The Oakeley Arms Hotel and Self Catering Cottages
in the Heart of Snowdonia

Local History

Snowdonia’s Amazing Sand Dunes

Posted On: Wed 26 Apr 2017 Posted In: Local History Things To Do Posted By:

The sand dune is one of the Welsh coast’s most prominent contradictions. These vast areas that dominate the coastline of Wales are home to sprawling and enormous walls of shifting sand; at once both huge and impenetrable but also incredibly delicate and fragile. A grain of sand on its own is tiny and insignificant, but when nature clusters hundreds of billions of them together the effect is maze-like. The sand unites to create towering dunes that stand tall above the human footprints that tread softly across them or the plants and animals that make them their home. Sand dunes are some of t ... read the full story

Snowdonia on Television

Posted On: Mon 17 Apr 2017 Posted In: Local History Posted By:

“I am not a number, I am a free man” shouts Patrick McGoohan’s character Number 6 in The Prisoner, one of the most iconic television series from the 1960s. The line is perhaps one of the most well-known from the series that captured the public’s imagination when it was first broadcast in 1967. The Prisoner will forever be linked with our corner of Snowdonia because it was here that the series was filmed. The atmospheric Italianate village of Portmeirion provided the backdrop to the series and was the “real-life” location of the fictional “Village” (to where Patrick McGoohan ... read the full story

David Lloyd George in North Wales

Posted On: Sun 19 Mar 2017 Posted In: Local History Posted By:

“He was the greatest Welshman which that unconquerable race has produced since the age of the Tudors….. and those that come after us will find the pillars of his life’s toil upstanding, massive and indestructible”. Winston Churchill’s parliamentary tribute to David Lloyd George just after his death in 1945 paid homage to the Liberal politician who had come to be considered as one of the greatest social reformers of the twentieth century. When Lloyd George’s father, a schoolmaster working in Manchester, passed away soon after his birth his mother took her young family back t ... read the full story

North Wales Stately Homes

Posted On: Wed 15 Mar 2017 Posted In: Local History Posted By:

Here in Wales, we boast a history and heritage that dates back thousands of years, so it's no surprise that dotted all around North Wales are some of the most beautiful and historic stately homes and manor houses in the country. Built for a huge number of reasons, these elegant and often enormous houses were quite literally a showcase of affluence and titles. Some were built as residences for the landed gentry, some were raised from the profits of successful businesses during the industrial revolution, and some were built as shows of defiance after victorious wins in battles for land. But wh ... read the full story

Exploring Wales’ Legends

Posted On: Wed 08 Mar 2017 Posted In: Local History Posted By:

As we've already discovered as we've delved into some of Wales' most famous tales and legends - almost every little corner, nook and cranny of our wonderful country has an ancient story or legend attached to it. It's one of the things we love about Wales - the culture and landscape that dates back thousands and thousands of years. And now, Natural Resources Wales - the government body responsible for looking after Wales' natural assets - have made it easier than ever to explore some of the most famous myths and legends of Wales with the launch of two new apps. The PlacesToGo app shows you w ... read the full story

The Legend of Nant Gwrtheyrn

Posted On: Thu 26 Jan 2017 Posted In: Local History Posted By:

Today on the Oakeley blog, we're continuing our journey of discovery into the myths and legends of Wales. Have you heard the legend of Nant Gwrtheyrn? Get your tissues at the ready, because this is a sad one! Now the home of a Welsh Language Centre, Nant Gwrtheyrn is a small bay and community on the northern coast of the Llyn Peninsula, just a short drive from the Oakeley Arms. The legend of Nant Gwrtheyrn tells of a young couple from the village, Rhys and Meinir. Rhys and Meinir were childhood sweethearts who had loved each other for many years, and couldn't wait to be married. They would o ... read the full story

Canal Crazy – a history of Canals

Posted On: Tue 24 Jan 2017 Posted In: Local History Posted By:

To trace the origins of canals, we can float back for almost 6,000 years. In Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq and Syria), enormous irrigation canals were built as far back as 4,000 BC. The Grand Canal of China is not only the longest canal in the world but its origins go back to at least 480 BC. But it wasn’t until the middle of the eighteenth century that Britain fully embraced its own watery transportation system. With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the country was crying out for a quick, reliable and cost effective method of transporting bulky, heavy goods and raw materials. A ricke ... read the full story

North Wales’ Forgotten Railways

Posted On: Sun 22 Jan 2017 Posted In: Local History Posted By:

Here in Snowdonia, we love a good old fashioned steam train! And Great Britain has enjoyed a love affair with railways since Trevithick’s first railway steam locomotion was built in 1804. And when George Stephenson opened his first public steam railway twenty years later the golden age of Britain’s railways had begun. The railways opened up new means of transport for industry and trade, and later shaped the way a country lived, travelled, worked and even went on holiday. And in rural North Wales in the mid 19th century, the ability to transport precious goods, and later, people, opened up ... read the full story

Battle of the Somme Centenary

Posted On: Fri 17 Jun 2016 Posted In: Local History Posted By:

Yesterday, England and Wales fought their battle out on the football field in Northern France, and thankfully that occasion was full of passion, pride and a lot of fun for both teams and their supporters. However, not too far from the city in which they were playing is the site of one of the deadliest battles of World War I, the centenary of which will be commemorated on the 1st July 2016. This sombre dates marks the centenary of the beginning Battle of the Somme when the British and French armies fought hard against the German Empires. In these days of comfort, luxury and relative richness f ... read the full story

Frongoch Irish Prisoners

Posted On: Sun 12 Jun 2016 Posted In: Local History Posted By:

Regular readers of the Oakeley blog will already know that beautiful Snowdonia and the area surrounding the Oakeley Arms Hotel is rich in history and culture, and today we're commemorating the 100th anniversary of events that changed the political landscape of a nation. Deep in the heart of the Welsh countryside in the small village of Frongoch near Bala, not far from us here at the Oakeley Arms, was a makeshift prisoner of war camp that housed a number of German soldiers during the First World War. The prisoners of war were housed in an old whiskey distillery and tumbledown huts, but in May ... read the full story