Mount Snowdon – Highest in Wales

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Snowdon Mountain.

Snowdon Mountain.

Earlier this month, myself and Ash finished our long awaited hike to Snowdon Mountain. We have visited wales a number of times, but because of the famous welsh weather we could never hike this peak. But finally we got such a weekend with a bright beautiful sunny day to hike the summit.

Snowdon is the highest mountain in the Wales, at an elevation of 1,085 metres (3,560 ft) above sea level. It is located in the very famous Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd. It is beautiful from every corner of North Wales.

There are number of paths to start your Snowdon hike to summit from easy grade to hardest one.

1.Watkin Path 2. Llanberis Path 3. Pyg Track 4. Miner’s track 5. Snowdon Ranger 6. Crib Goch

We took a combination of two routes to see different types of world around Snowdon, and I am very much glad that we opted for that( You will see in the pictures, why am I saying so) We went up by Pyg track and came down via Miner’s track. Both of the path starts at the same point at Pen-y-pass car park. If you are planning to drive there, I will suggest you to reach early as on a good day you will not get a parking space. If you do not get a parking here, your next parking point is 3miles down towards Llanberis, so either you come back via a Sherpa bus or walk (Pheww!!!)

Pyg Track-  It is not known how the Pyg Track got its name – it could be as it passes over the Pigs’s Pass (Bwlch y Mocl), because it is close to the Pen y Gwryd Hotel, or because pyg, in welsh, also means pitch, and part of the surface of the path looks like black pitch.  Whatever the origin, this path starts 1,170 feet above sea level which gives you a helpful start on the way. This walk is rugged, and very challenging, but the scenery is absolutely stunning.

View from Pyg Track

View from Pyg Track

Miner’s Track – The track was built during the 1800’s to serve Britannia Copper Mines which were abandoned in 1917.  Mine Manager Arthur Lockwood drove his car to Llyn Glaslyn, and the track to this point at the lake still resembles a road so is a good walking surface.  The track does get considerably steeper towards the summit.

At the foothills on Miners Track

At the foothills on Miners Track

Do not worry if not in the mood of walk, during the summer months you can reach the summit via Snowdon Mountain Railway.

Whatever path you choose believe me you will never fall short of mesmerizing views around you. Here are some pictures of the day, as always feel free to get in touch if you need help in planning a similar trip.

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Done & Dusted -We did need a celebration 🙂

 

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St. Davids, Wales

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St. David’s is a small city located in the Pembrokshire region of Wales. It is actually a beautiful village with some picturesque settings all around it. It has been given the status of city by Queen Elizabeth II because of the presence of Cathedral St David in the village.

You will start falling in love with the views of the city as you start approaching towards it, with vast ocean views on the one side and another side of the road is the landscape of vegetation. St. Davids is a vibrant place full of tourists and locals all around it. A lot of local shops, cafes, restaurants so you will never fall short of options.

This small city is house to cathedrals, majestic cliffs & hidden coves as well as exotic coastline.

Are you a water sports freak? This is the place for you. Go for Kayaking, Snorkelling, Cayoning, swimming, speed boating etc. St. Davids have many companies that organizes a lot of cruises or boat tours to nearby island.

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We went for lunch to a nice cozy resturant The Grove on the high street. Amazing atmosphere and superb food. Though when we visited it was over crowded with tourists and a lot of waiting time. But food was worth a wait 🙂 Check out the link here – http://www.grovestdavids.co.uk/

Me & Ash :)

Me & Ash 🙂

Tenby- Little Town of Fishes

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I am in love with this little Island called United Kingdom, and Wales is undoubtedly one of many beautiful part of British Island. Wales is still very much unexplored, and unspoilt and I guess that is what keep its beauty entact.

I visited Tenby on a recent holiday in Pembrokshire, a tiny, cozy beautiful coastal town. Tenby means Little town of fishes (no wonder- the whole town is surrounded by coastline). It is is a walled seaside town in Wales, on the western side of Carmarthen Bay, surrounded by Medieval stone.

When we reached Tenby, the famous British weather was at its Peak, I am referring to Rains over here 🙂 But thankfully we had a couple of good hours without the rain allowing us to explore the beauty of Tenby.

