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

Saturday August 13th 2016 - Part 2 - Gwrych Castle and a harbour

Arriving at Manorafon camp site I parked in the arrivals area, went to reception to book in with Jules then Will showed me which pitch I was on - it was a hedgerow pitch, the third one in from the entrance gate and very spacious. That would do nicely, so with the van parked up I set about putting the tent up. As I was only there for two nights and the pitch didn't have a hook-up point I was sleeping in the van then I could use the overhead light for reading, so I was really only using the tent as somewhere to wash and dress in private and make a brew; with not as much stuff to put in it as I would usually have it only took forty minutes to put it up, peg it down and put in what I needed then I was ready to go up to the castle.

The entrance fee for adults was £5 and the guided tours were free - I'd missed the two o'clock one so I got a ticket for the next one and browsed the various stalls while I waited. The tour was conducted by the Trust's founder and it was very interesting learning about history of the castle and what the different parts were once used for, though there were so many people in the group that I couldn't get any decent photos, so once the tour was over and everyone had dispersed I went all the way round again on my own.

It was nice to be able to wander freely round the extensive inner grounds and although the upper parts were still out of bounds I was able to get plenty of good photos. It was gone 4pm when I realised that apart from the coffee at Eileen's I'd had nothing to eat or drink since my very early breakfast and I was hungry, so although I could have got something in the way of fast food from one of the stalls in the castle courtyard I decided to go back to the camp site for the van then drive down to the beach and get a proper meal at the Pantri Bach cafe.

Throughout the afternoon the sky had been mostly grey but as time went on the clouds started to disperse and big patches of blue appeared; by the time I'd had my meal and left the cafe the sun had finally come out of hiding so not wanting to go back to the tent too early I decided to head towards Rhyl and take a few photos round by the harbour. Parking up near the Marine Lake I crossed the road and was pleased to see that the tide was in; twenty minutes with the camera got me a dozen decent shots then I returned to the van and made my way back to Manorafon.

Back on my pitch I drove the van as close to the front of the tent as I could get it - any closer and I would have caught the poles with my wing mirror and probably have brought the whole lot crashing down - then spent a couple of hours reading before taking Sophie and Poppie up the lane for their last walk of the day. It was a very early bedtime for all three of us then, but it had been a long day and we'd done a lot of walking so it was nice to finally snuggle into our beds in the van for the rest of the night.


  1. You've taken some lovely photos Eunice.

    In the tower with the fire lit, the book was open when I went in, it showed a photo of Winifred Bamford-Hesketh dated 1878, she lived and worked in the castle we were told. The tours were large and we didn't go on one preferring to stroll around ourselves. It looks like you went into two restored towers, am I correct? I think I may have missed one!

    Lovely photos of the harbour, we really enjoy going down there as often as we can. There is a lovely, circular boardwalk through the dunes with a viewing platform. That area is called Horton's Nose and I think is a nature reserve, it definitely has information boards about the grasses and wildlife to be found there.

    It was a long day for you, pleased you slept well in readiness for your second day.

  2. No, you didn't miss one, it was the same tower. The second room, which I think was the gardeners' mess room, was directly underneath the Countess's writing room and accessed by some steep and narrow stone steps going down the side of the tower. The tour ended outside the door to the writing room and Mark explained about the other room so that anyone who couldn't manage the steep steps didn't need to go.

    I only managed to get the one photo of the writing room as there was a tall guy standing just where I wanted to take another shot and he didn't seem to want to move so I gave up waiting.

    If I'd known about the boardwalk through the dunes near the harbour I would have taken the dogs - I must remember that for another time.

    1. Ah yes I remember now, I went down the steps and couldn't get into the gardener's mess room, too many people in there and others trying to pass on the stairs!

    2. There was no-one in there when I went down but somehow lots of people seemed to want to come in after me and it was quite a squash trying to get back up the steps!

  3. Congrats on two wonderful posts this week of your travels, the pictures are awesome and I'm so pleased you had a wonderful time.

  4. Thank you Yvonne, I did have a good time and there's two more posts to come yet as the weekend didn't finish until Monday.

  5. That's quite a long castle. Very pretty, too. I've never ventured into one yet. The closest thing we have in the U.S. are forts. The rooms reminded me of rooms in the California missions that were built in the late 1700s/early 1800s.

  6. The castle frontage is quite extensive, over 500yds long. Many people think it was just a 'folly' and that most of it was false, but when you delve into the history of the place you start to find out just how many rooms there were, what they were used for and just who lived in the various parts - it really is a fascinating place.


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