We came to Tremadog for the climbing of course. This pretty welsh village is renowned for the vast numbers of climbing routes along the escarpment above the village. All with easy access and often more sheltered in harsh weather then the rest of Snowdonia. However not everyone on the holiday wanted to climb and a sub group pealed off each day and found some real treasures in the less explored areas of Snowdonia south of Tremadog.
There are plenty of hostels and bunkhouses around Snowdonia providing group accommodation and we found an excellent one in SNOWDON LODGE GROUP HOSTEL which provided really comfortable accommodation for our group of 30, with a few beds to spare. There were 10 bedrooms so plenty of privacy , ideal for our group of families. The kitchen was equipped for group catering and there was a shop just down the road (and pub) for extra supplies. We had some great mealtimes in the sunny dinning room and spent the evenings around the log burner in the lounge.
The first day, the climbers having left on foot for the nearby rocks, we set off to Harlech by car, crossing the River Dwyyd on a tiny toll bridge to join the coast road. The inspiration for our destination was Carreg Y Saeth, an area of pure unspoiled mountain valley land inland from Harlech. We knew about Carreg Y Saeth because one of our group was a member of the John Muir Trust, a charity which exists to preserve unspoiled wild lands. Saving the castle and ice creams at Harlech for later, we headed up the tiny roads into the mountains and found the most tranquil and beautiful of landscapes.
The trees hung over the paths and were coated with lichen and moss. Paddling was irresistible in the cool mountain waters of the waterfalls and pools. It was a really idyllic picnic spot.
The second day, we headed south again, this time further then Harlech to the seaside town of Barmouth and the beautiful Mawddach estuary. Its bit of a drive but one of our group had a inkling to see this area which is renown for its natural beauty. The estuary was stunning and easily accessible. We walked across the wide mouth of the estuary on a railway bridge and got a seabird’s view right up the river into the mountains. It was a lovely two hour walk there but only a 5 minutes ferry trip back.
It is also an possible to cycle along an old railway bed on the side of the estuary, so easy and among such stunning scenery. Barmouth itself was great for an ice cream and an hour on the beach before we headed home to Snowdon Lodge to see how the climbing at Tremadog had gone.
The next day it seemed a shame to leave Snowdon Lodge, our home from home. The climbers had done some varied climbs over the two days but barely got their teeth into all the routes they wanted to do at Tremadog. We had a taste of southern Snowdonia but had missed out on all the attractions on Snowdon Lodges doorstep; Black Rock Sands, the Italianate village of Portmeirion and the Festiniog and Welsh Highland railways. So before we left we booked Snowdon Lodge again, this time for for 5 days. Can’t wait.