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Why Not Visit Our Friends In North Wales?

If you liked Gairloch then you'll love North Wales...

Are you looking for another destination to fill out your adventure to the UK, then why not consider visiting North Wales?

Gairloch has everything to offer those looking for peace and tranquillity. Pitched up just a stone's throw from the beautifully barren Wester Ross and teetering on the edge of Loch Gairloch, this is the ultimate retreat for those looking for a land far removed from the daily bustle of your every day life. There are stunning landscapes with babbling brooks, quiet pubs with crackling fires and plenty of isolated lodges; but what if you're looking for something a little more exhilarating? This month we've teamed up with our friends over at Visit North Wales to give you a taste of what a few days spent in North Wales could be like. So, before you set your plans in stone, take a look at this quick guide to an action-packed long weekend in North Wales:

Friday

Drive into Snowdonia National Park as early as you can muster to enjoy the best parts of the day and revel in the epic scenery. Drive through the A498 and stop off at Beddgelert. This is a great opportunity to jump out and grab some breakfast (or brunch if you've woken up a bit later!). Beddgelert is an utterly charming little village that has slowly been adapted to receive the growing numbers of tourists that arrive there on a daily basis. Hebog Eat and Sleep is the best place for foodies, but the other cafes and tearooms are also perfect for a cuppa. Once you're done there, grab some bikes from Beddgelert Bikes and head on up one of the many trails that surround run throughout the Park. In the evening, rest up at the rustic Sygun Fawr Hotel, buried within the heart of the Welsh countryside.

Saturday

Rise nice and early to make the most of the hefty full breakfast and eat in the conservatory to make the most of the spectacular views. Let breakfast settle with a quick coffee then take another scenic drive out to the very edge of the park. Boulder Adventures, based out in Llanberis, organise trips out to Snowdonia's very best gorge walking routes. Spend a couple of hours jumping into pools and scrambling up rivers to really build up your appetite. A trip to North Wales is never complete without a trip to the seaside and you can't go to the beach without eating some Fish'n'Chips. Every small town on the coast has a 'chippie' and the rarely disappoint. Spend the afternoon driving down the coast, making your way to Anglesey. This island can be driven round in a small afternoon and offers some awesome views of the coast. Step out for a couple of epic selfies and a quick walk before pulling in at Menai Bridge to book in at a guesthouse, then head out for dinner at the fantastic Sosban & The Old Butchers.

Sunday

You'll want to have a lie in after your big feed and the bottle of wine that you consumed the night before, so there's no rush to get up. When you do eventually rise, head out int the charming town of Menai Bridge and let the sea breeze wake you up. If you're not up to another Full English, you can always grab a bacon sandwich from a greasy spoon and continue wandering around this Welsh oddity. The final event to put the cherry on the cake for the thrill seekers amongst you will take your breath away and send you flying through Penrhyn Quarry at over 100mph. Zip World is a must-visit attraction for any adventurer heading through North Wales. Home to the biggest zipline in Europe, this thrill ride is not to be missed. After you've felt the wind in your hair, get back in the car and take a long drive back through the Snowdonia National Park for the last time.... Read More
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Monorail Plans Come To A Grinding Halt

We knew it was all too good to be true.

