Posted on 02/12/2016 by Karen
Winter in Snowdonia is beautiful but many of us don’t have the confidence, ability or equipment to tackle the mountains when the days are short and conditions can change rapidly. During the shorter days there are still many areas to go where you can enjoy a good walk and spectacular views without worrying that the mountain rescue will have to help out. The following should give you some idea of the variety of easier walks available. They are between 3 – 5 miles long and full instructions can be found either in the many walk books available or online. The Walk Snowdonia website has a selection of low level walks available. An OS map should not be necessary but often adds an extra dimension.
ABER FALLS (between Bangor and Llanfairfechan)
Starting from the car park on the outskirts of the village of Aber take a clearly marked path up past archaeological remains towards Aber Falls. This 120 foot waterfall is at its very best in winter whether it be either in full flow or better still frozen solid. From the falls return the way you came or extend the walk and circle round onto the Roman Road to enjoy spectacular views over the North Wales coast towards Anglesey and maybe catch a glimpse of the wild horses which graze this land.
A moderate walk, requiring average fitness but the proximity to the sea means that it is rarely covered with snow or ice. Starting in Conwy the path climbs swiftly presenting views of the River Conwy estuary, the Great Orme and Puffin Island. Head to the summit and discover an Iron Age fort and, if you're lucky, catch a glimpse of the wild ponies which across the mountain. To exend the walk continue west towards Pensychnant and return to Conwy on one of the lower level paths. For easy acces to Conwy Mountain you could stay at Pen Pyra Cottage pictured above.
BETWS Y COED
There are many walks going directly from the village, usually on forestry trails. Llyn Elsi (Llyn is Welsh for Lake) is a personal favourite and is particularly spectacular surrounded by frost encrusted trees. Llyn Parc on the other side of the valley is another interesting walk which takes you past the old mine works.
From the village of Trefriw drive up to Lake Crafnant. Park in the purpose built car park, complete with toilets and picnic tables, and choose one of the marked walks around this lovely lake surrounded by mountains. To extend the walk choose a path the continues into the next valley and circles round Lake Geirionydd as well. For an alternative route leave the car in Trefriw and enjoy a pleasant walk straight up to Llyn Geirionydd with lovely views of the valley. Once there either circle the lake or, if you’re feeling energetic, include Lake Crafnant as well before returning back to Trefriw.
GREAT ORME LLANDUDNO
Dominating the seaside resort of Llandudno is the Great Orme. There are many paths over and around the Great Orme all enjoying great views either out to sea, over the town or down the Conwy Valley and enoughvariety to provide several walks during your stay. For a low level winter walk take the toll road which circles round under the cliffs and stop for a cuppa at The Rest and be Thankful café halfway round. For a higher route, drive up to the summit and walk round the walled area (about 1.5 miles) enjoying views out to sea and along the North Wales coast. Challenge yourself with a treck up to the summit (207m or 678ft) from The West Shore or traverse from the West Shore to the North Shore along Invalids walk, not really suitable for invalids but mainly flat.
These are just a small selection of the many low level walks available suitable for all times of the year but particularly useful during the colder months. Don’t forget the coastal paths along the North Wales coast and right round the island of Anglesey. Wrap up warmly, take a hot flask and have a wonderful time.