Tomen y Mur, Trawsfynydd
This circular walk will lead you from the shores of the man-made reservoir, Llyn Trawsfynydd, and across farmland to the most fascinating feature of the walk, the Roman fort of Tomen y Mur.
Tomen y Mur is one of the most interesting archaeological sites in Snowdonia, and is one of the most complete Roman military settlements in Britain. The fort is situated on a hillside at the cross roads of four Roman roads with commanding views of the local area. It was constructed in AD 78 by Gnaeus Julius Agricola, a Roman general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain, to maintain order amongst the native Celts and protect road communications.
The walk starts from the entrance to the Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station. Construction of the Power Station started in 1959 and the two reactors were in operation from 1965 to 1991. The lake provided cooling water when the reactors were operational. The Power Station is now in the process of being decommissioned.
Distance: 4 miles - 6.5 km
Time: Around 3 hours
Grade: Leisurely Walk
Terrain: Fields & some rough, wet terrain. Wear appropriate footwear
Start/Finish: Car park near Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station (SH 697 384)
Parking: Car park near Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station
Post Code: LL41 4DS
Relevant Map: OS Ordnans Exp OL18 (Harlech, Porthmadog and Bala)
1. From the car park near the Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station, turn left along the road and then turn right. Walk between the wooden cafe and the old club house building towards the far end of the car park. Follow the cycle path for just over a mile until you reach the A470 main road.
2. Cross the A470 main road taking extreme care as this road can be very busy. Walk ahead along the minor road for about 50 meters until you see a bridge on your left.
3. Walk over the bridge, and follow the footpath heading through two gates. At the tarmac road, turn right and follow this road for 300 meters until you reach the old railway bridge.
4. Cross the bridge, and turn left by the Public Footpath sign. Make your way uphill along the track and in 200 meters head through a gate. Keep following the track heading through another gate. As you reach a bend follow the track uphill in the direction of the pylon in front of you.
5. As you head through another gate turn right keeping the fence on your left. Head uphill walking between the pylon and the building remains. Follow the path and head through a gate. Cross the stream and head through a gap in the wall. Before you reach the next gate ahead of you, look out for a small gate in the stone wall on your left with the name plate ‘Tomen y Mur’.
6. Head through the gate on your left and walk across the open land towards Tomen y Mur. There are several well trodden steep paths up to the top. Enjoy the panoramic views from the summit.
7. Take care as you walk down from Tomen y Mur. Head down to see the reconstruction of the Roman fort and walk through the derelict farmhouse noting the amazing fireplace.
8. Walk out of the farmhouse and follow the grassy track northeastwards to a stile. Head over the stile and follow the track to the tarmac road. Turn left at the road, and walk through the gate next to the cattle grid.
9. In about 100 meters cross the stile next to the Public Footpath sign on your left. Descend through the trees down to a stone bridge and head over another stile. Walk in the direction of the electricity pylon towards two gates at the far end of the field.
10. Cross the gate on the left and follow the path keeping the fence on your right. The owner of this land has marked the route of the public footpath along the land using yellow paint. Head over the stile near the pylon, and walk downhill keeping the fence on your left.
11. Head over the stile and follow the faint path that descends through the woodland. When you reach a wall at the bottom of the wooded area, follow the path to the left towards a stile.
12. Head over the stile and walk through the tunnel under the old railway line. Climb the steps onto a lay by on the A470. Taking extreme care, cross the road, turn left and walk along the pavement. Turn right towards the Power Station and walk back to the car park.