Reconnoitring Wales’ Celtic rainforest: a walk in the woods of Coed Felenrhyd and Coed Llennyrch

Distance: 4.25km (loop) or 7.25km (with 3km out-and-back extension). The road north from Dolgellau is among Snowdonia’s best: a surprisingly straight, wide A-road ushering traffic south to north across the National Park with little to see, ostensibly, but dense belts of forest until you hit the coast around Portmeirion. Which is perfect, because forests and lingering in ostensibly-little-to-see areas are what we are here to … Continue reading Reconnoitring Wales’ Celtic rainforest: a walk in the woods of Coed Felenrhyd and Coed Llennyrch

Finding romance in the stones of Anglesey’s Ynys Llanddwyn on St Dwynwen’s Day

Ynys Llanddwyn is love at first sight. Whipped by the Irish Sea, riven with secluded coves, cloaked in gold-green marram grass and commanding soul-stirring views of the dragon’s backbone of the Llŷn Peninsula, this narrow spit of land off Anglesey’s south coast becomes an island at very high tides. And not just any old island. Here the ruins of a 16th-century church, nave exposed to … Continue reading Finding romance in the stones of Anglesey’s Ynys Llanddwyn on St Dwynwen’s Day

Walking on the wild (sea) side to the northernmost point in Wales

Distance: 8.25km (round trip). This hike from comely harbour village Cemaes is SO Wales: hugging the wind-smacked north coast of Anglesey, it encompasses a swaddle of sandy, craggy, seaweed-trailed seaboard jaw-droppingly dramatic even by the standards of an island celebrated for quality coastline, then with characteristic lack of fanfare ushers you up to the hulking headland of Llanlleiana, Wales’ most northerly point accessible by foot. … Continue reading Walking on the wild (sea) side to the northernmost point in Wales

The Lligwy ancient monuments: three millennia of history in the fields of eastern Anglesey

I recall my father, on Scottish family holidays growing up, making us delay those seaside trips every child wants beyond all others whilst we detoured across pathless tracts of moor in inclement weather, searching for some ancient standing stone or burial site. Sites, I’ll have you know, invariably transpiring to be significantly far from their map mark and thus frequently protracting the wait to reach … Continue reading The Lligwy ancient monuments: three millennia of history in the fields of eastern Anglesey

How to climb crowd-free up Cadair Idris (Penygadair): a hardcore alternative for hikers

Distance: 27km (one-way). The highest summit in southern Snowdonia, Cadair Idris (also known as Penygadair) is no secret. We wish it was, but it isn’t. Looming large above the twin lakes nestled breathtakingly beneath its crags, with staggering views of the Llŷn Peninsula and with two well-trodden trails snaking up to the top from the trailheads of Ty-nant (north side) and Minffordd (south), this is … Continue reading How to climb crowd-free up Cadair Idris (Penygadair): a hardcore alternative for hikers

The Dulyn Reservoir hike: in the shadow of Carnedd Llewelyn’s crags

Walk length: 9.5km (round trip). Snowdonia is renowned for its llyns (lakes): certain parts of the national park are fairly spattered in them. But the Dulyn Reservoir remains very much in the category of lesser-known lakes, despite its setting in the shelter of one of Snowdonia’s more famous mountains, Carnedd Llewelyn. And who doesn’t want an unforgettable wild swim as part of their moorland hike? … Continue reading The Dulyn Reservoir hike: in the shadow of Carnedd Llewelyn’s crags