The bustling village of Betws y Coed is surrounded by forests, so during a visit to North Wales, we decided we would explore them with the aim of reaching Llyn y Parc in the Gwydir Forest. We left the car at the Pont-y-Pair car park (LL26 0LS) and after the usual faffing around, turned right out of the car park. A quick stroll led us to a road on the right, at the bottom of which, the forest awaited. As we made our way into the trees, we found ourselves on a wide track bounded by pines.
Llanddwyn Island – Finally!
Newborough Beach is somewhere we have visited regularly – each time looking enviously towards Llanddwyn Island. I had always believed it was out-of-bounds to us as its status of a nature reserve meant we couldn’t take the barking furry pair. However, the opportunity arose when me and Rowan were at the caravan with my Mum and Dad, and Rick (who has fewer holidays than me) had stayed home with the muttlers and several packets of Tunnock’s teacakes for company.
Glenashdale Falls – Giant’s Graves and Dragon Training
Amongst the books we found in our hire cottage on Arran, was one called “Arran for Families”. It was a brilliant little book – fully illustrated with easy to read information about places to visit on the island. On a showery day, we decided to visit two of the destinations we found within its pages – the Giant’s Graves and Glenashdale Falls.
Torr Righ Beag and The King’s Cave – Incy Wincy Spider
After we’d visited Machrie Moor Stone Circle, there was still plenty of time left for more adventure, so we drove the short distance down the road to Torr Righ Beag, a coniferous forest by the sea. From here, we could walk down to the beach to explore the King’s Cave, but not before the customary check of the information board. Here, we found a circular walk which, for no particular reason, we chose to do clockwise. We made our way to a forest track on the left hand side of the car park.
Wainwright Walk 11 – Great Crag
During my first navigation course with Chris from Walking the Wild earlier this year, I didn’t just find out about all things map reading. I also walked to the summit of a lovely little, heather clad fell rising above Stonethwaite Beck – Great Crag.
Wainwright Walk 9 – Loughrigg Fell
Lying just off the A591 between Ambleside and Grasmere, Loughrigg Fell is one of the Wainwrights I had been looking forward to climbing with Rowan for a long time. It’s a busy little fell though, so we waited till mid-week in a school holiday to make a day trip for a mountain adventure.
Allan Bank – Bluebells and Woodland Creatures
Running up to getting married in Coniston earlier this year, we were up in the Lakes for meetings with the hotel on several occasions. After one, much shorter than expected, visit to the venue, we found ourselves with some free time but no walking gear to venture onto the fells with. We decided to make our way to Grasmere to visit Allan Bank, former home to William Wordsworth and Canon Rawnsley (one of the founders of the National Trust)
Wainwright Walk 6 – Cat Bells
“A family fell where grandmothers and infants can climb the heights together, a place beloved.” This is how Alfred Wainwright described Cat Bells, near Keswick and we couldn’t wait to get exploring this little fell.
Beeston Castle – Hunt for Dragon Eggs
After our quick visit to Beeston Castle earlier in the year, we joined English Heritage knowing that we would be returning to explore the grounds a bit more carefully. The opportunity arose during the Easter holidays when we attended one of the many events held at the site – we went hunting for dragon eggs!
Beeston and Peckforton Castle – Two Towers
Earlier this year, we took advantage of some dry sunny weather and went for a day out in Beeston. The plan was to walk from Beeston Castle, around Peckforton Castle to get back to Beeston in time to explore the grounds. A walk around these two towers was something I’d had in mind for a while so I already had a shiny new OS map of the area (any excuse). There is parking outside Beeston Castle (postcode CW6 9TX ) and after going into the castle to pay the fee, and getting a quick bite to eat at the Sandstone Café we found the start of our route.