Jan 11

Dinas Dinlle

Dinas Dinlle from Dinas Hill

Dinas Hill in the Background

Lovers of the open sea should walk out to Dinas Dinlle, on the Caernarvon Bay shore. Take the Pwllheli main road as far as the fifth milestone, and shortly after that the road bearing to the right. By taking train to Llanwnda the walking distance may be reduced to 2 1/2 miles, or the bus to Llandwrog reduces it to little ore than a mile. The sands are of the best, and the views of Snowdonia superb.

The antiquarian interest too, is considerable. Here Watling Street ended. It’s modern representative is the stony track to the immediate right of the building that was the Caernravon Bay Hotel. Dinas Hill is an old roman encampment.

Well! This little wee book brings out every kind of knowledge. My parents live really close to Dinas Dinlle, so I know the place very well – spending most of my summers here, swimming in the sea with my friends, I love the place. I have a massive attachment to it, as nowadays, I come down pretty much everyday (when I’m at my parents house) to go for a run, or take some photographs.

I never knew that Watling Street ended here, an ancient trackway in Wales & England. Dinas Hill has always fascinated me. It’s being eroded away now, very quickly (as the photos above also shows) – the sea bashes it every year, and you can literally see chunks sliding down. It gives really nice views of Snowdonia, especially the Nantlle Ridge, and Snowdon itself. Tiss a nice wee place.

Picture wise, there’s two main differences, more people now come to Dinas Dinlle – in terms of living there, and holidays, as we can see more houses and a huge caravan park on the first picture. The main thing on the ‘now’ picture of ‘Dinas Dinlle from Dinas Hill’ is the addition of the wave breaker. I remember as a kid going down to the beach, and the person in charge of doing these wave breakers was no other than my granddad. He’s a Welsh farmer, but did some jobs for the Local Council back in the day – and he was the one with his digger, moving and shaping the whole breaker. Good man. He was also in charge of doing the walkway that can be seen on the second image. So it’s nice to know that Taid did some major work here, as it has helped to get some super nice sand to play in on the beach.

Jan 11

New Year’s

So, it’s the 20th – January today, and I still haven’t written anything about our awesome New Year’s in Wales. Today seems like a good day to do it because Iestyn is having fun at pub quiz, so I’m home alone.

First, it needs to be said that I got awesome awesome presents, birthday ones carefully separated from the solstice ones (just how I like it), and all of them so good. I got me the ubersexy and ubertech mountain jacket that I had loved for ever, and also a beautiful print for the wall, signed and numbered – DON’T SHAVE! Can’t wait to have it with me and hanging. And, on top of that, I got The Ward Lock & Co ‘North Wales ‘ Southern Section’ book! This is the second part to my Northern section book that I already had since our last trip to Scotland, where I found it in a tiny old second-hand bookshop. I cannot believe Iestyn was able to find this, it is really old (probably even a couple of decades than the first one, and that was old already), and truly beautiful. I also got lots of other pretty, nicely smelling, snugly and buzzy things.

Continue reading →

Jan 11

Capel Curig

Snowdon, from Capel Curig

Capel Curig, beautifully situated on the Shrewsbury and Holyhead road, is one of the oldest tourist resorts in the Principality. The village is about 600 feet above sea-level and has a bracing air. It is a capital resort for anglers, for, besides the lakes at close hand, there are other good fishing waters not far away, and it is much frequented by climbers and walkers, since it is one of the handiest centers for Tryfan, the Glyders and Snowdon. The church is dedicated to St. Curig, a British recluse; hence the name of the village.

There are first class hotels, and accommodation can also usually be found, except in the height of the season, in one or other of the cottages. The village is strung along the Holyhead road for nearly two miles at the point where the Beddgelert and Llanberis road strikes off Westward. Buses pass through it on their way to or from Betws-Y-Coed or Bangor.

From Capel Curig the Holyhead road rises steadily until it reaches an altitude of 1,000 feet as it passes between the mighty Tryfan (3,100 feet) and Llyn Ogwen, the latter famed for trout and eels. At the Western end, at Benglog, is Ogwen Cottage, a haunt of climbers and anglers, and then the road begins the long gradual descent of Nant Ffrancon, “the Vale of Beavers”. But to be properly appreciated the pass should be ascended.

Capel Curig is indeed a nice wee place. It’s funny how these books always mentions the fishing potential of places. Nowadays, you don’t see much people fishing in the Llynnau Mymbyr, or any other lake for that matter. I don’t think much has changed in the Village since the days of the Red Book, as it’s still roughly the same size as they describe, but today it’s a hub for Mountaineers, as Plas-Y-Brenin is located on the road Westward towards Llanberis.

Picture wise – We have indeed managed to locate the correct spot, but there’s now an immense amount of trees growing on the South Bank, which is called – Coed Bryn Engan.

Jan 11



Population – 3,638

Post Office. – In village; branch office towards eastern end of Penmaenmawr ROad.

Tennis at Victoria Gardens, towards eastern end of the Promenade, and at the Receration Ground, near Moel Yacht Pond. Tennis tournaments are arranged weekly during the season.

