Time to get back in the saddle


Link Posted 09/04/2016 - 11:10
Hi All

I have not been around much for the past 5 months, Due to a run of family crisis and 'work/ life balance' seeming to be a utopian dream - I have not had a day out with the gear since the Whitby Goth Fest last October, Things have started to improve of late an have managed a few local shots - but am finding it very difficult to get my enthusiasm back.

Anyway - long story short - returned home from working away on Thursday evening and thought 'sod it' I need a break - somewhere not visited before, not too far away, that will keep the kids entertained and allow me to get some camera time in. This was proving tricky until I suddenly realised - there is a big chunk of the Welsh coast that I have missed between Porthmadog and Aberwstwyth, so have booked a cottage for the week at the end of May in Barmouth.

So - obvious question - any tips from those familiar with the area - any must see places beyond the obvious?
Harlech Castle is already on the agenda as well as the Fairbourne narrow gauge steam gala.

No matter how many lenses I have owned - I have always needed just one more


Link Posted 09/04/2016 - 11:41
Great to see you back Carl

I 're-joined' about three weeks ago after very similar circumstances, and am really enjoying forcing myself to find more camera time. Forgot how much I missed it . Hope you find the same.

Barmouths a great base for that part of the world. Great landscape ops in the Mawddach estuary (dawn shots from the viewpoint above Barmouth a bit of a (great !) landscape cliche). Cwm Bychan to the east of Harlech is one of my favourite spots in all Wales - with walks up to the wild Rhinogs if you're up for that kind of thing. Shell Islands a great place to go for a day hanging out on the beach or in the dunes - although I think you have to pay to get on now. Llanfair slate caverns just south of Harlech are also interesting. Lots of other places - others might have suggestions. Hope you het good weather

Some of my vaguely better stuff
Last Edited by Northgrain on 09/04/2016 - 11:45


Link Posted 09/04/2016 - 12:08
Thanks Tim - good to be back!. Llanfair looks like the sort of place my 6 year old son will certainly enjoy - he loves going down mines and caverns. Cwm Bychan looks perfect, I think I did the Rhinogs many years ago during a 3 day trek around Snowden - that one may be a bit much for me at the moment as I am recovering from a knee injury.

No matter how many lenses I have owned - I have always needed just one more


Link Posted 09/04/2016 - 15:13
Hi Carl,
I live just down the coast from Barmouth(Tywyn) and was raised in the village Llwyngwril.
Lots of interest within the area and within a hr drive.
If you google the points listed below you should find plenty of info bud.

As mentioned Cwm Bychan, also cwn Nantcol.
George III Hotel and The old Pemaenpool toll bridge on the Mawddach estuary.
Precipice walk new and old along the Mawddach.
Whilst in Fairbourne why not visit Blue Lake a old slate quarry.
Also thus side of estuary is Cregennan lake and Gwernan lake.
Talyllyn Lake.
Why not even pay a visit to the loop and try your hand at fast jets!! On 30 min away from Barmouth. 😉
Bit further away towards Ffestiniog is Cwm Orthin old slate quarry.
Over the Crimea pass is Dolwyddelan castle and further on is Fairy Glen just before Betws y Coed. Swallow Falls in Betws too.
Head out further towards Capel Curig and take a left towards Beddgelert(legend of Gelert the Prince's dog) some nice lake settings here, Llyn Gwynnant and Llyn Dinas.
Continue through Beddgelert will bring you back to Porthmadog. Criccieth Castle near here.
Going back to Capel Curig if you Continue on the A5 this will bring you to Llyn Owen. Nice setting with falls and Tryfan mountain.
Llanberis with it's Hydro power station visits, And slate Museum.
Dolbadarn castle here to.
Almost forgot Surf Snowdonia (if it's open)the artificial surfing lake, don't forget your Speedo's!! 😂

Plenty there to research I think.
Feel free to ask any questions and if unsure of locations and If I can help I will.


