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Posts Tagged ‘afon conwy’

I have said previously that north Wales has wonderful scenery. It’s not all about the mountains of Snowdonia, in fact Snowdonia is not all mountains anyway. I thought I’d put together a few images to show just how varied the scenery is in this part of the world.

To start, here is the Conwy valley, looking down from the hills above Trefriw towards Conwy, Llandudno and the sea.

The Conwy valley looking towards the coast. June 2008

The Conwy valley looking towards the coast. June 2008

The first bridge over Afon Conwy, just below it's source. Aug 2008

The first bridge over Afon Conwy, just below it's source. Aug 2008

May 14 2008, Canada geese nr the source of Afon Conwy

Canada geese near the source of Afon Conwy. May 2008.

North Wales has a great coastline, and the small island of Anglesey has great beaches along with wild, rocky cliffs.

The cliffs around Porth Dafarch. June 2008.

The cliffs around Porth Dafarch. June 2008.

The beach and dunes at Lligwy bay. May 2008.

The beach and dunes at Lligwy bay. May 2008.

The little sheltered beach at Porth Dafarch. June 2008.

The little sheltered beach at Porth Dafarch. June 2008.

The sweeping Celmyn bay. June 2009.

The sweeping Celmyn bay. June 2009.

And so back to the mainland.

The crags at the head of Cwm Eigiau rise to over 600m. June 2008

The crags at the head of Cwm Eigiau rise to over 600m. June 2008

Afon Lledr at Dolwyddelan.  May 2008.

Afon Lledr at Dolwyddelan. May 2008.

Snowdon range from below Moel Lechwedd-gwyn. May 2008

Snowdon range from below Moel Lechwedd-gwyn. May 2008

Bala steam railway runs alongside Llyn Tegid. July 2009

Bala steam railway runs alongside Llyn Tegid. July 2009

Llyn Tegid with Bala in the background. 2 Aug 09

Llyn Tegid with Bala in the background. 2 Aug 09

Speaking of Bala…….the national eisteddfod is being held there this week. I went to have a look round on Sunday and spent over 6 hours there. What a great day out it is. Here are a few images.

The pavilion (pafiliwn). Also known as the big pink tent. 2 Aug 09.

The pavilion (pafiliwn). Also known as the big pink tent. 2 Aug 09.

The big pink tent can be seen from all over the site. 2 Aug 09

The big pink tent can be seen from all over the site. 2 Aug 09

A bland playing on stage 1. 2 Aug 09

A band playing on stage 1. 2 Aug 09

A harp workshop getting under way on stage 2. 2 Aug 09

A harp workshop getting under way on stage 2. 2 Aug 09

Maes C is the centre of attraction for younger people. 2 Aug 09

Maes C is the centre of attraction for younger people. 2 Aug 09

The Bards circle (Cylch yr Orsedd) is used for some performances. 2 Aug 09.

The Bards circle (Cylch yr Orsedd) is used for some performances. 2 Aug 09.

The choir of Ysgol y Gader on stage 2. 2 Aug 09

The choir of Ysgol y Gader on stage 2. 2 Aug 09

The bar and food areas get pretty busy. 2 Aug 09

The bar and food areas get pretty busy. 2 Aug 09

A budding harpist attends a workshop. 2 Aug 09

A budding harpist attends a workshop. 2 Aug 09

Pupils of Ysgol y Gader on stage 2. 2 Aug 09

Pupils of Ysgol y Gader on stage 2. 2 Aug 09

A choir on stage in the pavilion. 2 Aug 09

A choir on stage in the pavilion. 2 Aug 09

This was just one of many choirs. They gave a great rendition of Wimoweh (The lion sleeps tonight), in Welsh of course.

Even if you don’t speak Welsh it’s worth visiting, it’s a great day out, particularly if you get good weather. More details can be found at:  http://www.eisteddfod.org.uk/english/

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Anytime is a good time to visit north Wales.

Last winter was the hardest for many years, but there were some magical views in the valleys and the mountains.

Autumn is full of wonderful colours.

Spring though, has to be my favourite time; as fresh green leaves start to appear on the trees and flowers start to bloom.

There is a limit to how much I can put into one post, but I hope it gives a taster of how wonderful springtime is around north Wales.

Betws y Coed is a favourite place of artists, walkers and climbers. There is a lovely walk along the river banks, and on the day these photos were taken the weather was wonderful.

Afon Conwy at Betws y Coed, 13 April 2009

Afon Conwy at Betws y Coed, 13 April 2009

Afon Conwy at Betws y Coed, 13 April 2009

Afon Conwy at Betws y Coed, 13 April 2009

I have already written a post on Llyn Crafnant, on 23 feb 2009, so I won’t go into more detail here. I will say though that Llyn Crafnant is wonderful at any time of the year. This was a lovely spring day with blossom on some of the bushes and trees just starting to come into leaf.

