Llanberis, North Wales Sunday 28th July 2013

Today’s Walks

Strenuous Leader: Steve Budd     Distance: approx. 8.5 miles

From Llanberis we head out north westerly to Maen-llwyd-isaf, from here to Bwlch y groes (disused quarry) then turning south and up onto Moel Eilio (about 3 miles) our first summit of the day. Then continuing on to Foel Gron, second summit. And finally onto Foel Goch (third summit). From here we return to Llanberis via Maesgwm.

Our route up to Moel Eilio is a bit of a slog and strenuous in places, but if it is a clear day great views all round and well worth the effort.

Hopefully, we will get back in time for tea/coffee or a pint, and reflect on a great day..

Moderate Leader: David & Cynthia Prescott     Distance: 5.5 miles, height gain 800 ft

This walk climbs through the slate quarries which dominate Llanberis, passing the slate museum, lakeside steam railway, and old quarry hospital. It is not a long walk but the terrain makes it feel a lot longer than it is. There are many uphill sections so you need some ‘puff’ to attempt it! It heads up along tracks and paths and up steps going through oak woodland with lovely views of Llanberis, Lake Padarn and the surrounding mountains. (Look out for a fox!). Once out of Padarn Country Park the views open out and we head up higher above Dinorwic. Here we are rewarded with extensive views of Menai Strait and Anglesey. It is then downhill all the way to the lake, firstly along good roads and tracks and then down rocky paths where care will be needed on the steep slate steps. We intend to take a short break at the ruins of Anglesey Barracks on the way down (where quarry workers from Anglesey stayed during the week) as there are wonderful views of Llyn Peris reservoir and the 12th Century Dolbadarn Castle which we will visit before arriving back at the town of Llanberis.

Leisurely Leader: Philomena Walker     Distance: 6.5 miles

We are going to start with a visit to Dolbadarn Castle to enjoy the fabulous views. We then head over to Padarn Country Park and the Miners’ Hospital, an ideal place for an early lunch, with views of Llanberis and the steam train chugging along the Llyn Padarn Lakeside Railway. We follow a (man made) rocky path along the length of the lake to the bridge to get the best view of Snowdon, then, after crossing the bridge we return to Llanberis via a good flat path.

Easy Leader Hazel Anderton & Joan McGlinchey     Distance: 4 miles

The walk is a bit shorter than usual, but there is a lot of interesting history and great views to linger over. First we will look at Vivian Quarry, a deep pond popular with scuba divers, and then walk along the lake side before making our way to the Quarry Hospital. We then go up, and back down, through the ancient woods, where we see quarry workings, some old cottages, and fantastic views of the other lake. We do quite a bit of climbing in the woods but it is not constant – only the first part is a bit steep. The last part coming down is steps – slippery due to the nature of the slate chippings. If we complete the walk with time to spare, there are lots of other things for you to visit, eg. The castle and the slate museum.

Notes On The Area

Of Wales’ three National Parks, Snowdonia, at some 840 square miles, is the largest and certainly the most scenically dramatic. Embracing several mountain ranges, the park takes its name from Snowdon. However the park’s name is misleading as it suggests that it covers just the area around the mountain, while in fact Snowdonia extends southwards into central Wales and incorporates stretches of coastline and Cadair Idris.

Llanberis has many attractions to keep the visitor occupied although it is, perhaps, best known for the nearby mountain, Snowdon. Rising to some 3560 ft, this is the highest peak in Wales and the most climbed mountain in Britain. On a clear day, the view from the summit is fantastic, taking in Ireland. But before setting out for the summit it is worth remembering that the weather changes dramatically up here and walkers and climbers should always be prepared. However, many reach the summit with the help of the Snowdon Mountain Railway, a rack and pinion system that was built in 1896 and has carried millions to the top of the mountain over the years. It is not surprising that this mountainous and inhospitable area is also steeped in legend and mystery. The eagles of Snowdon have long been regarded as oracles of peace and war, triumph and disaster, and Snowdon’s peak is said to be a cairn that was erected over the grave of a giant killed by King Arthur.

For those wanting a more sedate train ride, the Llanberis Lake Railway takes a short trip during which there are several different views of the mountain. The railway lies in Padarn Country Park, which covers some 700 acres of Snowdonia’s countryside and also includes Llyn Padarn. Here too is the Welsh Slate Museum (housed in the Dinorwig Slate Quarry) which tells the story of the slate industry through a variety of exhibitions, audio-visual shows and demonstrations. Close by is Dinorwig Power Station, a pumped storage hydro-electric power station that was built into the mountain. Tours take visitors into the tunnels and the machinery rooms that control the vast quantities of water needed by this major engineering project.