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Warm autumn days in Wales are the perfect way to discover the area..
With a whole range of trips on offer, we headed over to Snowdonia in North Wales on Friday afternoon and settled into the weekend. Autumn colours covered the hills and woodlands, but luckily the weather was warm, a band of hot air being pushed forward by the imminent arrival of Storm Ophelia from the tropics.
Down in Llanberis we hosted a group learning to stand-up paddle-board, a growing watersport becoming famous due to its simple nature and lack of expensive kit. All you need is a board, a wetsuit and a paddle and you’re off! Our group headed down to the serene surroundings of Llyn Padarn on the Saturday morning, borrowed all the required kit, and learnt the necessary skills in the nearby lagoons. The Pass of Llanberis and the mighty Snowdon were a perfect backdrop as they perfected their skills in a session out on the lake in the afternoon.
This was also the weekend we ran our first ‘hidden Snowdonia’ trip, which aims to stay low-level and discover more about the myths and legends of the area, alongside some history and a bit of wildlife spotting!
Due to the rain at the end of the previous week, we discovered a slight flaw in our initial plans, as the path next to Llyn Dinas was under two feet of water. We retreated and made our way up into Cwm Llan, where we explored the old slate quarry buildings in the mist and saw where Gladstone had opened the Watkin path back in 1892. Following a much-needed café stop in Nant Gwynant, we headed over to Cwm Idwal and walked a circuit of the lake in sunshine, admiring the remnants of the Ice Age and hearing how the mountains of Snowdonia were formed.
After dinner on Friday night in Dol Peris, relaxing around the log-burning stove, we went out into town on Saturday night to the excellent Gallt y Glyn. With an infinite variety of options on the pizza menu, the local ales and gins didn’t go down too badly either…
The following day, the wind was up and the paddle-boarders were treated to a mini-expedition, a crossing of Llyn Padarn with the wind behind them. From all accounts it was quite an adventure, but despite a few swimming instances most of the group stayed on their boards for the whole crossing.
Meanwhile, the walkers headed up into the woods opposite Llanberis, enjoying the ancient oak trees, coming across a feral goat on the path, and watching the light play on the town from above while staying relatively sheltered in the trees.
We ended the weekend with lunch at the famous Pete’s Eats in Llanberis, the sun now out but the mountains obscured behind the cloud. This was definitely a day to stay low, and we certainly made the most of it.
Alongside these new trips, which will definitely be back in the calendar, we had two guided groups up Snowdon on the Saturday, one staying for a further Sunday walk near the woods of Betws-y-Coed. It’s been quite a weekend, and a fantastic start to autumn in Snowdonia.
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