Visiting Snowdonia

Cader Idris from Foel Caerynwch

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Llyn Gwernan

Llyn Gwernan - 1 August 2017


Llyn Gwernan
Rhys Gwynn

Grade: Leisure

Distance: 1 mile

Time: 1 hour

Terrain: Fields, woodland paths, some wet terrain


A short journey that anyone can walk between the frequent showers we’re experiencing this summer, is this one around Llyn Gwernan on the outskirts of Dolgellau. The lake is in a magnificent location, lying on one of the main geological faults in Wales – the Bala Fault, which runs from the Wnion valley from Bala and ends in northern Pembrokeshire.

To the north of the lake is one of the oldest paths in the area which connects the town with the Arthog area and it’s richness in prehistorical remains, and to the south is the great ridge of Cader Idris and Tyrrau Mawr to the west. By the foot of the mountain is Twll y Fleiddiast, where the last wolf or Meirionnydd was killed. And further west is where the Ffordd Ddu crosses – the old road to Castell y Bere which was constructed by Llywelyn Fawr. You may park at Gwernan Hotel, 2 miles from the town for the circular walk around the lake. Walk back towards Dolgellau on the road and go through the first gate on your left by the signpost. Follow the path where some bog asphodel chequeres the land around you at this time of year. This is the best place to see Tyrrau Mawr, and the Cam Rhedynen path zig-zagging up to the summit. Carry on to the first gate. In a while you will come across a bench, the perfect spot for a rest and admire the giant crags of Y Cyfrwy to the south, where O.J.Jones, one of the most famous Welsh mountaineers perfected his craft. The path follows the side of the lake, through another gate and some pine trees. Keep a look out for otters in the lily beds, or some electric blue damselflies. Turn left and follow the boardwalk which crosses a site of scientific interest because it is one of only two areas in Wales with a substantial depth of peat, 50 feet, without having been churned, which holds perfect record of plant pollen which grew here from the last ice age, 11,000 years ago. After climbing through the field towards the gate on the road, turn left towards the hotel where you may quench your thirst.

Rhys Gwynn (Area Warden (South))