All posts by Tony Ellis

Cowlyd Circular

Friday 15th May, 2020

Cowlyd Circular

Llyn Cowlyd lies in the foothills of the Carneddau mountains behind Trefriw, and provides water for the Conwy valley and some of the towns on the coast. We’ll be walking round the lake at high level.

The minibus will take us to Cwm Cowlyd at the lake’s northern end, just 3 miles from Trefriw, where we will then walk up Pen Llithrig y Wrach (2621′ / 799m) on its north-western side (in the picture). From the summit there is a steepish descent to the far end of the lake. From there we will ascend Creigiau Gleision (2224′ / 678m) on the other side of Llyn Cowlyd (from where the picture is taken) before dropping down to the Crafnant valley and returning on foot to Trefriw. If the visibility is good, the views from these two tops will be stunning.

This area is remote, one part can be boggy, and it can be cold on the tops, even in May. Please ensure that you have warm, waterproof clothing (including hat and gloves) and good boots.

Duration:  All day.  Please bring a packed lunch.

Distance:  About 9 miles / 14.5 km

Grade:  Strenuous mountain.  There is a total of some 2,600′ (792m) of ascent.

Suitability:  Fit and experienced walkers

Meet:  8:15 a.m. at Trefriw Village Hall (LL27 0JH, SH781631)
Tea and cake will be available in the Hall both before and after your walk. You are welcome to stay and socialise!

Walk Leaders:  Tony Ellis (local author) and Paul Newell


Click on the map to see the rough location of this walk.

Booking:   To book a place on this walk, use the ‘Eventbrite’ box below. 

Please ensure that you have read the booking information, terms and conditions before you attend any walks.

Please note that, although we make no charge for our walks, we do ask for voluntary donations (cash or card). More details on our funding page.

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Bristly Ridge and the Glyders

Friday 15th May, 2020

Bristly Ridge and the Glyders

We will travel by minibus to the Ogwen Valley Visitor Centre, from where we will walk up to Bwlch Tryfan to start the ascent of Bristly Ridge up onto the Glyders. This is a long grade 1 scramble with some exposed sections, but with plentiful hand holds (see the ridge in the photo above).

Once at the top we will explore Glyder Fach (994 m / 3,261 ft), including the Cantilever and Castle of the Winds, then walk over to Glyder Fawr (1,001 m  / 3,284 ft), before descending, probably by way of The Devil’s Kitchen, to Llyn Idwal and Ogwen for the minibus back to Trefriw.

Duration:  All day.  Please bring a packed lunch.

Distance:  About 6 miles / 10 km

Grade:  Strenuous mountain, with a long section of grade 1 scramble.

Suitability:  Fit and experienced walkers. Participants must be used to coping with rough terrain  and long days in the mountains.

Remember that it will be much colder on the tops, even in May.  Please ensure that you have good, warm, waterproof clothing, including hat and gloves, and suitable sturdy boots (no trainers).

Meet:  8:45 a.m. at Trefriw Village Hall (LL27 0JH, SH781631)
Tea and cake will be available in the Hall both before and after your walk. You are welcome to stay and socialise!

Walk Leaders:  Rob Collister (author of ‘Days to Remember’) and Idris Bowen   (Read an interview with Rob here.)


Click on the map to see the rough location of this walk.

Booking:   To book a place on this walk, use the ‘Eventbrite’ box below.    Note that places are limited to 8 people.

Please ensure that you have read the booking information, terms and conditions before you attend any walks.

Please note that, although we make no charge for our walks, we do ask for voluntary donations (cash or card). More details on our funding page.

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The World at your Feet

Friday 15th May, 2020

The World at your Feet

This walk takes a leisurely route from Trefriw in the Conwy valley through the lush forested Crafnant valley towards the lake bearing the same name. From here the walk takes on a whole different feel as we ascend the col at the head of the valley and over the watershed into the upper Llugwy valley. Forests give way to moorland and there’s a real chance of seeing a range of birds of prey here as well as discovering the various spring flowers in bloom. The feeling of being in the wild mountainous terrain is achieved but without the exertion of climbing any of the higher mountains. The rough, upland path is paved in places but is easily navigated. We descend to the Siabod Cafe in Capel Curig for a very welcome cuppa and piece of cake!

Duration:  All day.  Please bring a packed lunch.

Distance:  about 6.5 miles / 10 km

Grade:  Moderate, but leisurely.  500′ of ascent.

