Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Barmouth Cliff wander 12.5.11


A there and back again walk, 10.5 miles - 4 - 5 hours.

After spending the night at the Ocean Drive Hotel, it was naturally a full English to start the day, especially with having sore feet and legs from the previous days trek to Cadair Idris. Initially I had planned to get the 10:40 train back to Shrewsbury. But after eating the very nice breakfast, I decided to burn a bit of it off by walking the beach.

So after checking out, I walked on down to the slightly stormy sea front, here Pen Y Garn sticks up into the early morning cloud...
Looking over towards Craig-las and the Cadair Idris area was today completely cloud covered. Glad I went the previous day! The wind was pretty ferocious on the beach and blasting the sand across the road towards the sleepy town. The thing with Snowdonia is, and I'm sure this goes for anyone who has been, it's visually stunning, in any weather it really is an amazing place. I got thinking about a set of steps that I past en-route to the Mawddach bridge, that lead up the side of some houses, and seemingly up to the cliff tops. I'd got an hour and a half until the train, so I thought why not!

 Walking along the A496 here which cut's through Barmouth. Just beyond the dark stone house on the left are the steps...
After the 20 miles done the day before this was a tough old slog to the top. At the top of the steps lies a really steep rocky pathway which allows you to look over a steep cliff down to where the steps begin...
The wind was screaming up through this gully...
The path from here remains steep for some time, passing through numerous gates and over a few stiles too...
 After walking for a good 20 minutes or so you come out onto some good views over the Mawddach Estuary. It was at this point that I decided to get the 16:40 train...
Following the path further, you come to a winding lane which allows you to get to another path which cuts across a ladder stile, across a pasture, and you can, after scaling a dry stone wall, get up onto the craggy summit of Garn which sits directly above Barmouth. Disappointingly the high point doesn't have a Trig on it but Garn does provide some good views towards the LLeyn Peninsula to the North West, and over towards the mountains on the other side of the Mawddach Estuary. The wind was quite harsh however on this exposed cliff top, it surprised me just how cold it really was...
Continuing upwards and along the cliff tops and ascending up some steep hill sides, I came to a stone built Trig Point at the summit of Bwlch Cwmmaria at 461metres...
The LLeyn Peninsula just about visible stretching out into the Irish Sea...
This path just seemed to get higher. From here you could see the summit of the next hill, but was obscured by cloud on this day...
I had to descend about 100 metres to get to the side of the next hill which was a little annoying. I'm not normally a fan of dry stone walls as they always seem an obstacle to me, but in Wales they've got it sorted with more than enough ladder stiles to get over the things on your walk. Plus the dry stone wall which follows the path way up here shielded a lot of the wind that was coming off the sea too...
And to the large cairn at the 517 metre summit of the next hill along which seemingly, has no name...
Some cracking views of Southern Snowdonia from here. Although Cadair Idris opposite, still cloud covered -  of which it remained all day...
Then it was a quick descent back to grab a pint at the Last Drop Inn, one last walk on the beach, and then back for the train...
Garn above Barmouth...
Craig-las appears for a bit from beneath the thick cloud...
Great little place for walking is Barmouth. I can't wait to go back. Thanks for reading.
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