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Posts Tagged ‘betws-y-coed’

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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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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Today I was starting in Betws-y-Coed (pronounced “bet us i co ed”). This lovely village is a popular with tourists to Snowdonia, the name means Prayer house (Betws) in the woods (y Coed).

My walk started behind St Marys church, a forestry track leading up the steep wooded hillside.

A stream tumbled down the hillside by the track until I came to a little wooden bridge and started up a narrow steep path.

 

This path wound up the hillside through the lush, dense woodland. The higher I climbed the more the path became like a stream. It’s quite a climb, going up to about 700ft above sea level.

 

 

 

 

Once at the top of the climb the small lake called Llyn Elsi comes into view. Nestled in amongst woodland with little islands it’s a picturesque, but little known lake.

The photo is taken from the small monument erected to commemorate the Town Council being allowed to take water from the lake in 1914.

My walk took me around the near side of the lake through the lovely woodland, arounf the northern end and then up through the mainly conifer woods on the far side.

As I came to the top of the hill at the far side I should have had good views of the mountains of Snowdonia and the wooded Llugwy valley, but the cloud was too low today.

 

I eventually came to a gate at the side of the forestry track I was on and turned off down this path.

It may look like just another path but this is Sarn Helen, a Roman road. Originally this roadway was about 160 miles long, running from Aberconwy to Carmarthen.

 

It’s a lovely walk down here through the Oak, Beech and Sycamore woods.

 

 

 

This stream runs alongside the path, but today there were parts of the path that were like a stream too.

 

 

 

 

 

The Roman road eventually led me to the main A5 road running between Betws-y-Coed and Capel Curig. I crossed the road and dropped down to Afon Llugwy and the miners bridge.

The bridge is more of a steep staircase across the river and was built in the 18th century for the miners in the local lead mines.

 

Although it’s August the river is swollen with all the rain we’ve had, and it was roaring through the narrow gorge under the miners bridge.

 

Now I crossed the bridge and took a path alongside the river and back towards Betws-y-Coed.

 

 

As I got back to Betws-y-Coed I came to Pont-y-Pair. The bridge was built in 1468 and the name means “Bridge of the cauldron”.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s easy to see why it got the name as Afon Llugwy boils underneath it.

But now it was time to return home.

It was a wonderful walk in woodlands and with lots of streams, rivers and a lovely lake. The only problem today was that most of the paths were like streams or deep in mud. Those that weren’t were wet and slippery.

If anyone were thinking of doing this walk I would definitely suggest they wait until we’ve had a dry spell. I had to spend a lot of time looking down rather than at the scenery.

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