Link Posted 09/04/2016 - 16:20
Hi Carl,
some suggestions beyond those mentioned:-

1) Ynys Hir Nature reserve, used for the BBC's Springwatxch series a year or two ago, is on the south side of one of the estuaries. Sorry, I forget which.
2) Very near to that (~2 miles) is a swan or otter sanctuary.
3) A little further away (north) is a children's experiance park (underground) . Something to do with King Arthur.
4) Between Corris and Machynlleth Is the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) which has stuff for the whole family.
5) Walks and photography opportunities on Cadair Idris (esp. around Llyn Cau).
6) Bala and Llyn Tegid are not far away
7) Portmeirion.
Open slate mine in Blaunau Ffestiniog.
9) Waterfalls and mountyain biking tracks in Coed Y Brenin south of Trawsfynydd.
10) The Torrent Walk just east of Dolgellau.


Link Posted 09/04/2016 - 17:19
Hi Carl
I wondered where you had got to.
7) Portmeirion..... well worth a visit
Too Old To Die Young



Link Posted 10/04/2016 - 08:32
Hi Carl, glad to see you back.

You are off to a wonderful part of the world and I look forward to seeing your pictures.

The sunsets are remarkable that side of the country too.

Enjoy, relax and shoot loads 😊

"I'm here because the whiskey is free" - Tyla

PPG link
Flickr link


Link Posted 10/04/2016 - 08:53
Thanks for all of the tips Rob, Keo, Barrie and Andrew - looks like I should have booked the cottage for a month !

Good to be back guys - for the first time in a long time - got up this morning - sun shining - and thought - grab the gear and get out!

No matter how many lenses I have owned - I have always needed just one more

Father Ted

Link Posted 10/04/2016 - 19:26
I know the struggle of work/life balance.
I keep promising to get out and it never seems to happen anymore. I do think that sometimes, I just need to say "sod it, I'm going". I might not get decent shots, but at least I'll get some practice in.

I can also recommend Portmeirion. If you get a nice day, it's one of the nicest places on the coast (in my opinion).
Getting there! Thanks to you guys

Pentax K10d, *istDL, Kit lens ( 18-55mm ), 50mm f1.7 lens, Tamron 70-300mm lens, Prinzflex 70-162 manual lens, Various old flashes.


Link Posted 10/04/2016 - 22:34
Hope you have a great time whatever you decide Carl. I can't get about as well as I did and driving is out the question but have a couple of friends at the camera club who take me out for the day on Saturdays.



Link Posted 11/04/2016 - 00:13
Hi Carl

Why not try Llandanwg Church, good beach too.

The Victoria Inn, Llanbedr does good food, Welsh Black burgers are recommended

Cregennan is good, Cader Idris makes a great back drop.

If you go to Llanberis, Pete's Eats is good and the Anglesey Barracks are close by and provide great views


K10D, K5 plus plenty of clueless enthusiasm.

My Flickr site link


Link Posted 11/04/2016 - 00:15
Don't know this part of the world myself I'm afraid, but good to see you back Carl... Look forward to seeing your pictures again...




Link Posted 16/04/2016 - 09:46
Ted, Stan, Stu and Bill - thanks for your comments, recommendations and welcome backs - good to hear from you all.

No matter how many lenses I have owned - I have always needed just one more


Link Posted 16/04/2016 - 10:51
There are of course the dunes at Ynyslas, which are excellent for moody mono shots

"I'm here because the whiskey is free" - Tyla

PPG link
Flickr link


Link Posted 16/04/2016 - 11:25
As previously mentioned, the precipice walk is lovely, as well as Dolgellau itself...The Toll bridge at Penmaenpool is atmospheric (stayed in the old station there a few years back, now an annexe for the Pub) and you can walk or cycle along the old railway all the way to Barmouth, Tallylyn, Ffestiniog and Corris railways all handy ad of course, Portmeirion as mentioned by many others. Be seeing you.
Everything Changes
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