With lockdown restrictions continuing to ease across Britain, we took Elsa & Buffy to North Wales for a long weekend away when we found some last-minute availability at a gorgeous little beach chalet in Aberdesach via Dioni.
Yr-Odyn Bach | A Hidden Gem in Aberdesach
Dioni have lots of gorgeous holiday properties to choose from, at very reasonable prices, but Yr-Odyn Bach ticked every single box on our getaway wish list: quiet location with stunning views, two dogs welcome in the property and the best part is that it's only a few feet away from a beautiful, dog friendly beach. This sort of place is normally booked up for months in advance, but we were lucky enough to secure it for a long weekend the very same week!
The chalet is slightly set back compared to the other properties along the beach front, which makes it feel a little bit more private. When we arrived, the friendly owner checked-in on us to say hello and we found everything that we needed for a very comfortable stay including some extra treats chilling in the fridge!
We also had incredible weather while we were there and spent a lot of time playing and soaking up the sun in the spacious garden.
Although there isn't anywhere to park at the property itself, there is a small, free, car park a very short walk away. In fact, it's so close that I managed to put on my shoes, grab some cash and still make it to the ice cream van that pulled up there before their jingle finished playing. I practically skipped back with my blue sherbet-covered 99, elated that Elsa & Buffy would also be able to enjoy a frozen treat because the van sold Frozzy's dog ice cream too!
Dinner at Dylan's | Criccieth
We didn't travel around and explore the local area as much as we normally would have since we were only there for the weekend, but we did manage a short trip to Criccieth which is approx. 20 minutes from Aberdesach by car. This coastal town is overlooked by a castle (which I believe is still dog friendly - we took Elsa there when she was a puppy, pre-blog!) and there are lots of little shops and eateries.
After a short walk on the beach, our mouths were watering at the delicious smell of fish & chips coming from the outdoor catering van at Dylan's so we placed our order and found a table on their lovely boardwalk. I don't know if it was because I was hungry, or because I hadn't eaten proper 'restaurant-style' french fries in so long, but these were probably the best ones I have ever eaten in my life. They were hot, crispy and had the perfect amount of salt sprinkled over them... washed down with a bottle of local lager, amazing! (I forgot to ask, but it looked like dogs were welcome in all of their outdoor seating areas, and this is definitely somewhere we'd go to again if we get the chance.)
Paws on Plastic at Aberdesach Beach
Although the beach was incredibly clean, and I didn't find any litter left by visitors throughout the day, the tides inevitably leave some flotsam and jetsam behind and I couldn't resist the urge to prevent at least some of it from returning to the sea. I started by filling up a dog poo bag that I had in my pocket, but I find litter-picking to be quite addictive when I get started so in the end I collected as much as I could carry.
My haul included lots of rope and netting, some of it completely entwined in small pieces of seaweed which were impossible to untangle. What I thought was an iridescent shell in the sand turned out to be a tattered scrap of metal from a drinks can. I picked up zip ties, a coffee machine pod, bags, plastic rods, pieces of rubber, something that looked like a deck-chair foot and a lip balm tube.
Paws on Plastic is a group that was founded by Marion Montgomery to encourage dog walkers to pick up a couple of pieces of litter on their routine walks and help fight the ongoing plastic waste issue and we are very proud be part of this movement. Click here to find out more and read our Q&A with Marion.
We visit coastal towns and villages quite often on our travels, but we've never stayed anywhere like Yr-Odyn Bach, with such amazing views and the beach right on the doorstep.
The owner of Yr-Odyn Bach, Dafydd (David), told me to watch the sea around sunset for the chance to see dolphins... sadly we didn't spot any, but the sunsets themselves were magnificent.
This short break was exactly what we all needed after a long winter in lockdown.
We are very grateful to have wonderful places like this to visit and would definitely recommend Dioni Holiday Cottages because they have lots of reasonably priced, dog friendly properties in great locations across North Wales.