Jul 16

Y Garn scrambling

A nice quick summer trip to Wales. Iest was still a bit sore after his surgery so he was taking it easy, but I had my new book on North Wales scrambles so I was not letting this opportunity go.

The weather was a bit uncertain, cloudy and a bit windy (although it turned out ok for the day with no rain). I chose the east ridge of Y Garn as an mid-easy little trip, and it was very enjoyable indeed.

Y Garn east ridge

Y Garn east ridge

Y Garn east ridge

Y Garn east ridge

Y Garn east ridge

Y Garn east ridge

Jan 12


Beaumaris Castle

“The town is the capital of Anglesey. It has a promenade Pier (admission 2d.) and provides facilities for bathing, boating, bowls and golf. Near the Castle are the Corporation Baths. Mixed bathing is allowed.

The chief object of interest is Beaumaris Castle (admission 2d.), which no visitor should miss seeing. It covers a large extent, but is not of great height. It is now under the care of H.M. Office Works. There is an outer wall with ten low towers, and an advanced work called the Gunners’ Walk. On the outside of it’s walls are rings for mooring the vessels that came up to it by a marine canal. The main structure is nearly quadrangular in form, with a large round tower at each angle. The banqueting hall, the state rooms, the domestic apartments, and a small chapel reached by a wooden ladder near the site of the old racquet court, may all be distinctly traced.

The castle was built by Edward I, who then changed the name of the place from Bonover to Beaumaris, a French word descriptive of it’s pleasant situation on low ground. The only event of importance in the history of the Castle was it’s surrender to the Parliament in 1646.

The grounds are tastefully laid out and contain tennis courts.

The Church (Sunday services 8, 11, and 6:30; daily service, 10) was erected in the latter part of the thirteenth century, but the chancel dates only from the sixteenth century. It contains some ancient stalls, which finely carved misericords, monuments to members of the Bulkeley family (the best is in the vestry), a stone, on the south side of the communion table, in memory of the father of Sir Philip Sydney (d. 1563), and a tablet in memory of David Hughes, a native of the island, through whose beneficence the town possesses a Grammar School, erected in 1603, and Almshouses. The north door is secured by a stout wooden bar drawn from a cavity in the wall. (One of the two gates of the churchyard is kept unlocked for the admission of visitors.)

A curious custom, the origin of which in unknown, annually in November marks the close of the Anglesey Hunt. A quantiy of hot pennies is shoveled from the balcony of the Bulkeley Arms Hotel into the waiting crowd below, and they scramble for the coins to the accompaniment of music played by a local band.”

Banks.-Lloyds, National Provincial, Midland.
Concerts and entertainments in the Pier Pavilion.
Early Closing Day – Wednesday
Ferry.-The Bangor Corporation steamer plies houerly between Bangor pier and Beaumaris pier, Fare, 8d.; 1s Return (children, 4d and 6d. Weekly, 4s. (children 2s.).
Golf.-A capital nine-hole course about a mile and a half fom the town. Fees, 2/- day 10/- week.
Lawn Tennis, Bowls etc in the Castle Pleasure Grounds
Motor-buses run from Bangor Station several times daily all the year round via Garth Ferry and Menai Bridge. The buses also run between Beaumaris and Llangoed.
There is a steam ferry between Beaumaris and Garth Point, Bangor, in the summer months.
The Liverpool and North Wales Steamers call daily during the season.
Population.- 1.839

Beaumaris is still a lovely wee town, with a very beautiful promenade and an epic vista of the Snowdonia mountains over the Menai Straits. The castle has always fascinated me, as it’s moat still pretty much surrounds the castle today, which gives it a lovely feel. I do love the old retro photograph of the castle with all the Ivy on it.

Nov 11

Llyn y Dywarchen

Llyn y Dywarchen

Llyn Y Dywarchen; ‘The lake of the Turf Island, is a lake steeped in myth and legends. It’s a small lake, located above the village of Drws y Coed, in Dyffryn Nantlle, which sits between Y Garn and Mynydd Mawr which rises sharply at either end of the shores.

As mentioned in the ‘Llyn Bwlch y Moch‘ post, in the 19th century the lake was extended by building a wall on the South side of the lake, and also, the direction of the river flowing out of the lake has been changed, from flowing down the River Llyfni into Dyffryn Nantlle, to now, flowing into the Afon Gwyrfai, and into Llyn y Gadair – just behind Rhyd Ddu.

