Penamnen Walk - 1 April 2017
Grade: Moderate Leisure Walk
Distance: 6 miles
Time: 3 hours
For April, I can offer a moderate walk in the lovely natural Cwm of Cwm Penamnen above the small village of Dolwyddelan located on the sides of the river Lledr between Betws y Coed and Blaenau Ffestiniog.
As the bite of winter can still take a hold on the uplands at this time of year, this route offers a nice sheltered alternative in a beautiful natural amphitheatre with a waterfall at its head.
The route follows well-constructed tracks suitable by foot or bike from the British Rail car park in the center of the village opposite the school. This route is easily accessible by public transport on the Conwy valley rail line (Traveline Cymru: 0871 200 22 33 or www.traveline-cymru.info) or by car.
It follows a mosaic of habitats giving a plentiful opportunity to see a wide range of wildlife. Birds varying from the Heron to the Peregrine Falcon are often seen circling high above the falls. Part of the route follows the ancient Roman Road of Sarn Helen passing the former home of Angharad James (1677–1749) who was a farmer, harpist and poet.
She was born in Gelliffrydau farm at Baladeulyn in the Nantlle Valley on 16 July 1677. When still a young woman, she married William Prichard, a man far older than herself, who farmed Cwm Penamnen. She lived in Parlwr, or Tai Penamnen, a house that had earlier been a home to the Wynn family of Gwydir, for the remainder of her life She continued to farm the valley after being widowed. The house has recently being uncovered by local archaeologists.
She was buried on 25 August 1749 and is buried within the church of St.Gwyddelan in Dolwyddelan. She was a skilled harpist who commanded her workers to dance to her playing as they returned from the milking.
Ioan Davies (Area Warden (North))