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We're within short driving distance of the Highlands as well as the lovely Wester Ross, so our guest houses and B & Bs are often packed to the rafters during high season. This brings some good footfall to our local pub and village shop, which have wonderfully profitable summers. For years, the 700 or so inhabitants of our village subsisted off the money brought in by the tourist trade. Our children were fed and clothed, and we had enough leisure time for a hoe-down every Friday night in Jim's barn. Our quaint little village might not be a 5-Star attraction unto itself, but we can still be proud of it.  [caption id="attachment_77" align="alignright" width="300"]tim Oh Tim, you ruined us.[/caption] This was before the internet, before the proliferation of global knowledge and celebrity culture. Once the entire village was wired up to Broadband and Digital Television, we started to see our community in a different light. We weren't the happy townsfolk of Scotland that we used to be. Our collective Facebook profiles and Twitter feeds amounted to an online presence that we knew was not 'cool' or 'hip' in the slightest. When we posted on our Instagram accounts, we were vilified for our traditional dancing garb and un-manicured nails. We wore no brands, and our selfies were literal self-portraits. The people of the internet, hence the world, condemned our abandonment of filters and were disgusted by our realistic images. [caption id="attachment_89" align="alignleft" width="300"]beyonce She's wonderful, so many followers.[/caption] We weren't satisfied. Now being slaves to the capitalist system, we wanted more money. More and more cash in our back pockets - which we could use to buy exorbitant flat screen TVs that don't even fit in our lovely cottages. Money which could buy us Ivy Park tank tops and Beckham Perfume. Once we had our things, we could post our new purchases online and then - then we would be loved.

But it didn't work.

We needed more money, more approval, more fame. So we were seduced by the Monorail man. [caption id="attachment_86" align="alignright" width="250"]lyle Look - his suit is red, his skin is yellow.[/caption] We'd all seen the Simpsons episode. But we thought: "This man's not yellow. His striped suit is white and blue, not white and red.' Duped - all of us. Our money, cash, rammed into a leather suitcase and strapped to the top of a taxi; on its way to another town desperate enough to believe in a dream. All we have to show for our efforts is a bunch of GIF files, created by a lovely graphic designer from London and a dormant Facebook Group Page that is being trolled by our neighbouring Auchtercairn. Serves us right for abandoning the old ways.

Sometimes, the old ways are the best.

... Read More
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Building Gairloch’s Future (Guest Blogger Charlie Handsomstick)

(Charlie Handsomestick is CEO of Island Futures Corporate Global Industries) I want to tell you about my vision. I see a booming economic hub. I see a varied and happy community. I see top standard schools, schools and a University. I see entertainment and culinary fascination. I see a yearly festival. I see boat loads of tourists who all want to stay. I see tall buildings and maybe even a very tall building and also, wait for it, maybe a monorail! Or a tram! Or something! Ok, ok, ok. I get it! Monorails have a bad rap. People hear the word 'monorail' and they say 'noooo, you're not seriously getting a monorail are you? Like that Simpsons episode? Oh come on! You must be idiots!' and then you might say that a man came to your town in a nice suit and told you it would be a great idea and they'll say 'Oh my god! You cannot be seriously serious!  That is sooooooooooo like the guy from the Simpsons and that guy scams the town and has scammed loads of other towns. He's going to scam you! And even if it seems he's not it would just be so embarrassing if you bought a monorail from a man in a suit you haven't met before because everyone would be like 'HAVEN'T YOU EVEN SEEN THE EPISODE OF THE SIMPSONS JESUS YOU TOTAL LOSERS!'' Well, you can tell them: 'Shut up. gaitr   Recently I re-did my kitchen, and you know where you start when you are re-doing a kitchen? You start with the floor. So you make a choice, is it wooden kitchen flooring? Is it kitchen laminate flooring? Is it tiles? Well, that is a question you've got to answer for yourself. The point though is all big changes start with small decisions. New Kitchen Project starts with a decision about the floor. Project New Gairloch starts with a little decision about whether to trust me. And then quite quickly another some what bigger decision about whether to buy my monorail.... Read More
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Accommodation on Gairloch

