Walk up Tal y Fan From Aber to Dwygyfylchi
A linear walk along the roman road to Bwlch y Ddeufaen and over the summits of Foel Lwyd and Tal y Fan.
Route Start Location: Aber to Dwyfyfychi
|15.74 km||644 m||5 - 6 hours|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Activivity Type: Hard Walk
Summits and Places on this Route
Cafes at Aber, parking and WC at start. Fairy Glen pub at the finish.
Plenty of off path sections requiring good navigation, especially in poor visibility.
Aber Falls car park has plenty of spaces but can fill up early with visitors to the falls.
Plenty of buses to the village from Bangor or Conwy sides. Buses can be used to return to Aber if you need to get back to your car.
Walk up Tal y Fan From Aber to Dwygyfylchi Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download
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Walk up Tal y Fan From Aber to Dwygyfylchi
This walk up Tal y Fan, the shortest and most northerly of the Carneddau, via the roman road from Aber. The routes includes the summits of Foel Llwyd and Tal y Fan before descending to Capelulo or an optional continuation to Conwy.
Walk up Tal y Fan From Aber to Dwygyfylchi Full Route Description
Looking over the maps left me with a lot of choices, and so I decided to go for a new walk that bagged a few new summits. The area to the north of the roman road in Bwlch y Ddeufaen was unknown to me, and I was curious about it, so that was settled.
It was an eight thirty start from Abergwyngregyn, which has to rank as the best starting points in Northern Eryri. Especially on a hot summer’s day, when you can take advantage of the cool and shade. Not to mention the contrast of verdant, wooded valley and high Carneddau mountains to follow. Today, the trees were bare, thankfully as conifers don’t quite give out the same ambience as ancient woodland (though it was in some conifers higher up the road i saw a couple of squirrels run into). The road starts at the café or old garage on the old main road (not A55) and there is a regular bus service along this section.
So if you must, you can leave your car here and return to it by bus. This leads you past some houses and up into the forest. Navigation here is simple, just when you get to the old bridge (Bont Newydd – ironically ‘new bridge’) keep to the right and don’t follow the tracks up to Aber Falls, though if you have the time then this would be a good detour on a quiet day. Make sure it is a quiet day though, as it is a bit of a honeypot for tourists.
The road leads upwards until you reach a small carpark, here turn right following the sign for the North Wales Path. Continue onto this footpath, you should immediately see a plaque for the National Trust – Carneddau. The track, or road, is easily followed from here as far as Bwlch y Ddeufaen, just follow the pylons. The biggest drawback for this route, is these eyesores, which crackle ominously above. Though, that said, were they not there I would not be typing this out on my PC. Half way to Bwlch y Ddeufaen there is a proper crossroads, with signpost. So if you feel the need, you can retreat to Llanfairfechan or follow a track straight up into the Carneddau. We, however are to plod onwards to Bwlch y Ddeufaen. Keep an eye out for the wild ponies, of which I counted about 16 today.
At the Bwlch, there is a gate and a wall running all the way up to the summit of Foel Lwyd. There is a route alongside the wall, but it seems sensible to tack a bit to the left, along pony tracks, and avoid the steeper ground. Masochists can follow the wall direct. Be warned, this isn’t the easiest ground to follow. It has Gorse and heather, and paths going in all directions. The summit of Foel Lwyd (603m) is reached eventually, over all the heather, and is a disappointment. The view isn’t though, as you can see over the Carneddau, Dyffryn Conwy and the Great Orme.
The worst view is towards Tal y Fan, where you realise that the col between is both knee deep in heather and mud. Advice here is keep to the wall (I kept to the path, and got muddy despite the semi-frozen ground), which has a nice green path. At the bottom of the col, there is a path that leads off the mountain in both directions (a useful descent back to Abergwyngregyn, or a sensible route off to continue northwards). We need to follow the wall, and a faint path, up to the summit of Tal y Fan. A little scrambling is involved here, nothing difficult, and probably avoidable.
The summit is a proper summit with Trig point and rocks on which to perch oneself to eat and enjoy the view. It even had its own radio ham, who was trying to see how far he could reach with his equipment. (Apparently, this was a member of the Summits On The Air Group, i checked and, yep, they ascended Tal-Y-Fan that day! 11/4/05)Descent from here, for the wise is back whence you came and follow the path that crosses the col northwards. I spotted a path that left the summit northwards, for a horrible, steep descent that takes you nowhere in particular.
Fortunately, at the base there are plenty of pony tracks which serve to confuse you further. If you find yourself here, the best bet navigationally, as it is flat and impossible to spot the path, is to head for 2 stone enclosures that are marked as two square buildings on the 1:25000 map only. The good news is that the ground across here is relatively dry, and the main obstacle being the heather. Once you reach the proper path (unless you started off on it) it is now a straightforward, albeit very wet and similar to stream walking, continue along it until the track climbs Cefn Maen Amor. You need to head towards the footpath that passes above 2 small reservoirs to your left. Again, there are many paths here, so good navigation is needed in poor weather. I merely pointed myself towards the Great Orme, and with good visibility, and a little mapwork was able to find myself on the North Wales Path again. You join the NWP at a farm, not named on the map, at 740749 and follow it right along the obvious good path.
In about a kilometre, the path dips into a small valley (literally 10, 20m drop!) with a river and farm walls to the left. You can carry on along the NWP to Conwy from here, and it is well signposted. However, a dodgy knee on descent forced my descent down Fairy Glen to Dwygyfylchi. This proved fortunate, as it’s a pleasant, albeit steep, descent to the Hamlet of Capelulo, and if you’re lucky the Fairy Glen pub will be open. I turned left to get to Dwygyfylchi and the bus, crossing the golf course, but on re-inspecting my route, I think that a footpath directly opposit the pubs would get you there easier (difficult to see it under the park boundary yellow) without the hassle of crossing the local golf course. After saying the buses here were frequent, I arrived at the stop and within 2 minutes was sat on a bus home.