With the looming bonanza of bank holidays, whether you’re lucky/unlucky enough to have them, you’ll no doubt be hoping to get out to the hills. If you want to share the experience with a crocodile of others then just get to Pen Y Pass by around 7 am and join them on the PYG. If you’re looking for a bit more solitude, then why not try these walks ? Some of them will be quieter routes to the usual summits, so you’ll have to share the summit cairn, but others will be less visited and much lonelier.
10 – Marchlyn Mawr Circuit – The quieter end of the Glyderau. You can walk this in either direction and it’s worthwhile to dogleg out to Y Garn while you’re at it.
9 – Cadair Berwyn from Llandrillo – Wild remote and boggy. Did I mention they were boggy? Far from the crowds of Snowdonia with the advantage of being quieter and if travelling from o’er the border then nearer.
8 –Dolwyddelan Circuit – Moel Meirch and Ysgafell Wen – Starting from Dolwyddelan, you can get the quietest of these hills. You can follow the route within, or take on Siabod’s Daear Ddu ridge then over to Cnicht and make it a truly epic day.
7 – Y Ro Wen and Moel Penamnen again from Dolwyddelan. Remarkably remote walk while still not too far from civilisation that covers rough and pathless terrain. You’ll be hard pressed to bump into many here. Best points are the solitude, the big skies over the Migneint and the views across to the mountains of Eryri.
6 – Cader Idris from Dolgellau – This is a long circuit, ideal for a wild camp, starting in the south Snowdonia town of Dolgellau. It ascends the Cader massif from the east along an easy but pathless ridge. You’ll have to be braced for the contrast once you reach the main summits as you’ll probably have had the mountain to yourself till then! It returns via King’s Youth Hostel (you could cut the walk down by stopping here) and then along the Penmaenpool to Mawddach trail, passing, or probably popping into, the George III on the way.
5 – Carnedd Llewelyn from Rachub – This is a long day in the Carneddau along the Aryg ridge. This route gives you the best of the northern Carneddau and can be a challenge in mist! Crowning off the walk visiting Carnedd Llewelyn and then down to Aber via Drum or Cwm Anafon. You’ll probably see a few people on the way, but these hills are so vast that it’l seem quieter!
4 – Carneddau from Cwm Caseg Or take the next ridge along and climb the elusive Elen as well? This is the easier version of the walk, where you can also walk up to Ffynon Caseg and take the scrambly NE ridge of Elen for a wonderful scramble.
3 –Arenig Fawr and Moel Llyfnant from Arenig Remote and quiet. Extensive views of the entire national park. Quiet and worthwhile. Not quiet enough? Try taking the mountain and the heather head on via this route!
2 – Rhinog Fawr from Cwm Bychan – There are so many routes in the Northern Rhinogydd that you can choose, ironically this is probably going to be the busiest. The first section takes you across the infamous Rhinogydd Badlands that aren’t as bad as you’d imagine. Just allow a couple of hours for the 2 or 3 km that the cover.
1 – Snowdon via Cwm Clogwyn – A ‘new’ route up Snowdon? Got to be kidding, right? Well it is a little contrived, but a wonderful circuit for a bank holiday weekend. You can do even better by starting from Rhyd Ddu via the Clogwyn Gwin path then following the route up Cwm Clogwyn. Descent should then be by a suitably perverse route, though we’ve still got a few quiet Snowdon routes we’re keeping under our hats, perhaps descending the South Ridge and then topping off the day with Yr Aran and back to Rhyd Ddu.