Snowdonia Slate Trail post 2: Llanberis to Nantlle, and the following day, up through that lovely valley to Rhyd Ddu.
Day 3 – Llanberis > Nantlle valley
Dodgy signage getting out of town, if you didn’t know the road would you find it? Prettified > bluebells, May blossom, cuckoos. Abandoned falling down hamlets, slate tips, conifer plantations, sheep. People out > biker, 2 young women in sports outfits, 2 kitted walkers. Coming down between cottages, fieldpaths and green ginnels, all the way down to and through the village to the road. Pub/campsite/trainstation. Then up again, well-signed to the top, around the moor and along the hidden paths across and between tips – around the back of Mynydd Mawr, another gentle route up and a back craggy bit, but gentle. Real lack of signage, especially around the large (waymarker?) rock (lunch stop) – followed the wrong path up the tip edges to abandoned workings at the top and rejoined it later at the quarry gate. Fortunately it was a clear day, so I could see where I was going! Really need the OS map on this one.
Fron is the top of Nantlle quarries – it’s lovely hamlet on the shoulder. You’re well channelled down the hill now – this is all set up for big tourism I think but nothing there yet! Brilliant path down past a blue hole and around the school (British School style) that there are plans for. Council houses, prettified cottages. horses in fields – and a bus. Down along the waymarked path after the railway track. In the Dorothea park now. Clear route down to the through road (and about 30-40 minutes to the Co-op bus stop in Pen-y-groes). Flowery runs in the sun – romantic industrial heritage tourism – so easy when it’s not dank and slippery in the rain! But this formal path is good – would have been fine in bad weather.
Day 4 Flat day, Nantlle Valley > Rhyd Ddu and on to Beddgelert
Comfortably raining softly as walk back through Talysarn to pick up the path. Then through the valley, along the back track, got lost at the end of the lake (signage – where?) and nicely wet from grassy field in the rain. Past the campsite and the chapel and up the left side of the valley to the forest – a lovely path under the crags of Mynydd Mawr. Have pretty much circled Mynydd Mawr now – a homage to that hill! Well-signed and followed by 3 men with oversize cameras, walking the same trail, on their last day. The forest trail from Rhyd Ddu to Beddgelert has been well touristified, as well as the pub, the railway and the carpark (scruffy toilets) and a feature gate.
Causeway path around the lake features Soviet style fencing which is slightly unnerving, and smacks of ‘don’t sue me’. Sun is out, and roll down the forest path speedily, it’s well signed now. A few teenagers on bikes about. Rolled into Beddgelert and straight onto the 3pm bus home.
Llwybr Llechi Eryri
Snowdonia Slate Trail
The book: Aled Owen, Snowdonia Slate Trail, Rucksack Readers.