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Snowdonia Peaks

Saturday, 29 November 2014


Well it's that time of year again when we have what is becoming our annual weekend cottage break in the heart of Snowdonia. This year though, we tried a different cottage than the one we usually stay in, in the Croesor valley and opted for the neighbouring valley of NANTMOR and the fantastic BUARTHAU. A truly great place to spend a relaxing few days away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The main walk we did was a well known 10 mile circular that takes in the villages of BEDDGELERT, Aberglaslyn and Nantmor, as well as passing Llyn Dinas and passing through woodland and farmland around the area. The weather was quite kind although we did have about 20 minutes of drizzly rain soon after we left the cottage. This walk is fairly low level with no high mountains to climb but there is a fair bit of up and down but nothing too strenuous, just a bit muddy in places after the overnight rainfall.
The walk started from the front door of the cottage, out onto the single track lane before heading up past an old quarry before heading off into the wilder part of the area at the path sign next to a renovated cottage. The track here led us to the highest point of the day, about 200mtrs above sea level. The views though were pretty good despite the damp conditions at this point. From here it was following the track by the wall to a small patch of trees, Coed Llewelyn, where it started to rain so we took shelter for a bit while it blowed over before making our way to a very remote cottage by the name of Hafod Owen
Our Route For The Day
Best way to start the day :-)
On the lane by the Afon Nanmor and old quarry
On the way up
Following the wall to Coed Llewelyn
Here comes the rain
On the way to Hafod Owen
View over to a cloud covered Snowdon Range
Hafod Owen
Hafod Owen
Although the rain had stopped and the sun was trying it's best to burn away the clouds, all the high tops remained in cloud making it quite atmospheric as we made our way down towards Llyn Dinas and Llyndy Isaf. We did take a bit of a detour as we missed the path that should of took us to the woods above Llyn Dinas but we followed a track that came out at the farm before getting back on the main path. No problem, just a bit more boggy ground to cover :-) In the woods we came across a derelict cottage where we had a pit stop.
Panoramic view showing Llyn Dinas. The woods on the left is where we should of gone but we went down to the farm on the right
The track through the farm
Llyn Dinas with Glan Llyn opposite
Looking back on our route
Derelict cottage
Good place for a pit stop
 We followed the track through the woods to the shore of Llyn Dinas where we headed down to the village of Beddgelert where the rivers Conwy & Glaslyn meet before tumbling down the ABERGLASLYN PASS. A great place that is very popular, especially in the warmer months. The Welsh Highland Railway also runs down the pass and were lucky enough to see it coming out of one long tunnel on its way to Beddgelert from Porthmadog. We were heading for the small hamlet of Nantmor which lies at the end of the pass.
Track through the woods
Blue sky appearing above the trees
Coming onto the shore of Llyn Dinas
Llyn Dinas
Afon Glaslyn
Coming into Beddgelert along the Afon Glaslyn
Going down the Aberglaslyn Pass
Steam hang around the tunnel entrance from the steam train
Aberglaslyn Pass
The woods at the end of the pass
We made our way up the lane and along another lane that led to a farm. Through the gates and through fields and into the woods where there is a choice of routes to follow. As dusk was drawing in, I felt it was better to cross the Afon Nanmor and get back on the lane that would take us back to Buarthau, rather than carry on through the woods with all the mud, slippery rocks and roots to navigate. As it worked out it was the right choice as darkness comes quickly in the valleys!
Track leading out of the village
Sun going down
Sun going down as we go through the farm
Yr Arddu
This way :-)
Nantmor Valley
Heading towards the bridge over Afon Nanmor with Yr Arddu as the backdrop
Afon Nanmor
Back on the lane
Homeward bound
The great thing about staying in this cottage is that it is right on this walk, straight out of the front door and you away and when you get back after 6 hours just as darkness falls, you have the welcome of a bubbling hot-tub to relief the aching muscles and just unwind before you settle down to a meal in front of a warming fire, heaven :-)
Ohhhhhhhh, nice :-)
Well another great walk exploring this quiet part of Snowdonia :-)

CRAIG y CLOGWYN 23-11-2014

As the weather forecast was for a good sunny day I thought I'd go for a small walk in the morning and explore a bit of the area around Buarthau and follow the part of the path we missed out on the Saturday due to failing light. As I found out, it was the right decision as there is quite a few obstacles along the way, mud, moss covered rocks, tree roots and slipery steps. I made my way to where a remote & hidden cottage is, heaven knows how people manage with no vehicle access to these places but they do look idylic and a place where you can just loose yourself and forget all about whats going on in the real world, until you put the tele on that is :-)
A straight there and back route
On the path out of Buarthau
Heading up into the wood
Old derelict building
Back of the remote cottage
Path that leads to the cottage
I did want to go for a look round the cottage but I wasn't sure if there would be people living in it or not and I didn't want to go snooping around as they enjoyed the spring like Sunday morning. Just past the cottage was a stream coming down through the woods with a faint path next to it so I followed it up through the wood. I had to climb over a wall that took me out of the woods with a good view down towards Porthmadog and also straight down the Nantmor Valley which was a lot clearer and warmer than the Saturday.
Following the stream through the wood
A nice Autumn feel to the day
Good clear views over to the coast @ Porthmadog
Looking down the Nantmor Valley
I made my way over to where a lonely tree was on top of a rocky outcrop, Craig y Glogwyn, and this offered fine views all round, from the coast, the crags of Moel y Dyniewyd, Nantmor Valley, Cnicht & Yr Arddu. A great place to just sit and take in the solitude of the place, especially in the fine weather on offer. I was that taken in by it all that I didn't notice a horned cow about 100 feet away from me, just staring at me, probably wondering what I was doing on her patch. My first thoughts were where could I get out of the way if it decided to come my way!!! No where to run, no where to hide. There's a song in there somewhere :-)
Looking across to Yr Arddu with Cnicht in the background

Zoomed in on Cnicht
Pano of Moel y Dyniewyd with my friend in the foreground
Watching me watching you!!

One lonely tree
Another old derelict building
A rugged & wild place that needs another visit
As this was just a short look round in the morning sun I made my way back down the same way and hoped that the cow wouldn't be following me to close. As it happened she stay where she was, only venturing to the top of the gully making sure I went on my way. Back down through the woods, over walls and through gates it was turning into tee shirt weather and I was quite surprised to see yellow flowers on quite a lot of bushes that certainly made it feel more like spring. Quite sureal really.
Nice path through the moss covered trees
Spring like day in November
Homeward bound
Yellow flowers & blue sky = perfect
Home just in time to change before we visited Blaenau Ffestiniog where we were going to have great fun bouncing around on rope trampolines and clambering about up and down rope ladders and slide at a very cool place called BOUNCE BELOW. A great way to end a great day. We were also treated to a Rescue helicopter low flying through the valley, which we found out was on a training excersie.
Another great day :-)
Rescue Helicopter
Fun @ bounce Below
Here is a short video of the views from Craig y Clogwyn and the Rescue Helicopter