Finally had a decent day for a walk last Thursday, and decided to set off up the recently-renamed Carnedd Gwenllian (formerly Carnedd Uchaf) which is one of Snowdonia’s 3000 footers. We started in Llanbedr Y Cenin, a tiny village just ten minutes drive from us. There is a carpark up a lane that’s not marked on the maps, but gives access to a little-used path up to Carnedd Gwenllian (most walkers access this area from Abergwyngregyn, off the A55).
As we climbed, we came across one of the groups of wild ponies which roam the Carneddau. This one was led by a white stallion, and had several grey (white horses start out grey) foals amongst them. Surprisingly these ponies look delicate rather than sturdy and the foals were charming. As we walked on up the increasingly steep slopes of the mountain, the path pretty much vanishes and the walking gets progressively harder work through marshy uplands.
Finally, after stopping for a breather and our lunch on a dry rock, we reached the top. The views are totally amazing up here, with the southern peaks of Snowdonia stretching away in one direction and the whole of Anglesey spread out beneath in the other. Along the coast, Llandudno was basking in the afternoon sunshine and the view stretched right up the coast to Rhyl and the wind farms out in the Irish Sea.
We headed along the ridge line along to Foel Fras and then Drum, and from there down the marshy slopes back to the car and a very welcome pint at the tiny village pub, The Bull Inn, in Llanbedr Y Cenin.
A lovely peaceful walk even in the height of the tourist season – we saw only one small group of other walkers on the top, and soon lost sight of them as we continued the ridge walk. Keen walkers will enjoy these quiet alternatives to the honeypot area around Snowdon itself. Make sure to bring waterproof boots, and don’t forget your camera (we did, and had only a phone to take these pics on – would have been better with a decent lens!)