Camping in the Forest – Part Three

Our Holiday in Beddgelert

That second night in the tent was a very wet and windy one. It hammered with rain and inside our little tent it was very loud! We woke to find the tent wet on the inside. Puddles of rain were on the floor and some of our stuff was wet too. Our little camping toilet leaked too, so as well as rain we also had a wee puddle! Not pleasant. No time to be annoyed though!

Since arriving the kids had been keen to go on the local steam railways, and that seemed like an excellent way to celebrate Iris turning 10 weeks old and also a good way to hide from the rain a little bit.

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We hopped in the car, and drove to Blaenau Ffestiniog to catch a train on the Ffestiniog Railway. It was pouring and pouring the whole way there, and we were drenched within seconds of being out of the car! Luckily we took the Ergo Baby Carrier, which has a hood, so Iris didn’t get completely soaked. Although with the hood up she couldn’t see much and this frustrated her. To prevent us getting even more soaked we nipped into a cafe for hot chocolates and milkshakes while Trev and the dog checked the train times.

Soon we were on a steam train! Even Seb got a special dog ticket, but was only allowed in 2nd and 3rd class. I think he would have preferred not to be there at all! He eventually settled under Trev’s seat though, and we opened the windows despite the rain to admire the views!

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We got off the train at Tan Y Bwlch Station where there is a footbridge above the platforms where you can watch the trains pull away and be engulfed with the smoke! Despite the pouring rain, the kids loved doing this!

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There also a little outdoor play area there with a train station theme. It’s aimed at smaller kids than Trev’s two, but they didn’t seem too bothered and enjoyed pretending to be controllers, pulling ropes to make signals change and using a phone to make station announcements! The cafe is also perfect. The food was basic but gorgeous, reasonably priced and with generous portions. I had a spicy bean burger that was probably my favourite meal of the holiday.

After lunch we had time to kill before our train back, so we took a pretty footpath downhill to a lake. The rain had virtually soaked through Iris’ hood at this point and I was a little concerned that she might be cold despite her many layers, but she didn’t seem too bothered.

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Our smelly dog absolutely adores swimming. He had a terrible fear of water to begin with, but has gradually pushed through it and now it’s impossible to keep him out of lakes and rivers. The lake in Tan Y Blwch is probably the biggest he’s ever swam in but it didn’t phase him at all. Trev chucked a stick out there, and with a huge splash he was in. He was already soaked through from the rain so there didn’t seem to be any point in attempting to keep him dry at this point. A few games of a fetch later, and I think we had the world’s happiest dog!

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We were soon back on the train though, and this time Iris was awake. She joined us in admiring the mountain views of trees, lakes and little towns and villages. The train really does go very high up on the side of mountains! The views are spectacular, even when it’s grey and lashing with rain.

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We considered taking a stroll around Blaenau Ffestiniog, but everything appeared to be closed apart from one shop selling outdoor clothing and equipment. Trev had been going on about buying a hat for days, so we hopped inside for a bit of shelter. Weirdly we all came out with a new hat except Trev! Whilst we were quietly browsing the very quiet shop, Iris filled her nappy very very very loudly! We were all virtually rolling around on the floor with laughter at how loud it was while Iris looked confused about what had just happened. Iris was strapped to my chest in the Ergo at this point and I was a little bit worried about leakage and getting my clothes covered in poop, so we rushed back to the car park. The toilet block had been locked up just moments beforehand, so cue an emergency nappy change in the boot of the car!

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It was getting late in the day now, and we were a very cold, wet, tired and hungry bunch. We recalled seeing a sign that said ‘children, dogs and muddy boots always welcome’, so as we had all of the above we decided this was the place to go. There was no way we could cook at the campsite in this weather and the Saracens Head in Beddgelert looked so cosy and inviting. Seb wasn’t too keen on sitting under another table while we ate another meal, but soon cheered up when we found that they serve dog treats and even sausages to the visiting pups! Our food was glorious. So filling and delicious after a wet and busy day. I highly recommend the veggie sausage and mash!! The only downside to the evening was trying to get somebody’s attention to order puddings. In other places they pounce on you too quickly after finishing your meal, but here they just didn’t push dessert at all. The sprogs were desperate for the sweet stuff, but they really made us wait ages and ages. Even when we asked we were told somebody would be back in a moment, and they never appeared.

It was so wonderful to get out of our wet clothes and into clean pyjamas that evening! I’m sure we were all asleep in seconds.

My apologies for the rubbish, blurry photographs. I didn’t get my camera out all day because of the rain, and was concerned about my phone getting wet too.

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