Author Topic: Trip Report: Snowdonia Slate Trail, Sep 2019  (Read 413 times)

PeteL

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Trip Report: Snowdonia Slate Trail, Sep 2019
« on: 16:48:22, 24/11/19 »

Just posted a report and pictures from our Snowdonia Slate Trail trip at the start of September. Really excellent route, loads of old slate workings of course - mineshafts, massive spoil tips, built-up levels and inclines, abandoned buildings, overgrown ruins, and rusting machinery. Often on a mind-boggling scale, and in the most improbable of places. But plenty of other good terrain too - heathery moorland, grassy tracks, old drove roads, small country lanes, riverside paths, forestry tracks (and the occasional marshy bit). Quite nice to get away from the usual haunts in Snowdonia, and into some less frequented areas.


Day 1: Bangor to Llanberis. Route starts off on cycle path, then small lanes and footpaths over to Bethesda. Good stretch over the moorland of Gwaun Gynfi. Then a great descent to Llanberis through oak forest, and views of Lyn Padarn. On the way down, the old quarry hospital is well worth a quick visit, as is the quarry museum.


Day 2: Llanberis to Beddgelert. Small lanes and tracks over to Waun Fawr, then superb heathery moor to Y Fron. The trail picks its way through the old buildings and workings of Dorothea quarries, then along the Nantlle valley. Easy finish along the tourist path to Beddgelert, with views of the steam train.


Day 3: Beddgelert to Llan Ffestiniog. Rocky riverside path along the Afon Glaslyn, then old drove road across to Croesor. Easy ascent on old mining track to the Croesor mine, then across the rugged Moelwyn plateau to the slightly eerie ruins of the Rhosydd mine. Descent to Tanygrisiau, then footpath to Blaenau Ffestiniog. Easy paths and tracks to Llan Ffestiniog, passing through the very pleasant Afon Teigl gorge.


Day 4: Llan Ffestiniog to Betws y Coed. Superb cliffs and waterfalls of Cwm Cynfal, then a climb up the side of the large waterfall of Rhaeadr y Cwm. Marshy ground followed by a steep climb on a deserted road took us to the remains of the old buildings at Rhiw Back quarry. Descent through the massive slate tips overlooking Cwm Penmachno. Forest tracks and small lanes to Betws y Coed.


Day 5: Betws y Coed to Bethesda. Riverside walking along the Afon Llugwy, then descent to Capel Curig. Along the valley to Idwal Cottage, then easy walking on quiet road, and cycle track passing massive slate tips to Bethesda.

















Full report and more pics at http://www.c8h10n4o2.org/walking/slate/index.html


Pete

fernman

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Re: Trip Report: Snowdonia Slate Trail, Sep 2019
« Reply #1 on: 19:30:04, 24/11/19 »
Terrific report on your site, for many thanks - and too for the link to your Snowdonia Way page - neither of which I would have known about if you hadn't posted on here, the problem being that there are so many walking blogs these days they don't all come up in searches.

I've encountered bits of the Slate Trail during my wanderings in the Moelwyns, and funnily enough it was featured in todays's edition of Countryfile on BBC1, which I recorded but haven't watched yet.

vghikers

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Re: Trip Report: Snowdonia Slate Trail, Sep 2019
« Reply #2 on: 19:32:48, 24/11/19 »
Thanks for this report and photos Pete, just a quick scan today but I'll have a more thorough look tomorrow - it looks great O0

This trail is on my radar too, having walked many fragments of it on previous backpacks. The old quarries are a constant source of interest and atmosphere.

JerryW

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Re: Trip Report: Snowdonia Slate Trail, Sep 2019
« Reply #3 on: 19:33:43, 24/11/19 »
Quite a lot of that is on the low level version of the Snowdonia Trail (see Cicerone guide)..
I confess I found the old mines very depressing. What a mess they made of a once lovely area

Mel

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Re: Trip Report: Snowdonia Slate Trail, Sep 2019
« Reply #4 on: 16:42:31, 25/11/19 »
That looks a really interesting area to have a poke around in and, I agree, it's good to see some "away from the tourist" places getting a look in.  Thanks for posting  :)
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richardh1905

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Re: Trip Report: Snowdonia Slate Trail, Sep 2019
« Reply #5 on: 18:01:12, 25/11/19 »
Thanks for posting this - I was unaware of the existence of this trail.

Love poking around old mines and quarries - particularly enjoyed the Cwm Penmachno slate mine - you used to be able to enter via the lower adit and explore upwards through 5 levels before exiting via a huge cavern onto the moors above. Gated off now though.

sunnydale

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Re: Trip Report: Snowdonia Slate Trail, Sep 2019
« Reply #6 on: 19:12:05, 25/11/19 »
Sounds like a great walk with lots of interest along the way.  As a lover of rocks/stones of all kinds, I'd be in my element exploring etc.
I like the variety in the terrain/scenery too O0
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richardh1905

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Re: Trip Report: Snowdonia Slate Trail, Sep 2019
« Reply #7 on: 08:14:39, 26/11/19 »
By a strange coincidence we chanced upon Countryfile on the BBC iplayer last night - featuring the Snowdonia Slate Trail!

pdstsp

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Re: Trip Report: Snowdonia Slate Trail, Sep 2019
« Reply #8 on: 11:39:33, 26/11/19 »
Nice write up, and looks an interesting route.  Thanks for sharing.