Walking in Snowdonia: Day two
Abergwyngregyn, Snowdonia, WalesRoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Day two of a two-day walk in Snowdonia National Park, tried and tested by environment and travel journalist, Mark Rowe. You'll start in Abergwyngregyn before heading to Carnedd Daffyd and then the final summit of Pen yr Ole Wen.
- Bus stop
Start: Abergwyngregyn, grid ref: SH675716
Begin at the small car park at the end of the road above the Afon Analon river. Follow the track round the north side of Foel Dduarth, close to pylons, before taking the right turn signposted for Drum.
The Carneddau range is the UKs southernmost example of montane heath, more typically found in the Arctic and features you might spot include dwarf willow and juniper. Each has a different character and feel. Foel Fras (942m) has a trig point while its substantial ruined cairn hints at a fortification in its Neolithic past; Carnedd Uchaf (926m) is boulder strewn; Foel Grach (976m) feels marooned and lonely in moorland; Carnedd Llewelyn (1064m), despite being the second highest mountain in Wales and just 20m lower than Snowdon, feels more like a plateau.
From here, navigation is easy. Follow the direct path from Drum to the successive summits of Foel Fras, Carnedd Uchaf (which has recently been named Carnedd Gwenllian), Foel Graf, Carnedd Llewllyn, Carnedd Dafydd and Pen yr Ole Wen.
Meadow pipits are abundant on the western flanks of the Carneddau and that in turn makes for a rare stronghold for the cuckoo, which likes to lay its eggs in the nests of this unsuspecting bird.
On the last of these summits, Pen yr Ole Wen, head due east to follow the track downhill. In places the path appears to disappear and you may end up looking for the imprint of earlier walkers' boot.
The scramble to the valley from Pen yr Ole Wen is one of the UKs great descents. It has everything, and even the mountain goats among you wont do it in much under an hour. The ascent and summit also offer superb views over Ogwen to the Glyders and beyond.
Head for the ladder over the drystone wall and continue downhill by the Afon Lloer river, to the A5.
End: Lane by Llyn Ogwen, 668606
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Hard
- Distance: 15 miles (24km)
- Time: 6 hours to 8 hours
- OS Map: OL17 Snowdon
Some steep descents and ascents. You'll need to know how to use a compass in bad or mediocre weather and be able to map read. Cairns run along the route but can be confusing or hard to pick out in poor weather. Dress for all weathers as the the weather here can change in an instant; walking boots essential. Dogs welcome under close control. PLEASE NOTE: the map provided is intended as a rough guide, please take a map and compass with you.
- How to get here:
By bus: Arriva Cymru 5 or X5, Bangor bus station to Abergwyngregyn; Snowdon Sherpa shuttles around the base of Snowdon connecting all 6 main footpaths and the surrounding villages. See Gwynedd Council for details
By train: nearest stations, Bangor and Betws y Coed. See Traveline Cymru for details
By car: Take North Wales expressway to Abergwyngregyn and follow small lane through Bont Newydd (for the Aber Falls), pass one car park and park in car park where road stops. Car parking along the A5 at end of walk
- Telephone: 01248 600954
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/carneddau-and-glyderau/