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Posts Tagged ‘streams’

Up in the hills, about 20 minutes from where I live are two lovely little lakes. I love going up there and wandering around them, usually just taking my time and strolling round one of them. For this walk I decided to take them both in, and, as usual this year the weather was very changeable.

 

My walk begins in the forestry car park at the top of a very narrow road which runs from the village of Trefriw. From here it’s a short walk up to the lake, this stream which runs from the lake rushing down the hill at the side of the track.

 

 

 

 After the short walk up the slope Llyn Crafnant comes into view. It’s a pretty little lake with a footpath through the woodland on the right hand side

The narrow runs along the left shore to a cafe a little further along. This is a favourite place for fishermen.

 

 

 

 The path runs through the mixed woodland, close to the lake. This is a little glade where I like to sit and listen to the silence, just the sound of the wind in the trees and the water lapping against the shore.

Today I was watching a Great crested grebe diving for small fish.

 

 

I get back onto the path and carry on, suddenly seeing a flash of pink as a Jay flies across the path in front of me.

At the moment the sun is out and with only a slight breeze it’s quite warm.

We’ve had lots of rain in the last couple of weeks though, and the streams tumbling out of the hills are all really full of water.

This wonderful waterfall is usually little more than a trickle in summer but it’s looking splendid now.

Now my path is downhill to the open country at the head of the lake. Then it’s up a path through woodland, a steep path up the side of the valley.

 

 

 

 As I start to climb I look back at the cwm surrounding the head of Llyn Crafnant.

A cwm is the three sided valley as you can see in this photo.

It’s a steep climb through coniferous woods, dark and with not much wildlife, and then down the other side through more dense woods.

 

Llyn Geirionydd comes into view. Another lovely little lake surrounded by conifer woods.

The walk is through the conifer plantation to the left, at times almost in the water. You have to be careful of the roots when it’s wet, they are very slippery.

As I climb a bluff I come across the remains of an old lead mine. There were lots of them in these hills, but this one has left a legacy……the lake has been poisoned, there are no fish in this lake.

 

 It’s now quite a short walk to the northern end of the lake, and here is an obelisk to commemorate Taliesin, a 6th century bard who has been linked to many legends. Most scholars believe he was of Irish descent, but he was known to have lived here by the lake.

He is thought to have attended King Maelgwyn Gwynedd, and told many tales of King Arthur who, legend has it, was his one-time master.

To commemorate him an Eisteddfod was organised here in 1863 and was held every year until 1912, attracting many distinguished entries.

Now it’s clouded over again, and it’s time to climb the valley side again before dropping down the other side close to the car park, some light rain falling as I get back there.  Another wonderful walk ended, I look forward to the next one.

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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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