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Posts Tagged ‘lakes’

Here are 5 more lakes to be found in north Wales. As I said in the first post, you won’t find anything as big as Loch Lomond, Loch Ness or Loch Awe here, but what you will find is stunning scenery, good walking and lots of history.

Llyn Brenig is in Denbighshire.

It’s a reservoir, built in the 1970’s to help regulate the water supply to the river Dee.

The lake covers the largest area of all the lakes, and it’s over 9 miles to walk around it.

Llyn Brenig, Aug 2008

Llyn Brenig, Aug 2008

There are lots of activities here, including fishing, mountain biking, walking and bird-watching.

There are archeological sites all around the lake, including burial mounds and ancient villages.

The world fly-fishing championship has been held here.

Llyn Brenig, Aug 2008

Llyn Brenig, Aug 2008

Llyn Alwen is on the Denbighshire moors, not far from Llyn Brenig.

This is another lake formed by a reservoir to send water to the Mesreyside area.

There is good walking and mountain biking around the lake, which is about 7 Km around.

Trail racing is popular here.

Llyn Alwen, July 2008

Llyn Alwen, July 2008

Llyn Celyn is in the valley of Afon Tryweryn, not far from Bala. It’s 2.5 miles long and up to a mile wide.

The lake was created in the early 1960’s when the village of Capel Celyn (one of the last villages in Wales where only Welsh was spoken), and surrounding farmland was submerged.

Llyn Celyn, May 2008

Llyn Celyn, May 2008

A great deal of ill-feeling was caused, and Nationalist feelings ran high. When building started equipment was sabotaged and buildings set fire to.

Parliament pushed through the legislation to allow it, very much against the wishes of the Welsh MP’s and the people of Wales.

Because of the ill-feeling caused, Liverpool Council issued an official apology in 2005. The apology acknowledged “the hurt of 40 years ago”, and “insensitivity by our predecessor council”.

Llyn Celyn, May 2008

Llyn Celyn, May 2008

Llyn Gwynant huddles in a deep valley formed by the action of glaciers, at the foot of the Snowdon range.

It is a lovely little lake surrounded by hills and mountains.

As the Watkins path up Mount Snowdon starts here it’s popular with walkers.

Llyn Gwynant, Sept 2008

Llyn Gwynant, Sept 2008

Llyn Elsi lies in the hills above Betws y Coed, and it’s a steep walk up from the village to get here. The lake covers 30 acres.

From here there are great views of the Carneddau and Glyderau mountain ranges.

Footpaths lead around the lake and off in other directions, Sarn Helen the Roman road is not far away.

Llyn Elsi, Aug 2008

Llyn Elsi, Aug 2008

There will be more lakes to follow in another post.

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The lakes of north Wales may not have the size or the fame of the Scottish lochs, but they have fantastic scenery, history and wildlife in abundance. Some are very small, some are reservoirs, but all have something to offer. This is the first of my posts on the lakes of north Wales.

LLYN CRAFNANT is found in a beautiful tranquil valley where the northern edge of the Gwydir forest meets the Carneddau range.

Distant view of Llyn Crafnant

Distant view of Llyn Crafnant


Llyn Crafnant

Llyn Crafnant

The lake is about a mile long and covers 63 acres. A walk around the lake is about 6 kms.

The name derives from the Welsh words for garlic “craf”, and “nant” a stream.

Many people regard Llyn Crafnant as one of the most beautiful spots in north Wales, and it’s easy to see why.

This is certainly one of my favourite places, at any time of the year.

Afon Crafnant flows from the lake and meets Afon Conwy at the village of Trefriw,

Reflections on Llyn Crafnant

Reflections on Llyn Crafnant

Waterfall at the head of Llyn Crafnant

Waterfall near the head of Llyn Crafnant.

Llyn Geirionydd

Llyn Geirionydd

LLYN GEIRIONYDD is a short, steep walk over the hill from Llyn Crafnant. It is almost a mile long and covers about 45 acres.

It is the only lake in Snowdonia designated to permit power boats and water skiing.

