Inspiration


 
Best Holiday Cottages For Family Get-togethers
 

Top 5 Holiday Cottages For Family Get-togethers

Snowdonia is perfect for family get-togethers as there is something here for everyone… adrenaline fulled activities, the beach, the mountains, castles, forests, cycling, walking, steam trains and endless open space. Once everyone has enjoyed their ‘thing’, there is nothing better than meeting back up at the end of the day for some quality family time. Finding places to fit everyone under one roof can sometimes be a challenge, so here are our Best Holiday Cottages For Family Get-togethers | Top 5:     Gothic Styled Mansion Near The Beach in Llanbedrog This Gothic styled mansion near the beach in Llanbedrog was built in 1857 and was originally part of the famous Madryn estate. Now run as an art gallery by a charitable trust, the rear wing of this impressive building has been lovingly converted into self-catering accommodation. Don’t worry, the wing is quite private, you wont be one of the exhibits on show!     4…

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TOP 5 ROMANTIC HOLIDAY COTTAGES FOR TWO
 

Diwrnod Santes Dwynwen - The Welsh Valentines Day

Diwrnod Santes Dwynwen (pronounced Doo-In-Wen) is the Welsh Valentines day and celebrated on the 25th January. Santes Dwynen is the Welsh saint of love and her story is steeped in Celtic folklore… She was the daughter of the king Brychan Brycheiniog and one of 24 siblings all of whom were blessed with beauty; Dwynen however was the most beautiful. During a banquet at court, Dwynwen and a young prince, Maelon Drafodrill, met and fell in love. The following day Maelon rushed to ask Brychan for his daughters hand in marriage, but alas she was betrothed to another. Maelon left the court distraught without even saying goodbye to Dwynwen. Heartbroken, Dwynwen fled to the forest where she prayed to God, asking him to rid her of her love for Maelon. When she eventually fell asleep, Dwynwen had the strangest dream. Maelon was walking towards her through the trees when an angel, sent by God, came down from…

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Large Family Holiday Cottage On The Llyn Peninsula
 

New Snowdonia Holiday Cottages For 2016

We have had some really great additions to the Dioni portfolio recently, making the offering for 2016 even better. In case you haven’t seen them yet, here is a run down of the more recent ones:   HEN FELIN | SLEEPS 10 Hen-Felin is a beautiful and large family holiday cottage on the Llyn Peninsula. This converted mill provides luxurious accommodation for up to 10 guests in this popular holiday destination. Exquisite furnishings and gorgeous location combine to provide a fantastic holiday cottage.   LLANGOLLEN-BARN | SLEEPS 6 This three bedroom holiday cottage in popular Llangollen enjoys uninterrupted views over the Dee valley. The cottage provides comfortable accommodation for up to 6 guests in a peaceful and tranquil location on the outskirts of town.   CEFN-TREFOR | SLEEPS 9 Cefn-Trefor is a beautiful detached stone holiday cottage near Harlech in Snowdonia North Wales. All the boxes are ticked on this one. Pet friendly, walking distance to…

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Elizabethan Manor House Set In Beautiful Countryside
 

Cors-Y-Gedol Hall

There aren’t many places to rival an Elizabethan manor in the wilds of Snowdonia. Join the likes of Charles II and Welsh revolutionary Owain Glyndwr and escape to the luxurious 7-bedroom historic Cors-y-Gedol Hall, near Llanbedr in north-west Wales. Cors-y-Gedol Hall is the latest addition the Dioni family. Sleeping up to 14 with prices starting from just £13 per head per night (based on full occupancy), the property offers an experience no modern holiday rental can match for history or sense of grandeur. A mile long oak lined driveway leads us up from the coast road to the hall with its magnificent granite gateway. Heavy oak doors, imposing fireplaces, rare antiquities, a grand piano, library and oak panelled walls are set alongside modern day additions of flat screen TVs and WIFI. The dining room is grand with a central dining table comfortably seating all 14 guests and the traditional style kitchen, the one you always wanted…

