Inspiration


 
 

Top 5 Unique Snowdonia Shopping Experiences

Mooching around the shops of small towns and villages is very much part of a holiday. For one, you have the time to enjoy a bit of leisurely retail therapy and secondly, it is a rare chance to see a high street of independent shops. In Snowdonia of course, we like to do things a little differently and that goes for our shopping experiences too; some are off the beaten track, some are treasure troves you didn’t know existed and some are, well in the cattle market….. here are our top 5 unique Snowdonia shopping experiences….   CAE DU DESIGNS | HARLECH This is one of the best treasure troves you will ever find and once you’ve been introduced, you will be back time and time again. People come here year on year to stock up on material for home furnishings. There is a lovely cafe next door to deposit your ‘other half’ giving you plenty…

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Swimming Snowdonia
 

Swimming Snowdonia | Wild Swimming At Its Best

There has been a lot of coverage about wild swimming in the Snowdonia mountains of late, and the film Blue Hue produced by Natasha Brooks has certainly helped. The film was winner of the Women in Mountain Adventure film competition 2015, the Spirit Of Adventure film award 2015 and gained international recognition when selected for the Banff Mountain Film Festival tour 2016. We are very lucky here with so many beautiful swimming spots to choose from. Accomplishing a wild swim is invigorating, satisfying as well as peaceful and calming; I have never met a person yet who wishes they hadn’t done one! If entering into the realms of wild swimming peaks your interest, here are 5 top spots that will certainly give you a taster of wild swimming at its best:   WATKINS PATH WATERFALL An extended series of pools and falls starting close to the Snowdon Watkins path. It’s used a lot by walkers coming…

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Bala
 

Things to do in Bala

Surrounded by mountains, rich in culture, and within easy reach of many of the region’s most popular attractions, beautiful Bala is famously home to Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake), the largest natural lake in Wales. Sandwiched between Snowdonia and the Berwyn mountains, the town is watched over by its own mini-massif: the Arenig mountains. Here’s a selection of our favourite things to do in Bala.

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Holiday Cottage in Wild Snowdonia
 

Top 5 Cottages for Walking Holidays

Walking in Snowdonia during the winter months is breathtaking; the snow capped mountains, the tumultuous seas, the windy beaches and the cold icy lakes are a very different experience to their Summer counterparts and in all honestly, I prefer it. Make sure you’re wrapped up warm, it’s cold up on the mountains and the wind can be quite unforgiving on the beach, but as long as you’re warm and dry, its just glorious. Here are top 5 cottages for walking holidays:   Spectacular Views Over The Mawddach Estuary Formerly the home of a sea captain sailing from Barmouth, this 3 bedroom stone cottage commands truly spectacular views over the Mawddach estuary and Cader Idris beyond. The cottage itself is a traditional build of stonewalls under a welsh slate roof. I was sold on the place before I stepped over the threshold. But I can happily report that the cottage is perfect on the inside too.  …

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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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Surf Snowdonia to Open Summer 2015
 

Surf Snowdonia To Open Summer 2015

The latest addition due to launch this summer in the North Wales adventure playground is Surf Snowdonia. Based in the village of Dolgarrog, Conwy, Surf Snowdonia is the first publicly accessible Wavegarden® artificial surfing lagoon. This revolutionary concept, generates powerful and consistent surfing waves, of varying heights up to 6 feet, in a 300m long lagoon. It is ideal for all surfers, from grommets (beginners both young and old) to professional surfers, and will be a fantastic family destination. Surf Snowdonia will also play host to events, competitions and surf demos, giving the public access to the World’s top surfers. Alongside the surfing lagoon will be an activity lagoon for more family based swimming fun as well as a cafe, restaurant, children’s play building and woodland trails…..So whether you are looking to learn to surf, hone your surfing skills or just want a family day out with a difference, Surf Snowdonia has a lot to offer.…

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Dioni Promotion to Celebrate Snowdon Race’s 40th Year!
 

10% Discount to Celebrate Snowdon Race's 40th Year!

CLOGWYN COTTAGE Clogwyn-Cottage is a luxurious farm holiday cottage at the foot of Snowdon – one of two self catering barn conversions on a working farm on the western slopes in Rhyd Ddu. This two-bedroom holiday cottage offers superior accommodation for up to 4 people in an idyllic and tranquil setting. For 2015, they are offering a 10% discount on a 7 night stay over the month of July. Simply enter code: GIVEME10 at checkout. It is definitely one on the bucket list for thousands across the world, but each year only 650 gain entry into what is said to be one of worlds’ greatest mountain runs. The Snowdon Race is a 10 mile run from Llanberis to the summit of Snowdon and back again. Having started as part of the Llanberis carnival celebrations back in 1975, it has certainly grown in popularity, so much so that being able to compete in the race is now…

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FREE FARM BREAKFAST-2
 

Bala's Best Bacon Butties....

