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Year of the Legend 2017

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Following Visit Wales’ The Year of Adventure in 2016 and the success of all those great adrenalin giving activites North Wales is becoming renowned for, 2017 is designated to be ‘The Year of Legends’ so we thought we’d write our very own favourite legend list all within a half hour of Betws-y-Coed…

Our Local Legends List…

Llewelyn the Great 
You might know the 12th and 13th century lands of North Wales from their immortalisation in the much-loved Princes of Gwynedd stories. Following in their footsteps is easy and evocative, the ruined castle of Dolwyddelan was once the fortification of Llywelyn the Great, this isolated sentinel is only a short walk uphill from the car park on the A470 and the views encompass Siabod, the Moelwyns, the Lledr Valley and the Gwydir Forest.


Caernarfon Castle 

A brute of a fortress. Caernarfon Castle’s pumped-up appearance is unashamedly muscle-bound and intimidating. Picking a fight with this massive structure would have been a daunting prospect. By throwing his weight around in stone, King Edward I created what is surely one of the most impressive of Wales’s castles. Most castles are happy with round towers, not Caernarfon! Polygonal towers were the order of the day, with the Eagle Tower being the most impressive of these. The site of this great castle wasn’t chosen by accident. It had previously been the location of a Norman motte and bailey castle and before that a Roman fort stood nearby. The lure of water and easy access to the sea made the banks of the River Seiont an ideal spot for Edward’s monster in masonry….. now a designated World Heritage site this is one monster legend that stands the test of time




A short walk south of the village, following the footpath down towards the Aberglaslyn Pass leads to ‘Gelert’s Grave’. According to legend, the stone monument in the field marks the resting place of ‘Gelert’, the faithful hound of the medieval Welsh Prince Llewelyn the Great. The story, as written on the tombstone reads:

“In the 13th century Llewelyn, prince of North Wales, had a palace at Beddgelert. One day he went hunting without Gelert, ‘The Faithful Hound’, who was unaccountably absent. On Llewelyn’s return the truant, stained and smeared with blood, joyfully sprang to meet his master. The prince alarmed hastened to find his son, and saw the infant’s cot empty, the bedclothes and floor covered with blood. The frantic father plunged his sword into the hound’s side, thinking it had killed his heir. The dog’s dying yell was answered by a child’s cry. Llewelyn searched and discovered his boy unharmed, but nearby lay the body of a mighty wolf which Gelert had slain. The prince filled with remorse is said never to have smiled again. He buried Gelert here”.

Legend or local tall tale… whichever it is the walk down the Aberglaslyn Pass will have you spellbound with it’s beauty!


King Arthur

The lakes of Llydaw, Dinas and Ogwen, are those that claim to contain the magical Excalibur of King Arthur and on a rock near Betws y Coed there is claimed to be a hoof print of Arthur’s horse Llamrai. Legend has it the mark was made when Arthur and his horse dragged a monster from the lake’s deep waters. To back this up a waterdragon legend exists of the Gwibernant. A ‘gwiber’ in todays Welsh means viper or adder. But a long time ago a ‘gwiber’ was something quite different – a huge snake that could fly. The local gwiber was unique in that it was the only one in Wales that could live on land and under water. This monster was therefore especially dangerous and would devour the local livestock and killed those who tried to get rid of it. Beware when walking around those lakes and only the brave (or foolhardy) will take off their shoes for a paddle….



Snowdonia Giving/ Rhodd Eryri

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With the glorious Snowdonia Park right on our doorstep we are very aware of the draw of such a stunning environment that we are lucky enough to work and play in! The region is really showing itself off, with increasing numbers of visitors every year, which means in order to maintain the wonderous nature of the National Park it’s going to need a helping hand.

It is important to be aware of just how much Snowdonia gives to us, and to be given the opportunity to support we jumped at the chance! We have joined the Snowdonia Giving Scheme which means that we can help in raising funds towards projects that protect Snowdonia’s heart.

If you would like to donate, come and see us at Reception, for further reading about the scheme and to donate online you can do so here:


Happy 2016!

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Yet another fabulous New Years Eve at the Oak …..

new year 2016

Huge thanks to Creak’n’Twist for making the evening pop with the amazing balloon modelling


and to our regular cabaret act Leandra for her amazing voice and getting the whole party singing….


