United Kingdom
Gwynedd

Here you’ll find travel reports about Gwynedd. Discover travel destinations in the United Kingdom of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

39 travelers at this place:

  • Day8

    Watch Out Wales

    October 23 in the United Kingdom

    After a lovely trip on the ferry we finally arrived in Holyhead. I headed straight for the maps and bus routes, and realized that to see the sites I wanted, especially with them being so spread out, it would be really difficult. Half my day was already gone because things seem to open late and close early in the more rural areas, and I thought I should probably just try and get to my hostel. What should I see upon exiting the ferry terminal, a car rental station. Normally I'd be fine just using public transportation, I'd say it's even easier in the cities, but I had to find out. So I asked. The only one left was small (no problem), and a manual (small problem). I haven't driven stick in years, and I don't think I've ever driven it well. So I lied and said it was perfect. No better time to relearn how to drive manual than when you're in another country and driving on the opposite side of what you consider normal. So I got the car, rented a navigation system too, and crossed my fingers things would go well; after all, everything has to be better than this morning. Roughly three attempts at reversing later I was headed to my first destination. I drove what seemed to only be about 30 miles to Caernarfon Castle. Turns out my real obstacle with the car is when I'm going slowly, because parking didn't exactly go smoothly. Then there was obstacle number two, I had forgotten that I needed Pounds in the UK, and not Euros. So after trying to withdraw money from and ATM, and realizing my bank must have thought my information was stolen (but I guess they're doing their job), I had to walk around hoping to find a money exchange so I could pay for parking so I wouldn't get a ticket. Yeah, having a car may not have been my brightest idea. Fortunately, the locals were very helpful pointing me in the right direction, and it was all figured out. I wasn't sure what to expect from this castle, especially because I didn't know anything about it. Before even heading inside there was a sign listing dates of the events that had happened there, and I couldn't wait to see everything. After passing through the entrance you end up in a huge courtyard, with tall walls surrounding you on every side feeling very much like a fortress. I decided I needed to climb a tower immediately. A decent hike up narrow stairs later, I finally made it, and I had also decided that everyone back then was super fit or just stayed on the ground floor. The view was amazing. After taking the photos I'm required to take, I decided to explore all the nooks and crannies I could find, many were dead ends, but most were the way to a new area... or more stairs. Two hours of climbing the castle later, I decided it was time to head on to my next destination. Easier said than done. I wish my problem was something easy, like finding the car, but no. I had returned to face my old foe, reversing. It did not go well, and the whole time I was cursing the very nice woman who let me rent the car in the first place, as well as the lovely looking family watching me struggle and stall the car roughly three dozen times (probably less, but it felt like a million). They were at least smart enough to avoid being hit. Leaving a parking lot has never been more difficult. Having managed to make it on the road without lost of limb or life, I was feeling slightly more confident. Well, it turns out addresses aren't quite as spot on as I thought they were, so be it. I pulled over, because I finally figured out how to slow down without stalling, and decided to just head to my hostel. Turns out the address I had for that wasn't quite where it was located. Fine, I decided why not make the best of the situation, that just means it's time to stop and eat. I can always figure it out once I'm full, and so far the locals have always been extremely helpful. I may have only seen one sight, but that's just the way this worked out. If I'm going to worry about anyone it's going to be the people of Wales while I have this car. Wish me (and them) luckRead more

  • Day36

    Nant gwrtheyrn

    August 24, 2015 in the United Kingdom

    Beautiful overnight spot with some great looking walks. We hiked to an Iron Age fort on a hill then got lost on the way back and ended up climbing to the summit of the mountain without a path! Views of the sea in many directions over the hills.

  • Day39

    Pant yr Onen campsite - Bala!

    August 27, 2015 in the United Kingdom

    Great to be back! Spent a day chilling, then sailed the next day but unfortunately broke the fairleader / gib cleat off the boat. Spent the next day canoeing round the whole lake, having a picnic lunch on a fallen tree and buying a bakewell tart from the bakery in Bala for desert!

  • Day43

    Mawddach Valley

    August 31, 2015 in the United Kingdom

    Stopped at a layby near the small toll bridge and wandered along the Mawddach Trail. Spent a little time watching birds on the estuary mud flats from beside the closed RSPB observatory - saw a few Common Sandpipers but not much going on.

  • Day43

    Mawddach Valley - Arthog bog

    August 31, 2015 in the United Kingdom

    Parked at a Snowdonia National Park car park near a train station and did a circular walk along the Fairbourne / Barmouth Estuary and back through a small woodland. Saw loads of Swallows and Martins on a telelphone wire as well as lots of Meadow Pippets, a Spotted Flycatcher and Redstarts.

  • Day27

    North Wales

    September 15, 2017 in the United Kingdom

    The small snippets I see of the UK make me want to come back and stay awhile longer so I can take it all in and have time to walk around and experience each of the places. Today's drive was amazing so many great, unexpected surprises. We left Stratford-Upon-Avon headed north west to Llangollen, in North Wales we walked along the River Dee and around the village before heading through the mountains taking the Pass of Llanberis. The scenery from Betws-y-Coed to Brynrefail was magnificent. The water from the mountains was tumbling down in rivulets and small waterfalls gushing into the growing river that was bursting at its banks and escaping into the green sodden pastures. The sheep and cows were peacefully ignorant of the rain and chewing at the lush green grass. As we wind through the Pass you have a stunning view of the mountains that have crumbled away to form large land slips made up of enormous boulders. Then the hillsides change again, now the mountains are scarred, purple and black the result of slate mining. We find ourselves at the village of Llanberis at the foothill of Snowden Mountain. Snowden Mountain another area to stay and explore.

