Hello again people. Joe the Cocker here. After this morning’s hike around Llyn Ogwen and Cwm Idwal we decided to visit another one of our favourite places while we were in the area. After we had eaten our lunch, as we sat in the car admiring the view over Llyn Ogwen and up to Pen yr Olwen, it was only a short hop along the A5 towards Bangor. After turning north eastwards onto the A55 it wasn’t long before we reached Abergwyngregyn. A few miles south of the village is the famous Aber Falls and this was to be our next walk. There is a small car park in the village and this is where we left the car. There is another car park further up the hill and nearer to the falls but this can fill quite quickly in the summer months. The walk from the village car park makes the journey a bit more interesting. There is a circular partly waymarked walk that follows the route that we took and then veers off over the hills to the west but we have walked it before and the descent into Aber is quite steep on a grassy hillside and we would be doing it in the dark if we chose it. This didn’t appeal to us, and daylight hours were short, so we decided to simply walk the three miles from the car to the falls and to return on the same track.
There is a small information display at Ty Pwmp in the village that tells the history of the area. The village was the seat of Llewellyn ap Gruffudd, the last Welsh Prince of Wales, in the thirteenth century. We set off through the village and noticed an earth mound called Y Mwd which is the remains of a Norman Castle. The smithy and the watermill were on the roadside heading south towards the path that leads to Aber Falls. On leaving the village the narrow road steadily climbed through oaks and beeches until a car park was reached by Bont Newydd or New Bridge, that crosses Afon Aber. We joined the waymarked path that follows the course of the river towards the falls. Initially, the path undulates for a short section but this can be avoided by crossing the bridge and following a level surface path. I prefer the muddier undulating path because I am fitted with 4-paw drive.
We joined the wide compacted stone path just above the car park and headed along an easy incline. The Anafon Hydro Energy scheme building was my dad’s first distraction that supplies a small amount of electricity to the National Grid, the proceeds being used to fund local community projects. My distraction was the sheep grazing along the side of the path. A hiker in front of us had a bouncing Schnauzer pup that was off lead. It found some sheep poo and proceeded to roll in it. The owner was frantic and we both found it hilarious. My dad was so proud of me because I don’t roll in poo. Until, I copied what the Schnauzer had done. Don’t ask me why. It’s a dog thing. My dad wasn’t so proud of me then and he gave me the look. You know, the look that says it all!
A small charcoal making operation was on our right where the alder trees were cut and converted. On our left we passed a small weather station in a fenced enclosure. Along with the beauty of the valley and surrounding hills there is plenty to see along the path. Fortunately, the path was very quiet on this day due to the time of year and so I was allowed to run off lead at times. The first view of the falls appeared shortly with it’s 120 foot drop of the Afon Goch from the Carneddau mountain range. Rhaeadr Fawr, as the falls are known in Welsh, drop into a plunge pool at its base. I would have loved to have jumped into it but, I wasn’t allowed. It was probably icy cold anyway.
We spent a while with my dad admiring the falls as we crossed the river by a small footbridge and then climbed wooden lined steps to the opposite bank. The views are awe inspiring on both sides of the river and, of course, I had to pose for photographs as usual. My dad can be really annoying when he wants me to keep still for photographs. I would prefer to be running around and not acting like a statue. Anyway, after the photo shoot it was time to retrace our steps down the valley. There are some good views in the distance of the Menai Straits and over to Anglesey. We passed the sheep poo section where I was forced to be on my lead. Spoil sport. There is a small visitor centre on the right with information about the area with a picnic bench in a stone walled garden. We plodded on, as the light was fading, downhill towards Abergwyngregyn. The walk along the narrow road was well worth the extra mileage as it provides a peaceful walk along the rushing waters of the Afon Aber on it’s way to Conwy Bay. We arrived at the car just as it was turning dark. Time for me to sleep and my dad to drive. A perfect end to a perfect day in North Wales. Till next time!