Following on from last years success, Cae-Hir are back offering Bala’s best bacon butties! The butchers back bacon and soft white baps will be waiting for you on arrival in Cae-Hir , which sleeps 6. The only question is will they stay in the fridge until morning or is the temptation of a scrumptious crispy bacon bap too much to resist? An offer this May which no-one wants to miss out on….simply enter voucher code: BACONBUTTIE at checkout.

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Come Follow Dioni On Pinterest
 

Plan Your Snowdonia Holiday with Pinterest

To help you make the most of planning your holiday here in Snowdonia we have launched our Pinterest page. For those not in the know, Pinterest is a great visual tool to use if you are looking for inspiration. It’s a catalogue of images uploaded and shared by millions where you ‘pin’ the ones you like onto a virtual board – it’s a bit like online scrap booking. If you are not a member yet, its not too late; simply create a Pinterest account, search for Dioni Holiday Cottages and follow us. Take a look at our boards and browse through our beautiful cottages, the best places to eat, the activities on offer and the beautiful sights to see. Pin the images you like to your own Snowdonia Holiday board and either keep it for your own records or share with family and friends. So what you waiting for, get pinning…..there maybe much more to Snowdonia…

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Free Farm Breakfast Hamper at Iwrch Holiday Cottages
 

Free Farm Breakfast Hamper at Iwrch Holiday Cottages

If the thought of getting away from it all is on your mind, then Iwrch holiday cottages might just be the answer. Situated just outside Betws-Y-Coed on a working Welsh hill farm, they are truly idyllic. The 2 barn conversions provide luxurious self catering accommodation. Stylish inside with all the mod cons you’d expect like under-floor heating and large flat screen TV, the location, high up on a hill overlooking a beautiful valley is the cherry on the cake. For those booking a weeks stay at either Stabal-Iwrch or Hafod-Iwrch during the months of March and April 2015 will receive a free farm breakfast hamper which includes sausages, bacon and eggs fresh from the farm along with a loaf of fresh bread… just what you need before you head out for a day of adventure in the hills of Snowdonia. If you love the idea of fresh meat straight from the farm, you can also buy…

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Top 10 Things a Kid should do before they are 11
 

Top 10 Things a Kid should do before they are 11

So the National Trust launched a campaign last Autumn to encourage our ‘cotton wool’ kids out into the great outdoors by listing 50 things a child should do before they are 11 – all back to basics, simple fun with not an electronic gadget in sight – we LOVE this! EVERYTHING on the list can be done in Snowdonia, so if your coming to stay with us this year with younger ones in tow, make the most of it and get them ticking things off the list. To get you started, here are our top 10 things a kid should do before they are 11 that we think are unique to Snowdonia and can be done in that extra special way, creating those memories for life: 1 – SKIM A STONE – whether its by the sea or on the lakes, its so satisfying when you finally get the stone to jump (for adults too!). 2…

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Top 10
 

Top 10 Family Holiday Cottages This Easter

Looking for a place to take the family away this Easter? Then we can help. Snowdonia is a wonderful place for families to get away and enjoy and depending on what you are looking for, there is plenty to do….. Adventure activities including climbing, white water rafting, gorge walking and zip-lining are all on your doorstep whilst for those looking for something more low key might be tempted by the high ropes courses, mini theme parks and play centres. For those wanting to inject some culture and history into their offspring will be spoilt for choice by the 600 castles Wales has to offer. However, if its good old fashioned time out in a cottage by the sea or mountains where hot chocolate, walking, log fires and board games are the choice of the day you wont be disappointed; there are miles of sandy beaches (with great sand dunes to run down), loads of stunning mountains…

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SNOWDONIA BUCKET-LIST
 

Snowdonia Bucket List

With so many unique and wonderful things to to see and do, bucket lists were made for Snowdonia! We’ve put together our own lists: one for you adrenalin junkies out there and one more family orientated – that everyday fun that you can only get on a visit to Snowdonia….here’s to Snowdonia bucket lists! ADRENALIN JUNKIE: Climb Snowdon via Crib Goch (it is not for the faint hearted!) Zipworld Velocity at Bethesda (fastest Zipline in the world) Have lunch above the sea in Anglesey on a porteledge with Gaia Adventures Go canyoning with Snowdonia Adventure Activities Surf at Hell’s Mouth, Abersoch Run the half marathon route at the Coed Y Brenin Trail Running Centre. Complete Y- Du (The Black) trail at the Antur Stiniog mountain bike centre. White water raft at the National White Water Centre. Fly from the Llanbedr airfield and see Snowdonia from the skies with Fly Llanbedr Brave the winter nights to see…

