Day 16, 17 Wales – Pembrokeshire and Snowdonia

We left our place in Solva by 10 am and headed north along the coast of Wales. The driving was fairly straightforward, yet the biggest driving challenges were in the towns and hamlets trying to navigate the narrow ancient streets.

Lovely fishing village along the route
The narrow roads in the old villages gave Dan the most challenging parts to the drive.

Our first stop was to Caernarfon Castle, the sight of investitures of the Princes of Wales.

The round area in the centre is where the ceremonies take place.
A view of the inner castle grounds from the “Eagle Tower”. This castle was built by Edward I along with several others to claim and protect English rule in Wales. This is the largest and construction begun during the 12th century.
A view of the city walls that form around the town of Caernarfon.

We were amazed at the lack of crowds at the castle… it was lovely, given that we visited on the Friday of a bank holiday weekend. After our visit we decided to take the coastal route to Conwy and then south to Trefiw, our home for the next couple of nights. The coastal road was lovely, with some unexpected tunnels where the mountains come right down to the sea!

First tunnel heading north along the coast towards Conwy.
A brief look at the causeway over to Anglesey.

Once through Conwy we proceeded south to Trefiw. This is a small community just 15-20 minutes away and at the edge of Snowdonia. We’re looking forward to a lovely hike tomorrow…it will be hilly!

Looking to the mountains of Snowdonia as we drove south from the coast, to our home for the next couple of days.

Our little spot in the lower floor right hand side of this lovely home. Well provisioned, and tall ceilings for Dan!

Once settled, we ventured into town to a lovely bistro… we wanted to book in for dinner on the Saturday night, but they were full due to the bank holiday weekend, so we opted to eat there right away. Chandlers Bistro is a wonderful little restaurant that offers everything homemade and delicious! After dinner we trudged back up the hill to our little haven and called it a night!

The next morning after a hearty breakfast ( fixings all provided by our host!) we set out for Conwy to visit yet another one of Edward I’s castles. This was build again in latter part of the 13th century and was never taken by force. (Yes, once by trickery!) It is the best preserved medieval castle in Wales.

Conway Castle from the A5 approach.
While smaller that Caernarfon, it has some extraordinary features.
Looking into the chapel from the king’s private viewing room.
A huge wired sculpture of the king’s head hung in the king’s rooms in the castle.
Looking out a window to the river Conwy below.
The city walls make life challenging for traffic coming in and out of the fortifications!

After Conwy, we headed into Snowdonia country. While we did not have time to climb the mountain itself we did take a little detour into the lovely rugged countryside.

Looking west towards the mountains.

The mountains in Snowdonia.

Time to get back to the flat and have a quick bite before we head out on a hike around Trefriw. After lunch we opted to do a pretty tame walk through farmers fields following the Conwy River.

Looking back on the village of Trefriw as we walked along the berms …they didn’t keep the sheep off them, so it was like running the gauntlet!
Some even got a little close and personal, although if I jumped it would have run for safety! (Thankfully, just look at those horns!)

We soon came to the suspension bridge over the river that lets people from Trefriw get across the river to the rail station at Llanrwst (yes, that’s spelled correctly!)

Looking up river from the suspension bridge. This river is about 14 miles from the sea, and is still affected by the tides!
From the bridge we turned back towards the village once again.
The walking was pretty tame. Here you can see the overwhelming amount of wild garlic that caught our attention!

Once back in the village, we crossed the Main Street and did a short hike up to the Fairie Falls. They were beautiful!

Dan caught me as I was trying to “shoot” the falls! They were lovely cascading down huge slate rocks.

Finally back home for a quick clean up before dinner. You can see our trusty little Juke that has been carrying us throughout our journeys. I think Dan has a love hate relationship with this car!

Off to dinner we went to the local pub. We had typical pub grub, but what was interesting ( for me at least) was the local welsh beer on tap. I had an elderflower ale! Brewery was the purple moose!

Dan was much happier with his local IPA…I think I want my glass! Do they have moose in Wales??

Back to the apartment for a final pack up tonight. We leave early tomorrow for Bristol. About 4 hour drive and then another 4.5 hours by rail to get up to Darlington to meet up with Glenn and Gwen. Stay tuned in a couple of days for my reports on hiking in the Dales! Until then…

Categories: Hiking in Iceland and the UK

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