Mini Adventure - Llyn Peninusla, North Wales

This weekend we explored the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales as a Birthday Weekend treat. We arrived late on Friday in time for an evening walk along Llanbedrog - a beautiful beach overlooking Cardigan Bay and the Snowdon mountain range beyond. This is the place to come for Dark Skies;giving us the best night show either of us have ever seen. But be careful of the Jelly Fish, which were washing up on shore in their hundreds. This is not the place for a late night swim!

llanbedrog beach north wales llyn
aberdaron llyn north wales

Llyn is full of stunning beaches, each quite different in terms of composition and aspect. On the south-side beaches are sandier and calmer, relative to the north coast where they are rockier and more exposed (as you would expect). 

old coastguard box llyn north wales
Bardsey Island, North wales

When we're not on the mountain itself, we tend to camp in established sites - whilst wild camping is fun at height, we feel that supporting the local economy is important when you can. This beautiful little site owned by a local family was perfect for us. It was a bargainous £6 per person per night (we stayed 2 nights), well looked after and suitably quirky. In view of our tent were 7 bird boxes, a dove cote, 2 horses (1 real, 1 plastic) and all sorts of garden knick-knacks. It also overlooks the sea. 

old toy house, campsite, north wales
morning walk at porthdinllaen, north wales
Porthdinllaen, llyn North Wales.

We spent much of the weekend walking the welsh coast path. As it was only a brief stay we chose a couple of sections covering south and north coast, including the not-to-be-missed section around Porthdinllaen. It was a foggy, misty morning when we got there and the views out to Caernarfon bay were stunning. We have spent a lot of time in the Highlands, and when I was a kid we went to Dorset every year, and so I immediately fell in love with this peninsula which feels like a little Cornwall, crossed with the West Highland Islands. 

View from Yr Eifl, llyn, north wales

And of course I can't go anywhere without finding a hill or mountain to climb. Llyn is overlooked from all sides by Yr Eifl (or The Rivals) a trio of small peaks which give 360 degree views of the bays, the Irish Sea and Snowdonia range (as above, peaking out of the cloud)

trefor rocky coastline, north wales

Finally before home we squeezed in another coastal section on the north side of the Peninsula - the perfect area for bringing our Kayaks next time we visit. Here the coast is rocky and more dramatic, with the hills falling straight into the sea. 

As I say, we've never been to the Llyn before, and given the fact I have spent so much time around the mountains in North Wales I'm not sure quite how we achieved this oversight. But I am so glad we have found it now. I was blown away by the combination of scenery and things to do; how it has a cornish feel, but with all the understated welsh charm. I adore it here, and on this occasion the summer-like weather helped us greet a new place at it's best. At 3.5 hours from Nottingham it's on the cusp of what is achievable for a weekend, but given how it felt that time had stood still for us so that we could pack in so much exploring, I think it's worth the travel time on friday and sunday nights. It's also a real bargain as a weekend away; utterly achievable on a tight budget. As with all our weekend adventures we camp, take lots of food with us, and spent most of the time exploring on foot at no cost. The main expenditure as always goes on petrol.

I have included more pictures on my Beautiful UK Pinterest board should you wish to see more sweeping blue skies and white sand!

All change, please.

Today I'm starting something I should have done a long time ago: a new relationship with social media. I am paring down my apps, removing accounts that no longer reflect who I am or what I want, and most importantly I am taking a deeper look at how I engage with the remaining outlets, and for what purpose. 

Since relocating across the country, my social media accounts have been a great way of helping me stay connected to the world, helping me avoid deep spirals of frustration and dislocation, enabling me to talk to people online in a way that I did before we moved. If you like, they allowed me to maintain a still surface on the lake, whilst dealing with the fast-flowing undercurrents in private. But over the months I have come to realise that social media can easily become a crutch; holding steady a perceived lifestyle that needs to be allowed to fail. 

Because sometimes things need to fail so that there is space for rebuilding a better home in its place. It's not healthy to hold on to things that have already left your grasp, or to wallow in their memory in hope they might come back. All you can do is move on. After all, it is more important to create a beautiful life on the inside, than it is to prove it on the outside, by way of validation that you're doing ok; that you're surviving. 

What I realise is that it's time for me to work on making my life more beautiful on the inside, finding peace with my new settings, and taking ideas forward in a way that's productive. I require more time nurturing my ideas because some of them are frailer than they should be, and need bolstering. This is the result of a year's worth of anxiety and hang-wringing over whether life (that sprawling thing!) has taken the wrong direction. It almost definitely hasn't by my measures, let alone anyone elses. I have a lot of good ideas, and I want to be free from my own shackles to embrace them.

But now I need to make friends with this truth, and keep moving actively in the right direction. My problem with social media is not what I post - I elevate honesty at all costs, I don't even like posting old pictures - the problem I have is getting lost in deep spirals of frustration that stem from looking at others and thinking 'could I have done that? could I have done better if I had taken a different route/worked even harder?'. 

This, I realise after much agonsising, is a problem I have only ever had from too long spent observing other stranger's social media lives in the hope of extracting some sort of truth that might help me make sense of mine. The thing that used to help me feel rooted, is now refusing to take the tether. Pre-social media other people's lives were interesting and abstract and not right in my hand to bash myself with. Before social media I spent a lot more well-spent time thinking about how I could positively impact other people's lives, and not on improving my own. This is my biggest grief. 

So from now on I think I will lead my own march against the social media spiral, and engage with it in a way that it valuable, useful and true. Perhaps it is odd to talk about this through social media, but I suspect somewhere in this blog is a universal truth that more than one person might understand and benefit from hearing too. That is the real benefit of social media I think - genuine connectedness. Social media is not bad, but how we use it could be better. Maybe you'll see a change, maybe you won't, but the change is within, and this is the point: you don't need to see it. Only I do.