Snowdonia is one of the UK’s premier tourist regions with a great diversity of attractions – mountains, woodlands, sea – lots to do for active people. On that basis I’m not sure why we live here.
In a way, tourism has passed Bethesda by, probably because the quarry has been the basis of its history. Eight miles up the A5 is Capel Curig dominated by outdoor pursuits, four miles beyond that is the tourist trap that is Betws-y Coed, where every coach in the land disgorges its passengers into the “craft” shops before they re-embark via Llanberis to spend an hour in Caernarfon Castle. Not sure where they go after that but they don’t come here, even though we are in stunningly beautiful countryside.
Firstly, there will camping available on the rugby field with use of the showers in the club-house. There was a small charge for this last time.
Secondly, there is a community owned bunk-house, Caban, in Gerlan just above Bethesda. It’s modern and has bunks in various sized rooms: 16 beds in total, rooms 1 x 5, 1 x 2, 1 x 1, 1 x 8. It’s a good 20 minutes walk (up hill) from the club, but buses go up there quite late and local cab fares are pretty cheap. 15.03.11 Only four beds available weekend of 01 July.
There is not all that much tourist accommodation in Bethesda. But a mere 100 yards from the Rugby Club is the one B&B, Drws-y-Nant, right opposite Londis. Dan Lepard and David stayed there during the first Bethesdabakin’ as did Rick. My sister recently stayed there – have heard nothing but praise about the place:
Marion and Terry – Drws-y-Nant, Penrhyn Terrace, Bethesda, Gwynedd
Tel: 01248 600307: Mob: 07767 294549
Half a mile away if you follow the path through the woods (Jeremy has a few tales about that) or about a mile by car is the Joys Of Life set in its own mini parkland and boasting a miniature railway:
Wendy Jones, Joys of Life, Coed Y Parc, Bethesda, Gwynedd, LL57 4YW
On the edge of Bethesda going up the valley is Ogwen Bank Country Park a caravan park with timber lodges terraced in woodland by the side of the river:
A mile beyond this is Ogwen Valley Holidays. No experience of them but in a very nice setting. Information from http://www.visitsnowdonia.info/ :
Ogwen Valley Holidays, Jill Jones, 1 Pengarreg, Nant Ffrancon, Bethesda, LL57 3LX
There are four youth hostels within striking distance, Bangor, Idwal Cottage, Capel Curig, Pen-y-Pass, although only Bangor is on a regular bus route.
If you want a hotel there is Bangor Travelodge, four miles up the A5 at the junction with the A55:
Travelodge Bangor, Llys-y-gwyn, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 4BG
If you want a serious (but very relaxed) hotel, you want Ye Olde Bulls Head in Beaumaris, 25 mins car journey. Plus the only decent substantial restaurants round here (there are a couple of good small restaurants which I will post elsewhere):