Dreams of adventure became a reality for two residents of FitzRoy residential home, Boldshaves Oast, in Kent. Tracy Davison, Horticulture Project Manager, helped to plan a wonderful walking holiday for Hayley and Oliver to Snowdonia.
Two members of the Boldshaves Oast walking group, Hayley and Oliver, decided they would like to go on holiday. The walking group, run by myself and Woodwork Therapist, Chris, was started to prepare and train for a sponsored climb up Snowdon in the early 2000s and it’s been going ever since. Twice a week we walk, finding the highest points in the area whilst teaching the art of orienteering, map reading, and navigating footpaths.
Before holiday planning began, we asked what Hayely and Oliver wanted from their trip. Dreams of long walks, railways, mountains, waterfalls, picnics, and lakes, were described. We eventually decided that Snowdonia National Park would be perfect as it would take all these things in. One of our main aims was also to climb Snowden again.
After lots of organising, purchasing good sturdy walking boots and waterproofs, and filling our flasks with home-made soup from Boldshave Oast’s vegetable garden, Oliver, Hayley, Chris and I were off!
We chose a cottage in the middle of forestry commission land, two miles from Lake Bala, as it was the perfect location for walking. Our walking adventures took us all over Snowdonia National Park. Walks were interspersed by beautiful journeys on the narrow-gauge steam railway, the water balanced railway at the Centre for Alternative Technology, and the woodland train through Portmeirion Woods and Gardens.
We climbed up to the towers of Harlech Castle, a world heritage site, its beautiful profile set against the Snowdonia skyline. Lake Bala, the biggest lake in Wales, was so tranquil and peaceful. We came across stunning waterfalls everywhere we went, none as stunning as Pistyll Rhaeadr, one of our most challenging walks. We clambered and scrambled using poles to help us and were delighted with our endeavours that day.
Sadly, when the day to climb Snowden came, the nine mile Llanbedr’s Pass was cloudy and very damp, however our spirits were not, so we took the train and still made it to the top.
Our walking was fuelled by good healthy food. We embraced Welsh produce whenever possible, making soup from organic chicken and eating fresh local bread, all while overlooking spectacular scenery.
We had a fantastic holiday and returned happy and healthy. Hayley and Oliver have always loved the countryside, so it really was the perfect getaway. We continue to walk regularly, scanning the Kent countryside for new footpaths and challenges.â