The heatwave continues here in North Wales, as it does in most of the UK. We wanted to head somewhere for a cool relaxing day near some water. The coast and beaches were out of the question since they were rammed with people trying to cool off. We headed for the dramatic waterfalls in the rain forest at Ceunant Llennyrch above Maentwrog, thinking this might be a quiet cool spot. How wrong we were - the car park and lay-bys were jammed with cars, and we saw a long crocodile of people carrying picnic hampers, folding chairs etc, accompanied by children and yapping dogs heading up the path, so we moved on. We ended up at Cwm Bychan in the Rhinogs - a lovely spot by the lake just below the Roman Steps path. They were a few happy campers there, but it all seemed very pleasant and tranquil compared to the rest of Snowdonia at the moment.
It was too hot to climb a mountain, but we decided to head for the isolated lake of Gloyw Lyn, below the summit of Rhinog Fawr. It was about a 2 km walk from Cwm Bychan car park to the lake, over some slightly rocky paths, but once there, the setting is magical and we had the place to ourselves. We even managed a quick cooling dip in the lake before tucking into our picnic. The Rhinogs looked magnificent in the baking sunshine - a lovely day out.
Back in Rhyd this week, just as the heatwave kicks in. However, in contrast to the coast, there were no staycation crowds in the Moelwyns behind the cottage when we ventured out today. It was hot work climbing Moelwyn Bach, but we took lots of fluids and stopped to cool off our feet in a mountain stream on the way. We did not see a soul all day in the mountains, with stunning views all round.
Great walking weather here in Wales today. We went to the Northern Rhinogs and walked up to the summit of Clip (600 metres) from the farm near Cefn Clawdd. One of the best viewpoints in Snowdonia, yet rarely visited - we only saw two other walkers all day.
Back in Rhyd this week, and the forecast for today was not bad, so the mountains beckoned. We went to take a look at the Arans, a dramatic ridge of peaks that stretch to the south-west of Bala and its lake (Tegid). We climbed Aran Benllyn (885 metres) following a circular route from Llanuwchllyn, via a single track lane to Talardd, then climbing up onto the Aran ridge past the lovely location of Llyn Lliwbran, then turned left for the tough final climb to the summit. The sunshine was a bit hazy this afternoon, so the pictures do not really do the vistas justice - they are spectacular. A great mountain day out, rounded off with a drink and meal in Bala.
It is good to be back in Snowdonia after all the lockdowns. The weather has been great this week, so today we took a break from maintenance jobs at the cottage to go for a quick jaunt into the Moelwyn hills behind the cottage.
This afternoon we paid our first ever visit to the lovely secluded valley of Cwmystradllyn in the western part of the northern Snowdonia mountains. The valley is reached via a minor road from the Porthmadog-Caernarvon A487 road, just after the village of Penmorfa. Parking near the dam of the lake (reservoir) Llyn Cwmystradllyn, we decided to take a stroll around the lake, but with the benefit of hindsight, we would not recommend this, as the path is very wet, boggy and difficult to follow. However, the setting is lovely, with Moel Hebog and Moel Ddu peaks above the lake, and accessible using the old level that runs up to the large disused quarry at the head of the Cwm. At the end of our walk, we enjoyed a nice cup of tea and cake at the tea rooms (currently operating out of a caravan) at the house of Tyddyn Mawr near the lake dam, a very welcome end to our afternoon.
Better weather today with no rain (initially), lighter winds and occasional sunny spells. We headed south to the impressive Cadair Idris range, to climb one of the westerly satellite summits of Cadair Idris, Tyrrau Mawr (661 metres). Parking at the lovely Cregennen Lakes, the route initially heads west climbing high above the Mawddach estuary, with great views across to Barmouth, and out across Cardigan Bay.
After passing a couple of conifer plantations, we headed east up onto, and along the western end of the Cadair Idris range, crossing the summit of Craig-y-llyn and along to Tyrrau Mawr. There are great views of the major peak of Cadair Idris (Pen y Gadair) and across the Mawddach to the mountains to the north (Rhinogs). The visibility became a bit hazy in the afternoon, so the photos do not do the scenery justice.
From the summit of Tyrrau Mawr, we dropped down to join the Pony Path route descending from Cadair Idris summit, to take us back to the lane leading back towards Cregennen. At this point, the weather closed in and we got a good soaking on the long trudge back along the lane to the car. However, the damp end to the day did not spoil our overall enjoyment of this route over the rarely visited western end of the Cadair Idris range - we only saw two other walkers on this part of the route (although we saw several people descending on the Pony Path).
