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Snowdon Watkin Path

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Snowdon Watkin Path
Author: sdzhu, Published: 26 Sep 2013 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Gwynedd, Snowdon
Walk Type: Mountains
Snowdon Watkin Path
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A 6 mile route, up Snowdon and back, to reach a ridge high in the mountain, following the Watkin Path. The route does not climb all the way to the summit, and so avoids the dangerous sharp scree slope that the final stages of the Watkin Path are known for. At the top ridge you'll have great views across the two lakes, Glaslyn and Llyn Llydaw, before you begin your descent back down. Allow 4 hours.

The walk starts and finishes at the parking area lay-by on the A498 in Nant Gywnant, where there are also public toilets. Approximate post code LL55 4NR.

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Walk Sections

Start to Ridge View
Start to Ridge View

Start point: 53.0355 lat, -4.048 long
End point: 53.0626 lat, -4.0616 long

Come out of the lay-by walking area and turn left along the main road, crossing the bridge. As the left-hand pavement ends cross over to turn right into the side-turning. Keep straight ahead and follow the new path up the steps and through woodland (note: the original route followed the lane).

After emerging from the woods follow the rocky man made path climbing up into Cwm Llan. The slope remains steady as it ascends to the old quarries, and it was built for tourists by Sir Edward Watkin, with the ideas that it could accommodate horse drawn carriages.

Follow the obvious path and you will pass waterfalls and then the old ruins of Plas Cwmllan. You'll notice bullet holes in this old building, scars left by commandos who trained here in World War II. Near Plas Cwmllan is the large boulder known as Gladstone Rock, which bears a plaque commemorating a speech given in 1892 by William Ewart Gladstone, the then 83-year-old Prime Minister, on the subject of Justice for Wales.

From the slate quarries, the Watkin Path veers to the north-east. It is difficult to see where the path goes when you look up the slope, but the path is always very easy to follow and should pose no problems. You will reach Bwlch Ciliau, the col (or saddle) on the ridge between the two peaks of Snowdon and Y Lliwedd, which is marked by a large orange-brown cairn. This is as far as this walk travels so take some time to enjoy the views if the weather is clear.

Ridge View to End

Start point: 53.0626 lat, -4.0616 long
End point: 53.0356 lat, -4.0482 long

For the second half of your walk, simply retrace your steps along the Watkin Path for your descent.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author sdzhu and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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