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Slow Travel Google Map: United Kingdom, Wales, Snowdonia National Park

Author: DavidX
Notes: November 2006: Snowdonia National Park and Lleyn Peninsula, Wales. This map can be used along with my travel notes for the area. Please go to a higher zoom level once you know what area interests you. In at least two cases one marker hides another at the level you get first! CAUTION: With current technology, markers cannot be placed accurately enough to rely on for the mountain walks. The markers on this map should be viewed as rough indicators only.

Beaches

Llanbedrog

A fine and fairly sheltered beach but it does get crowded.

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Nefyn and Morfa Nefyn

These two places, right and left of the marker respectively, have fair sized beaches that are a bit more amenity conscious than those further west.

Porth Colman

No facilities other than a car park and usually not many people; great!

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Porth Oer

Porth Oer and Porth Colman are my favourite beaches on this coast of Lleyn.

Porth Oer is alternatively called 'Whistling Sands' - guess why - no prizes.

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Porth Ysgo

This is my favourite beach in all the region - but it wouldn't be if it got as much attention as it deserves.

It's tiny and fairly awkward to reach and lies beneath a wonderful headland. There are some fascinating remains from the quarrying era.

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Historical Buildings

Gwydir Castle

This lovely buiding has the characteristics of a hall rather than a castle - but click on 'read more' for more detail on this.

Worth a visit anyway.

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Plas-yn-Rhiw

The fact that its owners, the National Trust, acknowledge this 16th century manor house with its beautiful gardens to be small should not be allowed to put you off going. it's one of those places that grabs your admiration and holds on tight!

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Castles

Beaumaris Castle

Very picturesque; the last castle built in Edward I's reign to contain the Welsh.

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Caernarfon Castle

A large and impressive castle where the Investiture ceremony is held for a new Prince of Wales.

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Conwy Castle

Perhaps I should have called it Conway [English] since it was part of a ring of castles built by Edward I to keep the Welsh subjugated.

A distinctive feature is that the rail line to Holyhead runs straight through the castle!

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Criccieth Castle

Perhaps the most impressive of the three Welsh princes' castles shown on this map.

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Dolbadarn Castle

Very much of a ruin but interesting as, like Dolwyddelan Castle, it was associated with the Welsh prince, Llywelyn the Great.

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Dolwyddelan Castle

Nowhere near as grand as Edward I's castles [Beaumaris, Conwy, Caernarfon and Harlech] but of great interest as one of those built for their defence by the Welsh princes.

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Harlech Castle

Like Caernarvon, Beamaris and Conway Castles, this was an English castle, one of the ring built to the orders of Edward I to keep the Welsh suppressed.

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Penrhyn Castle

I hesitated to put a castle marker because it's an early Victorian mansion built in imitation of a Norman castle!

Even so the house and gardens are well worth a visit.

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Gardens

Bodnant Gardens

Outstanding [world standard] gardens owned by the National Trust.

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Museums

Llechwedd Slate Caverns

There are two separate trips into these caverns to examine slate mining history.
Both are outstanding!

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Sights

14/15 peaks walk

Don't rely on this marker for exact location, but it's good to start this walk at the top of Snowdon - if you can!

It was called 14 peaks when I did it in 1968 but I think they've found another one over 3000 feet since.

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Aber Falls

Impressive waterfalls.

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Bardsea Island

Still on my wish list, though I've been over it with my binoculars from the mainland a few times.

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Cadair Idris

A wonderful mountain as good as the best of those above 3000 feet although [thankfully] it falls short of this level.

There are some smashing photos if you click on 'read more.'

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Carnedds

The Carnedds include the highest number of peaks over 3000 feet in the region. These are Carnedd Llewelin, Carnedd Dafydd [from which all the other Snowdonian peaks over 3000 feet can be seen,] Pen yr Ole Wen, Yr Elen, Foel Fras, Foel Grach and Carnedd Uchaf.

Cnicht

Sometimes a small mountain has it all in spite of its height. Click on 'read more' and you might find why Cnicht is one such mountain.

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Garn Fadryn

A low enough hill but it gives a fine panoramic view over the western end of Lleyn. Easy and well worth doing.

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Glyders

Treat the marker as only a rough indication; you DON'T want to be up anywhere in these mountains without a good map.

Though a few feet less in height than its neighbour, Glydir Fawr, Glydir Fach and Tryfan nearby are the rivals for any 'best from the road' contest. Glydir Fach owes this largely to a spectacular pile of rocks known in English as 'Castle of the Winds,' near to the summit. You can see this if you click on photo 7 on the 'read more' website.

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Hydro Visitor Centre

I went here once but the website was hard to find.

It makes a good and most interesting visit.

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Llyn Crafnant

Devastatingly beautiful and accessible to anyone in a car.

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Menai Bridge

Older of two road bridges across the Menai Straits to Anglesey. I don't know the island well at all and I think it would be better for somebody who does to make a separate map - contact Pauline or Steve.

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Moel Hebog

I can't think why this should be the only one I've put a marker for that I've not been up!

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Moelwyns

This range is as interesting as any, particularly if you are into remains of slate mining. [Be careful, those slagheaps can cut and some open tunnels are pretty dodgy.]

