Explorations of North Wales

Llanberis and Vicinity

Headed for Llanberis, we stopped at an overlook. We enjoyed the ever-present gulls, and this immature blackhead gull really enhanced the view of the mountains behind it. October 23, 1966

This map shows the main area of our explorations during our time in North Wales. We particularly love the Snowdon area, and Llanberis was in the middle of that area. We also became particularly fond of Beddgelert.

On the next week, we were back in the area again, driving south of Llanberis for views of Snowden from the Beddgelert Forest road. We drove by this ram on a narrow, one lane road through the Nantmoor Valley. October 29.

This nice house on the slopes of Snowdon is more than the ordinary farmhouse. We saw it often on our trips to Beddgelert on one of our favorite routes. Note the small camping trailer, or "caravan" as they called them. There is a dusting of snow up on Snowdon on November 19, 1966.

We explored all the paved roads in the Snowdonia National Park and surrounding area. Most of these roads are one-lane roads as shown above, with occasional "laybys" for passing. Usually there were rock walls on both sides of the road, so you definitely could not pass except at the laybys.

The brown vegetation up on the hillside is bracken which has turned for the winter. It is dark green in summer. This British fern is everywhere in the moorlands. Our car is an old Morris Oxford that we bought at auction at a town some distance from Bangor.

The Welsh word for river is "afon", and the river shown is the Afon Glaslyn. The word for lake is "llynn", and closeby is the Llyn Dinas. This was one of our favorite locations for weekend or afternoon excursions. The fall colors were nice, though certainly not as colorful as north Georgia.

This is the valley "Nant Cynnyd" with the Glaslyn River and Llyn Gwynant in the distance. It was taken from a layby on the road to Beddgelert. This valley and lake is supposed to be a good example of the scouring action of a glacier in the last ice age.

Nant Ffrancon

In early December we spotted the snow on the mountains across the Menai Strait and headed for Bethesda and the valley Nant Ffrancon. It is a dramatic glacially created valley and the mountainsides are extremely steep. At the Maescaradog Estate shown to the left I couldn't tell the difference between sheep and patches of snow up on the steep mountainside.

Summer view of Nant Francon.

Nant Ffrancon is described as a legacy of the ice age. The hollows or "cwms" were apparently scoured out by glacial action, and indeed the U-shaped contour of the valley as a whole points to its formation by the movement of a glacier.

Later December brought heavier snows and we returned to the fascinating Nant Ffrancon. With the snow, it was extremely bleak looking, as if it were trying to return to the ice age from which it came.

March 27, 1967

We got only very brief glimpses of the sun during January and February of 1967, but took every opportunity to head back to Snowdonia and Nant Ffrancon. On this nice, but cold day, we headed out early to Nant Ffrancon.

We were amazed to find hardy campers there with their tent! Nant Ffrancon is a good starting place for either walks or strenuous climbs on the dangerous rock cliffs.

Back to one of our favorite exploration places!

These are views of the mountains looking south from Llyn Ogwen.

On our earlier trip on December 4 we had traveled on through Nant Ffrancon and through the small town of Capel Curig to the slopes of one of the major mountains, Moel Siabod. It is only 2860 ft high, but that is considerable when you consider that it starts from approximately sea level. The winter conditions on these mountains can be quite fierce.

Since Llanberis in one direction and Nant Ffrancon in a slightly different direction were not much more than an hour from where we lived in Beaumaris, we headed for one or the other at every opportunity. The exploration of the Snowdon area and up to Moel Siabod was a great joy and blessing for use during our stay in Wales.

Sheepdog near Beddgelert.

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