Tenby’s hilltop position led to its early settlement as a Welsh stronghold, which was replaced in medieval times by a Norman Castle and walled town. Part of the town walls survive to this day and are an attractive feature at the entrance to the old town.

The moment you start walking in the town centre you can feel the medieval era around you, broken walls, places converted to pubs or shops, the aura is different around you.

We visited a local pub in town centre called The Three Mariners, nice collection of beer and food. We played a game of pool, surprisingly I played well :):)

We wanted to visit the ruins of the wall, but unfortunately weather did not permit us and it started raining heavily and we had an infant with us. So enrouted back to car.

There are several beautiful islands near to tenby, like Caldey Island and St.Catherines Island. There are several boat tours that starts from Tenby harbour to Caldey Island, which is a home to Monastery. May be in next visit, we will explore that island.

Few pictures from the trip

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Beddgelert Village

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Here is another one from my Wales series, an another quaint and poised village, famous for it’s stories or myths, it’s mystical beauty – Beddgelert, the english meaning- Grave of the Gelert.

There are a number of stories associated with it’s name, some people believe that those stories are fictional and have been created just to lure tourist to this place, on the other hand some people believe it’s true. For me I guess it’s the stories and the google images of the villages that caught my attention and lured me to this another beautiful landscape of snowdon mountain ranges.

I will not forget to mention those stories for my readers here, so one of it goes like this- once upton a time Prince Llewelyn ap lorwerth sets out for a hunting trip, leaving son in charge of his dog Gelert. On his return he sees do with blodded paws, child no where to be seen. In rage he killed his dog, but later hear a baby voice crying inside the jungle. He finds out the baby alive with a dead wolve next to it. So dog had actually saved his kid and performed his duties as expected. Another story states that the village got its name from a great saint.

If you are planning to visit this little beautiful village, other than a village stroll do make sure you keep time in your itinerary for a round walk of the village through Afon Glaslyn (river Glaslyn), onto the mountains and valleys, crossing industrial area and brings you back to the village. It is a moderate walk with mostly even or flat walking area. Its 8miles walk and I feel a must do 🙂

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Llanberis- Gateway to Snowdon

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As promised, this post is another village from Wales trip last month. A small tiny village named Llanberis, that lies in the foothills of Snowdon, highest mountain in the Wales. A beautiful, mystical village that have lots to offer when it comes to providing Adrenaline rush to all adventure junkies.

Along with it’s natural beauty, it is also a popular centre for outdoor activities like Mountaineering, rock climbing, mountain biking, walking, scuba diving, pony trekking etc. It draws thousands and thousands of visitors each year to trek one of it’s famous peak- Snowdon. I planned to do it in this trip, but I was unlucky in terms of weather, it was raining and it was misty. I was not ready to take that risk and climb upto a mountain, never a favourable condition.

So in this trip, I walked around the village, did a lake walk. That was beautiful, believe me. Pictures will do the justice.

While in Llanberis, you can visit Llanberis Lake Railway ( it will take you around the lake with some mystical views of the valleys and the mountains), Snowdon Mountain Railway ( Never mind if you cant climb up the Snowdon, there is a train running in summer which takes you upto the Summit), National Slate Museum ( An insight into what is life underground, worth a visit), Dolbadarn Castle. Walk around the village and sit in a cafe, sip over the coffee and enjoy your visit.

If you love local wines/ales/alcoholic fruit punch- a must visit to Snowdon Honey Farm and Winery. I ended up buying three bottles for ourselves. The Gentleman at the counter is helpful and recommend you the best tastes.For details, check this out – http://www.snowdonhoneyfarmandwinery.co.uk/  Do visit this Pete’s Eat Cafe for quick snacks, nescafe coffee was superb- http://www.petes-eats.co.uk/

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A must visit Cafe- Popular among trekkers

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Betws-Y-Coed- Postcard Village

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View from Miner's Bridge

View from Miner’s Bridge

Last weekend was an anniversary weekend, our 3rd wedding anniversary. So it definitely called for a weekend celebration. As we all know winter is upon us, me & ash wanted to enjoy one more trip to mountains for some hill walks, waterfall walks, village walks, lake walks. Believe me North Wales is paradise for it.

