A walk - Llyn Idwal, Pen yr Ole Wen, Carnedd Dafydd and Nant Ffrancon


I thought it was about time I started sharing some of the walks that inspire my paintings. So here goes with the first one, undertaken on a sunny day in October. Twelve miles long, it takes in well-trodden and easy paths alongside some straightforward off-piste navigation. However, all this is punctuated by a pretty stiff climb and some scrambling up the side of Pen yr Ole Wen. The total ascent is 3.800 feet. You can download a GPX file of the route here.

Just as the darkness of the night was beginning to lift, I arrived on the shore of Llyn Ogwen and parked up for free in the lay-by about 500 metres east of Idwal Cottage (where the parking is pay and display).

From Idwal Cottage, it was a quick hop up to Llyn Idwal, following the well-made path that starts to the left of the visitor centre.

My main intention this day had been to get some shots of the sunrise catching the tops of Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr, the two mountains that form the backdrop to the lake. Unfortunately, I had completely misread my celestial charts (OK, I didn't actually consult any but maybe I should in future) and quickly realised that the sun was rising in completely the wrong place. and these two peaks were going to remain in shadow.

However, I had consolation of some stunning alternative scenes. Y Garn, Pen yr Ole Wen and the Ogwen Valley are all visible from here and they were bathed in the red glow of dawn.