Travels / Wales

Snowdonia

After our week at Word Alive, Andre and I caught a train from Prestatyn down to Betws-y-Coed (betus-ee-coyd) in northern Snowdonia. Betws-y-Coed considers itself the activity hub for northern Snowdonia, which was handy for us as we didn’t have a car. We spent most of the weekend doing walks in the local area, as there were many paths which started at Betws itself.

Our first day we took a short walk up the hill behind our B&B. It was meant to be the easiest gradient available, except Andre took us on the scenic route which made it considerably steeper, muddier and wetter! At the top was a lake with views across the hills, and we made the walk back down via the road which we were probably meant to walk up in the first place.

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We stayed at the Garth Dderwen B&B which was very handy to the centre of Betws – everything was within walking distance. The room was comfortable, clean and nicely furnished, and I was especially impressed that they had provided hot chocolate sachets with the tea and coffee! They provided an excellent breakfast and the hostess even offered to do laundry for us when she noticed we’d hung up some wet things in the bathroom to dry – not a service they normally offer, but very helpful because there are no laundromats in Betws-y-Coed! (There is a village further up the valley where you can do laundry, but that was inconvenient for us without a car).

On the next day we took a walk up the opposite side of the valley to see a neolithic burial chamber. We decided to combine two walks together in order to also visit the ‘Fairy Glen’ (just a creek with some rapids running through a ravine). It ended up being much longer than we anticipated, but once we had done all the uphill bit at the beginning we quite enjoyed it.

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At our highest point we stopped to eat the lunch we had bought from the store that morning, looking over the valley to the mountains in the distance – unfortunately Mt Snowdon itself was obscured from view by another mountain.

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View over northern Snowdonia

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Neolithic burial chamber

After we found the neolithic burial chamber, we started back down the hillside – going through a lot of muddy ground torn up by cattle’s hooves – until we got back down the road and followed it along to the path which heads down to the Fairy Glen. Unfortunately many of the trees did not have their leaves back yet so it was not as pretty as the pictures online suggest, but it was nice to sit by a more ‘wild’ creek which reminded us a bit of home.

That night we found a pub in the village with the best food we had while in Betws-y-Coed, at the Pont Y Pair hotel. There was a bit of a wait for the food but it was definitely worth it! Sausages with mash and sticky toffee pudding never tasted so good. On the off chance we ever end up back at Betws we will be eating there again!

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Pont Y Pair Hotel

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3 thoughts on “Snowdonia

  1. Snowdonia is on my bucketlist of places I want to go. Have been told that it is lovely, but that it’s something to do in the summer. Sounds like you had a fun and adventurous time.

    • Honestly, it would not rank on a bucket list for me – we went mostly because it had been recommended, and we were already in the area. Perhaps this is because we didn’t see it at its best – a lot of trees were still bare. Even so, I have found a lot of English and Welsh national parks and ‘areas of outstanding natural beauty’ pale in comparison to other places I have seen in Europe and Australia. It’s pretty, but not spectacular. If you are a serious mountain hiker I can see that Mt Snowdon would be an attractive draw-card.

      • UK’s nature is nothing to other places I’ve been either, but it’s got it’s own charm. It’s not really exotic, colourful, or grand, but it’s still got some beauty. Just of the more simple type I guess. I loved exploring Cornwall, when I lived there.
        Mt. Snowdon is just one of those places I want to go, both for the hike and the nature. It has some appeal as a biologist too 🙂

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