Our Next Walk

* Conwy (via Llandudno), North Wales*

SATURDAY, 13th August 2022

The coach will leave Llandudno/Conwy at 5:30 p.m.

Notes on each of the walks will be posted here one week before we go.

‘A’ (Strenuous) Leader: Paul Hogan

Distance: 8 Miles

Conwy Mountain and the Sychnant Pass

Not a terribly long walk but an awfully fine one – affording great views of Anglesey, the Carneddau and the Great Orme, ancient Celtic remains (Castle Carr Seion) and one of the ‘Great Passes of Wales’, often pictured on postcards.

We will start from the south-western gate of the town’s medieval walls (Porth Uchaf) through Bodlondeb Wood and up onto the North Wales Path to Sychnant Pass and north and down through Groesfford and back into Conwy via the North Gate and the Castle.  There are lots of pubs, cafes, gelaterias and chippies in the town.  Something for everyone.

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‘B’ (Moderate) Leader: Tony Benesh

Distance: 7 miles

From Conwy we follow the North Wales Path.  This takes us along the estuary and then up on to Conwy Mountain.  The path takes us along the side of the mountain, past Echo Rock and then down to Maen Esgob.  We go round Maen Esgob and past Craigyfedwen (hills) and then across farmland to Mount Pleasant.  We will now be on the outskirts of Conwy.

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 ‘C’ (Easy) Leader: Jackie Gudgeon

Distance: 5 miles

The C walkers will be dropped off in Llandudno.  There will be toilets a short way along the walk (so don’t go wandering off looking for loos, stay with your leader!).  After our toilet stop we will walk a short way along the promenade before reaching a lane which takes us up past the Great Orme tram station, along through Hoelfre Gardens, and down to the beach on the east side of Llandudno.

We then follow the coast round to Conwy, with lunch on the beach along the way.

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When available please make sure you read the notes on the walks carefully – they will help you to decide which walk will be the most suitable for you. 

If you have any doubts, do not hesitate to ask the leader for advice.  For the safety and enjoyment of yourself and others, please try not to join a walk which is beyond your capabilities.

Please respect the wishes of the walks leader and remain with the walk until the end.  If you are struggling – inform the walk leader so that he/she can make a decision to shorten the walk, have more rest, etc

* Notes on the area *

Rearing against a background of wooded hills, Conway’s eight-towered, 13th century castle is the greatest of all the fortresses Edward I built to subdue and control the Welsh.  The town walls, defended by towers set at 50 ft intervals, are the finest of their age in Britain.  Conway itself is a town of narrow streets, once plagued by traffic congestion but now bypassed by an impressive tunnel under the estuary.  Thomas Telford’s mock medieval 19th century suspension bridge over the river was superseded in the 1950’s by a larger road bridge.

When Edward I arrived in Conway in 1283 it was the site of a Cistercian abbey, which had been richly endowed by the Welsh warrior prince Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (Llywelyn the Great 1173-1240) and was destined to be his burial place.  Edward moved the monks 8 miles inland, to Maenan, to make way for his castle and new town.  Only the abbey church was kept, and is still in use seven centuries later.  Original workmanship survives in the east wall of the chancel and the west wall of the tower.  The interior is notable for a richly carved 15th century rood screen.  The church has a very peaceful atmosphere thanks to being set back from the main streets and reached by narrow lanes that open out into a grassy churchyard.

To construct the castle and walls, builders were recruited from all over England to work under James of Saint George, the greatest military architect of his day.  Translated into present day figures, the total cost of the castle and walls was about £2 million.  The town walls, almost 6 ft thick and 35 ft high, extended right down to the shore.  They were built in such a way that attackers who managed to scale them could be isolated by a series of small drawbridges.  There were three main, twin-towered, gates, two of which are still in every-day use.  In some places the wall is sandwiched between shops, pubs and cottages.  The most remarkable of these buildings is a tiny dwelling on the quayside that is said to be the smallest house in Britain.  It has a 6ft frontage, is only 10 ft high, and consists of two rooms linked by an almost vertical staircase.  Aberconwy, a National Trust property at the junction of High Street and Castle Street, is said to be the oldest house in Wales.  The earliest parts may be 14th century, but most of the building dates from 1500.

The Quay, built in 1833, is one of Conway’s most attractive areas, overlooking a sandy natural harbour bright with boats.  It was busy until the end of the 19th century with fishing boats and ships exporting slate and copper.  Pleasure craft now heavily outnumber the fishing boats, but fresh fish is sold from a stall on the quay, and mussels are also landed.  The river used to be famous for freshwater pearls, one of which was presented to Queen Catherine, wife of Charles II.

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* Coach Pick Up Points: *

Burscough War Memorial 8.10 am

Ormskirk Bus Station 8.30 am (due to the current closure of the bus station – please wait by the temporary bus stops by Chapel Gallery, and please be in good time in case the coach can’t wait).

Skelmersdale War Memorial 8.40 am

 Skelmersdale Baths Car Park 8.50 am (due to the car park being closed – the coach will pick up at the bus stop on Northway near Asda – on the opposite side of the road to Bannatyne’s).

Upholland Labour Club 9.00 am

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NEXT RAMBLE: 

Saturday 10th September 2022, Bakewell, Peak District

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