Colwyn Bay, North Wales Sunday 30th March 2014

Today’s Walks

Strenuous Leader: Andrew Mayer   Distance: 13 miles

Starting from the car and coach park at Eirias Park we head out of the park entrance, crossing the main road, and up the public footpath. Climbing sharply with views of Colwyn Bay behind us heading towards Pen-trefelin with views towards Snowdonia. Continuing onwards towards Pen-trefelin, walking across a mixture of farmland and also using some minor roads. We will stop for lunch in the village before heading out towards the coast and estuary at Glan Conway. From here we head back to the start point at Eirias Park. The walk is approx 13 miles with a maximum climb of up to 1000 ft on several parts of the walk. In places it was extremely muddy, so care needs to be taken.

Moderate Leader: Peter Denton   Distance: 8 miles

We don’t need many words to describe this walk but I will use as many as I can without sending you to sleep. It’s my writing that’s boring, not the walk. We will be climbing for the first half of the day up to 1000 ft to ‘The View’. We walk up Nant y Groes along a picturesque valley, through woodland and pastureland. At the top we will have our butties and enjoy the views. On a good viewing day you can see Snowdon and Anglesey. Then we head back down to civilisation for tea and whatever. There was some mud on the recce day but it was not too bad.

Leisurely Leader: Joan McGlinchey & Hazel Anderton   Distance: 6.5 miles

Today’s walk goes in a southerly direction up one side of the Nant-y-Glyn valley, and then back down the other side. The first part goes through a lot of woodland and although we are climbing it is gradual with the gradient varying a great deal. The return is down open fields. There are also a few stiles and it might be a bit muddy in the woods. Even if it is dry we suggest you put gaiters on, if you have them, because at one point the path in the wood is narrow and close to brambles. Let’s hope for a clear day. It was damp and misty on the recce but we were told that the views are great on a good day.

Easy Leader: Derek Lee   Distance: 5 miles

After a short woodland walk, we walk nearly a mile on a quiet road while we climb 250 feet to the highest point of the walk. Then across fields with views out to sea as we drop down to Old Colwyn and join the North Wales Path through Fairy Glen Nature Reserve to the coast. A brisk mile long walk along the prom bring us back to Eirias Park and a final short climb up to the parking area.

Notes On The Area

Until the middle of the last century Colwyn Bay was an obscure village snuggling in the shelter of the North Wales hills. Then, in the 1840’s, the railway line to Holyhead was built. It skirted the bay, and soon retired people and prosperous families from industrial Lancashire were moving into the area to take advantage of its sandy beaches and mild winters. The town’s growth quickened after 1865 and by 1900 it had a population of 8,000.

Now Colwyn Bay is a year round and almost entirely modern resort. It lies behind three miles of sandy beach – part of an 18 mile stretch of coastline which is made up of long beaches punctuated by the occasional headland.

Rhos-on-Sea, once a separate village, is now a breezy suburb at one end of the red-roofed sprawl of buildings, with Old Colwn at the other end. A continuous promenade links the two, running past neat suburban streets which slope up towards sheltering woods on the hillsides. On the foreshore at Rhos-on-Sea is the tiny St Trillo’s Chapel, which is built entirely of rough, mortared stone – the roof included – and is only about 9 ft high. It was built in the 16th century over a Holy well, which for centuries supplied water for local baptisms.

The boundary between Old Colwyn and Colwyn Bay is marked by a small river, the Nant-y-Groes, which runs through the Nant-y-Glyn valley. Two miles up the valley at Bryn-y-Maen, is Christ Church, known because of its size as The Cathedral on the Hill. There is a panoramic view of the bay from the church tower.

There is an open air theatre at Eirias Park, and the Pwllycrochan woods behind the town have been laid out with a network of leafy walks.

On a nearby hillside is the unusual Mountain Zoo. It has daily displays of hunting by free-flying falcons, and a penguin pool with underwater windows for observing the birds as they swim and feed.