    From here we travel on to Caernarfon Castle on the West Coast of Wales near Anglesey. We visited the Castle, which saw the investiture of Prince Charles to the Crown back in 1969. As we were so close we had to visit the town with the longest name in Wales, Llanfairpwllgwyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogoch. Then a quick reminiscent visit for Mim to Ruthin Castle which today is a British Hotel. Then finally onto Wrexham, Wales for our overnight stay.
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  • Day112

    Day 112: Mount Snowdon

    June 7, 2017 in the United Kingdom

    Up and out early today, as we had a huge day planned - climbing Mount Snowdon, the tallest mountain in Wales! Left our apartment by 8am and hit the road, arriving at the trailhead around 9:15. It's a 6 hour hike there and back, so we knew an early start was needed! The weather was looking OK, overcast and windy but no showers forecast until evening - another good reason to hurry up! Particularly since I didn't have any decent cold-weather hiking gear and was just walking in jeans and a leather jacket.

    After a couple of false starts we properly headed up the trail around 9:30. Steady ascent for the first part, mostly rock stairs and a couple of larger boulders to scramble over. After an hour or so we reached the top of a shoulder, came round a corner and could finally see the peak of Snowdon looming above us. It's 1085 metres high, which is quite tall, but nowhere near what we'd done in Kilimanjaro a few years ago.

    The walk we were doing was about 10 kilometres all up, but with 730 metres of climbing involved as well! Once we'd reached this shoulder it got a fair bit easier, with a long flat-ish section, but eventually started back upwards again. The last hour or so was quite steep, with a few sections of scree and some large boulders and rocks to clamber over. Schnitzel was doing very well - obviously getting carried over the large rocks, but generally keeping up with us. And getting lots of pats, since there were quite a few people around.

    Finally we got to the final ridge where we emerged from the lee side and into gale-force winds! The final climb along the ridge was difficult because of the wind, and also because the top of the mountain was hidden in cloud - we never quite knew how much further we had to go! And of course the stupid tourist train full of elderly people kept rumbling past.

    Eventually we made it, right up to the summit and took some photos with the trig point there. Lots of people, so not great photos unfortunately. And no view either, we were completely surrounded by foggy clouds! We made it just in time though, as my legs were pretty done by this point and I wouldn't have wanted to go much further.

    There was of course a cafe and visitor's centre at the top (for people who've caught the expensive railway up), which offered a respite from the cold and the wind. But dogs weren't allowed inside, so we stood in the foyer and glowered at the staff. Munched on some Welsh cakes and pasties which were surprisingly good, then started on the long walk done.

    Took a different path down; the first 30 minutes was the same trail but then veered off. About an hour of very steep downhill where the path got a bit vague in places, but once we finally reached a large alpine lake, it was basically completely flat for the next 90 minutes back to the car park. Arrived back at the car around 4pm, so the estimate of 6 hours return (plus time at the top) was pretty accurate!

    We'd booked different accommodation nearby, so drove there as the rain started to fall - very lucky we were! This time we were staying the spare room of an older Welsh couple, Rosemary and Alex. Had a nice chat with them and their very elderly dog, before heading out in now-pouring rain to a local pub. Loaded up with a big heavy burger and a sticky toffee pudding which we felt was well deserved! Then back home where I had another chat with our hosts while Shandos had a bath.

    Off to bed very early and very tired - my phone says 26,000 steps and 96 flights of stairs today! Yikes.
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  • Day6

    By the sea under the Castle

    July 9 in the United Kingdom

    We've decided to drop Blackpool from the trip as it's all getting a bit rushed and we need a break - so we headed to Harlech on the coast for a couple of nights to unwind. Another stunning Welsh village with an awesome 13th century Castle on our doorstep.

  • Day6

    On top of the world ... well Wales !

    July 9 in the United Kingdom

    Driving up through Snowdonia National Park and we are blown away by the beauty of it all - this country side is amazing, could be one of the most beautiful places we've seen!!!
    We eventually drove up through the sheer rock faces until we got to Llanberis and hoped on the train up Mt Snowdon.
    We got squashed into an old rail coach on a very hot day, next to a very smelly German woman .... if it wasn't for the views it might have been an uncomfortable hour up the hill.
    The view from the top is pretty damn cool !!!! Once you get through the 300 other people all trying to get to the 5ft platform at the tippy top that is. The clouds rolled away just long enough for us to look down around Wales.
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  • Day31

    Wales day 31 Wed 23 May 2018

    May 23 in the United Kingdom

    Realised that I had left our two beanies and Yvonne’s thermal top in a drawer in our accommodation a few days ago. Score one for messy people because out of sight got left behind. Caught the Sherpa bus after breakfast at 9am to Pen y Pass and followed the PYG track to the summit of Mt Snowdon. The path climbs 723 metres over a distance of five and. half kilometres, and took us 50 minutes in perfect weather. Mt Snowdon is only 1085 metres above sea level and has a train station shop and cafe adjacent to the trig point. Purchased two beanies and a tea towel in the shop and lunch from the cafe, Walked down the seven and a quarter kilometre Llanberis Path under two hours including a stop just before the end Snowdonia National Park. The path mainly followed the Snowdon Mountain Cog Railway. We then walked to the Welsh National Slate museum in Llanberis for an interesting and informative afternoon. Yvonne then wished to look at the Dolbadran Castle round Tower built in 1230 by Llywelyn an lorwerth a supreme leader of the Welsh. Back to the room for a shower and clothes wash then out to a pub for a feed.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Gwynedd, GWN, GND

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