There are good views of Cnicht and up to Snowdon but, to my mind, too much is concealed to put them in the very top category.

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Mynydd Penarfynedd

A superb headland covered in tracks and not many people. So-called Cornish choughs [like a jackdaw with red beak and legs] seem to be coming back from extinction in Cornwall but they've been here throughout.

Nant Gwrtheyrn

So you can't pronounce it? What do you expect? It's the home of the Welsh Language and Heritage Centre after all!

The road down is only for those who have business at the Centre but it's worth walking down, if you can, to see the village that was busily quarrying in the second half of the 19th century. It was once only accessible by boat!

There are considerable industrial remains along the cliffs.

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Rhinogs

A range of mountains all well below 3000 feet but giving splendid views to the coast.
The heather is exceptionally profuse and tall here which makes walking south over the whole range a very exhausting route.

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Snowdon Horseshoe

A very imprecise marker for a fabulous walk - which does require a 'good head for heights.'

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Snowdon Summit

Otherwise known as Yr Wyddfa, this is the highest point in England and Wales and commands a wonderful view in clear weather.

I have only spotted Ireland once, though, in at least 20 visits. Even bright weather is often accompanied by distant haze.

I've put the general site for Snowdonia, if you 'read more.'

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Tryfan

A favourite - some walking routes or a scramble up the north ridge if you prefer.

Good for climbing but that's not my scene!

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Y Garn and Elydir Fawr

These two are included in the 14 Peaks Walk. Frankly, having done that, I can't think of any reason I might have wanted to go again - see my travel notes.

Yr Eifl

A set of three peaks marks the top of Lleyn at only about 1600 feet. One has a good hill fort on top and it's a relatively easy way of feeling up in the sky.

The whole view of 'The Rivals,' for once a vaguely phonetic Anglicization of a name, is only seen from a distance by road.

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[Carnedd] Moel-siabod (SV)

I couldn't find a URL for a walk to the summit from Dolwyddelan. I did it following a route in W.A.Poucher's Welsh Peaks and I am convinced it's the best route.

Towns

Bangor

An attractive university town and an excellent travel centre.

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Pwllheli

If Lleyn has a capital, this is it; a rail terminus [look out for a cheap and scenic trip in the evening] and market town with a large marina.

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Transportation

Blaenau Ffestiniog

Blaenau Ffestiniog is the terminus of the Ffestiniog Railway from Porthmadog, which can be used to link between two other lines, the one to Llandudno Junction and hence to Bangor, Holyhead, Chester and northern England being shown on the map.

Ffestiniog Railway

I think this is the most scenic and possibly the most interesting of the preserved railways in England and Wales - which is saying something.

Treat it as a must-do.

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Ireland Ferries

Irish Ferries and Stena Line both operate ferries to Dublin from Holyhead.

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Llanberis Lake Railway

A narrow gauge railway which runs along the north side of Lake Padarn and into the village. Its village terminus is near to the Snowdon Mountain Railway.

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Snowdon Mountain Railway

Not the greatest route up Snowdon but picturesque enough, this is a rack and pinion railway.

At present [Autumn 2006] it is only possible to go up to one of the intermediate stations as repair works are carried out on the summit station. I find this robs it of its appeal as one of very few mechanical methods for the less able to enjoy a mountain top - but you can decide for yourself!

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Talyllyn Railway

The marker is placed on Brynglas Station about half way along the route of this scenically splendid narrow gauge railway.

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Villages

Aberdaron

A delightful village with a large beach and splendid scenery from the headlands between it and Bardsey Island

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Abersoch

Possibly the most upmarket place on the Lleyn Peninsula with a bay often cluttered in sailing boats.

Picturesque but crowded.

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Beddgelert

dd in Welsh is pronounced like th in thimble or thief.

Beddgelert is one of the most attractive villages in the region. Do please click on the legend of Gelert on the 'read more' website, if you don't already know it.

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Bethesda

Bethesda is the nearest village to the highest peaks of the Carnedds to the north and one of the closest to the Glyders to the south.

It was based on the [largely] defunct Wales slate industry and, even though on a major road, seems out of the past.

Betws-y-Coed

The entrance to Snowdonia for anybody travelling along the A5.

A village which shouts of early tourism with hotels to match - a fine centre.

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Bryncir

There's an old woolen mill still working and open to the public to watch the processes.

Capel Curig

Pleasant village excellently sited for all Snowdonia's highest peaks.

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Dinas Mawddwy

Easiest village for the ascent of the Arans - highest in Wales outside Snowdonia [but if you've not time for both, make it Cadair Idris!]

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Llanberis

Perhaps the best known village in Snowdonia.

Termini for both the Snowdon Mountain Railway and the Llanberis Lake Railway are on the far side of the main road as you come up from the road between the two lakes.

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Nantlle

The village of Nantlle itself is an abandoned slate mining area in a valley with wonderful views.

It may seem low but the Nantlle Ridge above the village is a fine walk with some tricky bits and shouldn't be underestimated.

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Portmeirion

No, your eyes are not deceiving you; that is an Italianate village you see on the welsh coastline, built in the 20th century and quite unique.

I can't make up my mind what I think of the idea - but it's well worth going to decide for yourself.

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