was something that always stuck with me. When I moved away to Brighton, I couldn’t see the stars at night, so it made me realise how special Snowdonia was. When I brought my partner here for the first time, she had never seen a sky like it. It really made me realise that I’d grown up in a very special place. Continue reading →
Take a discounted ride on Snowdon Mountain Railway
Jana Jones of Attractions of Snowdonia explains why the new Snowdonia Pass is a must-have for visitors and locals alike.
The Snowdonia Pass is a discount card that’s available to both visitors and residents. It costs just £5 and it gives you money off at a variety of local businesses. So far we’ve got 47 organisations signed up, covering everything from attractions and activities to restaurants, shops and accommodation providers.
Every business signed up offers a minimum of a 10 percent discount all year round, but some of the offers are even more generous. For example, there’s a 20 percent discount for Snowdon Mountain Railway, a 15 percent discount at Menai Bikes. Another is a reduction of £5 per night for accommodation at the Royal Sportsman Hotel in Porthmadog. Customers can go onto the Snowdonia Pass website to see all the participating business and find out what deals they are offering. Continue reading →
Dyfi Distillery is the first commercial distillery in Mid Wales and the latest addition to Corris Craft Centre. Co-founder Danny Cameron explains why this part of the world has all the right ingredients for truly great gin.
My brother Pete has lived in the Dyfi area for 35 years. He forages, keeps bees and has a small farm here. I’ve spent 30 years in the drinks industry. We were having a chat a few years ago and we ended up discussing Dyfi as the perfect place to set up a craft distillery where we could make amazing gin using local spring water and foraged ingredients. It started off as a fantasy, but we eventually realised that it was something that we should actually do.
There’s a combination of factors as to why the Dyfi area is ideal. The diversity of the botanicals here is genuinely astonishing. There are very few places in Europe that have this level of diversity, which is why the place is recognised as a UNESCO World Biosphere. There’s also the water. It’s of such high quality that you couldn’t ask for better for distilling. Combined with my brother’s local knowledge, it just means that this is the perfect place to be. Continue reading →