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Mountain Walks from Beddgelert and Nant Gwynant in Snowdonia

By Dave Roberts   

on January 12, 2018    5/5 (1)

Mountain Walks from Beddgelert and Nant Gwynant in Snowdonia

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Beddgelert is a picturesque chocolate box village, dominated by Moel Hebog as well as the tourists. There’s a good selection of pubs here as well as eateries to please all after a tough walk, of which there are plenty to choose from. Things to do – laugh at coach drivers who don’t think the signs apply to them trying to manoeuvre the corner past the bridge. There’s the Welsh Highland Railway, one of the Great Little Trains of Wales, that’s one of the best ways to get here from either Caernarfon or Porthmadog.

Further up the valley, nestling between two lakes, is the wooded valley of Nant Gwynant This has to be the most picturesque starting point to any walk in North Snowdonia. It’s only a pub away from perfection. With the Watkin Path up Snowdon being the most obvious walking route from this location, it is certainly not the only one and despite it’s popularity not necessarily the most appealing option due to the unpleasant scree slope it crosses just before the summit.

Don’t let this put you off though, as the remainder of the route is most pleasant. You could also ascend via the Snowdon South Ridge or Y Lliwedd, or perhaps perversely just ascend Y Lliwedd via a quiet route and down the Watkin Path, avoiding the busy summit as well as the scree path

The Watkin Path

Opened in 1892 the Watkin Path was never truly finished. It has more ascent than any other direct route, but the Llanberis Path starts off only 50m higher and involves a little more distance. One of the most scenic of all the routes up as it starts off through some ancient woodland before passing a waterfall before ascending to Bwlch Ciliau and Yr Wyddfa. A pleasure to walk for most of it’s distance, the final eroded scree chute up to the summit rather detracts from the path’s overall appeal. However, no other path can boast a Prime Minister, commandos and a Carry on Film among it’s myriad claims to fame.

Snowdon Allt Maendryn (South) Ridge from Nant Gwynant 

This is a much quieter and superior option to walking the Watkin path. Having sections that are off path, you start to forget that you’re on the busiest hills in the country. Descend via Y Lliwedd for one of the lesser known classic horseshoe walks.

Mountain Walks from Beddgelert and Nant Gwynant in Snowdonia

Moel Hebog and Satellite peaks from Beddgelert.

The peak of Moel Hebog dominates the village of Beddgelert. This is the classic route up that hill, returning over the summits of Moel yr Ogof where Owain Glyndwr is said to have hidden from the English, and Moel Lefn and a final woodland walk to the start.

Mountain Walks from Beddgelert and Nant Gwynant in Snowdonia

Llyn yr Adar and Cnicht. 

A decent length circular walk that is essentially an ascent of Cnicht from Beddgelert, via the Aberglaslyn Gorge and returning past Llyn yr Adar, Llyn Llagi and Llyn Dinas for plenty of variety.

Continue over  Ysgafell Wen and on to Dolwyddelan for a longer route, or if you want to get a wild camp in.

Moel y Dyniewyd from Beddgelert

Nestling between the popular peaks of Yr Wyddfa, Moel Hebog and Cnicht is an area of rough, lower ground that other than a few choice paths, is rarely visited. Directly below Cnicht there’s Yr Arddu, a wild rocky terrain with the twin rocky lakes of Llynnoedd Cerrig y Myllt and Llyn yr Arddu being among some of the more beautiful in the park. To the north is Moel y Dyniewyd, a Marilyn at 382 m, but even if it is half the height of all the surrounding mountains, it’s easily as tough to get to the top!

Mountain Walks from Beddgelert and Nant Gwynant in Snowdonia

Moel Meirch and Llyn Edno from Nant Gwynant.

This is a circuit of contrasts as it takes you up the Nant Gwynant valley before taking on the wild and boggy hills between Siabod and Cnicht. You walk through wooded lowlands and rugged high ground of Moel Meirch that’s some of the roughest in the area.  You may not see another soul once you are on the upland portion, and there’s a café at the start / end so you can look forward to some proper food. The walk can easily be extended to Cnicht if you wish.

You can take a rougher, shorter route by following the route up Moel Meirch from Nant Gwynant.

Mountain Walks from Beddgelert and Nant Gwynant in Snowdonia

Cnicht and Allt Fawr from Gelli Iago.

A pleasant and unusual ascent of Cnicht, plus a trip out to these quieter outlying hills of Ysgafell Wen, Moel Druman and Allt Fawr. This is the unfashionable side of Cnicht, whose profile is unrecognisable from the classic pyramid seen from the south. This is the real face of Cnicht, the one it wears in bed with curlers and no make up. The walk is partly off path, and you’ll need some navigational skills to follow the route, especially in mist.

Mountain Walks from Beddgelert and Nant Gwynant in Snowdonia

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Dave Roberts

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