Ilkeston Cam On Holiday In North Wales 2000

Part Four - Llyn Ogwen and Llanfair

The Lakes and Mountains of Snowdonia

Our journey to Bangor had taken us from Betws-y-Coed on the main A5 road towards Capel Curig passing the renowned Swallow Falls on the way, where 12 months earlier, I had taken this photo on the left below.

Beyond Capel Curig the landscape becomes bleaker as the wooded valley of the Afon Llugwy is left behind. The gentle descent in the pass through the mountains between the peaks of Glyder and Carneddau rewards travellers with some fine views of Llyn Ogwen.

With a mean depth of only 6ft (1.8m), the lake is the shallowest in Snowdonia. And here's another fascinating fact - legend has it that Sir Bedivere, the last surviving Arthurian knight, cast Excalibur into the water here but this is not the only lake where that has been claimed.

Several parking areas along the route enable the more energetic and sure-footed to follow rocky footpaths around the lake or into the mountains to enjoy more spectacular views.


Even here though in this relatively bleak environment, wild flowers and plants find plenty of nooks and crannies protected from the worst of the weather to add a touch of colour to the surroundings.

Anglesey's Link To The Mainland
Cross Thomas Telford's suspension bridge built in 1826 over the Menai Strait, turn left and before you know it, you'll be in the village famous throughout Britain, and perhaps even worldwide, for having the longest name - Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

Known as Llanfairpwllgwyngyll until the end of the 19th century, it was extended to its present length of 58 letters mainly for the benefit of tourists.

There is little else remarkable about this small town but visitors flock to it in their thousands by the car, rail and coach load. Few of these visitors search out 'The church of Mary in the hollow of the white hazel near the fierce whirlpool and the church of Tysilio by the red cave' - the literal meaning of the name - but make a bee-line for the station with the longest nameplate in the world.

It is here that some of the old railway buildings have been converted to form a retail outlet for a number of businesses. The covered entrance to the outlet contains a signpost (above left) pointing to all corners of the globe but the name of Llanfair PG as it is known, is prominent wherever you look. Welsh crafts, gifts and souvenirs as well as clothing and of course, local produce including jams, preserves and wine (see right) from the Isle of Anglesey are all on sale inside.

Cheerful staff with lilting Welsh voices add to the charm of the place. Traditional delicacies like Welsh Cakes and Bara Brith can be sampled in the restaurant in the same building and a small exhibition of miniature steam trains maintain the railway theme. 
Continued in Part 5 - Caernarfon & Blaenau Ffestiniog

Other parts in this series:
1- Llandudno & Llanrwst; 2 - Betwys-y-Coed; 3 - Bangor; 6 - Bodelwyddan & Rhos-On-Sea;
7 Conwy Bridges & Smallest House;
8 - Conwy Quay & Town;
9 - The Great Orme & 10 - Llandudno Town.

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