The kitchen team surpassed themselves with this years dessert – a celebration of chocolate which consisted of….

Dark chocolate & orange tart, a chocolate macaroon with popping candy, dark chocolate & beetroot sponge, milk chocolate panacotta, hazelnut ganache brownie, a chocolate arctic roll with damson puree and white chocolate milkshake to swirl it all down with – sublime!



We’ve already taken a heap of bookings for New Years Eve 2016 so give us a call if you want to reserve a room and your place at our incredible Gala Dinner 🙂


Santa’s all wrapped up…..

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Murder Mystery Dinner

if your looking for the ultimate Christmas celebration join us on 29th November 2014 for a who-dunnit Oak style…

book your table, get glammed up and spend a night in North Wales quite unlike another….. mystery, intrigue, laughter and suspense guaranteed as a

Murder Occurs on 34th Street

Christmas at Bloominecks Department Store, supposedly a time of peace and goodwill to all men.

Is Santa about to get the sack?

Does his assistant Elf Orleather have a ruthless amibition?

Why is shop assistant Toya Zarrus putting in so many hours?

What is store owner Mr Macy’s secret?

And why does the mysterious Mrs Goodbody spend more time in the grotto than anyone else…….

will Santa be held up or will someone receive the most unwanted present….

a little warning if youre attending tho …. it may be hazardous to your ‘elf!

murder & dinner £39.50 per person

special accommodation rates for those of you overcome with the suspense or about to die of laughter…

happy new year!

Put a Spring in your Step…..

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So spring has re-emerged and there are primroses, catkins, buds and greenery shooting up everywhere…………. we love it 🙂

To give you a taste of what Betws-y-Coed has to offer this month take a short or long walk right from the heart of the village and discover new worlds bursting into life!

The Bridges Walk is an easy amble through Betws taking in some famous bridges, ravishing rivers and wonderful woodlands

So put your walking shoes on, grab a waterproof (just in case…this is Wales after all….) and follow the green leafy road!

Watch out for next months newsletter, with details of what has to be one of the most beautiful walks Snowdonia has to offer… to get a sneak peek why not book one of our mid-week Walkers Breaks and get your free map with highlighted walks & climbs – not only that but we throw in a scrummy packed lunch – really theres nothing quite like eating your sandwich on the side of a hill and watching the world go by below you…..

and on that note I’m off out to put a spring in my step……

Pont Y Pair Bridge, Betws-y-Coed

Pont Y Pair Bridge, Betws-y-Coed

Foodie News

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Food Glorious Food!

Unbeknown to us we had some journalists from the online magazine ‘Your Source Today’ stay with us last week – and it just proves that Snowdonia has a whole heap more to offer than exhilirating scenery and adventure sports….

Climbing high on that list is all the local produce on offer – we’ve always been advocates of buying as locally as possible and in recent years the producers and growers out in our stunning countryside have added to their staples and developed organic sites, exotic produce and a whole new way of working with the local catering industry.

As the article demonstrates and our tag line has always said –

“Its all Here!”

to read more visitthe link at  Your Source Today

and a big thanks to Ellie & Ben for being such delightful guests 🙂


The Return of Real Tea…..

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Our fabulous Loose Leaf Tea selection has been put together by award winning tea company Caffi Cristobel who are committed to high quality, locally sourced ethical products – We’ve even got a sample selection for you to waft your nose under before you choose your perfect blend! And you get dinky little tea pots you can infuse your tea in for as long or as little as you like…..

At the moment you can choose from;

Earl Grey- this one comes with real Bergamont from Provence

Assam Hunwal a lovely strong tea perfect at breakfast time

Niligri Thiashola – brisk and fresh tea which is perfect with cakes and deserts

Elegance Blend – strawberry, jasmine & white tea all combined to make teh perfect summer fruit tea

Sencha & Ginseng- a natural sweetness with all the incredible goodness that comes from ginseng- feel the health!

Jasmine – now this is real jamsmine tea! the cheaper versions of this green tea are only soaked with the blossom once -this one gets seven strainings to ensure the fragrance is captured giving you a delicate flavour alongside the green tea

or Rooibos Cinnamon Plum – pure organic red tea with a hit of cinnamon and safflower – caffine and tannin free

For our full menu click below;

lounge menu


Happy Tea drinking!

