Mountain Monday – A Welsh Adventure

This weekend I headed to North Wales for a weekend with two of my fellow GetOutside Champions, Jason and Tracy. We were planning all manner of adventurous fun, but we didn’t decide what until we got there.

I needed an escape and the great outdoors gives me that, regularly, and so on Friday I hopped in my car and drove the 7 hours to Llanberis in rush hour… Good drills, Jamieson.

OS GetOutside Champions always need a good map!

We got up early on Saturday morning and headed to the famous and appropriately named ‘lonely tree’ in Llanberis for sunrise. It was absolutely beautiful, with just a few swans, a rowing team and a photographer for company.

​That view cannot be beaten!

After a trip to the famous Pete’s Eats for breakfast – we wandered back, pored over maps and decided to head to Anglesey for the day.

My Welsh geography is terrible, I am not ashamed to say and I had this image in my mind of how long it would take to get there… It was wrong. Within about 40 minutes we had headed down past RAF Valley and we were on Anglesey.

Our first stop was the famous South Stack Lighthouse, built in 1809 to warn ships of the dangerous rocks below. e took the 400 steps down (and subsequently back up) the cliff, crossed the rope bridge and headed over to the lighthouse. We didn’t go in but it was a beautiful view back to the cliff.

 

From here we walked across to Holyhead Mountain – any excuse to bag a trig pillar! It’s also the site of an ancient Roman watchtower. Apparently, on a clear day, you can see across to the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland.
 

 

After a quick stop for some lunch, we headed to the beach.

I love the sea, it is no major secret and Newborough Beach has now found a permanent place in my heart. Silhouetted mountains over a shining sea? What could be better. It’s also the first place I’ve ever been which has combined my two favourite things. I was definitely in my happy place!

If you continue to walk along Newborough Beach, you will eventually reach Llanddwyn Island. The island is rich in legend, and in particular Dwynwen. The name Llanddwyn means “The church of St. Dwynwen”.

Dwynwen is the Welsh patron saint of lovers, making her the Welsh equivalent of St. Valentine.

The lighthouse at the tip of the island marks the western entrance to the Menai Strait, the stretch of shallow tidal water separating the island of Anglesey from mainland Wales.

On Sunday we had every intention of getting up first thing to reach the summit of Snowdon for sunrise, but the weather had other plans. We were hopeful for some visibility from the summit between 11 and 2, and so made the decision to head up for that time! After about half an hour, Jason was struggling with an existing injury from his LEJOG walk, and so he made the sensible decision to turn back, though it was a shame. 

As we got closer to the summit the cloud came in and we were suddenly in a magical, snowy playground.

I love the snow. Cold weather in general, actually. I was in my element!

 

As for the summit? The last time I was up here it was about 27 degrees and sunny.

​It couldn’t have been more different…

 

 
We headed back down from the summit after the obligatory photographs and despite my knee having a bit of a moment, made it back to Llanberis, before heading back down to the South of the country!

 I had a fantastic weekend of adventures with Jason and Tracy – Click their names for links to their social media profiles – and I feel refreshed and ready for the remainder of the year and whatever it throws at me!

Wales, I will see you again soon!

 

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