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June 30th 2015
Published: July 5th 2015
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Y Fron

Gwyndy is a lovely place in North Wales on the slopes of Mount Snowdonia. It's a cottage that is the home of Granphy and Nanny Mary. Gwyndy is an oasis of green half way up a hill that attracts all sorts of local wildlife. There are free range ducks and hens which supply eggs to an eager local population. Currently the dry stone walls are being rebuilt. You can see all the way past Anglesey on a fine day. During the eighties the original cottage (living/kitchen, barn, hayloft, plus two small rooms) was rescued and added on to to make a comfortable residence. The original rescuers planned a market garden but at the time there weren't enough hedges to shelter the garden and they soon moved on to other employment.

Two minutes down the track is the town of Y Fron, which makes for a perfect Mountain Biking base. The Wales hills and coastline are close and the roads ideal for bikes or serious walking. The Common around Y Fron was never enclosed (apparently the local landowner tried but the locals had other thoughts - read up on Welsh history to understand more), so there are various grazing animals around. Mostly sheep this visit, but on previous visits we have had close encounters with horses and cattle. The local school, which closes at the end of this month, will be rebuilt as a village centre and traveler accommodation.

Granphy, Mum, Dad, Nathan and I went to a place called Pili Palace (pili is butterfly in Welsh), where there were lots of butterflies, birds, insects and other animals. We'd visited it last time that we visited Wales, but Nathan and I hardly remembered it. The butterflies were the main attraction - there were about twenty colourful species - but there were also snakes, lizards, frogs, chameleons, parrots, meerkats, and more.

Mum went on some early morning walks around the common. Somehow the common backs onto or includes a couple of working slate mines as well a deep lake that marks the spot of a disused mine. Dotted around are the remains of slate cottages that would have been used by the original slate mine workers. For nature there are rabbits, sheep and larks around, but mostly it's slate and grass. And tracks. We built houses in the slate for our figurines.

The next day just Dad, Mum, Nathan and I visited Greenwood Forest Park. First we rode a kinetic roller coaster, then spent the rest of the morning doing archery, sliding down big green slides, wandering mazes, walking a barefoot path, drifting around in a boat and collecting bits of amazing PyroArt. Granphy and Nanny Mary stayed home to change the water in the duck pond and do a bit of extreme gardening. Later Simon and Granphy trimmed a hedge.

Dad, Nathan and I also went to the pool. We had a bit of trouble finding our way around, but it was fun splashing around and swimming a few lengths.

As with everywhere else we have been on holiday we had a great time and ate way too much.

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