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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The Trefriw Lakes Trail 26-9-2015

This walk started from the small village of TREFRIW tucked away in the CONWY VALLEY on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park a couple of miles from the town of LLANRWST We have visited these lakes before and I have walked most of this walk last year, in early September but this is the first time from Trefriw which takes in wooded area's and good views of the Crafnant valley and passes through old mine quarries. The first part of the walk starts from the car park in the centre and follows the lanes as they climb steeply up and passed the FAIRY FALLS which we only saw through the trees as we didn't follow the route for the falls. In fact we nearly missed the turning for our route as the sign was partially hidden by overgrown vegetation!! We followed route 5 from the TREFRIW TRAILS but adding a few more miles to it as we visited the tea rooms on llyn Crafnant before heading up through the forest and down to the Southern end of Llyn Geiriond. We also took a detour up above the forest before heading back to the woods back to the car making a good six hours at a very leisurely pace around 9 miles.
We had camped out on the Friday night as the weather was more like summer than summer, very sunny and warm with very little wind making it ideal for a good lowish level walk.
Our route for the day
The very quiet campsite
Up along the quiet lanes
The partly hidden entrance to the forest
 It was a bit cooler in the woods and made for a welcome break as it was quite warm walking up the steep lanes in the midday sun and also quite dramatic in places as the sun burst through lighting the place up in a golden glow. We came to a couple of clearings where there was some good views down the Crafnant valley and down onto  the old KLONDYKE MILL that ceased operations in 1911.
Following the way marked route 5
The sun lighting up the forest
Through the forest
Having a break above the Klondyke Mill
Klondyke Mill Information Board
Looking down on Klondyke Mill
View over to Clogwyn y Fuwch Quarry (top right) on the slopes of Mynydd Deulyn
 We followed the old Pandora Tramway as we made our way to the shore of LLYN GEIRIONYDD  where there are usually watersports going on but this time was fairly quiet. There is also a Taliesin Monument, which commemorates the sixth century Welsh bard, Taliesin (c. 534 - c. 599), the earliest poet of the Welsh language whose work has survived and often referred to as Taliesin Ben Beirdd (Taliesin, Chief of Bards). He was chief bard in the courts of at least three kings of Britain, and is associated with the Book of Taliesin, a text from the tenth century containing his poems. He lived in the area, mainly on the shores of Llyn Geirionydd, where he is also stated to be buried. It was here that we had yet another rest taking in the peaceful surroundings before making our way round to the old Clogwyn y Fuwch slate quarry.
Llyn Geirionydd
Llyn Geirionydd
Llyn Geirionydd & Taliesin Monument
Back on track
Approaching the quarry
Having a look round the cavern of level one
View from midway in the cavern
Just inside the cavern
View across the Crafnant valley from just outside the cavern entrance
After messing about here for a bit, it was on to the very peaceful LLYN CRAFNANT where we had a nice cake and a cup of coffee at the very pleasant Lakeside Cafe with a great backdrop of Crimpiau, Craig Wen & Creigiau Gleision of the far Eastern Carneddau  mountains, a great walk in itself and one that I did a few years ago in glorious weather. It was also here, while at the cafe that we bumped into Keith, a mate I know off the walking forums and we had a little chat. He was enjoying the day and cake, with a few of his friends and hope they had as good a day as we did
Llyn Crafnant
The Obelisk was erected in 1896 by the inhabitants of Llanrwst which commemorates "the gift to that town of this lake with 19 acres (77,000 m2) of land" by Richard James.
Yum Yum
The cafe garden, Llyn Crafnanat and Crimpiau, Craig Wen & Creigiau Gleision as the backdrop
After a good rest it was time to get going again and up through the forest to the service road and back down to the northern end of  Llyn Geirionydd where there was quite a few enjoying messing about on the water.
Gwydir Forest
Gwydir Forest
Coming out of Gwydir Forest and onto the service road
Llyn Geirionydd
Llyn Geirionydd
Llyn Geirionydd
We followed the path that we came up on a few hours earlier but turned off at the path junction with Route 8 that took us up a steep slope to a small cluster of houses at Penralt where we came across a couple of chairs so we took advantage for another rest looking back across the valley. We then carried on up and up to a small rocky outcrop high above Trefriw that offered some fine views.
Way marked paths
Chairs and flags out for us
Couldn't resist a play on the rocks
View from the top
Looking down on Trefriw
From here it was straight down, down through bracken trying to follow a feint path that was a bit tricky in places with moss covered rocks and boulders, tree roots, water and mud that eventually came down on the path leading out of the forest and back to the road that took us to the car park.
The slippery slope down
Last of the forest trail
Back on the road
Another great day in glorious Autumn weather and a place that has a lot to offer via the trails found here  http://www.melynconsulting.co.uk/Trails/Eng_MapsIndex.htm We followed Route 5 with an extension and a few stops making it a very interesting walk.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015


August bank holiday weekend saw us camping at a small campsite in the village of Rosgill, on the Eastern side of the Lake District. Just a good relaxing couple of days with some friends, Sue, Alan and there dog Rufus and taking in a walk that Jill & I have done before, a walk round the HAWESWATER RESERVOIR. A relaxing morning saw us parked up at the small village of Burnside about 10.30am with a cloudy sky but quite warm. It remained like that for the first 45 minutes or so before the distant rain on the high fells decided to come our way. Not heavy rain but enough to make us put on waterproofs for half an hour or so before it started to clear up. It remained quite humid with very little wind and the sun was doing its best to burn away the high clouds. The path through the woods and bracken filled fields were quite wet after a fair bit of rain through the week and the becks flowing down the fells had a fair amount of water in them as they tumbled into the Reservoir. The path is an easy to follow one as it winds its way around the perimeter, through small woods, fields, over a few wooden bridges with small waterfalls tumbling down, under crags with names such as Laythwaite Crag, Castle Crag and Flakehowe Crag as we made our way to  Riggindale Crags &The Rigg. It was here that we made a short diversion to the RSPB lookout that monitors England's last remaining Golden Eagle that lives in this area. No sign of him and as he has no mate or chicks to feed, it is a very rare sight to see him at all as he only feeds once a day and spends much of his time perched in the crags of the surrounding area, very well camouflaged. It was getting quite warm at this stage and a break was welcome as we scoured the crags to no avail
Our route for the day, about 10 miles
Cloud covered fell tops

Taking in the views


 Looking at all the cars parked in the small car park and down the side of the road at Mardale Head show's what a popular spot this is with walkers as there are quite a few routes up to the high fells that surround this wild area of the\Lake District. Despite all the cars, it is still relatively quiet as people make there way along the various paths and we only came across a handful of people. As we made our way round to Mardale head and the car park the terrain changes and you find yourself walking on the road as you can't get down to the path along this side of the shoreline. The path has been closed for sometime now so there remains about 4 mile or so of road walking. A bit hard after the ups and downs of the Western Shore path but there is the welcome break of the Hawsewater Hotel for a drink and toilet break halfway round. It's also a bit on the expensive side as well!!! You do get the added bonus of seeing the elusive Red Squirrel if your lucky. We did but Rufus the dog made sure he scurried off with his barking!
Looking across to the cars parked at Mardale Head
Mardale Beck

Looking across to the Rigg, Riggindale Crags and surrounding fells

The last part of the road took us past past the dam at the head of the  reservoir and back to the car

Hawsewater Dam

 A great walk round this reservoir that serves the North West Water to Manchester