Spring at Llyn Crafnant, 18 April 2009

There is not much to say about this photo. Bluebells mean spring, and they were in profusion this year. The photo was taken near Trefriw in the Conwy valley on 30th. April 2009.

Bluebells in the Conwy valley, 30 Apr 2009

Nant y Coed is a lovely wooded valley near Llanfairfechan. It was once described as “the loveliest sylvan rock and river scenery in Wales”, and I certainly wouldn’t argue with that description.

Nant y Coed, 7 May 2009

Nant y Coed, 7 May 2009


Blue bells at Nant y Coed, 7 May 2009

Blue bells at Nant y Coed, 7 May 2009

A sun-dappled path, 7 May 2009

A sun-dappled path through Nant y Coed, 7 May 2009

The Isle of Anglesey is a great place to visit. South Stack, not far from Holyhead is a nature reserve. It’s a place to see Puffins, Razorbills and Guillemots as well as the Chough, which nests here.

Walking through the heathland and farmland along the cliff tops you hear the Skylark singing. Not a common sound these days. These photos were taken on 31st. May 2009.

South Stack, Anglesey, June 2009

Razorbills and Guillemots perch on narrow ledges, 31 May 2009

Razorbills and Guillemots perch on narrow ledges, 31 May 2009

Lots of spring colours, 12 May 2009

Lots of spring colours, 12 May 20

I did a post on Bodnant gardens on 14 May 2009, but with all the spring colours there I had to put a couple of photos here, just to tempt you.

Colours in The Dell, 12 May 2009

Colours in The Dell, 12 May 2009


Fairy Glen is just   outside of Betws y Coed and is well worth a visit.

A walk down into the gorge is a must, and then a walk back up, along the top and then gently down to walk along the Afon Conwy.

The black Zwartble sheep are on the farmland which leads to Fairy Glen.

Fairy Glen, Betws y Coed, 3 May 2009


Zwartbles sheep & lambs, 3 May 2009

Zwartbles sheep & lambs, 3 May 2009


Llandudno’s Victorian Extravaganza is held over 3 days of the May Bank Holiday.

It was a beautiful day on the Saturday this year (the Sunday too, but Monday was not as good) and I ended up getting sunburnt!

I did a post on the Extravaganza on 8 May 2009 so this is just a taster.

Fairground rides on the main shopping street, 2 May 2009

Fairground rides on the main shopping street, 2 May 2009

Canada goose with goslings, Conwy, 29 May 2009

Canada goose with goslings, Conwy, 29 May 2009

Birds are every where during spring. Lots of summer migrants have arrived and everywhere you go you can hear bird song.

Not all our birds are little brown jobs either, we have plenty of colourful ones too.

Stonechat near Aber falls, 28 May 2008

Stonechat near Aber falls, 28 May 2008

Chaffinch on Anglesey, 21 May 2008

Chaffinch on Anglesey, 21 May 2008

Greenfinch at Conwy, 29 May 2008

Greenfinch at Conwy, 29 May 2008

Oystercatcher chick at Conwy, 30 May 2008

Oystercatcher chick at Conwy, 30 May 2008

Oystercatcher with a chick, 28 May 2009

Oystercatcher with a chick, 28 May 2009

Aber falls, 29 May 2008

Aber falls, 29 May 2008

Visit the Aber falls, it’s a great day out.

Near the village of Abergwyngregyn, the falls are reached after a gentle walk through pastures and woodland. The valley is now a nature reserve.

It was here that I heard my first Cuckoo of the year, last year.

The fall’s longest single drop is about 115ft.

As it’s spring I thought I’d end with some spring flowers.

Gorse, April 2008

Gorse, April 2008

Wild Primroses on Anglesey, May 21 2008

Wild Primroses on Anglesey, May 21 2008

Bee on a flower, Conwy, 28 May 2008

Bee on a flower, Conwy, 28 May 2008

Common centaury at South Stack

Common centaury at South Stack

Birds foot trefoil, Conwy, 28 May 2008

Birds foot trefoil, Conwy, 28 May 2008

I could have found much more to put in here but that will have to do for now. Why not visit north Wales and do some exploring for yourself.

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Finally I’m adding a post of a day out I had in July, one of the very few nice days we’ve had since May. Anyway, for a change I decided to have a few hours in Conwy, which is only 3 miles from where I live. 

 

Conwy is a small town dominated by a magnificent castle, and enclosed within town walls.

The castle is one of the ring of castles built in north Wales by William 1, to keep the Welsh subdued. Work started in 1283 and it was completed, along with the town walls in 1287.

Originally the walls were rendered and were white. It must have been a wonderful but frightening sight in those days.

