Plas Tan y Bwlch offers visitors from holiday parks in Snowdonia the perfect opportunity to expand their minds and gain a whole new perspective of the Snowdonia National Park at the Snowdonia National Park Environmental Studies Centre. If you are fed up of the big smoke of the city and immerse yourself in rural life the centre offers a great range of courses to satisfy your curiosity and a great location to enjoy panoramic views of the Snowdonia National Park.
How did a sprawling estate in the middle of Snowdonia become a centre of learning in the area?
The Oakeley family originally owned the estate from 1789 to 1961 and as the slate industry collapsed in the area so did the families fortunes. The Oakley family can trace their family history back to the tribe of Collwyn ap Tangno which were one of the original 15 tribes of Gwynedd. Most remarkably Plas Tyn Y Bwlch is believed to be the first house in North Wales to be lit and powered by electricity from a hydro-electric machine called the “pelton wheel” in the 1890’s. The small power house used water from Llyn Mair, a nearby artificial lake, to create the pipeline and it continued operating even after the the first public hydro-electric power station opened in 1928.
Walking in a Winter Wonderland
There are courses for everyone who enjoys walking and learning about the geological and natural history of the Snowdonia region. From the 10th to the 14th of January there is a course open to the public called “New Year Walking in Snowdonia” where walkers can enjoy the landscape as the days start to lengthen again. Another “Winter Waking” course will be taking place on between the 10th and 15th of February where visitors can experience mountains, lakes and waterfalls in the magic of winter time.
It is advised that walkers take extra caution in the winter and the accredited guides will be able to take you on the safest routes around the Snowdonia region according to weather conditions. Non-residents who wish to stay in their holiday homes can join any public course for whole or part days for a small fee of £24 plus optional meals.
Plas Tan Y Bwlch Gardens
Plas Tan Y Bwlch Gardens are famous for the stunning gardens that contain beautiful shrubs and imposing coniferous trees that were first planted on the estate in Victorian times. Do not be surprised to see brambles and log piles in woodland areas of the gardens as the semi-wild gardens compliment the surrounding landscape and are home to birds, small mammals and wildflowers that are protected under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act.