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Pen-y-pass to Llyn Gwynant; walk.

Byline: By John Tanner

Where is it?

Starts at the top of the Llanberis Pass, below Snowdon.

What's the attraction?

Unusual valley route with dramatic peaks all around.

How do you get there?

Pen-y-pass is in Snowdonia on the A4086 south-east of Llanberis. There's a large car park (map ref 647 557) with a hefty charge. It's the start point for three routes up Snowdon and has a hostel and cafA/shop, so arrive early to make sure of a space, or get there by bus from Llanberis or Betws y Coed.

How long will it take?

About two hours.

Difficulty rating?

Easy. Tracks and a lane - watch out for some boggy sections in meadows.

Let's go...

This is a rarity in Snowdonia, or anywhere else for that matter - a hike that's almost all downhill. You start from the highest point of the walk and make your way down to the lowest. Then a bus does your climbing for you on the return trip.

Go back towards the road and in the right-hand corner of the car park, next to the road, you'll see a footpath sign. Follow it to a track that descends a slope below the road. You're in a wide, grassy, V-shaped cleft with a tumbling stream, the Afon Trawsnant, below you. It's a tributary of the rather grander Afon Glaslyn.

Various tracks dive off to left or right. It doesn't matter much which you take as long as you gradually get closer to the stream, and further from the road. You'll see a footbridge over the stream near some stunted tress. Cross it and follow the path down the slope of the upper Nant Gwynant valley. The ridge of the Glyderau mountains is off to your left, Snowdon rises immediately behind you and the lower hills beyond Nant Gwynant are ahead.

Bear right with the stream, keeping it on your left, and you'll soon see Afon Glaslyn crashing down the mountainside to your right, and the fat pipeline that leads down from Llyn Llydaw to a waterworks on the valley floor. You may not recognise it as a waterworks. It's been built to look like a stone-and-slate chapel, which you'll either find a rather twee touch or else be impressed by the way it blends with the landscape. At any rate, there's been no attempt to disguise the much more disfiguring pipeline.

An access lane leads to the "chapel". Follow it uphill, away from the building and bear right as it follows the line of the Beddgelert road southwards towards Llyn Gwynant. The lane reaches the main road near the lake's northern shore. Here there are great views across the water to the ragged peaks of Y Lliwedd.

From the junction with the road you can get a bus back to the car park. Check ahead for times: Gwynedd Council's web site,, has full timetables. You can walk back along the road, but slogging uphill for an hour or so, on tarmac, dodging traffic, may not be your idea of a country ramble.

WALES' woods have always been an important resource for timber and other products. Now more and more people are learning to enjoy them in all sorts of ways.

So why not go along to the launch of the Wales Woodland Celebration at Bodfari Charcoal, Denbigh next Saturday (March 25) and have a go on a pole lathe, try your hand at hurdle making or find out what you can learn at a Forest School?

This is the first in nearly 300 Wales-wide woodland events, details of which are available in a free new guidebook.

From March to December there will be hundreds of special events held across Wales to show how many different ways there are to get into the woods. Coed Lleol has brought all of them together to form the Wales Woodland Celebration 2006.

Events programmes are available throughout Wales at tourist information centres, libraries and other visitor centres, or you can contact Coed Lleol for a copy. The Wales Woodland Celebration will also be available on the Coed Lleol website:

Meanwhile students studying the ND level 2 Animal Management course at the Welsh College of Horticulture have been busy getting hands-on over the last few weeks.

The enthusiastic team have been working on building an enclosure from raw materials to house rescued Harris' Hawks (Parabuteo unicinctus). The enclosure has been built within the animal unit at the college and was finished this week.

Tutor Lindon Webb said: "It's great to see the group getting involved with animal welfare and departmental developments.

This is an important part of their course work which involves them working as part of a team and using their own initiative".

Anyone who would like information on the wide range of animal studies courses available at the college, please call 01352 841000.


Take a break at stunning Llyn Gwynant to enjoy the fine views Picture: RICHARD WILLIAMS
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Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 18, 2006
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