Drum, Foel Fras and Aber Falls from Aber
|25.85 km||1107 m|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish:
Check out the businesses nearby for more places to stay and drink.
Public Transport: Traveline for UK Public Transport
Parking and Post Code for Sat Nav (where applicable):
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Drum, Foel Fras and Aber Falls from Aber Route Map and GPX Download
Summits and Places on this Route
Drum, Foel Fras and Aber Falls from Aber Details
This route is an epic walk. It wasn’t meant to be so long, it just felt like a good idea to extend the walk a little. You can take the easy option and descend direct to Aber, but this extended walk is a much superior way to end a good mountain day.
Distance, Ascent and Time 26km, 1400m, 8 hours
Difficulties Navigation off path.
Start / End Aber on the A55
Facilities Cafe, parking WC.
Public Transport Buses to Aber from Bangor and Conwy.
The walk starts from the Aber Falls Car park. If you are on a bus, you can walk up to the car park in about 20 mins. There is an old stone bridge over the river, cross this, and follow the country lane uphill. There is a road right, but that leads to the Aber Falls.
Very soon, you reach the end of this road, and a small carpark. While you could start the route from here, you’d need to tackle that road at the days’ end. Rather you than me.Cross the metal stile to your left, and follow the wall uphill. You soon turn right, and you are on a rather obvious track. This is the Roman road. Follow this as far as the signpost that points uphill to Drum.
After this very tricky piece of navigation, follow the track uphill, and it takes you gently to the summit of Drum. You will find some excellent views down towards Llyn Anafon, and it’s valley. There is a good chance you will see some of the Carneddau Ponies here too. Drum has a sizable shelter in it’s cairn, which was needed today. It was far too windy to take a breather without shelter.
The next section is again straightforward, even in mist. Once you find the path off Drum, it leads to the boggy col below Foel Fras, and then straight up to the summit of Foel Fras. Failing that, you can follow the fence first, which is then replaced by wall that leads to the summit. A word of warning, the first stile over the wall is broken and unsafe. Just before the summit, the wall will turn a ninety degree to your left, and the summit is a matter of metres ahead. Don’t expect to have a pleasant lunch stop here, the shelter is barely adequate for 2. We tried, and failed.
The path is again easy to follow off Foel Fras, leading to Garnedd Uchaf. While we tried to follow the right of way that contours around this top, we failed to find it in the thick mist that had been with us since Foel Fras. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself on Garnedd Uchaf, the reascent needed to reach it being barely noticable. Garnedd Uchaf is barely a tor, and just a bump on the greater Carneddau ridge. It has it’s fans though, as it is generally thought of as one of the 3000 footers. Bear right of the tor, and follow a very faint path downhill. You may well need to take some compass bearings if misty here.
You very quickly come to the footpath that contours the north of this top. You might spot the small upright stones that mark this path. They are barely 50cm high, but are rather obvious on the hillside. These mark the path all the way down past Bera Bach, after which the path becomes a very wide track. You follow this to the wide flat col below Y Gyrn, and then between this top and Moel Wnion. You are now descending, and need to keep your eye out for the path junction (SH 640 697) that leads right towards the North Wales Path. A useful pointer is the quarry on the western slope of Moel Wnion should be to your east, but the green trail leading off should be obvious.
Be careful towards the end of the path as it leads you to a river that has steep grassy slopes either side. Instead of crossing it, follow the wall left, and you will be on the North Wales Path. Once on this, there should be no problem routefinding. You will need to decide if you descend after passing the Cross Plantation, or continue to the Aber Falls. To descend, turn left, and this leads to a path that drops steeply right into the village of Aber.
Or, turn right, and follow the easy path to the Aber Falls. This is well worth doing, and with some luck, it should be rather late in the day now. It is a bit of a honeypot, so it can be horribly busy. Luckily, there were only 4 other people at the falls when we arrived. Again, it is an easy walk to the carpark from here after a long and satisfying day.