Ysgol Betws-y-Coed visit to the Royal Oak

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Last month the Royal Oak were met with a classroom of youngsters from the local primary school in Betws-y-Coed. The children came to learn about the typical running processes in the restaurant and the different bars.

Fresh faced and full of life, the youngsters arrived in the morning and were introduced to the Llugwy River Restaurant Supervisor Dylan. Dylan led them into the David Cox Suite and chatted to them about all the different foods served and where they originate from. Dylan passed them each a menu and asked the youngsters to pick out any foodie terms that they were not familiar with. The children learnt a lot about foreign favourites, for example ‘Creviche’, ‘Sabayon’ and what an ‘Amuse Bouche’ was. (I’m sure a lot of our older readers may not know these terms either!).

Dylan then led the classroom around the hotel showing them the Stables Bar and the Grill room, explaining why the menu’s differ and why some were bigger than others. The children were interested and were full of questions and ideas. Dylan explained pricing and also explained why it is important to the hotel that we use local produce where possible.

After an energetic morning of learning and exploring, the children thanked the Royal Oak team and went back to school for a hard day of work.

A week or so later, the team at the Royal Oak recieved a small package from the school with a letter from each of the pupils thanking us for our time. Each letter was personalised, had pictures and explained what they had enjoyed the most (Not to mention written to a very high standard!). This was such a lovely gesture, and it made Dylan and the team really feel that they had made a difference.

We really enjoyed the chance to speak to these youngsters and we really hope a similar opportunity comes around again soon.
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Oakfest 2013!

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                                                                                           Oakfest 2013 is looming, and with even more acts confirmed, this year is all set to be a blinder! With only another two weeks to go, the Stables bar is relentlessly preparing for a busy day of music, madness and mischief! From 1pm on Saturday September the 7th the Stables courtyard will begin with an array of folk, indie, blues and rock music. This will continue throughout the day and into early evening – finally finishing at 10:30pm. With FREE ENTRY Oakfest will excite, enthuse and electrify you – It’s all about the love of music!

Established last year by the locally renowned Lighted Stage Events, Oakfest proved to be a huge success with both locals and tourists alike. With over 300 music lovers attending last year, The Stables Bar predicts this number to exceed with this year’s exceptional musical shenanigans.

With bands coming from all over North Wales and the surrounding areas, there is sure to be something to suit all tastes. If it’s a bit of ‘Swamp Blues with attitude’ you’re after then don’t miss the Chester Burnettes! Or if you more inclined to a touch of Rock & Roll then it’s the SilverBack Band that’ll get you going! Other acts include Jack Davies, GeorgeLive, Andy Fogg, Two Suns, Tony Williams, Betsan Williams and Kevin Wardman.

Oakfest is unlike anything experienced in Betws before. It is the opportunity to truly appreciate the remarkable talents of the area while also sitting in what is one of the most remarkable and magnificent national parks in world. With a fine selection of local ale and exquisite locally sourced food at hand – Oakfest is truly a celebration of all things Snowdonia!
(The Chester Burnettes performing at Oakfest 2012)                                  


rain didn’t stop play

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Betws-y-Coed held it’s first Outdoor Festival hosted by Discover Snowdonia on Bank Holiday Monday and wouldnt you know it the heavens opened and the downpour continued all day!

Not put off by the lovely wild Welsh climate some hardy hill folk and a whole heap of little ones came and enjoyed what discovering the outdoors was all about! They braved the slippery slope of the mountain bike track, braved the sky high climbing wall, skidded down rivers on the giant slide and zipped through the air with the greatest of ease on the mobile zip-line!

Also the event bought together local outdoor companies – Go-Below who deliver caving and mine experiences deep underground- Outdoor Adventure Wales, North Wales Active and Seren Ventures who have some of the worlds best instructors were there to encourage kayaking trips, climbing, guided walks, gorge walking, coasteering and cannyoning- also on hand to help with bike skills were Beics Betws who hire out mountain bikes in the village!

More Discover Snowdonia events are now being planned throughout the year and the team hope to encourage more of you to learn new skills and revel in mini adventures ….

to find out more and Discover Snowdonia for yourself

zip line funtastic