Meet:  9:00 a.m. at Trefriw Village Hall (LL27 0JH, SH781631)
Tea and cake will be available in the Hall both before and after your walk. You are welcome to stay and socialise!

Walk Leaders:  Jim Langley (of Nature’s Work) and Gill Scheltinga
Jim Langley is a specialist in alpine flowers, and has a Master’s degree in conservation and land management. (Read more about him here.)


Click on the map to see the rough location of this walk.

Booking:   To book a place on this walk, use the ‘Eventbrite’ box below.

Please ensure that you have read the booking information, terms and conditions before you attend any walks.

Please note that, although we make no charge for our walks, we do ask for voluntary donations (cash or card). More details on our funding page.

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Rivers, Lakes and Falls

Friday 15th May

Rivers, Lakes and Falls

This is a gorgeous walk in three parts:
The first part of the walk sees us walking past the Fairy Falls waterfall, then beside the river Crafnant out of the village and up along the Crafnant valley, as far as its confluence with the Afon Geirionydd. Here there is a short strenuous section as the river flows past waterfalls and down a gorge, and we follow this short river up to Llyn Geirionydd (with toilets at its far end).
The middle section sees us crossing the upper part of the Gwydir Forest, passing a couple of beautiful lakes, and some great views, before descending to the river Conwy upstream of Gwydir Castle.
We’ll also make a short detour to see the Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall.
The last third of the walk – a level section – sees us following the banks of the river Conwy, past Llanrwst, then round the riverside Cob back to Trefriw.

Duration:  All dayPlease bring a packed lunch.

Distance:  About 10.5 miles / 17 km

Grade:  Moderate (with a short, steeper uphill section, but also a long final easy section)

Meet:  9:15 a.m. at Trefriw Village Hall (LL27 0JH, SH781631)
Tea and cake will be available in the Hall both before and after your walk. You are welcome to stay and socialise!

Walk Leaders:  Nigel Thomas and Linda Roberts


  Click on the map to see the rough location of this walk.

Booking:  To book a place on this walk, use the ‘Eventbrite’ box below. 

Please ensure that you have read the booking information, terms and conditions before you attend any walks.

Please note that, although we make no charge for our walks, we do ask for voluntary donations (cash or card). More details on our funding page.

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Parc Life

Friday 15th May, 2020

Parc Life

We’ll catch the minibus for a 5-minute ride down to Sawbench carpark, near Gwydir Castle, then follow the path overlooking the Conwy valley up to Llyn Parc.  We’ll walk along the lakeside, then we’ll head back to Trefriw through some of the most scenic parts of the Gwydir Forest. Expect pretty paths and good views.

Duration:  All day.  Please bring a packed lunch.

Distance:  About 8.5 miles / 13.5 km

Grade:  Moderate, but leisurely

Meet:  10:15 a.m. at Trefriw Village Hall (LL27 0JH, SH781631)
Tea and cake will be available in the Hall both before and after your walk. You are welcome to stay and socialise!

Walk Leaders:  Colin Devine and Clive Noble


Click on the map to see the rough location of this walk.

Booking:   To book a place on this walk, use the ‘Eventbrite’ box below.

Please ensure that you have read the booking information, terms and conditions before you attend any walks.

Please note that, although we make no charge for our walks, we do ask for voluntary donations (cash or card). More details on our funding page.

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A Short Mindfulness Walk

Friday 15th May, 2020

A Short Mindfulness Walk  (afternoon)

Join us for a meditative and contemplative walk to connect with self and the natural world.

We will initially meet at Trefriw Village Hall for a car-share to Gwydir Uchaf chapel (just 2 miles from Trefriw – see here).

The walk will be a 45-minute, slow meditative walk from Gwydir Uchaf Chapel along the undulating Lady Mary Walk on the edge of Gwydir Forest.  There will be a short session of meditation before and after the walk. Afterwards we will return by car-share to Trefriw.

Whilst this walk is the shortest in the Walking Festival, its effect could be powerful.

Duration:  1.5 – 2 hours.

Distance:  About 1.5 miles / 2 km

Grade: Easy, leisurely

Meet: 1:15 p.m.  at Trefriw Village Hall (LL27 0JH, SH781631) to then car-share to Gwydir Uchaf chapel (2 miles from Trefriw)
Tea and cake will be available in the Hall both before and after your walk. You are welcome to stay and socialise!

Walk Leaders: Gwen Parri and Kim Ellis


Click on the map to see the rough location of this walk.

Booking: To book a place on this walk, use the ‘Eventbrite’ box below.

