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Cwm Pennant, Snowdonia National Park Walks In Gwynedd, Wales, UK

Cwm Pennant - Snowdomia National Park Walks

This Cwm Pennant walk was about 3.5 miles in distance. The terrain of this route included a quiet lane, bridleway, hill paths and an old tram road track bed. There were a couple of short boggy sections and there were also 3 stiles to negotiate.

Cwm Pennant is a wild, remote and beautiful valley with the upper reaches of the Afon Dwyfor running through it. This walk definitely highlights the beauty of the valley, embraced by solitary and striking mountains on three sides. To the east is the Moel Hebog range, to the north and west is the Nantlle Ridge. The valley is connected to the outside world by just one narrow, winding lane.

A section of the route follows the track bed of a disused tram road which leads to the quarry building ruins. Gorseddau tram road used to link slate quarries and a small iron mine to Porthmadog from the 1830s until it closed in1882. These ruins are an reminder that even this apparently secluded, untouched and unspoilt area, on the western fringes of Snowdonia, was not
protected from Victorian industrial exploitation.

Starting from a valley floor roadside verge in Cwm Pennant, leg one headed north east on a lane to a track. Leg two continued north east and gently ascended the valley by track, bridleway and hill path to an old tram road track bed. Leg continued north east on track bed to ruined quarry buildings.

Leg four headed west down a hill path to a tarred lane on the valley floor. To complete the walk the fifth and final leg headed south west along a tarred lane back to the roadside verge at the start.

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Cwm Pennant Route

The Cwm Pennant walk route was circular in an anti-clockwise direction with five legs.

Leg 1

On this first leg we started from a roadside verge on the valley floor in Cwm Pennant, heading north east along a lane to a track.

  1. We went through the gate and crossed a bridge over the Afon Dwyfor.
  2. After walking along a tarred lane beside the river for about 400 metres, we reached another bridge where the lane went left across the river bridge.
  3. Here we kept straight ahead through a metal gate.

Leg 2

Having walked about 0.25 miles to this point, the second leg continued north east and gently ascended the valley on a track, bridleway and hill path to an old tram road track bed.

  1. Now on a rough track we followed it to a farm.
  2. We went through the farmyard and passed through another metal gate to the right of a barn below a rocky hillside on the right.
  3. Walking ahead on the track we reached a junction with a waymarked bridleway on the left as the track curved to the right.
  4. Here we veered left along the bridleway for about 50 metres where we veered right onto a narrower, waymarked hill path.
  5. After about another 200 metres we went through a gate.
  6. Continuing on the winding hill path we crossed a stream on a boarwalk and continued ahead on a faint hill path across the rough pasture and below gorse bushes.
  7. After crossing a boggy area and keeping ahead to a waymark post, we turned sharp right on an obvious path that zigzagged uphill to another waymark post.
  8. From here, we went diagonally left to pass through a gate in the corner.
  9. Continuing along the same line, heading slightly left uphill we passed by a fence corner on the right.
  10. We then rose more steeply for about 100 metres to reach a grassy track bed of an old tram road.

Leg 3

At around the 1.25 miles mark, the third leg continued north east on track bed of old tram road to ruined quarry buildings.

  1. Here we went left along the level track bed and enjoyed sweeping views of the impressive head of Cwm Dwyfor.
  2. We eventually passed through gates either side of a stream near ruined quarry buildings.

Leg 4

Having walked about 1.75 miles to this point, the fourth leg headed west on a hill path down to a tarred lane on the valley floor.

  1. Next we turned left to ruined quarry buildings and passed immediately to the right of them.
  2. We then pick up an obvious path around the snout of a crag to the left of a cutting.
  3. Following this hill path we reached and crossed a ladder-stile on our left near a ruined cottage.
  4. We followed the hill path, which was waymarked by yellow discs on posts, as it descended in front of the ruins.
  5. We soon reached a marker post in front of a tree which marked the point at which to turn down the valley.
  6. Here we turned diagonally left, heading directly in line for the tarred lane on the valley floor.
  7. Further posts guided our way down the valley to cross a stile just before the Afon Dwyfor.
  8. We crossed the river over an old bridge and climbed over a ladder-stile back onto a tarred lane.

Leg 5

Having walked about 2.25 miles to this point, the fifth and final leg headed south west on a tarred lane back to the roadside verge at the start.

  1. Turning right along the tarred lane, we crossed the river over a road bridge and went through a gate.
  2. Continuing along the lane we passed through another two gates before passing through a gate either side of a farm.
  3. After passing through another gate we crossed a bridge to reach the end point of leg one.
  4. Here we turned right to follow the lane beside the river on our right.
  5. To complete the walk we crossed the bridge and passed through the gate at the start of the walk to return to the parking area on the right.

When Done & With Whom

I did this hike with my partner Anne whilst on a Llyn Peninsula hiking holiday in Gwynedd, Wales during April 2015. We drove from our holiday accommodation in Pwllheli, Gwynedd to Cwm Pennant on the western fringe of the Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd. We parked on a roadside verge of the valley floor just before a gated bridge over the Afon Dwyfor at grid reference SH532477, two miles north of the church at Llanfihangel-y-pennant, which is signed off the A487 at Dolbenmaen. This was also the start location of the hike.

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