Walks in the Lledr Valley
There are many walks in the picturesque Lledr Valley, indeed you could spend a couple of weeks walking in the area without ever needing to take the car to another start point.
Several of the walks lead off to smaller “hidden” valleys, off the Lledr Valley, and are all within just a few miles of Dolmurgoch our holiday cottage in North Wales.
Walk to Ty Mawr Wybrnant :
This walk is not a particularly long distance, roughly 5 miles, however when I walked it with my friend it took us roughly six hours to complete the walk, although there were a number of diversions and a lot of dawdling along the way.
If you are an experienced walker, you could take the direct route – over the hill behind the cottage. This will take you through forest tracks and on over the hilltop through very boggy moorland before dropping down to the beautiful Wybrnant Valley.
The valley is renowned for the historic house known as Ty Mawr which was the birthplace of Bishop William Morgan, first translator of the entire Bible into Welsh. The house has been restored to its 16th-17th-century appearance and houses a display of Welsh bibles.
From Ty Mawr it is mostly down hill to the Lledr River from where there is a slight gradient back to the cottage.
The alternative route, the dry route, is out and back on the same route via forest roads, and is recommended after long periods of wet weather, but it has the disadvantage of being less interesting and misses the attractive “hazel nut lanes” behind Ty Mawr.
Hidden Valley Walk :
This walk includes forest track, views of Snowdonia, waterfalls, tumbling streams and pools, an ancient burial chamber, archaeological site.
Leave the cottage and head west toward Dolwyddelan village. On passing the Railway Station cross the bridge and bear south into the Cwm (hidden valley of Cwm Penamnem). Take the left hand fork for the best views, and the rocky crag of Carreg Alltrem soon appears to the left.
The rock face is popular with climbers and the track affords a good view of their efforts. Continue to the highest point of the track, on the lower slopes of Rowen, from where there are fine views of both the valley, and the waterfall at the far end of the Cwm.
Three homesteads are visible on the valley floor, and a look back down the valley reveals the Carneddau mountains in the distance behind the village of Dolwyddelan. On the return journey there are pleasant views of the Afon Cwm Penamnem as it tumbles down the slopes at the mouth of the Cwm.
Dolwyddelan Castle Walk :
Leave the cottage and head west toward Dolwyddelan village, after a few hundred yards you will reach the path along the riverbank which you follow to the village.
Push on through the village to the Roman Bridge railway station in the beautiful valley of Blaenau Dolwyddelan, where you will have fine views of Mount Snowdon and Y Llywedd.
After crossing the Afon Lledr the route doubles back and the return journey passes by Dolwyddelan Castle, a Welsh stronghold that fell to the English King Edward 1 in the 13th Century Anglo/ Welsh wars.
If on returning to the village you fancy some refreshments, you have a choice of either a pint at the pub or a coffee al-fresco at the Spar shop.
Llyn Elsi Lake Walk :
This walk crosses the River Lledr at Pont y Pant, before following the Sarn Helen Roman Road north
for a few miles in the direction of Betws-y-coed. The track climbs the hillside below Mynydd Cribau into the Gwydir Forest, and passes the abandoned village of Rhiwddolion before reaching the beautiful lake of Llyn Elsi.
Once you have reached the lake it is all downhill on the return journey. There is also the option not to return straight back to the cottage, but to drop down the other side of the hill into the popular holiday resort of Betws-y-coed, and return to the cottage on the Conwy Valley Railway.
The above are just a few suggestions for short walks (4-6 miles) which start from the cottage gate.