Low Level Walking in North Wales
Whilst North Wales is perhaps most famous for the iconic peak of Snowdon, there is also a vast network of wonderful low level walking routes throughout the area. From the beautiful mountain valleys, with their serene lakes and riverside walks, to the old slate quarries and woodland trails, down to the breathtaking beauty of the coastal fringes of the Llŷn Peninsula and Anglesey there’s a lifetime's worth of ambling and rambling with a splash of ancient history thrown in for good measure.
A fiery sunset from the western shores of Llanddwyn Island on the Isle of Anglesey will linger long in the memory. North Wales’ coastlines vary from rugged beauty to gentle dunes to mighty sea cliffs pounded for centuries by unrelenting waves. See Puffins, Guillemots and Cormorants nesting airily on the cliffs at South Stack and watch Choughs play flying games twisting, looping and whirling on soft sea breezes. Climb atop Holyhead Mountain to view the hills of Snowdonia to the south. Keep a keen eye on the sea for the occasional sighting of a seal. With their head bobbing just out of the lapping waves their eyes are full of curiosity. Along the northern coast of Anglesey quiet coves are home to Peregrine Falcons and Arctic Terns.
Indulge yourself, take off your hiking shoes and socks and let the sand massage your aching feet as you amble across bays of golden sand. Wander along the paths and trails of the Lleyn Peninsula past ancient mines and harbours or stroll through purple heather and bright yellow gorse flowers on the very tip of the Lleyn. Wander back in time at the castle at Criccieth and visit the birthplace of Lloyd George, one of Wales’ most famous offspring.
When you tire of the sea paths head inland and discover ways along the winding river valleys among the hills and mountains. Ancient Oak wooded valleys with gentle streams turn into more open wider rivers that wend their way languidly towards the sea.
Walks amongst the hills
Encircling Snowdonia’s higher peaks and stretching away east and west are some of the loveliest rolling hills in Britain. From Hope Mountain, only a stones throw from the ancient city of Chester, travelling westward the hills take on a rather sombre attire of heather clad moorland where only grouse and few hardy sheep roam but in whose solitude the hill walker will find unique pleasures. As you get closer to the mountains of Snowdonia the hill country changes to take on a more dramatic appearance with craggy drops and steep sided valleys. The Berwyns and Arennigs near Bala offer more challenging hill walks where in poor weather and visibility careful navigation will be needed to find the way.
On the periphery of central Snowdonia lie the Moelwyns. Hillsides covered with waste slate debris are the legacy of a century or more of slate mining and remain stark evidence of the fierce labours of a once highly profitable industry. Wander into Cwmorthin near the mining village of Blaenau Ffestiniog and ponder the sheer brutality of working in such a hostile wilderness more than a century past.
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