Anglesey Tourism Awards 2010

Anglesey Tourism Awards emblem

We’ve just had some great news – Cottage at Coed y Berclas has been shortlisted for Best Self Catering in the Anglesey Tourism Awards. We won’t know who the winner is until the award ceremony in January 2010 but it’s great to have got this far, so a big ‘Thank-you’ to all of our guests who helped by recommending us. Keep your fingers crossed!

Dorothy

7th December 2009

2009 Beaumaris Victorian Christmas

Victorian Chistmas ay Beaumaris

Daf and I popped down to Beaumaris this afternoon to take a look at the Victorian Christmas event. The organisers must have been anxious as the day approached – the weather had been wet and windy (with a terrific thunder storm a week ago) but the day dawned with the mountain peaks covered in the first snows of Winter and, although it wasn’t exactly dry underfoot, it wasn’t raining and the day remained calm.

It was very much a local community event with ‘things’ happening in various locations around the town, such as Punch and Judy, a craft fair, charity stalls, judging of the best shop window display, best costume etc and it culminated in a procession led by the Beaumaris Silver Band along Castle Street to White Lion Square where the Christmas lights were switched on and prizes were handed out by the Snow Queen who had arrived in style in a horse drawn carriage accompanied by ‘Queen Victoria’ herself – the real Princess Victoria visited Beaumaris and stayed at the Bulkeley Arms Hotel before she became Queen – just part of the town’s rich history!

Dorothy

28th November 2009

2009 Beaumaris Fireworks Display

November 2009 Fireworks at Beaumaris

We’ve just got back from another fun Bonfire Night at Beaumaris.

Bonfire Night at Beaumaris is rapidly becoming a main Anglesey attraction. If you can get here, it is definately one of the things to do on Anglesey in November. It seems there’s always something new and this year the fireworks were timed to the music. However, what I noticed were the new colours – lilac and pink appeared alongside the usual red, blue, green, gold and silver. The effect was dramatic and despite rain showers, crowds of onlookers surrounded the huge bonfire and watched as the sky was painted with myriad sparks of coloured light. To add to the fun; from Beaumaris we get a backdrop of the mainland across the Menai Strait and have echoes of our own fireworks all along the coast.

What a lovely way to mark the beginning of the dark nights of Winter – does anyone give Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot a thought these days? How many young people even know what it was all about? How much better it is to enjoy the stunning display of explosive light with members of one’s own community with fun and laughter. Roll on midnight on New Year’s Eve and the firework display from Beaumaris Castle!

Dorothy

7th November 2009

Walks Around Beaumaris

Beech tree in a Beaumaris glade

Today was a beautiful early Autumn day with the sun shining from a blue sky. As yet there is little sign of the leaves changing colour so the trees are still in full leaf. Daf, Joshua – our son – and I took a short walk following a leaflet left by visitors to our cottage. The trail took us to the West End of Beaumaris, giving snippets of information as we went along about the old slipways on the shore where passengers and goods disembarked and the Customs Officer – only the third to exist in Wales, checked ships’ cargoes. In 1792, there were 327 ships registered at Beaumaris – compared to only 11 at Cardiff – and wealthy merchants built themselves the beautiful houses which still adorn the town.

We left the edge of the Menai Strait, turning inland and following a lane which lead under one of the old bridges supporting a carraigeway on the Baron Hill Estate leading up to the, now derilict, great house of the Bulkeley family. We followed the path up a wooded valley to the ruins of two watermills. As our route meandered up the valley, on the left, the stream tumbled through its deep birch planted ravine, while to our right was the leet – the ditch along which diverted water once ran to power the mills. Beyond stood the moss covered stone dam whose pool had once provided the water, now sadly out of use – a romantic reminder of a past age.

We emerged from tranquil woodland by the Primary School – very close to the spot where the Roundheads defeated Royalist forces in 1648, before taking over Beaumaris Castle – then we rejoined the 21st Century, walking past Sunday homes, on past the massive stone walls of the old Gaol, to Castle Street and a welcome ice cream treat at Redboat.

The walk takes only about half an hour but is one of the tranquil things to do on Anglesey and is a reminder of just how much history is held within the lovely, small town of Beaumaris.

Dorothy

4th October 2009

Time to think of Christmas!

Haf Bach, Beaumaris Fireworks display, Christmas and New Year Festivities.

Why does it always happen that the schools start back and the weather almost immediately improves. Here in Wales there’s a name for this September/October phenomenon – it’s called Haf Bach (Little Summer) and sure enough we are having beautiful sunny days and clear starry nights here on Anglesey. My Mother, who was a Primary School teacher frequently asked why British school holidays include August which is one of the most temperamental months, just as likely to be rainy as sunny. She suggested May, June and July as much more reliable and our experience would absolutely back this up.

However, here at Coed y Berclas we are beginning to contemplate November with the Beaumaris Fireworks display, and December which are not too far away; although I refuse to count the number of ‘shopping days to Christmas’.