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New Years Resolutions
 

New Year Resolutions

New Year resolutions usually involve reflecting upon self-improvement; do more exercise, spend more time with the kids, lose weight, be more sociable….the list goes on. Sadly however 88% of us will fail…. and the reasons why?….35% of us set unrealistic goals, 33% don’t keep track, 23% forget about them and 1 in 10 made too many. Not a good outlook, however there are ways to increase your chances of success: Focus on 1 or 2 key goals in stead of a big list – when one resolution falls by the wayside, the others usually follow suit. Make your resolutions public – you are more likely to succeed if others are watching what you’re doing! Be specific about what you want to achieve and by when i.e loose 10lbs by April vs loose weight Monitor your progress with mini goals along the way Prepare for your resolution i.e put a plan in place on how you are…

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SHOP LOCAL CHRISTMAS 2016
 

Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda | Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

2015 has been a fantastic year for Dioni with lots of new additions to the family showcasing how much self catering has changed over the years. Beautiful holiday cottages which offer that home from home feel and in some cases the chance to live in that house you really want for a week of two. So we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our guests that have come and stayed with us in this beautiful part of the world, the cottage owners who work tirelessly throughout the year offering incredible experiences for those who visit and last but not least the local companies and business who have offered our guests discounts and promotions to make their stay in Snowdonia that little bit more special including: Snowdonia Adventure Activities Pant Du Cider Surf Snowdonia Pormeirion White Water Rafting Caffi Castell Harlech St Davids Golf Course Ski Llandudno Glasfryn park We look forward to…

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The Mabinoginon Tales Made Easy....
 

The Mabinogion Tales Made Easy....

The tales of the Mabinogion are over 1000 years old, they are the first reference to King Arthur and the earliest recorded British prose. It wasn’t until the 14th century that they were penned to paper; the origins being based upon story telling. They not only told tales of love, betrayal, mythology, politics and magical fantasies, but they promoted friendship and a code of moral conduct passed down from generation to generation. The 11 original tales have been compiled into 4 sections known as branches named: Pwyll, Branwen, Manawydan and Math and whilst the stories are bizzare, psychedelic and complicated, the key parts for each branch go something like this. Here are The Mabinogion Tales Made Easy: PWYLL, PRINCE OF DYFED Pwyll, whilst sitting on a mound which he has been told will either wound him or bring him something wonderful, sees Rhiannon riding over the hill on a white horse. Rhiannon has chosen for him…

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The 14 Peaks of Snowdonia
 

The 14 Peaks of Snowdonia

There are 14 peaks in Wales over 3000 feet that can be visited in one single journey; a 24 mile stretch from Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) to Foel Fras which along the way takes you through some of the most incredible and beautiful landscapes the world has to offer and known as the 14 peaks of Snowdonia. There are numerous ways in which to attempt the 14 peaks; from the 24 hour Welsh 3000 challenge where all 14 peaks are covered within a 24 hour time frame to completing the route a little more leisurely over 3 days, wild camping or staying at youth hostels along the way. The world record is an astonishing 4 hours 20 minutes. That said, most attempts are made northwards from Snowdon to Foel Fras and a popular starting point is from Pen Y Pass early in the morning with an ascent of the Miners’ or PYG track to the summit of…

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Mari Lwyd
 

Welsh Christmas And New Year Traditions

There are some great Welsh Christmas and New Year traditions. The ‘Mari Llwyd’ involves walking around the village with a horse’s skull on your head chanting rhymes. Another ancient custom, holming, ensured that the last one out of bed on Boxing Day was beaten with the prickles of a holly branch. A bit too ‘off the wall’ for our family if I’m honest. But here are some gentler traditions that you might want to adopt in your home this Christmas. NOSON GYFLAITH / TOFFE NIGHT In days gone by, Christmas Eve was known to many as Noson Gyflaith or toffee evening. Friends and family would gather for a celebratory meal, followed by singing, games and the making of the Christmas taffy (toffee). The base of all toffee follows a simple recipe of boiled sugar, water and butter but it’s the pulling of the toffee into long strands that makes taffy chewier and creamier than its English…

