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  Plas Curig - Boutique Hostel
16/04/2012 Hostels aimed at outdoor users are traditionally well-known for their functionality rather than their luxury. But Plas Curig in Snowdonia is one of a growing number of accommodation providers that is set to change all that. It is a premium budget hostel billed as the only 5-star hostel in Wales and recently featured in The Guardian as the UK's poshest hostel.
more info...

Snowdonia Running Guides and Landscape Walks
04/09/2008  are two new outdoor focused businesses sharing a love of Snowdonia but appreciating its special qualities at very differing paces. Mountain running and geotourism have both recently experienced a growth in interest. So if you are a novice or fully-fledged fell runner looking to take to the hills, or wished you knew more about how Snowdonia's landscape was formed, you should check out these businesses
more info...

spotlight archive

 

 

Letters
Please email any correspondence regarding aspects of the outdoors in Snowdonia to: letters@snowdonia-active.com Please note that your name and email must be included. The views on these pages do not necessarily represent the views of Snowdonia-Active.

Out of place. 23/09/2003
Llanberis is synonymous with outdoor recreation. Situated at the foot of Snowdon and the Llanberis Pass the area’s unique natural heritage attracts people worldwide. Even its industrial past adds another layer of meaning that cannot fail to interest the visitor. It has an identity and sense of place that is its own and you will not find elsewhere. Developments in harmony with this will continue to ensure the long-term sustainability of the area as a special destination benefiting both tourist and community alike. For the visitor, as the Pass comes into view from Pen Llyn and they continue their drive through the Padarn bends, that sense of place is quickly established.

However, to my mind the proposed Snowdonia Gateway Ltd development of Glyn Rhonwy is totally out of keeping with the ‘feel’ of the area and threatens to despoil it. In a promotional leaflet aimed at tourists Llanberis is described as “the essence of Snowdonia”, which would hardly describe this ‘attraction.’ There is a wonderful irony in someone wishing to build an indoor leisure multiplex in one of the finest centres for outdoor leisure in the U.K. It is difficult to believe that someone should propose to effectively build a theme park less than a kilometre from the National Park boundary on the side of a ridge running down from the summit of Yr Wyddfa. But we shouldn’t be complacent in thinking it couldn’t possibly happen. Already we have the incongruous sight of the Euro DPC building, which looks as if it was imported from Milton Keynes and dropped on to the hillside. What a carbuncle. Why was it not put on the Cibyn Industrial Estate in Caernarfon beggars belief and wasn’t the roof supposed to have been grassed over in the original planning application? Short-term expediency in order for some politician to garner some publicity and a feather in his cap I’d imagine over-rode these considerations. With the transparent roof frame proposed for the multiplex the light pollution will ensure you can’t even ignore its impact at night. At least darkness hides Euro DPC.

If the National Park boundary was being drawn up today then it is likely it would include the Cefn Du hillside and we wouldn’t need to concern ourselves with the Gateway development. A recent Park plan expressed resistance to structures within and close to the Park that undermine its integrity. Hopefully they will feel the same way about this scheme. Wouldn’t it make sense to put the multiplex near a centre of population or at least a site with the appropriate communication links such as in a town with a rail link and close to the A55 in order to serve the thousands of people daily it would need to survive? Since the Welsh Assembly is one of just three bodies in world government with a legal duty to promote sustainable development surely it should be looking to reduce the need for travel? A sentiment expressed by Rhodri Morgan at the World Summit in Johannnesburg last year. And is a leisure multiplex with an artificial snowslope a good use of energy when we should be looking to conserve it? After all with Llandudno, Rhiw Goch and Plas y Brenin we are not under provided with artificial ski slopes.

If jobs are its main selling point then these jobs would still exist if it was built elsewhere in Wales. Interestingly, the number of jobs it is claimed the multiplex would generate has risen from 700 to 800 since it was downsized – perhaps the PR company had forgotten their original figures? And how many of these jobs are those that we would hope to see our children aspire to?

Many of the recent successful developments in and around Llanberis have been relatively small and ‘organic’; unobtrusively fitting in. Take Energy Cycles, Surflines, Boulder Adventures and the new Caban building at Brynrefail as examples. The proposed mountain bike trails around Cefn Du would also seem to be in the same vein. Large ‘sexy’ publicity generating schemes may attract newspaper headlines and the support of those individuals who stand to make fiscal gains but ironically it is surprisingly difficult to find the funding or politicians to lend their support for small schemes that make a big difference such as cycleways, footpath networks etc. Llanberis has too much going for it to risk suffocating its character and potential with a crass ill-judged behemoth.

 Ray Wood, Dinorwig.


Go 'here' to read a news article on the Snowdonia Gateway ski project.

There is also a live thread in the forum on this subject. Go 'here' to join the discussion.



Cycle Ban on Snowdon 11/06/2002
There are moves afoot to try and ban cycling on Snowdon on the llanberis bridleway.

Please register your support for the continued use of the bridleway, for all users, with respect for each other.

visit http://www.snowdonbridleways.co.uk

 Paul, Llanberis

Please use our forum to post discussions regarding this. (Ed.)