Thursday, 18 April 2013

New Oakeley Blog

Sign up for our blog!

We're thrilled to announce that the Oakeley Arms has a new-look website! And we've got a brand new blog to go along with it! We're in the process of moving all of the historic posts on the old blog over to the new one so that the content won't be lost, but from now on you'll need to check the new blog address for updates and blog stories.

Check us out at  

If you've signed up for e-mail updates, then you'll just need to do this again at the new blog site - click the small FOLLOW button in the bottom right hand corner.

Thanks so much for supporting our blog! And don't forget, if you have any story ideas or things you'd like to see on the Oakeley Arms blog, then let us know! 

image by JayLopez on

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Special Offer, Special Offer

Oakeley Holiday Cottages

This is not one too miss! Don't forget about our very SPECIAL OFFER on our stunning Welsh holiday cottages, situated right here in the Oakeley Arms Hotel grounds. Each cottage has been lovingly renovated and restored and are packed with period features but kitted out with modern appliances. They are the perfect option for your self-catering holiday in Snowdonia.

Our special offer is for the three bedroom cottage (which sleeps six people). Usually £800 a week, this beautiful cottage can be yours for the week for just £500! 

To take advantage of this fabulous offer and save £300 on the usual price of £800, call or e-mail today to check available dates and to book. Quote BLOGOFFER when you enquire. 

The offer is subject to availability. For more details about the holiday cottages, see our website click here or 01766 590 277

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Zip World at Penrhyn Quarry

Zip it!

We are pretty excited here at the Oakeley Arms this week, because we're bracing ourselves for the opening of a brand new North Wales family attraction.

Zip World at Penrhyn Quarry is an exciting new adventure experience that has just opened, a short drive from the Oakeley Arms, at the village of Bethesda. Penrhyn Quarry was once the largest slate quarry in the world, and the main pit is almost a mile long! At the peak of it's output, 3,000 local men worked the mine there. Nowadays, although the quarry is still operational, it is with a significantly smaller workforce. 

The majestic Penrhyn Quarry sits in some of the finest scenery in North Wales.
Image by Ian Greig via Wikimedia Commons

And the quarry is all set to become known for something other than it's slate. The Zip World experience promises adventurers the "ride of a lifetime" as you fly along two specially designed zip wires 700 feet above the quarry - travelling at speeds of up to 75mph! It's as near as you'll ever get to flying!

The zip wires at Penrhyn Quarry are a mile long, making them the longest, and fastest zip wieres in Europe. And while it's not one for the faint hearted, the safety considerations and regulations are second to none. Over two years of planning, research and development have gone into the Zip World experience, making full use of some of the latest and safest technology and zip wire innovation.

So why not give it a go? Not only will you have the ride of your life, but you'll also be able to delve deep into the rich history of the mines, men and quarries that etched North Wales firmly onto the slate map of the world. See you up there!

Zip World is open daily from 10:00 to 3:00pm, with sessions running every hour. From £50 per adult and £40 per child. For more information, booking details and directions, see the Zip World website

Enjoy a bird's eye view of the historic Penrhyn Quarry
Image by Eric Jones via Wikimedia Commons

Monday, 8 April 2013

X-Factor hasn't hit the x-spot!


Here at the Oakeley Arms we do agree that the X-Factor is arguably one of Britain's best loved talent shows. Like it or loath it, since the very first show hit our screens in September 2004 it has inspired tears, tantrums, gossip, controversy, and of course BIG hits. Can you name all 9 of the X-Factor winners so far (go on, don't be shy - we bet you can!!)

A big part of the X-Factor's charm are the city auditions that take place up and down the country every year, with hoards of hopefuls attending and singing their hearts out for the judges in a bid to become Britain's next BIG thing. And this year, the X-Factor team have made it easier than ever for people to audition by sending a mobile "audition" van to regional and local venues across the country.

Ian Paterson via Wikimedia Commons

Last week, the mobile audition was lucky enough to come to the Welsh town of Bangor, not too far from the Oakeley Arms. However, far from being a stampede to the door, just 30 hopefuls turned up and so wasn't quite the chaotic spectacle that we so often see on television when the auditions are aired.  Although Bangor didn't have the lowest number of contestants - Colchester in Essex had just 22 people through the doors!

However, spokespeople for the show claim they were not disappointed with the turn out, and that the regional auditions are to give a chance to those not able to travel to the larger cities. Speculation that interest in the X-Factor is waning was waved aside by bosses, who claim that the show is as popular as ever. Phew, we can still have our guilty pleasure this winter then!

JEdward perform on X-Factor 2010
By JonathanLGardner via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, 5 April 2013

Special Offer on Snowdonia Self Catering

Oakeley Holiday Cottages

Summer's just around the corner folks, we promise! Have you sorted your summer break yet? Well, just for you, lovely blog readers, here is a very SPECIAL OFFER that is just toooooooooo good to ignore. 

