Adventures in Wales

Back in April (yes, this is how far behind my blog is), I went to Caernarfon in Wales for two nights with the Newcastle University Creative Writing Society. As part of the Creative Writing Society’s committee, I helped to plan and organise the trip. We chose Caernarfon mostly because we found a nice hostel there that was available on the last-minute dates we wanted. (If anyone’s interested, the hostel was Totters’; situated inside the walled town, it’s a nice little hostel with very friendly and accommodating owners, and it was just what we were looking for) Caernarfon’s main attraction is its castle, though it also boasts a beaches, a pretty town, and a Roman fort.

Once we arrived on the Thursday, we settled into the hostel, went for some food, then wandered around the shoreline until after it had gone dark, before returning to the hostel for some games.

In the morning on the Friday, we set off for the castle, a short walk from the hostel.

Admittance to the castle is £5.60 for students, but as a group of students, we got this discounted to £5 each. This admittance fee allows you to enter and leave the castle all day as you please, so there’s no need to do everything at once; you can go to one of Caernarfon’s cafes for lunch, and still come back to the castle without having to pay again. We then paid an extra £3 for a tour, which was informative, interesting, and definitely worth it. The tour does not cover all of the castle’s large expanse, so there was still lots to explore once it had finished: towers, hidden passageways, exhibitions and displays… And of course plenty of photo opportunities!

We had a great day wandering both the town and the castle before returning to the hostel in the evening for more games and an attempted writing activity. Back when I was in my school’s creative writing club, we had tried to write a story as a group, with each of us writing from one character’s perspective, so I thought we could try something similar. Since Caernarfon castle has an interesting history involving a rebellion and two sieges, we decided to write on this theme. However, we didn’t even get to the plot and character complications that come from having the input so many writers, which I encountered in my school’s creative writing club: we barely even finished discussing ideas before we decided it was too late to write much. A writing activity like this needs more time than we had and definitely more planning, so that the group can spend more of it writing rather than brainstorming. It’s something I’d like to try again – hopefully with more success next time!

All in all, it was a lovely few days, and we didn’t even get to see all that Caernarfon has to offer! It would be great to go again and I definitely recommend both the town and the hostel.

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