top of page

A walk - mountain and sea views, windswept moors and a lot of archaeology (Allt Wen, Conwy Mountain,

As soon as I drew back the curtains and couldn't see a single star I knew this was indeed going to be the grey and overcast October day that the forecasters had predicted. North Wales had been right on the fringe of the cloud zone on their map, so when I'd gone to bed I'd retained some hope that they might be just a little bit wrong.

I even went back to bed for ten minutes before deciding that, as I was now awake, I might as well get up and head off for the walk that I had planned the day before - a tour of the most northerly part of Snowdonia, where it meets Conwy bay. The poor light would mean limited inspiration for paintings but I was all psyched up for walking and you never know, I might be lucky.

The route I followed is 19 miles long and involves straightforward walking, following well-defined and waymarked paths and involving no major climbs. However, the numerous minor hills (many of which could easily be by-passed) add up to a total ascent of 4,350 feet. A GPX file of the route can be downloaded here. I parked (for free) at Echo Rock, the highest point on the Sychnant Pass above Conwy.

My first calling point, Allt Wen, rose directly in front of me and is initially accessed via the metalled farm track that starts opposite the car park. It was only as I branched left off the track and headed up the obvious path to the summit that I began to realise how much the howling gale would be a significant factor today. Although the views from the top are superb, I decided that the ability able to stand and breathe were more important and quickly dropped down into the relative shelter of the eastern slopes, aiming for Conwy Mountain.

Excepting the small farm below Allt Wen, the heather-covered hillsides are access land, meaning you can walk freely, and they are criss-crossed by a multitude of paths. I decided to hug the coastal side with its sea views, passing north of the farm and taking in the summit of Penmaen-bach en route.