Sunday, 24 May 2015

Bank Holiday Fun in Llwyngwril

There are some strange goings on in Llwyngwril at the moment. Fishing nets with star fish and crabs draped in bushes, cuddly looking snakes curled around trees, parrots and tiny woolly birds nesting where they don't normally nest, and miles of multicoloured bunting strewn along above  the lanes and streets of the village!!!!
For weeks now many women (and the odd- very odd men!) have been clicking away with their knitting needles in the Llwyngwril Yarn Bombing Project. Their carefull created results are gradually being ' installed ' (as contemporary artists like to say) and before long the whole village will be festooned by these woolly creations.
It might take a bit longer but look out for some down Pentre Bach drive soon!

Also worth a visit this weekend is the photographic exhibition in the Ganolfan. This is a visual history of the village and its residents so if you're interested in what the village used to look like then don't miss it! There are light refreshments available and the exhibition will be open until Wednesday the 27th.

More fun on Monday! The Duck Race starts from the red bridge at 11am. You can still buy a duck on the day if you get there early.

Have fun and keep watching for those woolly additions to the village as the summer progresses!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Four more Lovely walks from Llwyngwril (in southern Snowdonia)

In the last seven years we've been on countless walks and since acquiring Nellie , our energetic Springer Spaniel, our rambles have become longer and more frequent. In order to prevent ourselves from becoming a bit bored with the endless trips down to the beach and back (although the view does change constantly and the beach looks different every day, depending on the time of day, tides and weather), we've tried to vary the routes that you can take from Pentre Bach , or from just a short drive away.

Quaker Walk
One favourite walk of ours is to set off from Pentre Bach, up our drive, turn left and go towards the Garthangharad pub but turn right in front of the pub and go up College Road, passing some lovely stone cottages, including one with a window full of cats!
Continue up this road, going through a metal gate across the road, just as the houses finish, and carry on between stone walls which become perilously high in places but still allow you some stunning views over Llwyngwril and beyond to Barmouth in the north and the Lleyn Peninsula to the west. The views are even more spectacular when the sun is setting over Cardigan Bay.

Continue upwards until you reach OS ref 5976100 or when you spot an old track turning left off the main track, heading back down towards the village. This old track is particularly pleasant as its winds down between ancient trees. As you approach the edge of the village the track bears sharply right and you pass through another gate going past Llwyn Du on the left, which was owned by the Humphrey Family and was visited by George Fox who brought Quakerism to Wales in the 1600s. He visited Llwyn Du in 1667 and the Humphrey Family became faithful converts.
Continue on towards the main road. You won't have to wait long to cross, as three cars going through the village constitutes a traffic jam! Go straight over and down the track towards the village, passing the Quaker Cemetery on your right (the land was given by the Humphrey Family mentioned earlier). It's worth a detour to have a look at some of the very old gravestones in the cemetery.

After the cemetery the track takes a sharp right hand turn and here you have to take care crossing the railway line (at an official crossing point) but the trains only pass by infrequently. Take the little path down towards the beach , perhaps pausing to sit on the thoughtfully positioned bench above the beach, before carrying on along the top of the shingles in a southerly (left!) direction. You can walk for about 200 metres until you come to another path just before the stream and the start of the small caravan site. This path follows the route of the river Gwril back up towards the village , over the railway again until you come to a junction by the red brick bridge. Take your pick of the three routes here. All will eventually lead you back to Pentre Bach. The middle one, straight on, will take you past some of the oldest cottages in the village. We tend to use the right hand path over the red bridge , then immediately left along a muddy path and onto Station Road where you take a left back up past the public toilets, to where the road comes out opposite Riverside Stores. Nip in for an ice cream then back down our drive to Pentre Bach. This route is less than 2 miles long and can be done in about an hour.

This walk can be extended by looking for a path that goes straight up/rightish behind a cottage on the right shortly after the cat cottage on College Road.  Continue on upwards until you come to Rhiw Corniau then turn northwards  and down wards until you reach the main track again. You can either turn right here and carry on until you reach Cefnfeusydd Farm where you turn left , following the narrow winding road down to St Georges and then on down to the main road going through the village. Or when you reach the track below Rhiw Corniau, you can turn left and go down the track at the grid ref above.


Drive the short distance (about 2 miles) to Fairbourne and follow the main road through the village to Fairbourne Golf Club where you can park in the car park for a small fee (in an honesty box). Cross the road and the narrow gauge railway and climb over the wall onto the beach. At low tide the beach is wide and long and a great place to walk your dog. There are designated areas for dogs so if you want to avoid dogs then go to the other end!
We usually head north towards Barmouth and carry on right round Penrhyn Point to the edge of the Mawddach Estuary. Here you are afforded fantastic views over to Barmouth Harbour, Barmouth Bridge, the estuary and Cader Idris beyond. You could always take the little passenger ferry over to Barmouth for a mooch around the shops, a swift pint in the Last Inn or coffee in one of the many harbourside cafes, or just carry on around the point to return to the car park across the marshlands inland from the beach. Another alternative would be to catch the little train at the station at the end of Penrhyn Point back to the Golf Club.This walk is about a mile and a half and can take up to an hour (without any detours to Barmouth of course!)
You could always have a game of Par 3 golf while you're there. You can hire golf clubs from the clubhouse. The course is set amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in Wales.

Drive in a southerly direction to Rhoslefain then turn right and follow the road to a layby opposite Tonfanau station. You can park there for free. Its worth a detour over the railway to spot an interesting bat box on the side of the house by the station then explore the old army camp where soldiers trained during WWII. Back at the layby , walk in a southernly direction along the road (very few cars go beyond Tonfanau) until you come to the new bridge which was built to accommodate the Wales Coastal Path) . Cross the bridge then immediately look for a stile and  path going off to the left. Follow the path along the edge of Broad Water. If you've brought your binoculars then you'll be able to do a bit of twitching around here. Carry on until you reach Ynyysmaengwyn where you take a sharp right turn and turn back towards the coast along a long straight track. As you get near to the road again you can choose to go left or right again but will eventually return to the road. Turn right and retrace your steps back to Tonfanau.

WWII Memorial Walk

This is our Remembrance Day walk.
Drive to Arthog, looking out for a steep road going off to the right , immediately after a row of terraced cottages on the right. Follow this road through at least two gates until you reach a T junction. Park in a small layby opposite the road you've driven up. Go straight on through a gate, heading upwards, then after about 2-300 metres the track turns right. Keep going along here for about half a mile until the path starts to veer away from the wall. Try to spot a path that keeps to the wall OS ref 64313 and then you'll come to a plaque set into the wall where a US plane carrying about 20 US airmen crashed as they were returning to the US just after the end of WWII. Its a beautiful but very sad spot. After spending a few minutes thinking about these poor souls then return to the main track and either retrace your steps back to the car or turn right and carry on until you pass through part of a forest until you reach a junction of paths. If you're lucky the little farm cafĂ© (basically a shed) might be open for business.  Turn right along the road here and follow this road for about a mile until you return to your car. There are spectacular views down towards Barmouth most of the way on this route.  Allow up to 2 hours for the whole walk.

If you want to venture a little further away then we can recommend two good walks we discovered by watching Derek Brockway, the weatherman on BBC Wales, on his programme, 'Weatherman Walking'. If you click on the link and put in our postcode LL37 2JU into the search box then you should be directed to a number of walks including one starting off from Abergynolwyn and another from Aberdyfi. You can download maps and detailed routes that are easy to follow.

And finally........ if you haven't already read it , then there are 7 more walks detailed in our blog 'Lots of Lovely Walks around Llwyngwril' from May 2012. Se also