For few of next posts, I will be writing about each day visit to different villages 🙂

1st day in Betws-Y-Coed (Gosh I still do not know Welsh pronunciation), it’s meaning in english is “Prayer House in the Woods”. This exquisite picture card village is as beautiful as it name’s describes it. This village lies in the magnetic Snowdon National Park, a gateway to heaven for outdoor sports lover.

This village is part of Gydwr Forest which offers a number of walks for all the abilities. The very famous Swallow Falls is in bet-y-coed, which is a popular attraction for movie makers, picnics etc. As it attracts a lot of tourists, you will see a lot of local shops offering local wooden craft cravings, local beers, local handmade chocolates (yums) and beautiful cottages.

I lived in the outskirts of bet-y-coed, in a cabin in the woods at Llanwrst. It was a re-treat for us.

While in betws-y-coed, you have to just stand at the Miner’s bridge and admire the river flow, greenery around and simple village people living their livelihood, people walking around. Believe me even if there are people around you, it just offers a peace to you or may be I was in my tranquil moments 🙂 Also do visit St.Michael Church, from where the word “Prayers in the woods” originated.

Sharing some pictures of the day, hope you will love it as much as I did.

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Cabin- We stayed In

 

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Weekend in Brecon Beacon

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Brecon Beacons in Wales is one of many paradise for outdoors adventure seekers. This famous national park offers hill walking, hill climbing, gorge walking, caving, horse riding, mountain biking and so many other activities.

We visited Brecon Beacons for a camping and relaxing holiday, no hikes, no climbing but just little walks around the Beacon village.

Wales has so much to offer when it comes to natural beauty and serenity. There are numerous mountain ranges to get that dose of adrenaline rush into your body, camping sites to sit back into rustic nature and taste the fruit of beauty around, poised and elegant waterfalls. Brecon Beacon is a mountain range in south of wales, name refers to the range of Old Red Standstone peaks. The Brecon Beacons are said to be named after the ancient practice of lighting signal fires (beacons) on mountains to warn of attacks by invaders.

Some recommendation if you would like to visit.

Where to Stay- The Brecon Beacons National Park covers 519 square miles and encompassing four main regions – the Black Mountain in the west, Fforest Fawr(Great Forest) and the Brecon Beacons in the centre, and the confusingly name Black Mountain in the east. There a lot of hotels, hostels, campsites, b&b in this area. For our visit we stayed in camping site at Brecon- Bishops Meadow Camping & Caravan Park (http://www.bishops-meadow.co.uk/). A very popular site with good tent pitched and beautiful view of mountains with clean basic facilities like bathrooms,toilets. They also have a outdoor swimming pool open for summer season. very affordable- 15 pp/night. I loved another camping site but unfortunately it was fully booked – Priory Mill Farm(http://www.priorymillfarm.co.uk/).

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What to do?-  There a lots of walk for each ability in Wales,  but on this occasion we choose to keep it light and relax more.

Grove Walk – We went for small walks near to the Brecon village that is called Groove walk (4kms return). You can start this walk right from the camping site, initial bit of the walk in through road but then soon it turns into a wood and canal walk, leads you to a an old cathederal and then to brecon village centre. Take some rest, drink some local beer or some nibbles will do too. I loved this beautiful short walk with a lot of greenery around, the soil smell and blooming flowers.

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4 Waterfall Walks – It is a very famous 3.8 miles walk near Ystadfellte and can start this walk from Gwaun Hepste or Cwm Porth car park. Highlights of this walk are a cave, 4 waterfalls, riverside walk, woodlands walk 🙂 It is an easy and doable walk of 4 hours in total, only advice on safety will be during rainfalls path can get muddy and slippery so do take care while near to the waterfalls.

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I will be visiting north part of Wales soon to hike Snowdon Mountain. Yey!! I am just waiting for my knee to recover from a sprain I got in my last hiking trip. As soon as I am fit, I will be on the mountain once again.