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Snowdonia in Winter
 

Tips For Winter Getaways in Snowdonia

Snowdonia in Winter is just as beautiful as in the Summer. Some might argue even more so. Snow capped mountains, rivers full of crisp ice cold water and miles and miles of deserted beaches. The towns also come into their own with festive cobbled streets, cosy cafes and pubs with roaring fires. Here are some of our tips for winter getaways in Snowdonia CONWY CASTLE AND TOWN Conwy Castle and it’s walled town were built under the instruction of Edward I as part of his conquest of the principality of Wales. Its circuit of walls, over three quarters of a mile long and guarded by no less than 22 towers, is one of the finest in the World. Bodnant Gardens, Conwy Mountain and The Royal Cambrian Academy of Art are all near by and well worth a visit. BETWS-Y-COED SWALLOW FALLS The Swallow waterfalls in Betws-y-coed is the highest continuous waterfall in Wales and is one…

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Christmas Markets In North Wales
 

Christmas Markets

There is nothing better to get you in the festive mood than a trip to a Christmas Market. It’s such a lovely feeling being all wrapped up ambling around the stalls drinking mulled wine and eating mince pies. There are lots of small local Christmas markets and fairs taking place, but the two most notable ones that are worth going out of your way to visit are the Portmerion Food and Craft Fair and the Llandudno Christmas Fayre. PORTMERION FOOD AND CRAFT FAIR: Always very popular, this is a wonderful place to go. The food on offer is amazing; lots of stalls promoting local brands which when you see them altogether makes you realise just how many great products are coming out of the area. As well as the food, the gifts here are lovely; original, quirky and definitely the type of things you won’t find else where. There are also some lovely skin care brands…

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Top 5
 

Cottages for New Year Celebrations

I was told the other day that there are only 6 Saturdays left until Christmas and to be quite honest I was surprised….it doesn’t seem like much time at all especially when it concequently means that there are only 7 Saturdays left in 2015. It’s time to get your thinking caps on as to what to do for New Year. If you want to avoid the craziness of town centres over New Year, but still like the idea of being with as many friends and family as possible, then you might be interested in joining together and taking out one of our cottage groups. These are sets of cottages of all different sizes that are run by the same cottage owner and are situated either next door or very close to each other. They are great cottages for New Year celebrations as they give you the opportunity to be with a large group of people whilst…

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Buy Things, Not Experiences
 

Buy Experiences, Not Things...

It’s loomimg. That time when we have to decide what to get our loved ones for Christmas. It gets harder and harder every year and I don’t know about you, but in our household we seem to have everything we need. Getting more ‘stuff’ means a) having to make room by discarding perfectly good other ‘stuff’ b) adding to a pile that after a couple of weeks will gather dust and c) also adding to the already fraught management of ‘screen time’! There is a lot of research to support that taking part in an ‘experience’ creates more long term well-being than new material possessions. They tend to be done with others so involves proper social engagement (as apposed to the virtual kind). Accomplishing challenges adds to your personal identity and growth and the memories from an experience create a strong sense of happiness. So taking all of this into consideration and throw in the fact…

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Top 5 Christmas Cottages
 

Top 5 Christmas Cottages

Christmas time is on its way and if you are looking to go away over the festive period, where better to go for that quintessential Christmas than Snowdonia; real log fires, lovely long walks in the mountains and by the sea followed by cosy afternoons either at a cafe or in a beautiful holiday cottage. We have lots of choice, so depending on whether you are looking to celebrate low key or with family and friends, Dioni has something to offer and here are our top 5 Christmas cottages: TY-NEWYDD SLEEPS 2 Ty Newydd is a romantic one bedroom holiday cottage in Bala North Wales. This simple yet elegant cottage provides self catering holiday accommodation for up to two people in a beautifully tranquil location. STABAL-IWRCH SLEEPS 4 This fantastic two bedroom barn conversion provides luxurious self catering accommodation on a welsh hill farm just outside Betws Y Coed in North Wales. The cottage is really…

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Come Fly With Fly Llanbedr
 

Come Fly With Fly Llanbedr

The landscape of Snowdonia is breathtaking by foot, but if you want to go one step further, taking to the skies and seeing it from above is something else. Tempted? Then look no further, it’s time to come fly with Fly Llanbedr! Ed is the man in charge and not only do you get to fly high above the mountains, lakes and sea, he also lets you take control of the plane so you can have the experience of flying an aircraft too if you want. Our trip started from Llanbedr airfield where we headed south over Shell Island. A quick detour inland took us over Dioni headquarters; Byrdir Farm where the pink rhino was a great reference point! Continuing south we enjoyed some breathtaking views over Barmouth and the Mawddach eastury. Once over Cader Idris (top picture), we banked left and headed north over Trawsfynydd and the Rhinog Mountains. A flyby the summit of Snowdon…