Here at the Oakeley Arms, we've got a stunning range of self-catering holiday cottages in the hotel grounds, that are just waiting to be the perfect companions to your holiday in Wales.

A stable block was lovingly converted last year into stunning holiday cottages - each one packed with period features but kitted out with modern appliances to make sure your stay is a comfy one.

Our special offer is for the three bedroom cottage (which sleeps six people). Usually £800 a week, this beautiful cottage can be yours for the week for just £500! That's less than £85 a week each for a stay in our fabulous holiday cottages in Snowdonia. 

But, just what is there to see and do in our beautiful area? As it happens, there's LOADS!  We've put together a little itinerary for your week, full of our best suggestions to make the most of your holiday in Snowdonia.
  • Saturday - arrive and unpack. Have a wander into Maentwrog village and explore our pretty church, the stunning Llyn Mair and the beautiful views of the Vale of Ffestiniog. Come back for a delicious bar meal at the Oakeley Arms.
  • Sunday - Head into the nearby town of Porthmadog, just five miles away. There's a supermarket and selection of greengrocers, delis and off-licences so you can stock up on essentials. And while you're there, explore the historic harbour and the famous Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways.
Stunning views of the Moelwyn and Cnicht mountains from Porthmadog
  • Monday - Enjoy a day out at the magical Portmeirion village. This famous Italinate village was built by local eccentric architect Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975, and the peaceful grounds and idyllic village are a must see! Don't miss the remote beach and the wild landscapes, as well as the pretty village centre with it's shops, cafes and ice cream!
  • Tuesday - Feeling energetic today? Good! Because it's time for a trip up Wales' highest mountain, Snowdon! Reaching the top of this beautiful peak will inspire and enthrall you. And if you really don't feel like the trek, then you can take a short-cut to the top - via the Snowdon Railway!
Take a trip up Wales' highest peak
  • Wednesday - phew! Ok, today you can have a rest after yesterday's exertion, but there's still plenty to see. How about jumping on the historic Ffestiniog Railway at the nearby station of Tan-y-Bwlch? Enjoy the scenic journey to the mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, where you can visit the subterranean slate mines before jumping on the train back.
  • Thursday - Today is one for the family, with a trip to Gypsy Wood Park, a fabulous animal activity park for little, and big, kids alike!
  • Friday - Ready to make like a medieval knight and enjoy a spot of history? Today it's time for a trip to nearby Harlech castle. This spectacular thirteenth century fort is one of Edward I's Iron Ring which were built to subdue his greatest enemy - the Welsh army! Delve into the history and zoom back in time at one of Wales' most historic buildings.
Historic Harlech
  • Saturday - put on your sad faces, because it's time to go home...... We hope you enjoy your stay as much as Snowdonia enjoyed entertaining you! And come back again and visit us soon.
And don't forget to take a look at our blog posts, website or ask any of our staff for more ideas for great days out, local walks and things to do and see. We promise you won't be bored!

To take advantage of this fabulous offer (remember, it's just £500 for the 3 bed self-catering cottage that sleeps 6 people - that's a whopping £300 saving on the usual price of £800!). For more details about the holiday cottages, see our website click here

Call or e-mail today to check available dates and to book. Quote BLOGOFFER when you enquire. The offer is subject to availability. or 01766 590 277

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Naughty Shakespeare!

Pardon the Bard

We all know that William Shakespeare is perhaps the most famous poet and playwright of all time (we may even be able to recite a line or two if the mood doth take us....... ) but a recent study at a University not far from the Oakeley Arms has revealed lots of things we might not have known about Britain's favourite bard.

Historians and academics at Aberystwyth University have discovered that not only was Shakespeare once almost jailed for tax eviction, but that he was also one of the time's greatest hoarders of food and supplies!

From "History of the World" Dodd, Mead and Company, 1902. Work in the public domain via Wikimedia Commons

The illegal hoards of grain, malt and barley gathered by the bard were then sold to neighbours and friends at inflated prices during times when food was scarce. Shakespeare was prosecuted for illegal hoarding in 1598. In Britain at that time food shortages, hunger and famine were common as crops often failed, taxes and regulations were levied against farmers and the poor and the weather was largely unpredictable. There was no modern scientific explanations for diseased crops or poisoned food stocks.

The team at Aberystwyth University, led by Dr Jayne Archer, explored the themes of hunger, food and famine in Shakespeare's works and found it to be a recurring topic. Although Shakespeare's hoarding was technically illegal during times of food shortage, the team believe it sheds some light on the personality of a man we know surprisingly little about. It could show him in a humanitarian light because the hoarding was his way of protecting his family from the ravages of famine.

Although he's one of the world's best known writers now, perhaps this latest study shows that during his time, maybe Shakespeare was just an ordinary, working class man trying to make a living for his family.

For more details on this fascinating story, see the BBC news site click here. The full details of the study will be revealed by the team during the 2013 Hay Festival.