November brings the Beaumaris Bonfire and brilliant Firework Display

This year, the Beaumaris Fireworks display will be from about 6:30 – 7:50 on Saturday November 7th – have a look at our Tariff Page for availability of the Cottage and come along to join in the fun – Daf and I will certainly be there.

Snowy Cottage at Christmas!

Christmas Day and New Years Day are on Friday this year

We are not sticking to our usual Saturday ‘turn-round’. You can choose any days (minimum stay 3 nights) you wish to stay at Coed y Berclas over the Festive Season and anyone booking seven consecutive nights over this period will find a hamper filled with seasonal treats waiting for them.

Bring in the New Year at the midnight Firework Display at Beaumaris Castle just two miles from Coed y Berclas.

Dorothy.

13th September 2009.

August day for a Pilot Cutter.

A Tall Ship passes Bangor Pier

As we looked out from our terrace at yet another flotilla of Beaumaris racing yachts disappearing like a gaggle of goslings, bidding for the best position, back towards their starting point near the Royal Anglesey Yacht Club; this magnificent reminder of a bygone era floated gracefully and silently into view and gently drifted past Bangor Pier shining with the light of late morning, ushering the unruly flock before her as she made her elegant way across the wavelets winking in the August sunlight. Her progress looked effortless and we watched contented until she glided serenely out of sight leaving a sense of tranquility in her wake.

…now Daf wants one.

Dorothy. 25th August 2009.

Beautiful August night.

Moonlight over Snowdonia

After a beautiful August day, came one of those magical moments when the moon rose through whispy clouds over Carnedd Llewelyn, Snowdonia.

The sun’s last pink glow, promising good weather for the morrow, had just left the mountains, handing them over to night’s caressing darkness, when the creamy moon slipped silently up from misty, cloud shrouded mountain tops and rose high in the sky to glow with a mysterious and ethereal light. The Menai Strait lay becalmed and silent below, the lights of Bangor foreshore reflecting languidly in her still waters.

Dorothy.

5th August 2009… a few minutes ago

Quilt Show in Menai Bridge. August.

From 4th to 8th August look out for Llandegai Patchers Exhibition of Quilts at the English Presbyterian Church (next to the Victoria Hotel), Menai Bridge, Anglesey.

Poster for the Quilt Exhibition at Menai Bridge

There will be all sorts of lovely quilts to enjoy – including one or two of mine – and with homemade cakes and a cup of tea or coffee on offer, stalls selling fabrics and accessories for patchwork and quilting, and a warm welcome to everyone – what could be a better way to spend a couple of hours? Entry is £1, children free and money goes to charity.

Dorothy.

3rd July 2009

Summer

On the lovely Isle of Anglesey, as elsewhere in the UK, we have been treated to a month of blue skies and long days of sunshine. This morning we have had a much needed shower to refresh the plants and encourage growth in my vegetable patch – some of the potatoes should be ready to dig up and enjoy while they are small and tasty.

Mourne Mountains summer 2009

Daf and I found time to sail over to Carlingford Lough, the border between Northern and Southern Ireland. It was beautiful with the Mountains of Mourne as a backdrop and we had a lovely relaxing time but the prices in Eire astounded us! I had heard from a number of friends that holidays in the Euro Zone were really expensive because of the comparative weakness of sterling but it still came as a shock – we certainly didn’t eat out – luckily the boat was well stocked!

What I don’t understand is why the whole of Europe and America isn’t holidaying in Britain (Wales!) this year while the exchange rate is so much in their favour!

Meanwhile my current quilt workshop series has just come to an end and I’m preparing for the next – ‘Beginners’ and ‘Intermediate’ – which commence in September. It feels a long way off but it’ll whizz by and we still have our Pot Luck Supper for the current workshop students to look forward to in a couple of weeks.

Dorothy. 3rd July 2009

Cauldron wins first prize ‘Group Quilt’ at Malvern.

'Birthdays' A Quilt by Cauldron

Great excitement at Coed y Berclas – ‘Birthdays’ wall hanging by Cauldron.

Members Jenny Roberts, Gill Marshall and Doris Alcock won First Prize in the Group Quilts category at the Malvern Quilt Show – Quilts UK. Now all we have to do is produce more prize winners – so no pressure there then!

The next place to see my quilts – group and individual – is at the NEC, Birmingham, at Festival of Quilts in August; so if you’re in the area drop in to see if you can find them in probably the biggest quilt show in Europe. Later in the year I will have a quilt in The Great Northern Quilt Show which takes place in September at Harrogate Showground.

In the meantime the larger group to which we all belong, Llandygai Patchers, will be holding our own Patchwork and Quilting Show in the English Presbyterian Church in Menai Bridge, Anglesey in the first week of August – this will include some quilts made by members of my workshop series.

The next issue of the Anglesey Informer will have a two page spread about my own Patchwork and Quilting and my Workshops. It will be out in June; it’s free, and as the title suggests, it gives a lot of information about Anglesey. There is a little pile of past copies building up in our holiday Cottage.

Dorothy