 

The town was laid out in a grid pattern within the walls, and retains the same pattern today. Much of the town is still within the walls. 

The picture on the left is the smallest house in Britain, which is on the quayside. It is 10ft 2ins high, 6ft wide and 8ft 4ins from back to front. Very few people cn stand upright in it’s rooms, but the last permanent occupant was a local fisherman who was over 6ft tall!

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

The picture on the right is Aberconwy House which dates from  the 14th century. It’s a rare example of a timbered stone built merchants house and it i said to be the oldest  dwelling in Conwy.

 

 St Mary’s Church is the only building which pre-dates the castle, well part of it does. It is built on the site of a Cistercian Abbey dating from 1185.

Part of one of the walls are said to be from the Abbey, which was moved further up the Conwy valley to Maenen when William chose this place to build his castle.

 

 

 

 


 

 

The statue of Llewelyn the Great is in Lancaster Square. Llewelyn was a great Welsh Prince and founded the Abbey in 1185.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 And so, on to the castle, which still dominates the town and the surrounding area.

 

This is the Kings tower, where William 1st had his personal chambers.

 

 

 

 

Also in the Kings tower is his personal chapel. It’s not very big, but then it was for the King and his personal retinue. He probably didn’t use it when others did, because above it is a little watching room. Here the King could sit and watch proceedings through a small window.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To the left, the slightly curving room is the Great Hall. It is 150ft long, and is curved rather than the usual rectangular shape because of the shape of the rock outcrop on which the castle is built.

The smaller room at this end of the Great Hall is the castle chapel.

 

 


 

 

 This is just a photo to show how thick the walls are. 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

From the castle you can look down onto the suspension bridge across Afon Conwy. The bridge was built by Thomas Telford in 1822 and was a toll bridge. It was in use until the new road bridge was opened in 1958.

The other bridge which can just be seen is the tubular Railway bridge which was built by Stephenson in 1849.

Two great structures which try to compliment the castle, and certainly don’t detract from it.

 

The town walls are 3/4 mile long and are still mostly intact except for a short stretch by the quayside. You 

 can take a very pleasant walk around the  walls.

 

 The original gates in the town walls are still  in use, and as you can see, they were not  constructed for modern traffic. It just adds  to the attractiveness of this World Heritage  Site. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 From the new road bridge is a great view  down the estuary. In the background is the  Great Orme, where Llandudno nestles beneath it.

 On the right is Deganwy, with it’s marina.  The strange shaped hill is the remains of an  ancient castle.

 And so it’s back home, and the wonderful  sunset behind the castle which I see from  the end of my street.

 


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It’s been a bloody awful summer, in fact summer was in May! Since then we have had only ocassional good days, and I believe August was the wettest on record. Well now we’re into September and we have just had 

36 hours of rain, a lot of it heavy. It rained all day yesterday, all night and was still raining this morning. I decided to go out and see what was happening, as there has been a great deal of flooding, mainly in mid and south Wales.

I started just a little further up the Conwy valley at Llanrwst, and set out to walk along the riverside footpath. Unfortunately after only a short distance the footpath vanished beneath the swollen Afon Conwy.

 

 

 

 

So, back to the car and cross the bridge, into the car park by the under-water cricket pitch, and start along the river bank again. The river hadn’t broken it’s banks but was extremely swollen.

Parts of this path were under water too, but not the river water, just because of the heavy rain. At least I could walk around this, and made my way back to the bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was still raining, and low cloud was covering the surrounding hills. The Afon Conwy was rushing through the old bridge. The photo on the left was taken in July, the one on the right was taken this morning.


I was getting very rather wet walking along the river bank, the ground was soggy and it was still raining quite hard, so it was back to the car and on to Betws-y-Coed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was here a few weeks ago and the river was quite full then, but this morning it was thundering under the Pont-y-Pair (bridge of the cauldron). It really was a cauldron today. The photo on the left was taken on 20th August, the one on the right this morning.

I decided to go a little further, driving on and through Capel Curig. The road was passable but there was a lot of water in places, a lot of it running onto the road from the hillside.

 

 

 I pulled off the road near Llyn Lockwood and took this photo of the torrent of water gushing down the hillside opposite.

 

As you can see in the photo, the rain was driving across the hillside, so it was back in the car and head back for home.

 

 

 

Before I got back to Capel Curig though, I couldn’t resist taking this photo of the cloud and rain blowing across Creigiau y Garth.

 

By now my feet were soaking and I was cold and wet, so it was back home for a nice hot cup of coffee. 

The rain actually stopped at about 2pm. It’s never really got light today though and it looks as though it could start raining again any time. Lets hope not, and lets hope that the people further south get no more rain and get the chance to dry out their homes and businesses.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/7600984.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7601281.stm

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