It’s the lake that Gerallt Gymro (Geraldus Cambrensis – an early historian) described when he wrote about a floating island on a lake, as he and his party passed the lake on the way to Caernarfon, while they were enlisting men for Third Crusade in 1188AD. The floating island was either made of turf, or a slab of peat that broke away from the mainland, or detached itself from the bottom of the lake and floated to the surface, and was being kept afloat by the gasses, such as methane  that came out of the marshlands. He noted that farm animals would often be seen marooned on the island, as they would walk on the island while it was resting on the shore, and it would suddenly drift off.  The scientist Edmond Halley (of the comet fame) confirmed that the island was indeed floating, as surrounded by on-lookers, he swam out to the lake, and started rowing – to which the lake floated along! But, unfortunately, the Island we see in the lake today, isn’t the famous floating Island.

There are many legends surrounding the shores of Llyn y Dywarchen. This is the land of the ‘Tylwyth Teg or the little people. As the Legend goes, a young man was returning home to Drws y Coed from Beddgelert, on a bright moonlit night, and came across a number of ladies known as the Tylwyth Teg, who were going about their nightly tradition of dancing and frolicking. Charmed by the beauty of the Ladies, he fell in love with one, and leaped out into their circle, and stole one of the Tylwyth Teg and wanted her to be his wife. She refused, but became his maid instead, but if he found out her name, she would marry him. He heard the other ‘fairies’ talking about her one evening using her name, so she married her with a warning not to touch her with iron. Unfortunately, while attending to his horse one day, an Iron buckle from the saddle touched the Tylwyth Teg, which in a blink of an eye, caused his beloved to disappear for ever.

Another short legend from the lake, is about another man who spotted the Tylwyth Teg one evening, going about their nightly frolics, and invited the man to join them. They danced away, resulting in the man being transported away to a beautiful country, from which it took 7 years to return.

I don’t know much about the old building which once stood where the car park to the lake is now, as I can’t seem to find any information about it online.

Jun 11


The Upper Lake

Llyn Peris

With the aid of the beautiful road linking Pen-Y-Gwryd and Beddgelert, the two highways running south-eastward from Caernarfon encircle the mountain mass collectively know as Snowdon. The more easterly road from Caernarfon is accompanied by the railway as far as Llanberis.

By Llanberis is meant the modern village of that name. It contains the railway station and is a good two miles from the old village. It is a common centre of the motor routes from the Betws y Coed, Bangor, Caernarfon and Beddgelert, and the quarter chosen by the great majority of tourists who make the ascent of Snowdon, the Glyders, the Elidyrs, and Moel Eilio. The village is situated on the western side of Llyn Padarn, a lake two miles in length. The lake is connected with Llyn Peris by the river Seiont. Boating can be enjoyed on both lakes, and the lakes and rivers alike afford sport for the angler. At the northen end of Llyn padarn is a picturesque stone bridge leading to a Roman camp at Dinas Dinorwic, about a mile off.

A feature of Llanberis often overlooked is the Ceunant Mawr (the ‘big ravine’) with its waterfall, well worth a visit after heavy rain, though less effective in the dry weather. The fall is about 5 minutes’ walk south of the village, up the lane on the right just after crossing the stream as one walks from the station.

At Llanberis begins the ascent of the magnificent Pass of Llanberis.

Llanberis nowadays doesn’t have a train station, but it does indeed have the World best cafe – Pete’s Eat, and by itself is worth a visit! I love how we managed to pin point exactly the first shot here, it was an epic journey, with beautiful views, sunshine, and sunglasses.

Sep 10


North Wales Heroes' Memorial Archway

Bangor, situated on the Southern coast of the Menai Strait, is one of the most ancient cities in Wales. It’s authentic history begins with the erection of a monastery about A.D. 525, by Deiniol, who became the first bishop of the diocese. The name is by some authorities derived from Ban Chor “the high or superior choir”, the early religious communities having been called circles or choirs, while those which exercised jurisdiction over the less important communities around them were distinguished as high or superior choirs.

In Deiniol Road stands the North Wales Heroes’ Memorial Archway, a Memorial to all the men from North Wales who fell in the Great War. The name of every man from North Wales who fell in the Great War (they numbered 8,500) is inscribed on oak panels in the room above the beautiful Tudor archway. It is one of the most impressive War Memorials and the panelled room, with it’s bronze doors, is particularly worth a visit.

Well, I never knew that this Archway was a memorial for the Great War. I used to drive pass this, even walk under it every week, and never once stopped to look at it, and see what it was all about. It sounds quite impressive inside, I wonder if it’s still open to the public?!