Travels with my Coffee: North Wales 2021

My Global WAKEcup looks east along Llyn Ogwen in Snowdonia on a sunny Sunday in September.As you’re probably aware, Travels with my Coffee follows me and my coffee around various photogenic parts of the world. Typically these are non-UK locations (the previous one was Iceland, from July this year), but last weekend (and this) Amanda and I have been travelling around North Wales and, unsurprisingly, our coffee has been coming with us.

This is Amanda’s first time west of Holywell, the small town where I was born and grew up, so while (almost) everything is familiar to me, it’s all new to Amanda, who has been delighted with both the scenery and the history. For my part, I never tire of exploring North Wales, although this is the first time I’ve been this way for many years, so you’re going to be seeing a few bonus North Wales Coffee Spots.

When I wasn’t playing tour guide, I was busy taking photographs of my coffee, mostly my Global WAKECup, although my HuskeeCup also had a day out (other reusable cups are available). This was partly because it was Zero Waste Week (which ended yesterday) and, to mark the occasion, the Coffee Spot and Global WAKEcup are running a giveaway (details at the end of the post).

You can see where Amanda, my coffee and I got to after the gallery.

  • First stop was in England, in The Flower Cup, in Chester, to be precise, for coffee...
  • ... and breakfast: smashed avocado, halloumi and poached egg on toast for me...
  • ... and toast, jam and cheese (halloumi) for Amanda.
  • Then it was on to Kookaburra Bakehouse for more coffee...
  • ... a long black for Amanda and...
  • ... a piccolo for me.
  • We also had pastries down by the River Dee, a raspberry Danish...
  • ... and a cinnamon twist.
  • Then, on the way back, we stopped at Ewloe Castle, built by the Welsh princes...
  • ... where my Global WAKEcup admired the 13th century castle walls.
  • The next morning we were on our way to Prestatyn, seen here from Gwaenysgor.
  • Our aim was to try the recently-opened Caffeina Coffi for breakfast. I had a cortado...
  • ... and a hummus and falafel bagel, while...
  • ... Amanda had a flat white...
  • ... and toast and jam.
  • Next, my Global WAKEcup admired the wonderful Dyserth waterfall...
  • ... seen here without the cup in the way!
  • Then it was on to the once mighty Rhuddlan Castle, part of Edward I's occupation.
  • Sadly there's not a lot left of the concentric walls...
  • ... and even the gatehouse needs propping up by my Global WAKEcup!
  • The next day we were on the road again, with my Global WAKEcup trying not to get...
  • ... washed away by the Swallow Falls just north of Betws-y-Coed.
  • Here we are, safely at the bottom!
  • We followed the A5 west until we reached the blue waters of Llyn Ogen...
  • ... then we went down the Nant Francon pass and across to Caffi Caban for lunch.
  • There were flat whites for two, as well as lunch for two...
  • ... cauliflower mac 'n' cheese for Amanda, with hummus and pitta for me.
  • From there, it was a short hop to Llanberis and Rumdoodles for some coffee to go...
  • ... which we enjoyed on the shores of Llyn Padarn, before taking our coffee on to...
  • ... visit Dolbadarn Castle, another of the fortresses built by the Welsh princes.
  • This is a view of the massive keep from the other side, while here's...
  • ... the view the other way, across the ruined curtain walls and out over Llyn Padarn.
  • Our final day saw us heading for Llangollen and Sam's Coffee...
  • ... where there was a flat white...
  • ... plus a Chemex for two (I think Sam was being generous with his pour-over).
  • I had the vegetarian breakfast (I'd promised Sam I'd return to try the brunch menu)...
  • ... while Amanda had the yoghurt bowl...
  • ... and some toast and jam! Have you spotted a theme yet?
  • Suitably fortified, we went around Valle Crucis Abbey...
  • ... then I took my HuskeeCup for a walk across the River Dee to see the Chainbridge.
  • Here it is, looking the other way (upstream, towards Horseshoe Falls), where it's quieter.
  • Then it was down into Llangollen itself, with a view upstream...
  • ... and a corresponding one downstream.
  • It looked so peaceful, we went down onto the rocks in the river. To give you an idea of...
  • ... how weird this felt for me, this is an equivalent view from late May. Rocks? What rocks?
  • The obligatory view downstream from Llangollen Bridge and, for good measure...
  • ... a very similar view, taken in by my Frank Green Ceramic when I last visited in May.
  • Our final stop, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, taking the Llangollen Canal over the River Dee.
  • I'll leave you with a view of the Cefn Mawr Viaduct, which does the same for the railway.
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Our travelling actually took place over a long weekend, Friday to Monday, although Friday was spent in Chester, where we visited The Flower Cup for breakfast and Kookaburra Bakehouse for coffee and pastries. We also wandered around the city walls, popped into the Cathedral, visited the Roman Amphitheatre and finished by eating our pastries down by the river. However, no coffee photography took place until we were on our way back and I made an impromptu decision to detour via Ewloe Castle, one of the many castles built by the local Welsh princes in the 13th Century.

The Welsh leg of the tour got underway the following day, Saturday, although I started by keeping things local, driving to Prestatyn via the Gwaenysgor lookout, so we could have breakfast at the recently-opened Caffeina Coffi. From there, we cut back inland to Dyserth to visit the waterfall, one of Wales’ less well known falls, but a charming one at that. Our final stop to see Rhuddlan Castle, the first of Edward I’s concentric castles, begun in 1277 as part of his first campaign against the Welsh.

We travelled further afield on Sunday as I took Amanda on a Welsh landscape tour, west along the A55 to Llandudno Junction, south down the Conwy valley to Betws-y-Coed and up the A5 to our first stop, the Swallow Falls. We carried on west into the heart of Snowdonia, following the A5 to Llyn Ogwen and then north down the Nant Francon pass before cutting across to Caffi Caban for a late lunch. Then it was briefly back on the road again to Llanberis and another coffee stop, this time at Rumdoodles, where we took our coffee to the shores of Llyn Padarn and on to Dolbadarn Castle, another of those built by the Welsh princes. From there, we carried on up and over Pen-y-Pass between Glyder Fawr and Snowdon itself before making our way home.

Our last day out, on Monday, took us to Llangollen via the Horseshoe Pass. I’d been there in late May when I stayed at Riverbanc. On that trip, I’d promised Sam of Sam’s Coffee that the next time I visited, I’d bring Amanda for lunch, so that’s what we did, before heading off to explore the area. We went around Valle Crucis Abbey, then visited the Horseshoe Falls, built to feed water from the River Dee into the Llangollen Canal. Finally, we headed back into Llangollen itself before stopping Pontcysyllte Aqueduct which carries the Llangollen Canal high over the River Dee as it crosses from the north side of the Dee valley to the south.

As I said at the start of this Travels with my Coffee, to mark Zero Waste Week, the Coffee Spot and Global WAKEcup are running a giveaway. Just follow both our accounts on any social media (Twitter, Facebook or Instagram), then tag a friend who’d like to go travelling with a new WAKEcup using the hashtag #TravelWithWAKEcup and include a link to this Travels with my Coffee Post.

The Global WAKEcup team will pick a winner at random on Friday, September 17th and will be in touch with details of how to claim your new WAKEcup!


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2 thoughts on “Travels with my Coffee: North Wales 2021

  1. Pingback: Sam’s Coffee | Brian's Coffee Spot

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