Llyn Geirionydd

Llyn Geirionydd

Llyn Geirionydd

Llyn Geirionydd

Afon Geirionydd, the outflow of the lake, flows down a steep gorge which is popular for gorge walking. It was also used to power a now disused woolen mill near Trefriw.

On a small hill overlooking the lake stands the Taliesin  monument.This commemorates the 6th century bard Taliesin, who was the chief bard in the court of at least  three kings.

Obelisk to commemorate the Bard Taliesin

Whilst there is fishing over the hill at Llyn Crafnant, there isn’t here.. Llyn Geirionydd has been poisoned by the lead mines which were found in the surrounding hills, there are no fish here.

Iron sulphate in the lake

Iron sulphate in the lake

Iron sulphate running into Llyn Geirionydd

Iron sulphate running into Llyn Geirionyd


LLYN EIGIAU was a small lake in the hills above Dolgarrog. In 1911 a dam was built, about a mile long and 35 feet high, to supply water for the power station in the village.

The first contractor resigned from the project because of what he said was cost cutting.

Llyn Eigiau

Llyn Eigiau

On 2nd November 1925, following over 20 inches of rain in 5 days, the dam broke.

The torrent of water and debris rushed down the hill and into the the Coedty reservoir, which was also breached.

Millions of gallons of water, and debris, tore down the hillside to the village below, causing the loss of 17 lives.

Llyn Eigiau

Llyn Eigiau

breached dam at Llyn Eigiau

breached dam at Llyn Eigiau

Llyn Eigiau is one of the few lakes in Wales to have it’s own, naturally occuring Brown Trout.

The water level of the lake is now about 14 feet lower than before the dam was breached.

The path of the deluge

The path of the deluge

The crag along Llyn Eigiau and part of the remains of the dam

The crag along Llyn Eigiau and part of the remains of the dam

Coedty reservoir

Coedty reservoir

LLYN LOCKWOOD at Penygwrd is named after the 1920’s hotelier who created it as a fish pond, and to give his visitors a view of a lake.

Llyn Lockwood

Llyn Lockwood

Llyn Lockwood and the Snowdon range

Llyn Lockwood and the view of the Snowdon range.

LLYNAU MYMBYR are two small lakes in the valley running from Capel Curig to Penygwryd.

There was originally one lake, not quite a mile long, but it has almost silted up across the centre, cutting the lake in two.

It is from here that many visitors get their first view of the famous Snowdon horseshoe.

Llynau Mymbyr, near Capel Curig

Llynau Mymbyr, near Capel Curig

Llynua Mymbyr and the Snowdon range

Llynua Mymbyr and the Snowdon range

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Having been ill all over the holiday period blogging has taken a back seat. Yesterday (7 Jan 2009) I just had to get out, and took off into the hills.

I don’t think the photos I took need any explanation or commentary, so I hope you enjoy them.

Betws y Coed in frost and ice coating.

Betws y Coed in frost and ice coating.

The Llugw valley looking beautiful in winter clothing.

The Llugwy valley looking beautiful in winter clothing.

Frost and ice make the beautiful Llugwy valley even more spectacular.

Frost and ice make the beautiful Llugwy valley even more spectacular.

A frosty scene on the banks of Afon Llugwy
A frosty scene on the banks of Afon Llugwy
The fast-flowing Afon Llugwy is frozen

The fast-flowing Afon Llugwy is frozen

Ice on Afon Llugwy

Ice on Afon Llugwy

Dolwyddelan and Moel Siabod

Dolwyddelan and Moel Siabod

A frosty scene at Dolwyddelan

A frosty scene at Dolwyddelan

The frozen Afon Lledr at Dolwyddelan

The frozen Afon Lledr at Dolwyddelan

The Snowdon range

The Snowdon range

Pen y Benglog

Pen y Benglog

Tryfan

Tryfan

Clogwyn y Tawr

Clogwyn y Tawr

Bochlwyd Buttress

Bochlwyd Buttress

Ice on the fast-flowing stream leaving Llyn Ogwen

Ice on the fast-flowing stream leaving Llyn Ogwen

Ice patterns on Llyn Ogwen

Ice patterns on Llyn Ogwen

A frozen Llyn Ogwen

A frozen Llyn Ogwen


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Well, summer is well and truly over now, the last few days have been very windy, wet and quite chilly, definitely Autumnal!

