Introduction: This was a three day, seaside break in a part of Wales that I know very well, but which was new to Nigel.
Time of year: Late June, 2016.
Purpose of trip: To relax, walk along the long, sandy beach, hike in the hills above the town, and find some good places to eat.
Why we chose this place: This is an area I’ve visited frequently over the years; it’s small, friendly, beautiful and uncrowded. Nigel knows the bustling south coast of England well, but I was keen to introduce him to somewhere that boasts near-empty beaches at times: a stunning resort, with space.
The accommodation: The Crow’s Nest self-catering studio apartment; one of four in “The Lookout”, Aberdovey, right opposite the beach and the large car-park beside it. (Guests receive a free parking pass for their stay.)
Service: This was self-catering, but we had an excellent flow of communication with Julian, the co-owner, before, during and after our stay.
Location: Just opposite the beautiful sandy beach beside the River Dovey estuary in the village of Aberdovey, which lies within the Snowdonia National Park.
Food: This is a small place, but there’s a good selection of places for coffee and light snacks and lunches. For dinner, there is pub and bistro food, fish and chips, Indian cuisine or a la carte dining at the Penhelig Arms, all within easy walking distance of The Lookout.The apartment is well equipped for you to cook your own food, too, with a convenience store a few doors down, and fresh fish and a butcher’s shop close by.
What we paid: £264 for a 3 night (Thurs-Sat) stay in the Crow’s Nest seaview studio apartment.
Activities close by: Sailing, wind and kite surfing, walking, canoeing, or exploring other seaside resorts slightly further afield, such as Barmouth or Tywyn. Historic Harlech and Criccieth are also an easy drive. The train station at Aberdovey takes in a lovely coastal route for days out,too.
What empty nesters might really like about this place: Aberdovey itself feels quiet but classy, with some nice, independent gift and clothes stores. The Lookout apartments are beautifully equipped, designed to take full advantage of the stunning sea views. The third floor Crow’s Nest studio is open plan, and has three wide picture windows, a broad counter/table at the window with stools along the width of it, and even a telescope perfectly placed to watch sea, sky and sailing. There’s free Wi-fi and a good sized television. The superking-size bed was fitted with quality bedding, and the shower room was contemporary, with complimentary toiletries and great towels. The icing on the cake at Aberdovey is the expanse of sandy beach beside the dunes. Even on a sunny Saturday, once you’d strolled past the clusters of families building sand castles….visitors felt few and far between. Some mornings and evenings you can stroll for a couple of miles without seeing more than a few people.If you can drag yourself away from the beach…there are plenty of places to explore on foot, by train or by car.
What empty nesters might not be so keen on: The Crow’s Nest boasts a superb view, and that means a bit of a climb up to the third floor which could be an issue if you’re less than nimble, but for us, carrying a bit of luggage up to that level was worth every step. We really couldn’t fault the accommodation in any way and will definitely be returning.