wild wales: Pensychnant Upland Walk; weekend walk.
Where is it?
The Sychnant Pass between Penmaenmawr and Conwy.
What's the attraction?
Coastal, valley and mountain views.
How do you get there?
Leave the A55 at junction 18 to follow the A547 to Conwy. From the town square, continue towards Bangor and take a sharp left turn after the arch, then turn right onto Sychnant Pass Road at a T-junction. Continue for about 2 1/2 miles to the National Park car park on your left (grid ref SH755 769).
How long will it take?
About 3 1/2 hours - 4 1/2 miles.
Easy to moderate. Tracks and grassy paths, some uphill slopes. Boots and warm/waterproof clothing recommended.
From the car park, follow a track away from the road towards farm buildings. Just before the buildings, follow a track around to the right, keeping right to join a rougher track.
Continue to wind up the main track past a left turn until you are level with hills on either side. You will see a small boulder on your right at a junction with a footpath. Pause here to enjoy spectacular views over Conwy and the North Wales coast.
Continue along the track until you are close to a wall and arrive at a junction with a fainter track. The wall on your left marks the boundary of the enclosed land and open moorland.
The wall was built in the 18th century, probably, of boulders collected from the hillside during the clearing of newly-created fields. The walls are remarkable examples of the stone-waller's skill. Today the skill has been revived as farmers are given the opportunity to rebuild through countryside stewardship schemes.
Follow the track close to the wall until you come to the remains of a circle of large standing stones. This stone circle is thought to be 3,500 years old, dating from the Bronze Age, and may have had religious significance.
Carry on along the track to a T-junction at the corner of the wall you've been following. Turn left towards a gate. Tyddyn Grasod is to your left and a "multicellular" sheepfold to your right.
Turn around to have the sheep pens to your left and Tyddyn Grasod to your right. Retrace your steps along the track ahead of you, then take a left fork.
Cross over a well-used track to follow a fainter track/path down to the ruins of a homestead, Waen Gyrach. Keeping the remains of the homestead to your left, walk down as far as trees and a North Wales Path way-marker. Turn right here onto the North Wales Path.
Continue along this path for about 1 1/2 miles, past a glacial erratic - a boulder dumped by glaciers during the Ice Age - until you arrive at a T-junction with a wall in front of you. Turn right, leaving the North Wales Path, to follow a footpath to a stile.
Go over the stile to follow a footpath past a lake, then turn left to rejoin the track you started out on and go back to the car park.
The lake, Gwern Engan, is noted for its rich bog vegetation and dragonflies. In World War II this area was used for training by the Home Guard.
(Conwy Council Countryside warden) and Julian Thompson (Pensychnant Nature Conservation Centre) will be leading this walk on Wednesday July 19 as part of Conwy Walking Week, starting from the National Park car park at 2pm. A booklet on Pensychnant Upland Walk is available on 01492 575290 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Walking the Sychnant Pass gives stunning views over the Menai Strait to Anglesey