Please ensure that you have read the booking information, terms and conditions before you attend any walks.

Please note that, although we make no charge for our walks, we do ask for voluntary donations (cash or card). More details on our funding page.

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Walk and Woof!

Friday 15th May, 2020

Walk and Woof!  (afternoon)

Normally we do not permit dogs on our walks, for various reasons, but this year there will be a walk specifically for walkers with dogs!

Rather than meeting and registering at Trefriw Village Hall, our usual venue, for this walk we will meet at Sawbench. (This is the car park for the Gwydir Mawr and Bach bike trails, just 5 minutes by car from Trefriw, on the edge of the Gwydir Forest – see the location and journey from Trefriw here). From there we will be walking on good forest tracks where there will be no likelihood of encountering sheep or ground-nesting birds.

Please note that we would like you to keep your dogs on a lead.

Duration:  About 2 hours

Distance:  About 4 miles / 6.5 km

Grade:  Moderate, but leisurely

Meet:  1:45 p.m. at Sawbench car park (SH790 609) near Gwydir Castle  (marked on the map as Gwydir Mawr/Bach, as this is also the bike trail car park).   Note that this walk does not meet at the Village Hall.

Walk Leaders:  Jan Blaskiewicz (with her dog, Indie) and Karen Martindale


Click on the map to see the rough location of this walk.

Booking:  To book a place on this walk, use the ‘Eventbrite’ box below. Note that places are limited to 10 people.

Please ensure that you have read the booking information, terms and conditions before you attend any walks.

Please note that, although we make no charge for our walks, we do ask for voluntary donations (cash or card). More details on our funding page.

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Wind-down wander

Friday 15th May, 2020

Wind-down Wander  (evening)

We’ve never done this before, but this is a leisurely evening stroll ending up at a pub beer garden!  The emphasis is on relaxing and socialising, and it is likely that a number of our organising team and regular walk leaders will also want to join us.

Duration:  1.5 hours

Distance:  about 3 miles / 5 km

Grade:  Leisurely

Meet:  7:00 p.m. at Trefriw Village Hall (LL27 0JH, SH781631)

Walk Leaders:  various


Click on the map to see the rough location of this walk.

Booking:   No booking is necessary for this walk – just turn up. (Though note that this means you won’t get an automated reminder.)

Please ensure that you have read the booking information, terms and conditions before you attend any walks.

Please note that, although we make no charge for our walks, we do ask for voluntary donations (card or cash). More details on our funding page.

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The Prince and the Witch

Saturday 16th May, 2020

The Prince and the Witch

This is our big mountain walk this year  – a long high level hike to Wales’s 2nd highest peak

We’ll firstly be travelling by minibus (just 10 minutes) up and over the hill behind Trefriw, to Cwm Cowlyd.
From there we’ll be walking to the summit of Carnedd Llywelyn (the ‘prince’, at 1,064 m / 3,491′ second only to Snowdon), returning via the spectacular Pen yr Helgi Du ridge and Pen Llithrig y Wrach (the ‘witch’, 799 m / 2,621 ft) to Cwm Cowlyd and then back to Trefriw.  In good weather the views will be splendid, but make no bones about it, this is a long, tough walk with lots of ascent (1220m / 4000′) and some exposed ridges.

The route does not always follow obvious paths.  Note that some sections are exposed, and in a couple of places hands will be needed.

If the minibus is available, we’ll get a lift back to Trefriw from Cwm Cowlyd, otherwise we’ll start back and meet it part way.

Duration:  All day.  Please bring a packed lunch.

Distance:  About 11 miles / 18 km   (further if we walk partly back to Trefriw from Cowlyd)

Grade:  Strenuous high mountain.  Remember that it is colder at altitude, even in May.  And it can be wet too. Full water/windproofs, plenty of warm clothing (including hat and gloves) and good mountain boots are essential.

Suitability:    Fit, experienced walkers

Meet:  8:15 a.m. at Trefriw Village Hall (LL27 0JH, SH781631)
Tea and cake will be available in the Hall both before and after your walk. You are welcome to stay and socialise!

Walk Leaders:  Mike Bolsover and Nick Livesey (award-winning photographer)


Click on the map to see the rough location of this walk.

Booking:   To book a place on this walk, use the ‘Eventbrite’ box below.

Please ensure that you have read the booking information, terms and conditions before you attend any walks.

Please note that, although we make no charge for our walks, we do ask for voluntary donations (card or cash). More details on our funding page.

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