Posts Tagged ‘carneddau’


It was a bright, dry morning this morning, but windy. Anyway, as we’ve had so few dry days recently I decided it was time to get out, and so I headed up into the hills.







From Cefn Cyfarwydd I had a great view down to Llyn Crafnant nestled in the hills of the Carneddau. It’s a wonderful view so it’s a shame the weather is so poor again.

By the time I’d got up here the cloud kept rolling down the hills and the rain kept coming too. So I headed down to Llyn Crafnant, hoping to find Blackberries.








Well I found Blackberries, but they weren’t black! Unfortunately I doubt if they will ripen now, and it just goes to show what a horrible, dull, wet summer we’ve had.


I looked for Rowan berries too, but they just aren’t there! These trees should be full of berries now, Rowan trees look scarlet at this time of year because they are so full of berries. These two had just a few small ones.

It’s going to be a hard winter for wildlife and foragers.











This photo is here just because I liked the bright red standing out in a drab, dying hedgerow.

I’m not sure what this fungus is called, but I was always told to leave bright red ones alone, so I did!


It wasn’t the most pleasant day to be out. The wind was stronger than ever up in the hills and the rain was coming and going all the time, so after about three hours I decided it was time to head home, empty handed!




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Yesterday was a housework day! Washing, hoovering, dusting and all the usual stuff. This is the most dusty house I’ve ever known! Dust, cobwebs and spiders webs seem to appear in minutes. Anyway, for now it’s reasonably clean.

I woke up in the middle of the night bathed in moonlight. Although the moon is waning it was really bright, and the stars were also bright. it seems so long since we had a clear night and I had to get up and look out of the window for a while.

Before I forget, you must see these wonderful cloud formations. I’ve never seen anything like these.      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7574684.stm          


This walk started in the Nant y Coed valley, near the coast and only about 10 miles from home. When I left home at about 10am it was quite a pleasant morning, but as I arrived in the valley the mist was swirling in from the sea.


As I walked up the valley through the woodland, I could hardly see. The hill to my left rises to about 1000ft but it was only just visible through the mist.





As I got higher and looked across the valley the mist was swirling around.

I sat here and had a drink and heard a Buzzard “meowing” above me somewhere. I couldn’t see it but it was a haunting sound in the quiet and mist.




As I climbed the Fridd it seemed as though I wasn’t going to see much, the mist was still swirling around.

The Fridd is what I would normally call moorland, but around here Fridd means “above the fields”.



Amazingly though, as I climbed higher the sun began to burn off the mist and I could see the Carneddau hills. The Carneddau range has more peaks over 3000ft than any other range in Wales, as well as some of the best ridge walking.


And now the sun came out and I was up in the hills with some wonderful views.




I love being up here, it’s great scenery and it’s peaceful. My only company was the occasional Stonechat but then i saw a Buzzard, just gliding above me on the thermals. I had seen one a few days ago, soaring up from woodland on the thermals, and suddenly 2 Crows came up from the woods and started to chase it. Buzzards can be quite playful, and having Crows chase them is a game, but when they tire of it they will just turn on their back and show the Crows their talons…..game over!


I carried on climbing over the rough Fridd, now there is just Heather, Cotton grass and Gorse bushes and the path is quite rough. Away to my right an old Roman road runs towards the coast, but over over a stile and another few hundred yards takes me to todays destination.


This is Bwlch y Ddeufaen – the pass of the two stones. The pass is about 1200ft above sea level and the two standing stones which are on either side of the path date from around 2000BC.

There are a number of smaller stones in the area too, and not far away is a stone circle (which I have visited in another post).




The air up here is clean and crisp, and lichens thrive in it. This is the lichen on one of the standing stones.


The scenery up here in the Carneddau is breathtaking, and the hills are popular with walkers and climbers. The weather though can change rapidly and you always need warm clothing and waterproofs, just in case!

I made my way back down the Fridd to the Nant y Coed valley. Now the solitary wind-blown tree on the hill top, which I could barely see on the way up, stood out clearly against the blue sky.

Another wonderful day up in the hills. Its worth going whatever the weather, as long as you take care.

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Thursday 14th August 2008, and it was a bright but breezy day. My walk today was going to be along the lower slopes of the Carneddau, to look at some of the ancient sites.

I started at the Stychnant Pass, outside of Conwy, and from there climbed up and around Craigfenwend.

As I climbed I turned to look back at the imposing castle down below.

Conwy castle is one of the most imposing of Edward 1st’s ring of castles. It would have been even more imposing when the walls were rendered and white.

All though it was hazy it was still a wonderful view. The town in the background is Llandudno Junction. The Irish sea can just be seen between the two hills.

I walked around the sides of Maen Esgob and Waen Gyrach, two of the lower slopes (rising to about 1000ft), and then down into a valley.

This is where the Afon Gyrach tumbles down the hillside from it’s source up in the hills.




Up the other side of the valley and then around the slopes of Cefn Coch and I came to the ancient stone circle known as the Druids circle.

As it dates from around 1400BC it actually pre-dates the Druids so I’m not sure how it got the name.

Only about 30 stones remain now, but it must have been impressive. It’s about 80ft in diameter. In the centre was a cavity which was covered with a capstone. This contained the cremated remains of an infant, in a large urn.

The hill in the background is the impressive, craggy ridge of Tal y Fan, the most northerly 2000 footer in Wales.

Some of the remaining stones are still very impressive, and you do wonder how they were erected in this wild place. There are the remains of many ancient sites in this area, such as the burial cairn and smaller stone circle below. The ponies are wild and roam the hillsides in this area.



As I carried on walking I came to Clip yr Orsedd with a view down to Lavan sands across the Menai strait and across to the Isle of Anglesey. It’s a wonderful view so it’s a shame it was so hazy.



There are wonderful views in all directions from up here.

As I looked away from Anglesey and to my left I could see some of the lower Carneddau rising up from the narrow coastal plain.

As I started to retrace my steps I got yet another sea view. This is the Great Orme rising straight up to about 600 ft out of the sea, with the Victorian resort of Llandudno beneath it.





Instead of returning exactly the same way I skirted Waen Gyrach and then dropped down a steep wooded valley and into Fairy Glen, near the small village of Capelulo. It’s a magical place with heavy woodland and the small river rushing through it.


This had been one of the few dry days we’ve had recently, so it was good to get out and see some of the wonderful sights and sites that this area has to offer.

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