What was the most amazing day of your life? I don't mean some wedding day or some day of personal achievement. When you got a promotion or an award or graduated from some institution or another or something like that. I mean a day that was just clearly amazing. We all get married and graduate and all that stuff. But have you hitchhiked through the mountains all day and had to walk the last 5 miles of your journey only to have to get drunk and sleep in a cellar at the end of it? That's not something everyone has done. And it's something that is amazing. It's hard to credit it ever really happening. It was a day where all of life descended on you in its crazy magical glory. That's something to remember. That's a story to tell. The-Mystery   Have you got yours? I'd love to hear about it. I wanna know where you slept on that night. Where did your day end? These great days can't just end with just going home and getting into your same old bed or anything like that. It needs to mean something. It needs to hold some importance. Mine ended in a beautiful log cabin right here on Gairloch. I've always been a big fan of log cabins, I like the sense of frontiersmen-ship. Log cabins also have a particular value for me as a Scotsman. There are many log cabins in Scotland but none of them really compare to those that sit on the swept furs of Gairloch. loch-gairloch   The particular one I stayed in that night may well have saved my life. I was stumbling through the overgrowth and not a little snow shaking and freezing drunk and lost in the night. I was desperate, cheered and happy, but desperate. I had been on a long and incredible journey and was on the edge of falling into despair. But I stayed away from the edge, and I found my log cabin. What did you find?... Read More
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Why Visit Gairloch?

For those lucky enough to live here in Gairloch there are just to many answers to the question 'Why Visit Gairloch?':   "I like it because of the weather, and how when it is sunny it is really sunny and when it rains it gets wet and sometimes really wet but that's fine because me and mummy can sit and watch the rain and it is fun' Dave, 42 years old. "I like it because of the history. Gairloch has a unique history, from resisting the clearances of tenants during the 19th century to currently running the smallest local radio station in the country. Through all these fights Gairloch has proven one thing: that it will not be told how to behave and it will not have its future, its present or its past be dictated by the outside. It refuses to accept others opinion of it and, like the noble seahorse, recreates itself on its own terms. It is a wonder, a unique wonder. We are blessed to live here, and all are blessed to be able to visit" Madeline, 8 years old. "When I swim in Loch Gairloch, I feel all my ancestors swimming with me. I never new my parents, but that water tells me all I'd ever need to know. It tells me that I am part of  a long line. It tells me that I belong somewhere. It tells me that I'm loved. There's something magic in that water, truly there is, and it matters to me more than I can say. I would tell any and all to visit this beautiful place: the desperate and the unloved, the needy and the scared, the weak and the strong. All need Gairloch, and I promise: Gairloch is generous enough to accept you." Terrance, 36 years old. wpbc7712d0_0f

The beautiful Lake Gairloch.

"After my marriage fell apart I was low for a long time. I spent a few years moving through various stages of a sort of grief. Not grief for my marriage if I'm honest. Or grief for the pain of my wife. No, nothing so noble. It was grief for myself, for my own life, and my own ability to love. I wanted to get better. I wanted to get better for me. I put it all together in my head as guilt, I wanted to believe that I was heart broken over breaking her heart, but I was just scared. Scared once again that, just like I had feared before she ever came along, that love was not for me. 'I thought love was only true in fairy tales, then for someone else but not for me'. If you can't love though, it's a lot harder to feel pain. Anyway, I thought I had got through all this, and I met someone new. I was dancing on rainbows again. Then we hit a few stumbling blocks, and I fell apart.

 

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Eilean Donan Castle.

My emotional mind is like an old manor house. Long ago some of the biggest rooms became cluttered and messy, I looked at them and couldn't fathom how I'd sort them all out. So I turned of the lights and I locked the doors. After a while I convinced myself that I'd solved the problems of those rooms, that I'd cleaned my house. But meeting her, it opened those doors, and it turned on those lights. And you realize that the mess is all still there. You'd hidden those rooms away, and now you're finding out you need to live in them. So I ran away. I closed the doors, I turned off the lights and I shivered in the corridor for a while. That's when I came to Gairloch. I'd say as a place to run away from your past, your present, and all your potential painful futures, it's beautiful and perfect."

Davide, 28.

Looking pretty good eh?

And that's just a couple of our local characters! Visit Gairloch today and you can meet all of them.

Sincerely,

The Visit Gairloch Team.

... Read More