We just returned from spending four days in North Wales in Snowdonia National Park area. We stayed in a remote location, a barn nestled in a valley filled with greenery and white sheep. The closest village is Llandrillo, and from there we drove on single lane to get to the barn. With no cell reception, we were completely removed from our phones. Although we did have internet service at the place, it was not always fast and we only used it for planning our daily activities during our trip. This peaceful getaway was much needed, and it made us realize how much we appreciate the countryside.
Day 1: Arrival and Exploring the Property
It took us about 4 hours to drive from London to North Wales. After checking in to the barn, we strolled around the vast property and took in the scenery. We had planned on stargazing that evening, but it was cloudy and to drive somewhere else in Snowdonia meant we had to drive in the dark on narrow and single lanes again. Instead, we decided to stay in for the night and planned for next day’s hiking. Snowdonia has low light pollution and where we stayed at had no lights outside. It was really dark. Later at bedtime, we did manage to see some stars through the skylight of the bedroom. Had it been a clear night, we would have been able to see the Milky Way!
Day 2: Two Hikes (Capel Curig and Ogwen)
With only two days dedicated for hiking, we decided that on our first day we would do two smaller hikes to see the most of the area during our stay. Snowdonia is huge, and we really should have stayed an extra day or two to get the most out of our outdoor adventure. Nevertheless, we were happy with the selected hikes.
We learned that hiking in Wales, or at least in the area we were at, is different from the States. The trails aren’t marked and there are no detailed maps of where to go. And the trails can run through farmland and people’s property. You really have to know ahead of time where to go. Thus, our first hike was a little bust because we did get lost and never finished it. We were on our way to the summit but never made it there because the directions we picked up online was not as detailed as we’d like and the ‘trail’ was not apparent on where we had to go next. With limited time, we decided to leave this hike and move on to the next. Good thing we did, because the next one was one of the best and rewarding ones in Snowdonia. Although an easy hike, the views were spectacular and we redeemed ourselves from the first one.
First hike of the day
Second hike of the day
We had an amazing time outdoors. This second hike really did it for us, and a good thing because this was Nick’s birthday hike and outing!