We are in Rhyd this week. The weather is a bit wet and windy, but seems to be slowly improving. Yesterday, we had a nice walk from Rhyd Ddu up into the Beddgelert forest. Today, we drove to Trefor and walked part of the Wales coast path towards Nefyn, going over the bwlch below Yr Eifl (564 metres), the highest point on the Llyn Peninsula. The going was heavy along the coast path, with strong westerly winds, and frequent squally showers, but between the showers, we enjoyed some great views along the Llyn and back towards Snowdonia.
We passed some wild goats on our walk. We headed back to Trefor after crossing Bwlch Yr Eifl, and considered clambering to the summit of Yr Eifl, but the strong winds and cloud-covered summit put us off. Of course, as we started our descent to Trefor, the clouds parted, the sun came out, and the summit of Yr Eifl was bathed in sunshine. Oh well, we'll have to come back on another day.
Grosmont-Robin Hood's Bay. 15.5 miles, 7 hours. Into the home straight - quite a long day's walking and the feet were really starting to suffer. The day starts with quite a long stiff climb out of Grosmont on country lanes up onto Sleights Moor.
After crossing the busy A169 road, the route drops down to the delightful hamlet of Littlebeck, where we paused by the ford for some refreshments. Whitby Abbey becomes visible in the distance on this stretch, and keeps re-appearing at intervals during the day.
After leaving Littlebeck, the route passes through delightful woodland, towards the spectacular waterfall of Falling Foss. On the way, you pass a carved out rock, apparently created in 1754 for a local schoolmaster, referred to as The Hermitage.
Falling Foss waterfall is a short distance further on, slightly spoiled in our view by a large tea room built on the viewing platform and throngs of day visitors and yapping dogs on the day we visited.
However, a short distance further on we found a nice quiet spot by the stream to enjoy our lunch.
After leaving the woods, the path climbs on a lane and across Sneaton Moor, the last piece of moorland that is crossed on the route. Dropping down off the moor, you get the final view of Whitby Abbey before heading towards the North Sea and the end of the C2C.
The path then passes through the village of Hawsker, which is fairly unremarkable, but does show one of the first road signs pointing to our destination. The distance on the C2C route is slightly more than the road distance, but at least the sign gives encouragement that the end is close.
After leaving Hawsker, we passed through a couple of caravan sites, but at long last the North Sea comes into view directly in front of you, and we re-join our old friend, the Cleveland Way for the final stretch into Robin Hood's bay.
Our feet were really aching now, so we found the final 2-3 mile clifftop walk into Robin Hood's Bay quite tough, even though it was lovely to see the sea.
Robin Hood's Bay remains intriguingly out of view until you are less than half a mile from the end of the walk, but it eventually appears as you round the final curve on the clifftop path.
We staggered (almost literally) into town, dropped our rucksacks at our B&B (Raven House) and rewarded ourselves with fish and chips at the Fish Box, with nice sea views.
We then made the final walk down the steep hill to the finish line outside the Bay Hotel by the dock, with the obligatory photo/selfie by the wall plaque:
So, we had done it - it had only taken us 4 years, but it was very enjoyable in spite of the sore feet. We were blessed with pretty good weather on our trip, with only one total washout day on the Bampton-Orton section in the middle. We would quite like to go back and do the final clifftop walk into Robin Hood's Bay one day, when our feet are not hurting so much, so we can really enjoy this wonderful final section of the walk.
Blakey Ridge-Grosmont. 13.5 miles, 6 hours. We left the Lion Inn in perfect walking weather - clear, crisp sunshine with a cool gentle breeze. The first couple of miles are on roads, walking around the top of Rosedale, but with glorious views of the moors.
There are a few road-side crosses and stones on this part of the route, including a stout white-topped stone by the side of the Rosedale road, known as Fat Betty. Wayfarers traditionally left coins, food or drink on the monument in thanks for safe travel, and to aid other travellers, a tradition which still continues to this day.
The route leaves the road on Danby High Moor, passing the isolated Trough House before skirting the edge of the wonderfully-named Greatfryup Dale.
The route continues across Glaisedale moor, then starts to descend towards Glaisedale along the top of Glaisedale Rigg. The village of Glaisedale is a convenient lunch stop, with a well-stocked village store.
The route then follows the Esk Valley, passing through the charming village of Egton Bridge (which we appear to have no photos of, for some reason) and on to our destination for the day, Grosmont.
Grosmont is a lovely location being the northern terminus of the North York Moors Steam Railway, which now also runs steam trains on the National Network through to Whitby. Grosmont boasts various cafes and speciality shops, and the Station Tavern provides good food and drink. We stayed for the night at Grosmont House B&B, a very comfortable guest house with views of the steam trains on the NYMR from our bedroom window.
Peter and Lorraine, owners of Ty Uchaf since 2011. We will post occasionally items that may be of interest to our guests, past, present and future !