About Me

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Hi! I'm Eunice and I live in Bolton, Lancashire, with my two dogs Sophie and Sugar and an assortment of cats - well it used to be Sophie and Sugar, now it's Sophie and Poppie. I first began camping back in 1997 when my then partner took me to Anglesey for my birthday weekend. We slept in the back of the car - a hatchback - using the cushions off the settee at home as a mattress, and cooked and brewed up on a single burner camping stove. The site was good, the views were great, the weather fantastic and I was completely hooked. Following that weekend we got a two-man tent and some proper accessories and returned to Anglesey two weeks later, then over time we progressed to a three-man tent followed by an old trailer tent, then a new trailer tent, a campervan and finally a caravan. When my partner decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the street - literally - in April 2009 and I suddenly found myself alone after fifteen years, I decided there was no way I was going to give up camping and caravanning if I could cope on my own. This blog is the story of my travels, trials and tribulations since becoming a solo camper - I hope you like it

Monday May 6th 2013 - Marquess of Anglesey Column and Llanberis

I woke to another lovely morning and lay for a while listening to the calling of the seagulls as they swooped over the site, then when the sun on the tent started to turn the place into something resembling an industrial oven I decided to get up. I wasn't in too much of a rush to go out so after a dog walk and a very leisurely breakfast I spent some time pottering about round the tent before I put the dogs in the van and finally set off.

The first place to visit was the Marquess of Anglesey Column not far from the Britannia bridge. I'd gone there one day last year when the weather had been absolutely perfect for photography but it had been closed because of the very high wind at the time, so I was hoping that this time I would have better luck. There were no cars in the car park when I got there and I did wonder if I was destined to be disappointed again, but when I got to the gate at the top of the path through the woods I found that the place was indeed open. I paid the modest entrance fee to the young woman at the keeper's cottage then set out to climb the inside of the column.

The column itself stands almost 100ft high and access to the top is by a steep and narrow spiral wooden staircase of 115 steps, several of which are quite rickety and which get even narrower the further up you go. At the top a small door leads out onto the surrounding balcony, and though the views from up there are brilliant it's definitely not for someone with a dislike of heights! Immediately down below, and looking rather like a doll's house from up there, was the keeper's cottage, and away to my left was the Britannia bridge with a long line of slow moving bank holiday traffic heading back towards the mainland. A bit further away was the Menai bridge and in the distance to the north I could see Llandudno on the mainland and the Great Orme headland. To my right was a view down the Menai Strait with the gardens of Plas Newydd stately home sloping down to the water's edge, and when I went round the other side of the balcony I had a view over the island itself. The little town of Llanfair PG wasn't far away and I could see the railway line and the A5 running straight across the island, with the A55 snaking along close by.

Wishing I had my binoculars I studied the various views for quite a while before I made my way back down the column, then back at ground level I took a couple of photos of the cottage garden before heading back to the van - except I couldn't find my way out. Coming back down the darkened inside of the column in a continuous spiral had sent my normally excellent sense of direction completely awol and I couldn't fathom out where the entrance/exit was; I suppose you could say that for once in my life I really was a dizzy blonde! I found the right gate eventually though, made my way back through the woods to the van and headed off across to the mainland.

My next port of call was Llanberis, and having looked at the map book earlier on I expected it to be quite a distance from the coast, but it wasn't as far as I thought and before I knew it I was driving along the tree-lined lakeside road on the approach to the village. The trees petered out eventually and I came to a very pleasant lakeside car park with a great view over the lake; that would do for me, so I pulled into a space, got a ticket from the nearby machine and set out to explore with the dogs.

A grass bank separated the car park from the lake itself and a footpath ran right beside the lake; standing at the top of the bank and looking at the view I had to admit I was impressed. Even if I hadn't been intending to stop there I would have done just for that view, it really was something. A boat with a fancy canopy was anchored out in the water, at the bottom end of the lake was a large field where sheep grazed and people walked, and behind all this were the Snowdonia mountains still with patches of snow left over from before Easter. Seeing people at various points across the far side of the lake I decided to see what was over there so I followed the path, taking photos as I went - and I'll let the following shots speak for themselves.

At the end of the lake a river ran from the lake itself, crossed by a footbridge and a bridge which carried the miniature railway track, and at the far side was the railway station and the National Slate Museum with the lakeside road leading into the large open car park. Although entry to the museum was free I wasn't particularly interested in looking inside so I took a couple of shots outside then went to see what was at the other side of the car park. And again I was very pleasantly surprised; set back off the main lake in part of the old slate quarry were three smaller and fairly shallow ponds accessed by bridges and pathways all the way round. It was a lovely quiet area and I got several more good photos.

When I'd finished wandering round I made my way back to the other side of the lake, this time by the road instead of the lakeside - and away from the slate museum buildings, and on the far side of the road, I found another lake. This was obviously where the river from the main lake flowed into, and though it was much smaller than the main lake it was still scenic and I got a couple of lovely shots. As I headed back towards the van I spotted a nice-looking cafe set back off the road with a few tables outside so I stopped off there for coffee and cake, which just rounded off the afternoon nicely.

Back at the van I gave the dogs a drink then set off back towards Anglesey. I still had near enough three hours of good sunshine left so I did briefly consider going on to somewhere else but then decided against it; I'd got plenty of good photos for one day so it was time to go back to the site and chill out. Although Llanberis is only a small place I knew I hadn't really seen everything it had to offer, so next time I'm on Anglesey and the weather is so good I'll most certainly make a return visit to add more photos to my collection.

When I finally got back to the camp site I found that all the bank holiday campers had packed up and gone while I was out; there was still a handful of people on site in seasonal caravans but none of them were anywhere near me so I had that particular part of the site to myself - what bliss! My last night on site would certainly be quiet but that's just how I like it!