In it’s brief but merry course to the sea the little Afon Llanfairfechan dashes first through rocky, fern-clad gorges; then through the gradually widening valley in which the orignial village of Llanfairfechan stands and finally, passing under the coast road, it rattles past the modern resort called into visitors who appreciated this airy, healthy site on the verge of the sea yet within a stone’s-throw of the mountains. This charming contiguity of intrests is well illustrated by the stream which bubbles beside the main street of the village, for although its source is some 2,000 feet above the spot where it runs into the sea, yet it’s length is scarcely three miles. The eastern side of its valley terminates abruptly in the pominent headland know as Penmaenmawr Mountain; it’s western side falls away gradually in green, wooded hills above which giants of Snowdonia raise their heads to the sky.

The hills sufficiently far inland for thei majestic proportions to be seen and admired without the observer being oppressed with their too immediate proximity. Yet they are near enough for the ascent to begin at the door of the village post-office, and from any of them views of great beauty and variety may be had.

As the site has a gentle slope towards the sea, no great amount of moisture can remain upon the surface. Consequently the air is dry and bracing, and through the shelter afforded by neighbouring hills the climate is genial, as is demonstrated by fuchsias, myrtles, and other tender plants and shrubs – including the pale butterwort, a plant very sensitive to cold-flourishing all the year in open air.

The Sea Front at Llanfairfechan is unpretentious, but the bathing is safe and good, and the wide expanse of firm sand revealed by low tide forms a wonderland for children. There is a Green on which various games may be played and at either end of the Parade are public Tennis Courts and Bowling Green. A feature of even greater interest to the juvenile navigators – and their male relatives – is the Model Yacht Pond. It is regularly used by members of Liverpool and Wirral Model Yacht Clubs, and regattas are orginized during the season.

A feature distinguishing Llanfairfechan sea-front from many another is the View:-not the customary wide expanse of sea, but a charming panorama extending from the Great Orme’s Head across to Puffin Island, with it’s striped lighthouse, and then along the variegated coast of Anglesey to the tall roofs of Bangor, Penrhyn Castle rearing its battlement tower above the trees to the south-west, and then the eye travels round by the hills above Aber to remote Foel Fras and so round to the familiar scree-strewn face of “our mountain”.

It seems like Llanfairfechan, back in the day was the place to be! There’s an epic entry for the village in the book, and this is just an extract. I never thought of Llanfiarfechan to be a good place to be when going hill-walking, but I suppose the book is right, as from Llan you’ve got the whole of the Carneddau coming into play, before en counting the Snowdon massif. Very interesting to read this on Llanfairfechan. (Our North Wales – Northern Section book by Ward Lock & Co’s is dated 1930-1931)

Jan 11



Golf – 9-hole course. Season tickets: gentlemen 21s; ladies 10s. 6d. Monthly: gentlemen 15s; ladies 10s. Fortnightly: gentlemen; 10s.; ladies 7s. 6d. Weekly: gentlemen 7s. 6d; ladies 6s. Day: gentlemen, 2s; ladies 1s. 6d.

Abersoch, a small watering-place 3 miles from the Nanhoron Valley, stands on the shore of a pretty little bay. The extensive sands afford good bathing, but the tides recedes to a great distance. From full to half-tide, swimmers will find deep water under Benar Hill. Visitors must beware of being surrounded by the tide at this point. Those who care to spend a day fishing for mackerel may make arrangements for accompanying one of the numerous roomy boats belonging to the little port; but, on account of the currents, it is not advisable, even for skilled yachtsmen, to venture alone beyond the bay.

In the stream from which the village takes its name there is good trout fishing, execpt in dry seasons. Less than a mile from the shore are St. Tudwal’s Island and Lighthouse. Boats to visit them can be obtained.

Abersoch can be reached from Pwllheli by taking the tramcar to Llanbedrog and walking 3 miles.

This, so far is the most changed picture we’ve come across. The only thing (apart from Mynydd Tir y Cwmwd – the headland in the background) we had to go by was the two chimneys coming up from the furthest house, centre of the image. Everything else is totally different, and going from the text – grown quite a lot too!

I love the fact, that the only way to reach Abersoch back then, was walking! In today’s World, no such thing exists, shame really.

Jan 11

Llanberis Pass

Llanberis Pass

From the ‘resting place’ we begin the descent of the -Llanberis Pass, the finest motor mountain-road in Wales. The precipitous and craggy sides of the noble mountains press closely on each other and shut in the narrow pass. Shattered masses of every form, which have fallen from the heights, lie in strange confusion, and amid them the  Seiont, rushing and roaring, hastens its descent to the head of Llyn Peris.

Some two miles farther we reach the picturesque village of Nant Peris, formerly knows as Old Llanberis, and soon afterwards are running by the side of Llyn Peris, on the opposite shore of which are the Dinorwic slate quarries. Then we get abreast of the remains of Dolbadarn Castle. The consist only of a round tower, which probably does not date back many centuries, but the site is said to have been held by the Prince of North Wales in the sixth cantury. Beyond the ruin we arrive at the Royal Victoria Hotel, in modern Llanberis. At the foot of the hotel grounds is the lower terminus of the Mountain Railway.

Skirting Llyn Padarn, en route for Caernarvon from Llanberis, the remarkable manner in which the slate quarrymen have terraced the mountain slopes opposite is well seen. Then on the left the Cefndu wireless station comes in view and shortly after Carnarvon is reached.”

I’d sure have to agree that this road is the finest ‘motor mountain-road in Wales’. It sure is awesome. It’s my second favourite mountain route in the UK, second only to the epic A82 running through Glen Coe in the Scottish Highlands.

The Pass itself hasn’t changed much since the good old days, only a few big rocks been moved, but apart from that, it’s in top shape!