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Top 10 Dioni Holiday Cottages With A View
 

10 Best Cottages With A View

Now for many people, when choosing a holiday cottage in Snowdonia, a good view is up there on the want list. So if you fall into this category, we have made it super easy for you to choose with 10 Dioni cottages with that all important view: 1 – Becws near Harlech A Romantic self catering cottage with sea views. An old bakery near Llanbedr and Shell Island in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park. 2 – Beudy Ymwlch near Criccieth Holiday Cottage Criccieth. Self Catering Barn Conversion on the Llyn Peninsula combining modern facilities with the perfect rural location on a working farm. 3 – Bronwen Terrace Harlech Bronwen-Terrace is a large Victorian property with sea views in Harlech. Nestled on the seaward facing slopes of the town it overlooks miles of sandy coast. 4 – Bryn Du near Criccieth Traditional stone built farmhouse renovated to a very high standard. That perfect mix of…

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TOP 10 TRIATHLONS & MARATHONS NORTH WALES 2017
 

Trail Running Centre At Coed Y Brenin | Snowdonia

So its the start of 2015. For those of you vowing to get fitter and lead a healthier lifestyle, we have the perfect incentive. The trail running centre at Coed Y Brenin. The only one of its kind in the UK, it offers trails ranging from 2.7 miles to a half marathon along quiet trails throughout the stunning Coed Y Brenin forest in the Snowdonia National Park. The trails pass through three different river valleys with panoramic views of the mountains of southern Snowdonia, cascading rivers, tranquil plunge pools, heather moorland and the dappled shade of broad leaf oak woods. Nothing compares to the feeling of running in such beautiful surroundings. No traffic, just nature at its very best. Using a similar model to their world class mountain biking centre, the trails are all signed with way-markers that guide you around the route, making it suitable for both novice first timers and more experienced runners wanting…

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Top 5 Stargazing Spots in North Wales
 

5 Favourite Star Gazing Spots In North Wales

The wonder of the night sky has inspired countless generations, poets, scientists and dreamers. Today this natural resource is threatened by the careless use of artificial light and so the International Dark-Sky Association works to protect and preserve the night sky for future generations. Much of Mid and North Wales is prime dark sky territory and with this in mind, Snowdonia is currently bidding for Dark Skies Status with the which would further protect its beautiful landscape offering some of the worlds best stargazing. If you are here over the winter period, you will have plenty of opportunity to see the night skies in all their glory; with less day light hours in an area with little light pollution, it’s a great opportunity to get to know the dark side – see the milky way, ponder Orion’s belt and of course make a wish upon a shooting star. So wrap up warm, fill the flask with…

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This Christmas it'll be GRIMM in Blaenau...
 

This Christmas it'll be GRIMM in Blaenau...

Excitingly, the Market Hall In Blaenau Ffestiniog, after 20 years is re-opening and being transformed into a homage to The Brothers Grimm. A German fairy tale inspired Christmas fair will be taking place in the building and car park from 12-14th December. Aimed at children and families and based on the German Fairy tales, there will be story telling in both Welsh and English alongside market stalls selling arts, crafts and food; all in traditional German Christmas style. The market stalls have been created using reclaimed wood from a local chapel adding to the authentic feel of the event. Local artists will be selling jewelery, pottery, Christmas decorations, beauty products and cakes. The food on offer will include one of largest BBQ’s in the country as well as a German swing grill serving German cuisine alongside other options including vegetarian. Drinks will be non alcoholic but again all in line with the theme adding to the…

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DIONI SPEAKS AT THE DIGITAL TOURISM EXHIBITION

Gwion surreptitiously left for Swansea earlier this month without telling us he had been asked to be a guest speaker at the Digital Tourism Exhibition!! Now as many of you will know, tourism accounts for a large percentage of revenue generated in North Wales. The competition is high and with the ever evolving and changing market, getting your digital presence and know-how up to speed is crucial. Dioni Self Catering has grown from representing 1 cottage in 2007 to 101 cottages in 2014 with 7000 guests passing through; all managed through one digital window: http://www.dioni.co.uk. With this in mind, the people at The Digital Tourism Exhibition asked Gwion to address 500 people, offering insight and advice on the options that are available to you and your business in the digital world along with sharing what his secrets to success have been. Congratulations Gwion and Louise on receiving the recognition for Dioni Self Catering!

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