Arthog walk

September 17, 2008

The time is eleven when we park the car at Morfa Mawddach station, a small railway station just south of the combined rail and foot bridge over the mouth of the river Mawddach. We missed the first turning and drove too far. From the car park the path crosses a field north of a grove, then takes us along the river bank. It is high tide so the water level is high, but still it is easy to walk at the edge. We come to a big house, Mawddach Crescent, it could have been a nice river-side hotel. It was probably meant to be when it was built, but the surroundings were too marshy. We walk around to the back of it which looks somewhat worn out, it is possibly nice inside. After the house we take a path inland past fields and wetlands up to a former railway embankment which is now a walking and cycling path, the Mawddach Trail. We come out at Arthog, where there is a parking lot.

The railway embankment goes along the river and we get fine views of the river delta. One can see how the water gets extra speed when drawn out to sea by the tide. Otherwise, it is boring to walk on the hard ground of the former embankment. Here and there are tables, we make use of one of them for lunch. The river area is rich in birds, we stop to look at them. For me all geese look the same, but K is a bird enthusiast and can identify them as being Canada geese, and there are herons. At home I sometimes go out to watch the birds and learn to recognize them, but only to forget again. At the creek before Abergwynant Wood we leave the embankment and continue on a path along a stream. A sign warns of the danger of falling, the case will probably not be from the path, but from the cliffs to the left in the woods.

The path reaches the main road. We find it difficult to decide where to continue, there are no markings. According to the route map the path seems to follow a road to the left of the creek, but the map also says that there is a path in the woods to the right of the creek and they meet further up on the slope in front of us. The path in the forest seems nicer, we take it. It is uphill through a deciduous forest. At first we have the stream down in a gorge to the left of us. The path ends at a field with sheep.

Which way from here? After consultation with the map we walk diagonally to the right over the field, cross a stream furrow, and again we stand in a field. The map says this time; left. We end up at a gate to a grassy path. It's probably the way up to the house we can see on our right. We follow it in the opposite direction, it guides us to a narrow, winding asphalt road.

We walk a short distance down the road, just before a house (which is a youth hostel) there is a path into the forest. It takes us up through a beautiful deciduous forest. We come out on the road again where there is a church ruin, Rehoboth Methodist chapel. The words on the gravestones are incomprehensible to me, because they are in Welsh. We leave the road and follow a path through the fields and, as always, all these beautiful stone walls. The landscape around us is hilly, to the left Cadair Idris rises into the clouds. It is a pleasant walk on the grass. We come to a large stone house, which is beautifully situated but isolated. I see no road here, and the house appears deserted. We take a break and enjoy food and scenery. Gorse is flowering.

It is a good path, and now also fairly level, to Llynau Cregennen. We meet a few hikers on the trail. As everywhere else here they are happy to talk to strangers which I think is nice. The lakes probably offer good fishing. There is a road leading to the lakes, we follow the road down the slope where we get a wide view of the Mawddach river and the railway bridge where we left the car. Where the road makes a ninety-degree bend we leave it and continue on a path which brings us into sheep and cow fields. Of course, with stone walls and ruins of stone houses. We go over a stream on a small stone bridge. After the bridge there is a road, a stile brings us into a deciduous forest where the stream rushes down the slope. It is steep and wild, in some places the stream becomes small waterfalls. We and the brook come to the main road at a church.

On a table outside the church there are things for sale. There is nobody looking after it. You are trusted to leave payment at the designated spot. From the church, we follow the stream up to the car park at Arthog. From there it is a boring walk on the embankment back to our car. Strange that the last bit of a walk is always perceived as boring. Back at the car at 17.45.



Bird watchers




Stone house



Llynau Cregennen