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Top 5 Cosy Holiday Cottages For Autumn Retreats
 

Top 5 Cosy Holiday Cottages For Autumn Retreats

It’s that lovely time of year; all the colours outside are changing, there is a chill in the air and when the evening comes in, its time to light the fire. A fireplace is part of the course here in Snowdonia and so if you want to enjoy the pleasure of one whilst on holiday, here are our top 5 cosy holiday cottages for Autumn retreats….   LLYS DERWIN Llys-Derwin is a magical character holiday cottage near Criccieth in North Wales. Built in the 16th century with the blood money of King Henry VIII in his effort to influence the nearby monastery the cottage is a fascinating combination of old world charm and modern comforts.   TY NEWYDD Ty Newydd is a romantic one bedroom holiday cottage in Bala North Wales. This simple yet elegant cottage provides self catering holiday accommodation for up to two people in a beautifully tranquil location.   NANT Nant, which means…

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Halloween 2015...
 

Halloween 2015...

If you’re lucky enough to be staying in one of our cottages over Halloween 2015, you’ll be pleased to know that Halloween Snowdonia Style does not have to involve standing around getting cold and wet watching your kids collect sweets! This is a place steeped in legend and myth so there is lots on offer – we have whittled it down to our top 5 which make for unique and exciting experiences you just won’t get anywhere else…… On the 29th, 30th and 31st October, The Ffestiniog Railway is running twilight railway trips where you board the train in fancy dress at 6pm and are taken into the mountains where you stop off in the dark woods for some fireworks and a little something to eat in the creepy cafe. Prices start from £11.60 for children and £17.50 for adults. Penryhn Castle just outside Bangor offers a range of activities including; The Penrhyn Castle Halloween Experience,…

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Things To Do In Snowdonia During Half Term
 

Things To Do In Snowdonia During Half Term

If you are here during half term, there are no end of things to do for kids entertainment. To help you make the most of your time, here is our list of things to do in Snowdonia during half term… 1: SNOWBOARDING / SKIING The Llandudno Ski Centre is great value for money and a really great afternoon out. Choose from skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing or sno-tubing and they have an onsite restaurant in the style of an alpine cabin just to add to ambience! 2: CLIMB A MOUNTAIN We obviously have Snowdon in the mix, but you might want to consider something a little less full on with children in tow. Moelfre nr Barmouth, Moel Shabod in Capel Curig or Moel Eilio nr Snowdon are all good to venture up. 3: CASTLES There are over 600 castles in Wales and up here in the North we have some pretty spectacular ones. Even for those hard to…

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TOP 5
 

Top 5 Family Retreats For Half Term

[one_fourth_last][/one_fourth_last] Half term is fast approaching and if you want to get away but haven’t booked anything yet, a visit to Snowdonia might be the answer…. There is so much on offer here for children, it’s hard to know where to start. There are numerous adventure activities like white water rafting, climbing and canyoning to take part in, places like Zip World, Surf Snowdonia and Bear Grylls to visit and of course good old walks in the mountains, on the beach and in the rivers; the area is simply filled to the brim with exciting things to do whatever the weather and even better, without a tablet or mobile phone in sight! Whether you just want a small family getaway or join in with a group of friends or extended family for a more raucous affair, Dioni have something to offer. Here are our top 5 family retreats for half term:   HAFOD-DYRUS | SAUNA AND…

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Pant Du Cider
 

Pant Du Cider

Autumn is on its way; there is morning dew on the slopes, crispness in the air, leaves changing colour and… apples falling off the trees left, right and centre! So the question is what to do with them all and from the ideas I’ve heard so far, making cider is one of the best! But if you’re not up for the challenge of making your own, you’ll be pleased to know that Snowdonia has its own brand of cider….Pant Du Cider. Based on the slopes of the Nantlle Valley, Snowdonia, the Pant Du Orchard was started in 2007. Of the 2900 trees planted, 2000 are traditional cider making apples and the remaining trees are made up of native Welsh varieties including Bardsey apples which have been planted in support of developing and securing the future of this near extinct variety from the Llyn Peninsula. There are 4 types of cider to choose from; decide on whether…

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