Description: A 4.5 mile hike in Cwm Llan.
Parking Information: Pont Bethania car park is £3 for 4 hours, £6 all day. Toilets (free) are available here.
I decided to start my week off work with a relatively gentle hike in Snowdonia. I’ve walked the Watkin path to the summit of Snowdon once before, and enjoyed the scenery here, so I though it would be a nice walk if I could make a loop in Cwm Llan, rather than doing an out-and-back walk.
The weather was on my side, with lovely springtime sunshine forecast, though the breeze was still chilly and the temperature was around 8 degrees Celsius as I parked at the Pont Bethania car park. From here there was a good distant view of Snowdon, the summit of which remained clear all day.
Exit the car park at the bridge end, cross over the main road, and follow the steps at the start of the Watkin Path.
After the short set of steps at the beginning, the route climbs gradually, first through pleasant woodland before the views open up.
After about 1.5 miles the route leaves the Watkin Path onto what is initially a slightly indistinct path on the left. A short climb and the path becomes clear and easy to follow again.
At times on this section of the route the path became very wet, but a drier path can be found by heading to the higher ground to the left. A little further on from the photo below and the path was completely under water.
The route drops down to some old quarry buildings, which are interesting to wander around and explore, but the ground around was a little boggy in places. Some slate had been used in places to create a sort of makeshift stepping-stone path through some of it, but it was easy enough to pick a path through anyway.
After exploring the old buildings the path crosses a bridge, then climbs up a grassy slope and behind another old building, before re-joining the Watkin Path, which it follows back to the start. Along the way it passes the Gladstone Rock.
The inscription on Gladstone Rock reads:
Sep. 13th 1892 – Upon this rock the right honourable W.E. Gladstone MP, when prime minister for the fourth time and 83 years old, addressed the people of Eryri upon justice to Wales. The multitude sang Cymric hymns and “The Land of my Fathers”. Publicly dedicated by Sir Edward and Lady Watkin June 1893.