Not that summer has been brilliant. It started well in May, but since then it has been dull and quite wet. Very wet at times! 

So I thought now was a good time to post some photos which I haven’t used before, and show that north Wales is beautiful no matter what the weather.

 

 

April started off well, sunny but chilly. This is a view cross the Conwy valley to the northern Carneddau, taken from the hills above the village where I live.

 

 

 


 

 May was pleasant, though at times misty. This is a long  distance view of Snowdon.

 

 

 

 

 

 Spring, of course is when wildlife  comes to life. This chaffinch was  singing away on Anglesey.

 

 The lambs were beside Llyn Tenig, near  Bala

 

 

 

 During May I spent some time on the Island of Anglesey.  This is the lovely village of Moelfre, looking more like a  Cornish fishing village than a Welsh one.

 

 

 

 


 

The Aber falls are a wonderful sight. It’s a great walk up through woodland, with lots of birds singing as you walk.

The falls’ longest single drop is about 115ft. About 1/2 mile to the right is another fall, Rhaeadr Bach (the small waterfall), well worth the short extra walk.

 

 

 

  Llyn Geirionydd is in the hills above the village of Trefriw.  There is a picnic site and car park at one end, and it’s a  lovely walk around the lake.

 As you walk around the far side there are the remains of lead  mines which are scattered around these hills. The spoil from  the mines has poisoned this lake though, there are no fish in  here!

 At the far end is a monument to the Welsh bard Taliesin.

 

 

The Black headed gull was on the Conwy estuary.

 

 

 

The Chough was at South Stack on Angelesy.


 

 

 This is South Stack, with it’s lighthouse. In spring  the cliffs are alive with nesting Razorbills and  Guillemots and Puffins. It is also one of the few  places in the UK where Choughs breed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The marble church is at Bodelwyddan and is well worth a visit. 

It is actually the parish church of St Margaret. The steeple is 202ft high.

It gets it’s nickname because of the 13 kinds of marble used in the interior.

 

 

This was a July day up in the carneddau hills.

 

 

And this was another one! Somewhere in the cloud is Tal y Fan, the most northerly 2000 footer in Wales.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 When we do get sun, the sunsets behind Conwy  castle are wonderful. I managed to take these from  the village in July.


 

 

 

This was Snowdonia one day in August, more cloud rolling down the hills.

Pinnacle Crag is in the cloud somewhere.

 


 

 

 A few minutes after the last photo I was looking through a  windswept windscreen. Llyn Ogwen is just about visible.

 

 


 

 

Yet another rainy day in the hills. Low cloud with rain sweeping across the hills and water gushing down them.

Glyder Fach is somewhere up there in the cloud. This was in September.

 


 

 

 On the same day I stopped at Llanwrst. The river was very  swollen after about 36 hours of heavy rain. In some places  the footpath was under water.

 

 

 

 

 

A September day up in the hills near the Aber falls. 


 

 

 

 

 

 Wild ponies roam a lot of the western Carneddau.

 

 

 

 Low cloud covering the peak of Snowdon today (2nd  October). The peak to the right is Crib Goch, with Y  Lliwedd on the left.

 


 

 

Llyn Gwynant this morning, between heavy showers of rain and hail.

When I was out the temperature was 7 deg C, but the wind chill made it feel more like freezing.

 

 

 

 And to finish…..a picture of the village where I live. A  great little place, so handy for getting into the hills.  It has a great little pub, a shop and a post office. For  some reason there are two ladies hairdressers, not  sure what that says!

 

 North Wales is a wonderful place, no matter what the  weather. Well worth a visit for anyone who hasn’t  been yet.

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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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