Philip's adventures in NW Wales, March 2017

Continuing the discussion from Where to go for Welsh that's like SSiW-North?:

So after getting approval for my holiday, I decided to get the ball rolling and have now booked transport and accommodation, and decided on Caernarfon as a base after all.

I’ll be arriving there in five weeks’ time on Tue 7 March around 1530, will have Tue evening and all of Wednesday for looking around NW Wales, and will be leaving again on Thursday morning at 0815 to catch a plane in the early afternoon.

I’m planning on visiting the Rownd a Rownd set but have otherwise not got any fixed ideas.

If anyone in NW Wales (e.g. @Pete2, @siaronjames, @aran? ) has time on Tuesday afternoon/evening or on Wednesday 8 March and would like to meet up and speak Welsh with me, let me know!

Or anyone in Crewe where I have an hour and a half to change trains on Thursday 9 March from 1100 till 1230.

Also if anyone has tips for Welsh-speaking places to eat in Caernarfon or places reachable from there by bus.

I still haven’t got further than Level 1 Challenge 20 so I wonder how much I’ll understand :slight_smile: but it was an opportunity that seemed too good to miss even at this point. I’m sure it’ll be an adventure, at any rate.


Well done Philip - good man!

I can certainly meet you for a chat lunchtime on Wednesday (I work 9-5 and one day off from the lunchtime gym session won’t hurt! :wink: ). Or I could probably find an hour Tuesday evening after 7 if you’re not in Caernarfon itself on Wednesday. We can sort that out closer to the date.

For Welsh-speaking places to eat, there is plenty of choice as most of the places here have Welsh speaking staff, although you won’t go far wrong with The Black Boy.
There are buses to Llanberis - mentioned on the other thread - which is a lovely place to visit. Again, lots of Welsh-speaking eateries, but I usually go to Y Pantri for Ian’s great coffee!

Where will you be staying?


Thank you :slight_smile:

Probably at “Cartref” guesthouse, though I also booked a room at “Tegfan” since they have an earlier check-in time and I’m not actually arriving in the evening so “from 1600” seemed a bit late. (Though now that I’ve seen what time I’d actually get there after train + bus it’d be nearly four anyway.)

So I’ll be cancelling one of them at some point.

They’re both within the walls, in the same block of houses even.

I really like railways, so the one going up to the summit of Snowdon had been on my list of things to do if I had two weeks in the area! I wonder whether that would fit in to a single-day excursion, timewise.

Or maybe the one from Caernarfon to Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Perhaps not. But a visit to Llanberis as a place still sounds like a good idea; thanks!

I believe this one tends to be booked well ahead (read very popular).

Easy walk from where you are staying to the station, and a real treat.
(often manned by volunteer staff who don’t speak welsh, so you can help change that).

Cheers J.P.

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Obviously the Caernarfon-Porthmadog-Blaenau Ffestiniog one would take much longer and wouldn’t leave much of the day to do anything else - but certainly worth doing when you have the time.

Porthaethwy (where the RaR set is) is in the opposite direction to Llanberis, but it should be possible to visit both in a day, even on the buses. The Snowdon train is iconic of course, but won’t be running until mid-March. There is also the Llanberis Lake Railway though - so it’s possible you could still fit one heritage train journey in!

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I’ll be around on the 8th March, @philipnewton and visiting the Rownd a Rownd set is something thats on my list of things to do this year, so happy to drive you up there and back for that?

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I will do my best. It all depends on work. Longer term members will know i’m currently facing the loss of my job. But if free i will be there.

I’d recommend giving yourself some extra bulk exposure before then - race through the rest of L1 and as much as you can of L2 - aim to do a lesson each day, with no pause and no repetition (they’ll all be there for you to come back to later if you need) and 10 minutes of accelerated listening exercises every day, and you’ll get even more out of the visit… :slight_smile: [particularly if you add an hour’s conversation practice each week between now and then].

We’re around that week - Wednesday’s are tricky for us, because Catrin goes to lend a hand to her mother and I don’t have the car, but you’d be welcome to call out at the house if you can figure out the bus from Caernarfon to Carmel - or we might be able to swing it to come in for an early evening panad on the Tuesday… :slight_smile:

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If i’m free i’d be happy to give phillip a lift. We have talked on skype. He is a very good welsh speakern

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(Snowdown Summit by railway)

Ah, I see. Better skip that then if I’m short on time. (Also, I’m not sure whether it even runs all the way to the top in March, now that I think about it. Edit: ah, and as @siaronjames confirmed. )

Noted; thanks!

That’s a possibility; thanks! I had thought of taking a bus otherwise. Whereabouts are you based?

Let’s talk again closer to the date.

Thanks for the reminder! 5 weeks is 35 days, if I do manage to do a challenge a day I might just be able to make it.

I had a nice challenge-every-day routine that then kind of petered out for various reasons… will try to “get back into the groove” again.

Also good advice! I’ll have to try to make some inquiries.

Thanks! I can look up times on Traveline and see whether I can get that to work. I presume Gwynedd “Red Rover” tickets are valid on Express Motors busses.

Thank you everyone so far for your encouragement, advice, and tips!

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(Welsh Highland Railway from Caernarfon to Porthmadog)

Unfortunately closed for re-development until the end of March, as I just saw at !

I have nothing to add except to say, WOOHOO! And: I absolutely loved Caernarfon, I second Siaron’s suggestion of The Black Boy (where I managed to stumble through several exchanges in Welsh and felt very proud of myself), and also second the suggestion of Llanberis!

Have a wonderful time! :grinning:


Thank you, Anabel!

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And rightly so! Congratulations - using Welsh in real life situations with strangers is pretty much the deepest part of the deep end… :slight_smile:


After having thought about things to do, I think I’d rather go to the set on my own as I’d like to go to Llanfairpwll railway station as well and take the train back over the other bridge, and I’d prefer to be “on my own timetable” rather than imposing on someone else.

Thank you for the offer all the same, @Richmountart!


Not an imposition, but of course, not a problem! Hope you enjoy the tour and have plenty of opportunities to use your Welsh.


Back home again!

More details hopefully later :slight_smile:


Lovely to meet you, Philip, and HUGE congratulations on the extremely impressive quality of your Welsh… :star2:


When we met at flint station it was great. Two welsh speakers sat in the waiting room having a free flowing chat. I’m sure noone would have thought otherwise. It was great.


Having met @philipnewton on Skype, I am not surprised. He seemed the most fluent on there, with a lovely accent which made me think of Patagonia not Germany! Because I was so tongue tied, I listened a lot!